.300 Whisper terminal effectiveness


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Nolo
June 30, 2008, 05:49 PM
I've recently become enamored with the ultra-quiet .300 Whisper cartridge, based on the .221 Fireball case. The ability to fire a round at long distances completely silently is an extremely attractive ability.
My question is, since the .300 Whisper operates as subsonic speeds with bullets designed for supersonic flight, exactly how does it do with non-CNS shots? How effective is it in ballistic gel tests? Since it appears to rely neither on expansion nor fragmentation (as it goes too slow), is it just a pencil-through shot?

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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 30, 2008, 06:23 PM
Let me just mention a couple of things to ponder:

1. Don't forget about the more powerful big brothers of the .300 Whisper - the .338 Spectre, and the .500 Phantom.
http://www.teppojutsu.com/338.htm
http://teppojutsu.com/500_Phantom.htm

The 300 grain .338 spectre bullets (such as the Sierra BTHP 300) hit harder AND have better BCs than the 200-240 grain .308 bullets for the .300 whisper. Likewise, if you want to get really crazy and kill elk at 400 yards with a subsonic load (suppressed or not), then the .500 phantom also hits harder AND has better BC bullets than either the .308 or .338 bullets. In the case of the 750 gr A-Max, waaaaaay better BC.

You CAN load these to supersonic velocities, up to 1600-1800 fps or so, but that's not really their niche. You CAN put these into semi-auto platforms (AR15 and in the case of the .500 Phantom, AR-10 type). But that likewise defeats the purpose to some extent, when noise exits out the rear upon ejection, and also is just asking for a can o' worms in feed problems with the longer bullets.

Personally, I decided that the .500 phantom is just too much in terms of bullet cost, and more importantly, in cost of a .50 cal suppressor for it. Therefore, I will be building a .338 spectre single shot (T/C Contender) or repeater (Stephens 200) at some point soon, threaded for 9mm suppressor.

2. The .475 Linebaugh and similar rounds also do not rely on expansion, fragmentation, or hydrostatic shock, and they have killed every game animal on the planet, up to and including elephants and cape buffalo.

skinewmexico
June 30, 2008, 06:25 PM
I want a supressed 300 Whisper, but I thought it was only good for long distance performance when supersonic.

Nolo
June 30, 2008, 06:29 PM
PremiumSauces, I'm mostly interested in an AR-15/XCR/ACR/etc platform retrofitted for .300 Whisper as a replacement for the old MP5SD and similar weapons.
The .500 Whisper/.510 Whisper/.500 Phantom are great for bolties and bigger guns, but not for the smaller carbines.
I don't think the .475 Linebaugh has nearly the same trajectory as the .300 Whisper.
I know you can pull off accurate shots, and the Whisper does a fine job of this, but I'm thinking of non-sniping applications.

taliv
June 30, 2008, 07:07 PM
i'm not saying i'd want to stand in front of one, but the terminal effectiveness will be appreciably shy of say, a 45acp at 30 yrds.

Jason_G
June 30, 2008, 07:14 PM
i'm not saying i'd want to stand in front of one, but the terminal effectiveness will be appreciably shy of say, a 45acp at 30 yrds.
From a pistol or a carbine?

Jason

skinewmexico
June 30, 2008, 07:41 PM
I just want it for hog control.

wheadrick
June 30, 2008, 08:42 PM
Funny you should mention that. I, until recently, worked for a park where there is a hog control program. They use .300 Whispers in suppressed ARs, but not exclusively. One of the hog hunters recently was telling me how much more effective the .308 is in putting down hogs than the .300 Whisper - which I would expect to be the case.

The Whispers are primarily used because they are quiet. We don't want to frighten the "Leave-No-Tracers" ,now do we?

Like someone above said, it's comparable to a .45 ACP. A 240 grain bullet at just under 1000 fps. Better penetration though, because of the bullet shape.

Just like anything, it's all about shot placement.

Will

taliv
June 30, 2008, 08:49 PM
appreciably shy != comparable

you'll get more penetration, but you won't get fragmentation or expansion, like you would with a pistol bullet. just a little hole.

did you have many problems tracking the ones shot with whispers?

skinewmexico
June 30, 2008, 11:47 PM
I just want to be able to shoot one, and have the others not run away. I don't really care it they are DRT, or not.

Nolo
June 30, 2008, 11:57 PM
.338 Spectre seems like a nice cartridge, too. Especially if one's already running a 6.8 SPC platform.

