Plainsman's Cabin Discussion Areas
Combat and Defense Weapons
silent survival arms
(12/3/00 10:52:04 am)
Reply silent survival arms
There are several kinds of survival. The most addressed type is that of man against nature out in the wilderness.
Another is of man against nature in a nation with partly functioning infrastructure where chaos reigns and some government operates, but again that is mostly against nature, and some predator humans.
Still another is of man in a nation that is under external attack, which pretty well succeeded, and both government and infrastructure are non-existent or are out of operation for the foreseeable future.
In the first type almost all laws, both good and foolish, are in force and limiting the methods of survival. This one has been discussed greatly and I won't get into it. Suffice it to say though that a man in that situation without any weapon is at great risk. He is little more than an intelligent rabbit among predators armed with fang, claw, size, and a sense of smell that puts the man at an extreme disadvantage.
The second has also seen some discussion, and again, the man with no weapon is at serious disadvantage. However he is not likely to be preyed on by large animals, although starving pets will form packs and become predators against all creatures. In this mode, some laws would be enforced but sporadically. That one is well discussed on the net.
The third however would involve confrontations with hostile well-armed humans, simultaneously with problems of surviving the elements, and renegade humans, likewise perhaps starving.
In this one no laws would prevail, and one would be able to use all means for survival. Under the international laws of self-defense against invaders, no rules apply whatsoever.
Your inalienable right to self-defense is supreme, and anything that will work is fine. In this third mode all regulations and infringements of our sovereign right to bear ARMS, and not just firearms, would be restored, and all weapon prohibitions or regulations would be void.
In this mode, the firearms of both sides will likely gravitate to being noise suppressed as much as practical.
Those expelling projectiles exceeding mach 1 will only be suppressed, for the noise of the projectile will be great. The mufflers used will be minimal and will reduce the muzzle blast to about the same sound level as the bullet crack, plus action and any blow back noises from muffler pressure after the action opens. No point in reducing it further.
Such mufflers will usually eliminate all muzzle flash. In many countries these mufflers are not only sold but also required on firearms fired around populated areas, or on ranges. Their designs are well developed and the science of them is fairly well known. Finland is an example.
Such suppressed weapons are most effective at confusing the ear's direction finding, if the hearer is to the sides of the weapon. Directly in front or back, sound location is accurate enough to allow an opponent to sorely harass the shooter with automatic weapons fire, mortar fire, or even shot pellets, if he is within useful range of a shotgun.
The old adage not to shoot twice from the same spot is good advice, to avoid close incoming, for such suppressed weapons.
Weapons firing projectiles below mach 1, however can be truly silenced, in that they will not be heard by most humans beyond about 50 yards if wind is blowing, and if there is much going on in the way of battle, they will not be noticed at all, by persons more distant than a few yards.
Such weapons will use larger mufflers, which reduce the muzzle blast to equal the action noises and minimal blowback noise, (on auto loading weapons), and may be much quieter for bolt-fed weapons.
Such bolt-fed weapons can be quiet as a BB gun, or a pellet gun set on minimum pressure.
There is an ultimate limit on sound reduction because anything going through the air at considerable velocity makes a noise.
The tip of a fly rod makes considerable noise when whipped. The tip of a whip can crack mach 1 and make a muzzle blast type noise. Below this speed the noise drops rapidly and a lot.
The noise caused buy fast objects does not appear instantly at mach 1, according to the Finnish site on firearms muffling. (URL below) Such noise rises rather linearly at a modest slope up to about 1000 fps, where it assumes a nearly vertical slope to rise with increasing velocity to a peak at about 1300 fps and remains at that level for higher velocities.
The noise at 1300 fps is about 10,000 times as intense as it is at 950 fps. That, in any book, is a whole lot.
The noise is related to bullet diameter, of course, but speed affects it much more. A low altitude aircraft passing over at 950 fps makes an earth shaking noise, but at 1300 fps it makes a blast which will shatter windows, and smack you like a nearby mortar blast wave. Size of the slower plane can add up to a large noise. Speed of the faster plane can have an explosive effect on noise.
