Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Hana, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. The debate thread on General made me remember I needed help with this. o__o Since most of what I know about guns in roleplay seems to work with anime physics and the Gunslinger Girl manga, I want advice on how to make firearms more realistic and believable in roleplay. It's really sad, since one of my uncles is a firearms collector, another is a cop and I've declined most invitations from my relatives to go on a shooting range and try my hand at it, but I have no time. It's obviously not just as simple as point and shoot, that much I know.
  2. I have been summoned!

    What would you like to know, Miss Hana? Feel free to send me a message or add me to Skype. I'll do my best to keep things accurate and appropriate for what you are looking for!
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  3. Reporting!
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  4. Jumping in here briefly! I am not sure how complex you want to go, because we could go SUPER DEEP into the mechanics of guns.

    BUT! Basic mechanics for modern firearms go like this:

    You keep bullets in a magazine ("clip" is slang but technically inaccurate). Most magazines are spring-loaded, which allows them to feed bullets into the chamber of the gun. Assuming you put a loaded magazine into an empty gun, you have to manually chamber the first bullet (referred to as "cocking" the gun).

    Once chambered, most modern guns have triggers that are double-action. Double-action means that when you pull the trigger, it not only coils the hammer back (action one), but it also releases the hammer forward (action two).

    When the hammer gets released forward, it strikes the primer in the bullet which then ignites the gunpowder. The sudden ignition (basically an explosion) contained within the very small enclosed chamber causes the bullet to shoot off in the direction the chamber was pointing in.

    Modern guns also use the energy created from the gunpowder to re-chamber the next bullet in the magazine, meaning you don't have to cock the gun again after you've fired it. For semi-automatic pistols, the force from the bullet being fired pulls the slide back, ejecting the casing of the previous bullet (where the gunpowder was stored), and allowing the next bullet to get chambered. At that point, all you have to do is pull the trigger again to fire.

    Modern fully-automatic guns usually have a fire mode selector switch that allows you to control whether pulling the trigger gives you one bullet, a burst, or continuous fire.

    Guns also have sights atop them, which help you aim. There are usually two sets of sights that you line up before firing: one set at the back and another in front. Some guns also have rails or are designed to support them, which allow the user flexibility in adding other options like enhanced sights, scopes, lights, etc.

    Hopefully this helps!
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  5. Another important mechanic:


    When you fire a gun, the force of the explosion inside the barrel results in the firearm jerking around in your grip. It decreases accuracy, and can hurt like a bitch if you aren't ready for it. Changing fire modes (burst, auto, semi-auto) can help: Full auto like a noob will probably increase recoil; Semi-auto allows for accuracy and precision, reducing recoil; and burst is just right, with a degree of recoil, but control of the number of bullets leaving the gun, reducing the force behind the gun.

    In short, firing off dozens of bullets in succession will result in a decrease in accuracy (think that one hamburger scene from "Pulp Fiction"), and likely a good deal of pain in a weaker individual. Firing off one or two in a weaker-powered gun like a Glock or an SMG will be pretty dead-on, with limited recoil. Firing a burst at once will also be accurate, but slightly less so.
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  6. Adding to this. The type of gun can have an effect on the recoil. Shotguns, for example, pack a stronger punch.

    Also, unlike most other guns, shotguns don't necessarily fire off one bullet at a time. Shotgun rounds, or 'Slugs' are filled with (commonly lead) pellets, that spray out in a certain radius when fired. Also, a double barrel shotgun can sometimes shoot two slugs at once, though it's more common for it to shoot one at a time, allowing two shots per reload.
    Sawed-off shotguns also pack a bigger kick, since there's less of a barrel to contain the shot, and you have less hand room, which means the recoil is being taken by a single limb. Also, most shotguns are pump-action, which means you have to pump the sliding part on the underbarrel to prime the shot. Most pump-action shotguns have small amounts of ammo they can hold at once.

