If you have been considering getting into the airgunning sport, you may be worried about making too much noise, or even asking, “Do these guns even make noise?”
All airguns make noise. The noise is significantly quieter than what a powder-burning gun would produce, but can have a volume level between (in our testing) 72.5 db and 115 db.
Airguns that shoot faster are significantly louder than slower-shooting airguns. A projectile breaks the sound barrier at 1050 fps, so airguns shooting slower than this limit will be quieter. Some variables like altitude, humidity and temperature can change this, but usually it is at 1050 fps. When this happens, a crack about the volume of a .22 caliber powder-burning gun will be heard.
But in most cases, the volume will be, for a split second, somewhere between a loud knuckle crack, and a typical concert. We collected data from twenty different airguns, present in the table below, organized by the price we purchased it for.
|Gun||Price||FPS at test||Volume in db|
|Air Arms TX200 MkIII Air Rifle||$629.99||880||110.4|
|Diana RWS 34 Breakbarrel Rifle, T06 Trigger||$299.99||681||115|
|Benjamin Trail NP XL Air Rifle||$259.99||1042||107.4|
|Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1||$224.99||648||104|
|Gamo Swarm Maxxim Multi-shot Air Rifle||$179.99||854||104|
|Gamo Big Cat 1250||$149.99||688||114|
|Stoeger Arms X20S2 Suppressor Air Rifle||$129.99||992||114|
|Crosman Nitro Venom Dusk||$129.99||828||115|
|Ruger Blackhawk Combo||$119.99||1000||112|
|Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle||$99.99||661||113|
|Gamo Varmint Velocity||$87.71||888||111.2|
|Winchester Model M||$69.86||181||94.5|
|Daisy 880 Multi-Pump||$45.95||611||92|
|Daisy Red Ryder||$39.99||235||92|
|Crosman Pumpmaster 760||$39.74||412||96|
The average volume for our testing came out to be about 104 db, the volume of a helicopter, but keep in mind that the sound lasts fora split second. If you want to keep your airgun at about that level, make sure you do not get one that is less than that break-the-sound-barrier 1050 fps.
Your volume may change based upon what pellet you have in what gun, but generally, the only gun in our list that should break the sound barrier is the Beeman RS2.
However, ear protection is recommended at 85 db (that loud knuckle crack) and higher when shooting for long periods. That means with almost every air gun, you should be using ear protection when shooting for long periods of time.
Very few people would use hearing protection with most modern airguns that shoot under the sound barrier.
The mechanics of the gun tend to be very quiet, even in spring-powered pellet guns used in hunting. In fact, most airguns will be about the same volume as a Nerf gun.
What About Silencers?
Believe it or not, many airguns are capable of having silencers attached to them. If you plan to do this, please check the legality of this in your local area, as many city, state, and national laws may frown upon this.
Most of the time, you would not need to use a silencer, especially if you are using a low end airgun, like a typical plinking BB gun, but they can be capable of reducing the volume of your airgun by about 20 db, potentially putting it under that 85 db threshold.