Author Topic: The sound a silenced gun shot makes  (Read 2887 times)

Offline tensen

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2013, 11:21:11 AM »
Depending on the ammo used, there is subsonic ammo that can subdue the sound to around the 60db level. (Probably also using a supressor.) 60db is about the level of your air conditioner running, heavy electronics, or a conversation. Perhaps you can work in some semi-realistic method to cover up the sound a bit by timing with another noise. At least it might not be completely obvious what the noise was.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 11:23:20 AM by tensen »

Offline Jana DeLeon

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2013, 11:31:16 AM »
Lynda - do you have gun ranges there? In the US (and especially in Texas), there are gun ranges you can go to where they have all manner of weapons available for you to rent and test. Until the Great 2013 Ammo Shortage, I went at least once a week to the range. It's great for decompression. But if you're routinely testing weapons for accuracy (as I am because I write law enforcement and CIA) then it's also tax deductible.  :)
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Offline Joshua Dalzelle

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2013, 11:35:21 AM »
Whatever sound it makes when the bullet leaves the chamber, the silencer does not suppress the sound when the bullet hits its target.  

Yeah... all the screaming could defeat the purpose of the suppressor.

Offline Soothesayer

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2013, 11:40:39 AM »
I think it was the Osterman Weekend flick that had a lot of silencers going off... loudly. Not AS loud as your run of the mill Glock of course, but still audible a half block away.

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2013, 11:58:49 AM »
In the office environment you describe, the suppressor can help if there's substantial ambient noise. An open window and construction outside or a train passing by, for example.

Don't put a suppressor on a revolver, however. Much of the noise comes from around the exposed cylinder.

Your readers might be more familiar with "silencer" than "suppressor." As always, be mindful of your readers.

I used "phoot!" in a couple of my soft-boiled detective novels. A couple of gun-savvy beta readers jumped all over it, but I think they were more interested in flexing their weapons expertise than making it a good scene for the typical reader.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 12:38:47 PM by Al Stevens »
 
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Offline swolf

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2013, 12:03:36 PM »
And completely off topic, but I blame swolf.  He brought up ice bullets.  (Plus, its swolf.  Its just fun to blame him for stuff.)

Hey now. 

Offline AnitaDobs

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2013, 12:12:35 PM »

1. Place pillow over head.

2. Push barrel of gun into it.

3. Pull trigger.

Done. Minimal noise. You're welcome :D

Offline TK aka BB

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2013, 12:20:22 PM »
Everyone hit all the major points that I was going to make, and I've been around guns a lot. Awesome job, KBers!

Why is all that WRONG info out there, anyway? Are our writing predecessors so lazy that they just made stuff up and hoped it would fly?

Also, you can't shoot a car in the gas tank and make it explode. Doesn't work.

On a somewhat related point, my husband took his first deer this weekend.

With an Infinti G20.

Major dent in savings, coming up. I better get back to writing.

Darned white-butted giant jumping rats. Makes me want to get a tag and take out my anger on 'em.

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Offline AnitaDobs

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2013, 12:23:02 PM »
On a somewhat related point, my husband took his first deer this weekend.

Poor deer.

I hope you at least eat it.

Offline Cheryl M.

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2013, 01:20:52 PM »
I'm positive this thread was started specifically to distract me from my work.

(Former competitive shooter. Gun talk is Cheryl bait.)

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2013, 01:29:40 PM »
I vaguely recall a short story (in the Hitchcock Presents series) where a woman killed her husband with a frozen lamb's leg. She then grilled it and served (part of) it to the investigating detective.

I was thirteen at the time so it made me laugh.










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Offline Terrence OBrien

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2013, 01:33:04 PM »
If the target is in an office, be sure he's sitting, taser him, and cut his throat.

I've always wondered if a gun could be rigged in a briefcase with lots of sound muffling around it. If the bullet had a clear exit path, the muzzle could be in the middle of the case.
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Offline SBJones

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2013, 01:37:30 PM »
A pistol with a silencer will still be quite loud, more akin to a muted firecracker than the Futt sound we see in the movies. It's one of the great distortions that Hollywood has created for the sake of making inane plots where nobody hears the shot more plausible. there are a few specially-designed weapons that are much quieter, like a russian handgun with special shells that was developed for the KGB, but most handguns are not going to be whisper quiet by any means.

Blake is right.  Silencers like you see in the movies are myths.  At best you can get a handgun or AR15 style rifle to sound about like a normal 22.  It won't have that ear splitting noise, but it still has a loud crack that anyone in half a mile can clearly hear.  Anything else really requires special sub sonic/low velocity/low gas emission ammo and even then a special silencer that only gets a few shots at best before it fails.


Offline thesmallprint

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2013, 01:38:05 PM »
Watch YouTube? Visit a range? Rent a gun? Hey, we're writers, make it up . . .

Campbell screwed the new Acme compressor onto the pistol barrel. He hadn't tested it, but he trusted the retailer and he liked the brand promise: "Guaranteed silence or we pay all your defence costs"


Offline Stuffeshead

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2013, 01:51:52 PM »
Watch YouTube? Visit a range? Rent a gun? Hey, we're writers, make it up . . .

Campbell screwed the new Acme compressor onto the pistol barrel. He hadn't tested it, but he trusted the retailer and he liked the brand promise: "Guaranteed silence or we pay all your defence costs"



Awesomeness.

