POTB talks about guns in this thread

General discussion that doesn't fit in the other boards.
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POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Panoptic Blur » Apr 13th, 2013, 01:08

Two posts have contributed to the creation of this thread.
Daedalus wrote:Panoptic, you seem to know most of the deal regarding this, so could you please provide a list of firearm terminology - apparatus, actions, components and the works? No slang, please and it doesn't need to be too detailed. Just a basic rundown. I can't explain my reasons from here. It's not safe.
Daedalus wrote:Dammit! You killed the thread prematurely! You owe me a thread.
So, without further ado, Panoptic Blur (POTB) talks about guns in this thread. Feel free to post questions too.
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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Panoptic Blur » Apr 13th, 2013, 01:30

What is a gun?

The word "gun" covers a very broad spectrum of propellant systems, ranging from a .22 Derringer to the largest projectile firing systems onboard a battleship. In general terminology, a "gun" is a weapon that fires an inert projectile using either chemically-stored energy or pressurized gas, and this ammunition does not have self-sufficient propulsion on its own. (Ammunition that continues to propel and accelerate after leaving the firearm is usually described as a rocket, and its associated firearm is more commonly known as a rocket launcher.)

General types of guns:

Small arms are firearms light enough to be carried and fired by individual humans. They do not need to be mounted on vehicles to move or aim. This distinguishes them from battleship and ground cannon, as well as punt guns (extremely large-bore shotguns which must be mounted on a water vessel before being fired).

Pistols are the smallest class of small arms. These evolved specifically from a need for a one-handed light firearm suitable for personal defense. Each pistol functions in much the same way - a short barrel means the round has only modest propulsion behind it before leaving the barrel, and the general lightness of the firearm means that felt recoil is usually relatively high. Accuracy is usually limited by the weapon's lightness and the limited points of contact that the shooter's hands have on the weapon. The largest pistols compensate for some of these by adding length to the barrel and firing a heavier round (i.e. one with a greater diameter), both increasing the mass of the projectile for stabilization, and increasing the amount of powder and thus propellant behind each shot.

Pistols may be fired one-handed, although many shooters will use both hands in order to increase accuracy. Pistols are also easier to maneuver in tight spaces, and easily concealable.

Most pistols will fire solid projectiles, although anti-personnel projectiles ("dum-dum"s) have been produced with a cross shape cut into the tip, to encourage fragmentation and increased trauma to flesh. Hollow point bullets are designed with the same philosophy in mind. For less-lethal treatment, rubber bullets will often cause flesh injuries without risking lasting damage to vitals, bones, or organs (although exceptions have occurred). Some may argue that Tasers are pistols too, firing a pair of darts connected by a pair of wires: if both darts strike the same target, it completes an electrical circuit and the target's muscles will spasm uncontrollably.

Some pistols are double-action, meaning the user must first pull the hammer back (usually with the thumb) and cock it before the trigger may be pulled. Most modern pistols are semi-automatic (aka "autoloading"), which means the firearm will use the escaping gases from each fired bullet to eject the bullet's casing and load another into the chamber. Semi-automatic firearms will fire once each time the trigger is pulled.

Fully-automatic pistols exist, but are rare. A fully-automatic function means that as long as the trigger is depressed, the firearm will continue to discharge a round, then use its escape gases to eject the casing and load a new round, and then discharge that new round as well. Pistols are prone to recoil and kickback, and fully-automatic fire will feature significant elements of each - made worse by the fact that the user is holding the firearm only with their hands.
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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Panoptic Blur » Apr 13th, 2013, 02:26

Long arm development:

Long arms usually refer to a class of small arms which are larger than pistols, and which usually require one hand to fire and one hand to support. These terms are not strict definitions, however, and in later years a number of intermediate types of weapons have arisen.

