.357 In A Car

When I lived in SC, you could carry a loaded handgun in a car only if it wasn’t readily accessible - in a closed glovebox, e.g. - you had to make a pronounced effort to retrieve it. Some character called in to Mike Gallagher’s AM talkshow and said that he carried a .357 under his driver’s seat in a holster - want to imagine what my reaction was during my followup call? I’d hate to be deaf the rest of my life, or have a face full of glass if he ever touched THAT off!

You got me curious here, so I looked up a chart ( Gunfire Noise Level Reference Chart - EAR Customized Hearing Protection (earinc.com):

I was really surprised to see .380 and 45ACP at the almost the same sound level. And as you pointed out the .357 is the loudest! Can ya hear me now? Response: Huh?


I had to look it up. I was curious what barrel length those sound readings were for. Did not say. I would guess that the “typical” carry gun may actually be louder due to shorter barrels than a “standard” size handgun.

Also, I doubt it would blow out any windows. There are plenty of youtube videos, which Jerry Miculek has done some good ones, and I have never seen one where the windows in the car blow out. Also, think of where police officers have had to fire out of their cruisers through windows and windshields and you see the bullet hole, but the window does not blow out.

Not sure if this is just a statement or if there is a question in there but, and someone please correct me if I’m wrong, the only way you can have a firearm concealed under the seat of a vehicle in South Carolina is if the owner of the firearm has Concealed Weapons Permit. You may get by with having it locked in say a car safe or something like under the seat that but that has always been a big NO-NO here in SC. Perfectly legal to carry in a glove box, console, trunk, or closed briefcase but NEVER under the seat unless you have a CWP. I’m thinking that is actually a felony but I am not 100% sure. As far as the noise level of discharging in a confined space without hearing protection goes, I guess having hearing loss or damage is better than being dead. Realistically, it’s not like you would have ear plugs in or ear muffs on in a self defense situation anyway.

Thanks. Interesting post. This week, one of our members posted some thought provoking videos on carjackings (linked below). It seems when behind the wheel, we can be in somewhat of a vulnerable position, our field of vision limited, unable to move our body to a safer position. On a strength’s note, we might be able to drive away toward safety. When I looked up the sound db of a .22 caliber pistol, it was 152 db. Though sources need to be verified, I attached a link to one post which compares/ranks various everyday common sounds by db:

Hickok45 reminds us of revolvers spitting fire or shrapnel; Something I’d need be aware of, if firing from one, from inside a car.

So the 357 at 164.3 db is a little more than 4 times as loud.

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Great info! Similarly, can you imagine using an AR or 12 gauge Inside your home at night for self-defense? The sound would be deafening, & perhaps a bit disorienting. At night the muzzle flash could also have a temporary effect on vision.
Those who think using a firearm in a real-life situation is simple like the movies, should try some training that simulates real-life action and scenarios.
Let’s all pray we need Never use our firearm toward another human being. But let’s all be prepared to do so if the situation demands it.
And yes, I’m also surprised that the dBs on the 380 are a tad more than a 45. Wow.


Welcome to the community @JACK49 ! :+1:

No doubt, if I remember correctly a pistol length barrel in 223/556 is louder than a 308 with a rifle barrel. The muzzle flash is pretty impressive as well :grinning:


Actually a good string. From what I understand the action contributes to loudness. Many .380 are blowback, so expansion of the brass hold the shell in the chamber when the powder is ignited, when the pressure drops as the bullet goes down the barrel the recoil pushes the shell back.



I can tell you, from actual experience, I have fired a .357 mag revolver with full tilt boogie .357 loads from Underwood, without ear protection. The first time, was target shooting, and forget to put my ear plugs back in one ear. I couldn’t hear out of it for 3 days. The second time, was deer hunting. I didn’t here the shot at all.
Target shooting was a low stress, low excitement environment.
Deer hunting, was an adrenaline driven, very “exciting” shot. I’d say, in a self defense situation, even from inside a car, the permanent damage from a one time occurrence would be minimal, if any.


Big sissy. Imagine being on a 155mm gun crew with no ear plugs. We would cover our ears with our hands and yell as the gun fired. Worked pretty good as long as you weren’t anywhere near the concussion zone.

My wife says I have hearing loss. At least that is what she says when I don’t respond to her questions. It is one of the reasons I smile at the news media talking about people getting a settlement for defective sound suppressors in the military. Us old timers ask, what sound suppressors?

That takes me back some. In 1974 I worked on the assembly line making 155mm projectiles at Donovan Construction in Arden Hills, MN. Don’t make them there anymore. I was a laborer. Mostly I pulled steel shavings out from under the equipment. Ruined a pair of shoes every 2 days. Couldn’t afford to keep working at that rate. Asked the foreman about it. He had nothing.