Prepping: Silent Weapons & Stealth

I’ll be first to admit it:  Most of our “weapons” (*for property safety and self-defense) make a lot of noise.  Lots of noise.

While it’s true that noise isn’t all bad – people a mile away can hear you’re armed with some heavy long guns – it’s also not always good.

A bit of thought brings several situations to mind where excessive noise is a bad thing.   Still, long guns have their place.

For one, a loud gun will scare off any nearby game.  A gun will scare off deer for up to a quarter mile, and sometimes more.  Depends on the herd, past harvesting in the area, and so forth.

Other times, scaring off other animals (wild hogs come to mind) may not be a bad thing.  In “peace time” if you are just reducing an infringing population, the trick is to get into an advantageous position (e.g. high ground and down winds) and shoot from the  outer animals toward the inner.  Theory is more time on target, but hogs are surprisingly fast when motivated.  Bump firing long-gun skills are only useful in close quarters when you’re reduced to “spray and pray” tactics.  Being charged by wild hogs qualifies. The rest of the time, “one shot, one kill” is the motto.

In a “survival situation” things like automatic weapons may be useful in the urban setting in a many-on-many but once the ammunition supplies dry up, there’s nothing like a practiced eye.

To be sure, there are ways to reduce the report from a long gun, but these involve silencers.  There is a group you should be aware of, if you intend to have a suppressor:  The American Suppressor Association website will give you a lot of background on suppressor use and licensing.  Main thing is a BATF background check and a 8-10 month waiting period.

Moving down the “quiet weapons” hierarchy, the next stop would have to be throwing slings.  These take a while to use – and even longer if you want any level of accuracy.

These were the original sling shot.  The one written up in the Bible for taking down Goliath would not doubt be a collectible.  But there are plenty for sale on Amazon if you look up “shepherd sling” as your search term.

A few application notes, though it’s been 30+ years since I used one effectively:  First you need to select a decent rock size.  My preference was always for about a 1″ well-rounded river rock.  These are good because their release tends to be even which improves accuracy.  Rough rocks, 1″ crushed rock will do a lot of damage on impact, no doubt.  But the release is less sure.  What’s more, if you do a long of slinging, using the rougher rocks, it will start to wear on the pouch.

Which gets us to several pouch varieties.  Hard to improve on the leather style.  While the paracord type are good in a survival setting, few have the patience to wind up a new pouch out of paracord.  Paracord for the “string” part is fine, don’t misunderstand.

For hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, a paracord version would be fine, but don’t count on taking out a Goliath sized bear.  There’s just some things where a stout short-gun with big grain hollow points is still the best choice in close.  A Barrett 50 (M82) with a scope at 300-yards is more prudent.  Care to guess who isn’t impressed by Chicago and doesn’t like “bears?”

Practice in a light shirt.  When you think you’re any good at it, put on a light jacket.  Humbling, that.

Slingshots, of the more modern type (see slingshots on Amazon) can be made, but only if you happen to have a well-preserved bunch of 1/4″, or so, surgical hose.  Otherwise, rather than trying to whittle a masterpiece from a tree, it’s more time-efficient to buy off-the-shelf and call it good.

Choice of ammunition for slingshots is all over the place.

My favorite (back in school days which was half a century ago and then some) we’d use clear, plain marbles like the kind use in the bottom of fish tanks.  If a particular delinquent were to shoot out a window (plate glass or car) using a glass marble made it nearly impossible to find any evidence.  The marble would shatter and be mixed in with other fragments.  (I never actually did this…just heard about it…ahem…)

Rocks are good, but with the same restrictions as a shepherd’s sling in terms of wear.  River rock, 1/2″ or so, is good.  If you get down to pea gravel size, though, irregularities in the rock tend to make them fly off in odd directions.  I have the same problem with golf balls, too.

Ball bearings are great, predictable, and useful for small game.  Steel, 3/8th’s inch (like $20-bucks worth of 1000 Qty 3/8″ Inch Steel Shot Slingshot Ammo Balls from Amazon) is good for game.

