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How “silent” are gun silencers?

Turns out, not really
Posted at 7:30 PM, Feb 28, 2023

The Arizona Senate has passed a billto make it easier to own a gun silencer—-more accurately called a suppressor. The State House still has to vote on the bill. KGUN9 looked into how much difference a suppressor makes in the sound of a gun.

So how much silence are we really talking about?

It’s hardly a news flash to say guns can be really loud.

You can put a device on the front to suppress the sound. But it’s not like you see in the movies where the silencer shushes the gun to a quiet little pff….

Silencer is the popular term but people who know guns say it’s more accurate to call them a suppressor.

“You could think of it like a muffler of a vehicle. The reason we have mufflers on our vehicles is because they're incredibly loud and that output is incredibly loud. The muffler helps dampen that noise. The suppressor is the same way.”

Roan Grimm is training director for Diamondback Shooting Sports. He says the best argument for suppressors is to reduce hearing damage.

He used two different rifles, firing the same ammunition to show the difference between un-suppressed, and suppressed.

The suppressed guns are quieter but still so loud ear protection is still a good idea.

Grimm says right now you need to spend two hundred dollars to apply, and pass a background check to get a Federal permit for a suppressor. State lawmakers want to remove the state prohibition against suppressors to get state law to line up with Federal.

In committee hearings some Senators worried easy access to suppressors might raise the danger in situations like mass shootings where loud gunfire would help warn potential victims.

But Grimm contends a suppressor will not hide the sound of a rifle or pistol.

“It's still very loud. I mean, the Hollywood myth of the two action people shooting at each other with suppressors and nobody else knows what's going on. That's completely unrealistic.”

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