Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Can You Still Hear A Suppressed Rifle From 500 Yards Away?

The answer to the title question is yes.

Rebel Silencers made an ad hoc video on the level of sound suppression on a suppressed rifle. It was done quickly and the production values are not pristine. The microphone picks up wind like nobody's business. That said, it does a good job of illustrating that a suppressor only lowers the db level and doesn't eliminate it.

Here was their setup. One guy shot an AR, both unsuppressed and suppressed, from a ridge about 500 yards away from the person listening. The guy listening was a shop machinist who probably didn't have the world's best hearing. He stood in the bed of a pickup, closed his eyes, and turned around many times so he didn't know if was facing or not facing the shooter. He was asked to in the direction of the heard shot. He did it both times with reasonable accuracy.

Is this a perfect test under controlled laboratory conditions? Absolutely not. Does it illustrate that you can both detect the sound and the direction of the suppressed gunfire? Absolutely yes.

Those who have an axe to grind against guns and/or the Hearing Protection Act will say this video proves nothing. I would disagree and say that it shows that the average untrained person can indeed detect suppressed gunfire and that any "shot detectors" would also be able to detect the direction of the gunfire.

You know your member of Congress is under pressure from the anti-gun, anti-suppressor forces to kill the SHARE Act in the wake the mass casualty event in Las Vegas. Now is the time to make your voice heard again and again in favor of passage of these bills.


  1. It looks like that quisling slime Ryan is killing the SHARE act.

    But according the numbers I can reasonably get my hands on, I'm not ditching my hearing pro even if it passes and I get silencers. I sat next to a guy with a suppressed AR at the range. No way I'm not wearing my hearing protection around that.

    1. I went to the American Suppressor Assn shoot for the media at Knob Creek before last year's NRA meeting. I definitely wore plugs.

  2. I have muffs rated at 23dB. I have plugs rated at 27dB (but with instructions to de-rate them if not inserted correctly). I have a suppressor rated at 30dB (9mm) and another at 28dB (22 cal, up to 223Rem). I also have a 338 Lapua and a 50 Barrett (but no suppressors for them yet). According to my phone app (ie, not a reliable measurement), the 338 hits 162dB and the 50 164dB. And thus either one is safe to fire ONCE with single hearing pro - repeated shots require BOTH. If I had an equivalent suppressor in either caliber (which would be absolutely huge!), they'd still be over 120dB - so theoretically safe - but like standing in front of the speakers at a rock concert safe, not quiet room safe.