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Subject: M41A Pulse Rifle and Blastech E-11
TriggaFingaz    6/30/2004 3:55:10 PM
Which of the two primary science fiction firearms do you all prefer- the M41A pulse rifle (used by the Colonial Marines and the Company’s white armoured biotech troops in Aliens and Alien 3 respectively) or the Blastech E-11 (the blaster rifle used by Stormtroopers in Star Wars)? I know they exist in two separate story line arcs but both look stylish. The M41A prop was constructed from a Thompson pistol grip and SPAS-12 shotgun, the E-11 prop was constructed from a Sterling 9mm SMG. The M41A has two types of ammo (10mm caseless HEAP rounds and 30mm grenades) while according to the Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology, the E-11 has a 100 round power pak for shooting what is in essence a particle beam of coherent energy. Although Alien Resurrection is set nearly 200 years after Alien 3, I damn well prefer the by then antique M41A to those pieces seen in A-R. I’ve seen close up shots of the weapons used by the Auriga and Betty’s crew in A-R, did not like the shape of them at all. For sound effects I very much prefer the M41A. Call me an old fashioned dinosaur, but I prefer to see bullet based weapons in a sci-fi movie rather than laser like gear which is too fantastic. Maybe becoz I like semi-realistic science fiction that has SOME similarities to real life than totally fantastic concepts, although I love Star Wars too. Comparing them to other rifle style weapons is welcome, like the blaster rifles with NV scopes that the human survivors use in the future scenes of The Terminator.
 
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Ehran    RE: KE weapons- eon to Ehran   7/20/2004 12:11:57 PM
150 lb person hit by a one ounce slug at 1600 fps right at the muzzle. he outweighs the slug by 2400 to one and assuming there is a 100% transfer of energy instantly on contact imparts a motion to the man of about 8" per second. it's hardly enough to bodily throw the man against a wall as is often shown in movies. given that men are usually over 150 lbs and the slug doesn't achieve instant total energy transfer etc it would seem that any motion is a reaction to being shot by the victim.
 
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Ehran    RE: KE weapons-eon back to doggtag   7/20/2004 12:20:10 PM
the achilles heel of KE wpns in space is their range constraints with ammo availability possibly also coming into play. it takes a certain amount of time to have rounds get from muzzle to target during which time target moves which induces leading the target. give yourself a target at 20000 km and a wpn that shoots at 20x the muzzle velocity of the best current weapons say 25 kmps. it takes 800 seconds to reach the spot where the target was over 13 minutes ago. not exactly a practical solution when a laser reaches the target in 7 hundreds of one second. even in space opera type movies where fighters are blasting about at point blank ranges the relative accelerations are so high the target moves appreciably twixt firing and "hitting".
 
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eon    RE: KE weapons-eon back to Ehran, pt. 2   7/22/2004 9:54:26 AM
Good points in both your posts. I forgot to mention the problem with "Hollywood ballistics"- namely, that it is (as you state) rare for anyone to be "knocked down" by even a shotgun slug hit, let alone anything smaller. The one actual "knockdown" I've personally seen was a would-be liquor-store robber, on rain-slick pavement, who took an officer's .45 slug in the ankle (the officer was shooting under his cruiser after the perpetrator had unloaded both barrels of a sawed-off 12 gauge double into said cruiser's windscreen). He basically lost his balance and landed flat on his face. (He showed up in court on crutches and in a cast- neither of which got him any sympathy from the judge or jury.) The problem is that in movies or TV, somebody "hit" by a slug is yanked backwards by a husky "grip" hauling on a cable attached to a harnes under their clothes. (No, I don't know who started this silliness, or when.) Most times, someone "knocked down" by a projectile has actually suffered a spasm due to central-nervous-system shock, which usually means the offending chunk of metal has hit a nerve center. like the spine or even the brain stem. Most people who fall down after being shot do just that-they fall "down", as per the pull of gravity, when their CNS shuts down and the muscles go limp. As for your comments on range and velocity of solid-projectile weapons in space, I agree totally. For serious space combat, you need a weapon with more velocity than what it's shooting at- preferably a lot more. This is why I hold out for electromagnetic weapons; they can (theoretically at least) attain velocities in the high sub-C range, making them a viable alternative to pure-energy weapons. And as a plus, once a "gauss cannon" or "mass driver" has fired a shot in vacuum and microgravity, said projectile will keep right on going, as per Newton's Second Law. The good news is, this means that if your targeting system is up to it, a KE weapon of this type can reach out farther and hit harder than a comparbly-powered energy weapon. The bad news is, of course, that any rounds that miss will be navigation hazards almost indefinitely- unless of course your "star fleet" has tugs or tenders whose job it is to tidy up the territory around the battle area after the guns have fallen silent..
 
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Ehran    RE: KE weapons-eon back to Ehran, pt. 2   7/22/2004 11:50:17 AM
for bombarding "stationary" targets like bases or cities KE wpns would work fine. for striking moving targets i just don't see them as being all that practical. for long range fighting i think you are going to have to resort to some kind of wpn with terminal guidance and propulsion. could give it a pretty good kickstart with a rail gun to launch it. i think by the time we can build wpns that fire at any worthwhile part of C we will be building YEE FRIGGING GODS lasers. hollywood in their search for cool looking action must have completely ignored any tech advice. i've actually seen an episode of hunter where the bad guy was running away with a gpmg across an airfield. hunter went after him with his car and the bad guy turned around and hosed the car. you could see the little sparkles of 308 rounds glancing off the car including the windshield and headlights right up to where the car ran over the bad guy. i stopped watching the show at that point despite stepfanie kramer's presence. it's also greatly amusing how heroic types can shrug off a hand grenade going off right beside them.
 
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