If you’re more environmentally concerned, try the hardened clay balls (like 3000 pieces of LuckIn Slingshot Ammo Ball, Slingshot Clay Ball 3/8 inch, Slingshot Clay Ammo Biodegradable, Soil Color) works.  In terms of prepping, though, you’d go with either marbles or steel.  I don’t think clay would store indefinitely, and I sure wouldn’t pick clay shot for hunting in the rain.

If you still haven’t gotten something silent and deadly, maybe we need to fall back a fit.  The Amazon crossbow selection is surprisingly good.  Again, though, items you’ll want to get spares on include the trigger either as an assembly or critical parts, a few spare strings, and as many bolts as you can afford.

In a real survival situation, the way to  not lose bolts is to shoot at things on the ground so you can find the missed bolts after.

And the same thing applies to hunting (conventional and compound) bows, as well. Compound hunting bows are not as “sportsman like” or “arty” as a Mongolian recurve.  But if the object of hunting is to put meat on the table, something with a sight and lots of arrows (with killer points) is the answer.

A serious caution about hunting points:  I have cut myself more than once (slow learner, maybe?) on the 3-blade razor sharp arrowheads.  If you plan to take real game (like a deer), something with 300 FPS speed and several packages of heads like Sinbadteck Hunting Broadheads, 12PK 3 Blades Archery Broadheads 100 Grain Screw-in Arrow Heads Arrow Tips Compatible with Crossbow and Compound Bow (Black).

ALL OF THESE SHOULD BE KEPT UNDER LOCK AND KEY.  Same as you would any other weapon.  We subscribe to the idea that weapons don’t kill people, people kill people.  But why leave  the “tools to do it” laying around?

With hunting season on, we’re pleased to be surrounded by neighbors who are very selective in their hunting.  One or two animals per season.  The animal herd in the yard, though, has been declining over the years.  From 16-20 animals at its absolute high (2003)  down to a half-dozen, or so, lately.  Still, that’s a lot more survival food than you’d find  after the power’s been off for a few weeks in the city.

Write when you get rich.  Practice safety and lock ’em up.

49 thoughts on “Prepping: Silent Weapons & Stealth”

  1. I am lucky in that I can hunt just by walking out the door. Yesterday I harvested a nice fat little buck that will go into the freezer. I’ve hunted all of my life, and have been surrounded by others who hunted as well for much of my life. Last night while cooking up some fresh deer liver the thought dawned on me that I currently have no one I can talk ‘hunting’ with any longer. None of my regular acquaintances these days hunt! Lots of discussion about golf, but I don’t golf. I hunt. Things surly have changed.

    • Can’t speak for all, but riding 18 and a long stop on the 19th is more appealing to us of’s than tromping around lugging guns in the cold and wet.
      When Walmart and Brookshires run out of beef, we know what to do. But, meantime, its wild hog and possum removal

      • I recently purchased a used live-trap off CL, $35.00. The guy I bought the trap from told me opossums are “good”. He said they do clean-up and generally don’t carry rabies like skunks, raccoons, etc…

        This trap trigger mechanism works great. I’ve toss peanuts in and catch Blue Jays if they walk across the trigger pad.

        On the darker side, sometimes I catch Mr. or Mrs. Squirrel. I’ll keep them trapped until late at night when Mr. Screech Owl comes. Owl screeches are scary. Then I turn the squirrels loose. Did you ever see the movie, “Warriors”?

        Suburban entertainment.

  2. George, if I remember correctly, you have a QB 78 CO2 rifle. well I am a PCP addict. I have a elec. pump that pumps up to 4500 psi. my guns use precharged pneumatic, or PCP air . The best part is you can legally use a suppressor on them without a need for government permission!
    You can get them low powered for shooting mice up to high power for hog slaughter. I do not like Chinese or Turkey built guns, my current favorite is a little Zbroia Kozak .22
    Forums in USA I like are
    PCPs can be loud without a suppressor,,,like popping a balloon but louder, but mine are so quiet, that the pellet hitting the target is louder than the report, mice fart quiet

      • you can find hunting gates in the links I gave above and here is a sample of what is on u tube
        and that is with a mid power Brocock .22

        Jefferson State Air Rifle up in Oregon are making some rifles you can order barrels that are made for slugs at higher power. The Raptor

        Jefferson State, now that is some interesting politics, anti Cali.

