When talking about Airsoft, you may call it a suppressor or a silencer, it makes no difference.
There are many different models and people often claim that they do not work and still some say that suppressors are a must addition to their arsenal they do not want to play without.
I am going to answer the questions regarding silencers and once and for all times explain whether they have their place in Airsoft or not.
Airsoft guns can be quite loud, and installing a suppressor may help in some instances.
What does a Suppressor do in Airsoft?
The basic goal of a suppressor is to either suppress the air coming out of the top of the gun, affect the appearance or provide protection to the gun barrel.
You must not forget that Airsoft is a sport that imitates the tactics and weaponry used in real wars and operations, therefore sometimes a tool or a device that works like a charm in the real war situation may not work to its full potential when imitated.
Such case is present with suppressors in Airsoft, however they do work but the effects are not that mesmerizing as you may think at first.
The reasons the silencers are used for in Airsoft
There is nothing more appealing in Airsoft then the realism that comes with it. Adding a silencer on your airsoft replica is going to make it more tactical and superb.
If you enjoy playing games, especially the sneaky ones like Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid or Hitman or watching such movies the odds are that you will not think twice about upgrading your favorite replica with such an addition.
Some people only need this reason to add silencers into their arsenal, however there are plenty of reasons that go hand to hand with such visual reason.
Barrel extensions coverage
Some guns have long inner barrel extensions that some players may find ugly, therefore it is smart to add the suppressor at the top of it to completely neutralize its appearance.
The sound reduction
Suppressors do reduce the sound on the replicas but the results may not excite you.
In order to understand this properly, we will need to mention different types of replicas and how they react when the silencers in attached to them.
The Foam Suppressors among the other types are the best known for their effectiveness when it comes to soundproofing.
It is important to understand where the sound on the replica comes from, does it come from the inner mechanism or from the top of the gun where the air gets forced out?
The sound reduction on non-blowback Gas guns and spring guns
In case that the sound is primarily produced at the very top of the gun where the air gets out, you can attach the silencer and get some sound reduction. We are talking about 30-40% of the reduced noise.
Gas non-blowback guns and spring guns do not rely on electric motor components and gearbox that produces the sound on its own, neither there is a moving mechanism where metal parts collide with another metal parts.
Therefore, you will have some noise reduction on such guns and it will be enough to mask the sound and give you the benefit of silent game approach.
Most of the difference shall be heard on the gas guns but the difference should also be noticeable on spring guns.
However, in some environments where the echo works against you it will not be of such big help because the noise will not be completely reduced but just by the percentage.
The sound reduction on Gas blowback guns and AEGs
On gas blowback guns there is a sliding and moving mechanism that collides with metal parts and causes the sound on its own, the same goes for AEGs when the motor produces its own sound.
In such cases the sound is not produced at the very top of the replica where the air is expelled and the sound can not be reduced, so suppressor simply will have no effect.
These cool devices are installed at the top of the replica as suppressors and besides looking cool they also have one big and cool function, they illuminate the special BBs that glow in the dark!
This is one of the coolest things I have ever seen in Airsoft. I have seen that people often use this in CQB scenarios when playing on nights.
In short, there are special BBs that have phosphorescent properties and can visibly glow in the dark when shot out of replica.
Tracer units help such BBs by illuminating them right before they get projected.
If you would like to play the airsoft over night then you should check out this crazy thing.
You can find one of these cool devices on Amazon here.
The protection that such devices offer is not often required, however some guns like some snipers or submachine guns may have the inner barrel extended over the length of the guns original barrel.
Barrel extensions protection
As it was the case with covering the inner barrel extension to make it sure it appears well, the same goes for the protection of it. It is not likely to get damaged or bent when a suppressor is installed at top of it.
Do Airsoft Suppressors affect accuracy?
Suppressors will not help you with accuracy. If you need to increase the accuracy and range on one of your airsoft guns, then you better start counting on other stuff and not on suppressors.
The thing you could do is to check your hop up, clean the barrel, upgrade the gun, start using heavier BBs if your gun’s FPS allows it, because the heavier BBs will make more resistance against the wind and therefore result with increased accuracy.
Do Airsoft Suppressors increase or decrease the FPS?
There are no suppressors that can increase or decrease the fps of the airsoft replica by any meaning. If you want to increase the dps on your airsoft gun you would probably need to make changes on the inner barrel or gearbox.
Conclusion on Airsoft Silencers
From the previous you could see whether you need a suppressor or not, I would add them to my collection because I like tactical stuff and they have some interesting benefits, however they do not perform to the extent of the real suppressors on real guns and therefore some people do not like the fact that they do not silent their weapon as they would like it to.
Do not forget that Airsoft is still a sport and not the real war, therefore sometimes just a bit of imagination helps and if all that the suppressor is going to give you is a cosmetic purpose, you should consider it as some great news!