Future Small Arms Concepts

prolific1

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I do guns too.

This is a concept for a combined assault rifle/ grenade launcher for the Heavy Gunner position at the squad level. It's a 9x19mm cartridge in helical feed 75 round magazine that is located in the stock. It's a bullpup configuration with an integrated fire control system that commands the 20mm grenade launcher that is under slung. That component is fed by a staggered 8 round box magazine. The rifle is select fire and the grenade launcher is semi auto with provision for bursting fire. The rifle fires the SLEAP (Saboted Light Explosive Armor Piercing) 9x19mm composite cased cartridge. The actual projectile is a 6mm boat tail round. The grenade launcher fires a 20x54mm composite cased cartridge with a variations including: HEAP, Non Lethal, Dynamic Entry, CS, and Flechete rounds.
 

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Rickshaw

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9mm is now considered a pretty marginal round in the face of most battlefield armour. A 20mm grenade launcher would be quite marginal as well. Personally, I think the idea of combining weapons produces a sort of "jack of all trades, master of none" compromise. However, even so, despite that, the only one of these that I feel has real potential is the the AICW from downunder - combining a Steyr F88 rifle with a Metalstorm 40mm grenade launcher:

aicw-2005.jpg
 

Lauge

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A very interesting concept, which reminds me of what the (now defunct, IIRC) American Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) should have been in the first place. The OICW was intended to be an assault-rifle-size semiauto grenade launcher, with a Personal Defence Weapon sized secondary component. This latter would give the infantryman/-woman a means of defence if an enemy got within the minimum safe arming distance of the grenades (typically around 50 m). See also http://world.guns.ru/assault/as40-e.htm for more info.

As for this particular weapon: 9x19mm might seem minimal, but if we take the view that it's for last-ditch, phone-booth-range self defence, then I believe it's adequate. Another possibility would be to use the Swedish 6.5x25mm CBJ cartridge, which fits in the same weapon size as the 9x19mm. This is basically a 9x19mm necked down to take a 6.5mm sabot holding a 4mm tungsten penetrator. This increases penetration against armor, as well as effective range, although I have my doubts about stopping power (the manufacturer naturally claims it's second only to a direct hit with a tactical nuclear weapon). See http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/cbj/cbj_crtg.htm for more info.

As for "explosive" armor piercing, I seriously doubt that there's enough space in a 6mm projectile (or anything less than a .50 caliber) to make this worth the effort. It would also be in contravention of the Hague Accords. And anyway, I thought that if I needed "explosive", that was why I was carrying this big 20mm grenade launcher around ?

As for the grenade launcher, it reminds me of the South African PAW-20 Neopup (http://world.guns.ru/grenade/gl29-e.htm), firing a 20x42mm shell using the same projectile as the old German MG151 (still manufactured in South Africa). It weighs 5.9 kg / 13 lbs unloaded however, so slogging it around in the field all day is not going to be fun.

Apart from that, I like the design, especially the helical 9x19mm magazine integrated into the buttstock, where it's nicely out of the way, and the fact that the 20mm could also be used for less-lethal ammunition.

Last question (for now, anyway): Where are the spent 9x19mm cases ejected (down, left, right) ?

Conclusion: If you could get the loaded weight down to around 4.5 kg / 10 lbs. or so, I'd hit it.

Regards,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark
 

Orionblamblam

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Lauge said:
Apart from that, I like the design, especially the helical 9x19mm magazine integrated into the buttstock, where it's nicely out of the way...

That looks like a problem, actually. Magazine replacement while in combat looks like it'd be more complex for the 9mm magazine than for the 20mm magazine.
 

prolific1

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Well this is a concept for a future (like several decades from now) small arm meaning that materials, propellants, and other technologies are improved. It is actually for a graphic novel I'm working on so some "technological license" should be allowed. The 9mm component is not the para round familiar to sub machine pistols but a discarding sabot, armor piercing round, with the capability of enhanced cavitation. It's propellant is a few generations ahead of today's so in concert with the improved materials technology allows for comparable velocities to the 5.56x45mm NATO. It's barrel length is that of the M-16A2 so there is no compromise in muzzle velocity versus compactness. Same factors for the grenade element.

It's Sci Fi guys.
 

prolific1

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There would be a facility for right or left side case ejection on the rifle component which is critical for any bullpup I think. The secondary component is right side only as it is less important. It is intended as an 8.5 pound weapon by using composite cased ammunition and composites and light alloys in its construction. Again it's fantasy so it's easy for me to prescribe wishful thinking technologies.

