Subsonic Ammo inside House


August 8, 2011, 10:03 AM
I live in the suburbs, with the back of our house up against a big field. This field has a groundhog problem and I'm getting sick of them eating our veggies, etc. The owner of this field has done nothing about it and I'm ready to try something on my end.

I do my own reloading, but do not own a suppressor - and I'm wondering - If I loaded up a subsonic .223 round and positioned myself at the back wall of the room and shot through an open window, would the room act as a suppressor? If so, how effective do you anticipate this being?

I know in an ideal world that I'd just buy a suppressor, but cash is tight and I have a surplus of reloading materials. I understand that loading a subsonic round wouldn't cycle the action of my M4, but I'm thinking if I can get a shot off within 50y it'd probably still be fatal if I took my time and made the shot count, especially if I was loading with Varmint Grenades or something.


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August 8, 2011, 10:22 AM
My thought is that even with a field behind you, it's a terrible idea. A .223 will go quite a ways, and you have no way of being sure that the field beyond your intended target is clear.

Plus, discharging a firearm within city limits is generally illegal, and all it takes is one nosy neighbor to hear the shot or see you actually in the act of vaporizing 'hogs to make your day quite unpleasant.

I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but I'd look for some other means of controlling the critters.

August 8, 2011, 10:25 AM
Nah, I know you're right on all counts. Definitely not disputing that in any way. Perhaps 'no good can come of this', I was just still curious as to how effective a room was at absorbing the muzzle boom of a discharged cartridge.

August 8, 2011, 10:59 AM
Depends on the room. Do you have carpeting? Is it thick w/ thick padding?
What’s the ceiling made out of? A suspended tile ceiling? Tongue and groove wood?
What are the walls made of / finished with? Sheet rock? Wood? Concrete?
Is the room open? Narrow? Lots of furniture? What kind of furniture?

Depending on the room, a full power 5.56 can be surprisingly ‘ not as loud’ as you might think. If you eliminate the sonic crack, I would think the shot would not be very noticeable at a distance (depending on the room).

That said, if I found out someone was shooting from their house into / across my field, I would be pretty upset. I’m not the type of person that calls law enforcement, but I would probably put some thought into it in that situation.

Groundhogs are pretty easy to trap. I would suggest getting a large ‘live trap’ and baiting it with Honey Buns. The traps w/ one opening seem to work best. Also, smash the honey bun into the trap pan.

Good Luck and don’t piss off your neighbor!

August 8, 2011, 11:10 AM
The ranchers out here in NM poison entire fields of prairie dogs to get rid of them. I would look at the trap/poison route. Breaking firearm laws makes us ALL look bad.

August 8, 2011, 11:31 AM
IMHO, you're better off fencing in your garden with the fencing burried deeply enough to keep the critters from digging underneath.

I'm building a 22x44 foot garden with raised beds. This will be surrounded and topped with chain link fencing, which will keep deer and hogs out, then covered with a finer mesh to keep birds and rodents out. The raised beds will have mesh underneath to keep burrowing critters from digging upward into them.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 8, 2011, 11:40 AM
I have gotten permission from the police in certain towns where discharging a firearm is restricted. They were fine with my killing woodchucks (same as your ground hogs) within the town, as long as I only used a .22 rimfire, no greater than Long Rifle, my backstop was certain, so no bullets would go anywhere, so, I have taken out several using a supported .22 target pistol from about 15' away.

You need to be able to set up where you know you will see him, and where you won't be moving at all while he is up and on the lookout! As soon as he is down, eating, you can quietly move, then stop as soon as he stands again!

This eating, standing on hind legs, eating, etc. is their protection against predators. If they are in lush, green grass, or in a vegetable garden, sometimes you can move quite closely to them for a perfect shot, before they run off (as they are too busy eating the good stuff). If the wind is blowing away from you and him, that is also better than if it is blowing past you TO him, as he will detect your scent.

Whatever you do, you want to do it legally. I have the name of the police chief who gave me permission. Then, at another friends' place, the town police told me it is not within the village, I can shoot him with anything! While doing work on the friend's house several years ago, I shot 14 woodchucks that were coming from all over to eat my friend's garden! My friends were not very happy to come home from work, only to see their 30' x 80' garden being all eaten up!:cuss:

A couple of them took several shots to the top of their head and ran off! Later, when I killed them, there were lines where a bullet obviously ricocheted off the top of their heads! I did some research to find out that their upper front teeth grow constantly from the back of their skull, over the top and down the front, which makes the top of their skull extremely hard, compared to other animals the same size!

