The .458 U.S. Silent Sniper was an experimental American sniper rifle cartridge developed for use in the Silent Sniper System.
History[edit | edit source]
The .458 U.S. Silent Sniper was designed by Frank C. Barnes as the ammunition for the Silent Sniper System developed by the U.S. Army Limited War Laboratory in the late 1960s, based on a wildcat derived from the .458 Winchester Magnum case.
Two-thousand rounds of ammunition, along with two rifles, were delivered to Vietnam for field testing in 1971.
In 1984-5, all remaining unused factory rounds were destroyed, making surviving cartridges rare collector's items that are known to be very easy to make fakes of.
Design Details[edit | edit source]
The .458 U.S. Silent Sniper was designed as a specialized subsonic cartridge for sniping, accommodating a 500-grain (32.39 grams) projectile. The bullet has a nickel-plated metal jacket and is round-nosed.
The casing is based on the .458 Winchester Magnum, shortened to 33.43mm. Similar to the bullet, the Boxer primer is nickel-plated.
Being a subsonic cartridge, it has a muzzle velocity of 1,100 feet per second (equivalent to 335.28 meters per second).