"Subsonic" ammo

"Subsonic" ammo

This is a discussion on "Subsonic" ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I did a quick search on the forum for this but no luck. I keep seeing the word, "subsonic" appear on certain ammo. What does ...

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Thread: "Subsonic" ammo

  1. #1
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    "Subsonic" ammo

    I did a quick search on the forum for this but no luck. I keep seeing the word, "subsonic" appear on certain ammo. What does that mean? Is it important?
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  2. #2
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    It means that the bullet travels slower than the speed of sound when the round is fired.

    The bullet does not create a sonic boom
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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    It means that the bullet travels slower than the speed of sound when the round is fired.

    The bullet does not create a sonic boom
    +1 It just makes it a little quieter.
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    Used in suppressed weapons. No point in a silencer if there's a sonic boom.
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    Patience, please. So, you are telling me that most bullets create a sonic boom when fired? Does the "slower" subsonic bullet decrease the effect of the bullet?
    "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Eccl. 10:2

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    Quote Originally Posted by aznav View Post
    Patience, please. So, you are telling me that most bullets create a sonic boom when fired? Does the "slower" subsonic bullet decrease the effect of the bullet?
    Yes, less muzzle velocity and energy. However when fired from an MP5 in burst or full auto, more than one hit is likely lessening the effect. In .22 the CCI CB is used extensively for pest control where one wants to keep a lower profile.
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    Subsonic ammo is anything loaded below 1,125 fps which is the speed of sound. If this will effect the performance of the round will depend on the kind of round. .45 ACP is all subsonic as I do not beleive they make anything that will push that fast. Something like .38 super would have to be downloaded a fair amount which most certainly will lower the balistic performance.

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    In the case of 9mm, standard loads of 125gr and lighter are generally supersonic. The 147gr load is generally loaded at 1,000fps or lower, so is subsonic (but there are supersonic +P loads for that weight, too).

    Generally speaking this is just part of the perpetual debate between light & fast vs. heavy and slow for bullet performance. (As mentioned above, there are applications that require subsonic ammo, like using a suppressor.) As far as I know there is nothing particularly magical about a bullet breaking the speed of sound. It is just a matter of higher velocity giving higher energy and harder recoil, so pick your tradeoffs.
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    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    just cuts down on one of the three sounds that come from a gun
    1. Gun's action
    2. Sonic Blast
    3. Hot air
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