View Full Version : Couple of suppressor questions...

September 23, 2002, 06:12 PM
Hopefully someone here might be able to answer these questions for me...

Using a Ruger MkII with a quality integral suppresor and subsonic ammo, what type of sound level do you get? I've seen the figures of xdb # of decibels suppressed, but could someone describe what it sounds like? Is there a commonly heard sound that you would equate it with? Would a 10/22 with an integral suppressor be considerably louder because of the increased velocity?

Which centerfire pistol calibers are the easiest to suppress? That is, to reach the quietest sound level. Are there specific centerfire guns/platforms that are better for suppressing?



September 23, 2002, 06:19 PM
i've never shot either, but when i went to a gun show and talked to a guy who was a class 3 dealer and had a 10/22 and a ruger mk II, he said that with subsonic ammo, they make almost no sound. the only thing you hear is the action cycling.

September 23, 2002, 08:17 PM
The Ruger Mk II and 10/22 sound about the same as a pellet gun when fired. Very quiet.

The .45 ACP would be the best centerfired round because it is subsonic. The 9mm is the most common suppressed round and you can acquire subsonic rounds for it.

For information on platforms, take a look at :



Stephen A. Camp
September 23, 2002, 08:38 PM
Hello. The lawfully suppressed 10-22s I've been around when fired with subsonic ammunition sound like an air-rifle with the "clack" of the action working. The action noise is the louder of the two.

I've not been around a great number of lawfully suppressed centerfire handguns, but one Beretta 92 w/Hushpuppy was very, very, very quiet when using the 147 gr stuff. With the action locked shut, it was very little louder than the suppressed Ruger 10-22, but the slit type wipes used do wear quickly and they do affect accuracy.

When fired with the pistol's action unlocked, it is a bit louder and be sure to wear shooting glasses as you can really feel debris coming back in your face.


September 23, 2002, 11:50 PM
Very interesting

Still anxious to hear other comments...

The Rock
September 24, 2002, 10:25 PM
The suppressed 22/45s and Walther P22s have been quiet. Best way to describe the sound of the SDS Ruger was that pop that you hear when you disengage an air impact tool in your shop. Not a gun sound. The Walther was a whisper. I believe it had a AWC can.

I have a hushed Savage M10 .308 with a Gemtech TPRS that sounds , without hearing protection, like a .22 rifle while wearing muffs. You hear the crack, and not much else. I'm trying to find some approved subsonic stuff.


September 25, 2002, 09:32 AM
Black Hills has/had subsonic 7.62. In an issue of SAR within the last year there was something on 30 caliber suppressors with listings of ammunition used.
You may also want to go down to the SWAT forum and ask if there's been any articles done on 30 caliber subsonic ammunition.

September 25, 2002, 11:39 AM
I've fired several suppressed firearms ranging from Mark IIs up to a bolt-action .308, and they all worked fairly well; in general, the less gas produced when you fire a cartridge, the easier it is to suppress a firearm that fires that cartridge. Most of the 22s I've fired worked well enough that the noise level was just above what you'd get if you held the slide/bolt back and let it go to slap home; the .308 required subsonic heavy-bullet ammo to work well, but the noise was still less than an un-suppressed 22 rifle. The weirdest thing was that you could hear "echoes" as the bullet passed other objects going down-range (berms, target stands, etc.) The main point of suppressing a major-calibre rifle isn't really to make it "silent", it's to disguise the firing point.

James K
September 25, 2002, 01:07 PM
Most suppressors do not totally eliminate the sound, though some come close. What they do is to make a gun sound not like a gun. The sound is something like a moderate hand clap, and not noticeable outside a room, or in a fairly noisy area. With auto weapons, some of the advantage is lost. A suppressor may make a 9mm sound like a .22 CB cap, but a suppressor on a 9mm sub gun will make it sound like a .22 CB sub gun, in other words, the repeated noise is enough to attract attention.


