Sonic Boom and Bullets
Would you be able to hear a sonic boom from a bullet fired
from a gun
that has a silencer?
No. The silencer slows the bullet down so that there is no sonic boom.
That is why it is a silencer.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
Absolutely, provided the velocity of the bullet was faster than the speed of
sound. The silencer would only affect the noise of the initial explosion that
provides the push to the bullet. A sonic boom is a shock wave formed
as a projectile travels faster than sound.
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Update: June 2012