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Ummmm we can shape airplanes today to not make a sonic boom I see no why a more advanced tech level couldn't do the same for the bullets. Also that crack is not that loud I have been around suppressed weapons. also in the old traveller books they were silent.Sonic boom, if their muzzle velocity > Mach 1.
Or a fancy Gauss rifle with a selector that shoots the slug at a low velocity (just turn down the energy input), which does less damage, no AP but gets the Silent Trait.Maybe we need a new ammunition type: Silent (morphable): x10 cost, TL12 - the round morphs into a a sound-baffling shape to limit supersonic shockwave noise, stackable with Smart (at half cost, since the morphing lets you steer the bullet) and other traits. Of limited utility in a vacuum.
Maybe another JTAS article: specialist ammunition traits.
Sonic boom, if their muzzle velocity > Mach 1.
I am aware. the sonic boom is not that loud. from behind the rifle all you here is the whistling down range. Garand Thumb on youtube did a video and you dont need hearing protection and it is not very loudA long time ago, I remember reading somewhere that there are two distinct sounds. First, the exploding gun powder. This sound helps identify where the shooter is. This helps you shoot back at the shooter. Second, the sonic boom from the bullet passing by. The problem with the sonic boom is that the sonic boom comes from the path of the bullet when it's perpendicular to you. In other words, the sound you hear does not indicate where the shooter is. For many shooters, that might be enough.
(I'm also not sure what the difference in volume would be between the sound of the gunpower exploding versus the sonic boom. Has anyone measured the differences in volume?)