Does A Suppressed Pistol Sound Like A Nail Gun?

Does A Suppressed Pistol Sound Like A Nail Gun?

Gun Rights

In response to reports that the Virginia Beach shooter used a firearm suppressor in carrying out his terrible crime, David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor for the Giffords gun control group, claimed that a suppressed pistol is especially dangerous because the noise associated with the firearm is difficult to distinguish from a nail gun. As per usual for claims Chipman and his employer make about firearm suppressors, this is false. In an article appearing in the Virginian-Pilot, Chipman claims, “The gun does not sound gun-like. It takes the edge out of the tone . . . This is how I would describe it: It makes a gun sort of sound like a nail gun.” But, a suppressed .45 caliber pistol, like the one that is reported to have been used in Virginia Beach, is many times louder than a nail gun: A suppressed .45 caliber pistol produces about 130-135 dBA. A nail gun produces about 100 dBA . Decibels (dBA) are a logarithmic scale, so sound levels increase in a non-linear fashion. A 3 dBA increase doubles the sound pressure level. (Although most people perceive a 6 to 10 dBA increase as double the noise level.) The 30-35 dBA difference between a nail gun and a suppressed pistol will be perceived as at least eight times louder to the human ear. As an interesting comparison, an unsuppressed pistol produces about 165 dBA. So the difference between an unsuppressed and suppressed pistol is about the same difference in sound pressure level […]

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