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When you are looking for an air rifle, noise can be a determining factor that will sway you toward one gun or another. It can be hard to select a quiet air rifle as most product descriptions will list their rifle as being “the quietest on the market” or “silenced”. Yes, an air rifle is quieter than a traditional firearm, however, even a silenced gas-ram air rifle can be louder than a standard springer, depending on the make and model you select.
In this article, we will clear the air and inform you on exactly what to look for in a quiet air rifle while helping you pick out the best and quietest air rifles. We understand that finding the quietest air rifle for your pest control, hunting, or backyard needs can be difficult. We have done all the hard work for you and listed 4 air rifles with the lowest decibels when fired. If you would like to skip to our top 4 table, you can click here[CM1]. As well as air rifles we will be discussing what to look for in a quiet air pistol.
You may need a quiet air pistol for some of the same needs, either at close range or in specific situations. In order to inform you of some of the differences in selecting rifles vs pistols, we have included a separate section with our top 3 quiet air pistols. If you would like to skip to our top 3 table for quiet air pistols, you can click here[CM2].
- 1 Top 4 Quiet Air Rifles – Comparison Table
- 2 Top 3 Quiet Air Pistols – Comparison Table
- 3 Quietest Air Rifles – Reviewed
- 4 Two Quietest Air Rifles to Have on Your Property
- 5 2 Quietest Hunting Rifles with Plenty of Power
- 6 Quietest Air Pistols – Reviewed
- 7 What is a Quiet Air Rifle?
- 8 Quiet Air Pistols
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 What is a Break Barrel Air Rifle?
- 11 Most Powerful Break Barrel Air Rifle
- 12 Are Chinese Air Rifles Any Good?
- 13 Squirrel Hunting Tips
- 14 Top 5 Beginner Air Rifle Mistakes
- 15 Is an Air Rifle Considered a Firearm?
Top 4 Quiet Air Rifles – Comparison Table
Top 3 Quiet Air Pistols – Comparison Table
Quietest Air Rifles – Reviewed
In this section, we will be reviewing our top 4 quietest air rifles. All of these rifles fire between 70 and 80 decibels when measured at 25 yards but what does that mean to the layman? It is all well and good saying a rifle fires at 75 decibels but how loud is that in comparison to everyday sounds? Here are some examples so you can get an idea of the noise outputs of the air guns listed below.
100 Decibels: An outboard boat engine, a jet taking off at 300 meters away, a jackhammer
95 Decibels: A motorcycle engine, a heavy-duty nail gun, a gas-powered lawnmower
90 Decibels: A subway train pulling up to the platform, people shouting
85 Decibels: Closing a car door without slamming, opening a soda can
80 Decibels: A typical alarm clock, heavy traffic, air conditioner
75 Decibels: A vacuum cleaner, average noise inside a busy restaurant
70 Decibels: Your dishwasher, a battery-powered drill, inside a car while driving
60 – 65 Decibels: A normal conversation noise level
Two Quietest Air Rifles to Have on Your Property
The Weihrauch HW97K is a spring-piston underlever air rifle that fires .20 caliber pellets. This rifle is super precise with reasonable power that can propel pellets up to around 800FPS. This is our favorite all-rounder in our super-quiet air rifle category. Although this rifle isn’t overly powerful it is still capable of taking out anything up to the size of a raccoon at distances under 40 yards, but where this rifle really outperforms is in target shooting.
This rifle has excellent accuracy and although it doesn’t come with a scope or open sights in the box, when you couple it with a decent target scope such as the UTG 30mm Scopeyou will be sure to hit the bullseye time after time, no matter the distance.
If you want a quiet all-rounder that you can use in the backyard for target practice, plinking, and pest control but also take out for the occasional hunting trip then the weihrauch HW97K is the air rifle for you. Firing at only 72 decibels you are sure not to spook those finicky rabbits in the field, pests on your property, or neighbors over the fence.