The earliest type of long arm was probably the 火枪 or "fire lance", which the Chinese employed from the 10th century CE onwards. It featured a barrel set atop a spear, which could be filled with propellant and shrapnel and aimed at an enemy, then lit. The propellant would disperse the shrapnel load against enemies. Because of its extremely limited effective range, this was probably used as a close-range weapon, very likely to defend fortified positions as the enemy charged.

Long arms later featured a much longer barrel, and a propellant charge behind a small round projectile. These became known as muskets. Accuracy was still limited, and musket fire was only really effective when used en masse against an enemy formation, to ensure a higher probability of a hit. Reloading the musket was a time-consuming task, and infantry tactics often focused on having different soldiers open fire at different times, to allow their peers to reload while still keeping up a constant rhythm of fire to suppress their enemies.

Add a groove to the interior of the barrel (a process known as "rifling"), and the projectile would spin as it accelerated down the barrel. This helped to stabilize the projectile, and increased its effective range. The first rifles were used by hunters rather than troops, because rifling was expensive. Hunters usually hunted alert game, and increased accuracy in the first shot was vital. A single shot would alert the prey anyway, so it had to count. A rifle gave the shooter a stable firing platform, with both arms used to steady the barrel (or even resting it on terrain), and a much longer barrel than the pistol discussed above. This firearm worked well against large game, such as deer.

Against smaller game, such as fowl, the hunters discovered that firing a mass of small, spreading projectiles would be much more effective. The amount of impact needed to disable a pheasant is much lower than to disable a deer, and firing twenty pellets each time you pulled the trigger was much better than firing only one. So the shotgun evolved, firing a cup which contained a mass of small pellets. Shotgun barrels tended to be long and also quite wide (modern shotguns are more than twice the diameter of most modern pistols), and the payload would create a cloud of pellets slowly expanding as they left the barrel. Because the pellets are not aerodynamically stable, the effective range is much lower than that of a rifle or musket, but against unarmored humans or quick-moving light prey, the shotgun is an effective weapon.

Shotguns and gauge or bore: Shotgun ammunition is measured in different terminology than rifle or pistol ammunition. Each shotgun is defined by its gauge, or the diameter of its barrel. The numerical value of its "gauge" means the number of lead spheres of that diameter which it would take to measure 1 pound. This terminology arose when hunters would buy their own lead pellets from the market, and made for easy weighing and measurement. Accordingly, a larger gauge number (e.g. 28-gauge) means a smaller measurement; conversely, a smaller gauge number (e.g. 12-gauge) means a larger measurement. A 12-gauge barrel is the most common barrel, as it can fire projectiles powerful enough to take down deer ("buckshot"), whereas 28-gauge barrels are more often used against fowl.

Shotguns are almost never rifled - their interior barrel surfaces are almost always smooth (as pellets would scour and eventually ruin any rifling). A 12-gauge shotgun measures roughly 18.5mm in diameter, which allows for a versatile variety of shotgun ammunition payloads. Most common is pellets, but shotguns can fire solid slugs to take out heavy targets (such as bears). A single 12-gauge solid slug can reliably penetrate the bullet-resistant plastic shielding commonly seen in banks. Other, less common, types of payloads include sabot (fin-stabilized high-density dart, for armor piercing), flechettes (multiple solid darts), combinations of ball-and-buck (the solid slug to impact armor, and the three buck pellets following up immediately behind to cause flesh trauma), and flame rounds (which convert the shotgun into a miniature flamethrower for a few seconds).

Shotguns are also usually manual. The individual ammunition shells are so heavy that automatic shotguns suffer much more from jamming and reliability issues than other designs of firearms. In the old days, shotguns were "break action", meaning the user had to open the breech to remove the spent casings and then manually insert the fresh shells. The most common form of modern shotgun design today is the pump-action, where a tube parallel to the barrel houses a number of fresh charges, and the user pumps a mechanism which simultaneously ejects the spent shell and feeds a fresh shell into the breech. Because this relies entirely on the user's action, it is seen as highly reliable even when the shotgun has been fired many times, or is used in dirty conditions.

