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Old 02-19-2017, 08:17 PM   #51
Icelander
 
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Default Military Police Concealable Body Armor (CBA)

I seem to recall seeing CBA vests in a 3e supplement, probably GURPS Modern Firepower.

The Internet assures me that the US military issues Concealable Body Armor (CBA) to MPs, criminal investigators and military personnel guarding detainees. According to the Internet, this is a multi-threat armour, incorporating stab-protection as well as being proof against 9mm NATO rounds, at least. At least one source refers to it interchangably as CBA and Concealable Stab-Protective Body Armor (CSPBA).

Can anyone confirm the existence of such armour in US service?

Does anyone know which services would have it and when it was first issued?

Who makes it?

The guards at Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane would have received standard to high-quality mil-spec body armour for correctional work sometime between 1995-2000. At that time, they were expected to be equipped to repel an outside attack by armed hostiles in a boat, maybe someone attacking the research lab or trying to rescue an inmate, but that wasn't ever more than a theoretical worst-case threat. Mostly, they eould have feared a violent pstient getting his hands on an improvised stabbing or cutting weapon. At worst, a riot of inmates, some of whom may have shivs or obtain sharp implements.

The guard force might have bought new stab-protective vests after becoming civilian contractors, at least if the old vests wore out. With modern vests that offer both adequate pistol protection and stab-protection being so cheap and light that even low-threat police in Iceland bought simple multi-threat vests for everyone as less expensive than buying some specialised anti-stab vests and some ballistics vests without any stab protection, I rather expect a new purchase would have similar performance as the CBA, if perhaps slightly lower DR against piercing attacks (i.e. NIJ Level IIa or II rather than Level IIIa).

What DR should the different levels of stab-protection give, anyway?

What mechanism would forumites recommend to simulate the fact that real-world armour which protects from stabs with sharp objects, GURPS damage type imp, will be much less effective against spikes, GURPS damage type imp?

Or that soft body armour in general may give good protection against bullets (pi- to pi++) and fragments (cut), but be much less useful against extremely narrow spikes (pi- to pi) or sword cuts or axe blows (cut)?
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:40 AM   #52
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Default Good value in anti-materiel rifles

In the disappointingly almost empty* armoury for the guards on Jewell Island, our characters found, among other things, some boxes that used to hold anti-materiel rifles. The GM stated that these were 'like the rifle in Kingsman used to shoot through the umbrella'.

He refers to the Blaser Tactical 2 in .338 Lapua Magnum that appears in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service.

The GM stated that the specific model and brand-name was whatever was logical for the guards to have obtained, leaving such details to me, as the Assistant GM for Research (and other things). So I'm looking for sensible anti-materiel rifles that Deputy Warden Tyrrell could have obtained recently. These rifles would be intended for use from observation towers and/or other prepared positions that support the crew-served weapons in the observation towers.

From a sane point of view, the longest shot that could occur on Jewell Island is around 1,500 yds, because the island simply isn't longer than that. The longest shot that is practically likely is around 800 yds, with 1,300 yds or so remaining possible, if someone really wants to. The vast majority of conceivable tactical situations would feature shots between 100 yds and 400 yds from either one of the towers, because anything of importance on the island is no further away from the towers than that.

If anyone wanted to engage boats or cutters, of course, there is no range limit. The further out that the rifles can engage accurately and effectively, the better. The mere fact that Warden Tyrrell obtained anti-materiel rifles, instead of ordinary sharpshooter rifles in .308, 7mm or .300 Win Mag, certainly suggests that he intends them for a role other than shooting escapees on the small island itself.

My initial reaction was that rifles chambered in .50 BMG made more sense than ones in .338 Lapua Magnum, as the guards had access to vast stores of .50 BMG M2 machine-gun ammunition, including AP rounds. On the other hand, I don't know if any of the .50 BMG ammunition they have for their M2HB could actually be used for rifles.

I know that the black-tipped AP round "Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, Armor Piercing, M2" is not supposed to be used for any other weapon than the M2 machine gun, but I don't know what that means in practical terms. Will using it in a rifle not work or will it simply degrade the rifle over time, thus making the military forbid it? Would it give a massive penalty to Malf., Acc, Dmg and Range in GURPS terms or would it work more or less fine in the short term, only causing issues over years? Does it matter if it is a bolt-action or semi-automatic rifle?