I was really thinking of these cartridges in a multi-purpose platform. The ability to use bullets of heavier weights is always good for a wide variety of uses, and I was thinking of these cartridges as a good base for that. I was also thinking about short-range anti-armor applications (light armor only, of course) with some sort of HEAP bullet.

Obviously, most of this will remain in the realm of fancy, and would probably never be able to be tested by me.

Nolo
June 30, 2008, 11:59 PM
What if you made a really soft lead bullet with a thin partial cupro-nickel jacket for expansion at low velocities?

Nolo
July 2, 2008, 05:00 AM
Okay, I need some help brainstorming. Can anyone figure out a way to get pistol-caliber-like expansion out of either the .338 Spectre or the .300 Whisper at 1040 fps while retaining the high-BC bullets?
The only data I've seen showing nice expansion has been for about 1500 fps and up, which obviously defeats the purpose.
As it is, it's basically a silenced 9mm with extra range (and weight).
Which is great, but I'd like to wring some extra terminal performance out of that more-than-twice-as-heavy cartridge.
If you could get expansion like a normal JHP pistol round and retain the BC... you'd be golden.
May not be possible, but it'd rock.
I just basically want to make sure that we're not missing anything.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 2, 2008, 11:22 AM
Federal makes the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw now with a plastic tipped nose similar to a varmint bullet. The idea being you get softpoint expansion with a better BC.

It seems like the plastic nose cap could work to increase BC but I don't know on expansion at that velocity.

RyanM
July 2, 2008, 06:55 PM
.338 Spectre doesn't seem that great. Somewhat less bullet availability than .308 diameter, and it would be inherently louder, both due to the larger caliber, and the fact that you have to use a .355 suppressor.

I'd go with .300 Whisper, especially since you can handload 125 gr bullets up to 2300 fps or so, matching 7.62x39mm ballistics.

Other than that, 1040 fps wouldn't be enough to get a softpoint or rifle hollowpoint to expand, however, a very long hollowpoint would tumble pretty quickly. I'd guesstimate that it'd be about as effective as a pistol JHP, due to the tumbling.

HorseSoldier
July 2, 2008, 07:06 PM
I was also thinking about short-range anti-armor applications (light armor only, of course) with some sort of HEAP bullet.


If you're talking about a shaped-charge, HEAT type round, I don't think they're worth the trouble in a rifle/carbine type format. Even ignoring the loss of volume for explosives to whatever sort of fuzing is used (which is it's own complicated can of worms), you're going to get pretty negligible penetration in something 0.5" diameter or smaller bullet that is still dimensionally capable of being spin stabilized. (And, again, without considering how much performance you'd give up with ball ammunition to accomodate the case geometry requirements of the shaped charge.)

Long story short, a 40mm HEDP round is going to work better for most applications where you need a light shaped charge, while the 5.56mm (or whatever) rifle it's attached to is better for the other 99% of engagements.

skinewmexico
July 2, 2008, 07:34 PM
Anyone looked here yet? http://www.300whisper.com/

PercyShelley
July 2, 2008, 10:32 PM
Aren't we misleading ourselves with these BC numbers a bit? As Nolo points out, they're designed for supersonic flight (which means reducing wave drag), not the subsonic regime they will be operating in (which mostly concerns parasitic drag).

Nolo
July 3, 2008, 01:07 AM
Long story short, a 40mm HEDP round is going to work better for most applications where you need a light shaped charge, while the 5.56mm (or whatever) rifle it's attached to is better for the other 99% of engagements.
I'm not suggesting replacing the main combat round with .338 Spectre (which I still happen to favor because of its bigger diameter bullet), but I just want to see if I can flesh out a particularly intriguing concept.
Aren't we misleading ourselves with these BC numbers a bit? As Nolo points out, they're designed for supersonic flight (which means reducing wave drag), not the subsonic regime they will be operating in (which mostly concerns parasitic drag).
Possibly, but as far as I know, people generally don't design bullets at all. They still seem to generally go "that looks right" and run with that shape. Of course, VLD bullets are probably excepted.
Now, I'm not saying that magically makes them sterling performers subsonically, but I am saying that they probably aren't designed at all.

Tony Williams
July 3, 2008, 03:47 AM
There are various options described and illustrated in the article on my website Cartridges for Silenced Sniping Rifles (http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/silcart.html). The .500 Phantom is no longer offered.

