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Toadmaster

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The short answer (since I've gotten rather long winded below), I think there is definitely enough difference to justify separate pistol and rifle skills. There are enough differences between similar weapons to justify a penalty for using an unfamiliar weapon, but not highly unrealistic to ignore these differences as well, particularly in the case of an experienced shooter.



The basic concepts transition well between all handheld firearms, basic operation, aiming / sight picture etc. You give someone with experience a few hours at the range and they can pretty well acclimate themselves with a few considerations.

Pistols are quite different from rifles as far as handling, which I think is fairly self evident. I know people who are a substantially better shot with pistols or rifles, good with one but only marginal with the other (usually better with rifles, but not always). I definitely support these as separate skills, although I do think they should have a relationship (starting point 1/2 the higher skill or similar).

I would say pistols vary to a larger degree than rifles do, just from the handling side. The natural point is different, location and style of controls vary (safety, magazine / cylinder release etc). The shooters hand size can greatly effect the ergonomics, particularly with semi-auto pistols.

Rifles and shotguns tend to be a little more uniform in basic handling although are still subject to having their controls work differently. The differences between semi-autos and the different manual actions (bolt, lever, pump action) can definitely hinder an unfamiliar shooter. A rifle shooter used to a semi-auto will probably take more time to become proficient with a lever action, than another semi-auto. Not that it is super complex, but it does take some time to train your muscles to do it smoothly.

Shotguns and rifles have more in common than they do with pistols, but again there are enough differences that one doesn't just jump easily between the two, but I don't really think it is enough to justify an entirely different skill, particularly when you consider the short ranges shotguns are used at. On the other hand skeet shooting / bird hunting is a completely different skill set from most rifle shooting, so maybe a separate skill can be justified.

Muzzle loaders are completely alien to most modern shooters. I suspect most would have serous issues with percussion cap firearms and would be practically useless with flintlocks or older until they have gone through some significant training.


I think more than anything it is an issue of confidence. Forgetting to take the safety off / engage it, fumbling for the magazine release by the trigger guard until you realize it is at the heel of the grip, having you hand in the wrong position so you get a painful bite from the hammer or slide. Perhaps less about accuracy and more along the lines of slower reloads, greater chance of a fumble, taking longer to clear misfires etc. Most of this should be handwavable by simply expending a few hours of off camera time and a couple hundred rounds of ammo.

Recoil is something else to consider. Going from a 9mm Beretta to a .45 M1911 not a big deal, but going to a .44 Magnum could be an issue until they acclimate to it.

Character background also matters, a PC who doesn't have a reason to have a broad range of experience (target shoots professionally with a .22 pistol) is much more likely to have an issue with a new to them gun than a PC with an extensive shooting background (duck / deer hunter, target shooting, military experience). I'd probably penalize the first for using an unfamiliar weapon, while the second I wouldn't unless it was something weird or huge like an 8 bore double barrel elephant gun.
 

Raleel

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for me I'm probably going to split it up into pistols, SMGs, rifles, carbines, and shotguns. Those feel about right - many machine pistols have attachable stocks which functionally make them SMGs. Rifles and carbines are very close it seems, and I might combine them. But thank you for the run down in skills, Toadmaster Toadmaster , that was really helpful. Seems like where I am going is about right (i.e. get skill in one, you can use the other, but there is a penalty to skill, and it can be overcome by experience points and training)
 

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for me I'm probably going to split it up into pistols, SMGs, rifles, carbines, and shotguns. Those feel about right - many machine pistols have attachable stocks which functionally make them SMGs. Rifles and carbines are very close it seems, and I might combine them. But thank you for the run down in skills, Toadmaster Toadmaster , that was really helpful. Seems like where I am going is about right (i.e. get skill in one, you can use the other, but there is a penalty to skill, and it can be overcome by experience points and training)
Yes definitely rifle and carbines together. The rest of your "separations" I agree with.
 

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On the skills thing, I've strongly considered adding an autofire skill to BRP. Used as an averaging skill, so lets say an experienced soldier with 75% in longarm (rifles, carbines) and 50% in autofire. When firing single shots (and maybe even 3 round bursts) they use their full long arm skill, but when they go into full auto they average the skills so the PC in question would have a skill of 63% (62.5) so only a slight loss. However when a casual hunter with a longarm skill of 55%, and no experience shooting full auto gets his hands on an M16 and fires full auto his skill plummets (for the example we'll say autofire has a base of 15%) having a combined skill of only 35%.

Autofire tends to result in poor accuracy even for the trained and those without experience tend to do very poorly not having any experience compensating for the recoil. This also very clearly separates military and law enforcement personnel who have been trained to use automatic weapons from those who haven't. The reason I might separate 3 round bursts from autofire, is because 2 and 3 round limited bursts were developed for shooters not trained to shoot full auto weapons.

To me SMGs are just short rifles, or big pistols depending on whether or not that have a stock. The same goes for pistols like the Mauser C96 that have a detachable stock. When the stock is attached they basically become little rifles. I wouldn't expect somebody experienced with a Mini-14 to have any more trouble adjusting to a semi auto MP5 (HK-94) than they would an AR-15.
 
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Raleel

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Hrm. I’ll have to consider this. I might make an auto fire skill and use it as a limit. But autofire already has a 2 step modifier on it (i.e. 50%). Toadmaster Toadmaster can you see someone being equally proficient in full auto as semi? Same grouping, etc?

The smg vs short rifle (carbine) is more of a distinction in caliber, and reflects the kick factor mentioned above. I can see doing it that way as well - shoulder fired arms vs non shoulder fired.

There is also the option here of twiddling the Steady Weapon action. This reduces the autofire penalty. Making this available to weapons with a stock makes some sense, vs pistols without a stock, or allowing weapons with stocks to be fired like this without exposure (a key requirement of the steady weapon action). But, truth, this is reflected somewhat in the accuracy as well - non-pistols all have more accuracy than pistols. Full auto pistols are almost impossible to hit with without a shoulder stock.
 

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Keep in mind I don't have real world experience shooting automatic weapons, only what I've read. I have a date with a friend to go to Las Vegas in 2020 to remedy that, but as of now, none.

That out of the way no I don't think you will find anyone who can match their autofire accuracy to their semi-auto ability.

I don't recall what Mythras does, but I've always found BRPs autofire rules pretty weak. One of the things I was considering was drastic range reductions on the base range, and recoil penalties need to be developed. Outside of mounted machineguns autofire is pretty much useless for point shooting beyond short range. I can't find the study now, but during WW2 it was found troops armed with SMGs were highly effective to a certain range (50m is what I've got in my head) but effectiveness dropped off rapidly as range increased.

If you gave autofire a base 0%, then for untrained shooters it would match up to your current 1/2 skill. Skilled shooters would be putting a lot of points that could be going to other skills just to bring their autofire ability up a little bit (2% in skill only provides a 1% increase). A shooter with 100% in rifle and 100% in autofire would be the equivalent of a shooter with 300% in rifle.


