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Old November 26th, 2008, 04:32 AM
Diveguy Diveguy is offline
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Default So what are small arms like anyways?

Following a lively and educated discussion in another thread on carbines, I thought I would share my thoughts on small arms (specifically slugthrowers) IMTU:

General trends - While certainly not all-inclusive the following three elements are common to my small arms. Caseless ammunition has become standard with certain exceptions - allowing a reduction in cost, an increase in magazine capacity and smoother feeding/ejection. This is combined with a general trend towards some sort of electrical priming/ignition, removing the mechanical component from the sequence and accuracy. Finally, ammunition (particularly given the thoughts of space travel and enclosed environments dirtside) have generally become frangible blends of whatever sort - designed to damage a soft target, but break up rapidly on a hard surface.

The "body pistol" - these generally come from various government covert agencies of your choice, thus the high-tech and subtlety over a regular "Saturday night special". Formed of synthetics and designed for concealment and effectiveness. Often referred to as "chillers" in vernacular (h/t to Dean Ing), for both the quiet round and the effect of putting a target at room tempertature. There are two trends in this type of weapon - either the large caliber/slow velocity (think a .45 with integral suppressor); or the small/fast crowd (think something like the FN 5.7 pistol). These will generally have some sort of integrated suppressor; possibly a fingerprint ID system, and be designed for concealablity. Earth-now equivilents would be the micro-glocks, or something like the Kahr-concealables with tech enhancements.

"Snub pistols" - run the gammut. Can be anything from the 2x century "Saturday night special" to a ship's officer gun designed for minimal bulk but displaying a position of authority. My thoughts generally run to the mid-sized auto pistols these days (Glock 23/SIG 229/Colt Commander). Designed to be somewhat concealable, simple, reliable and work - or else to be cheap and go bang at least sometimes (think your High-point pistols if you want to get that diverse).

"Revolver" - depending on the day depends on my thoughts on these. On the one hand I feel the tech is too outdated even in a "Firefly" type setting. On the other hand, it has the advantage of being mechanically run, meaning it always goes bang at some point if other physics don't intrude. Right now I'd lean towards a ship's locker weapon and work from there - but I'm open to suggestions. My thoughts today ran towards the scouts favoring them, but not sure yet..

Auto pistol - the generic semi-auto loader. Still figure some sort of box magazine even if caseless, and I see the trend IMTU to big slow rounds with better terminal energy.... Choose your modern autoloader and it should fit.

"SMG" - two primary roles in my thoughts. either a PDW for those space/ground crews who don't need a full long arm, or covert/criminal acts wanting to put a lot of rounds downrange quick without a big weapon. My two "platforms" of choice for this right now are the TP9 or the Magpul PDW in my mental images. Ammo though interchangable with the generic "autopistol"

Carbine - designed as a weapon for those between the SMG and the ACR, or as a spec-ops type tool. My thoughts go to either the FN FS200, or the Masada/Bushmaster ACR with a short barrel. Think short & light, but still better than "spray and pray". In game terms I want something that players would say "ok that's good if we run into trouble but is still subtle" instead of being a catch-all midrange weapon.

ACR - This should be the "catch all" infantry weapon. Reliable, accurate and easy to teach. My current thoughts run towards something like the Masada ACR with a 16" barrel; but of course that is open. No real shocks in game terms here.

Rifle - currently bouncing between thoughts here.

Shotgun - Originally I had the whole "shipboard use" argument here - which is still valid, but things like frangible ammo limit it. But I also added my Scout Service thought here & can see them favoring it. A number of simple thoughts - pump action is totally user dependant, as opposed to environment, grip etc - so the scout can always control from 50 g to zero g (exageration noted). It's a large caliber round, so you have the kinetic energy transfer issue addressed despite the life form. Finally, a pump action gives said scout a variety of choices in ammo without much user drama, which again fits the image I have of the lone explorer addressing things.

Thoughts & comments welcome.
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