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M590 exo-assault rifle (Space: Above and Beyond)

Grey Havoc

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The M590: By the Numbers (based on the art by Georg Joergens)
Overall Length:
33.82 inches
Width: 1.77 inches
Weight (unloaded): 9.26 lbs
Height: 10.67
Height w/ IR Scanner: 12.72
Action: semi-automatic, gas-operated rotating bolt. reinforce for exo-environments
Caliber (according to Georg Joergens): 5.56x45mm/7.62x51mm
Range: 200-400 meters
The Special Trigger: Variable pressure adjustable (up to 1.7 lbs) designed for the exo-environment ranked standard issue gloves.
 

Orionblamblam

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The fact that the trigger was the entire forward edge of the grip was a detail I was always intrigued by. Normally that'd be damned silly, but a weapon designed to be handled by hands covered in pressurized spacesuit gloves? Makes sense.
 

TomS

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The fact that the trigger was the entire forward edge of the grip was a detail I was always intrigued by. Normally that'd be damned silly, but a weapon designed to be handled by hands covered in pressurized spacesuit gloves? Makes sense.
Seems like it would make it impossible to maintain a consistent hold and be a huge risk for negligent discharge. How the heck do you hold the gun with your hand on the grip but off the trigger before you are ready to fire, a basic safety principle? Seems like a whole-hand trigger guard like the Steyr AUG or FAMAS around a trigger sized/shaped to fit a gloved hand would work better.

Also, a trigger pull of "up to 1.7 pounds" seems dangerously light for a service weapon. It's quite light even for a match gun (more typically around 4 pounds). Think at least 5-6 pounds (2.25-2.6 kg) and maybe more, given the challenges of weapon handling in heavy gloves.
 

Orionblamblam

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Seems like it would make it impossible to maintain a consistent hold and be a huge risk for negligent discharge. How the heck do you hold the gun with your hand on the grip but off the trigger before you are ready to fire, a basic safety principle?
*Training.*
 

TomS

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Seems like it would make it impossible to maintain a consistent hold and be a huge risk for negligent discharge. How the heck do you hold the gun with your hand on the grip but off the trigger before you are ready to fire, a basic safety principle?
*Training.*
Training is how people learn to keep their fingers off the trigger until you're ready to shoot. Which this gun actually makes impossible.
 

Orionblamblam

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Training is how people learn to keep their fingers off the trigger until you're ready to shoot. Which this gun actually makes impossible.
Wellllll... we don't *know* that. Remember this is a sci-fi spacegun, which means advanced tech is doubtless implied. Tech such as "gun is in safe mode until the operator speaks the magic word, or the built-in AI recognizes the threat, or the operators medical implants register the sharp spike, blah-de-blah."

The thing with anywhere-near-realistic space suit gloves is not only are the fingers fat sausages that won't fit in standard trigger guards, they are *insensitive* fat sausages. Accommodations must be made. This large trigger might not even be a solid bar that *could* be pulled by a single finger, it might be squishy or composed of separately activated segments, thus requiring the whole hand to grip it properly.

A truly better solution might be along the lines of the Predators shoulder-gun, slaved to a heads-op display in the helmet, or to go to a "space activity" type of suit that isn't fully pressurized. This would allow the fingers to retain a measure of slimness and sensitivity.
 
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TomS

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I could see doing something like the P7 pistol where there is basically a grip safety/cocker that requires a good whole-hand grip on the gun to make ready to fire. The trigger doesn't have to be in the usual place either; maybe it's an electric action, and the trigger is a button positioned where you can press it with a thumb.

The gun at the start of the thread is really not well-thought out though, and some of the description (like the trigger weight) is pure nonsense written by someone who doesn't know anything about firearms. Heck, looking at other pictures from Space, Above and Beyond, you can see that the prop guns don't even have a useful sized magazine in them most of the time.

