Weekly DTIC: US Silent Cartridges

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

While it’s somewhat well-known that the Soviet Union produced special-purpose silent cartridges for clandestine use, but less well known are US experiments in this area. In fact, the US developed several weapons, and several different types of ammunition, for suppressor-less silent operation (including silent shotgun rounds). The document we’ll be looking at today is accompanied by several other scraps of information available on the Internet, and is called Silent Weapon System Cartridge Design and Development. It covers post-war cartridge designs and their analysis. Supplementing this, we have a short history of pressure-sustaining cartridges available on Scribd ( an Overview of the Design and Construction of Pressure-Sustaining Small Arms Cartridges, by David Tucker), as well as a US patent for a pressure-bearing silent cartridge, pictures of the Silent Weapon System rifles on The Unwanted Blog, pictures of US silent cartridges at IAA Forum, and another DTIC document on the math behind silent cartridges.

Silent weapons are not my focus, and so I won’t have any commentary on these documents. If they interest you, though, they should make fascinating reading!

Nathaniel F
Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.

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15 of 21 comments
  • Batouman Batouman on Oct 13, 2014

    Reminds me of this KAC revolver rifle. Both captive piston and a suppressor.

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    • Guest Guest on Oct 17, 2014

      @Batouman Damn, the Fag-o-Matic 9000, it is real!

  • Bbmg Bbmg on Oct 14, 2014

    Did you miss the link for the main document?