Air Gun Silencers: Everything You Need to Know

Almost every adult in the country knows about airgun silencers. But still, some people have doubts regarding the air gun silencers, such as how they work and how effective they are? If you want to know about air gun silencers, then surely you are at the right place. Here is everything you need to know about noise suppressors for air rifles.

It is a common scenario in the country that when people practice shooting in their backyards, most neighbors either come and complain about the loud noises or call the cops. If you wish to suppress the noise of your air gun safely, then you are at the perfect place.

What Is an Air Gun Silencer?

What Is an Air Gun Silencer

An air gun silencer is a simple tool or component attached to the air rifle. The main function of this silencer is to act as a noise suppressor for the air rifle and at the same time also lessen the recoil of the gun. Some silencers can reduce the sound by more than 40db, which makes them quite effective. The major problem associated with these gun silencers is the legalities of owning a gun silencer.

Silencers are known by different names such as sound moderators and sound suppressors. Whenever a silencer is attached to a gun it lessens the pellet’s acoustic integrity by acting as a muzzle. Acoustic intensity is nothing but only sound intensity. It is a measure of the power of sound waves when they travel per unit area in a normal direction.

The standard international unit for the measurement of sound intensity is expressed in watts per square meter. Noise suppressors for air rifles not only lessen the volume of air rifles but also reduce muzzle flash. The problem of muzzle flash generally occurs with firearms but even in air rifles if gun pellets are expelled at a high temperature there are muzzle flashes. It can be quite dangerous as well as scary.

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Noise suppressors used for air rifles are like the ones used in real firearms. They are cylindrical and are made up of metal. These noise suppressors are incorporated with sound baffles. When the air or gas exits the air rifle, these sound baffles reduce the gas as well as air temperature. This is the reason that why there is no muzzle flash in silencers.

When the air or gas is stretched using a silencer, it loses a large amount of energy and creates less noise. Another great benefit of using a gun silencer is that there is lesser gun recoil. The gun recoils after a shot is fired from it. This is due to the energy of the gun. But due when a silencer is used the momentum of air is reduced, by this the energy is controlled and there is no such intense recoil of the gun.

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Noise suppressors for air rifles are made using metals such as titanium, aluminum, or steel. The silencers can be divided into two categories such as integral and can silencers. 

Types of Noise Suppressors for Air Rifles

Integral Silencer

Integral Silencer

The integral silencers or suppressor has expansion chambers that can easily go around gun barrels. The barrel itself has several ports, whose function is to hold gas or air into the expansion chambers of the air rifles. Integral silencers are quite rare because they are built with an air rifle. They can be removed from the gun if you don’t need them, but there is no need to buy a new silencer as they already come with the gun.

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Can Silencers

Can Silencers

, Unlike integral silencers, silencers can be easily mounted on the guns as well as taken off according to the need. The can silencers get their name from their shape. They almost look like a can of soda. Not all silencers are of the same size. They have evolved with time and become more compact. In the early 80s, the US navy used silencers that were six inches long.

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Other Parts of Noise Suppressors for Air Rifles


As described earlier, air rifles silencers have baffles. Baffles are dividers that are made of metals like titanium, aluminum, or stainless steel. The shape of these baffles is circular. These baffles are installed in each of the expansion chambers, along with a hole in the center, to allow a bullet or pellet to pass through it.

Although baffles are more common in firearms, they can be still used in air rifles. You should prefer using steel baffles rather than aluminum ones as they have a longer life and can easily withstand high temperatures.

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Packing materials, as well as wipes, were used in old silencers. But they can still be found with many air rifles. Wipes are not used to clean the gun instead they are a type of divider that connects with the bullets after it moves through the silencer.

These wipes incorporate a hole or a pattern where the contact is expected. The materials which are used to create wipes include foam, rubber, and plastic. They are needed to be often replaced as they do not work properly after five-six shots.

Packing Material

Packing material also belongs to the category of wipes. These are washers made from metal, steel, wool, or mesh. The chambers of the noise suppressor of air rifles are filled with these packing materials to allow the gas or air generated after a shot to cool faster. They should always be preferred over leaving the gas silencer empty.

The best packing material out of all packing materials is metal mesh. You can take thousands of shots before the metal mesh breaks down. Wool and steel generally break down after 10 shots and are needed to be replaced.

Wet Silencer

A wet silencer can act as an alternative to using the packing material. A wet silencer is a can-type silencer that uses grease, oil, or gel in its internal chambers. These types of silencers are very popular in firearms as they can effectively reduce the volume of the gas. The theory involved behind the working of these kinds of silencers is ideal gas law.

The best liquid which can be used in a wet silencer is water. The reason is that its heat of vaporization is higher than any other liquid used as the packing material. The main problem associated with water is that it can evaporate faster. Due to this reason, some people with air rifles prefer grease over water. But grease is messy and tough to clean.