August 8, 2011, 11:43 AM
Why can't you just use a .22 with CB longs???

August 8, 2011, 12:11 PM
If you DO try to control varmints with a rifle then I'd suggest a .17 HMR with Hornady's ballistic tip bullets. From all I've read the .17 HMR is far less prone to ricochet... they tend to fragment instead.

August 8, 2011, 03:17 PM
I've got gophers in my yard. While I generally dispatch them with a 20 gauge, I got tired of getting only one per day or less. Once they heard the gun go off, I'm done for the night, they stay below ground.

I ended up getting some poison gas (looks like a small stick of dynamite) and lit those off in some of the larger holes I found. Since then, I've only seen one of them, and he's no longer with us, God rest his varmint soul. :evil:

I recommend poison gas or bait since firing a weapon in the 'burbs may bring the law down on you. I prefer the gas, since I don't want my own animals getting sick/ dead from poison bait.

August 8, 2011, 03:21 PM
Caveat on the poison gas: Will that contaminate the soil and find its way into the food grown there?

August 8, 2011, 03:56 PM
I checked that too, since the little buggers were also getting into my garden. They say they are safe for people. It smelled an awful lot like a smoke bomb, so it may just asphixiate them undeground. I haven't had any adverse effects to any of the veggies in the garden, and I had a bomb planted in my yard only about 5 yards from my pumpkins.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 8, 2011, 04:03 PM
I saw a woodchuck near a den that was smoked out two years prior. His entire top and back of his head was black -- like rough, burnt skin with no fur. He was sitting on the edge of the road, I stopped the car, got out, closed my car door, walked right up behind him and he seemed to not see, hear or smell me. I felt so bad for the poor thing, as I remembered two years before that, I was woodchuck hunting and a farmer came out and showed me these smoke bombs, he threw two of those smoke bombs down in the hole where he saw the apparent mother enter the den on the field.

I figure this one must have gotten burned by the smoke bomb and it stunned its growth, it was apparently about two years old, but was very small, like it never fully-grew. I shot him in the head with my .357, feeling like I was putting him out of his misery. I am sure, had I not done that, he either would have gotten hit by a car or some fisher cat, coyote or fox would have attacked him. I'm sure there would have been more suffering by a predator than by my 158g LSWC Flat Point.

After that, I would NEVER recommend the smoke bombs.

August 8, 2011, 04:07 PM
^^^ Good move.

August 8, 2011, 04:15 PM
#2 .22 CB bb gun is louder....

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 8, 2011, 04:18 PM
I agree, if you can get into a position where you clearly see the 'chuck but they don't see you, you can shoot them from like 10' away! The object is to situate yourself in a natural hidden spot where they come out and start eating without even seeing you. I have popped many with my .22 target pistol that way.

You do want to be sure you can shoot a firearm where you are, as you don't need some angry neighbor calling the police on you!

Shadow 7D
August 8, 2011, 04:36 PM
I'd go for poison and traps before I started apocalypses now on the critters.
All you need is the county SWAT team rolling out on some crazy guys 'shooting up the town'.

August 8, 2011, 04:44 PM
^^^ Ehh, that's okay. Just glue tiny AKs to the critters and let the SWAT team do their work eliminating those itty-bitty terrorist fur balls.

August 8, 2011, 05:15 PM
subsonic .22s and a suppressor and you'll be fine, you can get more powerful pellet guns than that and they are more common than you think and they are louder.

August 8, 2011, 05:23 PM
subsonic 223 makes no sence in this application.

You are going to be pushing a slightly heavier bullet at the exact same speed as a 22LR. That means slightly higher pressure, which means slightly higher noise.

So rather than doing something goofy, like loading blue dot into a rifle (where these projects always seem to go), just use the proper tool.

The ideal tool for the situation you described is an air gun. The second best thing would be a 22lr with CB's.

August 8, 2011, 06:09 PM
I second the fence idea too. But I try to get creative when dealing with wildlife. I think man has damaged the natural equilibrium enough. Where I live, the whole place used to be surrounded by old growth rain forest. Now it is surrounded by sub divisions. Between my neighbor and myself, we have about five acres of unmolested land, with the largest tracts on my property. So when the forest came down, all the wildlife had to have somewhere to go. They came to me.