Also on carbines, a couple of comments seem to be focused around the idea of the M1 Carbine and similar intermediate or pistol caliber carbines. Traditionally carbines have just been short rifles, and many were notorious for their violent recoil. The British Enfield Mk5 Jungle carbine being one of the better known examples.
 

Raleel

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I don't recall what Mythras does, but I've always found BRPs autofire rules pretty weak. One of the things I was considering was drastic range reductions on the base range, and recoil penalties need to be developed. Outside of mounted machineguns autofire is pretty much useless for point shooting beyond short range. I can't find the study now, but during WW2 it was found troops armed with SMGs were highly effective to a certain range (50m is what I've got in my head) but effectiveness dropped off rapidly as range increased.

Mythras' firearms rules are "1/3 off skill for burst, 1/2 off skill for full auto". You can reduce this with the Steady Weapon action, but only down to 1/3 for full auto. your experienced shooter is still looking at a 40% chance to hit or so, and your complete novice might be looking at a 20% chance, even with the steady weapon.

ranges are another thing. for my purposes, anything more than 20m is going to be a bit harder, and more than 60m is going to be a lot harder. For your SMGs (mein leiben!) that would be a similar 1/3-1/2 off. That would stack on top of the automatic fire penalty (1/3->1/2->1/10 by the penalty grades). I can easily see full auto 20m being pretty tough to hit with everything, but even at 10%, an MP40's ~10 rounds per second should hit with a shot.

as for carbines, I've generally considered them to be short rifles, with rifle calibers. pistol calibers I think of as SMGs
 

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Projectiles part the 4th


Shotguns

Shotguns have been around as long as there have been guns. The early smooth bore muskets could be loaded with large shot for close range engagements and hunting larger game, or loaded with small shot for hunting small animals and birds. Early cannons could be loaded with grapeshot (really big shot) or canister (smaller really big shot) for short range anti-personnel use.


Most shotguns have continued to use a smooth bore barrel. Rifled shotgun barrels exist but they were developed primarily for use with slugs as the rifling tends to have a negative effect on shot patterns. Most modern pump action and semi-auto shotguns can easily change the barrel. This allows a hunter to put a rifled barrel on the gun for using slugs during deer season, and then during duck season use a smooth bore barrel for shot.



Shotgun basics

Most shotguns use a gauge scale instead of a bore diameter measured in decimal inches or millimeters. Gauge is an old system based around how many lead balls the diameter of the bore it takes to equal 1 pound.


A 12 gauge shot gun has a bore of 0.729" (18.5mm). Twelve lead balls of this diameter weighs 1 pound. A 20 gauge shotgun has a bore diameter of 0.615" (15.6mm) which is the diameter of a lead ball weighing 1/20th of a pound. The same system was also applied to some large bore hunting rifles during the black powder era.


Since the the bore size is based on the number of balls required to equal a pound, a lower number equals a larger size.

One exception is the 0.410 (10.4mm) bore shotgun which is given as the decimal inch measurement of the bore instead of its gauge (67.5). The reason for this exception seems to have been lost to time.


Common bore sizes used with shotguns

4 gauge 1.052" (26.7mm)

8 gauge 0.835" (21.2mm)

10 gauge 0.775" (19.7mm)

12 gauge 0.729" (18.5mm)

16 gauge 0.663" (16.8mm)

20 gauge 0.615" (15.6mm)

24 gauge 0.579" (14.7mm)

28 gauge 0.55" (14.0mm)

32 gauge 0.526 (13.4mm)

0.410 bore 0.410" (10.4mm)


This represents the most common bore sizes that have survived into the 20th century. Shotguns larger than 4 Gauge have existed but are more properly classified as small hunting cannons. They were fired from a mount and used for commercial hunting of waterfowl.


At the present time 12, 20, 28 gauge and .410 bore are the most common world wide. 10 and 16 gauge are still available but have been declining in popularity since the 1940s. In Europe 24 and 32 gauge are still available but not common, they are a rare size in the US.

12 gauge has become the primary choice for military, and law enforcement shotguns, with 20 gauge a distant second place.


Shot comes in two main categories, buck shot and bird shot. Shot has traditionally been made of lead, or lead alloy, but steel, zinc, tin, iron and tungsten have also been used. The use of non-lead shot has primarily been related environmental concerns with many jurisdictions banning lead.


Buckshot ranges in size from #4 @ 0.24" (6.1mm) to #0000 @ 0.38" (9.65mm). #0000.


Birdshot ranges in size from #12 @ 0.05" (1.27mm) to #FF @ 0.23" (5.84mm). The Letter sizes are sometimes referred to as waterfowl shot, being intended for larger high flying ducks and geese.

Buckshot is differentiated from similarly named birdshot by adding buck or buckshot to the identifier. Plain #4 would refer to #4 birdshot, while #4 buckshot is normally refered to as #4 buck, or #4 buckshot. Zero is pronounced ought, #0, single ought, #00, double ought etc.
Buckshot will usually specify the number of pellets in a shell (12 gauge #00 buckshot, 9 pellets), while birdshot just states the weight of shot (20 Gauge, #6, 1 ounce).

Shotguns have developed a reputation for firing a huge cloud of pellets which makes aiming unnecessary. This is often grossly exaggerated by the media. Birdshot does spread out fairly well, and may cover an area of as much as 3 feet (1m) at 40 yards (36m) making it easier to hit a small flying target. A few of these small pellets would be lethal to a small bird, but would likely just cause superficial wounds to a larger animal or human. Buckshot has a much smaller pattern, perhaps only covering 6-12 inches (30cm) at 40 yards (36m).

Shot sizes.jpg

Flechettes are little darts, that may be loaded in shotguns instead of pellets. The U.S. Military experimented with flechettes from the 1950s through the 1980s. Flechettes are more aerodynamic than pellets which can increase the effective range of a shotgun. There were also experiments using tungsten flechettes which were intended to provide improved armor penetration. There were combat trials using flechettes during the Vietnam war, but they were not found to be superior to conventional buckshot. Flechette loads are available commercially, but are much more expensive than conventional shot.

Slugs, are available for shotguns. They essentially turn a shotgun into a modern version of a smoothbore musket. They may be loaded and fired just like a conventional shotshell. There are a couple of different designs of slugs but they are basically divided into full bore slugs, and sabot slugs.

Full bore slugs are often called rifled slugs since many include grooves similar to those left by a rifles bore. The intent is that these grooves impart rotation to the slug to aid accuracy, although there is little evidence that they actually do this. Mostly these slugs maintain stablity do to their nose heavy design and shape which helps them to maintain a nose forward orientation. Even when fired from a shotgun with a rifled barrel, the effective range of a slug is far less than that of even a .22 caliber rifle. This short range has resulted in shotguns with slugs being allowed for hunting in populated areas where rifle hunting is forbidden. Although short ranged by rifle standards, a slug may provide accurate fire beyond 100 yards (91m) which is considerably further than the useful range of shot.

The other type of slug is the sabot slug. This is a projectile smaller than the bore diameter, which is held by a sabot which falls away after leaving the muzzle. The main intent of the sabot slug was to provide better accuracy and longer range.