      • You do know you can buy .45cal and .50cal air rifles, right?

        The Umarex Hammer PCP air rifle (release: 3/2020) throws a .50cal 336 grain “pellet” at nearly 1000fps w/ 700 lb.ft. of energy, and also shoots arrow bolts.

        OR for really stupid stuffs, there’s the Seneca Wing Shot II (1130 fps smoothbore, comes with a scope, bipod, a big box of shotshells and a filled 6-bolt rifle-mount quiver.

        Check out pyramidair or airgundepot…

      • You can use an airgun.. the lewis and clark expedition used them. I contacted relatives to see if it was in someone’s closet.. unfortunately it’s at the NRA’s museum..

        I got one just to say I shot one..
        A beautiful gun .. I use to get a chuckle.. out of the thought of two old guys sitting around a camp fire.. lewis.. it’s your turn to pump the gun up lol

      • dam I can’t find it.. it was made by beeman’s.. nice gun.. love it.. what I did find is a double barrel 12 guage air shotgun though.. I am ordering it LOL

  3. For you out there who are against legalizing drugs please take a hard look at what just happened in the Mormon community just south of the border. Don’t think our law enforcement can protect, consider the 150 rounds the cop that arrested El Chappos son got, One of these days the druggers will find the tactics that have worked in the latin American countries will work in the USA.

    • I wonder what effect a 50 mile “DMZ” along the border, and liberal shoot-down rules, might have on squashing the drug trade. Immigration points would be well marked…

      • …Problem is, there will always be a BP agent somewhere who’ll develop a case of “selective blindness” for a 6- or 7-figure vacation fund — lotta money, but “petty cash” by cartel standards.

    • Anon.. I’d love to know just how much the cartels are donated to keep them from legalizing a half trillion dollar business.. my guess a substantial sum..

      To think it all started with a billionaire and his sawdust and toilet paper lol lol

  4. “If you look up “shepherd sling”

    I bought one for my grandson.. he shoots arrows with it and is a very good shot.. he wanted to ho deer hunting with it..

    For myself I dont need a gun or arrow .. I use my bare hands..
    I’m good to.. I once got three turkeys at the same time.. the I do have to admit I dropped one getting it in the cart..and the store frowns on anyone bringing in a gun…
    Lol lol lol
    I have hunted and I have trapped unfortunately I dont have the heart to harm another creature. I know where my food comes from and I have the guns and traps in the event i am forced to..but until then I’ll get it from the store already frozen..

  5. I keep my 9mm, 16 round mag, pistol strapped to the headboard in a holster with a round in the chamber. I can draw, release the safety & fire while laying in bed. Locked up & unloaded weapons aren’t useful for home defense. Most times you will only have seconds to react. The invaders will come at you fast & furious to panic you. But if you are locked & loaded, you are ready to fire, no thought involved. Just remember to hold your breath during firing. Also, if you have to fight your way to your pistol, a tactical pen or pepper spray is good to have on your person.

    • The Zebra 400-series and 700-series ball points feature tempered stainless steel barrels, and are excellent ink pens…

      The best home defense firearm is a pump-action shotgun. The sound of the slide jacking, is one which probably 7bln people recognize, and it garners both undivided attention and instant respect. My mag is loaded with one round of #12 shot (the “warning shot”), followed by alternating rifled slugs and buckshot.

      25 years (or so) ago, I was on my computer, late at night (~0330) betatesting software, and had a red laser hit my ceiling, then drop to my head. I rocked my office throne back and somersaulted to my feet when its back hit the floor — grabbed the shotgun and bolted out the front door, racking the slide as I hit my porch. It was my ~30yo nephew, with a laser pointer, who thought he’d be cute. He was crying and wetting himself when I put the spot on him. He did not get invited in, and I trust, learned a valuable lesson…

    • NC.. curious how do you make your 9 mm casings.. I get how to make the magazine.. do you turn them on a lathe or do you have a mold to cast them in

  6. I’ve got 10 acres of woods behind my home (not the owner), and I can tell you that many acres can hold ALOT of deer. We see them in clusters walking across our back yard often, just several yards away from the dining room windows. Last night, I had to make a run out and on my way down the drive were 4 or 5 deer, just hanging out by a landscaped area. Trust me when I saw all parties involved were surprised and dumbfounded to see each other at THAT time of evening.

