For a little baby bullet in a little baby cartridge, the .223 Remington / 5.56mm sure makes a lot of noise.
Unsuppressed, you can figure the noise level at about 165 decibels, varying, of course with rifle type, barrel length, etc. That’s louder than a 12 gauge shotgun, a jet taking off or a jackhammer. It’s way louder than the noise level you would experience sitting inside of a speaker box at a Def Leppard concert. Really, I checked.
When you mount a SilencerCo Saker 556 to an AR rifle, you can expect the noise level to decrease to somewhere around 132 decibels. That doesn’t sound like a lot of progress from 165 decibels, so you have to remember that decibels operate on a logarithmic scale. Without getting too geeky here, you can think of that 33 decibel increase (unsuppressed vs. suppressed) in terms of being over eight times as loud as the human ear perceives volume. Bottom line? Using a silencer on an AR rifle is a big deal. Safety for the ears is a primary concern as a single shot at 140 dB, or more, will permanently damage your hearing. Repeated exposure to lower decibel noises will also cause hearing damage, so wear protection always – even when using a suppressor like this one.