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Old May 14, 2014, 03:12 AM   #1
Departed402
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Is a suppressor for me?

I'm curious about how quiet a suppressed gun could be. I don't have any firsthand (or really any secondhand) knowledge about suppressed firearms. According to Hollywood, suppressors make any gun totally silent, which is not possible I know, but I would like to get close. I know there additional variables to making a gun quiet such as sub-sonic ammo, and the action of semi-auto guns. So it seems to me a good place to start would be a bolt-action or lever-action rifle with sub-sonic bullets. Am I missing anything? Even with these and other sources of noise eliminated what's the best it could be?

Personally, the quietest gun I've ever been around was a non-suppressed lever-action .22 rifle firing .22 CB. This combination was very quiet, but of course lacked power since the CB rounds are only powered by the primer. A common pellet gun seemed like it would be just as quiet and powerful.

What I am interested in is a gun significantly more powerful than a pellet gun or rifle shooting a .22 CB, but just about as quiet. Can it be done?
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Last edited by Departed402; May 14, 2014 at 04:20 AM. Reason: typos and inaccuracies, was tired when initially composed
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Old May 14, 2014, 03:46 AM   #2
Theohazard
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It looks like you want a .22 silencer; .22 LR is super-quiet when suppressed and is easy to keep subsonic. Out of a pistol, almost all .22 ammo will be subsonic, even high-velocity loads like CCI Mini-Mags. And if you're suppressing a rifle, .22 subsonic ammo is pretty easy to find.

A bolt-action .22 rifle with subsonic ammo and a silencer is amazingly quiet and still powerful enough to take out small animals.
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Old May 14, 2014, 04:22 AM   #3
Departed402
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For me, a rifle would be best for ease of accuracy.
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Old May 14, 2014, 07:58 AM   #4
Skans
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Personally, I think suppressor technology will get significantly better, if this cottage industry is permitted to flourish with the use of Trusts (or anything) to avoid CLEO sign-off. I'm holding out for a system that can silence 9mm. Even if it's a combination of an integrally suppressed 9mm short barreled carbine with an additional screw-on suppressor. Someday, someone will figure this out - but that day ain't today. So, I'll keep waiting.
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Old May 14, 2014, 09:22 AM   #5
MarkCO
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I've shot everything from $150 suppressors to FA on .308s that were north of $3K. On one hand, they are amazingly simple, on the other, very complex in terms of machining, materials and gas flow. Quite frankly, the technology will not get much better than what we have for ammunition and actions.

When you are looking at a .22LR, there are a few factors that are important. First is being maintenance. .22 suppressors will eventually clog up reducing effectiveness and increasing weight. If you plan on several thousand rounds a year, you likely want one that is user serviceable, meaning you can disassemble to clean. There are some that can be put in the ultrasonic or flooded with various chemicals to remove the fouling, but it has to be compatible with those methods. There is also "jailbreaking" which is a service offered to cut open your can and make it user serviceable. Some people like certain features so will opt for this method.

Then you have base design, Monocore or K-baffles. Monocores are usually more serviceable for cleaning, but also usually heavier and more costly. The K-baffles are the 100+ year old Maxim technology that is effective and what most suppressors have used. Some Monocores wiegh a bunch and are less effective than K-baffles simply because of the cost of the better materials and manufacturing methods, as well as most "designers" don't really understand the high-pressure, high-heat gas flow dynamics.

Then you have to consider the host. In .22LR rifles, any action type is suitable and I would look primarily at matching the action type to the shooting you plan to do. An AR22 (.22LR upper for AR15 lower) or Ruger 10/22 are the obvious choices for autos since the parts are available direct with no need for a machinist or gunsmith. There are a lot of suppressed 10/22s in the hands of LE and MIL for special operations. I built a set of them for a local SWAT team that uses them to take out street lights. The pop of the light bulb is louder than any noise the gun makes. Shooting rabbits and such, the thwack of the bullet hitting the animal is louder than the gun. A polymer bolt stop does help take out some action noise and they are readily available. Bolt guns work too, but you have to get the barrel threaded. You really want the barrel off to ensure concentrically, so you are up some coin in gunsmith services there. From 50 feet away, you can't tell much if any difference between a properly set-up 10/22 or a bolt gun.