This is a standard infantry rifle.
 

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Orionblamblam

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prolific1 said:
... some "technological license" should be allowed. ...
It's Sci Fi guys.

That's fine for some aspects, such as assuming whiz-bang neato new bullet propellant technology. However, such things as ergonomics are not going to change.

Take whatever long arm you might happen to have... shotgun, varmint gun, AK-47, whatever, and hold it up to your shoulder as if you were goibf to fire it. Now, assume that that weapon is your sci-fi gun. Now, while holding it in place with your right hand (assuming you're a rightie), pantomime swapping out the shoulder-stock mag with your left... while keeping the gun in place and aimed at the target. Basically, during the "empty magazine, dump magazine, insert new magazine" process, you want the gun to be disturbed as little as possible. I believe with *this* design, the rifle would need to be removed from the shoulder, the magazine *manually* removed with the left hand (as opposed to hitting a button or a switch and letting gravity drop it out), and then a new mag swapped in, again with the left hand. Due to the layout, I believe the weapon would need to be rotated 90 degrees to allow the mag to drop out.

There are a few weapons that operate differently... the p90 and the Calico weapons, frex. However, these weapons allow the top-mounted magazines to angle upwards for removal, which does not interfere with the right arm. Still more complex than conventional.

What you'd really like to have is a magazine that simply *drops* when a button is pressed by the right thumb (while the right hand remains on the grip) and can be easily replaced with the left hand, withlout having to shift thew weapon or the right arm. If your helical mag was on the *underside* of the stock, rather than embedded in the middle, I think this might work.

Another factor: conventional magazines are nearly idtio-proof as far as how they're inserted into the weapon. You don't need to look at it or even feel it... just grab it and slam it in. Two second of training will teach you which end is forward and up. But with a helical magazine... what you want is a magazine that really doesn't care how it's rotated when inserted. Basically a featureless cylinder would be best. Either the bullets come through the center, or as the gunner slams in a new mag, capture features automatically rotate it correctly.
 

prolific1

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There is one point I could make for the design. I did identify it as the heavy gunner position and ostensibly a SAW. The M249 is beyond unwieldy as far as reloading is concerned. Belt feed bag ammo is major time consuming. Not every infantryman was intended to carry this weapon. Only the heavy gunner or SAW position. All others would carry the ECWS that I posted above. Conventional mags are easier to reload quickly but require more frequent changes. Also non bullpup designs are lengthy and not versatile enough. If I extended the barrel on my ECWS to match the overall length of say an M-16A2 I would have a barrel considerably longer with the accompanying increase in velocity and accuracy. An M4 however loses performance through it's shorter length. I will take your suggestions (and expertise) into consideration though with subsequent versions. I originally had no part of the stock below the helical mag. I made that change to support the structure of the stock. I also had a version that had the helical mag top loading like a M-950 but it necessitated compromises on the grenade element.
 

Rickshaw

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You appear to be assuming that the laws of physics can be overcome. The lower the mass of the weapon, the greater the recoil. Further, as has been pointed out, your helical magazine doesn't appear easily reloaded. Nor have you really addressed, I'll point, the problems of how do you sight two different weapons with very different muzzle-velocities. From what you've said, you appear to be assuming that the grenade launcher is the primary weapon. Therefore, whats the point of the assault rifle? It would be better to concentrate on one weapon or the other and integrate it into the Fireteam/Section's fireplan. IMHO, it would be better to have as the AICW done, make the assault rifle the primary weapon, with the grenade launcher as an addition. It is better to start from a tactical concept and design weapons to fulfil the needs of that tactical concept, than design the weapons and then force the tactical concept to fit the weapons.
 

Lauge

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Orionblamblam said:
Take whatever long arm you might happen to have... shotgun, varmint gun, AK-47, whatever, and hold it up to your shoulder as if you were goibf to fire it. Now, assume that that weapon is your sci-fi gun. Now, while holding it in place with your right hand (assuming you're a rightie), pantomime swapping out the shoulder-stock mag with your left... while keeping the gun in place and aimed at the target. Basically, during the "empty magazine, dump magazine, insert new magazine" process, you want the gun to be disturbed as little as possible.

Admittedly, it hadn't initially crossed my mind that the magazine might be more difficult and time-consuming to replace when it's fitted "inside" the stock. Fitting it near the top of the stock might be better, so that it can lifted straight up to remove it, or near the bottom, so it can drop free.

