Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    (Philadelphia County)
    Rep Power

    Default Gunshot decibel levels

    While doing some research on gunshot "loudness" I came across some interesting information I thought I'd share here.

    I've always assumed that shotgun is louder than pistol; however, I quickly discovered it's quite the opposite. An 18" 12 gauge produces 156dB, compared to a 9mm, which rings in at nearly 160dB. A few more typical calibers:

    .32 ACP 153.5 dB
    .380 157.7 dB
    .38 Spl 156.3 dB
    .357 Mag 164.3 dB
    .45 ACP 157.0 dB

    .223, 55GR. Commercial load 18" barrel 155.5dB
    .30-30 in 20" barrel 156.0dB
    7mm Magnum in 20" barrel 157.5dB
    .308 in 24" barrel 156.2dB

    26" barrel shotgun 150.25dB


    The pain threshold is at 120dB. OSHA Required Hearing Protection in Factory is 85dB. Sustained Exposure May Cause Hearing Loss is 90dB. A few more for good measure:

    Chest Wall Begins to Vibrate 150dB
    Ear Drum Breaks Instantly 160dB
    Death of Hearing Tissue 180dB
    Loudest Possible Sound 194dB

    Some other interesting comparison: (this site lists shotguns at 120dB).

    Muzzle brakes and ports INCREASE the dB level as the sound blast is closer to the shooter.

    Consider how we are prepared to use all types of guns and ammo indoor for HD, short of wearing ear protections, hearing loss and disorientation caused by discharged gunshots indoor is a factor we should be aware of.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    south western PA, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Rep Power

    Default Re: Gunshot decibel levels


Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 15th, 2010, 04:46 PM
  2. Replies: 47
    Last Post: April 28th, 2009, 09:31 PM
  3. Shooting League for all skill levels
    By Steeltown in forum General
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 14th, 2009, 10:32 PM
  4. Gunfire Sound Levels
    By Pa.Bill in forum General
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May 22nd, 2008, 09:28 AM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Local gun shops | Local shooting ranges | Philadelphia Shooting Ranges | Philadelphia Gun Shops | Pittsburgh Shooting Ranges | Pittsburgh Gun Shops