Best 9mm Subsonic Ammo BlogBest 9mm Subsonic Ammo Blog

Best 9mm Subsonic Ammo for Suppressors

Why Shoot Subsonic 9mm Ammunition?

You can improve your shooting experience with subsonic 9mm ammo because it does not create the sonic boom (aka “sonic crack”) unlike supersonic ammo, which does. Another benefit of shooting with subsonic 9mm ammo because you’ll reduce recoil, concussion, and sound. Additionally, when you affix a suppressor to your host firearm, suppressors greatly reduce the sound of the gunshot, however, the sonic boom can still be significant. If you eliminate the sonic boom by using subsonic ammo you can significantly reduce sound.


Subsonic rounds provide you with more benefits, in addition to being quieter, it will reduce recoil and make follow-up shots more accurate. Heavy 9mm subsonic bullets, usually 147 grain, are very common in competition shooting. 95% of the rounds shot at USPSA competitions were subsonic rounds using bullets heavier than 115 grain, with 147 grain making up 47% of the loads. Competitors also note that subsonic ammo seems to run cleaner in their guns as there is less powder being burned.


When shooting at longer ranges, subsonic ammo may be more accurate than supersonic ammo. As the bullet travels, it will lose velocity as the distance traveled increases, and becomes transonic (crossing from supersonic back to subsonic). This may cause you to miss or go off target at extended ranges, as this transition can destabilize the bullet in flight. Subsonic bullets do not experience transonic destabilization so they have a more predictable trajectory and deliver more energy on target.

What is Subsonic 9mm Ammunition?

Subsonic ammo is ammunition that does not break the sound barrier, usually around 1100 feet per second, achieved by utilizing a heavier bullet. Most common 9mm loadings and almost all centerfire rifle loads will be supersonic, meaning the bullet exceeds the speed of sound and creates a sonic boom. Using ammunition with a muzzle velocity of less than 1050 fps will ensure the bullet remains subsonic, despite atmospheric conditions. Avoiding the sonic boom that comes from supersonic bullets is one of the most important factors in shooting a suppressed firearm as the sonic boom makes up a large portion of the noise heard when firing a gun.

What is Subsonic 9mm AmmunitionWhat is Subsonic 9mm Ammunition

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What’s the Best 9mm Subsonic Ammo?

The best 9mm subsonic ammo for pistols and rifles could be manufactured by SIG SAUER and Hornady. For a subsonic self-defense round, Hornady makes a 147gr JHP XTP with a muzzle velocity of 975 fps. For training and general range use, a favorite is the SIG SAUER 147 GR Elite Ball with a muzzle velocity of 985 and has been lauded by customers as “great quality ammo.”  The American Eagle 124gr Suppressor 9mm cartridge is excellent for practicing and has a muzzle velocity of 1030 fps. When you're shooting a PCC, Seismic Ammo even makes 185gr rounds with a 950fps muzzle velocity made for suppression on longer barrels and an increased payload on hits.


As more Americans choose subsonic ammo, manufacturers are increasing their production to provide more good subsonic options. The way you plan to use your firearm is a good guide for which subsonic ammo is best for you. If you’re carrying hollow points in your everyday carry gun, shooting USPSA matches, or plinking at the range, there is specific subsonic ammo for every situation.

What’s the Best 9mm Subsonic AmmoWhat’s the Best 9mm Subsonic Ammo

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Shooting Subsonic 9mm Suppressed

You may be wondering, how you can make your gun as quiet as possible? Shooting with a suppressor is a key component to reducing sound and recoil. When you’re using a 9mm suppressor and keeping the bullet velocity under the speed of sound, you’ll be able to eliminate most of the noise and the loudest part of shooting a pistol or PCC. There is a dramatic difference when shooting with a suppressor and subsonic 9mm in a firearm, compared to shooting a firearm and using supersonic ammo. Subsonic nearly completely eliminates the harsh CRACK of supersonic ammo, it also produces less gas behind the bullet making it even more quiet. Subsonic 9mm with certain suppressors will reduce your hearing damage risk significantly. When you shoot suppressed with subsonic 9mm you’ll experience a lighter recoil, and it’s whisper quiet; making it an incredible platform for new shooters and those with a consistent training or competitive schedule.


Handguns are a great option to shoot suppressed and semi-automatic PCCs like the Sig Sauer MPXCMMG Banshee 9mm, and H&K SP5 are popular suppressor hosts.

Shooting Subsonic 9mm SuppressedShooting Subsonic 9mm Suppressed

Credit: @Shabani_Shooting


Subsonic ammunition can substantially improve your 9mm shooting experience. Subsonic rounds will reduce recoil, shoot quieter, and keep your gun cleaner than supersonic ammo. A “best all-around” favorite at Silencer Shop is the SIG Sauer 147 GR Elite Ball. Whether you're shooting pop cans with your buddies or competing in high-level matches, subsonic 9mm ammo with your suppressor will provide an awesomely quiet shooting experience.