When making use of guns, you have to always likewise consider total safety. However, hearing safety have to be simply as necessary to you.

You are watching: How far away can you hear a gunshot

Why? due to the fact that of how numerous decibels a gunshot is, settings where firearms are used could be hazardous to your hearing.

Prolonged exposure to loud noises can reason hearing damage. Momentary exposure to very loud noises can reason permanent hearing damage and also even immediate and irreversible hear loss.

Therefore, appropriate hearing protection once using a firearm is extremely recommended.

Read top top to uncover out how numerous decibels is a gunshot and also how much away you have the right to hear a gunshot. Plus, what you deserve to do to protect your hearing!

How numerous Decibels is a Gunshot?

How loud a gunshot is in decibels will depend on the gun and also the ammunition.

For example, a gunshot coming from a .22 caliber rifle will certainly generate 140 dB. And also that’s not also the loudest gunshot! an effective centerfire ammunition can exceed 165 dB.

Here is just how loud a gunshot is in decibels on average:

Shotgun gunshot: 155 dBRifle gunshot: 158 dBPistol gunshot: 158 dB

Highest gunshot decibels by caliber (shotguns):

12 ga. (3” ammo) w/choke - 161.5 dB10 ga. (3.5”ammo) - 161.4 dB12 ga. (3” ammo) w/o throttle - 161.0 dB12 ga. (hunting ammo) – 161 dB12 ga. (3” ammo) - 160.1 dB12 ga. (2.75” ammo) - 159.7 dB

Highest gunshot decibels through caliber (rifles):

7 mm Magnum – 166.5 dB.30-06 caliber – 163.6 dB.270 caliber – 161.9 dB.243 caliber – 160.6 dB.45-70 caliber – 160.1 dB.50 caliber (black powder) – 159.7 dB

Highest gunshot decibels by caliber (pistols):

.357 – 169 dB.44 caliber – 168.8 dB.22 blank – 165.3 dB.38 caliber – 164.7 dB9 mm caliber – 163 dB.40 caliber – 159 dB

Can Gunshot Noise damage Your Hearing?

Noise levels over 85 dB are taken into consideration hazardous to human being hearing. The decibels the a gunshot exceed 85 dB. Additionally, the threshold of pains is 130 dB and, as we’ve seen, gunshots from most firearms exceed this noise level too.

Therefore, the answer come `Can gunshot noise damage your hearing` is yes. A loud enough gunshot can damage your hearing. It can even cause immediate hearing loss.

This is why you must use extra precautions to ensure the safety of her hearing.

How according to Is a Gunshot v a Silencer?

You’re probably wondering `Ok, yet how according to is a gunshot with a silencer?’.

It’s true that a silencer is a great way to minimize gunshot noise. You have the right to fit a silencer top top the muzzle of different firearms and reduce the sound castle generate. In many cases, utilizing a silencer will alleviate the decibels of a gunshot to levels that space safe for human being hearing.

However, even with a silencer, firearms will still make plenty the noise.

The speed, weight and also powder fee of the bullet determines just how loud a gunshot is. The quicker and much more charged a cartridge is, the louder it will certainly be.

Some, like the .22 caliber lengthy rifle ammunition, have the right to be reduced to for sure levels v a silencer. However, bigger calibers such as the .308 rifle gunshot will still be really high.

The chart listed below shows the difference in decibels between suppressed and unsuppressed firearms:


How much Away deserve to You hear a Gunshot?

The sound that a gunshot travel quite long distances. How much a gunshot can be heard will rely on the ammunition, the firearm, and also the weather and also temperature.

Sound travels quicker when temperatures space lower.

Regular Gun

A handgun shot have the right to be heard as much as 1 mile away depending upon the conditions.

More powerful shotgun ammunition deserve to be heard approximately 2 miles away.


The gunshot native a suppressed firearm will be more silent. Silencers alleviate the range you deserve to hear a gunshot come 20-60 meters.

What Hearing security to Use

There room several methods you have the right to ensure hearing safety in atmospheres with hazardous noise levels.

Hearing defense is an efficient means to significantly reduce the sound the a gunshot. Unique shooting hearing defense is draft to reduce noise levels to under 140 dB.

To know exactly how well you space protected, inspect your hearing protection’s NRR (Noise reduction Rating). All hearing security solutions need to specify the NRR level. The higher the NRR level, the much more decibel palliation the equipment provides.

Most shooting earplugs and also earmuffs have NRRs in between 15 - 33. Because that indoor shooting, you should use hearing security with a NRR in between 28 – 33.



You can find earplugs designed especially for shooting or hunting. They room usually do from silicone or foam and also have straps or cords for straightforward use. Another an excellent benefit is that you have the right to have them practice made come fit her ear canal.

Hunter earplugs have extra acoustic filters that enable ambient sound come travel but suppress gunshot noise. They carry out this v a valve that closes immediately when that is to win by a sound wave.

Earplugs room recommended if you favor lightweight listening protection.



Earmuffs space another an excellent option because that hearing protection. They are pricier and heavier than earplugs but carry out a an excellent level that protection.

Earmuffs space designed come cover your entire ear. Some additionally have the capacity to boost hearing when protecting it by electronically amplifying quiet sounds.

How to measure up the Noise Level the a Gun v the Decibel agree App

You can never be too cautious when it pertains to loud noises. Atmospheres involving guns are particularly dangerous.

If you on regular basis use guns or are otherwise exposed come gunshot noise, you must constantly measure and also monitor noise level to continue to be safe.

A sound level meter or an application like Decibel pro can aid you measure up noise levels and also protect friend from potential hearing damage or hear loss. You can easily download the app on her phone or Ipad and also get immediate sound level readings wherever you need them.

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To measure the noise level that a gunshot v Decibel Pro, simply open the app and also place it as close as feasible to the source of sound. It will instantly display you the decibel level top top screen.