Therefore the truly silent weapon is limited to an exit velocity of no more than about 950 fps, to account for any velocity variations due to reloading inaccuracies under primitive conditions, or sound velocity changes due to extremes of air temperature.
Transferred impact energy controls the instant injury capability of bullets. Provided there is enough energy (and inertia) to penetrate about 6 inches at least, then diameter helps transfer energy to the target. Thus even a mach 2 military bullet of 30 cal, which does not tumble nor expand, is often not noticed in a wounded soldier until he sees blood running out, for the bullet went clear through causing some damage, but not pain.
Bullet wounds occur so fast that pain is not present until some time after. A common event where a hunter is hit by a deer slug is he will exclaim to others "I'm hit" and then behave rather normally for up to a few minutes, if neither heart, aorta, spine nor head were hit.
Energy transfer increases with the square of velocity, but only linearly with weight of the bullet. Therefore, being limited to 950 fps, the only variable that can raise impact injury is bullet weight.
Transferred energy is desired, and that is better with larger diameters. A given weight bullet can be accelerated to speed with lower pressure, the larger its diameter. A doubling of diameter requires only 1/4 the average pressure to get equal velocity, neglecting friction and 2nd order effects. 1/4 the pressure will greatly reduce muffler size, to get equal silence.
Indeed, a common 30 caliber rifle, with a long (WWII era) barrel of about 30 inches needs no muffler at all, if one fires 32 automatic pistol bullets, or 32 short revolver bullets in it using an adapter. It will be about as quiet as a pellet gun fired at medium pressure. Put a muffler on it and it can be quiet enough that all the shooter notices is the clunk of the firing pin striking. Such bullets exit at about 800 fps, which is still quite deadly, and very quiet. Barrel friction reduces bullet speed after the first 6 inches or so of travel and heat transfer reduces exit pressure to very low values. This is a good weapon without silencer and can be used in all 3 types of survival situations above. Adapters cost less than $20 each. They do not stay in the chamber but stay with the cartridge, so switching to full power is an instant thing. Adapters are available for most rifles, having the same bore diameter as pistol cartridges, but low power pistol cartridges might need be reloaded for some calibers. But I digress...
Acceleration for a given weight bullet and a given pressure, rises with the square of its diameter.
All this stuff put together, means that small caliber bullets will have less impact injury potential, as well as need larger muffler volume ratios to silence them.
Muffler size means how many times the bore volume does the muffler volume have in it. Pressure is reduced almost in direct relation to this ratio. For example a muffler with 100 times the volume of the bore, will drop a 10,000 psi muzzle exit pressure to about 100 psi. I don;t have data on how much noise drops as pressure does, but suspect it is probably as the square, so the above would likely make a 10,000 fold drop in exit noise intensity.
Stuffing in mufflers helps only a little bit. Things happen too fast for much to be done with stuffing, fancy fins, etc. More volume is easier to get, and more reliable.
Stuffing can get loaded with half burned powder which can accumulate and burn all at once in a muffler fire. (This is when the accumulated half burnt powder which cannot be shaken out of stuffed mufflers, ignites and fire comes out both breech and far end which can last several seconds, and even distort the muffler or explode in some).
However, although large diameters are nice, the common 22LR can be quietened to equal the best, and with practical size mufflers, due to its small gas volume. It also has great penetration ability due to its small frontal area upon impact. So nature is not tilted entirely to favor large diameter bullets for all uses. The 22LR would require head shots for instant disability of the target.
Such silent 22 bolt action rifles will have a max effective range of about 75 yards, and at that distance be capable of penetrating skull bone due to the small diameter. Beyone that range drop with distance becomes large enough to cause large vertical errors for modest range errors.
The cal 45 auto is a good large diameter cartridge, especially in rifles. It will also have about that same max effective range as the 22LR, but can cause considerable damage to non vital area body hits. It will definitely not go un-noticed, but would also not likely instantly disable the target.
The problem with all truly silent weapons, is that the bullets travel only about 800 fps average over their 75 yard range, and bullets are dropping fast beyond that, causing otherwise trivial errors in range estimation to cause large errors in vertical impact. Wind also has a longer time to act on slow bullets. All these things tend to cut their practical range limit to less than 100 yards.
