If you have neighbors and love trigger time you need quiet guns. There are some whisper-quiet airguns and there’s some that are quiet enough to shoot on your own home airgun range or in your garage. Some of them in fact are quieter than the sound the pellet or BB makes when it strikes a target. Most low powered airguns are quieter than the bounce of a basketball and certainly many are drowned out by the sound of a lawnmower or leaf blower. The typical nail gun or even someone pounding nails with a hammer makes more noise than quiet pellet rifles and BB slingers.
You’re Going to Want a Silent Airgun Range Too
You do want to be conscious of what you use for a backstop and a target. If you’re punching paper and shooting groups there’s all kinds of silent pellet trap plans on the internet. Many of them recommend lining the back of your target box with duct seal putty compound to silently capture the pellet. It’s an easy-to-handle dough-like material. You can get them in 1-lb. bricks for about $3 each from your local hardware store. Of course, you can find ready-made pellet traps in online stores too, but you may still have to add the putty.
If you just enjoy plinking at reactive targets like aluminum and tin cans consider swapping those for less noisy objects like plastic dinosaurs or plastic bottle caps. Another suggestion is to use a big box. Stuff the bottom with layers of cardboard then add layers of plastic grocery sacks or trash bags or thin foam sheets. In front of that a folded towel, then hang a thick towel in the opening and your target in front of the towel. Behind the box place something hard, like a board, just in case the airgun pellet goes all the way through.
Don’t Neglect the Proper Backstop and Airgun Shooting Glasses
One of the rules of shooting is that you always know your target and what is beyond your target. That means the area you are shooting toward and the area behind it should be free of anything and everything that you would not want to destroy or damage. That includes fences. It also means if there’s a ricochet that there will be no chance of it bouncing off of something in your airgun range and hitting an object that should not have been hit. A broken window isn’t fun to clean up nor pay for. And don’t forget to wear shooting glasses. Some call them “eye pro.” This goes for anyone that's in the area as well. You need to wear impact-resistant glasses to protect your eyes when shooting. It’s a good idea to review the rules of airgun safety on a regular basis just to stay sharp. Remember to engage your brain before touching any gun!
Know the Laws and Ordinances that Govern You
Before you go setting up an air gun range in your backyard do check the laws and ordinances that govern you. Some towns and cities have laws against discharging airguns within city limits. There are even some towns with strict restrictions about ownership, even in the United States. And NEVER brandish an airgun in public. That means don’t transport it outside of a box, case, or bag and don’t show it off to a friend when not in a private setting like in your home or on a gun range. Be respectful. Be responsible.