Weapon Questions

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branford branford's picture
Weapon Questions

1. What is the means of propulsion of the monomolecular shards discharged by the Shard Pistol and Shredder (chemical combustion, electromagnetic, compressed air, etc)?

The mechanism of these spraying weapons is particularly relevant for purposed of stealth and detection (e.g., chem sniffer, electrical sense, etc.).

2. May a railgun utilize the Extended Magazine weapon accessory (EP, p. 342)?

The text states the extended magazine only applies to firearms and seekers, but there appears no in-game rationale that would prevent a railgun from using such an accessory. In fact, since railguns primarily rely on velocity to cause damage, the ammunition should theoretically be of lower mass and size, and the capacity of railgun magazines should be demonstrably larger. This is further supported by the fact that railgun magazine do not appear to contain the weapon’s power source or battery (See EP, pp. 336, 338)

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
1. Don't know. It doesn't say

1. Don't know. It doesn't say anywhere.

I did a quick internet search, and I found that the technology has been possible for at least 50 years. There seems to be various reasons why such weapons haven't become mainstream, including technical problems and bad luck getting contracts.

So chemical propulsion is probably a sure thing, so electromagnetic propulsion is probably an option as well. Compressed air probably doesn't work since the weapon write up does say that the weapon fires the shards at high velocities (and I don't think that compressed air will get you high velocities).

2. Why not? I'm sure that someone could figure out how to make it work.

branford branford's picture
With respect to the Shredder,

With respect to the Shredder, if the diamonoid shards are not ferromagnetic, or use some kind of sabot, electromagnetic propulsion would be difficult. Given the vary large ammo capacity, and no mention of a battery or other power source in the gun or magazine, I find electromagnetic propulsion the least likely possibility.

If chemical, would a shedder simply be a advanced shotgun, just like the EP firearms are the natural evolution of contemporary pistols and rifles?

Also, when I suggested compressed air, I did not want to discount the possibility of other compressed gases, although I admittedly do not possess a sufficient scientific background to know if other gases would be fit for purpose or generate sufficient velocity.

Lastly, does the fact that the shards can be coated with poison or drugs affect the possible propulsion methods?

Most of the EP tech entries try to extrapolate from existing scientific trends and offer explanations of proposed function. The unexplained nature of shard weapons is most fascinating and frustrating.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
EP Shotgun = assault rifle + flayer rounds

It's not so much a shotgun as it is a weaponized water-jet cutter.
Actually, look at this, as this is a pretty much a basic shredder that uses dry ice instead of diamonds - what the clip unfortunately ends before showing is it cutting through a wooden beam.
I'd assume that it's basically the railgun, with each diamond having a ferrous core. (I can't remember, for an actual railgun, as opposed to a coilgun, do the munitions actually need to be ferrous, or merely conductive?)
Otherwise chemical.

As for question 2, the use there's no reason not to use the normal rules. The rounds may be smaller, but that just alters the physical size of the magazone, not the number of rounds within - and there's no reason to make them smaller, as bigger means more stopping power, as the appropriate equation in mass multiplied by velocity.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
part 2 is definitely. Even

part 2 is definitely. Even though the parlance is strictly inaccurate i would classify railguns as firearms

TWNW: the big difference between a railgun and a gauss gun i can remember is that railguns use a plasma charge at the base for propellant and highly conductive guide rails. modern tech unfortunately usually means you get one shot per barrel because of the plasma erosion. Gauss weapons hover use completely magnetic acceleration using using coils hence the parlance coil gun. a friend of mine made one for a high school project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pjCZL7h2bA&index=32&list=LLhzg8tXj23xQtZCMoRngBvg

branford branford's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:It's

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
It's not so much a shotgun as it is a weaponized water-jet cutter.
Actually, look at this, as this is a pretty much a basic shredder that uses dry ice instead of diamonds - what the clip unfortunately ends before showing is it cutting through a wooden beam.
I'd assume that it's basically the railgun, with each diamond having a ferrous core. (I can't remember, for an actual railgun, as opposed to a coilgun, do the munitions actually need to be ferrous, or merely conductive?)
Otherwise chemical.

Interesting video. It also appears that the dry ice "shredder" uses compressed gas like a more advanced sand blaster. That would seem to suggest a gas propulsion theory for the Shard Pistol and Shredder rather than electromagnetics, particularly since it would appear to be a much simpler design and the text entries make no mention of any power source (notably, firearms also use electricity to vaporize the propellant, EP, p. 335, and no battery or other power source is mentioned in the entries, albeit firearm power requirements would be minimal compared to that required for actual propulsion).

