New from SRM: “Silent Slug” Low Velocity, Low Recoil, Extremely Quiet Shotgun Slug

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The guys over at SRM have been refining their 1216 shotgun, adding in all kinds of new bells and whistles. Improved plastics for the magazine to prevent warping, better materials for the stock, and even a better design for the receiver will all be available this year for new buyers. But something they’ve been tinkering with more and more is their dedicated “less lethal” bolt — a drop-in replacement that will only fire “less lethal” low pressure rounds, and will split if a full power load is used (to prevent more than one round from flying downrange). After a session showing off their latest tricks to a team of special forces soldiers, the guys asked them to do something ingenious: make a lethal shotgun slug that’s quieter than a .22 caliber gun (even without a silencer) and won’t penetrate walls and still be lethal on the other side. So they did. And it’s going on sale soon . . .

The idea came around when they were playing with some bean bag rounds. The one-ounce projectiles are designed to incapacitate someone if hit in the chest, but the soldiers figured that a solid smack anywhere in the eye socket would be an instant and quiet kill — the low pressure round doesn’t produce a lot of gas, and a shotgun is fairly quiet to begin with. The guys at SRM figured that they could produce a 1-ounce solid lead slug loaded to the same pressure that will still cycle the “less lethal” action properly, sound just as quiet as the bean bag round, and the smaller diameter of the slug would mean it would have enough force to actually penetrate someone.

According to SRM, while these slugs are quieter and softer recoiling, another fringe benefit is that they are no longer lethal after passing through walls. I’m somewhat skeptical at the claim, but since we’re talking about a projectile with over a 1/2 inch diameter gliding through the air at only 300 feet per second I could see how a sheetrock wall would put up enough resistance to slow the round if not stop it. Naturally we’ll be testing that claim when we get some for testing.

If their claims are true, it could be a great home defense round. Not having to worry about over penetration in an apartment or a house is a huge benefit when choosing your ammunition, and the added benefit of being able to hear after you pull the trigger is huge. Plus, imagine how much more accurate someone who is small in stature (like a woman, or Tyler Kee) could be with a gun that has practically no recoil.

This could be very interesting.

comments

  1. avatar Mike says:

    “like a woman, or Tyler Kee”

    I see someone’s been playing tennis (nice backhand).

  2. avatar S.dogood says:

    sweet slugs for home defense

    1. avatar Rusty Shackleford says:

      I’d like to see the ballistic gel test with these. Two questions though: 1. When did SRM start producing reliably operating shotguns? 2. How many Soldiers/Marines/SOF operators actually use shotguns as a primary weapon, besides for door breaching?

      1. avatar Stuki says:

        As the state apparatus’ noose draws ever tighter, more and more of them will “need” weapons for quieter kills. Preferably ones also theoretically available to regular scary gun guys, for blame diversion purposes.

  3. avatar Lolinski says:

    Isn’t the point of the less-lethal bolt to prevent lethal rounds from being used?

    And I doubt a subsonic shotgun slug is quieter than a subsonic .22. Simply because the latter disperses more air.

    Sorry to sound negative, just my opinion (maybe I am venting, not sure?).

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      There are several inventors out there in the US who have developed “silent shotguns” merely by hanging a longer barrel on the gun. No suppressor required at all.

      The big difference here is the volume in the barrel into which the propellant gas can expand. In a .22 (or any small-bore rifle), there just isn’t that much room, and there’s a fair bit of powder involved.

      In a shotgun, you have a (relatively) fast-burning powder, not much of it, and a much larger volume opening up behind the wad. Get a barrel that’s 50″+ long, and your muzzle report from a shotgun is quite mild indeed from a regular trap load.

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        That I know, but this thing has a pretty short barrel and it is still one ounce (one sixteenth of a pound, right?) flying through the air pretty fast.

        1. avatar Stuki says:

          22s @300fps are substantially less lethal than 1oz 12gauge slugs. Even for point bank assassinations, a 22 needs to be driven much closer to supersonic than this hunk of lead. And, at least from long barrels firing light loads, the exit velocity of gasses are fairly closely related to the velocity of the payload.