Due to the extreme quietness of both the muzzle blast and bullet flight noise with a truly silent weapon, one can shoot again and again with little fear of incoming. Neither of these weapons will have any muzzle flash to give away their location at night, to unaided human vision.
Whether heat sensitive infra red viewers (FLIR) would be able to spot their brief pulse of hot gasses exiting is not known by me. That would have to be tested before using such weapons against FLIR equipped opponents.
However a FLIR equipped opponent would easily see your body heat, so this may be a moot point. If many persons were about, and only some using silent weapons, FLIR might not be all that much of an advantage. Again that cannot be guessed at. Test if before you expose yourself, or learn from someone who has tested it.
One needs to be Flir literate before engaging such opponents; otherwise survival would be quite short.
This Finland site is recommended for those wanting to become silencer literate. The url is
The following site discusses the 22 silencer in enough detail that a novice could build one in circumstances where that became necessary. theforum.virtualave.net/u...00044.html
In my opinion, one equipped with a very silent weapon would be at great advantage over others with noisy weapons, if he also carried out his strategy to take advantage of the stealth such weapons make possible.
Considering the ease of carrying large quantities of 22LR ammo, plus the range of 75 yards with about 2 inch practical grouping for commonly available scoped rifles, and the light weight and short length (about 30 inches overall) of such silent weapons, that would be my choice for urban type-three self defense operations. A folding stock could cut a foot off that for carrying length. Add a cheap, fixed laser to it which lights just before the trigger is pulled and it remains a useful weapons in near darkness when the eyes can just make-out outlines, but optical scopes and iron sights won't work. Of course such weapon with infrared (>900 NM wavelength) laser would be useful with cheap night vision goggles, and not visible to the unaided eye. The cheap $10 laser pointers will work if glued onto the silencer tube of a 22 caliber weapon, and probably would be stable on the slightly greater recoil of the .45 auto cartridge in a rifle. Bondo glues them on well. They must be positioned to point of bullet impact at about 50 yards. Mount them close to the bore as possible so at close ranges the bullet will be within less than a vertical inch from the spot. Then hold over or under to get 1/2 inch or less accuracy.
Of course an expensive night vision sight would be far superior to avoid incoming. Most such NV sights are not useful in daylight and an optical sight would be needed on the gun also. NV sights are also quite large. Not all can be removed and returned without having to re-sight them in.
So, one really needs to consider what type of survival he intends to prepare for, then choose a weapon that will do that job and is within his budget.
It appears rather plainly though, that a man who has no firearm at all will not likely survive any of the survival types for very long.
That's probably why we-the-people forbid governments ever, under any circumstances, interfering with our right to keep and bear the most modern technology in arms.
That we have permitted the US government and some renegade state governments to gradually do so, is to our own shame. It has resulted in most persons now being in rather poorly prepared for survival situations of type 3, which occur regularly worldwide, but only have occured about once a century in USA.
It appears a type 3 survival situation in USA is to be expected before long, from situations now boiling over.
In Finland, which twice suffered type 3 survival conditions, silencers are completely unregulated, and required. Nothing like nightmares of hindsight to cause politicians to leave the people alone.
In the USA, if Chinese troops accompanying Mexican troops which have been reported by border patrol officers to be firing on them, is true...
and a German bomber base to bomb future resisting Americans now exists in New Mexico, is true...
and Chinese ports in California and elsewhere on our seacoasts are true...
and their reported actions of smuggling fully automatic weapons to urban street gangs is true...
and the obvious sham gun confiscation laws "to protect children" and "to remove guns from criminals", continue...
soon even the village idiot will catch on, that a noose is being slowly slipped around his neck, to be yanked tight when the time is right.
The information herein might even assist that village idiot to survive when he wakes up to reality.
Silencers are of course illegal in USA. Guns will soon be it appears. Due to the international nature of the net however, both are fully legal in much of the world.
It is said that in the world of the blind, a one eye man is king.
I will add, that in a fully disarmed populace, a man with an autoloader with 60 round clip is also king.
And a single street urchin with a silent weapon can depose him.