The RWS 48 is an easy to use .177 caliber spring-piston break-barrel air rifle that is ideal for backyard plinking and pest control. It has a super easy cocking mechanism and when the break-barrel is cocked you will experience a force of only 33-pounds, making this ideal for the beginner and younger user. It can fire a .177 pellet at up to around 1100FPS extremely accurately without breaking the sound barrier making it both silent and deadly.
This rifle packs enough of a punch to take out any pests up to the size of a raccoon at distances up to around 30 yards humanely and is small enough to use confidently in smaller backyards. At 74 decibels this rifle isn’t the quietest on our list however it balances power, accuracy, and noise levels well in a brilliant all-round package for under $400.
This rifle is quiet enough to keep your neighbors happy and won’t scare away any unsuspecting pests within its sight. If you are on a budget and looking for a quiet rifle to use around your property, then the Diana RWS 48 Break-Barrel air rifle is the perfect match for you.
2 Quietest Hunting Rifles with Plenty of Power
The Diana RWS 34 is the quietest and most affordable gun on our list and although we have listed it for the hunter it is also a great gun to have on your property. With only 70 decibels being recorded from 25 yards you are sure to keep any complaint-prone neighbors at bay as well as making sure those pests on your property don’t know what’s coming for them. This rifle comes with built-in fiber optic sights with a fully adjustable rear sight which gives you plenty of accuracy for short-range applications.
This air rifle has an attractive hardwood stock that is comfortable to hold, making it ideal for long periods out in the field hunting. Along with its looks comes outstanding performance with many reviewers claiming pin-point accuracy straight out the box. The only downside to this rifle is that it’s a little hard cocking meaning it isn’t a suitable beginner gun for the younger user, this aside, if you are an adult that doesn’t mind an arm workout you will certainly reap the RWS 34’s rewards.
It has a velocity of 800FPS similar to the other rifles on the list, (this seems to be the sweet spot for a quiet air rifle) but has a higher muzzle energy at 14ft/Lbs which gives you more than enough punch to take out pests on your property and hunt in the field. You will need to match this rifle with a scope though, so why not check out our guide to air rifle scopes to find the perfect fit for you.
As well as finding the right scope be sure to buy the right pellet for your hunting needs. Some pellets are better for high-impact close-range situations and some are better for high-puncture long-range situations, if you want to know more about hunting pellets feel free to head over to our beginner’s guide to find out more about ammunition.
The Benjamin Marauder is our top pick for the hunter looking for a quiet air rifle capable of taking down larger game stealthily. It breaks our sound rule by 3 decibels, producing 78 when fired however this is a small price to pay when you consider the accuracy and power you get from this rifle.
This air rifle is well balanced making it a dream to use in the field and its all-weather synthetic stock will ensure that this gun lasts through the abuse it may see on tougher, harsher game trails. It has the capability of firing a .22 caliber pellet at 1000FPS with a staggering muzzle energy of over 28Ft/Lbs! it is safe to say you will be making one-shot kills at most distances with this air rifle. Being a PCP you do have to charge this rifle externally with a scuba tank or hand pump however you will see up to 40 shots from one full tank which is ideal for hunting situations where a fast reload is necessary. If you are looking for an accurate powerhouse that is one of the quietest in its class, then the Marauder is the ultimate air rifle for you.
Quietest Air Pistols – Reviewed
Quietest Air Pistols for Backyard Use
The Umarex Colt is a Co2 powered air pistol with good power and accuracy for casual backyard activities like plinking and target shooting. It features an easily accessible 8 round rotary magazine that takes .177 pellets and being Co2 powered it offers multi-shot without reloading. This air pistol has fully adjustable sights that once zeroed in offer excellent accuracy. This gun is relatively quiet reading 80dB at 25 feet from the muzzle.
Overall, this gun won’t win any awards for power but if you are looking for an air pistol for backyard plinking and target practice that is both fun and easy to use then you can’t go wrong. Its heavy metal body and high-quality parts give you the feel of a real Colt and it is simply a pleasure to hold, look at, and fire.