    I think I’ll put some salt blocks at the backside of the yard this year in an effort to keep them from the driveway area again. Btw, I don’t personally hunt, but I have no qualms with it. I guess this would be my way to keep something on hand if things went horribly wrong in the future.

    • The problem with all the new “gentlemen ranchers” moving out to all the 10 and 20 acre “ranches” in our area is that they think they can go pop off all the rounds, high power or less, they want as if they won’t go beyond their fence line. If you live on one of these places PLEASE be sure of your target and what’s behind it regardless of whether it’s trees or a mountain. The Shooter’s 10 Commandments are just that, not suggestions. Slugs AND shot have a range farther than 20 acres in any direction which means you can find yourself back in town in a much cheaper residence faster than you can say “Oh sh**”. Not too long ago I was able to take a leak facing any direction on our multi-section ranch. Now I have to think before I do anything in just about any direction. Talk about being “triggered”.

  7. George,

    Good topic for a Sunday morning. Silent weapons can be used for myriad purposes. I agree that they can be used for harvesting game and they can be deadly to humans in used improperly or skillfully, but they can also be a highly effective teaching tool.

    On my first trip to Iraq in early 2003, some of the bolder local types quickly found out the limits of our rules of engagement. Some people, kids mostly, thought it was great sport to pelt us with rocks because they knew that we wouldn’t fire on them. I’ve never been one to shrink from a fight and I definitely do not like getting hit with rocks. I took one to the right knee outside of Ramadi one day and I decided that enough was enough. I made contact with the homefront and had a ‘wrist rocket’ and ball bearings shipped over. Once I received my package, I spent quite a bit of time practicing around the AO. After that, I carried the ‘non-lethal’ components with me on every mission. The next time I went past a rock throwing group I’d light them up with as many high-velocity ball bearings as I could. Those jerks in Ramadi learned quick. Effective and entertaining.

  8. As often, George, you triggered my memories. As a kid I made my own sling out of blue jean denim (legs from cutoffs), paracord, needle and thread. Got pretty good at it after practicing. Had my Dad save his cut and dinged golf balls for me, perfect size for sling practice. Setup, throwing motion, follow through. Think Nolan Ryan with a six foot long arm. Pure physics. Fun, too.

  9. I once had a coworker who was a “loud” prepper. We once had a hearty conversation and he talked about how he bought gold coins, had several guns, and was ready for when the SHTF. I asked him about his motivations, where he lived, whether he practiced with all of the weapons or just a few… He asked me about my plans and I told him I had one gun with a full magazine. He laughed and asked me if I was serious. I reminded him that I now knew where he lived and that time would be on my side. We became good friends.

    • As the old Cuban folk tale says “Never count your money in front of the poor.”

      Anyone who reads this site knows that there is much on the prepping side that doesn’t get talked about here. Just wouldn’t be right. Although with one coup in progress, seems defending the Constitution might come back in style.
      Main thing is for anyone who preps, keep the important stuff “in the family.”
      And remember the opposite of the old pirate saying is true too (dead men tell no tales). Upside down that’s “live people talk all kinds of shit.” And anything that’s true can and does get people into trouble.
      You mouth will get you into more trouble than it will get you out of….true then, true now./

    • A “loud prepper” is a hobbyist. They’re a showboat, and not serious.

      When I was doing the security thing, I would design camera arrays which covered everything, sometimes stealthily and redundantly. My instruction to the owner or manager was to let everyone, employees, customers, clients, etc. know (s)he had video security, but to never, EVER tell anyone how many cameras there were or allow ANYONE to see the video console.

