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Old 11-08-2017, 06:26 PM   #31
sir_pudding
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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
Though not always. Sometimes the higher tech option is just plain better and was only not used at lower tech because they didn't come up with it (either because it requires concepts they were lacking, or because they just didn't think of it). Guns mostly aren't in that category, though; an awful lot the concerns have to do with purity and tolerances.
On the other hand say Germ Theory is.
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:36 PM   #32
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Aren't repeating cartridge rifles TL5?

.
Very late TL5. 1863 for the Henry and that doesn't use "rifle" ammunition. You'd go to the Winchester 1866 at a minimum and more likely the 1873 or 1876.
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:49 PM   #33
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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No you can't. The only way you don't need to retrain them is if they are already trained. However, the amount of training required may be modest.
...Since at that TL powder mills exist, you can find people who are already trained rather than having to train your own.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:31 PM   #34
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by Kfireblade View Post
I am, in fact, needing to make more ammo for M16's.
Ew.

Well, the M16's direct impingement gas system is not going to tolerate black powder at all. Don't even try. And in fact the casings are very low-volume, needing relatively energetic modern (circa 1960s) powders to work well. Basic nitrocellulose wouldn't work. So almost anything you're going to be able to realistically make is likely going to result in a profoundly unimpressive low-velocity round. It's just going to poke little .22-caliber holes in targets, rather than replicate the lethal tumble-and-fragment behavior of the 5.56mm round. And it might not cycle the weapon. It probably would, but might not- you may need to ream the gas port in the barrel to be a bit larger or something. Or another option would be to change the M16 into a manually-cycled magazine-fed rifle of some sort. Mill a slot in the side of the upper receiver for a side-charging handle to cycle it after every shot, not unlike what Alexander Arms has on their sniper rifle.

It would be difficult to pick a worse gun to try to feed in a low-tech setting, frankly. I could come up with a few, but it ain't easy. I was hoping you'd say something like a lever-action rifle or revolvers. Almost all of which use rounds that were first developed for black powder, or are descendants of such rounds.

Or better yet, shotguns.

Because I would very seriously consider making a shotgun, and then feeding that rather than try to feed the M16. Making shotgun shells would be much easier, even with rifled slugs. If I were going to be more ambitious my next step up the technological ladder might be a single shot breechloader of some sort, likely a Remington Rolling Block or Sharps- something that takes a straight-walled brass cartridge and can use cast bullets (that is, it wouldn't need a jacketed bullet). Another step up from that would be a magazine-fed lever action rifle or a bolt rifle that uses a black powder cartridge.

Last edited by acrosome; 11-08-2017 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:39 PM   #35
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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So almost anything you're going to be able to realistically make is likely going to result in a profoundly unimpressive low-velocity round.
I don't see why a skilled synthetic chemist couldn't make double base smokeless propellant with a TL8 lab.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:11 PM   #36
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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I don't see why a skilled synthetic chemist couldn't make double base smokeless propellant with a TL8 lab.
Say rather a very precise chemical engineer who can design and build the industrial production of pure nitroglycerin in a plant that doesn't blow up too often.

This is done in our world and has been for quite a while but it's been done by the people who didn't make too many mistakes and the professional heirs of their successful techniques.

Nitrocellulose is a lot easier to make and handle even if it's a primary explosive too.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:13 PM   #37
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Say rather a very precise chemical engineer who can design and build the industrial production of pure nitroglycerin in a plant that doesn't blow up too often.
You don't need a plant, there are at least two synthetic pathways that work at benchtop scale.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:16 PM   #38
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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I don't see why a skilled synthetic chemist couldn't make double base smokeless propellant with a TL8 lab.
A TL8 synthetic chemistry lab isn't necessarily on hand, though.

Though one could probably make do with less, double-base propellant isn't TL8.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:18 PM   #39
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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A TL8 synthetic chemistry lab isn't necessarily on hand, though.
Oh, I agree with you there. They'll need to build the lab first, which given a machine shop is doable. Of course now you need a skilled machinist, a skilled precision glassmaker, a skilled chemist and a skilled loader...
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:23 PM   #40
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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You don't need a plant, there are at least two synthetic pathways that work at benchtop scale.
How many M16s are you planning to keep fed with benchtop production rates?

You still need to _handle_ the pure nitro after you make it. Not necessarily something they teach in chem lab.
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