Subsonic- or at least that is what it says on the ammo box. So, I can use sub-sonic ammunition to hunt and not scare away the herd with the load thundering BANG from my rifle.

Or is it?

Subsonic cartridges do make less noise than full-velocity cartridges, but there is still a BANG.

Keep in mind that the quitter ammo does not have enough OOMF to travel far. However, it does have its rightful place.

What is Subsonic Ammo?

The speed of sound is about 1127 feet per second at sea level. When moving object moves faster than that, and breaks that barrier, it creates an audible shock wave. However, most of the noise comes from the expanding gasses escaping form the rifle’s bore, and not the bullet itself. It is the noise from the escaping gasses that is the main problem.

Subsonic ammo does reduce the bang at the muzzle a little due to lower velocity, it will not make your centre-fire rifle’s BANG go “pew”. It is just one way to minimize the noise.

You can also invest in a silencer, which greatly muffles the sound of the escaping gasses. The best is to use a silencer together with subsonic ammo. This will reduce the sound of gunfire to a “pew” or very close to it.


Performance is notably reduced when using subsonic.

Is it powerful enough to hunt big game?

Is Subsonic Ammo Powerful Enough to Take Big Game?

A slower bullet has significantly less energy than a faster bullet at the same weight. Remember: MASS X VELOCITY2 =ENERGY

Example: a 55-grain .223 REM bullet produces 1280 foot/pound of energy at muzzle break, at 3250 fps.

If the velocity id reduced to a subsonic 1100 fps, it produces only 1500 foot/pound. So, basically, it almost turns a .223 into a .22LR. So you can see the difference.

The other reason is that the same energy that goes forward, goes backward, so when using subsonic, and the energy is reduced, the rearward energy is also reduced, which may cause semi-auto rifles to fail to cycle.

This is a reason why you hardly see subsonic .223 loads on shelves.

How to compensate for lost energy

More mass will allow you to compensate for less velocity like a bullet with a long, large diameter.

300 BLK subsonic 208-grain A-Max load from Hornady delivers 480 foot-pounds of energy from a carbine’s muzzle.

Because of this long bullet’s great ballistic coefficient of .648, at 500 meters it surpasses the energy of a full-power 55-grain .223 Rem., and nearly triple that of a .45 ACP, but does it with a softer voice.

That is reasonable performance at 5o meters if you hunt medium game, but is good for varmint at longer range where noise may be a problem.

Because the energy is reduced, the recoil is also reduced.

Subsonic Rimfire Loads are Best Balance for Hunting

Subsonic performs the best in rimfire rounds. A standard .22 LR performs at 1200 fps and 140 foot/pound of energy at the muzzle. The typical .22LR round travels at about 1050 fps with 100 foot/pound. It is evident that the noise is almost none, but it does not make a huge difference in performance of the bullet on the target.

Competition shooting with .22 LR

The subsonic .22 LR is more accurate because it displays 37 percent less wind deflection due to the disproportional increase of air resistance near the sound barrier. When you combine the .22LR with a suppressor, it becomes a very quiet small-game rifle.

All major ammunition manufacturers have a subsonic load. A round with velocity reduced to 1050 fps has a decibel level lowered to 68, which is almost half of the normal high-velocity .22LR load. Any .22 Short will produce the same result, if your gun can fire them.

Subsonic Disadvantages

Subsonic rounds may have cycling problems for semi-auto rifles or pistils due to the reduced energy, and hence not enough power to cycle all the way. If you use a single shot bolt- or pump action, you will be fine.

If you do fire a semi-auto and have these problems with subsonic, try Winchester’s M-22 Subsonic .22LR. It fires a 45-grain bullet at 1090 fps and is specifically designed for self-loading (semi-auto) firearms.

Subsonic Accuracy

Generally,  heavier bullet in the calibre works best because they retain the subsonic round’s energy better over distance. But, if your rifling twist does not spin the bullet fast enough to stabilise long, heavy bullets at subsonic speeds, a lighter bullet will provide better precision. I suggest you then experiment until you get the heaviest bullet your gun is happy with.

If you semi-auto rifle does not cycle these subsonic rounds by itself, you can still shoot it. All you can do is use it like a straight-pull bolt action rifle and pull the cocking lever back after each shot.

Important Note

It is important to note that bullet trajectory will differ greatly with subsonic ammo. Check your zero and test the Point of Impact out to 100m or more. When that is done, you are good to go.

Adjust Shot Placement for Hunting with Subsonic Ammo

Due to its low impact velocity, subsonic bullets do not expand very well in game. It will help to change the shot placement to hit bone. Aim at the shoulder, halfway up to the body. This will aid in bullet expansion and will destroy both lungs, but meat damage will be minimal due to the lower impact speed. If you miss a little high, you can hit the spine, and missing lower will cause a heart shot.

Expired Firearm Licenses: What to do

The Divisional Commissioner of Visible Policing and Operations Lieutenant MM Mothala has issued a directive on the implications of The Fidelity Judgement made by the Constitutional Court on 27 May 2022.