Due to the large bore size shotguns have been loaded with a wide variety of payloads, including rubber balls / pellets as less than lethal projectiles, small teargas grenades or powdered teargas for riot control. Powdered lead projectiles for lockbreaking, explosive and incendiary projectiles, signal and illumination flares etc. They have also spawned a huge market of shells of dubious utility, such as "flamethrower" rounds.

With a wide variety of crowd control shells available, shotguns have become widely used where rioters may be encountered. Small birdshot has also been used for riot control in times and places where inflicting painful, but usually superficial, non-lethal wounds was seen as acceptable.
 

Toadmaster

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Mythras' firearms rules are "1/3 off skill for burst, 1/2 off skill for full auto". You can reduce this with the Steady Weapon action, but only down to 1/3 for full auto. your experienced shooter is still looking at a 40% chance to hit or so, and your complete novice might be looking at a 20% chance, even with the steady weapon.

ranges are another thing. for my purposes, anything more than 20m is going to be a bit harder, and more than 60m is going to be a lot harder. For your SMGs (mein leiben!) that would be a similar 1/3-1/2 off. That would stack on top of the automatic fire penalty (1/3->1/2->1/10 by the penalty grades). I can easily see full auto 20m being pretty tough to hit with everything, but even at 10%, an MP40's ~10 rounds per second should hit with a shot.

as for carbines, I've generally considered them to be short rifles, with rifle calibers. pistol calibers I think of as SMGs

That's better than the default BRP rules. I find most autofire rules don't line up well with actual practice. Short bursts are usually used to increase the odds of getting a hit, longer bursts primarily suppressive fire or area denial. Most games seem to focus on autofire having a poor chance of hitting for the chance of getting multiple hits. Really poor rules tend to allow a better chance of hitting with lots of bullets.

Does Mythras have suppressive fire rules?

A couple things I always try to look at with rules are:
Can semi-auto fire compete with automatic weapons?
Is there a valid reason to use automatic fire?

If the answer is no to either of these, then there is a problem.

Lacking any kind of recoil mechanism is a major flaw with most rules. Few games seem to acknowledge that it is easier to shoot an American 180 SMG (.22LR) on full auto than a 7.62mm FAL. Without that there would have been no reason for nearly every military on the planet adopting a 5.56mm or 5.45mm assault rifle. Not limited to automatic fire either, most rules don't provide any reason why a PC would choose a .22 pistol over a .44 Magnum.
 

Raleel

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That's better than the default BRP rules. I find most autofire rules don't line up well with actual practice. Short bursts are usually used to increase the odds of getting a hit, longer bursts primarily suppressive fire or area denial. Most games seem to focus on autofire having a poor chance of hitting for the chance of getting multiple hits. Really poor rules tend to allow a better chance of hitting with lots of bullets.

Mythras has short bursts as a step worse in difficulty to hit. So a rifle is at even skill to hit, a pistol is at half skill, and a carbine or smg is 1/3 skill. normally that means 3 round burst. You roll for number of bullets that actually hit (1d3).

Does Mythras have suppressive fire rules?

it does. there is the Pin Down special effect (which you win if you "hit"). Willpower vs the attack roll. failure means you can't pop out and return fire. If you are using a 5.56mm assault rifle, you are looking at a 1/3 off your skill roll and you can pick that on any of the 20 shots you might fire, even if it hits cover. You can't do that with every special effect (impale, bleed, etc). As you can't normally evade or parry bullets, you have a pretty strong chance of getting a few of those.

A couple things I always try to look at with rules are:
Can semi-auto fire compete with automatic weapons?
Is there a valid reason to use automatic fire?

good questions.
  • how I'm looking at it, the semis can, but not at the same caliber if accuracy is not important. Even full auto, you split it over the number of targets, then roll to see how many actually hit. Semis also get higher calibers for their size (pistols get .50 cal desert eagles, rifles get .50 cal anti-material, etc).
  • valid reasons? yes. that pin down special effect is a good example. you have a pretty high chance to cause that. pulling out your 20 full auto burst with your rifle, and you are looking at 1/3 off your skill (rifles are easier to aim as a whole) but up to 20x the bullets. You can compensate up to your skill level just by steadying the weapon for a action.
Lacking any kind of recoil mechanism is a major flaw with most rules. Few games seem to acknowledge that it is easier to shoot an American 180 SMG (.22LR) on full auto than a 7.62mm FAL. Without that there would have been no reason for nearly every military on the planet adopting a 5.56mm or 5.45mm assault rifle. Not limited to automatic fire either, most rules don't provide any reason why a PC would choose a .22 pistol over a .44 Magnum.

yea, i've debated this one. There is no provision for this in the Mythras rule set. I'm not certain I want it or not. Might do a STR < max damage = penalty sort of thing, and allow rifles/bipods to augment a bit.
 

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I'm a chronic tinkerer so nothing is ever good enough, but it sounds like they really improved over what was in BRP, that sounds like a reasonable set of rules to work with.
 

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A short history of hand loading ammunition (aka reloading)


Pre cartridge

Prior to cartridge firearms, it was quite easy for an individual to provide their own ammunition. After all, they loaded their ammo every time they loaded the gun. All a shooter needed was a supply of black powder, lead balls or shot pellets, patches, wadding and a ram rod.

A mold sized to fit a guns bore could be used to form the lead balls. These molds resembled a pair of pliers and contained one or more cavities which the lead was poured into. Lead melts at about 650 degrees Fahrenheit (343 C) which is much lower than the temperature of a wood fire, so lead could be melted while sitting around a campfire or on a wood stove.
Lead naturally wants to form a sphere, so molding a musket ball took no particular talent and could be quickly taught.

Molds for making pellets were also available, but even lacking a mold, pellets could be formed by pouring molten lead into a bucket or pool of water and then sorting the resulting pellets by size. These were not as well formed as when using a mold, but it did provide serviceable pellets.

Dropping lead into water was so successful, that in improved form (dropping the lead from a height) it remained the primary method used to form commercial lead shot well into the 20th Century.

Lacking lead in a pinch a shooter could use just about anything that would fit down the muzzle as a projectile, but this was not a desirable option and avoided if at all possible.


A typical "reloading" kit prior to the cartridge era would have include a powder horn or other vessel to contain and dispense the powder, and a mold for making the proper sized lead balls and / or pellets. A pot for melting the lead, a ladle for pouring lead into the mold and a supply of lead. The kit would be rounded out with spare flints, or lengths of slow match as appropriate for the firing mechanism, patches and wadding.

In the 1840-50s percussion caps began to gain in popularity. For a shooter with a percussion fired gun, a supply of percussion caps would be added to the above kit.


From the 1850s a shooter with a rifled firearm might add a bullet mold to their kit, in addition to or in place of the ball mold. Combination ball and bullet molds were common by the 1860s. Despite the better performance of bullets, the use of round balls remained quite popular through the 1870s, particularly in handguns. Balls used about 1/2 the lead of a bullet, making them much more economical. They were also easier cast and had a long tradition of use.

