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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're trying to find a low decibel 20 gauge shot shell to be used at a summer camp. The "standard" loads are too noisy and the neighbors across the lake are complaining about the noise. We've made noise checks in winter and summer. It appears that the sound across the lake is only a nuisance during the summer months and there is no problem during the winter. We feel that the noise may be echoing off of the leaves. We seem to have 2 options, cut down a few acres of trees to increase the "buffer zone", or find a low db shotshell. Obviously we would prefer not cutting trees, so we're looking for a "quiet" shotshell. I've heard rumors that one exists, but don't know where to look. Any ideas would be helpfu.
Thanks.

Steve
 

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I don't know about 20 gauge, but in 12 gauge, they make "subsonic" loads (about 1000 ft/sec muzzle velocity) that are considerably quieter than standard loads. These are especially quiet when used in conjunction with a "Metro barrel extension" - it's a weird contraption that screws into the choke tube threads on the barrel, and turns a normal 28" or 30" barrel into a monstrosity about 5 feet long.

For a 20, the best bet would be to check the reloading manuals and see what you can come up with that's no faster than 1050 fps.
 

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HDlowrider8 wrote: "We feel that the noise may be echoing off of the leaves."

I really hate to dispute your findings, but are you sure you don't have that backwards? Leaves on the trees should MUFFLE the noise, not make it louder. Something just doesn't add up here. Perhaps the reason you get more complaints in the summertime is because the neighbors are outside more in the summer where they can hear the gunfire. In the winter, they are inside where it's warm and they don't hear the noise as well. I wouldn't cut down any trees until I had checked further into this matter. It may very well be that the neighbors are anti-gun and are just using the noise as an excuse to stop the shooting. It wouldn't be the first time this has happened. Was your shooting range there before the neighbors built their homes? Don't be too quick to concede to their demands, because as soon as you make one concession, they may have another and another until eventually ALL shooting will stop there at your range. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ulysses said:
HDlowrider8 wrote: "We feel that the noise may be echoing off of the leaves."

I really hate to dispute your findings, but are you sure you don't have that backwards? Leaves on the trees should MUFFLE the noise, not make it louder. Something just doesn't add up here. Perhaps the reason you get more complaints in the summertime is because the neighbors are outside more in the summer where they can hear the gunfire. In the winter, they are inside where it's warm and they don't hear the noise as well. I wouldn't cut down any trees until I had checked further into this matter. It may very well be that the neighbors are anti-gun and are just using the noise as an excuse to stop the shooting. It wouldn't be the first time this has happened. Was your shooting range there before the neighbors built their homes? Don't be too quick to concede to their demands, because as soon as you make one concession, they may have another and another until eventually ALL shooting will stop there at your range. Good luck.
Thanks. Yeah, I had the same thoughts too. But we actually took dB readings during both the winter and summer. I don't know about wind conditions but the noise levels were higher in summer and winter. Sound funny to me too, but that's what we got. I always thought that the trees would absorb sound, but I've found out since that they do in fact act as "bouncers" because of the liquid level in the leaves. By cutting them back, the absorption rate is greater (or something like that). I also have no doubt that the "neighbors" are anti-gun, but I guess there's nothing I can realistically do about that. Thanks for the reply.
 

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I don't know where these trees are located in relation to the shooting positions or the neighbors, but perhaps the sound is bouncing off trees (or other objects) behind the firing line. Do you put up any structures behind the firing line in the summer that you don't have there in the winter? What about noise from a nearby highway? Usually the Db level from a highway is far louder than any intermittent gunfire.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ulysses said:
I don't know where these trees are located in relation to the shooting positions or the neighbors, but perhaps the sound is bouncing off trees (or other objects) behind the firing line. Do you put up any structures behind the firing line in the summer that you don't have there in the winter? What about noise from a nearby highway? Usually the Db level from a highway is far louder than any intermittent gunfire.
No, basically what we've got is a penninsula of about 8 sq mi on a lake. The shooting range is approximately in the middle of the property in a "pit" surrounded by vegetation and fairly mature trees (12"+). The complaining house is east of the penninsula located across the lake. Don't know the exact distance, but it's a fair piece away. The wind in this part of the country is from west to east unless a storm is approaching, and then it's typically reversed. What I suspect is happening is that the sound is also being blown around by the wind. If it were strictly up to me, I'd ignore the complaints, but the camp would like to maintain good relations with all of it's neighbors, so when we hear about the "low db" shotshell, I told them I'd investigate. BTW, we cannot use reloads at the camp - liability issue.

Thx
 

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HDLowrider8,

You gotta be ****ting me! :shock: :!: :!: Your range is located near the middle of an 8 square miles peninsula and down in a pit and the complaining neighbor is across the lake and you are thinking of cutting down trees and switching to low noise ammo if you can find it :?: :shock: No offense intended to you, but if your organization won't stand up to that moron, I think it's your organization that needs their heads examined rather than looking for ways to appease that complainer. If the leaders of your group have no more intestinal fortitude than what it appears, you may as well throw in the towel now because it's your group that needs the help more than your moron neighbor.
 

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I've found that one can let anything you want irritate you, even if it has absolutly no bearing whatsoever on the situation. Something like someone shooting a shotgun in the distance for example. Does the "noise" hurt your ears? Does it make the dog howell? Does it kill the grass? Does it effect thier love life? It might? Boy, there they go again! I can actually HEAR those guys shoting thier damned shotguns over there across the lake again! That really chaps my ***, they are having fun and me, I'm stuck here doing "honey dos"! No lovin tonight!! Heck, you can get upset at the alarm clock ticking away at night if you let it, or else just ignore it and LIVE ON! I realize I'm preaching to the chior here, but I've been through and am continuing to work with a group localy to organize and build a trap, skeet, sporting clays and rifle and pistol range! Unbelievable all the bellyaching that comes out of the woodwork. Seems like if someone doesn't like what I like to do, they are against it no matter what. Heck we got turned down, I'm not going to get into it! Go to the city, Omaha for example. They have skeet and trap ranges in a nice big Municipal public park. Soccer fields, soft ball fields. Even have a bike/hike trail not 400 yd directly down range form the traps. You call PULL and fire away and you will just as likley as not see someone riding a bike or joging directly down range from your shot!! Do the folks at the ball fields complain?? No, the guys shooting are complaining about all the noise from the ball fields! Go figure? I can't go 7 miles out in the country to build a range, but they can have one in down town Omaha!?! Too many naysayers!! I don't have the answer, but I do, no, I won't say what I really think!

BP
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
they are having the same sort of problem at Island Lake Sporting Clays in Michigan. Try calling Pat Lieske there at248-437-2784. He may be able to offer some suggestions. Either way you will get a sympathetic ear, he is a super guy. Anyway, they put stacked hay bales, about 8' high all around behing the shooter on every stand, call him to see if it has helped. Keep us posted, maybe some help will come your way. I'd hate to give up another shooting area, or opportunity, to the whiners. best of luck!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies. We'll keep searching for the "perfect" solution (if there is one). We've thought about planting Fir trees around the range which may have an absorption value. Of course it'll be years until they're mature enough to make a difference one way or the other.
 

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You stated that you measured the sound level, was that at the complaining neighbors place ? And how many db ?
There is a point were being reasonable should overcome the problem.
If you are not shooting at midnight or at 8:00am on Sunday morning
and the db level (at the offended ear ) is at or less then say 65 db ...
If they are still complaining, it is not the noise that bothers them but
the fact that you shoot . And until you stop they will complain.

So I guess what I'm saying is, you need to find the REAL problem before
you can solve it.

Wow, I should be a shrink :p
 
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