The good news is you do not have to hand in your firearm when re-applying for your expired firearm license.

How to renew my expired license

· DFO’s are directed to accept and consider the applications for new licenses submitted by firearm owners

· These applications will follow the same process as new applications for firearm licenses

· Applicants will have to physically present firearms with copies of the expired licenses to the DFO for inspection and validation

· A verification certificate will be signed by both the applicant and the DFO

For deceased estates and further guidelines for the processing of these applications refer to the SAPS DIRECTIVES, or contact us for more information.

View the SAPS Directive

Situational Awareness Course

Situational Awareness is defined as knowing what is going on in your immediate surroundings. From a criminology point of view, it would define as being aware of your surroundings; possible threats, potential criminals or attacks, places, people or objects you can use to your advantage, like cover and concealment, possible weapons, etc.

Victimology is the study of theories of victimization and the degree of risk a person has of becoming a ‘Victim’…because of his or her personal, professional, or social life. It further evaluates the Victim and gains intimate knowledge of the victim’s habits and lifestyle to provide reason why this particular ‘Victim’ was chosen at a given time and place.

To access the course, click here

Definition of victimology

1: the study of the ways in which the behavior of crime victims may have led to or contributed to their victimization.

When a crime is committed there are usually two parties involved: the criminal and a victim. Victimologists argue that the field of criminology ignores the role of crime victims and focuses primarily on the offenders and the types of crimes they commit. This course attempts to rectify this imbalance in the field by focusing on victims of crime. The course will present students with an introductory analysis of the field of victimology.

Victimology is a branch of criminology, which examines the nature of the victimization process; the relationships between victims and offenders; the emotional, physical, and economic impact of crimes on victims.

The field of victimology includes victim profiling, forensic victimology, and the scientific study of victims that focuses on their lifestyles, circumstances, the events leading up to the crime, and the nature of their victimization.

Focus of Victimology

Victimology focuses on the victim and the interpersonal relations involved before, during, and after the commission of a crime.

Victimology focuses in the victim who exhibits ‘common victim behavior.’

The study of criminal cases, criminal statistics, and identification of the causes and conditions enabling the commission of crimes indicates that many crimes are, to a certain degree, due to the behavior of the victims themselves.

This conclusion can lead to the development of special, non-traditional measures to prevent crime, directed at preventing negligent, risky, or provocative behavior by a person and in turn empowers the person to prevent becoming a victim rather than having to revert to physical defensive measures.

New forms of prevention may be established both to prevent “re-victimization” on the part of persons who have already been victims and to identifying and warning potential victims whose behavior and lifestyle create opportunity to crime.

Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness means absolutely nothing if you don’t know what to look for and how. In this course, we teach you how to Situational Awareness works and how it will save your life! With all the extra content on how not to become a victim, this is the best Situational Awareness course available.

Course Outcome:

This course will:

• empower individuals to Not Be a Victim

• empower Law Enforcement Officers by identifying potential perpetrators and preventing crime.

• Inspire Law Enforcement Instructors to teach fellow officers and communities.

• support mental health professionals who seek to engage in prevention, investigation, and intervention on behalf of victims of crime.

Course content:

  • The Crime Picture (Statistics.)
  • Profile of a Victim
  • Victim Selection
  • Profile of a Criminal
  • Criminal Modus Operandi
  • How do YOU become a Victim?
  • Self Defense (the Legal Side)
  • Requirements of a Crime
  • Proactive Lifestyle
  • Situational Awareness
  • Understanding Your Body’s Survival Mechanism (strengths and weaknesses)
  • The Criminal Planning Cycle
  • Counter Surveillance

What makes this course different?

We believe in providing high quality training at affordable prices because that way we can empower so many more people.

I am a trainer in Law Enforcement, Firearms and Specialized Tactical Operations in a country ranking no. 3 in the world on statistics on the most violent countries in the world. I have not only theoretical knowledge of criminal statistics and studies, victim statistics and profiles, Modus Operandi of criminals, but hands-on experience on how criminals operate. This would include organized crime, crime syndicates, opportunist crimes, car-jacking, and human trafficking. I also live and operate in one of the most violent cities in the world, according to some world renowned statistics.

I design and supply firearm training learning material. I am also a speaker and course presenter at International Law Enforcement Instructor Annual Training Conferences.

Apart from all this, I am a qualified and ordained Life Coach Minister, a qualified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, hold a Diploma in Criminal Psychology and a Doctorate in Theology.

Now, on this course, I bring you 30 years of experience in a short course, to equip to become a Hard Target in any country, regardless of whether you are law enforcement, a civilian, or therapist who deals with victims of crime. Therapists will understand Victimology better to empower victims in dealing with the aftermath. They will feel more empowered by knowing that they can be a Tough Target in future.

The course is Accredited with the International Shooters’ Network and approved by the International Accreditation Organization.

To access the course, click here

See you on course!

Dr. Francois Meyer (DTh)