However, as for standing there with my (empty) weapon to the shoulder, trying to reload while some unfriendly people are doing their best to kill me? I don't see that as happening. It looks cool when someone demonstrates it (without incoming fire to disturb him), or in the movies (where the bad guys fire blanks), but not in real life. Magazine runs empty, you take cover, or at least kneel down to make yourself a smaller target, then reload.

But then again, letting your magazine run empty in the first place is bad form. If there's a pause in the action, reload, so the weapon is fully fueled when the shooting starts again. If you have to reload in the middle of a firefight you're in trouble, regardless of how you reload your weapon.

Regards & all

Thomas L. Nielsen
Denmark
 

Orionblamblam

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Lauge said:
However, as for standing there with my (empty) weapon to the shoulder, trying to reload while some unfriendly people are doing their best to kill me? I don't see that as happening. It looks cool when someone demonstrates it (without incoming fire to disturb him), or in the movies (where the bad guys fire blanks), but not in real life. Magazine runs empty, you take cover, or at least kneel down to make yourself a smaller target, then reload.

You want reloading to be as fast and efficient as possible regardless of whether you're standing there or ducking for cover. In either case, you want magazine ejection to be as simple as possible... push a button and the thing falls out.

In a perfect world, you want reloading to be as fast and smooth as this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls4Uq1aCiTA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4LFZTn-z5U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP_TTzulypI&feature=related
 

amsci99

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Prolific1,

Great to see you back again with your stunning artwork. Scott, thanks for you views as well, didn't know you had an interst in firearms, would love to discuss more with you in private sometime. IIRC, It seems most of the 'OICW styled' weapons to accompany the 'Future Soldier Concept by several countries (PAPOP by GIAT of France, FN-2000 by FN Herstal of Belgium although Norway is pushing forward with its' Nammo project and Singapore with its' STK project. There's even an effort by the Chinese but nothing more heard) were dropped because they couldn't perfect the guidance on the grenade round to a 'soldier proof' level. I personally think it's a matter of economics, it's still cheaper to churn out your standard 40mm grenade round by the millions. Having to jam electronics into your standard 40mm turns it into a mini-missile and changes the who manufacturing platform end economics.

Dr Gerald Bull of the 'Iraqi Supergun' fame proved that with the right packing as with the rounds employed in Project HARP, guidance electronics can survive high muzzle velocities and that was in the 60s. Dr Ron Barrett of Auburn University has been working on steerable rounds for a number of years and I learn from one of those Discovery Channel programs that's he down to rifle ammunition calibre now.

http://www.auburn.edu/administration/univrel/news/archive/5_97news/5_97smartbullets.html

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2002infantry/sadowski.pdf

http://stinet.dtic.mil/dticrev/PDFs/ADA432910.pdf

Personally, my take on an workable immediate design would be to use the short stroke mechanism from the HK-416 (never found out how the short stroke piston mechanism worked although I reckon would be difference from that employed on the M1 Carbine) in a bullpup configuration in 6.8mm and for the grenade launcher section utilise the Frag-12 round currently employed with the AA-12 Automatic Shotgun platform with the Ron Barret system and fired in tri-burst succession for lethality. Would like to hear views on this.
 

prolific1

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Hmmm. If you could direct me to that shotgun grenade bit I could cobble something together. I think it's awesome that I could draw on everyones expertise/opinions on the matter. It allows me to create more realistic stuff.
 

Orionblamblam

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prolific1 said:
Hmmm. If you could direct me to that shotgun grenade bit I could cobble something together.

Google is your friend...

FRAG-12%20Projectile_1.jpg


To me it looks overly complex for a 12-guage grenade round, but apparently it works.


http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=741
 

Avimimus

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Such systems will always be limited to "firepower multipliers". It is likely that better sights and use of synthetic materials (lightening the systems) will lead to a gradual increase in the number of high caliber infantry weapons on the battlefield over the next century. I suspect that they will eventually incorporate a second lower caliber weapon, but unlike the AICW it will be a pistol caliber self-defense sidearm replacement (some kind of non-reloadable "pistol bayonet").

I estimated that, even with refinement, there was a 30% weight increase (both for the system and the ammunition) on a per kill basis over existing assault rifles. There are also logistic problems, especially considering the difficulty of carrying quantities of high caliber ammunition on foot. On the other hand the benefit of a course-correct grenade is the very high PK increase per shot.