By the 1850s, paper cartridges were becoming increasingly popular. While not a common skill the manufacture of paper cartridges was well within the means of an individual. This was a task often assigned to soldiers, so many soldiers and military veterans would have this knowledge as would anybody who had worked producing commercial paper cartridges.


Up to this point, other than casting the projectile and making paper cartridges, "reloading" was simply part of using of a gun.



The cartridge era

Complete brass and copper cased cartridges began to appear by the 1850s. The first of these were pinfire and rimfire cartridges. As part of the cartridge case is crushed during firing, these are not conducive to reloading, and even today are considered disposable. Shooters of these types of firearms are dependent on factory loaded ammunition.


In 1866 the modern centerfire cartridge was born when the Boxer (UK) and Berdan (USA) priming systems were introduced. Both of these systems have remained in use to the present. For a time shooters of centerfire cartridges were dependent on factory loaded ammunition.
By the late 1870s the military started issue reloading kits to distant out posts allowing them to reload ammunition for training purposes. These were expensive and beyond the means for most individuals.

Most shooters at this time who wanted to be self-reliant, used the older separate projectile and powder weapons.


John H Barlow was a Winchester employee involved in the manufacture of ammunition. In 1884 he left the Winchester Company and started the Ideal Manufacturing Company to market a tool he developed for reloading spent center fire pistol cartridges.

This multi-tool resembled a pair of pliers and allowed the owner to mold a bullet, remove the spent primer, seat a new primer, bell the mouth of the spent cartridge to better seat the new bullet, and then after adding powder could be used to seat and secure the new bullet.

Ideal no 2.jpg


Additional tools quickly followed, allowing a greater number of cartridges to be reloaded including shot shells and rifle cartridges. These tools were caliber specific, so a different tool was needed for each cartridge type. Other manufacturers began to offer similar tools, including most of the major gun makers.

When a cartridge is fired, the case expands filling the chamber. These early tools lacked the leverage to squeeze the cartridge case back to its pre-fired size. Chambers vary slightly from gun to gun, so the result was that reloaded cartridges usually only worked in the gun specific they had been fired from. This was not generally seen to be an issue, since most only reloaded the brass they had fired. Resizing blocks were available by 1891, using a mallet these could be pounded over a spent cartridge case to force it back to its original size. This was a difficult step, and often led to damaged cases, so was only done if a supply of cases from another gun was available, or if the shooter owned several guns using the same ammunition.

Smokeless powder was adopted in the late 1880s, but most hand loaders continued to use blackpowder into the 1920s. Blackpowder cartridges were generally sized so that the blackpowder filled the case up to the bullet. In most cases it was not possible to overload the case to a dangerous level. Using less powder was always an option if a less powerful load was desired and this was frequently done. The US Government specification for the Colt .45 was originally designed for 40 grains of black powder. This spec was quickly reduced to 28 grains to reduce the recoil to a level the average soldier could more easily manage.
Smokeless powder, was much more powerful by volume so filling the cartridge would provide a power level well beyond the safe limits with potentially catastrophic results. There was little information available to hand loader on the proper loads of smokeless powder, and the various formulations of smokeless powder also required different amounts for the same results. Powder measuring devices were also fairly inaccurate, as extreme accuracy wasn't needed with black powder.

In 1891 The Ideal Manufacturing Company included an essay in their catalog providing the proper techniques for safely reloading ammunition. It also included a variety of other information such as tables of weights, lead alloy recommendations and non-factory loading data (different bullet weights, types, and appropriate powder loads etc) extending the utility of many popular cartridges. This appears to be the first information of the type widely distributed to the public.

The pliers type tool remained popular into the 1960s, and in 1947 Lyman (which had bought Ideal in 1925) introduced a similar tool with replaceable parts, allowing one tool to be used with a variety of cartridges so long as you had the right attachments installed.


On to the modern era

There was an increase of interest for hand loading during the 1920s. Along with this was the introduction of larger more capable bench mounted presses. These new presses for the first time had the necessary leverage to resize a spent case. This not only allowed reloaded ammunition to be used in any firearm chambered for that cartridge, it also allowed individuals to begin to make entirely new cartridges by resizing spent cartridges to fit different diameter bullets. This became known as "wildcatting" and it started a whole new range of cartridges. Some of the more popular ones would eventually be picked up as factory loaded ammunition and offered in new manufacture firearms.

single stage reloading press.jpg

Unlike the plier tools, bench presses generally used replaceable parts allowing a wide variety of cartridges to be loaded with one press. A shooter simply needed to buy the right parts for each cartridge they wanted to use.

Along with the new presses, the sharing of information also grew. Guides with reloading information began to be published, these included data for using smokeless powder. More accurate powder measures were also developed, which made smokeless powder safer to use. Newsletters and magazines sharing this information began to be published.

In the 1920s hand loaders were still largely limited to cast lead bullets, but jacketed bullets sold as components soon started to become available and by the late 1940s several manufacturers were offering bullets specifically marketed towards hand loaders. Hand loading was growing from a means to provide economical ammunition and a level of self-sufficiency, to a means to improve to the ammunition and adjust to to their personal needs.

Progressive turret presses were introduced before WW2. Unlike the basic single function presses which only did one job at a time, progressive presses used a turret, so each pull of the handle completed multiple steps. The rotating turret advancing a cartridge one step each time. This greatly increased the speed one could load ammunition, although many prefer the single stage presses when loading for extreme accuracy. Single stage presses are also much cheaper, making the popular for new, casual and low volume hand loaders.

turret press.jpg

By the 1960s hand loaders could buy brand new empty shell cases, primers, powders, and bullets.

Today cases for obsolete and specialty cartridges not readily available as factory loaded ammunition are available to hand loaders. The options available to hand loaders have now developed to the point where hand loaded ammunition often offers more options than factory loaded ammunition and some shooters prefer to load their own as they can personally select each component and ensure the quality of each round of ammunition.
 

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Metallic Cartridge basics - primers


There have been three primary metallic cartridge types, which vary by their method of firing the primer. Most cartridge cases are made of copper or brass.


Pinfire - 1846

The first was the pinfire. These cartridges had an internal primer pocket and a metal pin which extended through the side of the cartridge case. When fired the guns hammer would strike the exposed pin, driving it into the primer.
Pinfire cartridges were developed in the 1830, but it did not become popular until 1846 when an improved type was introduced. The Pinfire was more fragile than later types, and was slower to load since it had to be inserted with the correct orientation of the pin to the hammer.
The pinfire had a relatively short life, becoming obsolete by the 1860s.


Rimfire - 1857

The Rimfire was the next development. Rimfire cartridges have a thin metal rim at the base which contains the primer compound. When fired, the firing pin crushes the rim of the cartridge detonating the primer. Since the whole rim contains primer material, there is no concern about lining it up with the firing pin. It was not uncommon for early rimfire guns to have forked or flat blade type firing pins that would strike the rim of the cartridge in 2 or more places to ensure detonation in case of a defect creating a void in the primer material. Rimfire cartridges were introduced in 1857, and were widely used during the American Civil War. Due to the nature of its construction they require a thin base to operate. This results in a relatively weak cartridge, which is limited in power.
With the adoption of center fire cartridges in the late 1860s rimfires fell out of favor, but a small number have survived into the present day, most notably the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.


