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Sound Suppressor - is it worth using in airsoft?

2024-03-19

What is the most important feature of a good airsoft gun? It's not at all that simple, since each airsoft player, depending on his preferences and his style of play, may answer this question slightly differently. For one, the performance of the replica will count above all, for another its external appearance, and for someone else - realism. Choosing the right airsoft accessories can make a huge difference to each of these factors. One of the most popular accessories for replicas that affect both functionality and appearance are airsoft silencers / sound suppressors. In this article we will take a closer look at the role, types and benefits of using suppressors in airsoft skirmish.

A bit of history - suppressors for firearms

The history of sound suppressors for firearms dates back to the early 20th century, when experiments began with various methods of reducing the noise generated during shooting. One of the pioneers of this technology was Hiram Percy Maxim, who patented the first sound suppressor as early as 1908. Its design was based on special chambers filled with suppressing material, which were designed to catch and disperse the gas, thereby muting the sound of a gunshot.

Since then, silencers have been increasingly used by special forces and snipers to reduce detection during combat operations. Over time, their popularity also began to spread among civilian shooters, hunters and gun enthusiasts.

With advances in technology and materials, silencers have evolved. Nowadays, a variety of designs are used that provide effective noise suppression and minimize the effect of recoil and changes in bullet trajectory. Today, sound suppressors are not only a functional tool, but also an aesthetic and personalizing element of the weapon.

silencer on the gun barrel

A sound suppressor on an airsoft gun - does it make sense?

While in firearms the use of various types of suppressors actually reduces the noise of a gunshot by up to several tens of decibels, in AEG airsoft guns (for which suppressors are most commonly used) most of the noise is generated by the pneumatic system which is gearbox with the motor. If we would actually like to reduce the sound of firing from an AEG replica, we should focus on suppressing the gearbox, rather than on a suppressor element screwed onto the barrel. So does it make any sense to use suppressors in airsoft? It still does!

Advantages of using silencers in airsoft

  • greater realism - by using an airsoft suppressor, we can make our carbine similar to the weapons used by real military units and special forces operators. We can also recreate the weapon configuration from our favorite computer game (in which suppressors are extremely popular) or movie.
  • the possibility to hide the long inner barrel - this is an invaluable advantage for players who like to improve the performance of their replicas through tuning. Wanting to increase the range and accuracy of the airsoft carbine, it is worth installing a better quality, longer inner barrel. However, its dimensions are limited by the length of the so-called external barrel. Mounting an airsoft sound suppressor, we have the opportunity to "hide" inside it a much longer inner barrel than the original configuration of the replica would allow.
  • changing the sound of the firing - this is already a purely aesthetic issue, which will not be important for every player. Screwing the sound suppressor in some replicas causes not so much a reduction in noise, but a change in the timbre of the firing sound as the BB bullet exits the barrel. Sometimes (in spite of the original assumptions of the suppressor) you may find that the replica shoots louder than without the suppressor. However, this can have a nice psychological aspect in CQB games, when opponents hearing the loud and menacing sound of conducting fire will be afraid to approach us.
Specna Arms MTU-Fire™ V2 Silencer -Black

Specna Arms MTU-Fire™ V2 Silencer

Disadvantages of airsoft suppressors

  • increasing the length of the airsoft gun - there are two sides to every story. Wanting to enjoy a long barrel and long range, we must accept the fact that it will be more difficult to operate and move such a carbine. It will be longer, heavier and there may be a need to purchase a larger case / cover to transport such a replica to the airsoft field.
  • less maneuverability in tight spaces - this will be felt in the already mentioned CQB games. If we like this type of skirmish, we will have to find a compromise between the length of the replica with a suppressor and its performance, in order to move efficiently and without any chance of detection by the enemy, to be able to move through narrow corridors, go through doors and "clean" rooms.

Construction and mount of the airsoft silencer

The suppressor for an airsoft replica is built from several main components:

  • body - this is the outer part of the suppressor, which gives it its shape and appearance. Airsoft suppressor housings are most often made of aluminum to keep the weight low, they can also be made of zinc-aluminum alloy or even steel.
  • insert - the silencer insert is located inside the body. It is a component that can affect the sound generated by the suppressor, as well as visual effects, such as glowing in the case of Tracer suppressors (about which more in a moment). Some suppressors have a suppressor insert made of a soft and dampening material such as foam or sponge.
  • thread - and if you are wondering how to mount a suppressor on an airsoft replica, it is very simple. The vast majority of replicas of carbines, rifles and submachine guns have an external barrel ending in a counterclockwise thread with a diameter of 14mm. Airsoft suppressors are equipped with the same thread. A small exception here are replicas of carbines from the AK family, which have a clockwise 24mm thread, but this is not a cause for concern - often a suitable reducer / adapter for a standard 14mm thread is included.

 

For all those who would like to mount a suppressor on an airsoft pistol, we have good news - it is also possible! It is necessary to check whether our model is equipped with a thread on the barrel - pistols happen to have an external thread of 14mm (such as in carbines), or an internal thread of 11mm. Then we need to find a dedicated suppressor for the gun with the same thread, or use a readily available adapter on the market and be able to use a huge range of standard airsoft suppressors.

ASG silencer

Tracer silencers - what are they and how do they work?

Tracer suppressors are a completely separate category, they add not only aesthetics, but also functionality to airsoft replicas. By illuminating the BB’s, the Tracer suppressor adds realism to the gameplay, imitating the tracer bullet effect characteristic of real firearms. The illuminated shots make a remarkable visual impression during night games and in dark rooms. This also allows players to track the trajectory of shots, which can be very helpful for accurate fire in difficult lighting conditions.

We must remember that for the Tracer suppressor you need to use special BB’s, which are based on the use of a special type of fluorescent material that reacts to UV or infrared light. When an BB passes through a Tracer suppressor, the built-in LEDs inside the suppressor activate the fluorescent material, causing the bullet to glow in the dark.

If that weren't enough, there are also suppressor models that have additional LEDs on the front, for imitation the muzzle flame. A shot from an airdoft replica equipped with such a suppressor is even more impressive and realistic.

Suppressors of this type are powered by batteries or using a built-in rechargeable battery, charged using a USB connection.

Silencer Tracer E-Shooter FLARE MONO Black

Silencer Tracer E-Shooter FLARE MONO

Is it worth using silencers in airsoft?

Each player must answer this question for himself, while the number of advantages and additional functionality that an airsoft replica can obtain with the use of a suppressor is really encouraging. By choosing the right suppressor for your replica, we can improve the appearance of the replica and the whole airsoft style, we can gain additional features such as BB’s illumination or imitation of the muzzle flame, we can also build a powerful DMR replica with a long barrel hidden in the suppressor. When using airsoft suppressors, we are only limited by our imagination, so it's worth using it!

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