Can You Silence a Gun Completely?

Ammos propel bullets using an enormous amount of force. This force is enough to produce sound so loud that even a short period of exposure may cause hearing damage. As such, gun enthusiasts are always on the lookout for either the best hearing protection, or the most efficient gun suppressor. But is it really possible to completely silence a gun? You’ll find out below.

The sound of a gun comes mainly from three different sources. The first one is when the gun’s hammer strikes the firing pin as you pull the trigger, which creates a sharp, metallic sound. Although this is not as ear-crushing as the gunfire itself, it still contributes to the sound a gun makes during each shot.

As the firing pin strikes the back of a bullet, it hits a primer that triggers the powder propellant inside the bullet’s casing to quickly generate an enormous amount of hot gas. The hot gas creates immense pressure at the back of the bullet, usually at 3,000 pounds per square inch, which pushes the bullet down the barrel. As the gas expands, it creates a sound which can be as loud as 165 decibels, which may cause permanent ear damage.

The third sound is created when the bullet finally comes out of the barrel and whizzes past a target. It is called a bullet crack. A ballistic crack is so unique that it makes it possible for you to distinguish gunfire from booms created by fireworks, for instance.

Now, for the question, is it really possible to silence a gun altogether? Gun suppressors are only able to silence the second sound (the sound created by hot gasses). By making the barrel longer and wider, the hot gas has more room to dissipate, which decreases the sound the pressure creates. According to the website by Suppressed Weapon Systems, suppressors are available either as a separate piece of equipment which is threaded onto a firearm, or as a combination of a suppressor and a barrel.

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