Such systems could theoretically be fairly flexible in their roles: Some self consuming 40mm thermobaric rounds can be fired in closed spaces and at very short ranges (eg. a 1.5m lethality radius and 10m minimum safe firing range). On the other hand a much longer round (probably corrected and incorporating a small rocket booster) could theoretically achieve >300 m/s and be effective out to 900m.

The main difficulties are: 1) Logistics (in terms of weight and endurance of ammunition supply) 2) Reducing muzzle flash 3) if course corrected rounds are used: developing a designation system that won't be disabled by recoil 4) Developing a flexible and reliable launcher.

My main question is on reduction of muzzle flash:
I strongly suspect that a new type of camera will be developed in the next century (which may well not have a conventional lense or even moving components) bringing down the price of cameras and improved image recognition software will mean that enemy tactical commanders may find it very easy to watch an entire battlefield and detect the location of any enemy fire (thus allowing return fire). In such a situation stealth and electronic warfare would become important to the average infantryman.

A high caliber weapon doesn't need to fire as continuously (which would advantage it in such situations), but can its flash be reduced as much as an assault rifle? How much of a flash do existing weapons (AGS, Mk-47, M79 etc.) create? How does the wide barrel width effect the problem? Are there any unorthodox means to allow flash reduction?

Thanks,
 

prolific1

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Well my rifle will be carried only by the heavy gunner of which there is one per Marine squad. Also I am thinking several decades in the future. The technology on the weapon won't be cutting edge in that timeline for the purpose of making a durable, reliable, and simple weapon. Compared to todays work it might be fairly advanced but again in the future I describe in my story it will be fairly innocuous. Also this weapon is but a small detail in a rather vivid description of the future. Characters will of course be the focus but I want the minutae to be on point. That is why I am currently retooling this design to meet your valid criticisms.
 

Rickshaw

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Orionblamblam said:
Lauge said:
However, as for standing there with my (empty) weapon to the shoulder, trying to reload while some unfriendly people are doing their best to kill me? I don't see that as happening. It looks cool when someone demonstrates it (without incoming fire to disturb him), or in the movies (where the bad guys fire blanks), but not in real life. Magazine runs empty, you take cover, or at least kneel down to make yourself a smaller target, then reload.

You want reloading to be as fast and efficient as possible regardless of whether you're standing there or ducking for cover. In either case, you want magazine ejection to be as simple as possible... push a button and the thing falls out.

In a perfect world, you want reloading to be as fast and smooth as this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls4Uq1aCiTA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4LFZTn-z5U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP_TTzulypI&feature=related

In each of those video clips you see no effort to return the magazine to the owner's pouches. It looks good on camera but as a Section Commander if I saw any of my diggers failing to return their empty magazines to their pouches where they could be kept clean and undamaged (and collected for reloading at a future point), I'd be planting a size 10 boot in their arse before they could say, "Sorry Corp!" Another good reason why you don't drop magazines - particularly metal ones, on the ground in that manner is because their lips can be easily damaged which prevents their reuse. What are they going to do if they are forced to advance or retreat after they've dropped their magazines on the ground? "Oops, sorry, Corp! I've got no more magazines!" This is theatrical Hollywood bullshit.
 

Rickshaw

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Avimimus said:
Such systems will always be limited to "firepower multipliers". It is likely that better sights and use of synthetic materials (lightening the systems) will lead to a gradual increase in the number of high caliber infantry weapons on the battlefield over the next century. I suspect that they will eventually incorporate a second lower caliber weapon, but unlike the AICW it will be a pistol caliber self-defense sidearm replacement (some kind of non-reloadable "pistol bayonet").

I estimated that, even with refinement, there was a 30% weight increase (both for the system and the ammunition) on a per kill basis over existing assault rifles. There are also logistic problems, especially considering the difficulty of carrying quantities of high caliber ammunition on foot. On the other hand the benefit of a course-correct grenade is the very high PK increase per shot.

Such systems could theoretically be fairly flexible in their roles: Some self consuming 40mm thermobaric rounds can be fired in closed spaces and at very short ranges (eg. a 1.5m lethality radius and 10m minimum safe firing range). On the other hand a much longer round (probably corrected and incorporating a small rocket booster) could theoretically achieve >300 m/s and be effective out to 900m.

The main difficulties are: 1) Logistics (in terms of weight and endurance of ammunition supply) 2) Reducing muzzle flash 3) if course corrected rounds are used: developing a designation system that won't be disabled by recoil 4) Developing a flexible and reliable launcher.