Centerfire - 1866

Centerfire cartridges were introduced in 1866. The centerfire cartridge used a separate primer cup pressed into the base of the cartridge. When fired, the guns firing pin strikes this primer cup firing the cartridge.
Centerfire cartridges offered improved reliability over pinfire and rimfire ammunition. It also allowed for a much stronger case, which in turn led to more powerful cartridges. Centerfire cartridges also are capable of being reloaded with the proper equipment and supplies.
Most major military powers adopted centerfire cartridges by the middle on the 1870s, and it has become the dominant type of cartridge used today. Most centerfire cartridges are formed from brass, but steel and aluminum have been used as a low cost alternative, or during wartime when brass is in short supply. Spent steel and aluminium cases are not recommended for reloading.


cartridge types.jpg


Type of centerfire cartridge

There are two major types of centerfire cartridge, both were introduced in 1866. From a users perspective they are identical, and can be used equally well in any firearm chambered for the cartridge. The difference really only matters when it comes to reloading a cartridge.

The Berdan type was invented in the United States. It uses a simple single piece primer cup. There is an anvil formed into the base of the cartridge so the firing pin has something solid to crush the primer against. A fired Berdan case can be identified by its twin flash holes at the base of the cartridge case.

The Boxer type was invented in England. It uses a slightly more complex 2 piece primer cup with the anvil integral to the primer cup. A fired Boxer case can be identified by its single flash hole in the base of the cartridge.

Although both types can be reloaded, the supplies are not interchangeable. Boxer type ammunition is preferred by those reloading ammunition as it requires fewer special tools, and only uses 4 standard sizes of primer cup. Since a new anvil is provided as part of each primer cup there is no concern about wear or damage of the anvil as there can be in Berdan primed cases.

Proponents of Berdan primed cases suggest the design of the case results in more uniform performance and reliability. The primer cups are also simple and cheap to make, although there is much less standardization. There are a dozen or more common sizes of Berdan primer cup available, and the proper primer for a specific cartridge may vary slightly between manufacturers. As reloading for Berdan cartridges is less popular, reloading supplies are much more difficult to get compared to Boxer ammunition.


Although developed in England, Boxer primed ammunition has become the most popular type in the US, while the US designed Berdan dominates in the rest of the world. The Berdan type is the most common used on military spec ammunition. Although Boxer is preferred in the US, Berdan primed ammunition is still quite common, often being found on inexpensive imported ammunition.


center fire.jpg

Berdan_vs_boxer.jpg
 

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I found an interesting article about forensic analysis of gun shots taken from Northern Ireland. It has a lot of discussion about the chemistry of propellants and goes into quite a bit of depth about historical development of ammunition technology as well.

http://oro.open.ac.uk/57720/1/339857.pdf
 
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Arise from the dead thread of gun lore and spill forth your knowledge trivial, esoteric and obfuscated.


Why are they called bullpups



If you don't want to watch the video, bull pup was a slang term used to describe bulldog puppies. It began to be applied to the handful of weird, short and kind of ugly rifles with the action behind the trigger in the 1930s. Another early term for these weapons was cart before the horse rifles. the earliest known examples were made ion the 1860s.

Bullpup rifles were being rather heavily discussed in this thread, but it seems more appropriate add it here as well as an excuse to revive this one.

As it appears this wasn't actually discussed in the thread. A bullpup rifle is tenuously described as one with the action behind the trigger instead of the more common in front of the trigger. Best known these days for several assault rifles that were developed in the 1970s / 80s as well as some popularity in films.

1587074718550.png

Styer AUG in Diehard


Although most often thought of as super modern designs, rifles with this arrangement first appeared in the late 19th century.
 

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The Gyrojet family of firearms didn't use gunpowder, instead they used a miniature rocket to propel the bullet. To my understanding they were absolutely abysmal, being inaccurate, shoddily built and unreliable.
They work for larger than man sized weaponry, I was told, just prohibitive to make.

I can't vouch for the reality of explosive or incendiary ammunition that is so common in video games.
They exist, but aren't used as antipersonnel rounds. Incendiary bullets were known as Tracers, which before the advent of the Laser Sight was used to help track to their target and were typically used with machine gun level weaponry.

And Explosive rounds are built for shotguns as breaching rounds, to bust down doors quickly. They are typically used at point blank range.

I've been told that .50 Caliber pistols are heavy and will tire you out firing a single clip.

Actually, the .50AE round actually has less power than a .44 Magnum used in the IMI Desert Eagle, which is why it's more manageable. It's still a big ass bullet though.

Some more side notes here:
Rifling is the spiral grooves on the inside the barrel of a firearm. It greatly increases the accuracy of a bullet by causing the bullet to spin as it exit's the barrel. Rifling's been around since the matchlock days but was expensive and difficult to make until around the 1800's.
When a firearm doesn't have rifling it is called a smooth-bore. They are inaccurate at longer ranges.
That's because a bullet tumbles through the air, not to mention that most rounds move at about MACH 2, which means it has to fight the wind resistance. Having the bullet spin corkscrew fashion it allows it to effectively 'drill' its way through the air.
 

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That's because a bullet tumbles through the air, not to mention that most rounds move at about MACH 2, which means it has to fight the wind resistance. Having the bullet spin corkscrew fashion it allows it to effectively 'drill' its way through the air.

The gyroscopic effect of a spinning bullet also helps to keep from meandering off track. Same reason they added fins to aerial rockets, imparting a spin to the rocket helped to keep it pointed in the direction it started out.
 

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If you want to see what happens if you don't have fins or a spin on a round object go fire a paintball gun. The ball flies straight for maybe 50ft then curves sharply in a random direction. You can use it to shoot around a corner if you have sufficient ammo and get lucky. They're used to be a paintball gun that attempted to impart a spin on the balls to get an additional 20-30ft of semi straight flight. With a ball another way to increase the straight flight distance is to dimple the ball like a golf ball.
 
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Arise from the dead thread of gun lore and spill forth your knowledge trivial, esoteric and obfuscated.


Why are they called bullpups



If you don't want to watch the video, bull pup was a slang term used to describe bulldog puppies.
Really? That's a disappointment...I thought it's used for "bulls with the heads of puppies":grin:!
 

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The gyroscopic effect of a spinning bullet also helps to keep from meandering off track. Same reason they added fins to aerial rockets, imparting a spin to the rocket helped to keep it pointed in the direction it started out.
THAT'S the word I was looking for, gyroscopic! Thank you!
 

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The players could try to rig up some kind of harness that lessened the penalty somewhat.
Or you could rig it up to some kind of remote weapons system, like a remote control sentry gun with a weird automatic mechanism.

Speaking of weird automatic weapons: The Winans Steam Gun, an alleged steam powered rapid-fire centrifugal gun, is great inspiration for bizarre fictional weapons. The only sources of information I've found on it were... questionable... to say the least. Apparently Mythbusters did an episode on testing something like it though. But whether or not it was real, it always peaked my imagination for giant boomerang or discus launchers.
I should dig up my books on siege equipment and make a Siege Equipment Porn thread going over the basics of stuff like trebuchet's and siege towers.


