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Old 01-27-2017, 03:27 AM   #1
Icelander
 
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Default Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

The PCs in my game are trapped in an isolated hunting cabin. There are a lot of guns around, but most of them are hunting weapons meant for predator hunting of coyotes or foxes.

Now, the PCs have been attacked by some very scary creatures; among them what might have been a man, but one impervious to pain or fear, as well as ravenous, emaciated coyotes, wolves and monstrous bear-like figures. They've managed to put down the first wave of attackers, but two PCs are seriously wounded and one of them is almost dead on her feet from exhaustion and self-inflicted bleeding during a protective ritual. Add to that several wounded NPCs and one who might be bleeding to death.

In the course of two firefights, the PCs have used up a lot of their law enforcement issue ammunition. They have some 9x19mm, .357 Magnum and .38 Special rounds remaining for pistols, but they've learned that pistols are a poor choice against foes that seem to continue attacking until decisively stopped with massive trauma. Heart-lung or brain shots do seem to work, but on anything bigger than coyotes, a rifle round placed there is more reliable than a pistol shot.

Unfortunately, the PCs didn't bring a huge supply* of MILSPEC M193 5.56x45mm FMJ ammunition for the Colt Commando that Special Agent Ledoux carried in his trunk. They also have some buckshot for their Remington 870 and 16 slugs, 6 of them of whatever brand that the FBI was most likely to issue in 1988 and 10 of them whatever brand was most commonly commercially available for deerhunters.

Most of the copious ammunition supply available to the PCs and the various NPCs in the cabin is meant for predator hunting, i.e. shooting foxes, bobcats and coyotes. There is a limited supply of ammunition meant for a chance at the occasional wolf and some odds and ends remaining from deer season.**

The vast majority of the weapons and ammunition, however, are meant to take down targets weighing 30 lbs. or less without damaging the pelt too much. As such, most of the shotgun ammunition is turkey shot or similar and there are a lot of guns in the following calibers:

.22 LR (32 grain CCI Stinger: Dmg 1d+2 pi- (0.7 WCM))
.22 WMR (40 grain HP: Dmg 2d+2 pi- (0.7 WCM))
.22 Hornet (40 grain JSP: Dmg 3d+2 pi- (0.7 WCM); 40 grain JHP: 3d-1 pi)
.223 Remington, 20-inch barrel (40 grain JHP: Dmg 3d+2(0.5) pi; 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip or JSP: Dmg 4d+1 pi)
.243 Winchester (80 grain JSP: Dmg 4d+2 pi+ (1.2 WCM))

There are also speciality weapons chambered for the following:

.17 Remington (25 grain JHP: Dmg 3d+2 pi- (0.7 WCM))
.22-250 Remington (55 grain JSP: Dmg 5d+1 pi)
.221 Remington Fireball, 14-inch barrel (45 grain JSP: Dmg 3d+2 pi)

The .223 Remington loads mostly consist of 40-55 grain bullets, generally hollow-point, soft-point or otherwise designed to expand rather than fragment and tumble. This would probably mean lower Dmg than military or deer loads.

I haven't had much success in researching what varmint/fur-friendly loads were commercially available in 1988, but I expect that absent various high-tech, low-drag bonded bullet designs, the most practical designs would have been low weight JSP and JHP bullets.

I know that Nosler Ballistic Tip 40 grain bullets date to the mid-1980s and so would be available.

For calibers and loads which haven't been statted in GURPS, I'm using Douglas Cole's spreadsheet to model the penetration and wound channel modifier. I'd like to model the different performance of Jacketed Hollow Point and Jacketed Soft Point loads from typical FMJ rounds, even if I have to use different Dmg numbers for the same weapon.

Now, what stats ought I assign those above calibers?

And how should I modify Dmg and Wound Channel Modifier for light, expanding rifle bullets of around .22 caliber?

It seems that .223 Remington loads in 40-45 grains often penetrate only 6 inches or so in flesh, which is good for sparing fur an exit wound, but bad for PCs hoping to use this ammunition against monstrous bear-things.

Would it be unreasonable to give the lightest, best expanding .223 Remington loads stats like Dmg 3d pi+? Or are all .223 Remington loads more powerful than that and this performance should be benchmarked for .22 Hornet rounds instead?

*Though he does have 4 20-rd magazines of it.
**There is a decent amount of .270 Winchester ammunition and some .30-06, two high quality hunting rifles in .270 Weatherby Magnum and .300 Weatherby Magnum are stored there with a box of expanding hunting ammunition for each, and someone brought his Marlin 336 in .35 Remington and a half-full box of soft point ammunition.
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Last edited by Icelander; 01-27-2017 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 01-27-2017, 08:45 AM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post

I haven't had much success in researching what varmint/fur-friendly loads were commercially available in 1988, .[/SIZE]
I tried before to convince you that "predator hunting" and hunting for fur were not significant things in the US. At least not during my lifetime.