    Adding to shotguns, there's also semi-auto and fully-auto shotguns. Semi-auto are loaded with multiple slugs at once, and only need one pump per load. Fully-Auto shotguns can carry a larger amount of shells than both pump-action and semi-auto, and mostly utilize magazines to hold ammo. They have a higher recoil, since you're firing off more shots at once, and this also hinders accuracy.

    If you were to use a shotgun in an RP, keep in mind that you'd probably have to be within 10 ft. of your target to get a good shot. The pellets spread farther apart the farther they go, so it's very likely that shooting from a distance will cause you to miss. And reloading can also be a hassle on a battlefield, since you'll most likely get shot at unless you're behind cover.

    I'm gonna' add this little bit here, since it's kinda' relevent.

    Silencers. They do quiet your shot, but they do NOT make it completely silent. Anyone within 10 ft of the gun when it is fired should hear it, despite the silencer. However, along with the sound muffle, a silencer increases accuracy, since the bullet rifles more. However, you sacrifice a large portion of your range while using a silencer, since the bullet is slowed down a bit before it finally leaves the barrel.
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  7. Also, having a stock attached to the back of your gun reduces recoil, since the stock rests against your shoulder, and most are rounded, so that they are comfortable.

    Sniper rifles. Mmm... They are beginning to be my favorite class of gun among video games. They allow pinpoint accuracy over a large distance, due to their long, thin barrels that add a large amount of rifling to the bullet. Like most guns, snipers have a loud bang, so if you're trying to hide while picking off multiple targets, go with a sniper. Sure, you'll have to be a bit closer, but it will be silent to those that are at least 50 meters away. A sniper rifle can come with an iron sight (Which is basically the default sight for all guns, and is best for close range), but an Acog, or sniper rifle scope is prefered Acog sights can see farther than standard sights (eg. red dot sight), but for maximum distance, go with a scope. I can't explain the build of a scope, other than it has a mirror system that allows you to see a greater distance. Though some sights are even more handy, and allow you to zoom in and focus on a target. Oh, and snipers are difficult to handle, you need to be specially trained to use one. The best way to do it is to keep both eyes open, even when only one eye is looking down the sight, breath slowly, and squeeze the trigger. Slowing, or even holding your breath can reduce weapon sway, which is when your gun moves around while you're aiming due to the weight making it difficult to hold in place.

    Also, no-scoping doesn't exist outside of video games. Hip fire is extremely inaccurate with a sniper rifle, so it is best to aim down the sights.

    Higher caliber rifles also have a nice effect. As the bullet is whipping through the air, there's a small current of wind around it that is like an extension of the bullet. So if you use (Say a .50 cal) a higher caliber rifle, and your shot is off by an inch or two, you should still deal some kind of damage.

    Sorry if my help isn't as descriptive as you'd like. My gun knowledge comes purely from video games, and when I was researching about guns to invent weapons for a story world I made up.
  8. To correct an error, there are two kinds of ammunition that a shotgun may carry: Shells, which are the aforementioned pellet-holders; and Slugs, which are essentially massive bullets. Range is increased with slugs, as they don't spread over a large area like shells do. Shells are more responsible for an area-of-effect.

    Slugs are generally for hunting big game, since the power behind the slug is generally enough to take down a good deer or two with one good shot. Shells are more for room-clearing, when accuracy is less of an issue (almost not on the table, since storming a room generally means firing blindly upon breaking down a door), and trying to hit a target with a spread of smaller pellets.
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  9. No one seems to have mentioned Marksmanship Principles. These are what allow you to hit anything with anything. These principles apply to all small arms, chassis mounted included. Essentially these principles are easily broken down into categories.

    Natural Point of Aim.
    Trigger Squeeze.


    This is fairly straightforward in my opinion. The breathing in this case relates to the movement of the weapon in regards to you drawing breaths. An obvious fast paced breath will cause the rifle to rise and lower as you inhale and exhale respectively. A slower breath rate will of course diminish this effect, and holding your breath will temporarily halt it. Through my experience I've found it useful to inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, with 2 second pauses in between. This controlled breathing will help lower your heart rate and will allow you to predict when the sight of the weapon will rise and lower in respect to the target. Skillful individuals, typically snipers or the ilk, also train to fire between heartbeats; or so I've been told. I personally have tried this with little success.