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
From wiki on nail guns:

From wiki on nail guns:

Pneumatic nailgun
This is the most popular sort. It is powered from a compressed air supply. For more information see http://home.howstuffworks.com/nail-gun2.htm

Powder-actuated nailgun
Explosive-powered ("powder actuated") nailguns fall into two broad categories:

Direct drive or high velocity devices. This uses gas pressure acting directly on the nail to drive it.
Indirect drive or low velocity devices. This uses gas pressure acting on a heavy piston which drives the nail. Indirect drive nailers are safer because they cannot launch a free-flying projectile even if tampered with or misused, and the lower velocity of the nails is less likely to cause explosive shattering of the work substrate.
Either type can, with the right cartridge loads, be very powerful, driving a nail or other fastener into hard concrete, stone, rolled steelwork, etc., with ease.

Combustion powered nailgun
Powered by a gas (e.g. propane) and air explosion in a small cylinder; the piston pushes the nail directly and there are no rotating parts. For more information see http://home.howstuffworks.com/nail-gun3.htm

Electric nailgun
In one type of electric nailgun, a rotating electric motor gradually compresses a powerful spring and suddenly releases it. For more information see http://home.howstuffworks.com/nail-gun.htm

Solenoid-powered nailgun
Here a solenoid propels a metal piston, which has a long front rod which propels the nail. For more information see the end of page http://home.howstuffworks.com/nail-gun1.htm

The solenoid tends to attract the piston or projectile towards the middle of the solenoid. If a series of solenoids is used (which makes the nailgun into a type of coilgun), to get more power, each solenoid must be switched off when the piston has reached the middle of the solenoid. In multi-solenoid coilguns a short burst of power from a big capacitor (one attached to each solenoid) comes at the right time to propel the piston or projectile. For more information see Coilgun#Coilguns for ferromagnetic projectiles.

branford branford's picture
Smokeskin wrote:From wiki on

Smokeskin wrote:
From wiki on nail guns:

Pneumatic nailgun
This is the most popular sort. It is powered from a compressed air supply. For more information see http://home.howstuffworks.com/nail-gun2.htm

Powder-actuated nailgun
Explosive-powered ("powder actuated") nailguns fall into two broad categories:

Direct drive or high velocity devices. This uses gas pressure acting directly on the nail to drive it.
Indirect drive or low velocity devices. This uses gas pressure acting on a heavy piston which drives the nail. Indirect drive nailers are safer because they cannot launch a free-flying projectile even if tampered with or misused, and the lower velocity of the nails is less likely to cause explosive shattering of the work substrate.
Either type can, with the right cartridge loads, be very powerful, driving a nail or other fastener into hard concrete, stone, rolled steelwork, etc., with ease.

Combustion powered nailgun
Powered by a gas (e.g. propane) and air explosion in a small cylinder; the piston pushes the nail directly and there are no rotating parts. For more information see http://home.howstuffworks.com/nail-gun3.htm

Electric nailgun
In one type of electric nailgun, a rotating electric motor gradually compresses a powerful spring and suddenly releases it. For more information see http://home.howstuffworks.com/nail-gun.htm

Solenoid-powered nailgun
Here a solenoid propels a metal piston, which has a long front rod which propels the nail. For more information see the end of page http://home.howstuffworks.com/nail-gun1.htm

The solenoid tends to attract the piston or projectile towards the middle of the solenoid. If a series of solenoids is used (which makes the nailgun into a type of coilgun), to get more power, each solenoid must be switched off when the piston has reached the middle of the solenoid. In multi-solenoid coilguns a short burst of power from a big capacitor (one attached to each solenoid) comes at the right time to propel the piston or projectile. For more information see Coilgun#Coilguns for ferromagnetic projectiles.

Definitely some informative options for shard weapon propulsion, but I'm more uncertain what means these weapons use now than I was before!

Note also, I would assume that propelling a compressed group of monomolecular diamonoid shards is more difficult that propelling a solid, dense projectile like a bullet, nail or needle from a firearm or rail gun.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Maybe there are just

Maybe there are just different models? A pneumatic one would have a limited number of silent shots before it would have to use the compressor. A solenoid would be silent but produce an electromagnetic signature. A powder-actuated shredder would be louder but more powerful.

The shards would likely be housed in a sabot.

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
actually for the pneumatic

actually for the pneumatic and chemical powered varieties a sabot would be required in order to get the shots to even move because of the gas flowing around them. or it could use a wad like buck and bird shot do in shotguns now

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
branford wrote:1. What is

branford wrote:
1. What is the means of propulsion of the monomolecular shards discharged by the Shard Pistol and Shredder (chemical combustion, electromagnetic, compressed air, etc)?

The mechanism of these spraying weapons is particularly relevant for purposed of stealth and detection (e.g., chem sniffer, electrical sense, etc.).

I honestly have no idea, and this is not the only problem I have with Shredders/Shard Pistols. If EP tech were more advanced, I'd say gravitic acceleration, but then every gun would be gravitic acceleration.

Quote:
2. May a railgun utilize the Extended Magazine weapon accessory (EP, p. 342)?

