Hunting with Subsonic Ammunition: The Ultimate Guide Hunting with Subsonic Ammunition: The Ultimate Guide
  • Discover the Quiet Power of Subsonic Ammunition: Subsonic rounds can transform your hunting experience with their stealth and precision, making them the perfect companion for your suppressor.  
  • Versatile Hunting with Subsonic Ammo: Explore the effectiveness of subsonic ammunition for hunting various game, from deer to hogs and beyond, ensuring a quiet yet impactful hunt. 
  • Choosing the Right Subsonic Caliber: Dive into the best subsonic calibers for hunting, including the popular 300 Blackout and innovative 8.6 Blackout, and find out which is the best fit for your hunting needs. 
  • The Benefits of Going Subsonic: Understand the advantages of using subsonic ammo, such as significant sound reduction, lower recoil, and less meat damage, enhancing both your shooting comfort and the quality of your harvest. 
  • Subsonic Ammunition, Your Silent Ally in the Field: See why subsonic ammo, paired with the right suppressor, is the ultimate choice for hunters seeking an ethical and discreet approach to taking down game. 

Table of Contents

Hunting with Subsonic Ammunition

Subsonic ammunition is ammo that moves slower than the speed of sound, about 1100 feet per second. This allows it to avoid the supersonic crack, making it much quieter to shoot. 

Subsonic ammo is ideal for use in suppressors due to its quiet nature and slow speeds. With the right platform, it can achieve mind-blowingly quiet results. 

The efficacy of subsonic ammo has been a topic of debate for some time now. You can use subsonic ammo for more than just a party trick to show off how quiet your silencer is; subs can be incredibly effective hunting rounds when paired with a silencer that gives you major advantages over supersonic ammunition. 

Can You Use Subsonic Rounds for Hunting? 

Subsonic hunting ammo is great for hunting most game animals in America, including:  

  • Deer  
  • Hogs  
  • Coyote  
  • Elk  
  • Bear  
  • And more!   


Subsonic ammo can be used for various hunting scenarios, from predator hunting to elk expeditions. 


Hunting subsonic bullets use heavy bullets, which expand on impact, to maximize their effectiveness on game animals to ensure a quick and ethical dispatching. 


Using a heavy bullet allows the projectile to be longer, meaning it can expand larger on impact than a lower-weight bullet. The added energy from the increased weight, paired with the large wound channel created by the expanding bullets, creates a round that is supremely effective for North American hunting. 

300 blackout subsonic ammo300 blackout subsonic ammo

Benefits of Hunting with Subsonic Ammo 

Using ammo that moves slower and carries less energy might seem like a disadvantage for hunting, but subsonic ammo has many benefits that make it a great choice for hunters across the country.  

  • Sound Reduction  
  • Low Recoil  
  • Less Meat Loss 


Sound Reduction  

The obvious benefit of subsonic ammo is that it is a significant one. 


Subsonic ammo is much quieter than supersonic ammo when shooting suppressed, so you can ditch the bulky and uncomfortable ear-pro without risking damaging your ears. Protecting your hearing is great, but that's not the only benefit of reduced sound.  


Suppressed subsonic ammo is quiet, so it's hard for animals to locate the source. Shooting subs can improve your ability to cull multiple animals in a single sitting. 


Here in Texas, for instance, where we have a huge problem with feral hogs, with a good silencer, good shot placement, and subsonic ammo, it's possible to eradicate pig after pig from the same group (called a "sounder") before spooking them. 


Low Recoil  

Subsonic loads use less gunpowder and create less energy, and thanks to Newton's laws of physics, you get less recoil. 


Shooting a suppressed subsonic rifle is very mild. There is almost no recoil at all, which makes shooting more comfortable and more accurate. Reduced recoil and better accuracy are good improvements for anyone, but they're particularly beneficial to new hunters, smaller hunters, and anyone who's recoil-sensitive. 


With the reduced recoil and near-total elimination of blast and concussion, suppressed subsonic shooting lowers the shooter's likelihood of flinching or messing up the fundamentals of firing a clean, accurate shot. 


You're already fighting against your nerves and Buck Fever; you don't have to fight your rifle. 


Less Meat Loss  

Supersonic ammo is very violent on target, creating a stretched wound cavity and hydrodynamic shock of the tissue. It does not disintegrate a deer like some TV hosts would have you believe, but if you've ever butchered an animal, you can see the bloodshot, damaged meat around the bullet entrance and exit. 


Subsonic ammo damages more like an arrow, where the damage is done by the projectile's mass and design -- not its speed. This means you harvest more meat and stock the freezer with a few extra pounds of venison or pork.

Best Subsonic Hunting Calibers 

Several cartridges are popular in the subsonic ammunition category, known for their low noise and reduced recoil: 


22 Subsonic Hunting Ammo   

The undisputed king of quiet shooting, 22LR standard velocity ammo is naturally subsonic and works reliably with modern rifles and silencers. 


.22 rimfires are the go-to option for most small game hunters, as they whisper quiet, void of recoil, and work well on a game up to the size of a rabbit out to a couple of hundred yards. 


300 Blackout Subsonic Hunting Ammo   

300 Blackout is the most common subsonic hunting cartridge and sends a 190- to 220-grain, .30 caliber projectile around 1,100 FPS. 


You can use subsonic 300 Blackout for deer, hogs, and medium-sized animals with minimal sound or recoil. 


The effective range for deer with subsonic 300 Blackout is about 150 yards for most shooters. 


308 Subsonic Hunting Ammo   

If you don't want to build a whole new rifle to shoot 300BLK, and you already have a .308 Winchester, good news! 


Several companies offer 308 Winchester loaded to subsonic velocities. It fires precisely the same projectiles at the same speed as 300 BLK. 


Subsonic 308 gives you all the benefits of subsonic 300 BLK but in a familiar platform. 


8.6 Blackout Subsonic Ammo  

The 8.6 Blackout fires a 250- to 300-grain, .338 caliber bullet at subsonic velocities and is effective on nearly any animal in North America, including deer, hogs, elk, bear, and moose. 


The 8.6BLK is optimized for silencers, keeping it nice and quiet with minimal recoil for its size and effectiveness. 


375 Raptor Subsonic Hunting Ammo  

If you want a step larger than the 8.6BLK, the 375 Raptor might be for you. 


It uses extremely heavy 350+ grain bullets traveling around 1,000 FPS to instantly dispatch nearly any game animal you may be on the hunt for. 


The 375 Raptor can be paired with most 45-cal silencers and sounds excellent when shot suppressed. 

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Subsonic ammo is the best way to get the full wow factor from shooting suppressed! No supersonic crack means super quiet, pleasant shooting that can give you the edge when hunting. Know your range to target, know your ballistic information, and make sure to use a quality bullet designed for hunting and you’ll be ready to quietly, confidently, and ethically take down game animals.