    Natural Point of Aim
    A Natural Point of Aim is by far one of the most important aspects of accurately firing a weapon in my opinion. To find your NPA (Natural Point of Aim) the tried and true method is to aim your sights on a target, close your eyes and lower the weapon, then without opening them raise it once again. If it is on the same target, at the same position, you've achieved a NPA. This is exceptionally important for repeated firing of a firearm as after the initial recoil the sights will want to set themselves back onto target. If you don't have this NPA then your muscles will have to push the weapon onto the target which causes fatigue, and upon firing, can cause a shot to go astray or be pulled in some cases. The easiest way to achieve a NPA is to find a comfortable position where your muscles are not struggling to hold the firearm, but support it. If you hold the firearm in position for a minute, you should not be shacking from fatigue, nor should your muscles have any stress on them. This isn't always possible, such as in a gunfighter pose, and so sometimes you have to take a partial NPA due to your fighting posture.

    Support (steadiness & control) and a NPA go together in that if you have no support for the firearm, it will not stay in your hands, and you won't ever want to rest on a target. I've seen this firsthand after someone nearly shot 4 others because they had poor control and support of their rifle. There is no golden rule for supporting a firearm that I've found. In theory the best method is create triangles in your body, such as resting an elbow in against your ribs while your hand supports the stock of a rifle. Again though, if the stance isn't comfortable, or strains the muscles, you'll gradually begin to lose support and control and your rounds will not be fire accurately anymore. In a chassis mounted system the mechanics are normally sufficient to act as the support for a firearm, however it is wise to apply a good dose of butt pressure to prevent the muzzle from moving wildly under rapid fire.

    Squeezing the Trigger
    By golly gee if this wasn't it's own little bit, it damn well ought to be an article of its own. Squeezing the Trigger refers to how you actually engage the trigger. Though Hollywood may have people believing that you pull with your finger, you actually want to make a very gradual and controlled squeezing motion, almost to the point where your rifle, pistol, or what have you, surprises you when it shoots. With experience you'll know exactly when it will fire, but the principle remains. The reason this is so important, is that if you jerk, pull, or otherwise engage the trigger too quickly it may move the position of the rifle in your hand, shoulder, or on the ground. This will cause a pulled shots. Pulled shots have a tendency to miss. As you gain experience even rapid fire and short full auto bursting fire becomes more accurate as you squeeze the trigger, at least mine has.

    Those are your basics for Marksmanship Principles. I may not have explained them the best, but hopefully I've done enough to help people understand. There is a lot more to being an accurate shot, but these are the fundamentals, and if you can't achieve these you're accuracy will never be as good as it could be.

    I'd also like to touch on different rounds and their effects.

    5.56mm (.223)
    This is a standard hunting and NATO military round in North America. It is a smaller, lighter round that flies fast and has a good dose of penetration. These rounds in a AR (assault rifle) platform are accurate to 300 or 400 meters, and effective to approximately 600. The difference is that while a round at 600 may not hit the target, it will still kill them.

    7.62mm (.308)
    This is the larger hunting / NATO military round, and one of my favourites. These rounds have a flatter trajectory and a heavier bullet, meaning they're far more lethal than the 5.56. These rounds are also heavier. I've used these to engage targets accurately at 500m - 600m, and ranged them out as far as 1400m in a mounted system in 40 round bursts with fairly good accuracy. These rounds will pound through brick, concrete, and plenty more, a sofa isn't going to stop these if you're going for the realism punch.

    A very common pistol round, I don't know too much about these. I've only taken a 9mm pistol out to about 50 feet, and I found it fairly inaccurate. Admittedly I wasn't taking it all too seriously so the fault on that is likely on me more than the pistol. Typically though these rounds are used in conjuncture with a short barrel and so are inaccurate. If you used this size round with an extended casing in a rifle I might be worried, but as far as a pistol platform goes, I would acknowledge it as lethal, albeit limited in range.

