Quiet centerfire?


January 30, 2012, 11:39 AM
I now have access to a real nice 100 yard private range. The range itself is very safe. The problem is that neighbors are common and the noise isn't appreciated. I've got a few nice rimfires that will be shot a bit there but I'm looking for an accurate round that is as quiet to the neighbors as possible. This is strictly a paper punching round, no hunting or anything else.

As much as I'd like a suppressor it isn't in the mix. Michigan just accepted them but I haven't had much luck finding a dealer yet and I'm not that big on the idea of them anyways.

I was thinking potentially something like 300 blackout with subsonic loads or even .223 with blue dot. Really looking for a mild report that will shoot well from a nice rifle.

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January 30, 2012, 11:48 AM
300 BLK would be tough to beat for what you are wanting to do.

Chuck Perry
January 30, 2012, 11:54 AM
Years ago Rick Jamison did an article about how to build a range suppressor for just the reasons you describe. Basically, is was two open ended 55 gallon drums welded together and stuffed with insulation mounted on a frame in front of the bench. You shot through it, making sure the muzzle was somewhat inside the contraption. It supposedly did the same job as a muzzle mounted suppressor.
I Googled around a bit looking for a link but couldn't come up with it. Looks like other people are doing the same thing with truck tires stuffed with insulation. The one reoccurring point I keep reading about is, no matter how you end up building it, make sure your design allows it to be easily cleaned out. Unburnt powder will accumulate inside it. If you don't clean it out from time to time, you'll eventually light the thing off!

January 30, 2012, 11:58 AM
Anything small caliber and non-overbore should be pretty quiet in sporter length barrels. 22 Hornet, 223, 250 Savage, and 6.5x55 being prime examples. Larger bores are louder by their very nature and overbore cases always have some unburnt powder as the bullet leaves the muzzle making for an ear piercing muzzle blast. I don't have any hands on with the 300 blackout but it should not be too bad.

January 30, 2012, 05:17 PM
44 Special fired in a 44 MAG carbine is very very quiet. Subsonic, too


January 30, 2012, 06:34 PM
Years ago Rick Jamison did an article about how to build a range suppressor for just the reasons you describe. Basically, is was two open ended 55 gallon drums welded together and stuffed with insulation mounted on a frame in front of the bench. You shot through it, making sure the muzzle was somewhat inside the contraption. It supposedly did the same job as a muzzle mounted suppressor.

Don't forget the tax stamp.

Chuck Perry
January 30, 2012, 07:46 PM
I know very little about the legalities of suppressors, but one of the points of the device as described by the original article was that it didn't fall under the criteria for a tax stamp. If you read around the web, you will find mention of clubs/ranges that have these installed on their firing lines for use by members.
That said, on the ATF's website they list the following:
(24) The terms "firearm silencer" and "firearm muffler" mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.
So, maybe it does need a stamp?

January 30, 2012, 07:55 PM
.22 Hornet...............

January 31, 2012, 04:07 AM
If its not mounted to the gun, it isn't a suppressor per the legal definition. Of course if there was any common sense to gun laws, suppressors would be encouraged vs. regulated just because it's polite.

On a related note, I was at the range for the first time over the weekend with someone using a suppressor. I must say that was really cool. I was between him (shooting .308) and a guy shooting 22lr (subsonics I think) and other than the general direction that the sound was coming from, they sounded very similar.

A .223 is not quiet. It's a high pressure round and as such it makes a lot of noise. If you want relatively quiet, you want relativley low pressure. .22lr is interesting at 100yds since the poor efficiency of the bullets means that the wind really play havoc with accuracy. I know you said centerfire, but have you considered .17HMR? Cheaper to shoot than almost any centerfire (unless you have a really cheap source of lead and cast all your own bullets), not very loud and fast enough that it bucks the wind well out to 100yds and slightly beyond. You said that you're only punching paper, so it's not like you need a larger caliber or extra energy to kill that bullseye.

January 31, 2012, 11:03 AM
I'd think a .45 ACP carbine would do nicely. Makes sure to add about 200 FPS to the ammo manufacture's rated velocity. In other words, buy ammo that's rated "below" 900 FPS from an 8 inch barrel... maybe closer to 850 FPS. This will minimize or eliminate breaking the sonic barrier.

Art Eatman
January 31, 2012, 11:21 AM
One of the reasons for the popularity of the Hornet and the Bee was the relative quiet when hunting woodchucks in the relatively built-up areas in the northeastern U.S.

The barrel thing sounds like a good idea, even without any insulation. At the least it will direct the noise downrange, reducing the side-scatter.

January 31, 2012, 11:50 AM
I've always been interested in the .22 hornet. I found one converted to K-hornet that has had some work done to it. I'm going to give that one a try.

I have a .17hmr. It's a rifle I have a love hate relationship with. One day it will shoot 1/2" 100 yard groups and the next it's shooting 1 1/2"-2" groups at the same range. I know wind pushes all rimfire rounds around, not as much the hmr as a lr, and it may simply be due to wind but it is so inconsistent I have troubles bringing it out to shoot much.