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/silcarts.jpg

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/silcarts2.jpg

gvnwst
July 3, 2008, 05:35 PM
like somebody said, with 125gr-150gr bullets, it acts like a 7.62x39 or a 30-30. I havn't been able to hunt with the hornady 220gr softpoint, but a good bullet for subsonic shooting is made by Lutz Moller. Very effective...
Another option is a 7.62x39 up necked to .375 with 300gr bullets

skinewmexico
July 3, 2008, 06:51 PM
That is such bizarre looking ammo.

RyanM
July 3, 2008, 07:04 PM
Forgot to mention another advantage of .300 Whisper. Brass and parts for the AR-15 platform. You can make .300 Whisper brass by running .223 through the sizing die, without the neck sizer, then trim to length. Obviously, you can use your old .223 bolt, then.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 3, 2008, 07:09 PM
I understand, Nolo, but you didn't indicate that you considered the .338 spectre in detail. It will also go into an AR15 platform, but simply hits harder than the .300 whisper with the same sound signature. Look at Tony Williams's picture above - bottom picture, third from left. I see no reason for the .300 whisper myself with the advent of the .338 spectre. More power (Same velocity, bigger AND better BC bullet), no more sound. Easily suppressed with a 9mm pistol suppressor (just like a 9x19mmP suppressed, except you have a 300 grainer instead of a 147 grainer, and the BC is the tops instead of really really crappy). And a 9mm suppressor is a lot easier to find than a .30 cal pistol suppressor, and a lot cheaper than a .30 cal rifle suppressor. What's not to like? Just food for thought....

Nolo
July 3, 2008, 07:51 PM
Percy, .338 Spectre is my prime candidate for this project. Why are you defending it as if I dislike it?

Zak Smith
July 3, 2008, 08:04 PM
I am a long-range shooter, and I have a 300 Whisper AR. I would not use the Whisper for anything approaching "long distances." The reason is the meteoric drop rate. With a 50-yard zero, it has the same drop at about 275 yards, in MOA, that the best full-power 308 loads have at about 1000 yards. At 350 yards, it's dropping 1" per yard. (These are using the 240gr SMK @ 1100 fps for comparison.)

The best I can tell, when you go to the 338 Whisper / Whisper2, you get another 60 grains for the subsonic load and that's it. The trajectory will be virtually identical.

I have no personal experience killing things with the 300 Whisper, but one of my business partners has killed quite a few hogs with it, and he says it works extremely well.

For my own use, I would use an AR-15 in 300 Whisper with about a 90-yard zero for subsonic loads. This would put it 1.8" high at 55 yards and about 2" low at 110 yards, giving it a point-blank range of only about 110 yards.

On the other hand, using 125 or 150gr hunting bullets in full-power supersonic loads, I'd run a 40-yard zero to get a point-blank distance of about 200 yards.

Harve Curry
July 4, 2008, 01:32 AM
Wasn't there a 30 caliber subsonic cartridge built on the 32 H&R brass?
I remember hearing about it in Tucson for Special Forces/Seals in a single shot pistol.

ray_capp@hotmail.com
September 26, 2008, 02:51 AM
In terms of effectiveness on live targets, it is very hard to beat a blunt-nosed or flat-tipped bullet. Put another way, a subsonic bullet that is a true cylinder will deliver more shock, hemorrhage and trauma than any other shape. Sharply pointed and round-nosed projectiles will slip right through, while causing minimal damage.

Sharply pointed bullets will penetrate deeply at subsonic velocities - pushing nerve tissue and blood vessels aside, rather than cutting them wasting 90 percent of their limited energy beyond the primary target. Unless the bullet hits the base of the brain or a major nerve center, the animal will run away. Most pointed and round-nosed .30 caliber rifle bullets are totally lacking in knockdown power at subsonic velocities. Subsonic .30 caliber bullets will not expand in large animals. The only effective .30 caliber subsonic bullet will have a totally flat front end. One way to achieve this is to load a 165 to 180 grain BTHP in reverse order for fairly decent terminal effectiveness.

ray_capp@hotmail.com
September 26, 2008, 03:03 AM
NOLO;
yes it is just a pencil thru shot. you will get a deep penetration and will not achieve any kind of expansion with a .30 caliber over the counter bullet. Unless casting your own from a very soft lead alloy there are few to no options.