My main question is on reduction of muzzle flash:
I strongly suspect that a new type of camera will be developed in the next century (which may well not have a conventional lense or even moving components) bringing down the price of cameras and improved image recognition software will mean that enemy tactical commanders may find it very easy to watch an entire battlefield and detect the location of any enemy fire (thus allowing return fire). In such a situation stealth and electronic warfare would become important to the average infantryman.

A high caliber weapon doesn't need to fire as continuously (which would advantage it in such situations), but can its flash be reduced as much as an assault rifle? How much of a flash do existing weapons (AGS, Mk-47, M79 etc.) create? How does the wide barrel width effect the problem? Are there any unorthodox means to allow flash reduction?

Thanks,

Who cares about flash when you have thermal imagers? The heat given off by the weapon is a dead giveaway.
 

Orionblamblam

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rickshaw said:
This is theatrical Hollywood bullshit.

I've never seen combat footage of soldiers under fire giving a damn about the magazines. I've never spoken to soldiers who were in heavy combat and who said that they gave a damn about empty magazines. Magazines are, or ar at least supposed to be, cheap and easily replaced.

My father was an M-60 machine gunner in Viet Nam. Lots of interesting tales about beating the crap out of their hardware and other "technically against the handbook" operations in the interests of shaving seconds. The M-60's barrel, for example, was meant to be rapidly replaced under fire with the use of a special asbestos glove (for grabbing the extremely hot barrel). In actual practice, they didn't do that... they just grabbed the bipod. Very dangerous, but a few seconds faster.

In many modern combat situations, the modern soldier will be fighting in an area where he can be quickly reinforced and resupplied. In such instances, keeping the hardware pristine makes sense. But you need to design the hardware for the *worst* case that the solider could experience. That's what's been killing projects like the OICW... a very nifty gun that wouldn't hold up all that well to getting thrown around, dumepd in the mud and used as a club. Sure, you whack someone upside the head with an M-16, you'll probably break it. But they cost the US government well under a grand. An OICW was projected to cost more than 20 grand. Not cost effective.
 

prolific1

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Well my gun was dumb. No fascinating electronically primed bursting munitions. No fancy computer controlled sights. The sights were holographic with a two channel pipper. It was also to be manufactured in a future time when much of it's construction was lackluster. I'm making a simplified version with a HK416 based short stroke piston. I'm stuck on a bullpup configuration though. It makes for a smaller gun with the same barrel length (or a similar length gun with a longer barrel. I would also like to at least double the capacity of existing magazines. I'd like to keep the reloads fast but fewer. That might be asking too much but...
 

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prolific1 said:
I would also like to at least double the capacity of existing magazines.

The bulk of the magazine volume is consumed by the propellant (gunpowder). While after 800 years we've still not come up with anything much better than gunpowder, the possibility exists that *something* will come along... denser, more easily packed, and with equal or better performance and no increase in sensitivity. If your magazine packed not bullets and their cartriges, but effectively just bullets, you could likely triple current capacity.

There are a number of rocket propellants that would make dandy bullet propellants, at greater density. But they would tend to foul the weapon... leaving behind, say, aluminum oxide plated onto the breech and the barrel with each shot. However, "advanced gun propellant" is something that you can reasonably handwave away.

One of the first repeatign firearms, made by Volcanic Arms, used the "Rocket Ball" ammo. It was a bullet with a hollow in the base for the gunpowder; it was weak as hell due to the small volume of powder it could hold. But if the powder was updated to somethign reasonable-yet-futuristic, the idea would have merit again.

rocketball.jpg


Similarly, the Gyrojet used actual rocket bullets. Accuracy was kinda sucko (due to the bullet still beign under powered - and imperfectly balanced - flight after exitting the barrel), and delivered energy tended to be a bit weak. However: if you have "rocket bullets" that burn out while still in the barrel, leave no soot, ash or other deposits, and have high muzzle velocities *and* heavy mass, you'll have a really good, densely packable manstopper.

cmo05novb.jpg




You don't *need* to describe everything in detail. You just need to make sure that the details that are visible do not require suspension of disbelief. You only get to do that once or twice in a decent story... you don't want to waste it on something trivial.

