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Old 05-24-2021, 10:22 PM   #61
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
For most of the chamberings, this is quite true.

I wish it were easier to find out details on specific hunting ammo available between 1987-1995. There have been considerable advances in bullet designs and I need grain weight, velocity, bullet dimensions, enough data to estimate internal ballistics at different velocities, not to mention BC.
I've got a Guns Digest and an edition of Cartridges of the World from somewhere in that timeframe, so I can have a look - if I can find them (I moved house a few months ago and a lot of my books are still 'who knows where?').

For most of the calibres were discussing the bullets haven't changed shape much, and aside from a fashion for very heavy bullets for a while bullet weights haven't changed much either (though for a long time the .270s lacked decent heavy bullets even though the only slightly larger 7mms had plenty).
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:26 PM   #62
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
As the arms caches are not intended for use in the Continental USA, the availbility of the ammuniton in typical American stores is not vital. In any case, precision shooting will require commercial match rounds or handloads anyway.
Are rounds of that quality purchased circa 1990 likely to remain in excellent condition in an improvised hidey-hole for 30 years? Brassed-case smokeless powder cartridges will stay fireable in pretty rough conditions, but is the propellant likely to remain stable enough to give the accuracy bonus in GURPS?

Especially since the shooters are not likely to have time to familiarize themselves with the particular weapons and ammo (ie. not to have time to look up the details, take the weapons and a few hundred rounds to the range, and see how these particular examples of a familiar weapon perform).
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:00 AM   #63
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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I've got a Guns Digest and an edition of Cartridges of the World from somewhere in that timeframe, so I can have a look - if I can find them (I moved house a few months ago and a lot of my books are still 'who knows where?').

For most of the calibres were discussing the bullets haven't changed shape much, and aside from a fashion for very heavy bullets for a while bullet weights haven't changed much either (though for a long time the .270s lacked decent heavy bullets even though the only slightly larger 7mms had plenty).
There are new, higher BC projectiles almost yearly.

In the 1990s, you could mostly either have expanding performance or the BC for longer range. Now, there are hunting rounds with better performance than 1990s and also have better BC than target rounds from that era.

Precision manufacturing and monolithic bullets have changed a lot.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:06 AM   #64
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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Wy would you assume that? It's how things are done here. You go into a gun store and you give them money and they give you your gun. For quite a while credit cards have been the most convenient way to handle purchases in that size range. Before that it would have been a personal check.

Cash might have been suspicious seeming. I suppose you could have gone in, looked at the rifle and then asked if he'd mind holding that rifle until you could go to your bank and get some money and maybe not looked like a drug dealer. Nobody really cares about long gun purchaes anyway.
If it's used in a very high-profile crime and is then found by law enforcement (not the plan, but always a possibility), investigators will trace the serial number and try to find out who bought it. With a long chain of private sales and gun shows, this yields no useful evidence, but if someone actually bought it with a credit card the same day, well, that's how people end up convicted.

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I would also note that a gun secured for multi-year storage in a high humidity environment is probably covered in protective grease and not ready to fire without extensive cleaning. So a one hour timeline might be problematic.
Yes, they'd be buried in enclosed, sealed boxes, probably, covered in cosmoline or whatever best protects them.
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Old 05-25-2021, 05:03 AM   #65
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Are rounds of that quality purchased circa 1990 likely to remain in excellent condition in an improvised hidey-hole for 30 years? Brassed-case smokeless powder cartridges will stay fireable in pretty rough conditions, but is the propellant likely to remain stable enough to give the accuracy bonus in GURPS?
That's a real concern, certainly.

I am not sure how long match rounds would retain their consistent velocity and precision when stored in a sealed metal box. I will try to find range reports from people firing old military match ammo.