Speaking of weird siege weapons, I present you with the dynamite gun.

1589132669306.png

These launched dynamite (or similar nitroglycerin based explosive) filled shells, Because nitroglycerin is shock sensitive the shells were propelled using compressed air or steam instead of the more common explosive propellants used in cannon.

Dynamite gun


These did actually see some use, and the US Navy even built a ship armed with three 15" dynamite guns in 1888, the USS Vesuvius. This ship played a minor part in the Spanish American War shelling positions in Cuba.

The shells for these 15" guns each contained 550lbs of nitroglycerin based gelatin. This was considerably more than the 8" and 10" guns then arming major warships and whose entire shell weighed 260 and 510lbs with the explosive only accounting for about 10% of that weight. Due to the size of the guns the entire ship had to be turned to aim them, and they had a short range of only 1 mile (1.6km) compared to 3+-miles (4.8- km) for the guns of more conventionally armed warships. These shortcomings led to a short service life and the ship was removed from active service after only 10 years.
 

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Speaking of weird siege weapons, I present you with the dynamite gun.

View attachment 17997

These launched dynamite (or similar nitroglycerin based explosive) filled shells, Because nitroglycerin is shock sensitive the shells were propelled using compressed air or steam instead of the more common explosive propellants used in cannon.

Dynamite gun


These did actually see some use, and the US Navy even built a ship armed with three 15" dynamite guns in 1888, the USS Vesuvius. This ship played a minor part in the Spanish American War shelling positions in Cuba.

The shells for these 15" guns each contained 550lbs of nitroglycerin based gelatin. This was considerably more than the 8" and 10" guns then arming major warships and whose entire shell weighed 260 and 510lbs with the explosive only accounting for about 10% of that weight. Due to the size of the guns the entire ship had to be turned to aim them, and they had a short range of only 1 mile (1.6km) compared to 3+-miles (4.8- km) for the guns of more conventionally armed warships. These shortcomings led to a short service life and the ship was removed from active service after only 10 years.
Short life span but consider the naval age coming ahead, the age of Dreadnaughts. Ships would come off the ways already obsoleted by technological advances.
 

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Firearm actions

The method of operation on a firearm is referred to as the action, bolt action, lever action, semi-automatic being common types.

The earliest firearms were muzzle loaders. The propellant (typically black powder) is poured down the barrel from the muzzle, followed by the projectile which being a tight fit has to be rammed into place with a long rod, but it fairly secure allowing the weapon to be carried without concern of the projectile / powder "falling out". The weapon can be fired using a handheld slow match, matchlock, flintlock, wheel lock or caplock. Some modern muzzle loaders use an electric ignition system. Slow to reload, and difficult to reload without standing.

Muzzle loaders are often smooth bore weapons due to the increased difficultly of ramming a projectile down a rifled barrel. Because it was much faster to reload a smoothbore muzzle loader, rifled muzzle loaders were uncommon in military service until the 1850s with the advent of projectiles like the Minie ball which allowed much easier loading of a rifled muzzle loader. Double and multi-barrel muzzle loaders existed as well as some complex multiple shot single barrel weapons.

The common muzzle loading actions were covered early in this thread, but a brief summary:

Hand lit (Antiquity): The simplest action. A source of flame, is brought to the flash hole where it ignites a fuse or fine powder firing the gun.

Match lock (1400): A piece of slow match is attached to an arm on the gun. This arm is connected to a basic trigger. When pulled the trigger brings the match in contact with the priming powder firing the gun.

Wheellock (1500): A clockwork mechanism is used to spin a wheel. The iron teeth on the wheel strike a piece of pyrite resulting in a shower of sparks which ignites the priming charge. Theoretically more reliable than the early proto-flintlocks but much more complicated and expensive to make.

Flintlock (1600): When the trigger is pulled a hammer holding a piece of flint strikes a piece of steel creating sparks which land on the powder charge and fires the gun. Similar in principle to the earlier wheellock but much simpler to make and maintain, cheaper and lighter weight. The flintlock mechanism went through several evolutionary stages beginning in the mid-1500s. The final form included a protective metal cover over the powder charge which provided some protection from the weather and helped to direct the sparks. This cover is automatically moved when the gun is fired.

Caplock (1820): Similar in appearance to the flintlock but instead of iron and flint throwing a spark into a small pan of fine powder, the hammer strikes a small cap filled with a shock sensitive explosive material like fulminate of mercury. This is the first mechanism to truly offer a priming method that could be kept loaded without serious concerns about the weather or having the primer dislodged during carry. The caplock was far more reliable than the flint lock leading to its rapid dominance on military weapon. Due to some similarity in basic operation many flintlocks were later converted to a caplock action.



The first breach-loaders were developed by the 1500s but they were uncommon being difficult and expensive to make. The first military breech-loading rifle was the Ferguson used by the British in small numbers (perhaps 100) during the American Revolution. These were expensive and relatively delicate, breech-loaders would not see significant military adoption until the 1840s.

The advantage to a breach loader is the shooter does not have to stand or kneel to reload, and reloading can be done much faster even when using loose powder and ball. Since the bullet and propellant are inserted into the breech end there is no need to ram the bullet down the barrel this eliminated one of the major concerns with rifled guns. A variety of breech loading firearms were entering service by the 1840s. Breech-loaders also saw the first use of self contained cartridges. A major concern with many early breechloadering designs was propellant gas leaking from the breech close to the shooters face.

The earliest breech-loaders used matchlock or flintlock actions. It was the combination of the percussion cap with breech loaders that quickly led to the obsolescence of muzzle loaders.

Breech loading actions:

Hinged block (1820): A block sealing the breech is hinged upward, backward or to the side providing access to the chamber for loading. This remained the most common type of breech loading into the 1840s and remained common into the 1870s. The hinged block was also used on many muzzle loader conversions.

Bolt action (1840): The breech is opened by rotating a locking bolt, either directly by lifting up on the bolt handle and then pulling it back to open the breech (turn pull), or in later designs through a cam that automatically rotates the bolt when the handle is pulled back (straight pull). First used on the Dreyse needle rifle in 1841 and would became a popular breech loading mechanism.

Falling block (1848): The breach is opened by dropping a block that seals the breach, often through the use of a lever. First used on the Sharps M1851 rifle widely used during the American Civil War, and many later Sharps rifles.

Break action (1858): Break action guns hinge at the breach allowing easy access for loading. Although this seems simple enough, the early attempts had serious issues with gas leakage and wear. It wasn't until 1873 that the idea was perfected and it then became quite popular.

Rotating block (1860): The breech is sealed with a semi-circular breech block. A lever is pulled down rotating the breech block and opening the action for loading. The Spencer repeating rifle and carbine used during the American Civil War are some of the better known examples of a rotating block.

Tilting block (1862): Similar to the falling block, except it is hinged at the back resulting in the block tilting downward instead of remaining level. This creates a sort of ramp to help aid in loading. First used on the British Peabody rifle and later the Martini-Henry and US M1873 "Trap door" Springfield.