NOTE: railguns, coilguns, other electromagnetic systems as a replacement for gunpowder are just silly aat the infantry level.
 

prolific1

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yeah. I'm going with the idea that even 50-60 years in the future, hard cased (whether polymer or metal) conventional guns will proliferate the combat environment. I doubt the electronic guns will be robust and cheap enough for a while longer. I want to push the state of the current art. Hell... the M16 is 60's vintage and it will be inservice for another decade or more. Whatever replaces it will live on for a similar amount of time likely.
 

Rickshaw

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Orionblamblam said:
rickshaw said:
This is theatrical Hollywood bullshit.

I've never seen combat footage of soldiers under fire giving a damn about the magazines. I've never spoken to soldiers who were in heavy combat and who said that they gave a damn about empty magazines. Magazines are, or ar at least supposed to be, cheap and easily replaced.

That may be the attitude of American soldiers but I doubt it. None of the one's I've ever served with considered their weapon's magazines expendable in that way. The Australian Army teaches you to remove the magazine from the weapon, place it back in the pouch and then place a new magazine on the weapon. Has done so since the introduction of its first magazine weapon, the Lewis gun, as far as I can tell (having read the training pamphlets on that weapon). This is done for the reasons I've already outlined. You drop your magazine on the ground it will more than likely become fouled, damaged and/or lost. If you are forced to move from where you have dropped the magazine, you won't often have time to pause and pick the magazine up before doing so and what happens when you run out of magazines? Your weapon becomes useless. The resupply of ball ammunition, either in clips or loose is far easier than the resupply of pre-packaged magazines. During the Vietnam War, even the US Army found the idea of "disposable magazines" unsustainable and abandoned the practice.

My father was an M-60 machine gunner in Viet Nam. Lots of interesting tales about beating the crap out of their hardware and other "technically against the handbook" operations in the interests of shaving seconds. The M-60's barrel, for example, was meant to be rapidly replaced under fire with the use of a special asbestos glove (for grabbing the extremely hot barrel). In actual practice, they didn't do that... they just grabbed the bipod. Very dangerous, but a few seconds faster.

Your father may have decided to "shave seconds" off the time required to change the barrel but as the M60 more than likely would have had more than enough stoppages anyway, it wouldn't have made much of a difference to its sustained operation. Having served as a gunner on the M60, all I'll point out is that it was an abortion of a design which should never have been adopted. It was replaced in Australian Army service by the very weapon which beat it in the original competition held for a GPMG in 1959 - the FN MAG58. If the weapon had been designed properly, it wouldn't have needed either the asbestos mitten (it wasn't a glove, as it did not have separate fingers) or having to grab the bipod to change the barrel.

In many modern combat situations, the modern soldier will be fighting in an area where he can be quickly reinforced and resupplied. In such instances, keeping the hardware pristine makes sense. But you need to design the hardware for the *worst* case that the solider could experience. That's what's been killing projects like the OICW... a very nifty gun that wouldn't hold up all that well to getting thrown around, dumepd in the mud and used as a club. Sure, you whack someone upside the head with an M-16, you'll probably break it. But they cost the US government well under a grand. An OICW was projected to cost more than 20 grand. Not cost effective.

I am sure this will come as a surprise to the British soldiers fighing in Afghanistan whom have been upon more than one occassion nearly over-run by the Taleban because they couldn't be reinforced or resupplied with ammunition. As were the Australian soldiers at Long Tan or Firebases Coral and Balmoral in Vietnam. I don't doubt there are similar situations from US Army history, in that and other conflicts where throwing your magazines away with gay abandon wasn't a good idea. How is promoting bad practice going to help your soldiers in the long run?
 

prolific1

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Mr. Rickshaw. What is your take on a high capacity magazine that takes longer to install versus a low capacity magazine that is easier to change out?
 

Orionblamblam

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rickshaw said:
Orionblamblam said:
In many modern combat situations, the modern soldier will be fighting in an area where he can be quickly reinforced and resupplied. In such instances, keeping the hardware pristine makes sense. But you need to design the hardware for the *worst* case that the solider could experience.

I am sure this will come as a surprise to the British soldiers fighing in Afghanistan whom have been upon more than one occassion nearly over-run by the Taleban because they couldn't be reinforced or resupplied with ammunition.

Sigh. I can see where this is going: pointless internet squabbling due to a refusal to actually read what was written. So I'll point out once more: "In many modern combat situations..."

How is promoting bad practice going to help your soldiers in the long run?

Sigh. ::)
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
That's "ManBearPig." If you don't watch "South Park," you very likely won't get it, nor the related signiture line.

