Airsoft is a recreational combat sport that uses replica firearms called airsoft guns. These guns shoot small plastic or biodegradable pellets, typically at fairly low speeds compared to real firearms. One of the appeals of airsoft is the realistic gun handling and firing experience. However, airsoft guns can be quite loud, especially indoors or in close quarters. Excessive noise can be disruptive, attract unwanted attention, and damage hearing over time. Fortunately, there are several straightforward methods to silence or quieten your airsoft gun to make it safer and more discreet during play.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover 6 simple techniques to reduce the noise from your airsoft gun using common household items. With some basic modifications and accessories, you can continue to enjoy the action of airsoft while being considerate of noise levels.
How to Silence an Airsoft Gun? 6 Easy Methods
Method 1: Use a Suppressor or Silencer
The most effective way to silence an airsoft gun is to attach a suppressor or silencer to the end of the barrel. Suppressors work by trapping the air pressure and spreading it over a longer interval of time. This slows down the release of air and dissipates the energy, drastically reducing the audible ‘pop’ of each shot.
Suppressors are available as purpose-built accessories from airsoft retailers. Make sure to get one with the correct threading to match your airsoft gun barrel. Slide the suppressor over the end of the barrel and twist it into place. You may need to use a little tape or glue if it feels loose. High-quality suppressors can lower noise by 30 decibels or more. Just be sure to check local laws, as suppressors may be restricted in some areas.
Method 2: Wrap the Barrel in Foam or Tape
A quick, easy, and reversible way to dampen airsoft noise is to wrap part of the barrel in foam or tape. This method diffuses the shockwave released when firing. Simply cut a section of foam pipe insulation to fit snugly over the barrel. You can secure it with electrical or masking tape. Alternatively, repeatedly wrap tape around the barrel tip to create a few layers of dense padding. Make sure a hole is left for the BBs to pass through. Test different materials and thicknesses until you achieve the desired sound reduction.
Method 3: Add Padding Inside the Gun Housing
There are a few internal modifications you can make to absorb vibration and sound. If your airsoft gun has space inside the body or handguard, add acoustic dampening material. Cut pieces of foam, cloth or synthetic filling to fit snugly in empty cavities. Avoid blocking any mechanical parts or the BB feed tube. Padding the interior waals helps dissipate sound before it exits the barrel. A little goes a long way, so start with small pieces and work your way up.
Method 4: Lubricate O-rings and Moving Parts
Lubricating the o-rings and internal moving parts with silicone oil will also cut down on noise. When parts rub or vibrate against each other, it creates additional sound. Oil helps components glide quietly and smoothly. Refer to your airsoft gun manual for lubrication instructions. In general, add 2-3 drops of oil on o-rings and contacts between moving parts. Avoid over-oiling and take care not to get oil on the hop-up bucking, as this can affect BB spin and accuracy. Proper lubrication will give you a whisper-quiet action.
Method 5: Use a Sound Suppressing BB Loader
The rattling of BBs in the magazine can also generate unwanted noise, especially with hi-cap magazines. A sound-suppressing loader eliminates this by holding a reserve of BBs that steadily feed into the magazine. This masks the sound of loose BBs shaking inside the magazine. Loaders are available from most airsoft brands and keep your loading noise discreet.
Method 6: Use Heavier BBs
Surprisingly, heavier BBs make less noise than lighter ones when fired from an airsoft gun. That’s because the energy from the compressed air has less effect in accelerating a heavier projectile to supersonic speeds. The result is a lower muzzle report or ‘crack’ from the BB breaking the sound barrier.
Use the heaviest BBs that your gun can hop effectively – usually 0.25g to 0.30g. Heavier BBs have the added benefits of increased accuracy and range too. Just be aware that FPS limits may apply for heavier ammo in some games.
The satisfying ‘pop’ of an airsoft gun is part of the appeal, but noisy guns can ruin the experience for you and others. Thankfully, there are many simple DIY methods to substantially reduce airsoft noise using common household items. Suppressors, foam/tape wraps, internal padding, lubrication, quiet loaders and heavier BBs can all contribute to a more discreet, considerate and safe airsoft experience. Try out these silencing techniques so you can continue enjoying the action and competition of airsoft, wherever and whenever you play. Just be sure to abide by all local laws regarding airsoft guns and modifications. With a few simple tweaks, you’ll be ready for silent but deadly airsoft engagements.