A number of modern shotguns are semi-automatic (or autoloading), which means the design of the gun itself uses the energy from a shot to eject the spent cartridge, and then to load in a new cartridge. However, semi-automatic shotguns require that only one, consistent, type of ammunition be used. If the user intends to use lower-energy rounds, such as beanbag rounds, the energy from each shot will be insufficient to correctly cycle the action. Also, using flame rounds in a semi-automatic shotgun would cause the cartridge to be ejected while it was still emitting a long flame. Some shotgun designers have attempted to get around this by designing a variable-action shotgun - one that can be used manually for reliability, or switched to semi-automatic for higher rate of fire. The Franchi SPAS12 is perhaps the most famous example of this - it also features a "shepherd's crook" foldable attachment that allows it to be fired one-handed. Izhmash has also released the Saiga-12 shotgun, which is essentially a larger-caliber AK-47 that fires 12-gauge shotgun shells. Although this design shares the same rugged reliability of the AK-47, the kickback limits the firearm's widespread usability. Increasing a shotgun's rate of fire simply causes too much kickback to make it worthwhile in most cases.

Fully-automatic shotguns are extremely rare and are plagued by design problems, once again relating to the relatively heavy nature of the shotgun round. Daewoo's USAS-12 attempted to upgrade the M4 carbine rifle to 12-gauge capacity (much like Izhmash did with the AK-47 to Saiga-12), but repeated jamming and reliability issues prevented the design from being taken seriously. Also, the kickback problem becomes insurmountable when firing 12-gauge munitions with autofire: merely keeping the gun pointed in the correct direction is beyond most shooters.

Assault firearms

Rifle bullets eventually became smaller and lighter, with a much larger propellant load behind them. In WWI, rifles tended to be heavy and their bullets were designed with stability, mass, and distance in mind. Each shot had to be laboriously aimed. Firing across a battlefield at a target in a trench required accuracy, distance, and the retention of enough energy in the bullet to still kill after travelling that distance.

However, in the aftermath of WWII, the Germans and Soviets discovered that most actual exchanges of gunfire occurred at around 300m, or much less in urban areas. Thus, the design shifted to a rifle that could fire lighter bullets, and more quickly. The earliest assault rifle to see widespread use was the AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikov), which featured a parallel gas vent tube to the barrel. As each bullet left the barrel, the gas vent tube would redirect some of its exhaust gases backwards, to force the firing pin and bolt action back. This allowed the next bullet to be loaded into the chamber, and a heavy spring at the rear of the action would neutralize the kickback and force the bolt action forwards again, readying the weapon for its next shot.

The AK-47 was designed with loose clearances in mind, meaning the weapon could take much more abuse, neglect, and bad conditions - and still perform fairly well. However, these margins meant that high-level performance was difficult. NATO firearms tended to have tight clearances, meaning much higher performance in terms of aim, rate of fire, and bullet exit velocity - but correspondingly, they could jam, misfire, and clog with much less use than Soviet weaponry.

The British and French also discovered that bullet diameter was less important than bullet velocity, when used against human targets. The AK47's 7.62mm round was broad, and carried a significant amount of energy behind it, but it performed only middlingly well against enemy soldiers. The NATO STANAG (STANdard AGreement) rifle caliber was set at 5.56mm, a smaller round, but also a much faster exit velocity. The importance of exit velocity is that the bullet tends to shatter when suddenly decelerated in human flesh. Thus, an AK47 round might drill a neat round hole, but a STANAG round would shatter and leave a large jagged cavity in flesh. The Soviets redesigned the Kalashnikov later with the 5.45mm round, to adjust to this latest discovery.

