Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sounds of Silence – part two

Do you hear what I hear?
The best place to start is usually at the beginning, so why am I looking for a quiet air rifle?

Living just outside the city limits, I am allowed to discharge an air gun; however I prefer to draw as little attention to myself as possible. Nothing sinister, just looking to be neighbor friendly as it is often called.

At the time I begin my search, I am a Springer only man, and have learned that an increase in power usually means a like increase in noise level. Pretty simple stuff, but I am considering the dark side, and those rules need not apply.

I begin by e-mailing four of the large on-line retailers and get varying responses. I ask for the quietest without regard to cost. At the time I have yet to hold, let alone shoot a PCP. Unfortunately, when updating my PC, I lost many archived e-mails or I would share the responses.

Magazine is a pain to load

I asked this question on a few occasions that spanned a couple years. The results change along with the rifles in stock. Most humorous answer goes to Pyramid Air for recommending a Sheridan C9.


I think this was probably a result of their expansion, in contrast to the many dealers that are smaller boutique shops that are intimately familiar with the products, PA may have outgrown this for more of a Target type experience. This is further complicatedly by the fact dealers only recommend the brands that they sell.

I decide that apparently, I will need to figure this out for myself.

I'll admit I entered the PCP world like an old lady at a swimming pool. I dipped just a toe in with the oh so safe purchase of the used Webley Raider. At only $395.00 I could not lose. Next in my line up was a Crosman Discovery from FogDog at 50% off with free shipping.

While the two rifles shared very little in common, what they both did have was a loud report. Very loud. I like the PCP idea well enough, but certainly not the accompanying noise. The Raider was the worst, I guess partly due to the fact that it operated at a higher pressure with a shorter barrel.

In any case, liking PCP's but not the noise only further fueled my pursuit.

Little more power than I care for with this scope 

About that time I decide to invest in a sound meter. Now before you start typing some advice about how you need really high tech equipment and a lab or some other wisdom, my goal was to find out how my rifles compared to EACH OTHER because as the shooter it is difficult to tell. I was just looking for a buddy that can stand beside me and listen while I shoot. Having few friends willing to come over and stand in my basement at all hours, I pick this electronic device instead. I am not concerned if my readings cannot be used to compare with someone else’s results.

Sorry if I come off a little harsh, but I have already heard enough negative feedback on using sound meters.

Next comes the results.


  1. Volvo,

    I'll stand in your basement. I'll listen for hours. Just let me shoot that FX.

    This has the potential to be one very long blog. Is "soap opera ending" part of your plan to lure in helpless readers? It's working. Keep it coming!

    - Orin

  2. Volvo,
    Like all married airgun shooters, you already have a sound meter in the house. Shoot the airgun in the basement at about 11:30 PM and see if your wife comes downstairs and smacks you upside the head. The harder she hits you, the louder the report of the gun.

  3. derrick38

    If your wife is anything like mine she is both a sound meter, and the source of most sounds. Also I suspect Volvo's better half just shakes her head in disgust at this point.


    This is a holiday weekend so I am going to overlook the fact that you are obviously phoning it in. Lucky for you, I am your #1 fan.

    I never saw the point of Paul C's sound meter disclosures. The sensitivity of the sound meter means little as long as the conditions are kept the same for comparisons between rifles. The distance and angle from the rifle should be a constant. Tests should all be done indoors. Outdoor tests can't be compared to indoor tests. Hell, outdoor tests can't be compared to outdoor tests.

    The quality of your Berber carpet leads me to believe you own no pets.