Offline Danni

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2013, 01:58:40 PM »
Look it up on Youtube. I had to write a scene with this recently and did a little research, but I needed to hear it to be able to describe it.

Offline Jana DeLeon

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2013, 02:37:22 PM »
I vaguely recall a short story (in the Hitchcock Presents series) where a woman killed her husband with a frozen lamb's leg. She then grilled it and served (part of) it to the investigating detective.

I was thirteen at the time so it made me laugh.
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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2013, 03:06:18 PM »
Guns are strictly regulated over here in the UK. Other than an air rifle, I doubt I've ever seen one, but in my WIP I have to describe the sound of a shot from a handgun with a silencer fitted.

All I can think of is 'futt'.   :D

Help, please.

How about you sort of 'fudge it off' by having the character who's hearing the shots think that they're more muffled than he/she had expected, kind of like the stuff you see on TV where the shooter's gun has a huge gadget on top that's supposed to keep it quiet.

Like a few others have said, most readers won't know the difference between the sound of an air rifle (bee-bee gun in the US)  and an M-16.

Then, of course, there are the gun experts who can tell you what caliber bullet comes from what gun and how the rifling has marked that bullet.

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2013, 03:24:05 PM »
Just a couple of quick points (some of which have already been covered, I'm sure):

If your guy is a pro, call it a "suppressor" rather than a "silencer."  That's a more accurate term, as it doesn't really "silence" anything, just reduces the bang.

Don't suppress a revolver -- that noise comes more from the gap between the cylinder and the frame than from the barrel (there is an exception, but that's a rare Soviet-era revolver specifically designed to seal the gap between the cylinder and frame).  Don't suppress 9mm, or a .22LR, or any other round that goes supersonic; the crack from the sound barrier will be unaffected.  Don't suppress a blow-back pistol (Think OO7's  Walther PPK), as suppressed blow-back designs are notoriously jam-prone.

Best choice for suppression -- a projectile that is both big and slow, such as the .45 ACP (which also has the benefit of being a very effective round against close-range targets, and comes almost exclusively -- Hi-Point being an exception -- from locked-breech weapons rather than blow-back designs).  Even so, the noise will still be very noticeable unless the weapon is used in a noisy environment.
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Offline NathanHaleJefferson

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2013, 04:29:07 PM »
OH the knowledge in this thread warms my heart! I don't even need to go get my gunboard fix tonight!

I'll second the 'suppressor' verbiage and the don't suppress a a revolver mention.  If you want to have a 'pro-hitman-type' take out you would use a bolt action rifle with a sub-sonic bullet.

The most likely would be a sub-sonic .308 or .300 Blackout (the later was specifically designed for shooting suppressed and is very quiet).

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Offline DavidRM

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2013, 04:46:37 PM »
The movie "Three Days of the Condor" has just about every possible gun-inaccuracy. From a fully silent assault rife to a silenced revolver. Adds a layer of humor the screenwriter probably didn't anticipate. =)
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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2013, 04:54:33 PM »
Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

One of my more interesting teachers read it to the class in sixth grade. I still remember it.  ;D

Ha. Thanks.

Isn't that strange? I was of course very young and I read a few of those Hitchcock Presents one after the other. Still, just one story made enough of an impression to stay with me after all these years. At the time I didn't pay attention to who wrote the story.... and it turns out to be by an excellent writer.










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Offline WHDean

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #47 on: July 02, 2013, 06:02:57 PM »
A lot of good advice here. I'll add that it might be worth stepping back and asking why you're asking in the first place. For example, an assassin trying to shoot someone at close range with a .22 calibre pistol wrapped in a pillow isn't exactly plausible: he needs a head shot, so he either won't be able to aim (pillow in front of gun while approaching victim [insert laugh-track]) or the hammer will jam in the pillow when he pulls the trigger [insert laugh-track]. So a silent killer operating at close-range might be more inclined to use a knife or a garrotte...or his hands, like I do--wait, did I say that out loud?

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Beat me to it. :'(

« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 06:05:46 PM by WHDean »

Offline Edward M. Grant

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2013, 06:16:27 PM »
I've always wondered if a gun could be rigged in a briefcase with lots of sound muffling around it. If the bullet had a clear exit path, the muzzle could be in the middle of the case.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLq07Wf1GB8

Something like 30 rounds in 1.5 seconds, with a suppressor. Not very accurate, but it doesn't really need to be. And if people aren't looking in your direction when you fire, you may just be able to walk away.

As for suppressors in general, a .22 firing subsonic rounds from a locked bolt can be almost as quiet as the click of the hammer hitting the cartridge. The further you get from that, the more noise it makes.

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Re: The sound a silenced gun shot makes
« Reply #49 on: July 02, 2013, 10:10:15 PM »
Wow! Thanks for all the facts, figures, and info - most of which has sailed right over my head.  ??? Glad to have helped Cheryl with her 'fix'. No gun ranges close to me, sadly, and speakers on PC not currently working (note to self: nag husband to fix them so I can listen/watch youtube vids ;))

Ok, this is the scenario, changed to take account of your suggestions:

Girl victim sits at desk in outer office. Heroine/narrator in inner office (with window open and construction gang using jack-hammers, outside).
Villain, leaves large bag on stairs, walks up to outer office, shoots victim dead (through heart?), goes down stairs to bag, drops gun in it, then goes upstairs again and walks in office as if for the first time, and 'finds' victim.

Plausible? Risible?

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