In any event, Warden Tyrrell may well have obtained the rifles after he started falling into the rabbit hole, sanity wise, and he may have intended them for defence against US law enforcement, if and when it came to that. So there is a possibility that the guns were explicitly bought with performance against Coast Guard reponse boats and small cutters in mind. So any way he had of getting APHC or other amour-piercing ammunition would be a positive for him.

If being Coast Guard Reserve or Auxiliary would help him obtain such weapons more cheaply or get him access to military AP ammo, he'd probably have made use of any contacts he still has as a former Chief Warrant Officer. Some of his men are also Maine Army National Guard, Army Reserve or otherwise former military. Some eight or nine of his men have part-time federal law enforcement credentials, albeit sharply limited ones, related to responding to an emergency at the isolated mental institution where they work. This is variously from the Coast Guard and from the Federal Protective Service.

There was no way to get Uncle Sam to pay for the rifles, as there was certainly no pressing need for them, considering the complete absence of any outside security threat to the Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane, ever since it was founded. As a result, the company that he and his fellow guards founded when their security function was privatised, Manhanock Security, has to pay for the rifles. This more-or-less amounts to them paying for them personally.

As a result, I'd want the best value for money that could give them the tactical capabilities they are looking for. Light and handy rifles would be better than unwieldy ones, but they need enough heft to handle the recoil from whichever caliber I end up picking. The scopes need night-time capability and need to be high enough quality for the weapon system to work as a whole. Nothing more useless than a high-end rifle with a long-range round, but a cheap scope.

Semi-automatic and large magazine size is better than single-shot or bolt-action, but considerations of price or other practical matters would outweigh the limited added value of (relatively) quick follow-up shots, especially as the typical user won't be able to make any such shot anyway. Rapid semi-automatic fire might be called for when trying to disable the engines of a response boat or a Coast Guard cutter, but it's probably more important to be able to place one shot in the right place than hit the boat somewhere several times.

We already know that the guards are trying to stretch their available resources when it comes to equipment they have to buy for themselves. They had been stockpiling non-perishable food, medical supplies, tools, cold-weather gear and various other survivalist paraphernalia and the feeling we got was that whoever bought it had been looking for good value. Not bargains, necessarily, nothing low-quality, just sensible purchases of stuff that wasn't brand-name, high-fashion or unecessarily expensive. Gen II+ NVGs instead of the newest, astronomically expensive models. Well-maintained power tools bought used. Military surplus where that was a good value, good-quality commercial products matching brand-name models for a lower price, etc.

Everything seemed bought by someone with professional level skill in using these things, Merchant 12+ and a budget he had to think about, not just justify to superiors.

I) With these things in mind, what rifles, scopes and other accessories would forumites suggests?

As a benchmark, the Blaser Tactical 2 is $5,000+ without scope or any accessories. The rifle shown in Kingsman: The Secret Service probably came to $10,000+ all told.

I'd want each rifle, complete with scope and acessories, to come to about half that final price, so around $5,000 each. If you can get good quality under that price, even better.

That's not a hard limit. If going slightly over budget would give much better value, I'll consider that. And if anything under $10,000 for the whole set-up would be so subpar as to be inferior to a regular hunting rifle, I'll ask the GM is .338 Lapua Magnum is necessarily the lowest caliber or if they'd consider obtaining a better value in a more sensible caliber.

II) Would it be possible to use the .50 BMG machine gun black-tip AP ammo in .50 BMG rifles?

III) Could you get fairly affordable Barrett M82/M107 rifles or should the first step be forgetting all about that well-known model and brand to focus on better value for money?

IV) Which caliber would be more practical, the .338 Lapua Magnum or the .50 BMG?

*Because the guards have already trooped through there, taking everything of any use, because not only are they gearing up themselves, but they are arming some of the orderlies.
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:29 AM   #53
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Default Re: Good value in anti-materiel rifles

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
There was no way to get Uncle Sam to pay for the rifles, as there was certainly no pressing need for them, considering the complete absence of any outside security threat to the Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane, ever since it was founded.
This raises the issue of the M2 machine gun and the Mk19 grenade machine gun in the guard towers. They seem like very heavy ordnance for a civilian guard force to start with, so how are they justified in the absence of a security threat? Or is this "don't worry, it's technothriller"?
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Old 02-21-2017, 05:50 AM   #54
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Default Re: Good value in anti-materiel rifles

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
This raises the issue of the M2 machine gun and the Mk19 grenade machine gun in the guard towers. They seem like very heavy ordnance for a civilian guard force to start with, so how are they justified in the absence of a security threat? Or is this "don't worry, it's technothriller"?
They were placed there when this was a military base and when the facility came under the administration of the DHS, no one thought to remove the ordnance. After all, there was still a mothballed military facility on the island, with reservists who officially maintained and even 'commanded' it for two days a month.