    12.5mm (.50 Cal)
    A lot of people seem to think this is a super cool sniper bullet. I'm not saying it isn't. I will however state that LAV's can be killed with them. These rounds are very capable and arguably the upper limit of what the military refers to as small arms. These will punch through concrete, metal, rocks, the earth, and damn near anything they want to unless it's been designed to stop ballistic weapons. These are effective even out beyond 1500m in some cases as soldiers have been documented killing people from those distances with them. Luckily this is set back by the rifles being heavy, and the rounds kicking like an angry horse.
    #10 CAS, Apr 16, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
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  10. It depends on the gauge of the shotgun and if it has technology in place to mitigate recoil, like rubber stocks and the like. I've fired 12 gauge shotguns that barely kicked at all. Slugs are a solid chunk of metal, not pellets; you're thinking of buckshot or birdshot. Once again, the amount and size of said pellets depends on the gauge. Double barrel shotguns have two triggers, one for each barrel.

    Sawed off shotguns barely have worse recoil, and that's because of the lack of weight in the barrel, but ultimately, barrel length doesn't really change the recoil characteristics of a firearm. A pump action shotgun's shell capacity depends on the length of the shell and how long the barrel is, a longer barrel means a longer tube which means more shots. Some designs like the UTS-15 have two tubes, which gives it a double the capacity of similar-length shotguns. Also wrong about the automatic shotguns; recoil depends on the technology. An AA-12 is so designed that you could fire it one handed without feeling insane recoil. Recoil can also be controlled, the skill of the shooter depends on the accuracy.

    Shotguns have a VERY far range; I know you're getting most of your stuff from video games and what not with balancing issues, but you seriously can fire a shotgun effectively from 50-60 yards and still hold a fairly tight spread. A slug basically works like an oversized rifle round. I can't stress this enough; shotguns are devastating weapons because their spread and weight of the rounds are effective from close quarters and even out to short-medium range. Keep in mind people hunt with shotguns; they aren't going within 10 feet of a deer or a bird to kill it.

    Silencers are louder than that. You can hear a silenced gunshot almost as well as a regular gunshot. The 10 feet thing is just a popular myth that's a load of bullhickey to justify James Bond murdering a building full of goons without getting murdered after the first three shots. A silencer does nothing to increase accuracy, it just slows down the bullet and encapsulates the escaping propellent so it's contained a bit before being released. Your range isn't hugely effected, your velocity, however, is slowed down a bit.

    Honestly, I don't want to be rude, but she's asking for realistic facts. You're giving her misinformation based on popular culture.

    A stock simply allows a weapon to be shouldered, which is a fundamental part of any firearm that isn't a pistol. Without it, it's just your arms holding out the weight of the weapon and stabilizing it, which if you're firing a long gun, makes it very difficult to aim. All stocks are rounded because you have to get a good cheek weld, otherwise not only is the gun uncomfortable to fire (and possibly painful), but you need to be able to use the sights effectively.

    A sniper rifle, for the most part, is a modified hunting rifle. An assault rifle can be capable of similar accuracy. Also, the barrels on a dedicated sniper rifle is almost always a heavy, thick barrel that's often free floating. The extra weight and heat absorption keeps the weapon steady and with minimal movement, which is a huge factor for long-range shooting. Also, you keep mentioning rifling. Every gun has rifling, except for most shotguns. It's not unique to any individual model, and some have tighter twist ratios than others. It all depends on the model of the gun. Sniper rifles are also not ideal for multiple target engagement because of a thing called triangulation; after about 3 shots, any human can tell the direction a shooter is coming from. Designated marksman rifles are basically modified battle rifles firing full-sized cartridges to enhance the range of an infantry squad and on-the-spot counter-sniper operations. Most snipers engage targets from hundreds of meters away and rarely ever fire more than a shot at a time, unless they're far enough away they don't run the risk of being engaged. Once again, triangulation; the more you shoot, the quicker people find you.

