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Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Truth About Silencers - Subsonic .22 Long Rifle Ammo

THE TRUTH ABOUT SILENCERS - SUBSONIC.22 LONG RIFLE AMMO

I briefly touched upon firearm sound suppressors (Silencers) in my previous post dealing with weapons and silencers.  In this post, I'd like to go into a little more detail specifically about .22 Long Rifle (LR) sound suppressors.

Are Silencers Legal?


They sure are! Here is a map of which states allow silencers to be sold to private citizens. If you live in a state where they are not allowed, move to another state.





Is It Legal To Hunt Using Suppressed Weapons?


It is legal to hunt in some states. Here are a list of states that allow hunting using silencers. Recently, the ATF administratively made it more difficult to use a trust, but it appears that will be reversed soon.  They almost raised the price of the FFL Tax stamp from $200 to $1,500.



How Do I Get A Silencer?


In states where silencers are legal, like Texas, you have to obtain a Sheriff's letter or a Trust.  Any store that sells them will help you with the ATF FFL paperwork.

Below is a link to "The Silencer Shop" in Austin, Texas. They always have great information on legal issues dealing with silencers.





Sig Mosquito .22 Lr




Beretta 71 .22 Long Rifle w/ 1/2 X 20 to 1/2 X 28 Adapter 

I bought my first suppressor in 2010 and it was the best experience of my life. I bought an NFA Investments .22 LR suppressor which turned out to be a really great suppressor. My first host pistol was a SigSauer Mosquito and I'm sad to say I was very  disappointed. It's such a cool looking pistol, but consistently had two or three jams with every magazine no matter what ammo I used.




GSG 522 522P Light Weight Pistol 22 LR with Walther GSG 1911 .22  Adapter 
(Has to be the one with the flash suppressor)


The great things about .22 LR suppressors is they are all threaded the same in 1/2 X 28 and there are many, many .22 LR  host pistols and rifles that come with factory threaded barrels.  There are also many great ammo manufacturers that make subsonic ammunition.




HK (Umarex) MP5 A5 .22 Long Rifle with a walther P-22 adapter


One Suppressor Fits Pistols And Rifles Alike.  


Unlike higher caliber suppressors, you do not need a "booster" for pistols with floating barrels for the weapon to function.  I learned the hard way that when you buy a 9mm suppressor, the booster is not good to use with fixed barrels and visa versa.  I'll go into 9mm suppressors in another post.

How Loud Are They?


Rather than go into decibels, I'll say that firing a .22 LR with a suppressor sounds very similar to a CO2 BB gun, You can hear the bullet hitting the paper of the target.  If you step off to the side of someone firing a suppressed .22 LR, you can hear the bullet fly through the air. 

It does matter on the length of the barrel and the type of subsonic ammo you use. It also makes a huge difference if you "wet" the suppressor by using hand sanitizer, gun oil or even water.  Wetting the suppressor also eliminates the "first round pop" associated with .22 LR suppressors.  Rifles will be much quieter than pistols.  Suppressors for .22 LRs need to be cleaned every 300 to 500 rounds and "wetting" the suppressor can cause it to "gum up" more quickly, so keep that in mind.


Walther P-22 .22 LR with 1/2 X 28 threaded barrel.

What If I Use Supersonic Ammo?


I wondered that too so I shot some CCI mini mag ammo through my Walter P-22. If you shoot it directly at the ground with a few feet in front of you or dirt mound, etc, you'll find the bullet did not have enough time to reach the sound barrier, however, if you shoot out say past ten feet or so, the bullet will break the sound barrier and thus create the loud crack of the sonic boom. Once that happens, there's no significant difference in firing the .22 LR with or without the suppressor, 

There are two "booms" when a firearm is discharged. The boom of the primer igniting the power in the bullet casing and then the sonic boom of the bullet breaking the sound barrier. To the human ear, they sound like one loud boom. Suppressors can only suppress the first boom.

What's The Best Subsonic Ammo


Some the brands and grains of .22 LR subsonic ammo I've tested in several guns which consistently function well are as follows:

Gemtech Silencer Subsonic .22LR 42 Grain 


Bullet Type: Lead Round Nose
Bullet Weight: 42 Grains
Muzzle Velocity: 1020 fps
Muzzle Energy: 97 ft/lbs

Eley Subsonic


Bullet Weight: 40 grain
Bullet Style: Hollow Point
Muzzle Velocity: 1,040 F.P.S.
Muzzle Velocity at 20m: 984 F.P.S.
Muzzle Velocity at 50m: 922 F.P.S.
Muzzle Energy: 96 ft.-lbs.
Muzzle Energy at 20m: 86 ft.-lbs.
Muzzle Energy at 50m: 75ft.-lbs.

CCI Standard Velocity


Bullet Weight: 40 Grains
Bullet Style: Lead Round Nose
Ballistics Information:
Muzzle Velocity: 1070 fps
Velocity Rating: Standard Velocity (Subsonic)
Muzzle Energy: 102 ft lbs


CCI Hollow Point Subsonic


Bullet Weight: 40 Grains
Bullet Style: Subsonic Lead Hollow Point
Ballistics Information:
Muzzle Velocity: 1050 fps
Velocity Rating: Subsonic Velocity
Muzzle Energy: 98 ft. lbs.

CCI Quiet


Caliber: 22 Long Rifle
Bullet Type: Lead Round Nose
Bullet Weight: 40 GR
Muzzle Velocity: 710 fps
Muzzle Energy: 45 ft. lbs.
Note: 75% reduction in perceived noise of standard velocity 22 Long Rifle WITHOUT a suppressor. It's almost completely silent with a suppressor.
******CCI Quiet does not have enough power to function a semiautomatic so you'll have to do that manually Also, CCI Quiet is not recommended for rifles and can stop mid barrel.

Federal American Eagle Suppressor AE22SUP1 .22lr 45gr CPRN Subsonic (Copper Jacket)


Bullet Type :Copper-Plated Round Nose (CPRN)
Bullet Weight :45 GR
Muzzle Energy 94 ft lbs
Muzzle Velocity :970 fps

Federal American Eagle Suppressor 22 LR rounds feature a heavier, 45 grain, copper plated solid bullet, leaving the muzzle at subsonic speeds, for increased accuracy with a greatly reduced report.

These rounds are also perfectly fine to fire in your standard 22LR firearm and thanks to their sub-sonic velocity, they won't be nearly as loud as a standard 22LR round
since you won't have the supersonic crack as the bullet leaves the muzzle.

CCI Hollow Point (HP) Subsonic


Special 40 grain lead hollow point nose at 1050 ft/sec
Trajectory matches most target loads to 50 yards
Large HP cavity for reliable expansion at sub-sonic velocity
without fragmentation
Muzzle Energy: 98 ft. lbs.

Aguila 22LR Ammunition Sniper Subsonic 60 Grain Lead Round Nose






Bullet Weight: 60 Grains
Bullet Style: Lead Round Nose
Muzzle Velocity: 950 fps
Muzzle Energy: 120 ft. lbs.
I have test fired this round through my HK (Umarex) MP5 A5 .22 Long Rifle with a walther P-22 adapter with no problems. I would recommend using this with rifles only.

Note: personally, I would not fire this through a pistol with a suppressor as short barrels may not stabilize the the 60 grain round and could cause a baffle strike.


I welcome all questions or comments regarding suppressors.



Next Post: The Truth About (mm Suppressors - 9mm Subsonic Ammo








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