The noise level for air guns and rifles may vary by manufacturer and model. Several other factors also play a role in how quiet your air gun will be. The rate at which your pellets travel, for example, has an impact on your air gun’s sound. Let’s go over some basics to clarify what kind of noise to expect from an air gun or air rifle.
Do Air Guns or Air Rifles Make Noise?
If you’re thinking of investing in a new air gun or air rifle, you probably have some questions. You may be wondering things like: how much noise do they make while shooting? Are they quiet? Especially if you want an air rifle for shooting pests in your yard, knowing the answer to these questions is essential.
There are a few sounds that you’ll hear your air gun make. Your gun will quickly release compressed air which produces a conspicuous popping sound. Then there is the sound of the pellets exiting the barrel which can be quite loud.
The good news is that you have various options for quiet airsoft guns. Some tips include:
- Avoiding dieseling. Residue from oily lubricants can make your gun louder.
- Opt for subsonic ammunition. The key here is that your pellets will travel more slowly than the speed of sound.
- Choose heavier pellets. More weight means your pellets will exit the barrel at a slower speed.
What Are the Quietest Types of Airguns?
One of the first things to consider when choosing your air gun is the power source. There is much debate surrounding an air rifle’s power source but ultimately it’s a matter of preference and what your needs are.
If you’re looking for the quietest air gun possible, consider spring-piston guns. While PCP guns have varying degrees of noise, spring guns are quieter because they use less high-pressure air when firing. A couple of the quietest spring air guns include the Beeman R9 air rifle and the TX 200.
Additionally, some air guns allow you to control the sound by choosing how many pumps to use when firing. If you know you want a PCP rifle but want to minimize the sound it makes, opt for one that lets you adjust the power. The Airforce Condor PCP rifle, for example, allows you to dial it down, resulting in less noise.
Can You Get a Silencer/Suppressor for Your Airgun?
Silencers or suppressors are simple attachments you can use with your air rifle to make it quieter. Like suppressors for conventional firearms, air rifle suppressors are metal and feature a cylinder shape. They work by using a baffler piece to reduce both air temperature and gas, resulting in less energy output and thus less noise.
Unfortunately, laws surrounding airgun silencers are convoluted, leaving many air gunners puzzled. The law does not recognize airguns or air rifles as real weapons and thus federal laws for firearms do not apply to them. However, putting a silencer on your air gun that can potentially be transferred to a real firearm is illegal.
Hasn’t anyone come up with a silencer that works exclusively for airguns? Yes and no. While some air rifles come with their version of a silencer or baffle, no silencer has been made that you can attach to an air gun legally.
Your next thought may be: can’t I make my airgun silencer? Again, the answer is not so simple. While you can easily craft your own silencer attachment for your airgun, you may run into trouble if you are caught up in a crime. You will face a higher penalty for having a silencer that isn’t legal.
Ultimately your best bet for any silencer is to follow proper protocol for obtaining a legal silencer. That entails requesting licensing from the government. Because the constitution does not explicitly protect against silencers, the US Code Title 18 states that silencers should be controlled and have a serial number.
Are Air Rifles Quiet Enough to Hunt With?
While most people use airguns for sport and recreation, some use their air rifles for hunting activities. Many people may prefer to use an air rifle for hunting because its sound is quieter than that of a conventional firearm. Using an airgun to hunt small and large game alike is becoming increasingly popular.
Some states are even starting to create hunting seasons exclusively for air gunners. While PCP guns are the most popular for hunting, spring-piston guns are best for killing vermin or hunting small game. While spring-piston airguns are the quietest, PCP airguns are still stealthier than a real firearm.
Hunting with an air rifle is more common for acquiring small game. The idea is that real firearms may damage too much tissue in a small animal such as a squirrel or rabbit, and thus air rifles provide a more practical shot.
You don’t have to limit yourself to small game, however, if you’re looking to challenge your airgun hunting skills. The power and caliber you need will depend on the type of game you’re seeking to hunt.