Hope that helped some.
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Old May 14, 2014, 09:41 AM   #6
Skans
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My thinking is that someone would need to design a gun with a multiple stage silencer. Something with an integrally suppressed barrel and then a screw-on suppressor to further reduce noise. Not the kind of thing you would find on a handgun, but possibly on a bullpup design. Basically, you'd have to build the gun around the suppressor. I'm sure it can be done, the real question is: how big would a gun have to be to truly silence 45acp and 9mm subsonic?

Although here is an miniaturized version of what I'm talking about. Something sort of like this: http://sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=521 ; but more robust.

Last edited by Skans; May 14, 2014 at 09:58 AM.
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Old May 14, 2014, 09:58 AM   #7
MarkCO
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It is possible Skans, and in fact has been done in prototype. Problem is one of cost, weight and need. Some SF guys opt for less effective suppressors that are FA rated, bomb-proof and maintenance free because once you take out the lions share of noise, the direction of the sound, from a detection perspective, is difficult. It is like that 1500 horsepower street car...taking it to 1600 is almost a waste of time because you can't use the performance and the cost is huge.

Bullet impact noise, for most good suppressors, is much more significant than the gun firing noise, so again, you are not gaining any useable benefit. You hear a bullet whack, it will turn your head faster than the "pfsst" of the bullet.
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Old May 14, 2014, 12:13 PM   #8
Skans
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Quote:
It is possible Skans....
I figured it was, but that is what I want. Here's how I see it. If I'm going to form a trust, throw $200 into the big government bonfire, fill out PITA forms and fingerprints, and wait 9 months for my midlife crisis present to myself - I would only do this for something truly impressive. Something that screams "Oooooo, I gotta have that!"I have seen/heard many suppressors and none really impress me all that much.

I have no practical need whatsoever for a silencer. My Harbor Freight ear-muffs work just fine. Yet I love beautifully over-engineered toys. Yes, I want a gun as quiet as the ones on the movies - I don't care how darn complicated or big the thing has to be!
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Old May 14, 2014, 02:34 PM   #9
MarkCO
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Find a local shop with a Series 7, get him the design and have what you want.

Otherwise, you could try an http://www.oss-online.com/home.html. I shot one of those with another suppressor screwed on, gas off on an AR15 with 80 grain subs. Quietest thing I have ever shot, including BB guns and airsoft.
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Old May 16, 2014, 04:32 AM   #10
Bartholomew Roberts
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I own a few suppressors now and have shot several. They are fun but nothing like the movies. I still wear ear protection when I use them and they still sound like a gunshot even suppressed and with ear protection.

Some of the .22s can be very quiet but a 60gr bullet at 1000fps with no BC has kind of a limited utility. As powerful as airguns are these days (and those also having silencers built in), the air rifle is probably close in effectiveness with much less regulatory hassle.
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Old May 17, 2014, 12:02 AM   #11
weblance
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I have a threaded 10/22 with a poly bolt buffer, and a SilencerCo Stainless Sparrow. If there is anything that comes close to "Hollywood" quiet, this is it. It runs perfectly with CCI Standard Vel. ammo, and will easily kill a groundhog at 50+ yards. The Sparrow also changes the tone of the shot, so that it doesnt sound like a quiet gunshot, but more like a staple gun.

I started out shooting CB ammo, and while very quiet in a rifle length barrel, the energy was very low. They will kill a small critter at 20 yards, but shot placement is absolutely critical, and more times than not, the animal would run away to die somewhere. Thats when I decided to go through the process and get my suppressor.
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Old May 19, 2014, 08:39 AM   #12
Captains1911
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Suppressed 10/22s are about as much fun as one can have with their clothes on...
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