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Old 06-13-2019, 07:07 PM   #71
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The way we know when tech levels have transitioned is the grandparent test. When a large number of grandparents are baffled by what is now perfectly standard technology then you know you've switched tech levels.
Then we jumped multiple tech levels since I graduated a High School in 1978!
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:24 PM   #72
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Right. Steam engines TL 5, Diesel engines TL 6.
Except Mature Rail was achieved long before Diesel engines even appeared (1898). Move over while team engines of the 1860s on could hit the 50-75 mph easily the quality of the tracks made trying to do so risky until the 1880s.

In fact the quality of much of the First Continental Railway was so bad that sections of it had to be redone within 10 years of its completion to allow faster travel over the route.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:40 PM   #73
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Except Mature Rail was achieved long before Diesel engines even appeared (1898). Move over while team engines of the 1860s on could hit the 50-75 mph easily the quality of the tracks made trying to do so risky until the 1880s.

In fact the quality of much of the First Continental Railway was so bad that sections of it had to be redone within 10 years of its completion to allow faster travel over the route.
Why was the track redone? I read somewhere that it was poorly constructed due to corruption, not technical issues, is that true?
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:23 AM   #74
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Why was the track redone? I read somewhere that it was poorly constructed due to corruption, not technical issues, is that true?
A little of both.

Turns out doing it as fast as they resulted in the tracks not being as secure as they could have been. So you had spikes that didn't quite secure the rails to the track on a roadbed that wasn't entirely stable.

It didn't help that "The companies were paid based on the terrain on which they built, with rougher terrain being worth more. So company executives naturally selected roundabout routes on hills and through mountains, even though such routes were neither efficient nor safe. The cheapest supplies were also used, which virtually guaranteed shoddy workmanship and the need for future repairs." ( Corruption and the Transcontinental Railroad )

Now "cheap" doesn't mean the same as shoddy as 1830s rail would be cheaper then the latest in 1860s rail but the 1830s rail simply wouldn't be up to the task of handling the weight and speed of 1860s trains. But tech wise they are both still TL5.

The Newcomen and Watt steam engines are another example of progression within a tech level with Newcomen being early TL5 and Watt slightly improved TL5.

Last edited by maximara; 06-14-2019 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:51 AM   #75
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Many big naval guns were caseless, despite the risks from fairly exposed powder charges.
To me, "caseless" still implies a single cartridge, containing both propellant and bullet as one single item for handling and loading. If we're thinking of the same naval guns, the projectile and propellant were completely separate. Toss in a "cannonball" and shove in some bags of powder behind it, closer to 19th century tech than caseless small-arms ammunition. When you don't even have a cartridge to start with, you can't have a caseless cartridge. Or if you don't need a cartridge, but separate projectiles and propellant, then all the flintlock muzzle-loaders would count, as well as bombards on up.

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Old 06-14-2019, 10:13 AM   #76
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Many big naval guns were caseless, despite the risks from fairly exposed powder charges.
The G11 did have a slightly higher rate of fire than the 16"/50. That reduces the risk of cookoff in the big guns.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:00 PM   #77
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The G11 did have a slightly higher rate of fire than the 16"/50. That reduces the risk of cookoff in the big guns.
And the issues of cook-off were resolved.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:01 PM   #78
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And the issues of cook-off were resolved.
Yes, they were. But IIRC the resolution involves expensive specialized propellents. So the cook-off issue is still an issue, just "we have to do this expensive thing to work around it" instead of "we can't work around it."
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:42 PM   #79
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@ Maximara

Thanks for the link! Very interesting. 👍
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:51 PM   #80
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Yes, they were. But IIRC the resolution involves expensive specialized propellents. So the cook-off issue is still an issue, just "we have to do this expensive thing to work around it" instead of "we can't work around it."
So? With cased rounds the work-around is 'Use heavy casings, don't use closed-bolt designs for sustained fire, don't fire any gun rapidly too long'. Changing that to 'Use a 'special' propellant, don't fire the gun rapidly too long' is hardly some kind of huge drawback. Note that the propellant is only expensive because it's not in mass production - the constituents are hardly exotic by the standards of firearms propellants and warheads.

I'll note again - the G11 and its ammo had passed acceptance trials. It was considered ready for introduction to service. I'll also point out that the US had no problems with H&K's entry to their ACR trials when it come to reliability and safety, the issues were the same as with all the entrants - they couldn't meet the (probably intentionally) unrealistic hit chance requirements.
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