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.