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Old 05-04-2016, 01:10 PM   #111
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
...that depends on your muzzle loader. Weapons like the Brunswick Rifle and Baker Rifle were able to reliably put rounds in a man sized target at ~300 yards. If you miss at that range, you've probably got time to reload at least once before the guy with the stick gets to you.
Certainly. I had a lot more in the post originally but I pared it down lest I appeared to be ranting. The vital "smooth-bore" bit got lost along the way. I got back to it with my point about rifling or multi-shot being a pre-requisite.

If you are talking scrounge and adapt there is no reason why that AK47 with the worn rifling and no ammo couldn't be chopped up for parts. The barrel could provide rifled barrels for a number of muzzle-loading pistols (or a single multi-barrelled one). You might be taking some risk that the twist was wrong, but if you weren't clever enough to work that out, you are probably not clever enough to work out why your performance is off.

I suppose another key aspect is not simply "Is it possible to manufacture item X at tech level 4" but rather can "YOU or someone YOU can find manufacture item X at tech level 4". Even if you can, does that mean you can make something of the same quality.

Some of the issue with low tech levels isn't about the idea it's about the materials available. The posts for road signs are probably of higher quality steel than the majority available several centuries ago. In those days the manufacturer had to put in all the quality as the item was crafted (probably from raw materials). These days much of the quality is already in the parts and the expertise is in selecting the right ones. If you can short cut that by using an existing design then you just need to find the parts.

The gun barrel is a good example, way back when the gun-maker needed to make the tube for the barrel, now he just needs to find a suitable tube. We use high pressure gas pipe for smooth-bore muskets. That makes gun manufacture effectively blocking one end (by screwed in hutt) drilling a touch hole and then mounting it on a stock. I don't expect that all the high pressure gas pipe in the world will suddenly disappear in "the event".

The skill of the gun maker will be assembling that gun so that it fires true, anyone can make a "gun" that throws a ball in an inconsistent trajectory. It would be largely useless as a weapon of course. Filled with scatter-shot, it may however still be serviceable.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:21 PM   #112
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Cans of sand are an extremely poor model for armor; pistols can also outperform rifles against sand.
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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Sandbags basically disintegrate bullets (particularly high speed bullets); they don't need to be hollow point, though I'm sure hollow points disintegrate faster.
Out of interest what's the deal with sand against high velocity rounds?

In GURPS terms tactical shooting gives tamped sand 3DR per inch which is considerably better than wood or earth. Don't get me wrong I can see why sand makes a good stopping medium (lots of resistance so lot's of force on a lighter, faster bullet) but do pistol rounds really do better than rifle rounds.

It it slower heavier rounds and inertia that makes all the difference here (in which case OK that favours a crossbow bolt). Actually I can see tumbling in sand is going to put lots of stress on a bullet (and rifle bullets will be worst off due to size and shape, the corollary being bolts obviously won't tumble at all)


A size 10 can is what 6" thick? that's going to be DR18 if the sand is packed in tight, plus 2x light gage tin so maybe DR19-20?

So unless sand needs special rule in GURPS that's going to stop pistols crossbows and some lighter rifles,


(point taken about HP though)


Still as we've pointed out tins of sand are not a good body armour analogue. Although I'm now picturing sand as like the polar opposite of aramid fibres!

Last edited by Tomsdad; 05-04-2016 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:42 PM   #113
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Out of interest what's the deal with sand against high velocity rounds?
Basically, sand grains are hard enough to erode bullets, so each sand grain you hit damages the bullet, and the higher the velocity, the more damage it does. Meanwhile the crossbow bolt isn't going fast enough to take much damage from the sand (a crossbow bolt moving at rifle speeds would disintegrate on hitting sand), so all it needs is enough energy to push the sand out of the way -- and the sand grains are not attached to one another, so that's not actually very much energy.

Even if the bullet doesn't get destroyed, in general to push through a barrier you need enough energy to break the material bonds in the material (negligible between sand grains) plus enough to overcome the hydrodynamic drag of the material you're going through (varies with density and the square of speed). In general penetrating fluids is just a question of penetrator areal density and streamlining as compared to barrier areal density.

Much the same situation applies to hitting water.

The principle of "destroy the bullet" does apply to body armor, but body armor just doesn't have the thickness and areal density of sand, so the destroyed bullet continues to be a threat for a ways. Spaced armor could apply the same principle but isn't really practical for personal armor.
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Last edited by Anthony; 05-04-2016 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:55 PM   #114
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Basically, sand grains are hard enough to erode bullets, so each sand grain you hit damages the bullet, and the higher the velocity, the more damage it does. Meanwhile the crossbow bolt isn't going fast enough to take much damage from the sand (a crossbow bolt moving at rifle speeds would disintegrate on hitting sand), so all it needs is enough energy to push the sand out of the way -- and the sand grains are not attached to one another, so that's not actually very much energy.

