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Old August 23, 2010, 02:30 AM   #1
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G day, i am curious to know will a silencer/surpressor only work with subsonic bullets.

Is there any design that will work with supersonic ammo.

Im not sure if i am in the right department for this question.. ( sorry Moderator)
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Old August 23, 2010, 03:00 AM   #2
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"Hollywood silent" is something you could use as a search term here and you will hear what people are using and how well they work.

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Old August 23, 2010, 04:57 AM   #3
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OK then "Hollywood Silent" it is.
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Old August 23, 2010, 07:29 AM   #4
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If you want hollywood silent watch movies, they cost less and you can pick them up today. They "work" with or without subsonic ammunition.
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Old August 23, 2010, 07:38 AM   #5
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A supersonic bullet makes a sonic boom (albiet small) as it passes through the air. A suppressor helps on the gun end of it, but it is not as quiet as subsonic ammo. They do allow shooting without using hearing protection with regular ammo.
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Old August 23, 2010, 09:42 PM   #6
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dawico is right on track there. The supressor will muffle the sound of the actual firing of the round inside the chamber and through the barrel, however you will still have all of the noise from the action cycling and, if the ammo is supersonic, you will hear the sonic report of the bullet as it travels through the air.

Take a .22 for example, the signature "crack" of a .22 LR is due mostly to the sonic report. Take that same .22 gun with a supressor and subsonic ammo, and you have quieted the gun to a modest level.

So yes, supressors do work, although their effectiveness is very dependant upon a few variables.... the firearm used, the caliber, the velocity of the round, and quality/maintenance on the supressor. But Hollywood silent is just that... Hollywood.
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Old August 23, 2010, 10:08 PM   #7
Zak Smith
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Good, modern .308 suppressors typically have a net reduction of 25-30 dB measured 1 meter to the side of the muzzle, using the mil-spec procedure and equipment, with an absolute sound pressure of approx 130-137 dB at the same spot- using full power ammunition. The reader can determine if that means they "work" or not.
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Old August 23, 2010, 11:43 PM   #8
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Any silencer that lowers muzzle blast noise by 20-30 decibels works well in my opinion. Muzzle blast is by far the loudest part of the gun noise from the shooter's position

Compare a gun and a car. A car has engine, tire, wind and exhaust noise. A gun has muzzle, action, bullet flight and impact noise.

A muffler (silencer) only works on exhaust (muzzle blast) noise. Run a car without a tailpipe and muffler and you will not care how loud the rest of the machinery is. Ditto for the gun. While a semi-auto rifle using supersonic ammo is much noisier than a bolt gun with subsonic ammo, using a silencer on the high powered semi-auto does not make the silencer less effective.

A silencer merely needs to be suitable for the caliber and pressure of the gun/cartridge combo is it used on. I use silencers on 5.56, .308 and 338 ultra mag rifles and think they work very well. The 22lr and whisper chambered firearms are of course much less noisy, but a firearm using supersonic ammo is not subject to the rainbow trajectories that subsonic ones are past 200 yards.


Last edited by RAnb; August 23, 2010 at 11:49 PM.
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