          Heavy 45/70 hardcasts with little more than the primer driving them, are very popular hand loads serving similar purposes for civilians. These will, however, punch through drywall and still be less than pleasant to catch in the eye.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      Bean bag rounds are already pretty quiet. They make less noise than a supersonic .22 LR out of our Rem 870’s with 18″ barrels. It is possible that a close range bean bag round shot could kill given a shot to the temple or to the trachea. Bean bags lose their steam very quickly. A bean bag round can smash through a single driver or passenger side window when shot at a perpendicular angle and at range of about 60 feet or less. The round will lose enough energy passing through a single window that it will not pass through the next window.

      However, a one ounce slug at 300 FPS is good for only about 87 foot pounds of energy. While that could certainly be lethal, there are two many variables where the effectiveness of such a round would be marginal or non-existent under SD scenarios. I think such a round would have a hard time penetrating a good leather jacket and still delivering a kill shot given a .50 caliber 12 gauge sabot or .72-.73 ish cylinder bore barrel.

      It is still a concept that could be promising, but I would increase the velocity of a solid slug to about 450 FPS which would give it around 200 foot pounds of energy. Such a large round at slow velocity could penetrate through heavy clothing, but I’m not sure how well if would do in a ballistic gel test.

    3. avatar rosignol says:

      Isn’t the point of the less-lethal bolt to prevent lethal rounds from being used?

      Shot placement is king. Bad shot placement can make .357 Mag into a nonlethal round, or a ‘nonlethal’ rubber round deadly.

      1. avatar Stuki says:

        Below a certain threshold of ammo power, even well placed shots start having a very ,low probability of stopping someone. They might still kill if hitting someones eyeball, but that kind of theoretical trick shooting goes well beyond good shot placement. For “good shot placement” to have any useful meaning, it needs to include shots hitting the kill zone of normal training targets for the specie one is shooting at. The fact that unemployed, and hence too poor to afford centerfire rounds, native Alaskans have been known to kill bear by shooting them in the eye (unemployed -> all the time in the world to track) with .22s, doesn’t mean poor shot placement is all that is keeping the .22 from being a reasonable grizzly round. And ditto for bean bags and humans, honestly.

  4. avatar Mark N. says:

    I don’t understand the low pressure bolt. Won’t the regular bolt work just fine with the less lethal rounds?

    1. avatar Mike says:

      It’s a safety feature of what’s intended to be a standalone low-pressure, low velocity system. Similar to the mechanical restrictions in the Remmy 870 specifically made for TASER slugs. It’s a different color, and can only chamber the less-lethal round.

  5. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I feel somewhat vindicated: here’s a vendor who agrees with my “big mass, low(er) velocity, lethal effect” view on ballistics.

    Velocity disappears on the way downrange.

    Mass doesn’t.

    1. avatar lolinski says:

      Then do I have an idea that you would like:

      A gun that shoots bricks by using .50 BMG blanks, or a quad pack of .308 blanks. They will surely know what hit them (a brick, of course).

      No, I am not joking.

      1. avatar Robert W. says:

        talk about getting hit by 2000 ft-lb of bricks.

      2. avatar Stuki says:

        Or, even simpler, just be hit by a 30lb steel “slug” in the form of a recoiling .50 rifle….

  6. avatar Tyler Kee says:

    I’m glad I read every article on TTAG when it posts so I can catch catty BS from Leghorn as soon as possible. For the record, I have small, delicate hands. Thankfully, my man card is still in place from shooting a Garand at a carbine match.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      He’s just jealous of the fine motor control afforded by your ‘precise’ hands, whereas he’s lucky to properly navigate the abandonment barrel with his oven mitts.

  7. avatar The Best Chris says:

    If it wont penetrate drywall, it wont penetrate a person. That whole physics thing doesn’t dissapear because a vendor at a booth says some stuff.

    1. avatar SD3 says:

      Yeah, it’s lethal to what? House flies & small rodents?

    2. avatar bontai Joe says:

      I’m guessing that it doesn’t have to penetrate the skull to turn the brain inside into pudding. Baseball players used to get killed with a fast ball to the head, with no penetration. Not sure how leathal this will be on a perp wearing heavy winter clothes, like an insulated Carrhart canvas coat when shot in the chest. I’m pretty sure it will knock him down, but will it keep him down?

    3. avatar Paul G. says:

      It didn’t say it would not penetrate walls. It said it would not penetrate walls and still be lethal on the other side. So it is claiming to be lethal unless it passes through a wall. Big difference.