Bullpups

Recently, assault rifle designs have begun to focus on miniaturization and portability. The most significant move is the adoption of "bullpup" designs: where the action and magazine are located behind the trigger, rather than traditionally in front of it. This allows the firearm greater portability, as its overall length is shorter without sacrificing barrel length (the barrel simply "originates" further back in the firearm). The mainland Chinese military has begun to move away from the familiar Kalashnikov-pattern firearm, and has adopted the QBZ-95 design, which has a bullpup configuration for ease of carrying and lighter weight. The QBZ-95 also uses a completely different caliber round from Warsaw Pact 5.45/7.62mm or NATO's 5.56mm STANAG - the Chinese have adopted a 5.8mm standard caliber, apparently finding it superior in performance to both precursors.

One main problem with bullpups is limited ambidexterity. In a full-length assault rifle, spent casings are ejected well in front of the user's face. In a bullpup assault rifle, the action and magazine are usually level with the user's face, so a left-handed user would be forced to shoot right-handed (or get hot spent casings ejected into their face or neck). Some modern bullpup firearms take this into account and eject downwards, thus removing the problem.

Note also that "bullpup" can apply to any type of firearm, not necessarily an assault rifle. Kel-Tec has even designed a bullpup pump-action shotgun, the KSG-12, which features two separate ammunition tubes, allowing the shooter to load two different types of ammunition (e.g. lethal and less-lethal).
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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Panoptic Blur » Apr 13th, 2013, 18:10

Sub-machine guns

A "machine gun" initially referred to a large mounted or wheeled firearm, firing multiple rounds from a magazine. These appeared as early as the Victorian era in Britain and the U.S. Civil War, when they proved effective against massed infantry formations. In WWII, the "grease gun" or Thompson machine gun was used alongside M1 Garand rifles, but fulfilled a different function. Accuracy was much lower than a Garand, because of a fatter bullet (the .45 ACP, or roughly 11.5mm) and a stubbier barrel, but the high rate of fire served to suppress enemy forces from firing back, thus allowing rifle troops to flank and then eliminate the opposing forces. This philosophy of "high rate of fire, larger caliber bullets, and close-range fighting" has persisted with SMGs today.

As the weapon design became more portable and the caliber decreased, the term "sub-machine gun" now refers to a firearm that generally possesses fully-automatic fire capability, but which fires a less powerful round than an assault rifle. SMGs are more frequently used in counterterrorism and SWAT police work than in military engagements, because the 9mm rounds most commonly used have a much lower effective range and exit velocity than a comparable assault rifle. The 9mm round wounds by its size, not by its fragmentation properties, and although high-quality weapons such as the Heckler & Koch MP5 SMG have excellent accuracy close in, the fatter bullet is less aerodynamically stable than a thinner, high-propellant assault rifle round. Most such SMG actions take place in urban areas, indoors, or on larger vessels, so range is much less important than stopping power and close-in accuracy.

Personal Defense Weapons

A latecomer to the firearms classification, the PDW class of weapons has yet to be universally recognized or adopted. These usually feature several elements: a bullpup design (where the firing handle is in front of the action and magazine, to decrease overall weapon length and to allow greater portability), composite materials, ergonomic designs including ambidextrous use, and a smaller round than SMGs - which allows for higher-velocity fire. Perhaps the most recognizable PDW is the FN-P90, which is a bullpup design, with a top-loading magazine of 5.7mm bullets stored sideways to conserve space. The FN-P90 can be fired one-handed or two-handed, and the downward ejection of spent casings means it can be fired ambidextrously.

Although a current focus of much gunnery interest, PDWs have yet to come into widespread use - their range of operations is already covered with specialized effectiveness by pistols, carbines, and SMGs; a single PDW fulfills these mission profiles less efficiently than a dedicated-design firearm.
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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Krypto » Apr 13th, 2013, 20:27

I declare thee our new Quartermaster!

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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Umnir » Apr 14th, 2013, 14:16

Show us your gats
LOL HI!

