Home Defense - Better To Suppress Or Not?


Shooting a gun inside a closed area/room is going to be a shock to your senses, akin to a stun grenade complete with disorientation, tunnel vision, etc.


Some decibel charts for comparison.



@dave67(et al)

Thanks for the charts.

Unfortunately, there is a wide variety of answers between the different charts of noise levels from gun shots, and some of the differences are dramatic.

However, all charts classify (at least) most gun shots as being too loud to endure without suffering some hearing loss. And, most hunting rifles and higher-powered handgun shots causing permanent hearing damage from just a single shot.

In addition, the noise gets amplified in closed areas, such as inside a home. So, for example, some charts will say that firing a .38 spl inside a home would be roughly equivalent to firing a .357 magnum outdoors.

So, firing most any self defense handgun or rifle inside a home would likely cause permanent hearing loss, as well as (possibly) some temporary disorientation.



I would agree with you on that from my findings, just wanted to get some numbers up to kinda see what is being talked about.


I just watched an episode of the Best Defense TV show on the Outdoor Channel and the host, Michael Bane, advocates for suppressed home defense firearms. He says that it will preserve your and your family member’s hearing so they can hear you in case you need to give them quick follow-up commands immediately after discharging your firearm during a home invasion scenario.


I would not recommend it. Yes, the sound of gunfire can alert others to the situation, but more importantly to the intruder(s). The vast majority of criminals are like predators in the wild, they are not there for the fight, they are there to eat. They are looking for the easy target. It’s a risk/reward situation. Don’t try to guess or assume what might happen in a situation like that. For example, read the monthly accounts of the “Armed Citizen” in the NRA’s magazine. You will see that most often they flee from gunfire, even when shot. Instead of paying the cost of a suppressor and the tax stamps, use that money to buy more ammo and practice/improve your skills.


An intruder and his buddies aren’t there to do battle. And, unless it’s the SWAT team they aren’t likely to have that level of knowledge, training or dedication to achieve the “objective”. Again, it’s the risk/reward thing. If it’s multiple intruders, their motivation is most likely financial gain. If they are met with gunfire, their motivation quickly dissolves. It’s time to move to an easier target. There is probably less risk for the criminal in robbing a bank than there is entering the house of one of our MCARBO brothers!


If you don’t own a suppressor or don’t wish to purchase one than an interesting platform and cartridge to look at is an AR pistol in .300 BLK. I am currently building one after shooting my friends which cycles Subsonic rounds perfectly. I took a reading of 118-126dB (rock concert level) outside shooting 220gr. Subsonic ammo unsuppressed which is about the same as a suppressed 9mm pistol from the chart above.



Actually, .300 BLK is a very interesting caliber to me.

I think the charts you provided were a bit on the high side (from what I have seen before), but from an article that Chuck Hawks wrote a while back (years ago), 118-126 dB is pretty good for a good defense weapon. From his study, that would put it in the same range as 9 mm unsuppressed and outside, but below the permanent hearing loss threshold (he had listed as anything over 130 dB causing immediate and permanent hearing loss).

Were you able to clock the speed (MV) of the 220 gr. bullet?



No readings from me but the 220gr. is rated at 488ft.-lb. muzzle energy and 1000fps. muzzle velocity. Found an actual reading online of 888fps from a 10" barrel.



Thanks. 1000 fps MV is what I figured it would be.


I figure that if I discharge a firearm in self defense, the weapon is going to be confiscated by the police. If there’s a supressor on the weapon that will also be confiscated.

Chances are you won’t see these again if held for evidence in a trial. I have no idea what the ramifications are with the BATFE. Most likely you will need to have your attorney disclose to the ATF where the NFA item is since it is not in your possession.

TLDR - use a supressor for it’s intended purpose on the weapon used for defense and train.



Excellent point about the suppressor going with the gun to policy custody - till after the trial (at least).

My guess is that BATFE has had to deal with this many times, thus having an understanding of the circumstance.

Does this mean or suggest, that if a person does choose to go the suppressed weapon route, that he/she would need at least 1 backup suppressed weapon in case this does occur? I am thinking that would be YES.


@JohnB depends if ya have kids in house id supress fireing a gun withh kids could be tramatic where adults may get a fright but they would be quick to know whats going on


I love Texas. In a good shoot, this is not necessarily the case. When I lived in Bryan my neighborhood experienced a string of late night burglaries. Thieves were breaking into our sheds late night. Well, my next door neighbor shot one of them in the butt and held him at gunpoint until the police arrived. He expected the rifle to be confiscated, but the police did not take it. Instead they thanked him for stopping the nuisance.



Too bad more places are not like that!


@Dred take the supressor before cops arrive who would know


Hoot … well, me at a minimum. If I ever point or shoot, I will be the guy calling the police. Then, I will be entirely truthful. Trust that I’ve had several occasions to point or shoot which would likely have been deemed good shoots in court, but I’ve yet to even draw my sidearm. I’m alive as testament to the success of my alternative strategies.

I’m just not going to get myself into a situation where I feel like I need to withold actions or information from the authorities. And, if I lose a weapon or an attachment - my survival was worth more. Heck, in that example, what’s left of my hearing was worth more.

But I’m reminded of the look on my fathers face when he saw me top off a mag with ungloved hands. I’d made a pistol safe before allowing him to handle it and was returning it to Condition 1. He was quick to let me know that the police could pull my fingerprint from a shell casing. He was surprised by my response but accepted that I did not have any concerns about the shell casing since I hoped to be the survivor telling my story to the police when they responded to my call and reminded him that I’m one of the good guys. I also added that he might need to worry if he saw me dressed in black carrying a revolver.


i agree with you and if your defending yourself family and property it wont mater if you have a supressed or unsupressed weapon the outcome will still be the same weather you fire your weapon or not


@Dred @johnb only up to recently past two years ago in this country you could not defend yourself or your home if someone broke into your home you were expected to withdraw lock yourself in a bedroom or get out of the house ,