    4. avatar Robert W. says:

      Probably not very lethal, but extremely incapacitative. I don’t want to get hit in the head by something moving with the speed and size of a paintball, backed by 10x the mass and infinitely harder.

    5. avatar JoshinGA says:

      Exactly my thought. Because of which I do not want this product. If someone is deemed such a threat that you have decided to shoot them, dont mess around with low power stuff. Use the good stuff and make sure your angles of fire are setup right and practiced.

      1. avatar Stuki says:

        If that dude on the front page had the sense to cull his chosen teens with this thing, instead of making an obscene racket with a mini 14, he may well have been able to quietly dispose of all evidence without anyone being the wiser. Not trying to justify his killing of the teens or anything, but there is something to be said for doing whatever you choose to do with some minimal levels of competence. And honestly, in the big scheme of things, in the current environment, chances are much higher that a justifiable killing during a home invasion will be wrongfully decided, than vise versa. Hence, if you do need to kill someone, you’ll probably be better off making it an arrangement between yourself and the one you’re killing. Rather than involving the whole barrage of sensationalists, ladder climbing politicos and other yahoos who can’t resist rendering opinions on something in no meaningful way related to them.

  8. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    Just what I’ve been waiting for, a firearm that will come apart in my hands if I touch off a load of buckshot. Seriously, that’s a pretty small niche to try and fill.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Just the thing for Shannon and friends – a self-vaporizing shotgun.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    Sounds like a good option for home defense. Regular slugs seem like overkill in my little house.

  10. avatar John L. says:

    Mark N:

    Turn it around … If the person using the shotgun (cop, MP, etc) is supposed to be using less-(than)-lethal loads, the low-pressure bolt will break on the first shot, so the user can’t continue to violate orders.

    Re a regular bolt … While I can’t speak for this particular shotgun, I could see it causing problems for some semi-auto shotguns, eg a Benelli M2 inertia system that needs a certain amount of recoil to cycle the action.

  11. avatar Ben H says:

    So something like the old QSPR tunnel revolver but for modern shotguns? Sounds pretty cool if I’m honest, hearing safe slugs in a semi-auto shotgun could be ideal for home defense if they’re made just right. Wouldn’t mind a QSPR of my own either though… *sigh* a man can dream

  12. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This is intriguing. I wonder if a 1 ounce (437 grain) slug with a muzzle velocity of around 500 fps would be more useful while still being fairly quiet and producing minimal recoil?

    Then again, a golf ball sized rock hitting someone in the head at a mere 100 mph (147 fps) is pretty much guaranteed to be lethal. A 72 caliber slug that weighs 1 ounce (437 grains) isn’t that much different from a golf ball sized rock. And travelling at 300 fps, well I sure wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Refine that a little and you get a modern slingshot firing ball bearings. Also deadly at apartment-size ranges.

  13. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    My paintball gun shoots 300 fps at the field. I can only imagine the arc on these rounds. I am quite skeptical to the effectiveness of these rounds.

    1. avatar Buzzy243 says:

      Yeah, I was thinking about paintball too. I remember playing in an abandon farm house and walking my shots up a wall trying to get some paint through an attic window. It was more like lobbing than shooting. I don’t know if I’d trust the lethality of a slug that I could literally SEE flying through the air.

      Of course, at close range I wouldn’t want to take a couple gram paintball – much less a lead slug – to the head. But if you’re some HSLD Navy SEAL/Dev Gru/Delta Force/Ninja Assassin/Super Ranger operating in close quarters, non-permissive environments in the same room with a “tango” why not just stab the guy or break his neck or something? …maybe I’m not operator enough to understand.

      1. avatar seans says:

        Stabbing is a bad idea cause it is incredibly noisy, unless you can sever the spinal cord at the neck, which good luck doing that, and breaking someone’s neck is incredibly difficult. The amount of force needed to do it is insane, considering that trying to twist their head without there body turning with your movement is almost impossible unless the person is somehow restrained. If they need to kill somebody quietly they got either suppressed .45s or 300s for the job.

        1. avatar E. Zach Lee-Wright says:

          Noise is considerably reduced if you use a K Bar and penetrate a lung. Ever try to yell with a hole in a lung? It sounds like this…..

