Which gun goes "bang"?

Yahtzee asked this question at the end of the most recent Zero Punctuation review (the one on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2), and I’m curious if those of you out there who know guns know the answer:

Which gun out there makes a sound, when fired, that most closely approximates the word “Bang”? Or is there a gun that does that? I’ve heard “boom”, “pfft”, and a couple other onomatopoeia, but i’ve yet to run across a clear “bang”.

Thoughts, oh ye gun-wise dopers?


You’ve heard a gun make a noise that approximates the word “boom”?

The model 1922 Bang rifle.?

Seriously, if memory serves me right, the 7.62 rifles in my Army days had more of a very loud “Knack” sound rather than a proper “Bang”. I’ve forgotten earplugs once (just once) when standing 50 feet from an 84 mm Carl Gustav. “Boom” covers it. Well, that and 3 days of ringing ears. The closest to “Bang” seems to be a 9mm SMG firing a single round, IME.

I would guess one of the higher powered, piston operated air rifles. There’s an aspirated "B’ sound as the cylinder empties, followed rapidly by a distinct “clang” of the piston hitting the stops.

It always sounds like a “bang” to me. As others have noted, actual firearms tend to make sounds ranging from a “pop” (22 short) to a “crack” (22 LR and most 5.56) through to a “boom” (most larger calibres).

Most of the .303 rifles make a sound that’s pretty close to “BANG!” when fired, IME.

The guys in the kitchen opine it is a .38 Special.


Any gun fired indoors (especially if you don’t have hearing protection) will go bang, sort of like a firecracker exploded 2 inches from your ear.

Everything I’ve ever shot went more like “crack!”

This one, of course

That took a good seven posts more than I expected.

Someone already provided part but smoothbore muskets make a sound very close to “boom” with a standard service load - say 75 grains of FFg and a .725 roundball in the case of the Brown Bess.

“Bang” I relate more to some of the early smokeless/blackpowder cross-over loads like the .45-70 or .44-40. In smokeless that sound is more a bang than a boom without the “crack” of something like an .30-06

I’d think you’d get more of a “bang” from subsonic rounds, that “crack” is going to be characteristic of supersonic projectile speeds.

My shotgun goes “Thoom!” when I’m loaded with #8 light target.

I thought Bang and Boom were just words. Kinda like how a rooster never really makes anything close to “Cocka-doodle-doo” and frogs don’t really go “ribbet”. Different languages have different words for noises. What English speakers label a noise is different than what the same noise is called in another languange.
In Korea, guns go “Tong, Tong” not “Bang, Bang”.

I can’t say that any gun actually sounds like “Bang” more than “Boom” or vice versa.

1911 springfield arms 45 cal sounds like bang to me, when fired indoors.

My dog says “bark”.