      With prepping, you never, EVER tell anyone what you are prepared for, or how, except generically or in generalities. My kids don’t even know my level of EOTW preparedness. They think “Dad’s getting eccentric in his old age.” They don’t know I was, what is now called a “prepper,” when I was in college — not because I believed in any doomsday prophesy or some such silliness, but because it just made sense to me (also, my GF’s best bud spent 3 days in a ditch with his car under 12 feet of snow, a few months after we began dating. THAT was an “eye-opener!”) They just know: If the power goes off, the car won’t start, the radio’s dead, the cellphone either doesn’t work or can’t find a cell, and the computer or game console crapped itself, they are to meet-up at a certain place and have a limited amount of time to get there.

      Everybody talks, some people to sound important, some just to make idle chatter. If I earn a bullet, or an axe in my skull, that’s one thing. I refuse to meet such a fate through anyone else’s carelessness or stupidity, and yes, if we have a protracted “grid hard down” it will get that bad, and will do so within days…

      • “you never, EVER tell anyone what you are prepared for,They think “Dad’s getting eccentric in his old age.”

        Everyone thought I was nuts.. put up a can or two of beans.. but then I went through hell.. and it wasn’t fun. you have never done anything until you have been on foot and have to walk fifteen miles in winter without any winter clothing.. or scrape grain up and beat it to a crude gruel for nourishment.. I bend over to help those in the same boat to.. even though I am probably the poorest one that reads urban survival..
        what do you prep for.. for change.. it could be the loss of income or a job.. now I have people ask me how they should start.. I believe in the prepping for the community not me..its community and the labors of all that can rebuild society.. I get a chuckle out of all the modern preparation tools LOL yup.. or I dont think I can make it here so I will prep for five hundred miles away.. LOL read some of the journals at BYU of the pioneers searching for the promised land.. oh about the journals of the donner party…
        How many have taken Codi’s courses.. great guy knows his stuff.. give them a call.. take a course and learn something.. of course he teaches only for the South west..
        for the upper states.. check out sigma..
        Laura is a great gal I only know one other on the teachers.. nice kids know their stuff..
        I am not sure if she teaches or not but Kellie Nightlinger.. is great I will ask her though.. she has been wild game hunting in some remote area’s..those are who you need to be talking to..
        I think it will happen in a wave.. up down up down.. in and around a will last for a while.. but without manufacturing we are screwed

      • I forgot cody Loundin’s primitive survival schools address.. nice guy.. really knows his stuff..
        Thank god for laura zeer shes a sweetie and knew right where I should go to buy some stuff I couldn’t find..
        So is kellie.. the girls are masters at primitive hunting.. but if you want to make a primitive bow theres totally a different person
        That would be Billy he doesnt teach though..does it for fun..

      • Puma cabra is super to..hes a master at primitive she making.. besides knowing the ways of the wilderness..

  10. After the balloon goes up, I imagine anything that breathes will become food after awhile, to include people in time. I live in a suburban area with lots of deer. All of my neighbors consider them a nuisance and try to ignore them. I feed them in my backyard (cheaper than replacing the flowers and bushes…) and try to keep tabs on where I see the herds when I’m driving around. The key to survival is knowing what to do.

    With all of those woods and space, where did your deer go? Is the drought driving the animals away? Also, do you have a boar problem in East Texas?

    • Puts a new slant on “Having the neighbors over for dinner” doesn’t it?

      No idea where the deer have gone…freezers most likely. As to the wild hogs, not a problem, at least to those with long guns…

    • Deer feed in a circle, generally about 30 miles in circumference, and tend to move about 2 miles per day, so were you to somehow mark a deer, you should see it reappear once every two weeks. Like with most pack animals, the alpha buck will drive off any male young’uns, once they start making eyes at the alpha’s harem or challenging his authority. Once driven off, the young buck will organize his own circle, which will not cross paths with that of the buck from whose harem he came.

  11. Best slingshot ammo from the shores of Lake Superior are Taconite pellets. Marble sized balls of processed iron ore from the iron range. They can be collected from the railroad beds in the area where they are shipped from the mines & nearby processing plants out to the lake freighters that take them down the lakes to the iron smelters. I used to collect them as a kid in northern Wisconsin and Michigan. I actually found a fellow selling them on eBay and ordered a box full… medium flat rate Priority mail box, internally reinforced… heavy as a block of steel. Seller says he never expected he would be shipping them as far away as Hawaii !

