The Quiet Shotgun

The noise of a shotgun is disproportionate to the safety threat of birdshot. The "boom" from a high velocity 12 ga blast can be heard for miles on a calm still morning. But birdshot is only dangerous at close range.

The Quiet Gun is a legal solution to shooting and hunting in noise sensitive areas. The Quiet Gun is a lightweight extension (13 oz.) that progressively bleeds off high-pressure gas through a series of small ports down the length of the barrel (patent pending). The process is analogous to letting the air out of a tire slowly versus a sudden blowout.

How quiet is it?

Subjectively, the Quiet Shotgun is more similar to a pneumatic device than a conventional shotgun. It could be described as sounding like an air rifle on steroids.

How can you hit anything with such an awkward looking gun?

Capable Partners, a Minneapolis / St. Paul organization of physically challenged hunters has used a number of Quiet Shotguns. Don Helmecke, volunteer coordinator of over 200 Capable Partners goose hunts, said, "I was surprised at how many of the physically challenged participants overcame the additional length of the Quiet Shotguns and were able to demonstrate proficiency on trap and skeet. This leads me to confidently conclude that they will be highly effective at harvesting geese." Shooters with experience using the Quiet Shotgun have found they could successfully compete with regular shotguns at trap, skeet, 5 Stand Sporting Clays and duck tower.

Why subsonic ammunition?

Breaking the sound barrier generates a miniature "sonic boom" which adds "crack" to the sound of the gun report. Dropping below the speed of sound is an additional reduction in noise. Federal Cartridge manufactures special ammunition (Metro loads) that are compatible with the Quiet Gun (avaialble in target and goose loads).

How can subsonic ammunition be effective?

High velocity has been touted as the solution for more effective shotgunning. Modern high velocity shotshells are more effective, but one aspect of high velocity shotshells is not openly discussed. As a round ball is pushed at higher velocities, a greater percentage of the energy and velocity is wasted by the time it reaches the target. You could say, the faster it goes, the quicker it slows down. For example, #3 steel at 1250 fps is effective on ducks at 40 yds. To stretch the killing range to 50 yards, suppose the velocity is increased by 200 fps. The increased velocity at 50 yds is only 37 fps. 81% of the increased velocity is wasted. To get the extra 37 fps requires more powder, more noise, and more recoil.

The aerodynamic efficiency of a round ball improves by increasing the size or density. The subsonic ammunition used with the Quiet Shotgun is effective on Giant Canada geese by using larger payloads of larger size shot.

There is no "free lunch", however. The price to be paid is increased forward allowance. The forward allowance required on a passing 40 yd goose traveling 45 mph is 8.7 ft. with a BB steel at a muzzle velocity of 1300 fps. On the same goose, T steel traveling at 900 fps requires 11.1 feet of forward allowance.

Can a shooter learn to hit with a screw-in extension that adds 13 oz. and requires more forward allowance? The physically challenged hunters of Capable Partners have proven it is possible.

I have an inexpensive shotshell tracer (patented) that someday will make shotgunning easier and will clearly show the amount of forward allowance required. Stay tuned.

The Quiet Shotgun utilizes the screw in choke threads of a conventional shotgun. For gun ranges, a shortened (9 oz.) version is undergoing tests. This version of the Quiet Gun will allow shooting in areas under political pressure due to nosie.

We live in a more crowded world. As shooters and hunters, we are becoming a minority. Our options are to drive further to hunt and shoot or adapt. I chose to adapt and developed the Quiet Gun.

Other uses for the Quiet Gun are being explored. Rifled slug guns have been equipped with scopes and a number of deer have been taken.

I have developed a 2 oz. frangible slug for the Quiet Gun that breaks into over 600 pieces when striking an object. Ricochet tests have been conducted at approximately 2 degrees to a hard surface to prove that the slug is ricochet proof, even off ice. By using the frangible slug with the Quiet Slug Gun, a safe, quiet means of deer hunting is possible in crowded, sensitive areas. This concept is being field tested for deer removal by government agencies in Minnesota. The Quiet Gun is not ready for commercial production at this time.

- Wendell Diller, Inventor