The Crosman 2300T is a .177 Co2 powered target gun that is super accurate and moderately powerful. For the price, you won’t find anything better and when it is in your hand you wouldn’t believe this quality air pistol costs less than $200. This is one of the quieter air pistols on our list reading only 75dB at 25 feet, making this ideal for the marksman with nosey neighbors.
The power of this air pistol is to be expected and it can easily carry pellets at a straight trajectory over 35 yards to meet a target with pin-point accuracy. If you are the keen target shooter looking for an air pistol to add to your backyard armory then look no further because the 2300T ticks all of the boxes when it comes to looks, performance, and usability.
Quietest Air Pistol for hunting
The Benjamin Marauder PCP air pistol is a high-powered article that comes in .22 caliber. This gun is more than capable of taking down anything up to the size of a raccoon at close – medium range if you can hold it steady. The only drawback to this air gun is that it is not so quiet with readings of 83 decibels measured from 25 feet.
When you consider the power that this pistol produces the noise level becomes an obsolete factor. Although it is slightly noisier than some other air pistols on the market the marauder’s power cannot be matched at 15Ft/lbs of muzzle energy and 700FPS. This is plenty of power to take out game humanely and accurately at 35 yards, something you probably won’t need to do but it is good to know you can! The Marauder is a bolt action PCP with a magazine capacity of 8 shots that allows you hassle-free cocking with multi-shot firing. Overall, this air pistol is highly regarded and loved by many. It makes the perfect sidearm for the hunter and an excellent pistol for pest control if you own a plot of land or large property.
What is a Quiet Air Rifle?
A quiet air rifle is considered to be a gun that fires with sound no louder than 90 decibels, however, we believe you should go one step further and consider rifles with a decibel rating below 75 because quite frankly 90 decibels is too loud. Most of you that want a quiet gun either need it for backyard use (pests or target practice) or hunting (where silence is golden) – simply put, you don’t want to alert your neighbors and you don’t want to alert your prey.
So how can you find out how loud your rifle is before you buy it? Most companies don’t list the decibels their rifles put out, simply because if they did, you may see that some rifles listed as “silenced” or “ultra-quiet” are far from stealthy. The only way you can find out the decibels of a rifle is to measure it yourself or buy from a reputable brand that lists the sound output of the rifle. Obviously, you don’t want to buy your quiet air rifle, monitor its sound, and find out it’s too loud for your needs. We have done some research ourselves and provided a list of rifles below 75 decibels so you can get exactly what you pay for.
Why Would You Need a Quiet Air Rifle?
If you live in close proximity to neighbors that don’t appreciate the sound of an air rifle during the day when you want to brush up on your target practice or take out a few pesky pests, then selecting a quiet air rifle is a smart move for you. You have to respect your neighbors and understand that they may not want to put up with the sound of a gun when they are enjoying the sunshine in their backyard. So how do you keep your neighbors happy and still enjoy your favorite hobby with some backyard plinking or pest control on your property? – A quiet air rifle, of course.
You may be the hunter that requires stealth in either close-range situations or while hunting finicky, easily spooks critters in the field. If this is the case then you may be looking for a quiet air rifle to serve your needs, however, you may not want to sacrifice too much power for noise. When a powerful air rifle forces its pellet through the sound barrier it can create a sonic boom, we will discuss this in more detail later but if it is power and high-velocity for hunting you are looking for then this escaping this sound isn’t easy.
You can still find low decibel air rifles that have plenty of power, just know that as a result of breaking the sound barrier they will be louder than the lower-powered plinking, target, and pest control rifles we have on our list. This is something to consider when selecting your hunting air rifle and if your expecting to take down prey at any real distance a bit more noise is a small price to pay for a clean kill. This aside, guns between 800 – 1000FPS can still pack a punch and are usually more accurate than their higher-powered cousins – more on this later.