Now I can't support them all, but I do leave food out for them --we feed the birds, leave non-meat scraps out from time to time, particularly in winter. We also harbor a few stray cats. Instead of leaving poison out for them like some outstanding citizens on here do, I allow them to function as natural predators. Feral cats are smaller than house cats and easily recognizable as such. They are your friends. They have culled the population down to reasonable levels. Having a few rabbits munching in the yard, squirrels chasing each other, songbirds, etc., lend character and peace to my surroundings. Of course having them out of control is a different scenario.

As a result of restoring the natural order, at least on this small piece of land, I no longer have the problem with moles destroying the yard, the rabbits are under control, I only have one or two possum and raccoon families, the squirrels don't eat the bird food, etc. The world is at peace, at least around here.

Having a couple of natural predators that will stick around will work wonders. Decades of eradication efforts have altered the natural swing of things. Get a couple of stray cats from a shelter perhaps, leave out food and water, and they'll have the population under control. Try to get feral cats, they make very poor pets and usually get put down. They aren't as effective as coyotes and such, but are less of a nuisance. They work great for yards, not so great for ranges. They don't need food or water (unless you live somewhere they can't find it, especially water) and they don't need a vet. They probably won't come near you anyway.

As far as shooting a rifle from a building, well, it will still sound like a gunshot coming from your house. What could be worse is that someone could mistake it for a crime since it would be so obvious that the shot was fired from inside.

Snipers shoot from the back of a room with windows open for concealment. It is still loud, and you can still tell a gunshot came from the building, just not the exact location. To put it bluntly, a gunshot outside sounds like a weapon was fired outside. A gunshot inside sounds like the weapon was fired inside. Period. Just ask yourself if you had a rock concert inside vs. outside and how that would sound to the neighbors. Same deal.

You are better off with the fence and staying off the other fellow's property. I know if it were me and you put poison on my land or shot rounds onto my land without permission, I'd press all applicable criminal charges against you and then sue you for each count of damage to the property in a civil court. I'd make it very expensive for you. If you used poison, I'd make sure everyone in a one mile radius would know who you are and what you did. The video would be downloaded on youtube. You would be a pariah.

Be careful. You are responsible for your own actions. I suggest you contact the owner and discuss it with him. He may be more amiable than you think and ambivalent towards your actions on his land.

August 8, 2011, 06:26 PM
Ever hear of a live trap? Keep it concealed from the neighbors (some will complain or bitch about a live trap...neighbors....gotta love 'em.) Then take the animal to your local police department, and tell them that the animal wandered into your garage, and that you had the trap set up to trap rats in the garage (just in case they are trying to figure out how to charge you with trapping wild animals w/o a license, etc). Then they'll call the animal officer or wildlife guy to take possession of the animal. If it's a skunk, you are on your own.

August 8, 2011, 07:44 PM
if you have a 30 cal rifle,get the caliber reducers and shoot 32acp out of the rifle

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 8, 2011, 08:07 PM
In my state, as well as many others, it is illegal to trap an animal then transport it in any kind of trap or cage.

When I asked what to do about certain nuisance animals, I have been told by Fish & Wildlife to shoot the animal, as I have a right to defend my property. If the animal happens to be a furbearing animal, they demand that I call them to disclose where the carcass is so they can come to my house and pick up the animal.

In my state, it is also illegal to poison any animal.

August 8, 2011, 08:12 PM
Why transport? Groundhogs are very tasty. They have glands that have to be removed prior to cooking. Baked Groundhog is a Sunday special! (not kidding).

August 8, 2011, 09:06 PM
I have a 5mm air rifle that can put 5 rounds into a quarter at 25 steps.

Head shot?

August 11, 2011, 08:12 PM
sounds like a bad idea to use a firearm inside a house through a window into a field in the suburbs lol. personally i would just use a trap or some poison or you could go talk to the farmer not sure if you've tried that. good luck, we got rabbits here they keep getting into the garden and eating all my squash LOL

August 12, 2011, 12:45 AM
we shove a tube connected to the exhaust pipe down rabbit & other pest animal holes as carbon monoxide is heavier than air if sinks to the bottom of the hole not as entertaining as a box of No 4's but very efficiant.If you approach the land owner he may allow you access to do this

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