Sylvan-Forge
September 26, 2008, 11:53 AM
Check out .308 Lapua SS 200 gr.:
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=381996

Interesting link:
http://members.shaw.ca/cronhelm/SubsonicBullet.html


.

gvnwst
September 26, 2008, 12:16 PM
Unless casting your own from a very soft lead alloy there are few to no options.

as i posted before, lutz moller, a custom bullet maker, makes bullets specifically for the whisper. They are very deadly, on varments to deer.:evil:

here is the link to his whisper page:

http://http://www.lima-wiederladetechnik.de/7,62-mm/300-Whisper-Patrone.htm

note, some of it is in german, so you may have a hard time reading it:D

jbech123
September 26, 2008, 01:26 PM
I've been interested in the 300 whisper for some time now, I like the concept alot. However I recently noticed places like cor-bon essentially duplicating 300 whisper loads for the 308. Since I already have a 308, what would the 300 whisper bring to the table for me. I just ordered some 308 subsonic loads, so the main thing will be how well they shoot. Since my 308 has a 1/11.25" twist, it should do well with the heavier bullets. Is the low speed going to hurt my accuracy? I guess I will find out soon enough.

Zak Smith
September 26, 2008, 01:37 PM
My friend who killed the hogs with the 300 Whisper used 240gr SMKs if I recall.

In an AR-15 platform, I am doubtful a very flat-nosed bullet would feed.

RyanM
September 26, 2008, 06:02 PM
Sharply pointed bullets will penetrate deeply at subsonic velocities - pushing nerve tissue and blood vessels aside, rather than cutting them wasting 90 percent of their limited energy beyond the primary target.

Pointed bullets at any velocity tend to tumble, which makes them much more effective. The 240 gr SMK is a very long, hollow nose bullet, which means it will tumble very quickly.

---------------

I've been interested in the 300 whisper for some time now, I like the concept alot. However I recently noticed places like cor-bon essentially duplicating 300 whisper loads for the 308. Since I already have a 308, what would the 300 whisper bring to the table for me.

If you shoot bolt guns exclusively, almost nothing. The smaller case capacity on the Whisper means that you use less powder to get a subsonic velocity, which also means less noise (especially through a can). But the difference isn't amazing or anything.

The main advantage is that .300 Whisper works fine through an AR-15 and will cycle the action (with a properly built upper). For .308, you'd need to use an AR-10 if you want some kind of AR, and you'd need to tune the upper for subsonic ammo to make it cycle.

gvnwst
September 26, 2008, 07:48 PM
But why....

because the 300 whisper fits in a ar 15, while the .308 doesn't. also, subsonic loads in .308 are known for deviation of load velocity, due to the very large case capacity, while sending a bullet very slow. the case capacity of the whisper is ideal (just about) for what is does. better ones could be designed, but they wouldn't have the supersonic performance that the whisper has too.

:)

JWF III
September 27, 2008, 01:33 AM
Just out of curiosity, why are ya'll talking about using 9mm suppressors for the .338 cartridges. I know that I've seen .338 suppressors intended to be used with the .338 Lapua. Advanced Armament makes them, and few others that I can't name off the top of my head. The only down-side that I can think of with these is possibly the size (or cost?). That is if they are even any bigger (been a while since I looked at them). Is there some other reason that I'm not thinking of?

Wyman

Zak Smith
September 27, 2008, 01:40 AM
1100 fps is a lot more like a handgun than a centerfire rifle, and a 338LM suppressor is overkill.

Woodshark
January 19, 2009, 05:49 AM
The terminal effectiveness of the .300 Whisper exceeds its paper ballistics. The 240SMK bullet tumbles and occasionally breaks on impact with flesh. The bullet is over 1.5" long. As far as long distance shooting goes, at sub-sonic velocities, bullet drop is over six feet at 300 yards. So you had better know exactly what distance your game is. It was designed as an anti-personnel cartridge (vertical targets, as opposed to horizontal ones). If you are planning to use it for hunting I would keep the shots under 100 yards.

ken22250
January 19, 2009, 10:36 AM
the .300 whisper only runs suibsonic with the heavy match bullets, like 240gr sierra, with lighter bullets they go supersonic, and as for terminal performance, think .30-30winchester.
ken

Txhillbilly
January 19, 2009, 01:12 PM
They have designed subsonic loads for 200-240gr bullets for the 300 Whisper/Fireball and they are very accurate up to 200yrds from the research that I have done. I ordered an upper,can't wait to get it and try it out on some hogs.

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