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Should I use a sound moderator on my airgun?

air rifle pest control

A simple break-barrel springer could be all the gun you need for controlling pests in the garden.

Q: I’m planning to buy an air rifle to keep down the rabbits in our pony paddocks. I notice that a lot of airgun shooters fit their rifles with sound moderators — surely there isn’t much need to reduce the volume of an air gun’s muzzle report? Is a sound moderator for air rifles necessary?

A: You would be surprised just how much of a crack an airgun can make — especially pre-charged models. An airgun-specific sound moderator from the likes of Huggett, Air Arms, BSA, Weihrauch or Daystate can hush an air rifle’s muzzle report to the merest of whispers.

Keeping an airgun quiet is a great aid to stealth and helps when carrying out discreet pest control close to buildings. A whisper-quiet muzzle report should also be very beneficial when you are shooting rabbits in the vicinity of horses and ponies.

Sound moderators for air rifles also show consideration for your neighbours when you are doing a spot of garden airgunning. 

What you need to know about sound moderators for air rifles

  • Some moderators are made of bright metal; a neoprene or rubber cover provides camouflage, prevents unnecessary noise, stops reflected glare through the scope when lamping, and will not affect zero
  • A new moderator may take a few shots to bed in, and it is always worth checking that it remains secure between strings of shots
  • You’ll probably notice the difference shooting with a sound moderator immediately and end up wondering why you didn’t get one years ago.
  • Don’t rush getting a sound moderator. It’ll need to be right for you. You’ll have to choose between bulk, weight and efficiency and may have a settle for a compromise.
  • Noise nuisance is something we should all be aware of and by doing our bit to reduce it, we’re showing airgunning in a better light.