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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Daedalus » Apr 15th, 2013, 10:51

Panoptic Blur wrote:Feel free to post questions too.
Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about... your mother.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Panoptic Blur » Apr 15th, 2013, 21:26

Daedalus wrote:
Panoptic Blur wrote:Feel free to post questions too.
Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about... your mother.
Modular. Consistent. Efficient. Advanced. Quantum.
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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Daedalus » Apr 16th, 2013, 10:32

On a more serious note, thank you very much! Your ability to write essays in response to single lines continues to astound me, although I have done this with regards to Blood several times in the past.

The debt's repaid, but one question comes to mind for now: what is meant by a 'long rifle', and what would the minimum range on such a weapon be? Let's assume I wanted to hold up people at gunpoint, but wanted to use a fairly antiquated weapon, preferably single shot and which isn't a pistol. What would be a suitable weapon for this end and what would be its minimum range i.e. distance I'd have to keep from the target? Question for bonus points: what would likely be the method of reloading for such a thing?
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Umnir » Apr 16th, 2013, 15:03

Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
Show us your gats
LOL HI!

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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Umnir » Apr 16th, 2013, 15:08

SHOW US YOUR FUCKING GATS!
LOL HI!

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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Panoptic Blur » Apr 20th, 2013, 18:48

Daedalus wrote:one question comes to mind for now: what is meant by a 'long rifle', and what would the minimum range on such a weapon be? Let's assume I wanted to hold up people at gunpoint, but wanted to use a fairly antiquated weapon, preferably single shot and which isn't a pistol. What would be a suitable weapon for this end and what would be its minimum range i.e. distance I'd have to keep from the target? Question for bonus points: what would likely be the method of reloading for such a thing?
"Long rifle": I am unfamiliar with this term. Let's break it down into its components. A "long arm" or "long gun" is a weapon that requires both hands to use and is typically fired with part of the firearm braced against the shoulder. This will include most typical shotguns, rifles and assault rifles. Secondly, a "rifle" is typically a long arm that has a rifled thread in its barrel. So if you're specifically talking about a "long rifle", this phrase may be used to distinguish a traditional rifle from a bullpup or assault rifle.

Rifle ranges: My experience in actually firing rifles (as opposed to maintaining them) is very limited, so I cannot intelligently answer your question about range.

Holding up people: Rifles would be imperfect choices for actually threatening or corralling enemy personnel. They are bulky, which means they can be easily gripped and deflected in close combat, and their rounds are typically lethal AND have a high penetrating power, meaning that shooting a malfeasor often means the round overpenetrates through them and injures innocent bystanders. Range is almost a non-issue if you're corralling personnel, as you're going to be in close quarters with them.

Most law enforcement and prison guards tend towards shotguns. These weapons have lighter projectiles (meaning less risk of overpenetration, especially important if fired indoors), and the pellets can even be aimed at the ground in front of the target for a less-lethal shot - the pellets bounce off the ground and up into their knees, shins, and groin, having lost a lot of kinetic energy from striking the ground first. They are also very versatile in terms of ammunition - you can carry specialty shells intended to be less-lethal: such as beanbag rounds, which dissipate the impact over a broad area and which are comparable in impact to a hit with a baseball bat or hammer; gas rounds, which distribute choking or blinding chemicals similar to pepper spray; or rubber baton rounds, which are intended to cause significant winding or pain without permanent damage.

Psychologically, unarmed individuals being corralled usually react more favorably to less-lethal methods of enforcement (as the potential price of compliance is lower than when they're being threatened with fully-lethal methods).

preferably antiquated and not a pistol: Have you considered a blunderbuss? This is a precursor to the shotgun, and the theory behind it was "a firearm which can fire anything you can fit into its barrel". Stories of highwaymen armed with blunderbusses loaded with pebbles have some circulation.
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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Dimebog » Apr 23rd, 2013, 06:27

Seriously, how about you show us your gats?
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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Umnir » Apr 23rd, 2013, 07:40

Dimebog wrote:Seriously, how about you show us your gats?
This.
LOL HI!

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Re: POTB talks about guns in this thread

Post by Panoptic Blur » Apr 26th, 2013, 04:13

I do not currently have possession of any firearms.
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