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Quiet guns, sans suppressors?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by yhtomit, Aug 8, 2006.

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  1. yhtomit

    yhtomit Member

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    Until an ADA lawsuit makes noise suppressors mandatory (or at least sanely, straightforwardly legal) and beyond the reach of confiscatory, mendacious, opportunistic taxation by bullying revenuers, I'm wondering if there are legal, sane ways to shoot guns more quietly.

    Not that I plan to ever shoot sans ear protection*, but are there significantly quieter loads / powders which would make shooting a less jarring experience, for new shooters especially? I have never handloaded (though I have on a handful of occasions fired others' handloads happily), but this is one reason I'd be interested in getting into reloading.

    Are there guns shooting standard calibers which are by dint of their design quieter than similar-sized / similar-performing competitors? (Part of me says "silly! It's the cartridge that determines the sound, not the gun!" but I know many gun reviews talk about an especially loud / blast-heavy gun, so why not the opposite?)

    I'd love to be able to shoot my .45 at lower volume (even slightly lower), for the sake of my ears long-term -- is that a pipedream?

    timothy

    * a single .22LR shot from a pistol was plenty loud enough, when I forgot that my earmuffs were still around my neck rather than replaced on my ears!
     
  2. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Well, a long-barrel rifle in .38 special (we're talking 36"+) is quiet. Same for smaller pistol cartridges like that. :)
     
  3. bad LT

    bad LT Member

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    22 shorts in a singleshot or bolt action rilfe
     
  4. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Member

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    Aquila Colibris are about the only round I would consider to be especially quiet. They are a .22lr cartridge, with a 20 grain bullet, with no gunpowder, relying on the primer alone to fire the bullet. You can actually watch the bullet fly downrange. Obviously, it's not much more than a plinking round. About the only living thing I'd try to kill with a Colibri is maybe a squirrel from less than 10 meters.
     
  5. Telperion

    Telperion Member

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    A .22LR rifle firing subsonic ammo is pretty quiet, as in I can hear the bolt cycling over the light muzzle report. I've had a new shooter who was momentarily unsure whether the rifle actually fired.
     
  6. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    I've had good luck using a ranger semi auto .22 (that has a locking breach and can be used bolt action) if you have a good long barrel, and you use subsonic ammo, (Aguilla SSS is good stuff) you can make it real quiet.
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    What would the ADA have to do with it?:scrutiny:
     
  8. kjeff50cal

    kjeff50cal Member

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    I had a Uberti Remington Baby Rolling Block clone chambered in 357 Mag. (one of the ones I kick myself for getting rid of:banghead: ) that shot .38 special wadcutters spooky quiet. Quieter then a .22 rifle shooting shorts. The bullets hitting a target nailed to a tree was louder..... It was my racoon medicine. The flat faced bullets hit with authority.

    A H&R Handirifle chambered in .357 Mag. would probally do the same.
     
  9. 444

    444 Member

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    One of the primary reasons that people handload ammunition is to tailor the ammunition to their own needs. Making quieter ammunition is your need and that need can be readily addressed by handloading.
    This always involves shooting reduced loads. This has been discussed plenty on this board as well as others. Do a search for "cats sneeze" loads.
     
  10. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Apparently Finn handloaders occasionally do this, for plinking or small-game hunting sans earmuffs. I accidentally came across this Finn page (English translation?) a few years ago when researching chamber pressure levels, and it was interesting enough that I was able to find it again after a few minutes of Googling:

    http://guns.connect.fi/gow/arcane1.html (1st of 3 pages)

    Disclaimer: I am not a handloader, so I have absolutely no idea if what he says makes sense or not. Use your judgement.
     
