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.300 Whisper terminal effectiveness

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Nolo, Jun 30, 2008.

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  1. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    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?
     
  2. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    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.
     
  3. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    I want a supressed 300 Whisper, but I thought it was only good for long distance performance when supersonic.
     
  4. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    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.
     
  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    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.
     
  6. Jason_G

    Jason_G Member

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    From a pistol or a carbine?

    Jason
     
  7. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    I just want it for hog control.
     
  8. wheadrick

    wheadrick Member

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    Hog Control

    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
     
  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    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?
     
  10. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    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.
     
  11. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    .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.
     
  12. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    What if you made a really soft lead bullet with a thin partial cupro-nickel jacket for expansion at low velocities?
     
  13. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    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.
     
  14. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  15. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    .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.
     
  16. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    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.
     
  17. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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  18. PercyShelley

    PercyShelley Member

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    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).
     
  19. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    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.
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  20. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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  21. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

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    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
     
  22. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    That is such bizarre looking ammo.
     
  23. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    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.
     
  24. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    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....
     
  25. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    Percy, .338 Spectre is my prime candidate for this project. Why are you defending it as if I dislike it?
     
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