Much the same situation applies to hitting water.

The principle of "destroy the bullet" does apply to body armor, but body armor just doesn't have the thickness and areal density of sand, so the destroyed bullet continues to be a threat for a ways. Spaced armor could apply the same principle but isn't really practical for personal armor.
Huh, cool I never thought of it in terms of friction. Excellent well I learned something today!

(and it does match up with what I know about penetrators against tank armour etc, do'h)

Cheers

TD

Last edited by Tomsdad; 05-05-2016 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:19 PM   #115
swordtart
 
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
There are some pretty legitimate reasons* why firearms replaced crossbows centuries before decent multishooters were commonly available.... etc
Many of the reasons you quote are quite accurate about developed firearms, but not to muzzle loading black powder guns. When guns were first introduced they were inferior to bows and cross-bows and it was only fashion that saw them introduced at all. Even in the 17th century when guns had been around a good long while and were at the peak of non-rifled development there was an argument about arming troops with bows instead to increase their fire power (basically the clinching argument was that to train an archer took many years - muscle growth predominantly which would not have been an issue with a cross-bow). However just as guns have developed since the early muzzle-loaders, modern crossbows are far superior to those made centuries ago.

The crossbow was unpopular as a weapon of war precisely because it was so deadly, it effectively ended the ability of armoured ruling classes to casually participate in battles and so could not be tolerated. Pope Innocent II banned their use by Christian armies (or at least was interpreted to have done so). It is the ability to silently kill that saw their use discontinued in later armies (just as later high powered air-guns were frowned upon during the 19th century). Silent weapons were classed as the weapons of an assassin not a soldier.

In Asia there was no such convention and the boxer rebellion saw crossbows being fielded against 20th century cartridge weapons and Montagnards used them against the Viet-Cong armed with modern automatic weapons.

More recently they were also used in the Kosovo conflict in the 80's. Turkish, Greek and Spanish special forces continue to use them, and of course they are the weapon of choice for Zombie fighters and many "preppers".

Their uncertain legal status also make them popular where conventional firearms are frowned upon. This means there may be far more of them in use (and therefore available after "the event") than might be considered (the USA may be an exception due to proliferation of conventional guns).
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:55 PM   #116
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Many of the reasons you quote are quite accurate about developed firearms, but not to muzzle loading black powder guns. When guns were first introduced they were inferior to bows and cross-bows and it was only fashion that saw them introduced at all.
Fashion in weapons might be a thing, but wining never goes out of style.


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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Even in the 17th century when guns had been around a good long while and were at the peak of non-rifled development there was an argument about arming troops with bows instead to increase their fire power (basically the clinching argument was that to train an archer took many years - muscle growth predominantly which would not have been an issue with a cross-bow). However just as guns have developed since the early muzzle-loaders, modern crossbows are far superior to those made centuries ago.
As has been stated pretty soon guns were more effective than either bows or crossbows. In fact bows and crossbows had already had their heyday long before the C17th. (the predominance of highly trained long bowmen ala agincort etc was actually pretty short, and waned once horses were armoured or knights dismounted).

The reason being armour stopped arrows and bolts unless at very close range from powerful bows.

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
The crossbow was unpopular as a weapon of war precisely because it was so deadly, it effectively ended the ability of armoured ruling classes to casually participate in battles and so could not be tolerated.
1). Never has a weapon not been used for being too good at winning you wars

2). If what you say was true then the gun would also have been even more unpopular and banned as it was even better at killing nobles. And equally any weapon or tactic in thousands of years or warfare that have made it easier to stop the posh chaps on horses / chariots with the best kit (the conflict of ethos you allude to has a long pedigree, but ultimately winning was always the ultimate judge)


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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Pope Innocent II banned their use by Christian armies (or at least was interpreted to have done so).
He attempted to give his army a leg up by threatening to excommunicate a Christian army* it was about to fight that had crossbows, not quite the same thing. Given the papal bull in question was in 1139 and crossbows were most certainly used by Christian armies against other Christian armies afterwards even if it was intended as a widespread ban it didn't stick.


*which contained Moors IIRC, allowing his army to fire at them of course!

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
It is the ability to silently kill that saw their use discontinued in later armies (just as later high powered air-guns were frowned upon during the 19th century). Silent weapons were classed as the weapons of an assassin not a soldier.
What practical reason would there have been to not use effective weapons just because they were quieter than guns. If your lining up and shooting in formation (which you did in the C19th) no one's going to care about a quieter weapon benefit's to stealthy assassination.

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
In Asia there was no such convention and the boxer rebellion saw crossbows being fielded against 20th century cartridge weapons and Montagnards used them against the Viet-Cong armed with modern automatic weapons.
The convention that didn't exist in Europe did not effect Asia it's true, they were used because they where what was available. If the boxers had been able to field modern forces with C20th weapons they most certainly would have done so (the warlord armies of the time certainly used guns). It fact as soon as any armed forces in China was able to do so they did use C20th weapon and not crossbows (the Chinese civil war was not fought with crossbows).