What Makes an Air Rifle Quiet?
The first question we will answer in this section is what makes an air rifle loud? – Understanding the answer to this question will give you an insight into what not to look for and in turn, exactly what to look for when selecting a quiet air rifle. Knowing why an air rifle makes noise when a pellet is fired will help you understand how the design and modifications made by some manufacturers reduce muzzle sound by up to 25%.
The sound a rifle makes is produced from the firing mechanism inside the gun and the muzzle itself. Most of this noise is a result of pressurized gas (either air or Co2) escaping the barrel and producing a popping noise in a similar way to a cork releasing pressure on a champagne bottle. It is impossible to suppress this gas to the point of complete silence, but it is possible to disperse it in a way that reduces noise levels significantly.
An air rifle can be designed in a way to release gas less aggressively and a silencer can be used to disperse the pressure. A built-in silencer reduces noise by allowing the projectile to pass through a series of insulated baffles at speed while leaving behind escaping gasses to an extent. The remaining gas that escapes the end of the barrel through the silencer is greatly reduced, thus, reducing the noise level as a result.
If your rifle features a well-functioning silencer does this make is quiet? – Not necessarily. A silencer will reduce the noise levels of any air gun, however, if the gun the silencer is mounted on uses poorly designed internal mechanisms then it may still be quite loud. Although most of the noise escapes from the muzzle of an air rifle a small percentage can come from the release of the piston or air valve and any friction from this. Well-designed internal mechanics that are precision-engineered to reduce friction and operate smoothly will greatly decrease noise output from a rifle, therefore, it is important to select a performance weapon if noise is a big concern for you.
Contrary to popular belief the spring-piston air rifle is not actually any louder than gas-rams, Co2, or PCP air rifle. Spring-powered rifles may sound loud to the user when the spring releases right next to your ear, however, the decibels put out by the rifle are not as loud as you might think. Usually, PCP powered air rifles are slightly louder than the good old fashioned spring-piston and gas-ram guns and this is simply because of power output and muzzle velocity.
When a projectile exits the barrel at any speed greater than the speed of sound it creates its own sonic boom. This phenomenon happens at speeds upwards of 1100 feet per second – an easy velocity for a pellet to achieve when fired from a high-powered pre-charged pneumatic air rifle.
The sound expelled when a pellet breaks the sound barrier is impossible to mask so if you want a quiet rifle it is important to balance power and noise qualities. Finding a pellet that cuts through the air well with a rifle that produces no more than 1100FPS will give you an excellent basis for a stealthy, low-noise air rifle that has enough power to take out game at distance but not quite enough to make that noisy sonic boom.
Now you know exactly what makes an air rifle loud and you also know what to look for in a quiet rifle. You want to select a rifle with good sound suppression, high power with a muzzle velocity below 1100FPS, and a well-designed low-friction internal mechanism. Next, it is important to know what purpose you want your quiet air rifle to serve and whether you need to sacrifice noise output for higher power or sacrifice power output for a lower noise level.
How to Select the Quietest Air Rifle for You
When selecting the best quiet air rifle for your needs it is important to consider exactly what you want to use it for. Pest control, backyard plinking, hunting, back yard target practice, or perhaps you desire something that will function well as a durable all-rounder? Think long and hard what you need a quiet rifle for as you will get the most out of a gun if you buy for specifics.
If you are the hunter you will want to select a rifle that packs a punch with enough power to take down your desired quarry. A longer barrel will help keep your shots quiet and stealthy and a muzzle velocity of around 1000FPS will provide you with enough power while keeping the pellet stable in flight without sacrificing consistent precision. As well as this a gun with a caliber of .22 will allow you to take down larger prey with confidence.
If you are looking for a rifle to control pests on your property, then you will want something a little more compact with a shorter barrel. A rifle that packs enough of a punch to take out pests at short – medium range will suffice, with muzzle velocities between 600 – 800FPS being more than enough for this need. Either .177 or .22 caliber rifles will suit your pest control needs however .22 will be better if you ever plan on hunting with the rifle or have a larger yard.
