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Cat Sneeze loads - silent without silencer

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by hot diggity, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey++

    Some talk about suppressors got me thinking about a subject I haven't fiddled with in years. Cat Sneeze loads for .30 caliber and larger rifles. It can be done in pistols as well, but I haven't tried that ...yet.

    "Cat sneeze" describes the sound the round makes on firing. This is accomplished with a heavy bullet and light powder charge. There is risk of squib loads leaving a bullet in the bore, so it's not for folks who just like to go blasting. I have loaded accurate loads for .32 Remington that are almost completely silent. Long action Remington model 8 just clicks, with the smack on the target at 50 yards being considerably louder. Whatever you whack with a 170gr or heavier bullet (especially loaded backwards) at even 500-600 FPS is going to have a big hole in it. Only reason I don't mess with this more is a little devil called secondary explosive effect, which can be a side effect of incomplete combustion of some smokeless powders. I pull a bore snake through the barrel after every three shots or so to keep me from getting jittery.

    Loading cat sneeze rounds is all perfectly legal, requires no government permission, and it's cheap.

  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Definitely a specialised load, for specialised, mechanic like purposes. (or stealth hunting) Best kept separate from other loads. In a location that has a fair bit of ambient noise, it would be nigh well silent.

    I have posted the following link for education and entertainment purposes only. Reliance on any information for handloading is at the users risk entirely. YMMV.

    cat sneeze loads using cast bullets

    The following video is included for sound comparison purposes.....and just a little amusement too. ;)

    Now, if I could only make my subsonic load catsneeze and fart....I may be on to something.
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Just a few questions. Do you chronograph your loads, and if so, how slow do you consider minimum or ideal or both?
    Do you prefer cast lead bullets for this? (BTW I recently read about a bullet lube that negates gas check seal when even using soft lead vice a hard lead alloy even at speeds of 1400 to 1600 fps.) If you are interested I will back check and find the article and post a link here. Have you used these on deer sized game? Do you use any type of filler packed on top of the powder prior to seating the bullet when reloading? I have experimented just a little with squib loads and I like cotton balls. In my experiments, I used 170 and 180 grain hard cast lead alloy bullets with gas check seals, light black powder loads of 2,3,4F with a bit of cotton ball tuft. I didn't have access to a chronograph at the time. I do now. I used magnum primers. My whole experiment was to see if I could come up with a black powder load Post SHTF for a .308 win. that could kill deer sized game and that was accurate.
    UncleMorgan and chelloveck like this.
  4. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    I been told that a .22lr shell full of powder behind a 00buckshot in a .30-30 case will make a good cat-sneeze, but I don;t know nothing.
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  5. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    X2, cotton balls, kapok etc. are the safe way to play when loading reduced powder loads.
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  6. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey++

    Thanks Chelloveck! Interesting data, and a great demo video too. Now I have enough rough data to keep me busy through next winter. Since I prefer loading for big bore pistol and rifle with cast lead bullets, this was just the push I needed to start experimenting again.

    I think it's important for anyone who wants to try this to be aware of the dangers of S.E.E. and the warning signs it can present.

    Surplusrifle Forum • View topic - The Secondary Explosive Effect phenomenon

    I had seen a guy shooting an FR7 in 7.62x51 that was using pieces of foam hearing protection to hold the powder against the base of the case. Very quiet loads. I wasn't there the day that it blew up, but it sure sounded like a case of S.E.E.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2016
  7. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A case of S.E.E. it and weep? :cry:
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  8. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey++

    Tacmotusn. Here's a few answers. :)

    When I initially discovered this it was an accident. I was trying to start with a gentle load for an almost 100 year old rifle and went too low. Never had them over a chronograph, and never shot anything but paper. They did group well. I shoot lots of light charges with cast bullets, and have gotten in the habit of rear settling the powder before the shot. No filler. I have seen squib loads with scorched powder balls in the case in a .45/70 and I switched powders to one that was sure fire without any rear settling.
    Lubes is an area where I use just about everything. I use JPW on rimfire conversions with soft lead heeled bullets and Alox tumble lube on most everything else. I have lots of flavors of lube for the lubrisizer, but usually stick with Lyman Alox stick lube because that's what's been in it forever and it works.
    UncleMorgan, tacmotusn and chelloveck like this.
  9. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Plain old uncooked grits make a good case filler. A lot of the BP guys swear by it.

    I like that cat-sneeze load. That's Sly Tech.
    chelloveck likes this.
  10. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Thoughtful of you to feed 'em while ya plug 'em. (y)
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Diet food. I shoots 'em tills they diets.[gun]
    chelloveck likes this.
  12. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey

    I played around with reduced loads quite a bit, years ago. Main problem was the change of the point of aim from your regular loads. That could be overcome if you dedicated one gun to that load, but became more trouble then it was worth as far as I was concerned. Just depends on what your looking for.
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