The Montagnards did occasionally use crossbows, they also used heirloom muskets, and older rifles and modern ones. They used a whole host of weapons again being an under equipped guerilla force they used what they could. Any weapons is better than no weapon after all.

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
More recently they were also used in the Kosovo conflict in the 80's. Turkish, Greek and Spanish special forces continue to use them,

Special forces will use all sorts of unusual kit in very specialised circumstances (Kosovo I have no idea about specific crossbow use but I doubt the crossbow supplanted the assault rifle in any significant way).

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
and of course they are the weapon of choice for Zombie fighters and many "preppers".
Are they? And if so why. I'm guessing the rationale is pretty different form the ones you've given above. If your talking about stuff like Daryl in the Walking dead he has a very good specific reason that's not relevant to the history of warfare and is a fictitious character. Although if we're now talking about what might be good in apocalyptic zombiefest than yeah OK different situations are different

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Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Their uncertain legal status also make them popular where conventional firearms are frowned upon. This means there may be far more of them in use (and therefore available after "the event") than might be considered (the USA may be an exception due to proliferation of conventional guns).
I would say hunting with rifles/shotguns is actually more wide spread than legal use of crossbows even outside of the US. You might have a point about places with very strict gun control (like were I live) but the reality is people use guns when they want to use guns not crossbows. And use crossbows when they want to use crossbows subject to regs etc.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 05-05-2016 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:03 PM   #117
dcarson
 
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

Another reason that firearms were popular against bows. Logistics, 100 rounds worth of black powder and lead ls easier to haul then 100 arrows or bolts. Lead can be cast over a fire so bulk lead can fit any firearm that you have and can be scavenged from things roofs. When you need to supply a number of troops that adds up.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:24 PM   #118
starslayer
 
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

Just on the topic of bows vs guns- this is for the most part below the resolution of GURPS, but: Bows are NOT consistent. The same amount of pull, at the same angle, in the same wind can arrive at radically different locations.

Further compounding this is that arrows normally do not spin in flight, which causes them to veer.

Bows are also radically higher maintainance than guns, and tend to fail in a 'you loose an eye/part of your face' mechanic, rather than 'just' stovepiping the barrel or refusing to shoot.

At short ranges this is largely irrelevant, but as range continues to go out this becomes more and more of an issue.

We can counter this with modern technology and manufacturing to have slightly offset feathers which impart a spin, and arrows/bolts that are mechanically identical to one another down to 1/1000'th of an inch; but if you have that level of manufacturing accuracy AtE why aren't you making guns and ammo? If ammo is for some reason very scarse (lost the secrets of smokeless powder, can't access precursor chemicals, etc); a repeating air rifle would be a better choice for your manufacturing prowess.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:34 PM   #119
acrosome
 
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

I haven't seen the most important point about firearms vs bows/crossbows. That in about a day you can teach a peasant levy to load and point a musket in roughly the right direction, and properly 'motivate' him to stand in line where he is told. You can't do that with a longbow. Training a competent bowman takes years. Crossbows are a bit easier, but still inferior to a firearm. Plus, the peasant levy can cast his own lead bullets, so you just have to supply them with bulk gunpowder. Keeping a battalion of bowmen in arrows takes a cohort of skilled fletchers.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:50 PM   #120
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: What kinds of firearms would people start making [After the End]?

[QUOTE=swordtart;2002746
If you are talking scrounge and adapt there is no reason why that AK47 with the worn rifling and no ammo couldn't be chopped up for parts. The barrel could provide rifled barrels for a number of muzzle-loading pistols (or a single multi-barrelled one). .[/QUOTE]

Pepperboxes of .30 caliber did exist. See the allen Pepperbox on p.92 and 94 of HT.

This gun's stats illustrate a point though. It only does 1D+1 P-. That's an average of 4pts of penetration but only 2 pts of tissue damage (the standard Gurps rounding convention is round down). It's entirely possible that you'd need to fire all your shots to take down a single target at very close range.

So this is an "anything is better than nothing" weapon and single-shots would be even more limited than the pepperbox. For someone ATE the equation of work put in to effect achieved wil be critical. The original models weren't built by persons laboring desperately to achieve their own survival. They were made to sell cheap guns to a na´ve clientele.

This has proven to be a durable market here in Civilization but if you were doing the work yourself for your direct survival rather than indirect survival through monetary gain you might dec8ide making it was more trouble than it was worth. The time might well be better spent using a sling to hurl rocks at rabbits.

A lot of improvised weapons really aren't very good weapons. They need to be made not only with available materials but with a modest investment of time either for construction or Skill acquisition.

A full sized musket (even a smoothbore) that did 3 or even 4 D P++ would have a certain unquestionable utility but various sorts of small--caliber zip guns would be a lot less useful.
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