Note that the hidey-holes are not all improvised. The weapons will be smuggled to the islands by smugglers who may not know what they are transporting, but a trusted local agent and/or someone who travelled there (commercially and without illegal contraband on him) for the purpose will likely spend some time securing a good storage space. That may a wall safe, a sub-basement or a hole dug somewhere for a sealed metal box.

Basically, they'll be using the same techniques as Detachment A, US Army Special Forces in Berlin, used for the caches they concealed there for the potential Soviet invasion.

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Especially since the shooters are not likely to have time to familiarize themselves with the particular weapons and ammo (ie. not to have time to look up the details, take the weapons and a few hundred rounds to the range, and see how these particular examples of a familiar weapon perform).
There will rarely, if ever, be conditions to shoot at a range, improvised or otherwise, to familiarize themselves or zero the weapons. Not on Caribbean islands, many of which have gun laws derived from British law, i.e. 'no'.

However, each rifle should have a dope sheet attached for the loads stored with it.
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:09 AM   #66
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Default Arms Caches

I don't want to give the impression that only takedown rifles will be in these arms caches.

Rather, I have a fairly good idea about the kind of pistols, submachine guns and other smaller weapons that the people involved had access to at this time. The specific tactical niche that remained to be determined was 'what do they do if they need to station someone on overwatch or take out a protected target from a greater distance than submachine guns can handle?'

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You obviously know the field better than I do, but remember that in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan and similar places (Yemen? Columbia?) it was possible to get high quality custom gun orders with no questions asked and virtually no traceability.

The Afghans specialized in making local variants of common UK WW1 and WW2 era guns as well as Soviet weapons.
Those are hardly 'high-quality', but, certainly, there is the possibility of refurbishing old WWII surplus that has been stored in armouries in various trouble spots for a long time.

The people caching these weapons had contacts on the international grey and black markets even before they contemplated setting up a covert network. In fact, some of them were part of CIA-affiliated arms smuggling in the 1960s, 1970s and, for a couple of them, even into the 1980s (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, etc.).

They already had some stockpiles of arms located in a number of African countries where they had contacts, mostly reserves from various security and mercenary contracts in the 1960s and 1970s. Good contacts in Morocco and among the shadowy world of French intelligence ensured that a plentiful supply of older French weapons was always accessible.

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Looking outside of Europe, the 1990s also saw lots of Soviet era equipment coming onto the market as former Soviet client states swapped their older Russian equipment for more modern American, German, or French gear.
Yes. Basically, between 1987-1990, the first caches would consist mostly of older WWII stocks, various French surplus and reserves from all kinds of African wars, but after 1990, the vast stocks of former Soviet arms would predominate for any role where such weapons could be used.

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IIRC, a few years later, the "peace dividend" as the U.S. drew down the size of the Army resulted in U.S. weapons being sent to U.S. allies throughout the world. That, in turn, released stocks of older Cold War or WW2 era weapons on to the surplus market.
Yes, that's true.

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Finally, then as now, there were plenty of narcoterrorists and guerillas in South and Central America, and Southeast Asia, all with access to ancient but functional to SOTA weapons, all obtained via illicit sources.

That means that it's not so much the make and model of takedown gun that's important so much as good connections to scary parts of the world where "gun control" means "giving the local warlord a cut of the profits from your arms sales."

Add in a few shell companies and illicit international transfers and even a military-grade weapon with serial numbers all over it become effectively untraceable. "This gun was part of a lot of 25,000 given as U.S. military assistance to Insanistan in 1972. The lot was probably sold to Cuban-backed guerillas in Oompaloompa after the Insani central government was overthrown in 1975. After that, there are no good records of who owned it, where it was, or what it was used for."
This is all true. On the other hand, this is an excellent source of pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, battle rifles and even bolt-action rifles, but in general, none of these will be takedown rifles.