    An ACOG is just a 4 power sight that's better suited for conventional ranges up to around 200-300 meters. It is not ideal for a sniper set up, which you are looking for a sight with a wider field of view and longer range and better reticules for leading targets and judging bullet drop. ACOG sights were designed with M-16s and other 5.56mm rifles in mind. ACOG is also a brand, not a class of sight.

    Sniper rifles aren't all that difficult to use, they operate pretty much like any other rifle, but longer distance shooting is more mathematics than you'd think. Up to around 300 meters, you don't have to worry about much more than windage and bullet drop, but at longer ranges you have to take into consideration humidity and the friggin' curvature of the Earth. Holding both eyes open is only useful if you are doing conventional infantry fighting and need to keep better spacial awareness. When you're sniping, most of the time you're looking through a spotting scope or binoculars with a wide field of view to check things out, and you only go behind the rifle scope when you're ready to shoot (modern practices, anyways, and you're almost ALWAYS with a spotter who does just that). Shooting with a high magnified sight almost requires only one eye open and obscene concentration, including controlling your breathing and pulse. Sights have a fixed magnification, although a few have variable zoom where you can switch between two magnifications.

    Breathing is fundamental, holding your breath is not. Your body starts to shake if you hold your breath too long and it starts to crave oxygen. A good shooting practice for anybody trying to be accurate is to inhale deeply and slowly, and pull the trigger when you slowly start to exhale. If you try to hold your breath and shoot, your hands will start to shake.

    The "air" around the bullet is actually the friction of the bullet cutting through the air. You are right that a near-miss with a powerful cartridge can damage something, but that's mainly concussive force, although that only really works with fleshy targets. Still, a miss is a miss and you probably won't even really harm your target unless you actually hit them.
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  11. So I take it you're a soldier? From what you're saying I'm going to take a guess and say marines?

    Or a Navy Seal. RIP Chris Kyle
  12. I only hold my breath for short pauses, at most 2 seconds. I haven't found my hands start shaking from that little bit of oxygen deprivation, and mostly I use it to lower a rapid heart rate. I've also heard of a shot leaving a trail in the air that you can then adjust your shots after. A slipstream if you will. Any idea if that's true?

    I'm Canadian, so nope. :P
  13. The only way I see that trail being possible is with a tracer, which are handy little things, but bullets are moving so fast and air's so thin that there's no way to make a vapour trail or anything. I don't even think you'd notice bullets even if you were shooting in heavy fog.

    I mean, you definitely seem like a shooter, and if you haven't seen anything like that and I haven't, I think it's safe to say myth busted. Hell, I was a C9 gunner for a lot of my military training, and all I noticed was targets getting nice holes punched in them after a brief travel time. ;)

    The hand shake starts to happen if you're holding your breath for a really long time. Breathing isn't super important if you're just generally plinking without worrying about a super tight grouping, but try doing longer breathing cycles if you're going for accuracy. You might be surprised how much it helps!
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  14. Yeah I normally run a C9 / C6, but my Adj apparently can see this trail when he uses a AR or carbine, and I don't want to disagree with him because he shoots incredibly good. Haha!

    Also for anyone wondering what a tracer is, or what it does, here's a video:

    I've always been told that tracers were coated with phosphorous which is ignited when the round is fired. Typically these are linked in a belt as every fifth round, and serve as a guide when firing large amounts of rounds. The reason for this is because while you can aim down the sights of a machine gun, your accuracy will suffer over longer periods of fire. Instead using these tracers you can guide the rounds onto target. As a secondary function it can also be used to mark a concealed, or entrenched enemy for larger arms. Tanks will frequently use a machine gun to mark an enemy target and to discern at what range they're at so the main gun will hit first time. I've seen tracers reach out to about 900 to 1100m, after which they burn out. In night time, these things are awesome. There is no extra damage I know of from a cauterization of wounds or burning the target.
  15. This guy is very informative:

    ... Single Action Revolver

    ... Double Action Revolver

    ... Semi Auto Pistol

    ... A Bit of Full Auto Fun