rifle sub sonic, suppressor question

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by WSU, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. WSU

    WSU New Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    Has anybody ever killed Bigg(er) animals like a hog, or deer size with a sub sonic rifle round? What cartridges would best fit this situation? And finaly, in regards to the repot of the gun and sub sonic noise. Once your round reaches the speed of sound you get noise. So, will a round breaking the barrier by 50 fps be any more quiet than one cruising 1000 fps faster? In my mind I'm thinking something like a bolt action .308?
  2. WSU

    WSU New Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    I should have also mentioned that I do own one tactical solutions can that is on a 10/22 custom gun. This .22 was my first build. Nothing crazy but works for me. Houge stock, Tactical Solutions 16.5" barrel, Tactical Solutions action, Volquartzen trigger topped with the Burris 3x9 with 22LR ballistic plex.
    Now I want to build something thats kinda the same ..but BIGGER!
    Even if it were necessary to shoot supersonic with a 308 to kill a hog out there a ways I should think I could still load it way down and it would be a much quieter 308.
  3. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Don't be fooled by the hype. You get noise, just less of it even with Sub's and a suppressor. You just won't get a loud sharp crack, more of a hollow "thump" or "thud". If you are willing to spend enough you can even get one effective enough to make the sub sonics sound more like just a big "whiff" but those cans carry a very high price tag.

    Such a rig seriously limits your killing power so short range is going to be the rule.

    Now you can where legal get a suppressor that will work very well at noise reduction with any caliber, even the 50bmg which does not then give you the same limitations.

    If you want to go the sub sonic route then the .30 whisper would be one to look at. Combined with a suppressor it's very quiet and still can deliver enough energy on target to be effective on deer at a hundred yards or so.

    You also need to check your state's game laws as suppressors are not legal in all states for hunting.

    There are some very effective means by which you can mask/reduce the sound signature and flash without the use of a suppressor which are perfectly legal anywhere but they require a little creativity and are not at all easily portable such as an insulation lined culvert or barrel which works great with smaller calibers for prone shooting on a range or big field. Thes work essentially as just big expansion chambers and contain most of the blast within. You just need a hole on each end large enough to sight and shoot through.

    Price and portability along with your local and state laws are the major factors which come into play.
  4. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    Energy is way low on the 30 whisper even as close as 100. But energy is not everything. If you are good with shot placement a 30 whisper will kill the heck out of deer and hogs even at 1100 fps with 200+ grain bullets. The bullets do not necessarily expand but often exit probably after tumbling through. If brass was easier to make or available for the 50 whisper that would be the way to go. 750 gr bullets even at 1100 fps smak stuff.

    The 30 whisper even with 240s only has 800 ft lbs at the muzzle. The 50 whisper subsonic has about a thousand ft lbs more energy than the 300. That is shooting 750 A-max subsonic

    CH4D makes dies for the fifty whisper and PTG makes a 50 whisper equivelant reamer, but the pain is the brass.
  5. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    i have a custom 300 whisper built on a rem 700 that i shoot the 220 gr SMK's at just under 1000fps and I have a suppressor for it. it's very very quiet.

    i've killed 3 deer with it, and while it does kill them dead, you do need to think more like your bow hunting with shot placement. the best thing to do would be to clip a rib on the way in so the bullet would tumble a more than it would otherwise.

    they are not ideal deer killers, but do work.

    good luck, it's a fun round to play with, but for strictly deer hunting i might look elsewhere.
  6. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    I have a buddy that has a single shot Encor in 45 ACP 22" barrel with a suppressor. It is so quiet that you only hear the hammer click and when the Speer 230 gr. Gold Dots hit the target.

    It holds less than 2" groups at 50 yds. and boy do those Gold Dots expand.


    PS: I don't know of 30 caliber rifle bullets that will expand like pistol bullets at such slow velocity.

    Attached Files:

  7. mfox497

    mfox497 Active Member

    May 3, 2010
    You might try looking over at silencertalk they have a thread with pics of deer kills suppressed using sub sonic rounds. I have shot a few hogs and a coyote using sub loads, all shots under 75yds but had no problem at all, it was a 308 loaded down with 220gr.
    I have been looking at the 458 socom for awhile now. Basically a 45-70 bullet loaded for an ar-15 shooting sub loads suppressed with a ton of knock down power good probably to 200yds. Thing is the bullet drop is crazy so you will be dialing for those shots. Either way it is different than long range shooting but just as fun.
  8. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    I have a custom 300/221 Fireball (same as a 300 Whisper, but I can't call it that because that moniker has been copyrighted/owned by JD Jones). There is a whole line of these cartridges that were developed as dual purpose rounds. They perform well in subsonic mode for CQB, but can also be used in hunting situations (usually supersonic). To get a better look at these cartridges go to:

    300 Whisper ® | SSK Industries

    Another great site for info on the 300 Whisper, or subsonic rounds, suppressors, and other related info is:

    300 Whisper Page

    The big problem with subsonic rounds and hunting has already been touched upon by eddybo: bullet expansion. Most of the subsonic rounds based on the Whisper case utilize rifle bullets. These bullets usually need at least 1,700 to 1,800 fps in order to expand. This is way above the speed for breaking the sound barrier. At slower speeds (including subsonic), the usual rifle bullets simply will not expand - they just pencil through. That is why these cartridges tend to use heavy-for-caliber bullets. They begin to destabilize and tumble once they hit the target. I use the 240 gr. SMK in my 300. It takes a 1-in-8 twist to stabilize them and they do upset and tumble easily much below 950 fps.

