How Silencers Work 🔇

Dylan Jardon
Dylan Jardon
3 min read

Hey…who are you?

That’s sexy.


He really thought a knife would win…

But damn, that gun was quiet.

So how’s a “silencer” actually work?


Let’s start with the problem.

We got a gun.

Guns are loud.


Well, look at the bullet.

Ya, it freakin’ explodes.


Durd, grab a hammer.

Now hit it.

Gnarly…but not super effective.

So let’s put it in a barrel.


You made a gun.

The only problem is the gun’s loud as hell.


2 reasons:

  1. Sonic boom
  2. Gas pressure

The sonic boom comes from the bullet going fast – like  760+ mph fast.

Aka faster than sound.

Which creates a shockwave behind the bullet.

But we can’t stop that – unless we use heavier, subsonic bullets.


So instead, let’s focus on the gas.

See the high pressure gas from the barrel expands rapidly when it exits the barrel – aka it explodes.

It’s like popping a balloon.


We can quiet the balloon if we let the air out slowly.

So let’s do the same with our gun.


Well, let’s get a lil mathy.

Here’s the ideal gas law:

Scary right?

It’s okay…here’s what it means:


High pressure = lotta gas + fast gas + tiny space

Now let’s look at the gun…

The perfect storm.

But let’s use our math to make the perfect silencer – in 3 steps.

How to Make The Perfect Silencer

Step 1: Bigger space


Before we release the gas, we want it to fill as much space as possible.

But it’s still moving too fast…

Step 2: Slower Speed

How do we slow the gas down?

A maze.

The gas smashes into the walls of the metal maze.

Each time, it absorbs their energy.

Meaning slower & cooler gas.

(Which is why silencers are blazing hot after shooting.)

Step 3: Smaller size

Durd Bond actually needs to run around with this thing.

So let’s make it small.

And bang.

There’s your silencer.

Except, I should say suppressor…because it’s not silent.

The gunshot only drops from 150dB to 120dB.

But it’s a log scale – meaning it’s 1,000x less intense.

Basically like wearing ear muffs.



P.S. If you ever see Shooter, he uses a bottle “silencer.” It’s the same volume idea. Make the gas expand before it leaves the gun.

Stay Cute,
Dylan, Henry & Reece 🌈

P.S if you enjoyed this lesson, forward it to a friend.

If you’re that sexy friend, subscribe here.

Get smart about nonsense🌈

Join 30,000+ subscribers and get our daily comic explaining nerdy stuff like you’re 5.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Powered by