Everyone had more important things on their mind during the change of administration for Manhanock Asylum than a spare gun or two. After all, there was a major kerfluffle in North Carolina in at New Year's 2000 and everyone connected to Project Jade Serenity or the preceding experiments on Jewell Island spent the next three years frantically covering their backsides and avoiding responsibility. DoD was happy to sign the entire facility over to DHS when Homeland Security came into being.

The weapons are officially still on the books as assigned to the Coast Guard post on Jewell Island and while no one has issued them new ammo or spare parts since then, no one has actively tried to remove them either. The paperwork involved is probably all rather vague, as no one wanted their name attached to a document that implied that they had detailed knowledge about anything connected to Manhanock Asylum, in case they had to answer questions in front of a grand jury at some point.

The guards weren't going to complain, because these weapons are cool as all hell and they love playing with the AN/PAS-13 thermal weapon sights on them. It probably didn't hurt that at first, the new civilian guards were mostly the former military ones in new uniforms, as reservists rather than on active duty, so no one had to worry about giving military ordnance to some actual civilian security guards.

The fact that Deputy Warden Tyrrell was a senior Chief Warrant Officer in the Coast Guard detail stationed at Jewell Island at the time of the transition might also have helped in getting the DoD to forget about demanding the return of any guns when they signed over responsibility. At the time, I'm sure he simply wanted to avoid having to buy radios, batons, vests, pistols, rifles and shotguns for the security company he founded to provide the guard force, but raising any issue connected to the stores of the former military facilities on Jewell Island might have reminded bean-counters to remove everything of value.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:52 AM   #55
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Default Some anti-materiel rifles I'm considering for the guards on Jewell Island

If anyone has further suggestions or knows if any of these rifles have been statted in a GURPS supplement (or have their own stats for them), please comment.

Budget .338 Lapua Magnum Rifles

The Savage Model 110 / Savage Model 110 BA comes in .338 Lapua Magnum, with a MSRP for a new rifle between $1,000 to $2,650, depending on features and accessories (excluding scope). That's an attractive price point. Unfortunately, the negative reviews and comments I find online vastly outnumber any positive opinions, with most of what I can find that is truly positive being written by people with a financial stake in selling the rifles. Do forumites have opinions on these rifles?

Remington 700P MLR comes in .338 Lapua Magnum. MSRP between $2,000 to $3,000. Remington 700 rifles are excellent foundations for custom sniper rifles, but according to the Internet, the action is stretched to the limit chambering .338 Lapua Magnum and there are better options available in this caliber.

Sako TRG-42 in .338 Lapua Magnum. MRSP $2,250-$4,500, depending on the breaks and accessories (excluding scope). Sako can make very good rifles, but I don't know how well the most economical models available in .338 Lapua Magnum would perform.

Armalite AR-30A1 is a bolt-action rifle that comes in .338 Lapua Magnum. MSRP $3,000-$4,000. I don't know if these rifles are good value or not.

Budget .50 BMG Rifles

Serbu RN-50 is a new single-shot rifle with the main selling point of an amazing MSRP of $875-$1,000. Supposed to be very slow to reload and may be Cheap in game terms.

Watsons Weapons 'The Boss' is an AR-15 upper chambered in .50 BMG. MRSP $1,000-$1,200. Bolt-action single-shot, may be Cheap in game terms, suffering either an Acc or Malf. penalty.

Ligamec/Zel Custom Ultralite 50 / Tactilite is another AR-15 upper in .50 BMG. MSRP $1,350-$1,750 just for the upper, maybe around $1,850-$2,200 for a complete gun if you don't have a spare AR-15 lower receiver.

Safety Harbor Firearms SHF R50 is functionally designed as an AR-15 upper, but sold as a complete rifle with a 5-rd detachable box magazine. MRSP $2,450.

Serbu BFG-50 has an MSRP $1,900-$2,800 depending on configuration. I don't have much information on the quality of these single-shot rifles.

Armalite AR-50/AR-50A1 is a single-shot rifle, pretty heavy, but has a decent reputation. MRSP $3,350-$4,000 bare.