  11. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    dang! now i just got to get a lever action .357 mag rifle ;)

    though i suppose a rifle chambered in .45 colt would also be pretty quiet with standard pressure (subsonic 750-90fps) rounds :confused:
     
  12. Jayman

    Jayman Member

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    Quieter handgun loads are often achieved by:

    1. Heavier bullet
    2. Faster powder
    3. Reduced powder charge

    I've used a book load (verify on Hodgdon's website) in 9mm:

    147gr berry's bullet
    3.2gr Hodgdon's Titegroup
    Federal small pistol primer
    mixed brass
    1.130" cartridge overall length

    I get accused of shooting .22 all the time with this load. (It even makes minor PF out of a Glock 34.) That said, I still have to wear hearing protection with it.

    I know some guys who use a faster powder still, although there's no listed load for it, so I will not be promulgating it here. I've heard it shot, and you could honestly probably get away with no hearing protection with it. I worry about the pressure spike with that load though.

    Bottom line, less powder and faster powder will give you less noise/flash. At very reduced loads you will have a difficult time getting a semi-auto to cycle.
     
  13. Flintlock Tom

    Flintlock Tom Member

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    Does the Aquila Colibris, sub-sonic, .22 round generate enough recoil to cycle a semi-auto like a Ruger 10/22?
     
  14. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Colubri's wouldn't, since they are primer powered only (no powder). Aguila makes a heavy-bullet subsonic load for the .22 that uses something like a 60-grain bullet that may or may not cycle a semiauto, but I'm sure a Colubri wouldn't.
     
  15. FilJos

    FilJos Member

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    What about that neat stuff that the russians were making? The cartridges used an internal piston that contained the "explosion" and hence the noise. The piston then pushed forward to launch the projectile.

    More info here, http://world.guns.ru/ammo/am05-e.htm

    Although I am sure that this is completley unavailable and not what you are looking for. Very cool though.
     
  16. pete f

    pete f Member

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    My brother bought a 1894 marlin in 357 a couple of years ago from a friend in money trouble, it was a "cowboy special" with a 24-26 inch barrel. I never saw it in the catalogs but it was a oct. barrel and full magazine tube. We tried it several times with .357's and it was tame as could be, then we had run out of mag loads and dropped some 148 DEWC on about 3.4 grains of bullseye and man that was amazing. ittybitty groups at 50 yards, more of a "bloop" sound when you shot it. and NO recoil. really fun toy, he uses it to pop squirrels at the bird feeder in a suburban setting, (he has a big hill behind his house for the backstop and no one has complained yet about the noise.)
     
  17. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Colibris are by far the quietest, The SSS are nice and quiet enough to occasionally shoot without protection*, and pack a mean punch on woodchucks, I might add.

    I might have to look into a .357 lever action....;)




    * Not Recommended
     
  18. Jesse H

    Jesse H Member

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    They don't cycle my 22/45.

    Whatever you do, make darn sure you don't have any 'normal' .22 rounds mixed up in there. I don't know how but I did and that was the loudest sound in the world.
     
  19. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    Aguillla SSS does cycle the 10/22 (although some guns which are dirty won't work quite as well) and I know it works in my buddys ruger mk1.

    they won't cycle my prewar colt woodsman however.
     
  20. michael_aos

    michael_aos Member

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    I'm really amazed how quiet my new .38 Special is.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    I know this isn't what you were asking, but it really isn't that hard to just buy a suppresor.
     
  22. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

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    in michigan you still cannot have suppressors. I have a mossberg 331SL and it is spooky quiet with CCI standard velocity.
     
  23. GunnySkox

    GunnySkox Member

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    All my guns are really, really loud, but Michael_aos, I gotta say that that's a nice lookin' levergun.

    ~GnSx
     
  24. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

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    I was once near a 'rather quiet' gun... think it was a lever gun with a full length barrel in 32-20.
     
  25. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Member

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    Get an NEF (or similar) break-open 12ga. Stuff a .45 ACP chamber insert from http://www.mcace.com/shotguninserts.htm in there, and Loc-Tite it in place.

    About as loud as dropping a phone book, or so I'm told. :)

    Edit: I wonder if installing an extra-full turkey choke would get it even quieter? :confused:
     
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