PS: Turns out the actual gun under all that plastic is a Ruger Mini-14. Talk about low tech... http://futurewarstories.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-weapons-of-science-fiction-m590-exo.html
 
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Orionblamblam

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Heck, looking at other pictures from Space, Above and Beyond, you can see that the prop guns don't even have a useful sized magazine in them most of the time.
Without knowing more about the ammo, that may or may not be true. If the weapon isn't a conventional gunpowder slugthrower, things could be differnt. *Perhaps* it's an electromagnetic gun, in which case the magazine only needs to hold the projectiles themselves, which might be only 4 mm in diameter and 10 mm long... you can pack a *lot* of those into a small space. Power for the gun could come from batteries built or molded into the frame of the weapon itself... or perhaps provided by the operators suit. Operator drops the weapon, someone not wearing the right kind of suit can't power the gun and thus can't shoot it.
 

TomS

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I feel like maybe we're doing different things here. I'm looking at the gun as described in the graphic, while you're looking at what a space suit gun ought to be.

The gun as actually seen in SAAB was never well defined, but I think it's clear it fired a chemical projectile, and the assumption was that it was something around 5.56mm (possibly caseless, because the prop guns weren't seen ejecting cases very often). Caseless actually seems like the worst possible option for a space gun, because it has no brass to carry the heat of firing away from the chamber, and no plastic to insulate the chamber from the gun gas.

I think a hypothetical space rifle would look a lot different. It probably would need a different sort of bracing that a shoulder stock (and definitely not that weird wrap over the arm thing), because it's hard to shoulder a rifle in a realistic space suit, but you definitely want a three-point hold (shoulder, trigger hand, off hand) to ensure stability and repeatability of aim. You want a sight that works without parallax, so at least a red dot or better a camera linked to a HUD in the suit. And you want a fairly large magazine because changing it is going to be harder in a suit.
 

Orionblamblam

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I feel like maybe we're doing different things here. I'm looking at the gun as described in the graphic, while you're looking at what a space suit gun ought to be.
Well...

The gun as actually seen in SAAB was never well defined...
And there ya go. When it comes to nerding out about sci-fi technology, that which is not precluded is allowed. Gun doesn't define how the bullets are propelled? Then anything from
compressed nitrogen to gunpowder to metastable metallic hydrogen to Gyrojet rockets to EM rails to EM coils to gravity generators to trapped angry ghost beavers can be discussed.


It probably would need a different sort of bracing that a shoulder stock (and definitely not that weird wrap over the arm thing), because it's hard to shoulder a rifle in a realistic space suit, but you definitely want a three-point hold (shoulder, trigger hand, off hand) to ensure stability and repeatability of aim.
And sci-fi has already given us that: the steadicam-based Smart Gun. While that is of course optimized to offset the weight of a firearm in a gravity environment, positing a future variant meant for zero/low/variable G environments through the use of AI and artificial muscles certainly seems sensible. A firearm that Spaceman First Class Corky can have attached to his suit while he works on the exterior of his spacecraft, and that auto-aims in directions he can't directly look, and he can shoot by eyeballing the target in his heads-up and simply saying "fire," seems like a handy thing for the Space Force to develop, have and field.
https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2018/04/04/steadicam-third-arm/
 

uk 75

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I know this is a silly question but back in the zany early days when the US and USSR were looking at miitary installations on the moon or in orbit did any bright spark suggest arming crews and propse variants of actual weapons?
 

bob225

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Slightly OT but in Clive Cusslers "Cyclops" the Russians landed and tried to take over the moonbase, but i can't find the book or remember what or if they carried firearms???

The trailer for Season 2 of For All Mankind shows astronauts with white M4/M16s
 

Orionblamblam

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I know this is a silly question but back in the zany early days when the US and USSR were looking at miitary installations on the moon or in orbit did any bright spark suggest arming crews and propse variants of actual weapons?
Yes. Behold:

http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=33691
 

uk 75

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Thank you. They look remarkably sensible.
 
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