September 25, 2002, 06:13 PM
are some movie clips from GulfCoast Armory
GulfCoast (http://gulfcoastarmory.com/mgvids.html)

this (http://1919a4.com/gca/ogc-raptor-super&subsonic.mpg) is the most interesting one.

September 25, 2002, 10:32 PM
Thanks for all the comments, guys!

I'm just about ready to look up my friendly local Class III dealer...


Jake 98c/11b
September 25, 2002, 10:49 PM
Unfortunately impulse sounds are not easy to relate to, by that I mean it is hard to compare other sounds to them because their duration is so short. Some suppressors can make enough noise they would seem rather loud if the duration of the noise would last long enough. In fact a pellet gun would be downright uncomfortable if the noise were to last a few seconds, I have never heard a suppressed shot that was actually as quiet as a sidelever air rifle. It might seem so until you hear them side by side but even that is not quite a fair comparison because the frequency of the sound heard from each may well be in a different range. I will be adding a suppressed weapon or so to the collection soon and I have been doing some research and comparison lately. I am lucky, we have three licensed manufacturers within 15 minutes of me and all have been helpful. if you want a good source of information I can highly reccomend Al Paulson's books on suppresors.

September 26, 2002, 07:18 AM
I've had a suppressor for my AR for a little over 7 years. The suppressor is an AWP Optima specifically made for a .223 though I can (and do) shoot .22 Rimfire through it (via a .22LR conversion)

The sound when shooting either a .223 or .22LR High Velocity is, as far as my ears can tell, approxitmatly the same. What you hear is not the muzzle crack (expanding powder burn) so much as the sonic crack from the bullet going down range.

With .22 Subsonics you hear the hammer hit, bot cycle and the bullet impact the target (if the target is close enough).

A friend has an AWC Anphibian (integral suppressed Ruger Mark II). This weapon "bleed" the velocity of the bullet to subsonic levels and is extreamly quiet for every shot.

Like SDC stated... the object of a suppressor is not to silence the gun (not possible) but to slow the gasses caused by the powder burn as they leave the muzzle (think of an "in line" care muffler). This does a couple things...

1 - Changes the sound of the muzzle blast so that it is "omni - directional" (ie you may hear the weapon (if the suppressor is ineffective) but you will be unable to pin point where the shot came from.

2 - Reduces the Db level of the muzzle blast to levels where it is hard to hear out past 25 yards (depending on caliber) or so (an effective suppressor). With my Optima if you stand back, off to the side approx 20 yards you hear the sonic crack and then a "Hissssss" as the gasses leave the suppressor.

3 - (Additional Benifit rarely mentioned) - Eliminate any muzzle flash. Usually, with my Optima, the first shot (.223) out of the suppressor will produce a light blue flame approx .75" long and .22 caliber as there is enough oxygen in the suppressor so that the powder burns completly through the suppressor. Subsequent shots produce no flash as there is now no oxygen in the suppressor .

A lot of mention is focused on shooting subsonic ammo and that it is more desirable then shooting hyper-sonic ammo. You have to remember that with an effective suppressor the sound of the muzzle blast will be greatly reduced (see above) and that the sonic crack you hear from a bullet travels perpendicular to the bullets path and that to hear the sonic crack the bullet has to pass by you (or by something that will "reflect" the crack).

What this means is that if you are down range and a bullet passes you that has been fired from a suppressed weapon you will hear the crack but not the weapon fire. If the sonic crack of the bullet sounds like it came from the right or left of you then, in fact the weapon was fired either from the front or back of you (and conversly, if the crack sounds like it came from the front/back the weapon was fried from the left/right).

I've had a friend shoot my AR while I was standing down range (75 yards) off to the side (approx 25 yards). Disclaimer - Do not attempted this at home. Skilled professionals were used for this experiment and no animals were harmed. I started facing him and closed my eyes... as he shot (1 shot every 3-4 seconds) I turned towards the sound I heard till I was facing it. I ended up looking towards the bullets path with him to the right of me. At 75 yards I could not hear the gun fire at all, only the sonic crack as the bullet passed me.