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Decibel Rating of Various Calibers

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Lord Soth, Feb 16, 2003.

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  1. Lord Soth

    Lord Soth Member

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    Does anyone have a list of the decibel rating of various calibers (unsuppressed)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Too many variables.

    The same load out of a short barrel will be much louder than from a long barrel.

    A 9mm 115gr WWB target load from a Kel Tec P-11 will out bang a .45 from a M1991A1, anecdotally speaking.
     
  3. yesterdaysyouth

    yesterdaysyouth Member

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    i dont' think caliber would have as much effect as barrel length or type of firearm, on db level....

    of course a .22 through a 18in. barrel in a semi-auto rifle and 44mag through a revolver are gonna be a huge difference.... but what about 32acp. in a small auto? do you think the sound would be that much quiter than 45acp in a gov. sized 1911??

    i only made the mistake of shooting my m29 with earplugs one time.... since then i won't shoot anything without protection...

    i've lost some of my hearing playing drums, in competition car stereo and at work... i can't afford to do any more damage...
     
  4. New_comer

    New_comer Member

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    Read something about that in TFL.

    22lr hovers at aound 130 dB, the loudest in that list is the 357 at 180+, IIRC.

    I'd try to search the TFL archives... ;)
     
  5. New_comer

    New_comer Member

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    Here's what I found:


    dB Environmental Noise

    10 Normal breathing
    50 Interior home noise
    70 Crowded restaurant
    80 City traffic
    85 Hearing Damage Possible
    90 Lawn mower
    120 Threshold of Pain
    120 Siren
    130 Jackhammer
    140 Jet engine at takeoff
    152 .22 pistol
    156 12 gauge shotgun
    157 .45 ACP pistol
    160 9mm pistol
    164 .357 Magnum revolver


    This table clearly shows that a shot from all calibers is detrimental to hearing. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2003
  6. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

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    What is overlooked by many people is that the standard highest quality muffs attenuate the noise by about 30 dB.. This is subtracted from the above listed values. Ergo, a magnum fired near you will apply about 165 - 30 = 135 dBA to your ears which is extremely damaging. Wearing internal plugs with the muffs will give you another 6 - 10 dB of reduction (I always use both). If you are in an indoor range and somebody is shooting a magnum, your ears are being damaged. Incidentally, the muzzle wave has a "null" directly behind the muzzle which means the shooter is not getting hiy as hard as the guy on either side in the next lanes.
     
  7. bogie

    bogie Member

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    I bought a ratshack sound meter to calibrate my home theater stuff (hey, there's nothing quite like watching We Were Soldiers at full volume in surround sound...), and I plan on taking it to the Supershoot, and doing a little checking. I'll try to remember to post back...
     
  8. bedlamite

    bedlamite Member

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    bogie, I've got a RS dB meter. Don't bother trying it, they can't handle anything that loud.
     
  9. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Actually, I'm going to check out some areas a modest distance from the line.

    Show a few folks that there's a reason why "Huh?" is the most frequently heard word...
     
  10. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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    I posted a query on TFL some while ago about this stuff, when I was faced with the possibility of shooting a sick skunk in a trailer park. The discussion got way side-tracked [ :rolleyes: ] to the question of which arm was more appropriate for the job, but what I was curious about was: which would be quieter, a 2" Chief Special firing 125g .38 spl Gold Dots, or a 5" Kimber 1911 firing 230 Gold Dots? Never did get a satisfactory answer.

    :confused:

    -M>
     
  11. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    The NRR is assessed using progressively quieter sounds until the test subject can no longer hear the sound; the difference between the quietest sound that can be heard with and without the muffs is the NRR. HOWEVER, some have pointed out that the relative reduction may be greater the louder the sound; I'd like to see some tests on this. I can say that I've shot a .22 rifle without hearing protection and had threshold shift and ringing ears, and I've shot a .223 with Peltor Shotgunner (NRR 21 dB) and didn't have ringing ears after. Still, I usually do double up, with the pink wal-mart earplugs (fantastic) under the Peltor muffs.

    Someone over on TFL posted a link to an excellent article on the Field & Stream/Outdoor Life website on dB levels of various firearms, by Jim and Eric Carmichel. Anyone have a current link? One of them owns a business that specializes in testing of high-intensity impulse noises (IIRC), and they used special equipment and techniques that allowed them to get an accurate reading of the peak sound pressures.

    You can get the full report from ELC Engineering (1449 East 10th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719) for $10 (check or money order) for printing and postage.
     
  12. rhedley

    rhedley Member

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    The loudest I have ever heard was a H&R .32 mag..
     
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