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Thread: How noisy is the action on a semi auto?

  1. #1

    How noisy is the action on a semi auto?

    I'm interested in a .22lr for controlling the rabbits on my land. With large magazines and semi auto fire, the Bradley Arms .22 AR / Lantac type rifles look good, but having never heard one in action, how much louder due to the automatic loading action is one when compared to say a Ruger 10/22 with the rotary magazine or just a plain bolt action.
    For target shooting at my local club, the extra noise isn't an issue but hunting rabbits at night it could be.
    Which ever I get, it would be moderated, my .17hmr shooting supersonic ammo has a real loud "crack" which sends them running for cover, a quiet .22 doesn't startle them as much.
    Any advice would be gratefully received.

  2. #2
    SD Regular
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    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    The big "giveaway" with any rifle in a situation where stealth is required is not noise but movement. Thus the quest for the holy grail of a self-loading sniper rifle which only the Russians with the Dragunov really achieved. It is the movement of the right hand from trigger to bolt knob and back again that can give one away.

    I have fired some self-loading .22RF rifles with modern moderators. And some indeed indoors. The noise they make is not that great. As the feeding of the new round stops any idea that there might be a slam as the action closes.

    Certainly a bolt action turn bolt or a Martini action will in theory be the quietest of all. But again I'd choose elimination of that hand to bolt and back to trigger movement over and above any consideration of noise if you fit a modern quality moderator and not a bit of auld scrap steel tubing aka a Parker Hale moderator!

    The quietest self loading .22RF with a modern quality moderator (not P-Hale's auld steel tubing) was the BSA Ralock. As the action is entirely self contained and actually ejects INSIDE the action block of the weapon. This was virtually totally silent beyond a score of yards.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 24-02-2014 at 01:39.

  3. #3
    I'd probably prefer the sleek lines of 10/22 over AR-15 type, and 10rd factory mag should prove adequate. 10/22 and rotary magazines are usually as reliable as 22LR can get.

    Semiauto seems a bit noisier for the shooter but a bystander won't usually notice any difference. Beware though, brass is flying and may cause some issues.

  4. #4
    I don't like semis unless you have a LOT of rabbits to shoot and aim to shoot them like a Steven Seagal movie scene

    As far as movement vs noise is concerned I don't have a problem with cycling the bolt using the back of my thumb and extracting the brass manually (I don't shoot enough rabbits in quick succession and need to keep the brass off the golf course) with barely visible movement

    you can happily shoot several in a group with a very dim lamp and a good moderator

    but you could always use one of these:
    DIY .22 Brass catcher

    semis allow maintenance of sight picture which is more difficult with a bolt action.
    Thats the key difference IMO
    Last edited by bewsher500; 24-02-2014 at 10:19.

  5. #5
    IMO once you have made the move "down" (in sonic noise terms) from .17HMR to .22 the measurable benefits of one sort of action compared to another are very small, and likely to be irrelevant in the real world, where your own noise and movement will be key. So it will pretty quickly come down to whether you really need the extra magazine capacity etc.

  6. #6
    Using Subs and a decent moderator on my 10/22 Deluxe, (the one without the barrel band), left the noisiest thing being the 'clack' of the action cycling and hitting the bolt buffer pin. Fitting a replacement Delrin buffer has eliminated that, making it an extremely quiet and accurate semi-auto bunny basher.

    Plenty of 10/22 parts on eBay including bolt buffers from several resellers:

  7. #7
    Adding a moderator to a semi Auto increases the chances of a jam, more so if you are also using subsonic ammo.

  8. #8
    Thanks for your comments, much appreciated.
    I spoke to Mark at Bradley Arms this morning and he hasn't made any .22 versions for a while and probably won't until Summer, so I'll not be able to get one of his anytime soon. He was very honest and did say that not all 22 ammo will cycle the bolt and until fully run in I may find it fails to load sometimes.

  9. #9
    Using standard Winchester subs, cycling the action, failure to load correctly, or jams have never been an issue with mine. I strip and clean the action reasonably regularly, (and magazines less frequently) as it gets a fair bit of usage. Maybe I've just been lucky.
    Last edited by Orion; 24-02-2014 at 12:23.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    Adding a moderator to a semi Auto increases the chances of a jam, more so if you are also using subsonic ammo.
    can you explain this?
    I am intrigued

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