If you’re reading this, then I imagine you must be a little bit curious about how loud an airsoft gun can be. An airgun isn’t as loud as a typical gun, but all airsoft guns aren’t equally loud. It may come as a surprise, but a lot goes into how loud a specific type of airsoft gun can get.
Airsoft guns are typically as loud as heavy traffic or subway–80 to 98 decibels (dB). They’re loud enough to require hearing protection. Airsoft gun firing mechanisms are what determines the noise level or if one model of gun is louder than another. For example, a springer only reaches around 84dB.
In this article, we’ll find out if airsoft guns qualify as “loud” and if you’ll need hearing protection when using one. We’ll also discuss the different types of airsoft guns and their noise levels.
How Much Noise Does an Airsoft Gun Make?
The noise airsoft guns make aren’t much louder than after-work traffic or a boom box, about 80 to 98dB. A regular firearm can damage hearing or result in permanent hearing loss. An actual gun measures more than 140dB, loud enough to damage the inner ear. An airgun, though, is significantly quieter.
I have a great easy steps guide on how to make your airsoft gun louder for a better play experience on this link.
The difference between the two noise levels may not seem that big a deal, but sound increases logarithmically.
Noise increasing between 95 and 140 decibels works by a factor of 10, so there’s a considerable leap from shooting an airgun to a normal one. With all that said, technically, airsoft guns aren’t “loud,” considering they start at 80db.
Do You Need Hearing Protection With Airsoft Guns?
You need hearing protection with airsoft guns if you’re going to be using them. As a reference, any workplace with noises reaching 85dB and higher makes ear protection a legal requirement. Airsoft guns can reach and often exceed 85dB, and hearing damage can start with noises as low as 70dB.
The volume of an airsoft gun may not cause immediate issues, but time and repeated use can result in the inability to make out certain noises or words. Constant exposure to noises around 80db and higher may also cause inner ear damage.
Some airsoft guns can even be about as loud as a motorcycle – 100db, so be sure to always keep your ears covered when using them.
Noise Levels Based on Airsoft Gun’s Firing Mechanism
Explaining what makes airsoft guns loud is kind of complicated. The noise levels vary from gun to due, in part, to the firing mechanism. The quality of your airgun is also an essential factor in its noisiness. As you might’ve already guessed, the more you pay for your gun, the softer the sounds it makes.
There are three ways you shoot with an airgun: gas, spring, and electric.
Below is an explanation of what kinds of airsoft guns there are, a basic description of how they fire, and how loud they generally are and compared to each other.
Gas Powered Airsoft Guns
We’re starting with the loudest of the airsoft guns, which can reach levels of 99db. What makes these particular guns so noisy is the release of gas from a pressurized container. Once released, the gas expands and launches the BB out the barrel.
Some gases will result in louder noise. A red gas gun won’t make as much noise as one running off CO2 as there’s less pressure.
There’s also blowback to consider,which is the movement of mechanical parts inside the gun to simulate a more realistic feel. Blowback may come from hammers, reminiscent of those on real guns or slides that move when you fire the airsoft gun.
An airsoft gun with blowback will reach about 93 to 98dB, and an airsoft gun without blowback will be around 29 to 96dB.
High-Pressure Airsoft Guns – HPAs
HPAs are also gas-powered airsoft guns but come with the perk of allowing you to choose how much pressure you want to use. If you’ve got a strong enough firearm, you can use more force than a CO2 gun. The increased pressure will make your airsoft gun very loud, though. HPAs can start at 94db and reach an incredibly loud 100db.
Springers – Spring Powered Airsoft Guns
Springers are the least noisy of the bunch. A spring-powered airsoft gun doesn’t require much power to work, and they don’t have many mechanical parts either.
To operate a springer, you have to cock it each time it’s shot to compress the spring.
After you pull the trigger, the spring pushes a piston that moves compressed air into the BB to shoot it. A spring-powered airsoft gun is anywhere from 80 to 86db.
Automatic Electric Airsoft Guns – AEGs
Automatic Electric Guns or AEGs are stuck in the middle as far as airsoft gun noise levels go. These are the types of airsoft guns you’ll see the most, and there are many different types. A high-torque motor will make less noise than a normal one, but they tend to be pricier; as a result, AEGs aren’t made with these often.
However, the bulk of an AEGs noise can come from the three gears in the gearbox. These gears are used to drive the piston that launches the BB. If they aren’t aligned properly, then they can make quite the racket. You can shim the gears or replace them with better ones. AEGs can reach 92 to 97db.
When compared to a standard firearm, an airsoft gun isn’t all that loud. The general volume for airsoft guns is as low as 80dB, and the most audible is around 98, although certain firearms can exceed this. Regardless of the type of airsoft gun, you should wear hearing protection as prolonged exposure can cause hearing damage.
A specific airsoft gun’s firing mechanism and inner workings determine how quiet or noisy the firearm will be. Springers are the least noisy airsoft guns, then electrical and finally standard gas-powered airsoft guns. HPAs can exceed the average volume of typical gas guns.