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About Subsonic Ammo
Subsonic ammunition refers to ammunition that travels at a velocity below the speed of sound, which is approximately 1,126 feet per second at sea level.
The history of subsonic ammunition is tied to the development of suppressors or silencers. In the early 1900s, Hiram Maxim invented the first commercially successful suppressor for firearms, which reduced the noise level of a gunshot by slowing down and cooling the expanding gases produced when a gun is fired.
During World War II, subsonic ammunition gained popularity among the military as it allowed for covert operations by reducing the noise level of a firearm.
However, subsonic ammunition was not widely used by civilians until the 1980s when suppressors became more accessible and laws regulating their use were relaxed.
Today, subsonic ammunition is popular among hunters and shooters who want to reduce the noise level of their firearms for various reasons such as reducing noise pollution, hearing protection, and minimizing disturbance to wildlife or neighbors.
Subsonic ammunition is also commonly used in suppressed firearms for tactical and military operations.
Popular Types of Subsonic Ammo
- 22 Long Rifle Subsonic: This is a popular subsonic round used for target shooting, plinking, and small game hunting.
- 9mm Luger Subsonic: This round is commonly used in suppressed firearms and is a popular choice for self-defense due to its lower recoil and noise level.
- 45 ACP Subsonic: This is a popular round for use in suppressed firearms and is often used for tactical and military operations.
- 300 AAC Blackout Subsonic: This round was developed specifically for use in suppressed firearms and is popular for hunting and tactical applications.
- 308 Winchester Subsonic: This round is commonly used for hunting, tactical applications, and long-range shooting.
- 338 Lapua Subsonic: This round is a popular choice for long-range shooting and tactical applications due to its accuracy and stopping power.
- 50 BMG Subsonic: This round is used in large-caliber firearms and is popular for long-range shooting and tactical applications. It is also commonly used in military and law enforcement sniper rifles.
Subsonic Ammunition Features
Subsonic ammunition produces less noise than supersonic ammunition, making it ideal for use in situations where a quieter shot is desired. This makes it a popular choice for hunting, tactical applications, and law enforcement.
Subsonic ammunition typically has less recoil than supersonic ammunition, which makes it easier to shoot accurately and more comfortable to shoot for extended periods of time.
Because subsonic ammunition has a lower velocity than supersonic ammunition, it has a shorter effective range. This means it is best used for shorter-range shooting, typically within 100 yards.
Subsonic ammunition often uses heavier bullets than supersonic ammunition. This helps compensate for the lower velocity by increasing the kinetic energy delivered to the target.
Subsonic ammunition is commonly used with suppressors, which further reduce the noise level of the shot. The lower velocity also helps reduce the sound of the bullet breaking the sound barrier, which is a significant source of noise when shooting with a suppressor.
Subsonic Ammo FAQ
What is Subsonic Ammo?
Simply put, subsonic ammunition is any cartridge that is projected at a velocity below the speed of sound (approximately 1100 fps depending on atmospheric conditions and elevation).
For standard cartridges, their speeds will reach above the sound barrier after being fired and the bullet itself will create a sonic boom. A bullet traveling below the speed of sound will not create a distinct sonic boom.
What are the Benefits of Subsonic Ammo?
The primary benefit of subsonic ammo is the lack of noise produced after being fired (compared to non-subsonic rounds). For firearm owners looking for stealth and discretion, subsonic rounds can make for a reliable alternative, potentially leading to an improved hunting experience and even in self-defense situations.
What are the Popular Subsonic Ammo Calibers?
Subsonic ammunition comes in a wide variety of calibers. Some of the most popular calibers include subsonic 22 long rifle, 9mm subsonic ammo, 300 Blackout subsonic ammo, and subsonic 7.62x39 ammo.
What is Subsonic vs Supersonic Ammo?
Is Subsonic Ammunition Powerful?
In a semi-automatic firearm, there has to be enough power in the leftover gases to cycle the action of the gun. Since subsonic ammo is inherently less powerful, you could find yourself in a situation where a specific subsonic load in a specific gun with a specific suppressor won't cycle the action on its own.