    Lately, some custom bullet-makers have developed specialized bullets for the Whispers that open up and have great terminal performance at subsonic velocities. Here are a couple:

    Home - Outlaw State Bullets LLC

    Display Products

    They ain't cheap, but boy do they work.

    Corbin Mfg. has now legitimized the 300 Blackout (essentially the 300 Whisper). Here is a link showing subsonic performance of a bullet made by the Bullet Depot:

    Subsonic Bullet Design

    The 450 Beowolf and the 458 SOCOM tend to have better bullet performance at subsonic speeds because they utilize pistol bullets which are designed to open up at lower velocities. Their Achilles heel is that they have a low BC, so the drop beyond 50 yds. is very dramatic. Additionally, I believe they must utilize the AR-10 platform in a semi-auto platform (but I could be mistaken).

    Something else to keep in mind is that the speed at which the sound barrier is broken varies by elevation, and sometimes other weather conditions. A bullet that is subsonic at sea level may be supersonic at the 7000 ft level. Generally, subsonic speeds occur somewhere between 1,040 and 1,080 fps. But again, this depends on you elevation.

    To answer the other question about noise and the sound barrier: no - it is no more quiet whether the bullet is traveling 50 fps or 500 fps over the sound barrier. It is the same "crack" of a sonic boom. But what is interesting, is when the bullet is "trans-sonic". Most of us think of breaking the sound barrier as being over a specific speed. The fact is that it is a narrow range of fps. In this "trans-sonic" window we hear something more than the usual silenced round, but it is not a super-sonic "crack" either.

    You can go to youtube and watch videos of jets breaking the sound barrier. Just watch for the "bloom" of the sonic shock wave as it begins to develop behind the tail of the aircraft. This trans-sonic window is also evident in longrange shooting. We have drop tables for our bullets. But once velocity of our bullet drops into the "trans-sonic" window, it is hard to get reliable drop info on a repeatable basis. Too much is happening, plus the bullet itself is probably beginning to destabilize.

    Probably too much info here, but welcome to the world of subsonic shooting.
  9. 375rifleman

    375rifleman Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2014
    I enjoy reading about subsonic information do you or anyone else know anything about subsonic rifle/pistol cartridges or subsonic rifle/pistol load data for extended range 50-600 yards or extreme range 600+ yards.
  10. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2005
    I use the 300 blackout and have killed one deer at 217 and one at 253. I'm using factory Remington 220gr. Sub's. I have a 2.5-10x32 nxs with a npr2 reticle. Realistically looking back it was probably unwise to use it at this range with the factory ammo because I have had lots of fliers with this lot of ammo and will be switching to hand loaded stuff. If I can get better groups and less fliers with handloads then I feel if you have the skills and equipment then it could probably be used to 350yrds as long as you don't have a lot of wind. They do drop like a rock so you have to be on top of your drops. I run my drops on my br2 and if I could get rid of my fliers the drops are very close out to 350 I was pretty surprised.
  11. idaho elk hunter

    idaho elk hunter Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2013
    Sectional density is a huge factor that people overlook. I am not sure of the sectional density of the bullets that I use but they penetrate deeper than any other type that I have used. The 245gr Montana bullet has a flat nose that tears through the tissue and does quite well.

    The Outlaw I wanted to try but refuse to pay the price that they want for them. If they were a normal price I definitely would go for them. I doubt they would perform any different than the 245 Montana. Dead is dead, RIGHT?

    Lehigh Makes one that is really intriguing. It is way lighter but it works on the same basis as the Barnes. It cuts it way through. I have not tried them yet.

    As far as quiet I use a 300 Blackout in a Rem Model 7 with a SWR SPEC WAR can. With a load of Trail Boss and the Montana Bullet you can barely hear the gun go off.

    Semi Autos are quite a bit louder due to the louder powders due to the burn rate to operate the actions and the action itself operating.
  12. matemike

    matemike Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2014

    This hog was taken with a 9" 300 whisper.
    I took another one like it several months later after my suppressor stamp arrived and I hand loaded some 300 blk subsonics.
    I've also taken a white tail doe with the subs and suppressor from the 9" barrel.
    My set up works well and is pretty quiet too. I keep a zero magnification EoTech XPS-3 on the gun so as to deter me from taking shots hundreds of yards away. In fact I wouldn't even shoot at anything 100 yards or more. All three animals I mentioned were shot at less than 50 yards.
  13. Wedgy

    Wedgy Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    As stated the subs are like lobbing artillery at your target. The Lehigh bullets really expand well on soft targets like deer but I think they won't make it thru a shoulder or a pig. Shot selection will be different as well as ranging will be more like archery. When shooting supressed they don't know where the shot comes from and often run towards you.


    about 7:15 in the video is where the action is.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2018
  14. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2007
    I am geting close to talking myself into taking the suppressor plunge. Hell, if I could buy over the counter with no waiting period it would have already been a done deal!!

    My plan is to buy a Thunder Beast Arms 338 can/break ($$$) and use it on a bunch of different tubes from my Edge down to my 6-6.5-47L. One of the bbls I would chamber up is a 338 BR and try and figure out a subsonic load with the 300 gr Berger. It would be mainly for plinking and "pest" control, but thought that I might experament with cutting 1/8 inch off of the tip to help with bullet expansion and try it on deer.

    Anyone ever try a 338 br?