Air Gun Suppressors: Varieties, Importance, and Everything to Know

Air gun suppressors, also known as silencers or sound moderators, are pivotal components for reducing noise and recoil in air rifles.

Essentially, these devices attach to the muzzle of an air rifle, significantly diminishing the acoustic intensity of the shot.

This reduction in sound can exceed 40db, making air gun suppressors highly effective.

Beyond sound reduction, they also play a role in lowering the gun’s recoil and preventing muzzle flash, which can occur even in air rifles.

The design of these suppressors has evolved over time, incorporating materials like titanium, aluminum, and steel.

With various types available, including integral and can silencers, understanding the proper use and effectiveness of air gun suppressors is crucial for both safety and performance.

What Are Air Gun Suppressors?

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 gun’s recoil.

Some silencers can reduce the sound by more than 40db, which makes them quite effective.

The major problem 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 measures the power of sound waves when they travel per unit area in a normal direction.

The standard international unit for measuring 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 and air temperature.

This is the reason why there is no muzzle flash in silencers.

When the air or gas is stretched using a silencer, it loses energy and creates less noise.

Another great benefit of using a gun silencer is less gun recoil.

The gun recoils after a shot is fired from it. This is due to the energy of the gun.

But when a silencer is used, the momentum of air is reduced; by this, the energy is controlled, and there is no such intense gun recoil.

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Noise suppressors for air rifles use metals such as titanium, aluminum, or steel.

The silencers can be divided into two categories such as integral and can silencers.

Types of Air Gun Suppressors

Integral Silencer

Integral Silencer for Air Gun

The integral silencers or suppressors have expansion chambers that can easily go around gun barrels.

The barrel 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 buying a new silencer is unnecessary as they already come with the gun.

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Can Silencers

Can Silencers for Air Gun

Unlike integral silencers, silencers can be easily mounted on the guns and removed 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 Air Gun Suppressors

Other Parts Of Air Gun Suppressors

1. Bafflers

As described earlier, air gun suppressors have baffles. Baffles are dividers made of metals like titanium, aluminum, or stainless steel. The shape of these baffles is circular.

These baffles are installed in each expansion chamber, 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 still be used in air rifles.

It would be best to prefer steel baffles to aluminum ones, as they have a longer life and can easily withstand high temperatures.

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2. Wipes

Packing materials, as well as wipes, were used as air gun suppressors. But they can still be found with many air rifles.

Wipes are not used to clean the gun; instead, they are dividers that connect with the bullets after they move through the silencer.

These wipes incorporate a hole or a pattern where the contact is expected.

The materials used to create wipes include foam, rubber, and plastic. They must often be replaced as they do not work properly after five shots.

3. 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 must be replaced.

4. 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 that 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 Do You Use Air Gun Suppressors, and Are They 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.

A 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. Your silencer must be for the air rifle and not 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. It would be best if you always considered using an alignment rod. This will help to keep everything in the right position. The alignment rod is generally available in two sizes, 5.56 or 7.62, and easily fits in the silencer’s caliber.
  • Sometimes, you must install a noise suppressor for your gun. In that case, ensure you read the instruction manual very clearly. You can also take references from different websites or even watch video tutorials on YouTube.
  • You should ensure that the silencer on the air rifle is empty when you put it on. You should use the gun properly and ensure the barrel is far from you. By following these precautions, you can ensure your safety and the safety of people near you.
  • The alignment rod can ensure that everything is in the right place. It should be placed in the middle of the exit hole when it is centered. While doing this step, ensure 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 cannot touch the exit hole. This is not a big problem; the silencer will work fine even in this case.
  • But if the alignment rod veers towards the right or left, you should start over. If the alignment rod touches the exit hole and is not centered, this is the worst scenario, and you should start over again. The rod must have caught something, most probably the baffle. This can put you in acute danger, so you should be careful with this scenario.

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Air gun suppressors serve an invaluable role in enhancing the shooting experience by reducing noise and recoil.

While their effectiveness is generally reliable, proper selection, installation, and maintenance are critical for optimal performance.

Ensuring compatibility with the specific air rifle and using alignment tools for accurate installation are key steps to avoid any potential risks.

Additionally, understanding the different types of suppressors and their components, such as baffles, wipes, and packing materials, allows for a more informed choice and use.

As with any firearm accessory, safety should be the paramount concern when using air gun suppressors, emphasizing the importance of thorough knowledge and careful handling.

Nathan Walker

Nathan Walker, an alumnus of Stanford University with a degree in Physics, has remarkably made fame in technological innovation clubbed with precision machinery for two decades. He became part of our team in 2016, specializing in analyzing mechanical systems. Nathan is also a licensed pilot and enjoys combining his love for mechanics with aviation. His articles often reflect a blend of technical acumen and hands-on experience. Nathan is also a history buff, often linking technological advances to historical contexts. In his spare time, he enjoys clay shooting and mentoring young engineers.

1 thought on “Air Gun Suppressors: Varieties, Importance, and Everything 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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