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Old October 22, 2011, 01:16 PM   #1
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Ultra-quiet Loads

I suspect this is a really stupid question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

I popped a few .22 CB Longs this morning in my backyard and got to thinking. These rounds are ultra quiet .22 LR. Contrary to what many think, they do have a powder charge (I've read people say they are only a primer). They get about 800-900 FPS out of a rifle barrel with a .22" bullet.

Would it be possible to create similar loads in other calibers? By using such a small powder charge that the bullet is able to clear the barrel and show some kind of accuracy at short ranges, but have a quiet enough report that it could be fired without hearing protection?

I'm guessing the issue is with heavier bullets too much powder is needed to clear the barrel, but has anyone tried anything like this?
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Old October 22, 2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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Research 300 Whisper and see if it piques your interest. There is a forum dedicated to it.
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Old October 22, 2011, 03:42 PM   #3
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You can load rifle calibers with Trail Boss and get very quiet rounds.

My 204 sounds like a cap gun but still does 2,200fps with a 32gr bullet.
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Old October 22, 2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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And yes, it's common to shoot cast bullets, especially, with light loads of fast pistol or shotgun powder. Indeed, the critical thing is to stay subsonic to avoid the sonic crack, so sometimes the heavier bullets make that easier than light-for-chambering bullets do.

Read this CE Harris article for ideas. You want to load to get lower velocities than the speed of sound (about 1120 fps under standard conditions at sea level).

You are correct there is propellant in CB caps. IIRC, it is BB caps that are primer fired.
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Old October 22, 2011, 05:03 PM   #5
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With a bolt action 22, suppressor and cb caps a rifle make more noise dryfiring than shooting as the brass case takes the "ping" out of the hit. With larger bullets you get more "whish" of the bullet going down range but the impact makes the most noise. My suppressed 458 is the most fun, less noise than a 22 and a 600 grain bullet.
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Old October 22, 2011, 06:39 PM   #6
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An interior ballistics program like QuickLoad will help you make ultra quiet loads ... especially if you don't have a suppressor. The reason is that it will estimate the residual pressure at the muzzle as the bullet leaves. Even if it is sub-sonic, there is still a shock wave from the muzzle blast. I built a 45acp Mauser and I use RedDot to load 1000fps 300 grain rounds that are way quieter than a subsonic 22LR ... QL estimates that I have something on the order of 350psi of residual pressure when the bullet leaves the barrel ... so there is not much in the way of a muzzle blast on that one. Not quite the 600 grain payload that the 458 has, but I wouldn't want to stand in front of either one!

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Old October 22, 2011, 08:25 PM   #7
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I guess I should have specified that I was referring to handgun cartridges. Other than the .22 I don't currently own other rifles. Although it would be a worthwhile project for either.

And "subsonic" isn't necessarily what I'm referring to. My .45 is subsonic but I wouldn't want to shoot it in the backyard
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Old October 23, 2011, 02:47 AM   #8
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Do a search on cat sneeze loads.

I load a .430 round ball in a .44 mag with 4 grains of Unique It's quiet but also dirty in my in my H&R single shot... In my Super Blackhawk this same load is about 2x as loud.

I plan to try some faster powders to see if I can get the case to seal better in the chamber and still not be any louder... I don't expect to have any quiet rounds out of my revolvers.

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Old October 23, 2011, 05:34 AM   #9
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Good morning
Any centerfire caliber (.22´s are difficult) can be loaded with a round ball. The RB can be a few thousands over size as they redily conform to chamber size. Start with whatever a manual shows as the lightest charge of fast powder (231, Red Dot, Bullseye..) and start reducing to whatever noise level you are looking for. The smaller the case the more consistant ignition will be. 30-06 and larger cases are not impossible to work with.
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Old October 23, 2011, 12:06 PM   #10
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It's going to be hard to get any pistol load even close to as quiet as those CBs out of a rifle. As a demonstration, try the same CB loads in a pistol and notice how much louder they are. Longer barrels allow time for the pressure in the bore to drop way down before the bullet exits and lets all the noise out.
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Old October 23, 2011, 12:43 PM   #11
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What your looking for is heavy bullets and very fast powders. VVN310 and 230's in 45 or 147's in 9mm are quiet even for pistol loads, what some refer to as "mouse fart" loads, and remain as powerful as loads that make more noise. Increase barrel length and report goes down as well.
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Old October 23, 2011, 01:54 PM   #12
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I shoot 3.5 grs. Bullseye and 90 gr. Hornady .314 LSWC out of my Mosin M44,quarter size groups at 25 yds. and pretty darn quiet. I need to load up another batch and run some over the chrono,I'm sure it below subsonic by the report.

I've play around with some primer powered glue bullets double end wad cutters I made to use in the 38 spec. in the garage but that's about the extent of my handgun subsonic loads.
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