January 31, 2012, 12:14 PM
For really quiet... get something with a long barrel and low pressure. The CZ 452 ultra lux has a 28 in barrel is accurate, beautifully made and has the same db as a mouse fahht. But for CF, .22 Hornet will be the quietest.

January 31, 2012, 12:27 PM
You could look into a AR57, just a thought.........

January 31, 2012, 03:35 PM
Why not get a suppressor? You said you're not "that big on the idea of them" however it seems like an excellent solution to your dilemma.

January 31, 2012, 04:24 PM
I don't see why not to get a suppressor for bench shooting, it's just easier than anything else really. If you're steadfast against a suppressor, plant a lot of trees around your range, build a berm, and build one of those 55 gallon drum suppressor things with the insulation. Weld two or three of them end to end and frame the whole thing with 1" angle steel, and then make a frame to hold the insulation back (I'd use chicken wire or EMT conduit, or a combination, you can figure that out) that way you'll have a cavity in which to insert the end of the gun. Perhaps offset the insulation to the bottom, so as to not impede your view through the scope? (I.e. build supports for the fore-end so that the weapon is held high enough that you can see over the 55 gallon drum with the scope). Then again, the likelihood of one of your rounds striking the drum is very high at that point. It may be easier to make an opening large enough for the scope to see directly through the drum. Or just buy a suppressor. It is the simplest solution (no adapting to iron sights, scope, red dot, etc. no worries about legal gray areas, that's all defined, no worries about your bullets hitting the drum, mobile, light, doesn't look weird, etc.).

Whatever you select, longer barrels make quieter reports. a 24" barrel is a lot quieter than a 16" barrel. Heck, just shoot rimfire if you don't want a can?

January 31, 2012, 07:49 PM
Skip to about 1:55 in this video:


And you will see those large "bench suppressors" at work. They seem to be some large pipes with sound proofing.


January 31, 2012, 08:38 PM
You don't need to get real complicated. Stay subsonic and a cheap plastic trash can with a 8 inch tube of chicken wire through the center and insulation in the space. We have similar at the local county range. I will PM you a pic. Subsonic pistol round or whisper/blackout are good to go. When you are moving so much air make sure to use faced insulation or you will have fibers flying around.

January 31, 2012, 09:48 PM
I'm not looking for a can because for one a quality .223 can is expensive. I don't know of a single dealer in Michigan yet who is setup for them as the law just recently allowed them. Then there is the cost of threading all the barrels to accept the can. It's a fairly big investment of both time and money. Once they become a bit more established in MI I'll look at buying one but at this point I'm going to pass.

I will look into building one of the bench drums. Seems simple and fairly inexpensive. I'll give that a try for a little bit and eventually move to a suppressor.

As stated I have a few quality .22lrs that will work too but it's pretty darn windy around here and some days its hard to stay minute of softball at 100 yards with a .22lr. I'll give this .22 hornet a try as honestly I've always wanted one. It won't be as quite as a suppressor but it's a rifle I've been interested in and will give me something to fart around with for a while.

January 31, 2012, 11:25 PM
If you reload and want something more versatile than a .22 hornet . Get a 22-250. They usually have a longer barrel and with lead bullets can be loaded down to .22 lr. I do that with mine. Packs a nice quiet punch and has a better trigger and scope that my .22lr rifle. For your 100 yard range I'd try something with imr 4759.

February 1, 2012, 12:18 AM
Even with my full power handloads you can shout "bang" louder then my 6.5x55. It is the only high powered rifle I have ever used that did not ring my ears in the woods.

February 1, 2012, 12:36 AM
I re read you first statement. If you want fun and you want quiet because your neighbors are say 1/4mile away as mine are at the closest then maybe something like my 32 S&W long Stevens favorite might fill the bill. With .32 S&W shorts or an equivalent hand load, it gets 650 FPS with 86 grain bullets and sounds like a hand clap. With the tang sight on it I can keep the in a coffee can lid all the time at 100 yards. Those tang sights make it easy to lob high trajectory loads!
The next step up in noise and prolly would do better shot down a row of 20 airplane tires which act as K baffles BTW and a sub sonic anything that is held with about a foot of barrel into the center sound like something heavy dropped on a steel plate and certainly would not disturb neighbors over 200 yards away. I have a Remington 788 .44mag I load with 320 grain flat points at 1000 fps with Bullseye powder. I get a deer out of my little apple orchard every year with out the neighbors knowing about it as it only takes one of those !
Another quiet old gun I use around here is a 25-20 Remington #2 sporting rifle I had relined back to 25-20. It has a Unertl 10x scope on it and can push fairly loud and pretty impressive 75 grain Bergers at almost 2200 FPS or cast lead 60 grain flat points at 900 fps and sounds like a CB cap!

February 1, 2012, 09:41 AM
How about one of Rugers handy little bolt guns in .357 or .44? Using either with lower pressure loads would probobly work nicely and be fun. Your initial thought about the 300 blk strikes me as a good way to go as well, even without a supressor the subsonic loads should have a markedly reduced sound signature.

One other option might be trying some reduced loads with powers such as Trailboss in a regular cartridge.

February 1, 2012, 10:19 AM
You can build nice quite reduced loads for just about any centerfire. I build reduced .30-06 loads with cast bullets that are nice quite 100 yard plinking loads.

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