Which is why that specific role in the arsenal might have to be added via commercial purchases and/or custom modifications of surplus rifles.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:03 AM   #67
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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If it's used in a very high-profile crime and is then found by law enforcement (not the plan, but always a possibility), investigators will trace the serial number and try to find out who bought it. With a long chain of private sales and gun shows, this yields no useful evidence, but if someone actually bought it with a credit card the same day, well, that's how people end up convicted.
Exotic calibers from far away places with lots of custom work are still going to attract attention that a common weapon in a common caliber won't.

So got o one of Florida's many gun shows instead of its' many gun stores but get a new weapon and new ammo in good condition that matches your users' familiarities. Getting one of them a rifle in a familiar caliber wil be better than an exotic with a dope sheet.

Incidnetally, in a campaign with your level of detail familiarites probably should be by caliber and not just action type.
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:28 AM   #68
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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Exotic calibers from far away places with lots of custom work are still going to attract attention that a common weapon in a common caliber won't.
That may be true, but rifles from Florida are just as much exotic imports as rifles from Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Spain or the United Kingdom on islands like Bermuda or Trinidad. And two of the major islands where those arms will be stashed are Cuba and the Dominican Republic, where surplus Mausers in 7x57mm existed in vast stockpiles.

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So got o one of Florida's many gun shows instead of its' many gun stores but get a new weapon and new ammo in good condition that matches your users' familiarities. Getting one of them a rifle in a familiar caliber wil be better than an exotic with a dope sheet.
For commercially acquired firearms, yes, I expect those will be bought privately and sometimes at gun shows. But after that step, it's not like someone is going to risk flying them into a country where private gun ownership is heavily regulated. Aircraft are always registered to someone and even if you could evade customs most of the time, that's not 100% certain.

The arms need to be smuggled into the operating areas by contract employees who believe they are working for drug trade organizations, revolutionary movements or something else, and if arrested, cannot reveal anything important. Then local agents handle establishing caches, in case a team or local agents ever require weapons on that particular island.

There may be only a 1% chance per year that such a need ever develops, in the less important areas, with maybe a 10% chance for some of the big ones, during busy years.

There isn't necessarily a plan to store the caches for 30 years, just that some of those in out-of-the-way locations might not be disturbed that long, until PCs find that they need weapons that they did not bring with them as part of their cover identities as tourists.

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Incidnetally, in a campaign with your level of detail familiarites probably should be by caliber and not just action type.
Not to the level of -2 for firing at PBR, perhaps, but for Precision Aiming, certainly.

That being said, note that in 1987, few if any of the potential users are from Florida. A majority of them have spent years if not decades in Africa. As for local agents in Cuba or the British Virgin Islands, it's hard to predict what, if anything, they might be familiar with in 1987. But note that a different loading in .308 Win might have a trajectory as different from military FMJ as some loads in 7x57mm.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:16 AM   #69
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Th. And two of the major islands where those arms will be stashed are Cuba and the Dominican Republic, where surplus Mausers in 7x57mm existed in vast stockpiles.
Largish perhaps but I don't believe any nation in the Thrid World-to-be had vast stockplies by the standards of participants in WWI and II.

At any rate 7x57mms would have been bought before WWI and turned into military suprplus by WWI and then pushed out of the market by the surplus from _that_ war never mind the WW after it.

The 7x57mms could also have easily been expended in the region's many coups and dictatorial regimes. The US was also heavy-handedly involved in most of those too. Seeing as how long US troops collected customs duties in places like the Domenican Republic (33 years) I doubt US weapons are rarer than pre-WWI stuff.

So Trujillo probably rounded up any loose 7x57mms and Castro did the same if Batista et all didn't do it before him. I'd strongly expect any illegal rifles in Cuba today to be stolen AKs.

_Then_ we come to the effect of modern drug smuggling cartels....

So I really don't expect to see turn-of-the-century before this one military surplus to be common now.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:45 AM   #70
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Default Re: Takedown Rifles (1990s)

Dominican Republic bought small-ring Mausers in 7x57mm in the 1950s, refurbished and used them in the 1960s and onward.
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