The text states the extended magazine only applies to firearms and seekers, but there appears no in-game rationale that would prevent a railgun from using such an accessory. In fact, since railguns primarily rely on velocity to cause damage, the ammunition should theoretically be of lower mass and size, and the capacity of railgun magazines should be demonstrably larger. This is further supported by the fact that railgun magazine do not appear to contain the weapon’s power source or battery (See EP, pp. 336, 338)

I see no reason why not. I personally just assumed that when it said "Firearm" in that entry, it meant "things which look and act like a gun." Which is kind of stupid in and of itself - want to get more flame out of each flamethrower shot? Just use a bigger tank!

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Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
For the shredder/shard pistol

For the shredder/shard pistol it may be done via flywheel. It's relatively simple and very flexible regarding ammunition. I've seen similar mechanisms used to shoot cards on Mythbusters, foam balls, and Nerf darts.

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Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Dread Gun! http://gizmodo.com

Dread Gun! http://gizmodo.com/224739/dread-silent--monster-weapon-spins-out-120000-rounds-per-minute

Must be fun aiming that thing, with all those gyro forces.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Chernoborg wrote:For the

Chernoborg wrote:
For the shredder/shard pistol it may be done via flywheel. It's relatively simple and very flexible regarding ammunition. I've seen similar mechanisms used to shoot cards on Mythbusters, foam balls, and Nerf darts.

Accelerating projectiles with a flywheel? That'd be a fun weapon to work with; hope it's got a method to compensate for gyroscopic effects!

As for my personal take on the shredder/shardgun: when I wrote up my shotgun homebrew I devised a method to make buckshot work in the absence of shell casings. That same method should work with the shredder's diamond flechettes.

The gist of it is: The flechette(or shot pellet) payload is bound together by smart adhesives and treated as a single caseless firearm round, encased in a block of electrically-fired propellant. When the payload exits the barrel, the adhesives forcefully disengage and allow the flechettes to spread out in a cloud pattern in flight.

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branford branford's picture
TheGrue wrote:

TheGrue wrote:

As for my personal take on the shredder/shardgun: when I wrote up my shotgun homebrew I devised a method to make buckshot work in the absence of shell casings. That same method should work with the shredder's diamond flechettes.

The gist of it is: The flechette(or shot pellet) payload is bound together by smart adhesives and treated as a single caseless firearm round, encased in a block of electrically-fired propellant. When the payload exits the barrel, the adhesives forcefully disengage and allow the flechettes to spread out in a cloud pattern in flight.

Your propulsion methodology appears practical and sound. However, it appears little more than specialized firearm "smart ammo" like a biters or flayers. I imagined that the sprayer weapons used a more unique or differentiated technology.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
branford wrote:TheGrue wrote:

branford wrote:
TheGrue wrote:

As for my personal take on the shredder/shardgun: when I wrote up my shotgun homebrew I devised a method to make buckshot work in the absence of shell casings. That same method should work with the shredder's diamond flechettes.

The gist of it is: The flechette(or shot pellet) payload is bound together by smart adhesives and treated as a single caseless firearm round, encased in a block of electrically-fired propellant. When the payload exits the barrel, the adhesives forcefully disengage and allow the flechettes to spread out in a cloud pattern in flight.

Your propulsion methodology appears practical and sound. However, it appears little more than specialized firearm "smart ammo" like a biters or flayers. I imagined that the sprayer weapons used a more unique or differentiated technology.

Quite right - I thought we were talking just about shredders/shardguns. Buzzers, Sprayers and Freezers would indeed necessitate a very different method. I'd assumed from their description that the latter two used high tank pressure to project their payload as a jet - sort of like a watergun.

No idea about the buzzers though.

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Shunka Shunka's picture
I had assumed that railguns

I had assumed that railguns were similar enough to chemically-propelled firearms (grouped with by table, etc.) that double magazines were available. However, I question your 'twice the ammunition in the same space' assertion. While the projectiles are smaller, the ammunition-equivalent in a railgun of a chemical round includes the propellant. In a railgun, that propellant is battery-space, possibly integral to each 'magazine.' In fact, given the overall ballistic superiority of railguns, we might infer that the inability of rechargeable energy storage (batteries) to duplicate chemical energy storage released by oxidation (normal propellant-based firearms) in terms of reliability, stability and energy/mass density continues.

In a battlefield context, a bullet is safer under most conditions than a lithium battery cell, as crazy as that might sound.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
I don't see where it's

I don't see where it's written that railgun bullets are physically smaller than their chemically-propelled equivalents.

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TheGrue TheGrue's picture
SMGs

Just came up with my own weapons question.

Quote:
Submachine Guns: SMGs use pistol ammunition,
but are medium-sized ...

Okay, cool; SMGs use pistol ammo, makes sense.

