Quiet shooting without a suppressor?


August 10, 2008, 02:29 AM
I was thinking if you had a long enough barrel and fired subsonic ammunition (say .22 sss) wouldn’t it be quiet without using a suppressor?

My thinking is that the pressure of the gasses (in the barrel) would be reduced because there’d be more room for it to occupy thus reducing its pressure, and I think that if there’s little enough pressure and all the gasses are burned up there wouldn’t be any noise.

Would that work, or not?

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August 10, 2008, 02:37 AM
i have an old marlin model 60 with a 22 or 24 inch barrel. When i run CCI subsonics through it all you hear is a pop.

August 10, 2008, 02:42 AM
My dad has an old bolt action .22 with about the same length barrel as that he shoots subsonics in it and it’s quiet enough to shoot without hearing protection.

I was wondering what a 50-60 inch barrel would do. :rolleyes:

August 10, 2008, 02:46 AM
There is always the option of .22Short, if you have one. Nice and quiet. I could say that my airgun is louder.

EDIT: I'll have to compare the two someday, if I ever pull the airgun out of the closet. I know I don't need hearing protection for .22Short.

August 10, 2008, 03:00 AM
Yeah, he’s shot 22short CBs out of it, they are quieter than an airgun, still not like a suppresed rifle though (a guy had one at my local gun range).

August 10, 2008, 03:01 AM
After about 16" the bullet starts slowing down. I've heard reports on RFC about some of those aguila 60gr rounds not making it out the barrel on 24" 10/22s. I think with a long .22 barrel you may reach the point of diminishing returns where you end up with an unweildy .22 that is almost as quiet as an airgun, and almost as powerful as one...
However it would be a fun project to try anyway.

August 10, 2008, 03:33 AM
Yeah, he’s shot 22short CBs out of it, they are quieter than an airgun,

YES the CB short/long are both quieter than a .17 break barrel air rifle. And more accurate too.

They would not cycle my 10/22 or Mark III Hunter, so I got a Marlin 981t bolt action and it is quiet enough to shoot in the city.

August 10, 2008, 09:04 AM
I played with some Agila 60 gr. subsonics last weekend ( though a Marlin 60 ) and they were maybe as loud as a firecracker. I think you could pop a varmint in a residential area with them , and no one would even look up from their TV.

August 10, 2008, 09:08 AM
A couple of manufacturers make extended barrels for shotguns (Hastings, Metro, Diller) that work in exactly this manner, and they apparently work well, but I don't know how if these things are even treated as "suppressors" under US law. A method of getting the same effect is to use an adaptor cartridge in a barrel that has enough volume so that by the time the bullet exits the muzzle, the internal and external pressures are roughly equalized; for example, a .22-12 gauge adaptor fired in a 12 gauge shotgun with a piece of masking tape over the muzzle.


Lady with a Gun
August 10, 2008, 09:10 AM
Better not tell the BATF, or you will have to register that masking tape.

August 10, 2008, 09:19 AM
Subsonic .22lr at 710 fps is plenty quiet enough. Especially when you use a long barrel. You will virtually hear the firing pin drop.

August 10, 2008, 09:57 AM
All indoors between my living room and my kitchen, 30 feet, M/L:

I tried those powderless Aguilas in both an 18 1/2" barrel Remington Nylon 66 bolt rifle and a Remington 512 with a 25" barrel.

Both these rifles are very well-used with highly polished bores and in both cases the first shot stuck in the barrel. After getting the bullets out, I ran a dry Boresnake through both barrels, and after that the bullets left the barrels with barely a sound except for the firing pin fall and the noise of the bullet strike against the backstop --the usual cardboard box full of newpapers.

After about fifteen shots for each, I quit, just wanting to get an idea as to where they were shooting, and the bullets were still getting out of the barrels. I don't know for how many more rounds that would be true. There was no difference in impact points throughout this limited testing, as for example, due to fouling buildup.

In both cases the cartridges fed up from the magazines (box in the Nylon 66, tubular for the 512) with no problem.

At this approximately 30 ft. range, the Nylon 66 wanted to place the 20 grain bullets very far (2" or so) to the right, the 512 was pretty much dead on for the sighting for regular .22 LR ammo. I have no explanation for this other than the old saw, "Every rifle is a law unto itself."

I tried one of these powderless rounds in a short barreled .22 pistol, again, inside my house, and the noise was very loud (as someone said, like a firecracker), and made my ears ring. I was quite surprised at how loud it was indoors and quit experimenting with that notion.

I tried the 60-gr subsonics in my Ruger Mark II pistol at the range and was surprised how accurate they were at a whole 15 yards, but they failed to eject (stovepiping) about 10-20% of the time. Something happened to the target carrier motor at that point and I could not experiment with these rounds any more... it was at the end of my regular shooting session anyhow, so that was that. I did not get a chance to test them out of a rifle. With my hearing protection on, I cannot comment as to whether they were quieter or not than regular .22s --they sounded about the same through the hearing protection.

Incidentally, my understanding of where a .22 starts slowing down in a rifle barrel was that it was about 18", but there are enough variables involved (polish of bore, whether you're talking about high speed or standard velocity .22s, etc) that I won't quibble about it --just some additional input on that point.

August 10, 2008, 11:09 AM
SDC, I gotta ask you......Does anyone make a gun case that fits that shotgun, and did the muzzle touch the deer at the time of firing? JK :)

August 10, 2008, 11:19 AM
Shooting regular 22lr ammo in mine are very quiet. I shot some Agulia Sniper Sub Sonic and it was like nothing. 25" barrels on a 22 rimfire are good for something.

August 10, 2008, 11:55 AM
25" barrels on a 22 rimfire are good for something.

The extra weight and and extra leverage for this weight really helps for a steady hold, too.

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