What Is Subsonic Ammunition? 


Ammunition is made explicitly of ammo, so the round does not break the sound barrier. It is designed to travel at speeds below the speed of sound, hence the name subsonic.


That threshold is somewhere around 1,126 feet per second, so most modern rounds and loads break that barrier by default. The most common 9mm round ammo, for example, is a 115 grain round that typically sounds at around 1250 FPS.

Using Subsonic Ammunition for Home Defense


If you plan to use subsonic ammunition for home defense, it is necessary to understand the limitations of the bullet.


  • For starters, a slower round generally does more small damage than higher speed loads. That said, do not assume that submersible bullets cannot be decisive. 

  • In some calibers, such as Bulk 9mm ammo, 0.22, and 0.45 bullets, the charges are naturally subsonic. Despite this, the owners of these firearms know that they can pack a fist if necessary.


  • Most submersible bullets strike the right balance by using heavier bullets that maximize energy when traveling at lower speeds.


  •  Although slower than standard bullets, heavier bullets can have more stopping power because their controlled energy carries more force.


  • For example, the famous M1911 .45 ACP has been touted as "history's best handgun," and its 230-grain ammunition was traveling at speed, which was within the subsonic distribution of ammo. 


  • The larger, heavier bullet weights provided a solid and reliable pistol for service for decades.


  • Using pistols of this caliber with submersible ammunition can be extremely useful for home defense. 


  • Yet hunters are arguably the most outstanding use of submersible ammunition thanks to the ability of the bullets to reduce sound.

Subsonic ammunition is an excellent aid for hunters.


It's no secret that military special forces require subsonic ammunition to conduct their covert special operations. According to Pentagon officials, this ammunition offers "superior hidden capabilities and stealth," and hunters can benefit from these benefits. While subsonic ammunition greatly assists stealth forces with reduced noise when firing silenced weapons, hunters also benefit from subsonic ammunition.


Without mufflers, subsonic ammunition can be as loud as supersonic ammunition (faster than the speed of sound). Some ammunition vendors mistakenly state that subsonic ammo is much quieter, and without a suppressor, this is not necessarily true. With a suppressor, however, subsonic ammo becomes invaluable to hunters.


The speed at which a bullet move affects the cracking sound at maximum speed as it moves through the air. Supersonic charges break down the sound barrier, resulting in the resounding crackle that gun enthusiasts so enjoy. The subsonic charges travel under the sound barrier, and therefore the crackle will never occur. 


As a result, using a subsonic control with a suppressed weapon remains silent, thanks to the absence of a crackle in flight. With traditional ammunition, a silent weapon is not as effective as the crack will still make noise. For hunters, this can be the essential difference between scaring the game off and remaining unnoticed for a few more shots.

While subsonic ammunition is a huge boon to hunters, it is essential that hunters and gun owners, in general, consider the correct caliber of subsonic ammunition based on the reason for purchasing the ammunition.

Choosing Subsonic Ammo Calibers


 When choosing the best subsonic ammunition caliber and type, start by deciding if you need a pistol or rifle ammunition. Heavier loaded pistol cartridges are an excellent choice for home defense, and there are several excellent options to choose from, including:


  • 9mm Subsonic Silverback 135 grain
  • .45 ACP Subsonic Silverback 230 Grain
  • .40 S&W 180 Grain


The majority of these types of ammunition will be subsonic and provide heavier projectiles that can be helpful for home defense. There are also pistol caliber rifles that can also benefit from heavier rounds. 9mm Ammo rifles with long barrels can benefit from the heavier 158 barley 9 mm rounds. When equipped with a silencer, these rifles are effective when looking for more miniature games.


For a big game, look for a solid subsonic environment that effectively uses accuracy, silence, and enough damage to take on larger animals.


.300 AAC Blackout Subsonic ammunition is an excellent choice for this purpose. The "quiet" factor in these rounds helps hunters reduce unwanted noise while still enjoying the benefits of influential bands that expand upon penetration. The penetrating and developing ability gives hunters some room for their shots. If a hunter misses a critical organ a few inches, the expanding capacity of the ammunition will still cause massive damage.


With benefits like these, subsonic ammunition is no longer just for covert military ops. Subsonic ammunition provides significant services for a variety of uses and purposes. For questions regarding subsonic ammunition and our other ammo types, do not hesitate to contact us.