  12. George,

    Just a little food for thought. In our area CWD (chronic wasting disease) is becoming an ever increasing problem in the white tail deer population. Seems this disorder is somewhat related to “mad cow” disease in that it involves a mutated protein called a prion. It effect the central nervous system of the deer, and they eventually become so disoriented that they starve. To date there is no known cure or preventative, other than removing the infected deer from the herd. Also of note the prion which causes the problem is even unaffected by incineration. Meaning cooking the meat of an infected animal does not kill the prion. So far there not any cases of cross-over infection into other animal types.

    Local wildlife management officials are warning against putting out mineral/salt blocks because the infection can be passed via saliva. They are also recommending larger food plot sizes to reduce the risk.

    Not as much meat, but in SHTF case, I think I will stick to wild turkey which are abundant in our region. Since they are a totally different class of animal and eat a different diet.

    On my farm it is not uncommon for me to see groups of 15 to 20 deer, and a lot times there are that many in my yard. Seems the deer have figured out that I closed my 473 acres to hunting several years ago, so they hang out on my place. Not a non-hunting type, just got tired of the disrespectful people that wanted to hunt on my land. Let one person hunt and they invited everyone they knew without asking permission. With a lawyer behind every tree (daughter is a lawyer), the liability risk was too great. Neighbors all understand and have permission to come on my property to retrieve game they shoot on their land that may run over onto mine.

    CWD is fast becoming a severe problem, that needs to receive national attention.

    • Too many of my neighbors at the ranch are wanting to put up “high fences” to replace the ones between us. I’ve steadfastly refused to do this even if the fence is ancient and needs replacing. The introduction of exotics into our ecosystem is bad enough but it also keeps the native deer from being able to travel and keep their gene pools active. I often wonder if the CWD isn’t part of an inbreeding problem when the deer can’t keep their genes mixed up to a high enough degree to maintain some immunity to this disorder.

  13. I’ve always found a manual can opener to be an effective, silent method of harvesting food. It has the advantage of not attracting voracious carnivorous felines like the electric variety.

  14. The vegetarian option is very real, for those interested. You do better if you’re acclimated to the diet. Exogenous B12 is necessary, and other nutrients are desirable. Depending on climate and it’s changes, meat might become a necessary ingredient, and then it’s a good thing if your skills are sharp.

    Of course, dealing with predators of any sort needs to be swift, certain, and preferably quiet.

  15. I used to “borrow” my older brother’s Wham-O when nobody was looking… Made my first sling and atlatl when I was about 11, but I made my first bolas (boleadoras) when I was nine. The secrets are to have slightly unequal length forks (the shorter cords) and ball weights, and the balls pretty much have to be fit by trial & error. If it isn’t right, the cords will tangle when its spun. If it is right, it flies like a deadly top. The 3-ball is much easier to “get right” than a 4- or 5-ball (young Ray never could, old Ray hasn’t tried…)

    I have an excellent crossbow, but prefer the longbow, because in an emergency, anyone can make one (but they’d better know how to use it) which is why I schooled my kids on the longbow. I make my own strings out of Kevlar. In the wilds, a body can use anything from supple grass to animal entrails, if needs be…

  16. Why on earth would you need a weapon on the PCT? Hiked it as a solo female, *wearing a dress*, as well as many other long-distance trails, with no problems whatsoever. If you are worried about bears, you’re doin it wrong- probably time to look at what you are doing with your food in bear country. This is a good reference: › food-protection-techniques-in-bear-country
    Black bears (you won’t find grizzlies on the PCT) are basically oversized raccoons.

    That being said this is a very interesting article, just want to put out there something against the fear-mongering that often goes on out there on trails. A weapon like a gun has no place on a trail. If you are out in the wild solely to hunt, that’s a different matter- but you’re not going to be finding foodies on those well trafficked trails anyway.

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