The summer is finally here, and with it comes more time outdoors and — hopefully — more time behind the trigger. If you’ve recently joined the suppressor club, you might want to consider running subsonic ammunition this summer. Why? When used with a suppressor, subsonic ammo significantly reduces a firearm’s muzzle blast to hearing-safe levels. In other words, with the two used together, you don’t need to wear shooting muffs or earplugs.
For those uninitiated, subsonic ammunition is typically manufactured with reduced powder charges and increased bullet weight. The goal is to propel the bullet below the speed of sound (approximately 1,130 fps at 70 degrees) so there is no sonic crack. Subsonic ammunition, whether you’re running it through a suppressed .22 pistol or 300 AAC Blackout rifle, is guaranteed to produce smiles all the way around.
Here are three reasons why it’s better than a cold beer on a hot summer day:
- Better and Less Expensive
It was only a few years ago when obtaining subsonic ammunition was a difficult and expensive endeavor. These days, subsonic ammunition has become increasingly available and less expensive. This is largely due to the significant increase of suppressors in private hands. Here are some recommendations for subsonic ammunition that can be shipped right to your door:
- 300 AAC Blackout: Discreet Ballistics 190gr Target. Discreet Ballistics is like that special restaurant or craft beer that only a few people “in the know” shoot. This company specializes specifically in subsonic ammunition. They developed some of the most accurate commercially available subsonic rifle loadings today.
- .22LR Subsonic: Gemtech .22LR Match Subsonic. Gemtech was founded by Phil Dater, who is considered by many to be the godfather of the suppressor industry.
- 9MM Subsonic: Atlanta Arms 9MM 147gr FMJ. Atlanta Arms uses some of the most advanced loading machinery from Mark 7 Reloading to manufacture some of the world’s best handgun ammunition.
- Hearing Safe
The OSHA hearing-safe threshold for impulse noises, such as gunshots, is 140 decibels. Subject yourself to noises beyond this level while shooting and you’ll risk permanent hearing loss. The same is true for those shooting with you. Even while using suppressors, 140 decibels is often surpassed when using standard supersonic ammunition. However, due to reduced powder charge and lack of sonic crack, subsonic ammunition rarely surpasses this threshold when it’s used with high-quality suppressors. Imagine those hot summer days without the need for sweaty ear protection! If shooting suppressed brings a smile to your face, try shooting subs.
- Fun at the Range
Shooting subsonic ammunition through a suppressed platform is a guaranteed way to get noticed at the range. Most folks who’ve never heard suppressed subsonic shooting will think it’s a pellet gun — it’s that quiet! Instead of letting off huge fireballs with your deafening muzzle brake, you can be quietly slinging rounds downrange with less recoil and excellent accuracy. Shooting suppressed subsonic is also a great way to introduce young shooters to firearms because the lack of muzzle blast reduces the tendency to flinch while squeezing the trigger.
Check out the video below to see how New Hampshire based Discreet Ballistics achieves consistency in its subsonic ammunition loading process. And don’t you just love the sound of subsonic ammo to open the audio!