Understanding Distance Shooting and the Type of Firearm from the Analysis of Gunshot Sounds

  • Nikolaos E. Tsiatis


In order to study gunshot sounds, experimental shootings were conducted in an open shooting range to record the sound of gunshots. The results were tabulated for a total of 168 gunshots. Shots were fired using pistols, revolvers, submachine guns, rifl es and shotguns in di fferent calibres from selected distances relative to the recording devices. Both a conventional sound level meter (SLM) and a measurement microphone were used. These were placed at selected points behind the shooting position and the sound of each shot was recorded. At the same time, the signal received by the microphone was transferred to a computer connected through an appropriate audio interface with a pre-amplifier. The peak amplitude of the gunshot was calculated in the accepted engineering units (dB) of sound pressure level. The shortest distance for the recordings was 9.60 m and the furthest was 38.40 m. The experiment was carried out using the following calibres: 6.35 mm, 7.62 mm Tokarev, 7.65 mm, 9 mm Short, 9 mm Makarov, 9 mm Parabellum, .45 Auto, .22 LR, .32 S&W, .38 S&W, .38 Special,.357 Magnum, 7.62 mm Kalashnikov and 12 GA. A decrease of the peak amplitude, equivalent to the increasing of the distance, was observed as expected. Values appeared to follow the inverse square law. By analyzing a recorded gunshot sound it is possible to calculate the distance between that discharged firearm and the recording device. In addition, we noted the possibility of determining the sound amplitude of the gunshot coming from a certain type of weapon.

How to Cite
Tsiatis, N. E. (2016). Understanding Distance Shooting and the Type of Firearm from the Analysis of Gunshot Sounds. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (15), 93-107. Retrieved from https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/173