Every time you see someone screw a short, well-polished barrel to the tip of a gun, what comes to mind?


Gun silencers are iconic objects in Hollywood. The image of a gun silencer in a movie scene is a promise of the action to come, the trademark of every professional assassin. Well, it’s a good thing that gun silencers don’t work like that in the real world.

If you’re curious about gun silencers, primarily how they work, keep reading, you’re on the right path. Let’s begin with what a gun silencer is.

What is a gun silencer?

A gun silencer is technically what a car silencer is. It’s a metallic appendage designed to reduce the noise a fired gun produces. Here’s how guns work.

When you fire a loaded gun, the gunpowder erupts behind the bullet, creating an explosion of hot gas, which pushes the bullet into and subsequently out of the barrel. The pressure from the gas is always intense; it’s like a mini bomb blast. A more relatable version of that process would be uncorking a bottle of champagne. 

Due to how tight the gun barrel is and the immense pressure created by the explosion, hot gas pushes out of the barrel with a loud bang. In the case of a bottle of champagne, you’d only get a pop.

How do gun silencers work?

Contrary to popular notion, silencers do not silence the gun. It only suppresses noises produced by firearms, and that’s why professional shooters refer to them as suppressors. In other words, you’d still get a loud bang even with a silencer reduction of 20 to 35 decibels.

Using a silencer is like adding an extra barrel to a gun. In this case, the extra barrel has a larger hole, allowing more room for the hot gas to expand. The extra barrel reduces the pressure of the hot gas. And that automatically creates a lower bang. 

Why were gun silencers created?

Hiram Percy Maxim created the first generation of gun silencers and did that not to help Hollywood spy agents look cool.

Based on his life story, Hiram initially made a gun silencer to avoid disturbing his neighbors whenever he shot his gun. Other renditions claimed he was a hunter and, like other hunters, he was looking to make less noise when he shot his gun.

However, we know that using a silencer or suppressor wouldn’t only help reduce noise pollution. It will protect you from potential ear damage when shooting.

Do you have a gun you need to dispose of safely? Get in touch with our experts at Fifty50 Official, and let’s work you through the process.