Rolling block (1864): A variant of the earlier rotating block, also sometimes called a split block. The primary difference between this and the rotating block is how the breech block is locked. Where the rotating block is operated with a lever, the rolling block is locked when the hammer falls. When the hammer is cocked the block can be easily rotated by hand opening the breech. This results in a strong, action that can be rapidly reloaded. This action is most closely associated with Remington.


Repeating actions to follow (eventually).
 
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Toadmaster

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Short life span but consider the naval age coming ahead, the age of Dreadnaughts. Ships would come off the ways already obsoleted by technological advances.

This is true, one of the reasons the period between the American Civil War and WW2 is so interesting, the march of technological progress was relentless.

An odd foot note to the Vesuvius, after having its guns removed the ship was used to test torpedoes. In 1913 the ship was intentionally run aground to prevent its sinking after being struck by one of its own errant torpedoes.
 

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This is true, one of the reasons the period between the American Civil War and WW2 is so interesting, the march of technological progress was relentless.

An odd foot note to the Vesuvius, after having its guns removed the ship was used to test torpedoes. In 1913 the ship was intentionally run aground to prevent its sinking after being struck by one of its own errant torpedoes.
/wargamer theory
I'd use dynamite guns with glee if I was commanding an army. I just wouldn't install them on a ship.
No, I'd install a bunch of them in a fortified place, possibly bunker-like, at near the edge of their effective distance from a crucial strategic place that you want to deny to the adversary. Like a mountain pass, or something similar. Bonus points for being narrow...like a mountain road.

Care to send your troops while these babies are raining their destruction from above? No? Great, I don't want you sending them, either. And if you don't, I'm not going to shoot them. So we're cool, now:shade:?

/wargamer theory
 

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This is true, one of the reasons the period between the American Civil War and WW2 is so interesting, the march of technological progress was relentless.

An odd foot note to the Vesuvius, after having its guns removed the ship was used to test torpedoes. In 1913 the ship was intentionally run aground to prevent its sinking after being struck by one of its own errant torpedoes.
The first ironclad i think is The Monitor 4 October 1861.
Compare that with the above mentioned ship from 1888. Compare that to The Dreadnaught built in 1906.
 

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When your players don't want to play in the 1800s because "flint locks are boring"... The 14 barrel, double volley gun with heptagonal (seven sided) rifling :shock:

double volley gun.jpg



The backstory to the gun sounds like a good starting point to a game, plus 7 barrel x2 with 7 sided rifling (777) and the "With this alone I shall defend" sounds like a supernatural hunter to me. :dice:
 
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When your players don't want to play in the 1800s because "flint locks are boring"... The 14 barrel, double volley gun with heptagonal (seven sided) rifling :shock:

View attachment 18827



The backstory to the gun sounds like a good starting point to a game, plus 7 barrel x2 with 7 sided rifling (777) and the "With this alone I shall defend" sounds like a supernatural hunter to me. :dice:
If I play in a 1800's game I will be wielding one of these.
 

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Repeating (generally) actions


Revolver (1790) - The revolving action was one of the first reliable repeating actions. The concept of using multiple revolving barrels goes back to the late 1500s but they were expensive, and delicate so very rare. By the late 1700s flintlock pistols using a series of manually rotated barrels began to gain in popularity. Colt patented the first revolver that most would recognize as a modern revolver in 1836. Revolving actions are typically of two main types, multiple barrel (pepperbox, Gatling gun) and the now standard revolving cylinder and a single barrel. While generally thought of as a handgun action there have been revolver long guns. Some modern machine guns and cannon use a revolving action. (Revolvers are a huge subject, I may give them a more detailed post of their own later).

Bolt action (1840) - The details of this action is described in a post above. The first successful repeating bolt action rifles appeared in the 1880s. The first bolt action repeaters used tubular magazines, but fixed internal or detachable box magazines quickly became the standard.

Rotating block (1860) - Described in a post above, best known for its use in the Spencer repeating rifle used during the US Civil war.

Lever action (1860) - Like many of the early breach loaders the action is worked through the use of a lever. The first lever action rifles used an under barrel tubular magazine, some later designs used a detachable box magazine. The shooter pulls down on the lever ejecting a spent round. This action also cocks the hammer and drops the shell lifter allowing a fresh round to be pushed out of the magazine under spring pressure. As the lever is moved back into the firing position the fresh cartridge is lifted into position and pushed into the chamber. The lever action is one of the fastest manual repeating actions, but did not see a lot of military use since the early guns used relatively low powered cartridges.

Pump action (1884) - The Pump or slide action is very similar in function to the lever action, but it uses a sliding hand grip instead of a lever to operate the action. This movement also led to the nickname of trombone action. Pump action weapons are one of the fastest manual actions to operate. First used on rifles, the pump action is better known for its wide use on repeating shotguns.

Self loading action (1888) - Aka auto loading, semi-auto, full auto, automatic. There is huge variety in the actual method of operation but essentially when the shooter pulls the trigger a cartridge is fired, then ejected and a fresh cartridge is loaded and ready to fire. A semi-auto fire arm will only fire one time per trigger pull, an automatic weapon can fire multiple times with one trigger pull. The first self loading actions were designed in the early 1880s, but black powder was too dirty to allow them to fire reliably beyond a few shots. With the introduction of smokeless powder in the late 1880s the first successful self loading firearms were introduced. The Maxim machine gun was one of the first being adopted in 1888, by 1900 there were several semi-auto handguns and rifles on the market. (Like revolvers, self loading actions are a large topic worthy of a post all to themselves).
 

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When your players don't want to play in the 1800s because "flint locks are boring"... The 14 barrel, double volley gun with heptagonal (seven sided) rifling :shock:

View attachment 18827



The backstory to the gun sounds like a good starting point to a game, plus 7 barrel x2 with 7 sided rifling (777) and the "With this alone I shall defend" sounds like a supernatural hunter to me. :dice:
Well, Gun Jesus needs something to hunt Vampires with.
 

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I just wanted to chime in and tell you Toadmaster Toadmaster - I appreciate this thread.

In my younger days I was into firearms (then I got married and my wife put the veto down)... had a workshop to reload, make custom ammo, the whole nine yards. I'm easing back into it again, Mrs. Tenbones is all-in, and coincidentally this thread gives me hype-vibes, like I get when talking about RPG's in general. And more - combining the two.

My two copper-jackets for RPGs:

1) Degree Granularity - Decide if the focus of combat is going to involve firearms as a primary mode or not. If so, then you probably want granular mechanics for recoil based on caliber, make, model (quality), etc. internal to classes of firearm. If not - keep them broad (Pistol - large,med,sm) SMG(heavy/light), Rifle. etc)
2) Damage by Caliber - This is how CP2020 did it. And it makes a lot of sense. I would make allowances only for style of shot based on weapon-type. For example a .50 blackpowder ball has entirely different ballistic profiles than a .50 caliber AE pistol round, or a .50 cal Barrett round.
3) Mods! Regardless of abstraction (granular or broad) your system should consider modifications into your game-mechanics. These should address the fundamental qualities of the firearm: Damage (ammo), Accuracy(optics), Quality(misfires, environmental penalties, weapon hp, difficulty to repair), Recoil (if you're using such rules, could be folded into quality, but these would also include barrel mods for porting, etc), Range(more barrel mods), RoF(trigger mods, or receiver mods). Even in abstract systems these things should be accounted for. Deadlands does a decent job - as does Interface Zero, and by no means would I consider Savage Worlds granular.