Furs are/were usually taken with traps and also to my knowledge only as a subsistence level activity by poor backwoodsers. Possibly supplemented by bounties offered for some species. I've never heard of it being done for sport in the US. I think you're projecting your local expectations. That could be why the research has been so hard.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:19 AM   #3
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I tried before to convince you that "predator hunting" and hunting for fur were not significant things in the US. At least not during my lifetime.

Furs are/were usually taken with traps and also to my knowledge only as a subsistence level activity by poor backwoodsers. Possibly supplemented by bounties offered for some species. I've never heard of it being done for sport in the US. I think you're projecting your local expectations. That could be why the research has been so hard.
The kind of hunting that the NPCs in question do is not practised in Iceland and only one of four species mentioned lives here. I first came across mentions of it while researching Maine hunting legislation for the game.

In any case, research for modern fur-friendly rounds is easy, as there are many sites online about US predator hunting. Making fur trophies is done in the US as well as other countries, but I confess that Aroostook County, Maine has a lot more nice fur-bearing animals that are legal to shoot than anywhere I've been.

It's discovering when particular loads became commercially available and widespread that is hard.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:36 AM   #4
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The kind of hunting that the NPCs in question do is not practised in Iceland and only one of four species mentioned lives here. I first came across mentions of it while researching Maine hunting legislation for the game.

In any case, research for modern fur-friendly rounds is easy, as there are many sites online about US predator hunting. Making fur trophies is done in the US as well as other countries,
I'm more familiar with full-body or head-only taxidermy and you would want a relatively undamaged skin for that but I have trouble seeing a lot of it done for varmints. Especially in a place as rich in large game as Maine.

<shrug>If you've done you're research I won't argue any more but I can only say that I've never heard of the like during a lifetime associating with hunters or especially reading major gun magazines in the late 70s and 80s. I am a long way from Maine. Probably farther than you are.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:06 AM   #5
Purple Haze
 
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

I don't know anybody who has hunted in Maine, but relatives hunted in Québec which can't be too different. Single or double barreled break-action 12 gauge for ducks and geese, a .303, .30-06, or .270 for deer, elk, and moose, and a .22LR for plinking and keeping rabbits and groundhogs out of the garden. Think I saw a .243 maybe twice.

Nowadays people are moving to .308 and 7mm magnums. Look up ammo sales, those exotic varmint calibers don't exist outside of magazines.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:23 AM   #6
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

[QUOTE=Purple Haze;2072954 Think I saw a .243 maybe twice.

Nowadays people are moving to .308 and 7mm magnums. Look up ammo sales, those exotic varmint calibers don't exist outside of magazines.[/QUOTE]

I did sort of do a double-tale at the .221 Fireball. The .17 as well. I think those might be mostly for prairie dogs or something else western. That's because you want high velocity to reach out to long ranges but need little killing power. Of course one of those won't leave anything of the prairie dog's hide.

I've seen .243s but southern whitetail deer are smaller than the northern variety. .270s are probably more common though you don't need a .30-06 or .308 for southern whitetail. They probably get used anyway.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:24 AM   #7
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

On the original question, GURPS does not distinguish between a Vietnam-era M16 and a modern one, so a 55 grain .223 Remington should do 5d pi, just like a 5.56mm.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
On the original question, GURPS does not distinguish between a Vietnam-era M16 and a modern one, so a 55 grain .223 Remington should do 5d pi, just like a 5.56mm.
GURPS High-Tech gives different ranges, GURPS Tactical Shooting gives different range thresholds for pi- and pi damage.

In any case, minimal and broad-strokes differentation between individual loadings in each chambering is a very understandable gamable abstraction. That doesn't mean that GURPS doesn't have the conceptual tools to distinguish, if desired. Which I do.

In any case, I'm using Doug Cole's guideline that expanding bullets do less Dmg and have higher WCM than AP or ball ammo which neither tumbles nor fragments. Normal JSP/JHP rounds have inferior penetratation compared to ball ammunition, but AD(0.5) overstates the difference.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:42 PM   #9
hal
 
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

Cartridges of the world may give you the information you seek. Email e a list of what you want by manufacturer name and I'll see what I can get you. Each entry usually lists the various bullet weight in grains and the powder weights along with the muzzle velocity for the rounds.

I also have a black powder listing for both rimfire and centerfire rounds for the old west along with dates the rounds were supposedly introduced. What might be useful to you were the formulas from Doug's spreadsheet where all you need are bullet weights in grains and velocity of bullets to get GURPS damage ratings.

Email me via the link attached to my name and I'll send you the file.
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:46 AM   #10
Braun
 
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Default Re: Varmint loads (.22/.223/.22-250/etc.)

I have taken white tail and mule deer in western Dakotas with 22-250. They would fall down immediately or run a few dozen yards at most.

Western Canada (Alberta) moose with .243.

both are capable weapons, although sounds like you want the group to need more "knockdown power" then these calibers deliver.
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