Bushmaster BA50 is a bolt-action rifle with a 10-rd Barrett style magazine. MSRP $5,400-$6,000. If these rifles are decent quality, they provide several interesting features, including some degree of mutual familiarity with AR-15/M16 rifles and a high magazine capability.
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:06 AM   #56
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Default Update on anti-materiel rifles for Jewell Island guards

The GM has confirmed that the rifles are meant to be used against helicopters and boats, meaning that .50 BMG is probably more attractive than .338 Lapua Magnum.

Maximum budget of $10,000 per rifle, which has to include bipod, scope, night vision and any other accessories that might be desired.

The current leading candidates for rifles are either new Bushmaster BA50s, if those rifles are good value for money, or used Barrett M82s of some kind.

I'm looking for good scopes that are decent value for money. Either night-vision scopes that can also be used in daylight (and work on a .50 BMG) or add-on NV sights that can be added to a decent scope.

I'm also wondering if one could use black-tip AP ammo for the M2 in a rifle. Would it be better to use a single-shot or bolt-action for that?
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:16 AM   #57
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Default Re: Some anti-materiel rifles I'm considering for the guards on Jewell Island

On the rifles:

Personal favorite:
The Sako TRG-42 in .338 LM is my personal all time favorite rifle by far. I have shot a lot of different rifles over the years, but this rifle is just a beauty. I do not think there is an "economy" model, at least I have not heard of it. The only real variations I have heard about are the two barrel lengths. I think most of the price differences come from the accessories like the muzzle brake, accessory rails and folding stock(I hear this is a pretty expensive option).

Basically I shot a friend's short barrel version few times and could immediately shoot better with it than with any rifle before, So not many months later I bought my own long barrel version and it has been my favorite since..

As for the actual question:
I cannot give any specifics of the other rifles as the only other rifle on your list I have shot is a Remington 700, but it was in .308

I view cheap .50 BMG rifles with some suspicion, mostly due to the fairly high recoil that even standard .50 rifles have. I am not a small person but unlike smaller rifles where on a good shot you do not even consciously feel the recoil I have always been at least a bit annoyed by the .50 BMG recoil even on good rifles. Not that I have shot all that many rounds all together so it might be different with more experience at such.

Overall the big differences between cheap and normal good quality rifles is that cheap rifles tend to be flimsier design and much more variable in manufacturing quality. So overall they tend to be less reliable and more uncomfortable to shoot.

If you want to hit things at long range you kind of "must" buy a quality rifle and the accessories(a bipod, a quality scope and so on).
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:53 AM   #58
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Default Re: Some anti-materiel rifles I'm considering for the guards on Jewell Island

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If you want to hit things at long range you kind of "must" buy a quality rifle and the accessories(a bipod, a quality scope and so on).
Absolutely.

So, if you had $10,000 to spend for the most capable anti-materiel rifle, including all accessories (which has to include Night Vision 5-7), what would you get?

You can buy used, as long as someone with Armoury 12 can make sure the weapon is functionally as good as new.
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:59 PM   #59
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

Another popular threat to correctional officers is being bashed over the head with blunt force, in particular the classic improvised sap of a heavy object in a sock . . . I'm not offhand familiar with any place that issues helmets to deal with this

Prisons often have smooth floors of painted concrete or linoleum, and can get wet, so wise COs get non skid boots or shoes (dependent on regulations may get steel or composite toes, but prison may ban this). Rocky, Bates, 5.11, Brazos, Under Armour, Danner, Shoes for Crews are some popular brands (a CO may own several pairs of boots or shoes, so can air and dry between use).

Sharp protective gloves will be bought and used if allowed, as offenders need to be patted down and cells searched.

In addition to concealable vests, there should be suits of riot armor for cell entry teams and the like. These definitely should include face protection. Surprisingly they may not include hand protection, as the team needs to be able to use and apply hand and leg restraints. The cell may be a mess of water and chemical agents and the offender may have stripped down to be harder to grab

Various improvised weapons may be carried as well. For instance some keys may be massive 'dungeon' type keys the span of a forearm, there may be pry bar type tools for opening food tray slots, or institutional grade kitchen thermometers for checking food is kept at safe temperatures

Ideally all your staff should have a radio and a body alarm
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:06 PM   #60
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Default Re: Some anti-materiel rifles I'm considering for the guards on Jewell Island

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
You can buy used, as long as someone with Armoury 12 can make sure the weapon is functionally as good as new.
... or can fix it without spending a lot of money.
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