I'd didn't know the source of your avatar and when I finally saw that episode I laughed my a$$ off. (Of course Cartman crapping treasure was pretty funny too. :D)
 

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rickshaw said:
Who cares about flash when you have thermal imagers? The heat given off by the weapon is a dead giveaway.

I was assuming that the weapon would be being fired from behind cover. If the weapon is pulled behind a solid object and given a chance to cool the IR signature wouldn't be as significant. In open terrain short barreled high caliber weapons would naturally tend to give way to other weapons (such as high powered rifles etc.)

Orionblamblam said:
One of the first repeatign firearms, made by Volcanic Arms, used the "Rocket Ball" ammo. It was a bullet with a hollow in the base for the gunpowder; it was weak as hell due to the small volume of powder it could hold. But if the powder was updated to somethign reasonable-yet-futuristic, the idea would have merit again.

The general accuracy problem could be solved by limited course correction (a single moving control surface) and the stopping power resolved by the use of high explosives. This was the idea behind the >300m/s long range round concept that I mentioned. Of course, all of this requires a much larger round than the Gyrojet's, in fact you can easily climb to 400g or even 600g per bullet. Which raises sever limits on the number of rounds that can be carried. When writing I described the system using a three man crew for urban fighting (one acts as gunner, another acts as assistance/observer with a backup weapon and the third crew member acts as ammunition mule/radio operator).

prolific1 said:
Well my gun was dumb. No fascinating electronically primed bursting munitions. No fancy computer controlled sights. The sights were holographic with a two channel pipper.

Sounds plausible (which is an improvement over what we normally see, isn't it? ;) ). I wouldn't write off some kind of built in sight which feeds a helmet mounted display though. There are a lot of reasons why having a gun mounted camera would be attractive and it could probably be reduced in size by five to ten times over existing systems. A fold out iron sight is still a must as a backup of course.
 

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Avimimus said:
A fold out iron sight is still a must as a backup of course.


It's amazing.... look at most standard sci-fi weapons. Phasers, disruptors, Goa'uld staff blasters, zat guns, Imperial blasters... aiming seems to have been a secondary concern.
 

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prolific1 said:
Mr. Rickshaw. What is your take on a high capacity magazine that takes longer to install versus a low capacity magazine that is easier to change out?

I'd prefer a magazine that allows rapid changing. As to its capacity, that is really immaterial. If you can't change it when you need to, easily then you will suffer the consequences of an ongoing stoppage which can't be cleared before you're over run. I've seen diggers who can on their L1a1 SLR carry out their IA (Immediate Action), check to see if the magazine is empty, remove the magazine, place it in their pouch, remove a full magazine, place it on their rifle and return the working parts forward and carry on firing in the space of 10 seconds. Admittedly they practised and practised for hours at a time but they could do it.
 

Rickshaw

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Orionblamblam said:
rickshaw said:
Orionblamblam said:
In many modern combat situations, the modern soldier will be fighting in an area where he can be quickly reinforced and resupplied. In such instances, keeping the hardware pristine makes sense. But you need to design the hardware for the *worst* case that the solider could experience.

I am sure this will come as a surprise to the British soldiers fighing in Afghanistan whom have been upon more than one occassion nearly over-run by the Taleban because they couldn't be reinforced or resupplied with ammunition.

Sigh. I can see where this is going: pointless internet squabbling due to a refusal to actually read what was written. So I'll point out once more: "In many modern combat situations..."

I would suggest that you know very little about "many modern combat situations" if you believe that:
  • 1. Soldiers should be taught to discard what are valuable pieces of military equipment and possibly damage them, thereby rendering them useless for future use without repair/cleaning being required;
  • 2. That one should assume that ammunition will be resupplied in pre-packaged forms when in reality it is not;
  • 3. That soldiers should assume that their resupply system works perfectly, all the time when the evidence is t the contrary and often it will be be, by circumstance, slower than the predicament they find themselves in, allows.

The reality of military life is considerably different, as the examples I have provided, have shown. Somewhere, today, some soldier is lamenting the fact that he threw away his magazines because he believed some Hollywoodesque training.

How is promoting bad practice going to help your soldiers in the long run?

Sigh. ::)

Indeed. I worry about amateurs as far as understanding military theory, training and discipline goes.
 

sferrin

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rickshaw said:
Orionblamblam said:
rickshaw said:
Orionblamblam said:
In many modern combat situations, the modern soldier will be fighting in an area where he can be quickly reinforced and resupplied. In such instances, keeping the hardware pristine makes sense. But you need to design the hardware for the *worst* case that the solider could experience.

