Silent Treatment for Shotguns

A longer barrel extension makes gunshot blast as loud as a BB gun

Field & Stream Online Editors

A Minnesota inventor is trying to give urban residents peace and quiet by getting shotguns to shut up.

Wendell Diller impressed an excited crowd with his quiet shotgun this week at a public demonstration in St. Paul, Minnesota, Knight Ridder Newspaper reported. A group of clay-shooting novices each had a turn with a prototype of Diller's shotgun, and each demonstrated considerable ease in handling the gun and managed to shatter a few clays without a lot of racket.

The blast of Diller's "Quiet Gun" is softer than that of a typical shotgun because of a 9-ounce, 31-inch barrel extension Diller placed on the gun. Diller's barrel uses a series of holes to mute the loud sounds produced from the gases created from discharge. The result: A shotgun that fires slightly louder than a BB gun.

Diller first began experimenting with the gun so he could hunt crows without disturbing nearby residents. "The gun is my way of adapting to a changing urban development," he told_ KRT._ "I wanted to continue hunting, but I am not willing to upset other folks in the process."

The Quiet Gun has already caught the attention of park officials in Minnesota. One park district has been using Diller's shotgun for the past two years to occasionally kill deer in order to keep the game population under control. Park managers said they needed a quieter gun because many of the urban residents would not have tolerated the loud noises. The park officials also use a shotgun slug Diller invented that disintegrates when it hits a hard surface, such as frozen ground, to reduce the chance of dangerous ricochets.

Diller has made Quiet Guns for friends and park managers, but whether or not he will ever sell them commercially remains to be seen. "I wouldn't mind making money," he said. "I'm not against that. But I'm well fed, I get to go hunting and I have gas for my Volare. How much more do I need?"