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        Works well enough for M203!

      3. avatar Mike says:

        Try taking out 3 bad guys across a room with h-t-h before they kill captives…

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Dracon1201,

      I believe these are intended for very close range, say 30 feet or closer. I don’t see these projectiles dropping much in 30 feet.

  14. avatar Jug says:

    Large, heavy projectiles at low speed are lethal!

    Just ask the bugs on my grill!

    1. avatar Stuki says:

      I’m parking my truck inside, for home defense, from now on….. 🙂

  15. avatar seans says:

    They made lethal suppressed shotgun shells back in Vietnam. People need to stop acting like they have invented something groundbreaking especially when they have no proof of a working concept.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      Of course we have working prototypes and obviously we didn’t invent them. Sort of hard to shoot them at the NRA convention, however. We will post video of them at on the SRM Arms Facebook page and ballistics will be available.

      1. avatar salty` says:

        digit… i like the idea.

        doesnt matter “why”, its america. its “becasue i can”. i really wish all the couch potatoes would stop dumping on stuff cause they too lazy too come up with their own original thought…

  16. avatar KCK says:

    What about the .50 air gun, same class??

    200gr 600 fps

    1. avatar Stuki says:

      Size? Weight? Cyclerate?

  17. avatar William Burke says:

    How does it “not penetrate walls” and still “injure people on the other side”? I mean, pray tell, how does that happen? In some alternate universe?

    Another weapon for cops, who really need more weapons to use against citizens. Whoopee.

  18. avatar seans says:

    Also saying that Special Forces soldiers asked for this sounds like a big red flag. Considering the size of that weapon, and that there is already plenty of smaller and less lethal and lethal weapons that are quiet, it makes me say bullshit.

    1. avatar Buzzy243 says:

      “Requested by a Special Forces unit” is like catnip for the mall ninjas who go to the range with multicam plate carriers and thigh holsters for their Hi-Points.

      1. avatar GuyFromV says:

        To be fair, I altered my tune toward Hi-Point (at least their carbine line) when I got the chance to try out one of their .45 carbines. They look like utter crap but they are under $300, work comfortably and from all accounts, Hi-Point will fix whatever isn’t right with a gun on their own dime even if you found it at the city dump put through a hydraulic press. Though sometimes it can be hard to tell with Hi-Points if, indeed, one HAS gone through a hydraulic press.

  19. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

    I already have one of these, it’s called a Tippmann Model 98 with a sleeve of ball bearings stuck in the feed neck.

    1. avatar rlc2 says:

      Nice! How big are those bearings, and what did they chrono?

  20. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    Shotguns are great because they throw a whole lot of lead with a whole lot of force. The two drawbacks are stout recoil and loud report. I applaud any effort to reduce either or both of those, but not at the expense of the whole lot of lead w/ force thing.

    When you start talking about reduced loads, then you’re defeating the purpose. When you start talking about less lethal loads, but which could theoretically be lethal, if you hit the bull’s eye or home invader’s eye, then you’re also defeating the purpose.

    On top of it all, in a semi-automatic of any type of firearm, I don’t trust reduced loads of any kind. I’ve just seen too many failures to cycle out of reduced loads, in 22lr’s and up. So, it’s great these guys are working on something and I do wish them the best. It’s just a very high hurdle trying to get all of a shotgun’s pluses while minimizing it’s minuses.

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I had put a lot of thought into this very topic and was thinking that something like a 270 grain, .45 caliber full wadcutter bullet with a muzzle velocity of 700 fps would be highly effective at close range (30 feet maximum range) and produce pretty much no recoil from a 4 pound carbine. And the report would be minimal coming out of a 16+ inch barrel.

    As for terminal ballistics, a hardcast lead wadcutter .45 caliber bullet striking a human target at 665 fps would create something like a 3/4 inch diameter hole through-and-through. If that doesn’t promptly incapacitate a human attacker, I don’t know what will.

    1. avatar Stuki says:

      360 grains @450fps or thereabouts will as often as not smack though both a car door, and the poor sod in the driving seat behind it. While staying very quiet from a long barreled cowboy gun. Which can hold 8 to 10 in the tubular mag….. And there are .458 molds for 700 grainers…… Which at 750fps will supposedly end to end a grizzly.

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