How to Use an Air Rifle Silencer and Are These Effective?

How to Use an Air Rifle Silencer and Are These Effective

Noise suppressors for air rifles indeed work, but this is not always guaranteed. Few factors sometimes prevent the proper functioning of a noise suppressor for air rifles.

  • Make sure that you use the correct silencer for your gun. The silencer you choose must be for the air rifle and not for a real firearm. A firearm silencer will not work for air rifles as the size of firearms differs from air rifles.
  • Make sure that the noise suppressor is properly installed. If the noise suppressor is not properly installed on the gun, there is a very high risk of injury to both yourself and anyone standing near you.
  • If the suppressor is misaligned then it can potentially damage the gun. You should always consider using an alignment rod. This will help to keep everything in the right position. Alignment rod is generally available in two sizes 5.56 or 7.62 and it easily fits in the silencer’s caliber. 
  • Sometimes you must install the noise suppressor for your gun in that case make sure that you read the instruction manual very clearly. You can also take references from different websites or even watch video tutorials on YouTube.
  • You should make sure that while you put on the silencer on the air rifle, it should be empty. You should the gun properly and make sure that the barrel is far from you. By following these precautions you can ensure your safety as well as the safety of people near you.
  • The alignment rod can be used to ensure that everything is in the right place. When it is centered, it should be placed in the middle of the exit hole. While doing this step make sure that you don’t lean too heavily on any side of the hole.
  • You should not worry if the alignment rod isn’t quite in the center and is not able to touch the exit hole. This is not a big problem and the silencer will work fine even in this case.
  • But if the alignment rod veers towards the right or left then you should start over. If the alignment rod touches the exit hole and it is not centered then this is the worst scenario and you should start over again. This is because the rod must have caught something, most probably the baffle. This can put you in acute danger so you should take care of this scenario. 

Are Air Gun Silencers Legal?

Are Air Gun Silencers Legal

It is not always easy to get a silencer for your air gun. If you live in the USA then you cannot just go out and buy a noise suppressor for an air rifle. The first thing which you need to do to get a silencer is to reach out to the federal government of your area and you need to request their permission for attaching the silencer to your gun.

If the federal government turns down your request for the gun silencer, then you cannot own one. The states in the USA which allow the ownership of silencers on a private level include Wyoming, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, North Carolina, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Maryland, Maine, Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Idaho, Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, Colorado, Arizona, Arkansas, and Alabama. It is legal to own noise suppressors for air rifles in 36 out of 51 states. 

Can You Make Gun Silencers at Home?

Can You Make Gun Silencers at Home

If legalities of a noise suppressor for an air rifle are bothering you and you are finding it difficult to track down a silencer for personnel use. But you still want to suppress the muzzle of your gun and run out of options. Could you possibly make your noise suppressor for your gun?

Gun enthusiasts who faced a similar problem had indeed done this thing. Some people use common household items such as foam, plastic water bottles, and PVC pipes to create a noise silencer of their own. Such types of silencers are known as improvised noise suppressors.

If you are a citizen of the United States, then even these improvised silencers are liable under the laws that apply over factory manufactured silencers. It is a common misconception that the laws do not apply to such silencers.

You must keep this mind that there is almost no need ever to make a gun silencer at home. The major issue with such silencers is safety. They do not guarantee safety and can easily catch fire. They can even cause severe injuries to you so you should prefer to use a manufactured gun silencer rather than any silencer made by you.


Noise suppressors for air guns can reduce the impact of firing the bullet through and gun and are known to suppress even the recoil of the gun. It may sound like noise suppressors of air rifles are something every gun owner should but there are very strict laws regarding the ownership of such silencers.

You must apply to the federal government by filling a form and paying an application fee and in the end hoping that your form does not get rejected. Before choosing any gun silencer just make sure that owning it is legal in your state.

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Air gun silencers: everything you need to know. What are different types of noise suppressors for air rifles? Get all your answers here!

1 thought on “Air Gun Silencers: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. I’m sorry but I disagree with your assessment on “air rifle silencers” and the legalities of their ownership in the USA. First, an air rifle is not a firearm due to the projectile being propelled by air and not an explosion. With that being said you can buy an airgun silencer without paying a tax as long as it’s made specifically for an air gun. I was just reading a case Untited States V Crooker (name could be wrong but it’s close I don’t feel like looking it up) where he won his appeal based on that precedence. Air gun silencers are built in a way that if you put them on a fireman they would basically blow apart. While they are essentially the same design they’re built to air gun tolerances which is why you can buy them online without a need for a $200 tax stamp. The whole law in general is ridiculous and is along the same lines as switch blades being illegal which dates back to the 1950’s. Most people think silencers/suppressors give off that Hollywood high pitched chirp essentially making the gun silent but in fact, while taking a good chunk of the loud bark… they are still fairly loud. But to sum things up, Air gun suppressors are completely legal provided they are made for air gun use only.


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