I am sure this will come as a surprise to the British soldiers fighing in Afghanistan whom have been upon more than one occassion nearly over-run by the Taleban because they couldn't be reinforced or resupplied with ammunition.

Sigh. I can see where this is going: pointless internet squabbling due to a refusal to actually read what was written. So I'll point out once more: "In many modern combat situations..."

I would suggest that you know very little about "many modern combat situations" if you believe that:
  • 1. Soldiers should be taught to discard what are valuable pieces of military equipment and possibly damage them, thereby rendering them useless for future use without repair/cleaning being required;
  • 2. That one should assume that ammunition will be resupplied in pre-packaged forms when in reality it is not;
  • 3. That soldiers should assume that their resupply system works perfectly, all the time when the evidence is t the contrary and often it will be be, by circumstance, slower than the predicament they find themselves in, allows.

The reality of military life is considerably different, as the examples I have provided, have shown. Somewhere, today, some soldier is lamenting the fact that he threw away his magazines because he believed some Hollywoodesque training.

How is promoting bad practice going to help your soldiers in the long run?

Sigh. ::)

Indeed. I worry about amateurs as far as understanding military theory, training and discipline goes.

From what I've read (especially when it comes to ground forces) Murphy rules.
 

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rickshaw said:
I would suggest that you know very little about "many modern combat situations" if you believe that:
  • 1. Soldiers should be taught to discard ...



  • And I'll suggest that you know very little about what has been posted in this thread if you think that anyone has suggested that soldiers are (or should be) taught to throw stuff away. What has been argued is that weapons *designers* need to design their weapons for extreme situations. Are soldiers taught to dunk their weapons in the mud? No? So then why are some guns touted for their ability to survive being dumped in mud? Are A-10 drivers taught to take anti-aircraft fire? no? So then why are A-10's designed to withstand anti-aircraft fire?

    Reading comprehension: look into it.
 

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Avimimus said:
Orionblamblam said:
One of the first repeatign firearms, made by Volcanic Arms, used the "Rocket Ball" ammo. It was a bullet with a hollow in the base for the gunpowder; it was weak as hell due to the small volume of powder it could hold. But if the powder was updated to somethign reasonable-yet-futuristic, the idea would have merit again.

The general accuracy problem could be solved by limited course correction (a single moving control surface) and the stopping power resolved by the use of high explosives. This was the idea behind the >300m/s long range round concept that I mentioned. Of course, all of this requires a much larger round than the Gyrojet's, in fact you can easily climb to 400g or even 600g per bullet. Which raises sever limits on the number of rounds that can be carried. When writing I described the system using a three man crew for urban fighting (one acts as gunner, another acts as assistance/observer with a backup weapon and the third crew member acts as ammunition mule/radio operator)..

The main accuracy problem with weapons like the Gyrojet was that it fired miniature rockets, and solid fuel rockets (miniature or otherwise) are famous for their accuracy. That is, they're famous for not having any, especially in small sizes, where manufacturing errors become more pronounced. The Volcanic used a fairly standard small-arms round except that, as OBB points out, the cartridge case containing the propellant was integral to the projectile, and was fired along with it. This (I would suppose) would give the same accuracy as normal ammo.

Benelli of Italy came up with the CB-M2 9mm submachinegun back in the early 1980'ies based on the same concept, firing the so-called 9mm AUPO round (see e.g. http://cartridgecollectors.org/cmo/cmo07apr.htm), made by Fiocchi. Unsuccessful, I might add.

Regards & all

Thomas L. Nielsen
 

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Lauge said:
That is, they're famous for not having any, especially in small sizes, where manufacturing errors become more pronounced.

There are a whole slew of tiny little things that get washed out in larger sizes but suddenly become important in small scales. Not just manufacturing, but there's simply no such thing as a solid grain of rocket propellant that burns *truly* evenly. When you have a big rocket, having a fraction of a millimeter's difference in burn depth on one side compared to the other is meaningless. When you get to Gyrojet scale... it's important.

The Volcanic used a fairly standard small-arms round except that, as OBB points out, the cartridge case containing the propellant was integral to the projectile, and was fired along with it. This (I would suppose) would give the same accuracy as normal ammo.

To first order, so long as the propellant has completely burned by the time the bullet exits the barrel, it doesn't much matter where or how the propellant was stored and burned.
 

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