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Old 04-30-2020, 05:14 AM   #11
Luke Bunyip
 
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Default Re: [AtE]Best bang for your Warlord buck?

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Why would a warlord be making the best guns for the situation?

Wouldn't they rather be making weapons that serve their personal requirements best, as interpreted by the individual(s) who are doing the designing and manufacturing.
Exactly. But it then begs the question, what is the environment and circumstances where these firearms will be used? Possibly best isn't the appropriate criteria, but what's good enough is what needs to be considered.

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For example an Air Rifle might be useful as it requires less logistics, but conversely a warlord might prefer to have his(or her) goons reliant on the ammunition he or she provides.
Before I posted the OP here, I had a wee chat with one of my players that is a gun owner that hunts. We specifically discussed air rifles (one of the other players wants one), and the question was why bother making a complex repeating air rifle, when you could have a number of single shots?

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...they could decide that a large sight radius is critical and insist that all the rifles are long barreled like Kentucky long rifles or Jazails.
Tactically, I'm looking at a setting with a very flat alluvial plain, bordered by sandy hills / sand dunes, or a rocky range of hill country. Not much cover.

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A third issue is surpluses...there might be hundreds of a specific automotive part available...
Apparently there was a 1950s era sedan made in Britain, which got shipped to the UK's West African colonies. When some enterprising bright spark realised that the internal diameter of this car's axle was very similar to that of a certain pistol calibre ammunition, the repurposing took a number of vehicles off the road.

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Or going back to your original question, how about a lever/pump/bolt action repeater that fires a pistol calibre round because of the lower stresses on gun parts.
Break action double barrelled sawn off shotguns? Revolvers?
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: [AtE]Best bang for your Warlord buck?

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I always recommend the muzzle loading flintlock rifle ... the basic design is hard to beat for performance vs. pre-industrial production costs.
They're a given. I'm looking for some nuancing between different factions if possibly, which is why I'm publicly musing about this. For instance, I can envisage all sort of zip guns, but some bespoke made percussion cap revolvers.

Given my OP is driven by my envisaged game setting, I've already sketched out camel riding desert Aborigines, armed with faux Jezzails.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: [AtE]Best bang for your Warlord buck?

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For the amount of effort needed to manufacture, semi-auto weapons simply out compete everything lesser.
This is the crux of my question; is it? Yes in a ruined abandoned town, or in broken country, but always? Given that ammunition is hand made/reloaded, supply can be haphazard, and fire control can be undisciplined, I can blithely foresee a situation where it comes down to who has the bigger pile of lead.

But I don't have experience in using auto or semi-auto weapons, and I've never had to lug a long arm over hill and dale. So, can you clarify, add detail?

Happy if we discuss Plevna etc. Also, would a large calibre long barrelled percussion cap revolver feed carbine suffice?
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: [AtE]Best bang for your Warlord buck?

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This is the crux of my question; is it? Yes in a ruined abandoned town, or in broken country, but always? Given that ammunition is hand made/reloaded, supply can be haphazard, and fire control can be undisciplined, I can blithely foresee a situation where it comes down to who has the bigger pile of lead.

But I don't have experience in using auto or semi-auto weapons, and I've never had to lug a long arm over hill and dale. So, can you clarify, add detail?

Happy if we discuss Plevna etc. Also, would a large calibre long barrelled percussion cap revolver feed carbine suffice?
Yes, Semi-autos are ALWAYS better than bolt-guns and trap-doors. I'd say that lever action is more of a corner-case, but if I had an option, I would always pick a semi-auto over a bolt gun or trap door(though I have no practical experience with trapdoor rifles). A cursorary reading of Plevna seems to suggest that it's an excellent example of why repeating rifles out perform older designs.

Now, there's also a cultural element here: in the states, ammunition is plentiful. It's so plentiful that my momma(who doesn't have ANY guns) has several boxes of 12ga 00 buck and slug. Where'd it come from? None of us know? I've got a .40 S&W cartridge sitting a foot to the left of me as I type this, and I found it on the road by my driveway. There's just SOOOOO much of it, and so much of the equipment associated with it, that I can't imagine a plausible apocalyptic scenario where cartridges would be exceptionally rare. This of course, may not apply to Oz.

Percussion caps just seem to combine the worst parts of muzzle-loading and cartridges: they're fiddly, you have a lot of steps to get the rifle ready, and they're a logistical complication. And I feel like, if you can make percussion caps, you can make primers for cartridges.
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Old 04-30-2020, 01:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: [AtE] Best bang for your Warlord buck?

