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The Plastic Castaway
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I'd be curious to see actual decibel levels of a .50 with and without sound suppression. I'm sure it's possible to dampen the sound, but I find it hard to believe they could make one "quiet". :) I'm not saying it's impossible, but it just seems like it'd be really tough to do and require a massive suppressor.

Here's another article on sound suppressors and it has a bit on a Barrett .50 saying, " .50 BMG-caliber Barrett M82A1 rifle equipped with Tac Ops Clandestine 50 sound suppressor. The sound signature of the Clandestine 50 has been likened to a sneeze. The Clandestine 50 also greatly reduces recoil and eliminates muzzle blast/flash"

Interesting

http://www.tacticaloperations.com/swatjun2001/index.html
 

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Unabashed 5.11 Junky
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Huh, there's some pretty interesting parts to that SWAT article. You'd think it would be a pretty specialized piece of equipment. I'm assuming that to reduce the signature of a 12.7 mm/.50 BMG round to the sound of a cough, you'd need to use a sub-sonic round. Using a baffle suppressor would slow the round down even further, and the whole point of using a round that big is to let all that kinetic energy transfer to the target.

In a LE Tactics application, wouldn't it be more practical to use a suppressed .338 Lapua or 7.62 NATO round? Am I out to lunch on this?
 

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wave man TDY staff
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I recall seeing a big can that had been made for the Ma Deuce, during the Vietnam war. HV rounds will cause a sonic crack as they pass subtantial objects/surfaces, but that doesn't give away the weapon's position. The tell-tale muzzle-crack and flash are reduced or eliminated with a good suppressor.
 

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Customizer
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I've heard it has been done, but .......
Like Pivot said, why ? use the .338, it's a lighter weapon, and the silencer won't break your back.
And there's the reduction of impact and range involved as stated here.

Maybe I'm wrong but to me the full effect of a .50 is the sound of the report a few seconds after the target flies apart... has a real shock effect on his buddies.
Of course if they have artillery support you don't want to be seen or heard, but if not and you take full advantage of the range of your weapon they won;t get close to you before your gone anyway.
 

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I've been Minimoyzed
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Not so much a problem where distance is an issue. The silencer is used when the target is closer, and the shooter is more likely to be noticed, as in an urban environment, or short distances.

Also helps when counter snipers are in the area, as the muzzle blast is reduced in noise and gas. Takes the bad guys longer to find the good guys.

In urban areas where the weapon is to be used as an anti materiel weapon, subsonic ammo is sometimes used. The round still has enough kinetic enegy to smash through walls, vehicles,barricades etc... but is reduced in noise with the silencer and the slower round. As that article said, in buildings it also causes the shooter to be less disturbed by their own weapon.

The Canadian Forces are using them on the McMillan TAC-50's. I have seen a training pic from Afghanistan of a sniper/spotter moving into position with one. Sorry for the small pic.

I had another magazine article as well, but my scanner doesn't work, so....
 

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WHAT?!! No cupcakes?!
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Late on this thread i know, sorry. But I had heard/read somewhere that an SOF unit was experimenting with suppressors fitted on the M82A1 but it was primarily to stop the escaping gas from kicking up a world of dirt making it next to impossible to have a clear sight picture for the following shots, not really being done to "silence" the report.
 
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