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Old 02-10-2019, 12:55 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2019
Default [After the End/Steampunk] Black Powder Repeaters.

Good day. I am brainstorming a possible setting and would be interested in effects of black powder on repeating firearms.

First of all - it seems to me that "Black Powder Fouling" from high-tech should be by RAW applied even to cartridge breachloaders. Am I right about RAW? And how realistic is it? The idea that after shooting 50 rounds without cleaning the rifle would jam 50% of the time does not seem realistic to me but maybe I am misinformed - how does that square with historical record of Martini-Henry or Springfield or any other single-shot cartridge rifle?

It also seems obvious that multi-barrel configurations should have larger thresholds for Malf reduction (so Gatling's Malf worsens every 100 rounds). But how would you treat a revolver - would fouling be reduced because of the gap, or is it still the same as a rifle? And something like Nordenfelt Single-Barrel - would it be more resistant to fouling than the rifle, or not?

For the second part assume steampunkish TL5+1 (still with black powder, because of reasons). What measures can be used to manage the fouling? Would having FMJ and\or paper-patch improve the situation? Maybe some "lubricator" like in Armstrong Gun to clear the fouling as it builds up?

The obvious solution to me seems having a quick-change barrel. If I am going to "steampunkise" existing weapons instead of coming up with stats from scratch - can someone knowledgeable provide me with guidelines which weapons (rifles, assault rifles, SMGs, pistols) can be made to accept the quick-change barrel and which would require re-engineering from the ground up so I may as well just invent one.

Different machine guns also take different time to change barrel - from 3 to 10 seconds. If I am modifying existing ones already - will they all probably end up with "extra-fast" 3 second change time or it is only reasonable for something like Steam!Sten and more elaborate weapons would require longer time? While we are at it please throw your suggestions for the price of that feature (it definitely can be made free because it would end up as a setting standard but other ideas are appreciated).

I am not sure how I manage to create a text consisting almost entirely from questions. Please ask me for clarification if I failed to convey my meaning in English.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:06 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
Default Re: [After the End/Steampunk] Black Powder Repeaters.

I think some answers about black powder are in pyramid 88, but I would need to check
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wellington, NZ
Default Re: [After the End/Steampunk] Black Powder Repeaters.

Note that one of the major problems with fouling was in loading - it made it increasingly hard to force the ball/bullet down the bore of a musket. However, when you're using a cartridge-loaded breechloader this is no longer a consideration.

Thus for a breechloader the consideration is the point where the bore is so fouled that pressures rise to a dangerous level or fouling of the mechanism jams it. The former doesn't seem to have been a consideration, even in the Lee-Metford, which had a .303" bore (quite small for the time). The latter shouldn't be a problem, as none of these weapons were opening the breech before chamber pressures had dropped to atmospheric.

I don't think there's a real concern with a metallic cartridge weapon or a revolver as long as it's cleaned promptly and thoroughly after the action is over. The malfs listed in HT and other sources for particular weapons cover any issues sufficiently.
Rupert Boleyn

"A pessimist is an optimist with a sense of history."
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:13 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: MO, U.S.A.
Default Re: [After the End/Steampunk] Black Powder Repeaters.

The American West was won with black powder repeaters. The first weapon in wide spread use to use smokeless powder was the Lebel Model 1886 rifle, even after the various militaries switched over there were a lot of black powder weapons still in use in civilian hands until after WW I, when military surplus became cheap enough for everyone to up grade.
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