While reviewing the YHM Turbo-K, I was grabbing some .223 and 5.56 from my stash and saw my box of blank ammo. I’ve had two types for years: grenade launching blanks and Hollywood blanks. The latter are designed to provide all of the flash and most of the bang of an actual gunshot, just without the projectile. Curious if they’d suppress like a normal round of ammo, I grabbed some and hit the range . . .
First, unsuppressed. 10/10 flash: highly recommended. It’s strange to have all of the flash of a full-on 5.56 NATO and maybe something like 50% to 75% of the noise, but with fully 0% of the recoil and almost none of the “whump.”
The bass or concussion of the gunshot was almost entirely missing, though the loud pop and bang was still there. Basically, it lacks the “uncorking” thump since there’s no projectile to cork up the barrel. Without those extremely high internal barrel pressures followed by the instantaneous pressure drop and gas expansion when the bullet leaves the muzzle, much of the whump and low-frequency boom was absent.
Even with hearing protection, though, it still sounded like a gunshot and was clearly much too loud to shoot without ear pro.
I threw the Turbo-K on and took a few shots. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t enough backpressure to cycle the action — not even close. You’d need a blank firing adapter and possibly a lighter recoil spring and buffer weight. But I’m not shooting a movie, so it didn’t matter.
In the YouTube video at top, even at just 24 frames per second, it’s apparent that the blanks still provide a nice little tongue of flame out the muzzle end of the Turbo-K. Just right for Hollywood.
On the other hand, it isn’t exactly “Hollywood quiet,” but is closer to what a suppressed gunshot should sound like. Something like subsonic .223 with more gas, but without any uncorking sound. No supersonic bullet crack, no thump, no action cycling noise.
Thanks to all of that extra gas it still sounds more like a suppressed, full-power gunshot than a suppressed, subsonic .223 or .22 LR round does. The sound lasts longer and there’s more hiss and pop and snap.
If a suppressed subsonic .223 is a “1” and a suppressed supersonic .223 is a “10,” I’d put these Hollywood blanks at about a “3.” Three times louder than a suppressed sub round, but a third as real sounding as a real round.
So . . . now we know. Finally.