Quote:
KINETIC AMMUNITION
Ammunition is defined by its various types (standard,
gel, APDS, etc.) and by the class of gun (light pistol,
heavy pistol, SMG, etc.)...

...erm...except when they don't I guess?

So which is it? Do SMGs use pistol ammo, or do they use SMG ammo?

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branford branford's picture
TheGrue wrote:Just came up

TheGrue wrote:
Just came up with my own weapons question.

Quote:
Submachine Guns: SMGs use pistol ammunition,
but are medium-sized ...

Okay, cool; SMGs use pistol ammo, makes sense.

Quote:
KINETIC AMMUNITION
Ammunition is defined by its various types (standard,
gel, APDS, etc.) and by the class of gun (light pistol,
heavy pistol, SMG, etc.)...

...erm...except when they don't I guess?

So which is it? Do SMGs use pistol ammo, or do they use SMG ammo?

In real life, SMG's generally use the same ammunition as pistols (e.g., 9mm, 10mm, etc.), but may employ different sized and shaped magazines.

I think the reference to different ammunition for different classes of gun is akin to stating that heavier (i.e., greater damage) weapons use a larger caliber of bullet or rail needle. Differentiating SMG's and the various pistols in the ammunition text would likely only lead to unnecessary confusion.

branford branford's picture
DELETE - DUPLICATE POST

DELETE - DUPLICATE POST

Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
railgun ammo

Looking over the text, it seems like most projectile weapons have separated the bullet from the propellant - steam/plasma and Laplace forces. So we're dealing with clips that only have bullets in them and a module that has the batteries and maybe working fluid for many more rounds than the clips carry. Since the stated clips between railguns and firearms are identical I'd say the rounds are the same as well. This makes sense logistically as you don't want to be carrying a diversity of specialized ammunition for each weapon. Also, since the charge module is sufficient for 200 rounds ,extended clips would work fine for railguns.

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Shunka Shunka's picture
branford wrote:TheGrue wrote

branford wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
Just came up with my own weapons question.

Quote:
Submachine Guns: SMGs use pistol ammunition,
but are medium-sized ...

Okay, cool; SMGs use pistol ammo, makes sense.

Quote:
KINETIC AMMUNITION
Ammunition is defined by its various types (standard,
gel, APDS, etc.) and by the class of gun (light pistol,
heavy pistol, SMG, etc.)...

...erm...except when they don't I guess?

So which is it? Do SMGs use pistol ammo, or do they use SMG ammo?

In real life, SMG's generally use the same ammunition as pistols (e.g., 9mm, 10mm, etc.), but may employ different sized and shaped magazines.

I think the reference to different ammunition for different classes of gun is akin to stating that heavier (i.e., greater damage) weapons use a larger caliber of bullet or rail needle. Differentiating SMG's and the various pistols in the ammunition text would likely only lead to unnecessary confusion.

Actually, there's a funny story I know about due to a gun-nut friend who severely damaged one of his pistols. So the following statements are both true and non-exclusive:

1. Submachineguns use pistol ammunition
2. There is such a thing as submachinegun ammunition

Apparently there is a type of 9mm production round which is 'high pressure' and meant to reliably cycle in submachineguns which have heavier, more robust mechanicals (I think the term is bolt? I'll ask him later) than a pistol does, because of the rapidity with which they cycle and presumably going through far more impacts/forces during their lifetime than a similarly chambered pistol. Also, apparently this type of 9mm is not always labeled clearly, and in some early, weak alloy-framed pistols it could theoretically crack things. Which is how my friend found out about this after buying a bunch of surplus 9mm on the cheap.

So it is 'the same round' and it will chamber in both kinds of weapons, but there's either a more powerful propellant or more of it in certain 'SMG-specific' variations, which can cause issues if they are fired in a poorly-made pistol that isn't up to the assumed specs.

EDIT: I googled {9mm "high pressure" submachine} and got a forum discussing the lore of this whole business. http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=524007

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Shunka wrote:submachineguns

Shunka wrote:
submachineguns which have heavier, more robust mechanicals (I think the term is bolt? I'll ask him later) than a pistol

Yeah, the bolt is the part behind the round. It moves forward and pushes rounds into the chamber, houses the firing pin, and moves back and pulls the cartridge with it and ejects the cartridge. On SMGs it is normally inside the weapon, on pistols it is called a slide and the top part of the gun is part of it.

Shunka Shunka's picture
Thanks Smokeskin, I'd

Thanks Smokeskin, I'd actually figured out that I had correctly remembered the terminology from reading the discussion which I linked (I have a little hands-on familiarity due to friends but I am not a shootist, and I really hate it when I am not sure if I am remembering something correctly, so I tend to do the 'I think it is X but I am not sure...' just to cover myself so I don't do something like the (annoys my husband no end) confusion between 'clip' and 'magazine'.).