Firearm suppressors have the potential to reduce the muzzle blast by diffusing the initial shock wave of a gunshot. Currently, the American National Standards Institute does not have any standards that specifically address suppressor measurements. A recent NATO standard, AEP 4875 has been proposed to characterize suppressor performance, but the scope of this standard does not include suppressor effects at the shooter’s ear. Additionally, the standard requires firing the weapon from an elevated platform 4 meters above the ground with microphones positioned with regular spacing of about 18 degrees at 5 meters from the muzzle. This study evaluated fourteen different firearms with and without a suppressor. Different loads of ammunition were used to vary the speed of the projectile. For ten of the guns, both supersonic and subsonic conditions were measured. Twelve microphones were positioned at 30-degree spacing in 3-meter ring at 1.5 meters above the ground. One microphone was positioned at 1 meter to the left of the muzzle and two microphones were positioned at 15 centimeters from the right and left ears. The suppressors were effective in reducing the peak sound pressure levels between 3 and 28 dB and 8-hour equivalent energy (LAeq8) between 2 and 24 dB.
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Developing a method to assess noise reduction of firearm suppressors for small-caliber weapons
William J. Murphy, Gregory Flamme, Adam R. Campbell, Edward L. Zechmann, Michael Stewart, Stephen M. Tasko, James E. Lankford, Deanna K. Meinke, Donald Finan; Developing a method to assess noise reduction of firearm suppressors for small-caliber weapons. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 March 2018; 143 (3_Supplement): 1935. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5036327
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