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Old 11-12-2017, 03:48 AM   #91
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
That is a good point. In the case of many modern weapons, ammunition quality is key. Handmade ammunition should probably cause a number of problems unless the person making it is an expert.
Hand-loading ammunition is no big deal, as I understand it, and not all that rare for private citizens.

Obviously manufacturing propellants, primers, and brass (any of which can jam or damage your gun if they misbehave) is another matter, as already discussed at length.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:59 AM   #92
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

Successful lever-action rifles are a late-TL5 weapon, and the early milled receiver AK-47 is certainly no harder to make than a Winchester '66. Using blackpowder and a heavier all-lead bullet would allow ammunition to be made at late-TL5 as well, though it would lose some power and the gas and recoil system would need tuning for the different round (easy enough to do before going to mass production).

Fouling would be an issue with sustained fire, though with the AK's loose tolerances you'd still be able to cycle the weapon by hand in most cases, making it the equivalent of a level-action with a very large magazine.

The same applies to the various cheap and simple SMGs designed and produced in WWII (e.g. the Stengun), though you'd want to in .45 ACP rather than 9x19 or 7.62mm Tokarev for the same reasons that 7.62x39mm would superior to 5.56x45mm - lower operating pressures and that larger bores tend to foul more slowly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Hand-loading ammunition is no big deal, as I understand it, and not all that rare for private citizens.

Obviously manufacturing propellants, primers, and brass (any of which can jam or damage your gun if they misbehave) is another matter, as already discussed at length.
Brass wouldn't be too hard to make. Powder, easy for a chemist, dangerous to mass-produce unless you're trained in such things. Primers - fiddly, slow, and somewhat dangerous without a precision mass-production line, preferably automated. Bullets range from dead easy (solid lead or brass) to a bit tricky (jacketed, multi-component cores).
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:03 AM   #93
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Brass wouldn't be too hard to make.
How do you envisage it being done? Deep drawing requires quite specialised machinery. You can build that with the machine shop you have, if you have designs, but otherwise you're going to have to re-invent it. Making cases on a lathe is very slow compared to drawing.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:00 AM   #94
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
(if you're ammo isn't cheap enough to justify burst fire, there's no reason to have an assault rifle).
Given that M4s and M16s are rarely if ever fired on burst now and I at least was trained to practically never use it, this seems to be incorrect. Having a semi-automatic rifle with a high rate of fire, large magazines, and good accuracy seems to be worth using even if you never switch it past Semi. I will also note that plenty of people own civilian ARs that lack the burst setting entirely, yet the weapon remains popular.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:02 PM   #95
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

[QUOTE=AlexanderHowl;2134028]. . . and lead or steel for the bullet./QUOTE]The French used solid bronze bullets in WW I. They worked effectively. Look up "Balle D."
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:13 PM   #96
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

[QUOTE=fredtheobviouspseudonym;2134946]
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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
. . . and lead or steel for the bullet./QUOTE]The French used solid bronze bullets in WW I. They worked effectively. Look up "Balle D."
Brass bullets are a thing among precision shooters. And a lot of ammunition companies are making solid copper bullets now, too.

But really, the bullets aren't the hard part.

The brass casings are hard, unless you're willing to mill them, which is expensive and slow, and easier for straight-walled cartridges. You could weld brass sheet tubes onto a milled base, to keep it cheaper, but reliability would suffer, especially in a vigorously-ejecting automatic weapon.

And propellant is hard if, as with the M16, you need a decently powerful and clean double-base propellant.

These are all reasons I was a proponent of the "make a Winchester" plan. I think I'd favor .45-70, since there are many rifles that used it, as did most versions of the Gatling, and it's hard-hitting for any targets that might still be wearing a cuirass.

Last edited by acrosome; 11-12-2017 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:59 PM   #97
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

I fit is a planned event, pick a weapon that it is easy to replace the ammo in terms of propellent quality, police your brass so you can reuse them several times, bring reloading equipment and lots of primers.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:51 PM   #98
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
The brass casings are hard, unless you're willing to mill them, which is expensive and slow, and easier for straight-walled cartridges. You could weld brass sheet tubes onto a milled base, to keep it cheaper, but reliability would suffer, especially in a vigorously-ejecting automatic weapon.
Is there any reason you can't cast the brass?

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Old 11-12-2017, 09:37 PM   #99
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

[QUOTE=acrosome;2135002]
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredtheobviouspseudonym View Post
reliability would suffer, especially in a vigorously-ejecting automatic weapon.
See the notes in their respective text descriptions about the effect of cheap ammo on both the Martini-Henry _and_ the trapdoor Springfield.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:04 AM   #100
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
How do you envisage it being done? Deep drawing requires quite specialised machinery. You can build that with the machine shop you have, if you have designs, but otherwise you're going to have to re-invent it. Making cases on a lathe is very slow compared to drawing.
On a lathe is one (slow and wasteful) way. Drop-forging and similar methods is another, for fairly straight cases, though shouldered ones can have them added later. If you're really hard up you can hammer the metal over a form by hand, though that's very slow. For lower-powered rounds you can roll them like the original .450 Martini-Henry cases, though hopefully you'd do a better job.

It's slow, and a little tricky, and you'll have to heat-treat the cases at least once with most methods to remove work-hardening, but it's doable. With a proper mid/late TL5 plant I'd look at cold forging, followed by drilling the primer pockets and vents.
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