For backyard plinking and casual target practice, we recommend a .177 caliber rifle for accuracy and precision at any range. A rifle of between 400 – 800FPS will give you excellent accuracy and plenty of power to hit targets at distance, however, don’t expect to kill anything big with a rifle like this as it is purely a target shooter. Having a lower-powered rifle in .177 not only gives you great accuracy and precision it will also keep the noise down, which is a huge plus if you plan to shoot every weekend in your backyard.
Quiet Air Pistols
If you are looking for an air pistol, chances are you need it for casual plinking or pest control at close-range on your property or as a sidearm for hunting, when you find your prey in close proximity. For both of these purposes, a quiet air pistol is your best option.
When selecting a quiet air pistol, you want to be mindful of the same points mentioned earlier about quiet air rifles, however, there are a few differences and separate considerations that we will go over in this section. Along with advising you on how to select the perfect quiet air pistol for your needs, we will also provide you with our favorite 3.
Why Would You Need a Quiet Air Pistol?
If you have a pest problem on your property and your backyard is fairly small, then an air pistol is your best bet. Chances are, if your yard is small then you will also live in close proximity to neighbors therefore it is essential to select a quiet air pistol in order to keep them happy.
At close proximity you don’t need as much power to make a humane kill, however, finding a quiet air pistol can be a challenge. Making the right choice when selecting an air pistol isn’t always easy so we have done research on three of the quietest and best-suited pistols on the market today.
You may want a sidearm for your air gun hunting needs. Air pistols come in handy during situations where you need to act fast at close range. For this purpose, having a powerful and quiet air pistol can be the difference between an empty game bag and a full one. One air pistol caught our eye as the perfect hunter’s companion for its great power and easy draw however it is not the quietest of firearms – we will explain why soon.
What Makes an Air Pistol Quiet?
So, what makes an air pistol quiet you ask? The simple answer to this question is exactly the same things that make an air rifle quiet. That would be too easy though, and there are some important factors to consider that make choosing a quiet air pistol different from choosing an air rifle.
The main difference between an air rifle and an air pistol is their barrel length. This can be an issue when it comes to noise as there is not as much space for the air to dissipate through the bore, giving pistols more of a noticeable pop. Air pistols are actually quite loud in comparison to their size and surprisingly a quiet high-powered pistol is harder to find than a quiet high-powered air rifle.
In order to produce the quietest shot from an air pistol a silencer or muffler is needed to disperse the air from their short barrels. This can defeat the object of owning an air pistol as it increases the barrel length making them less practical as a sidearm and the law in the US prevents us from installing these silencers. If you are the hunter or backyard shooter then it is best to put up with a little more noise in order to keep your weapon compact, legal, and easily drawable.
We have selected the quietest un-silenced air pistol for the hunter with enough power to make humane kills in the field, but keep in mind that pistols are far from quiet unless a silencer is used. For backyard use, we have selected two mid-powered air pistols that are quiet enough not to worry your neighbors or any suspecting pests on your property. These backyard pistols have enough power to take out small pests and hit targets hard however don’t expect to take down anything larger than a squirrel humanely.
To conclude, make sure you select a rifle or air pistol that suits your needs well, and if you are shooting in a backyard within close proximity to neighbors ensure your air arm shoots below 75 decibels to avoid complaints.
Remember that muzzle velocity isn’t everything, especially when it comes to reducing noise and you can still get plenty of power out of a gun that is shooting at less than 1000FPS. All of the air guns reviewed in this article have been researched and tested so you don’t have to. Each rifle serves well in backyard situations with the exceptions of the guns suited for the stealthy hunter.
Remember that you will never find an air rifle that is completely silent but you can make sure you purchase a rifle that won’t raise any alarms either from your neighbors or the pests and prey you may be targeting. We hope you enjoyed this read. Happy shooting!
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