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Old 11-08-2017, 09:35 PM   #41
acrosome
 
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I don't see why a skilled synthetic chemist couldn't make double base smokeless propellant with a TL8 lab.
I thought the PCs had a machine shop, not a lab? Y'know, with a spectrometer and all?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
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.
[All the experienced chemists start to back away, slowly.]

Too damned many nitrogens on that thing...

Last edited by acrosome; 11-08-2017 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:40 PM   #42
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
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.
Spencer rifles used rimfire metallic cartridges, patented in 1860. They're pretty low powered for a rifle cartridge, but they're a rifle cartridge.

Reading up on the history, centerfire designs predate metallic cartridges, so if you showed Spencer a sample centerfire cartridge in 1858 and explained to him why it was a good idea, he'd probably skip the S&W patent and use a centerfire design instead. It was certainly within the mechanical means - needle rifles are more complicated than centerfire rifles but basically the same principle, and Dreyse rifles were adopted by 1848.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:53 PM   #43
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
Spencer rifles used rimfire metallic cartridges, patented in 1860. They're pretty low powered for a rifle cartridge, but they're a rifle cartridge.
.
I almost explained why I didn't pick the slightly earlier Spencer (or the Volcanic either) but the reason I didn't is that it's a piece of crap as a design and I didn't think anyone would pick it as a real starting point. Notice how early it and the one follow-up to it stopped being made.

For a blackpowder repeater there's no real competition to the Winchester and then when you get smokeless powder your first repeater for that is probably the Mauser (possibly the Lee-Enfield if you're a sentimental Anglophile).
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:00 PM   #44
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
How many M16s are you planning to keep fed with benchtop production rates?
You could make enough propellant for a hundred or so rounds with a 2-3 day process, I think.

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You still need to _handle_ the pure nitro after you make it. Not necessarily something they teach in chem lab.
Yeah Hazardous Materials is also a required skill.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:08 PM   #45
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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
I thought the PCs had a machine shop, not a lab? Y'know, with a spectrometer and all?
Sure the proposal is farfetched, because of the starting point, but my point was that you could make locally sourced artinisal organic hand-loaded M855 knockoffs if you had a lab, a machine shop, and a reloading press.

In this case building the lab from the machine shop isn't strictly impossible just really cinematic. It isn't quite as bad as building a bionic prosthetic in a medieval smithy.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:23 PM   #46
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
... through an "annealing oven" which I'm not quite sure what is. Some sort of heat treatment.
That's exactly what it is. Used for various different processes, primarily to change the physical or even chemical composition of whatever you're annealing.


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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
[All the experienced chemists start to back away, slowly.]

Too damned many nitrogens on that thing...
That's why I love Cody*....



* youtube video from Cody's Lab
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:31 PM   #47
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
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...
You can probably turn out glassware and burners and such relatively freely, but a TL8 chemistry lab has a bunch of electronic instruments in it. If you can build those in the machine shop, it's only by using up fairly specialized and irreplaceable pre-existing parts.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:55 PM   #48
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

I think we are looking at a person with twenty required skills to make ammo for an M16...
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:26 PM   #49
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
I don't see why a skilled synthetic chemist couldn't make double base smokeless propellant with a TL8 lab.
It occurs to me that if you are going to make smokeless powder we've overlooked a critical feedstock - cellulose. It's not remotely easy to synthesize, which we neglect here on Earth because God already did all the ridiculously hard chemical engineering necessary to put together a commercially viable total synthesis from water and carbon dioxide using self reproducing nanoassemblers, but alien ecologies don't necessarily have a source of it.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:32 PM   #50
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Default Re: Making more ammo stuck on a low tech world.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
You can probably turn out glassware and burners and such relatively freely, but a TL8 chemistry lab has a bunch of electronic instruments in it. If you can build those in the machine shop, it's only by using up fairly specialized and irreplaceable pre-existing parts.
Yeah you probably aren't going to be able to do IRs or nMR.
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