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From: (John Schilling)
Newsgroups: sci.military.moderated
Subject: Re: Are IDF soldiers using silencers?
Date: 6 Oct 2000 15:28:31 -0700

"Peter Shriner" <> writes:

>John Schilling <> wrote in message
>> The Israelis would not apply silencers to M-16 rifles used in crowd
>> control, presuming it were possible to silence an M-16 rifle in the
>> first place.  The Israelis would, however, apply muzzle adaptors for
>> firing "rubber bullets" or baton rounds from M-16 rifles used in crowd
>> control.
>> And inexperienced observers could easily mistake such adaptors for
>> silencers.  They are, ultimately, nondescript cylinders fatter and
>> shorter than the barrel of the weapon to which they are attached,
>> with the same superficial appearance
>> as a silencer or suppressor.


>Why is it not possible to silence an M-16?

The M-16 fires a (very) supersonic bullet.  The shock wave from the
bullet will produce enough noise to leave people in absolutely no
doubt that guns are being fired.

It is possible to suppress the muzzle blast, making it harder to
figure out exactly where the gunfire is coming from.  This is
sometimes useful, e.g. for snipers.  Not for riot control.  And
actual silencing is right out.

>Referencing the photo at:
> ,

>- Exactly how do rubber bullet muzzle adaptors work?
>- What's the function of the barrel extension visible in the picture?
>- Is the ammunition basically a rubber-coated spherical projectile in a
>  standard cartridge?

The M-16 is a 5.56mm weapon, which is too small a caliber for an effective
non-penetrating round.  If you fire a 5.56mm projectile slowly enough that
it won't punch holes through people, it won't have enough energy to do
much of anything at all.  It would be the functional equivilant of a
BB gun.

"Rubber bullet" rounds for the M-16 and similar weapons are steel spheres
half an inch or so in diameter coated with a thin layer of rubber or plastic.
They are loaded, singly and from the muzzle, into a cylindrical tube attached
to the barrel of the weapon, and launched by firing a blank cartridge from
the rifle.  Hence the device seen in the photographs.

Not as effective as a dedicated rubber-bullet-firing weapon would be, but it
has the distinct advantage of allowing you to fire regular bullets if the
crowd you are controlling turns out to be more violent than you expected.

*John Schilling                    * "Anything worth doing,         *
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