Effects of Sound Suppressors on Muzzle Velocity, Bullet Yaw, and Drag 2018-04-24

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Little has been published regarding whether and how sound suppressors impact bullet flight: velocity, bullet yaw, and drag. These parameters were compared for four different bullets fired from a .300 Winchester Magnum under four different muzzle conditions (no device and three different suppressors). While effects were not observed in all cases, results indicate that sound suppressors can have the effect of reducing bullet yaw and drag significantly, and can also have small effects on muzzle velocity. Results further suggest that bullets with a propensity to yaw demonstrate significant reductions in yaw and drag when shot through a two stage symmetric suppressor versus unsuppressed or with a conventional mouse-hole/K-baffle design.
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The big assumption is that every suppressor tested is concentric with the rifle's bore. That is a big assumption. A few thousandths off will skew the group size/impact zone, and thus the results.
I have worked with Dr. Michael Courtney of MIT on a couple of ballistics projects when he was teaching at the Air Force Academy. I believe that Amy and Elja are his wife and daughter. They do ballistics consulting work from Baton Rouge. He extended Don Miller's twist rule to cover tipped rifle bullets. His suppressor findings seem reasonable to me.

Jim Boatright
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