Anyhow! love the thread.
 

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Some modern machine guns and cannon use a revolving action.
Revolver cannons have quite a high rate of fire, often 1500rpm or more. They also start up significantly more quickly than rotary guns, so for a half-second or one second burst they compare quite favourably. This makes them quite popular on aircraft and in some AA gun applications.

For example the Spanish Meroka CIWS has 12 20mm revolver cannons and an aggregate rate of fire in the region of 20,000 RPM. The guns are also canted slightly to give a greater spread of fire. Hawker Hunters had 4x30mm ADEN cannons with an aggregate ROF of just under 7,000 RPM - actually a greater aggregate volume of fire than the GAU-8A cannon fitted to the A-10. If you think about it, that's quite impressive for an aircraft half the size of an A10 that went into service two decades earlier.
 
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Toadmaster

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I just wanted to chime in and tell you Toadmaster Toadmaster - I appreciate this thread.

In my younger days I was into firearms (then I got married and my wife put the veto down)... had a workshop to reload, make custom ammo, the whole nine yards. I'm easing back into it again, Mrs. Tenbones is all-in, and coincidentally this thread gives me hype-vibes, like I get when talking about RPG's in general. And more - combining the two.

My two copper-jackets for RPGs:

1) Degree Granularity - Decide if the focus of combat is going to involve firearms as a primary mode or not. If so, then you probably want granular mechanics for recoil based on caliber, make, model (quality), etc. internal to classes of firearm. If not - keep them broad (Pistol - large,med,sm) SMG(heavy/light), Rifle. etc)
2) Damage by Caliber - This is how CP2020 did it. And it makes a lot of sense. I would make allowances only for style of shot based on weapon-type. For example a .50 blackpowder ball has entirely different ballistic profiles than a .50 caliber AE pistol round, or a .50 cal Barrett round.
3) Mods! Regardless of abstraction (granular or broad) your system should consider modifications into your game-mechanics. These should address the fundamental qualities of the firearm: Damage (ammo), Accuracy(optics), Quality(misfires, environmental penalties, weapon hp, difficulty to repair), Recoil (if you're using such rules, could be folded into quality, but these would also include barrel mods for porting, etc), Range(more barrel mods), RoF(trigger mods, or receiver mods). Even in abstract systems these things should be accounted for. Deadlands does a decent job - as does Interface Zero, and by no means would I consider Savage Worlds granular.

Anyhow! love the thread.

Adoption into a game is always tricky, has to be enough to make it interesting, but not so much to make the players eyes glaze over.

I'm a tech nerd. I can easily be dismissed as a gun bunny but that is simply because weapons are an area that many people will accept large lists. I could just as easily nerd out on flashlights, power tools etc but the vast majority of people are content with "Chainsaw, 1 Ea" completely oblivious that they come in different sizes, styles and chain construction. :dice:


Revolver cannons have quite a high rate of fire, often 1500rpm or more. They also start up significantly more quickly than rotary guns, so for a half-second or one second burst they compare quite favourably. This makes them quite popular on aircraft and in some AA gun applications.

For example the Spanish Meroka CIWS has 12 20mm revolver cannons and an aggregate rate of fire in the region of 20,000 RPM. The guns are also canted slightly to give a greater spread of fire. Hawker Hunters had 4x30mm ADEN cannons with an aggregate ROF of just under 7,000 RPM - actually a greater aggregate volume of fire than the GAU-8A cannon fitted to the A-10. If you think about it, that's quite impressive for an aircraft half the size of an A10 that went into service more than two decades earlier.

The Soviets introduced a 7.62mm revolver machinegun in the 1930s that had a rate of fire of 1800 rounds per minute. This gun armed many of their fighters in the 1930s at a time most fighters were still armed as they had been in WW1 with two .30 cal machine guns firing 500-600 rounds per minute.

Revolver cannon don't typically have the same impressive rate if fire as the gatling designs (some firing 6000-8000 rounds per minute in sustained fire) but as you say the often overlooked part is it takes a bit to get those barrels turning at speed. During a typical 1/2 second burst the effective rate of fire is much closer.

Weight of fire is another factor when it comes to large automatic guns, particularly regarding aircraft. It isn't just how many bullets but also how big. The debate between lots of rifle caliber machines guns vs a couple of light cannons raged in the years leading up to WW2. In the end the cannon won out, with the exception of the US who as is typical made up their own rules and used the exceptional Browning .50 cal right on into the Korean War.

Anthony Williams has done a number of books on aircraft armament, which are very worthwhile for anybody interested in the subject.
 

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It is often mentioned (usually in defense of the carbine) that the M1 Carbine was not intended to replace a rifle, but was developed to offer support troops something better than a pistol without the weight and bulk of carrying a fullsize rifle. For comparison an M1 Carbine weighed 5 3/4lbs loaded and was 35" long (a M1911A1 pistol weighs about 2 1/2lbs). Most military rifles of the time weighed 9-11lbs and were 43-50" long, so the M1 certainly met the lighter and handier bit. I think it is also worth considering in 1940 most nations were armed with a bolt action rifle, holding 5-10 rounds, the M1 may have used a fairly lightweight cartridge but it was semi-auto with a 15 round detachable box magazine, so at short range the M1 Carbine had a significant fire power advantage over a bolt action rifle. This is part of the reason it became so popular as a front line fighting weapon, a task it was not initially expected to fulfill. The original contract was only for something like 100,000 carbines, but by the end of the war more than 6 million had been produced.

Anyway I bring this up, because Ian at Forgotten Weapon has done an interesting comparison between a Colt M1911 pistol, and an M1 Carbine. This is the part that is so often overlooked, but was the original purpose for the carbine. I thought it was a pretty interesting video. It also does a fair job of showing that a rifle can be quick to use even at short (by rifle standards) range.



Prior to the M1 Carbine most weapons considered for a similar role were pistols with a detachable shoulder stock or short versions of the standard rifle. The pistols were still limited by their relatively low powered ammunition, and the short rifles using full power ammunition tended to have fearsome muzzle blast and recoil as well as still being kind of bulky.
 

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I found this video on automatic fire interesting, it does a good job of comparing semi-auto vs long (5 round) burst full auto fire. It pokes some holes in the "you can't hit anything after the first round" theory and shows the effect of range on accuracy.

Keep in mind the MP5 is arguably the best SMG ever designed and this one has several additional features to aid in accuracy / control so this is a best case scenario. Also consider 25 yards (the max range tested) is extremely short range in the big picture.

These are both very experienced shooters, but most PCs are not the average guy on the street either. Admit I was impressed with the results of the 5 yard mag dump at the end (13:36).

 
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