I think level of industry is pretty important here. A dedicated warlord might be able to get a percussion cap pistol made in a few months if he cracks the whip on a gunsmith, or he could make a few dozen cheap matchlock blunderbusses or a hundred good quality crossbows. If he has a worshop with good tools and maybe even electrical power he could crank out dozens of pistols in that time. Presumedly he's god a lot of guys to arm.

I think percussion cap revolver is the dream gun. It can be made without precision machining, provides good firepower, simple to load and care for.
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: [AtE] Best bang for your Warlord buck?

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I think percussion cap revolver is the dream gun. It can be made without precision machining, provides good firepower, simple to load and care for.
Percussion caps require the ability to produce primer. Flintlocks do not.
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: [AtE]Best bang for your Warlord buck?

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Some sort of semi-auto. For the amount of effort needed to manufacture, semi-auto weapons simply out compete everything lesser. A squad of men with semi-autos should completely overwhelm a platoon of bolt-guns, and probably a very large number of flintlock users. You just can't beat the semi-auto.
If the semi-auto is black powder, a lot of things will beat it. Sure you can fire a number of shots quickky, but black powder fouling will also occur faster. You are better off with a lever-action if speed matters.

Anyway, with the smoke produced by mass fire of black powder rifles, you are quickly going to obscure your own view.

Lastly, to prevent the wastage of cartridge, I see the reintroduction of magazine cutoffs for troops. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a semi-automatic.
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:09 PM   #18
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Percussion caps require the ability to produce primer. Flintlocks do not.
You could make improved rocketball ammo, although range and damage are poor. However, you don't need cartridge cases and the round is self contained. Or perhaps a Chassepot clone, using paper cartridges.
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: [AtE] Best bang for your Warlord buck?

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You could make improved rocketball ammo, although range and damage are poor. However, you don't need cartridge cases and the round is self contained. Or perhaps a Chassepot clone, using paper cartridges.
Making a percussion cap requires primers, so if you can make percussion caps at all you might as well make brass cartridge ammunition.
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Old 04-30-2020, 04:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: [AtE]Best bang for your Warlord buck?

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If the semi-auto is black powder, a lot of things will beat it. Sure you can fire a number of shots quickky, but black powder fouling will also occur faster. You are better off with a lever-action if speed matters.

Anyway, with the smoke produced by mass fire of black powder rifles, you are quickly going to obscure your own view.

Lastly, to prevent the wastage of cartridge, I see the reintroduction of magazine cutoffs for troops. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a semi-automatic.
Yeah, I don't find any of those points to actually have much substance. During the ACW, troops who could afford it would buy their own Henry repeating rifles, to the point that while only 1700 or so were bought by official order, some 5000 to 7000 henry's saw use, purchased by the soldiers out of their own pockets. I imagine these soldiers did not buy them for no reason, as they were not inexpensive weapons at the time. At the massacre at Little Big Horn, repeating rifles in the hands of Native Americans were probably instrumental in routing US soldiers. At Plevna, the Ottomans with winchester repeating rifles mowed down hordes of russians equipped with inferior weapons. And the semi-auto, detachable box magazine is at least an order of a magnitude better than a lever-action.

The complaints about ammunition usage among the soldiers seem to have been a common hold-up of western militaries in adopting repeating rifles of any sort, and this held up well into WW2, with self-loading rifles being required to still work as bolt guns. During WW1, European nations resisted equipping their troops with trench magazines, because of fears of "wasting" ammunition. Which is ironic, considering some of these nations practiced the "mad minute".

The strength of the semi-automatic is not that you always shoot it as fast as you can, it's that when needed, you have that capability. A lever action is similar in this regard, though internal magazines are slower to reload than detachable box magazines. However, the M1 garand is a great example of a semi-auto that doesn't have a detachable box magazine(as is the SKS), so you're not exactly wedded to that part of the design.

Lastly, I'm assuming that in the after-math of an apocalypse that destroys state authority and throws industrial capability so far back that people are building their own guns out of scrap, that standing armies of thousands or tens of thousands are not really a concern. I'm instead assuming that most "battles" will be more like skirmishes, and less like set piece conflicts between great powers. And in that scenario, the increased short term firepower of a repeater is going to be the difference between staying mostly alive and being raped, dismembered and eaten, and not necessarily in that order.

Now, this is all dependent on cultural factors of the area the campaign takes place in.
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