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> Cased vs. Caseless Ammunition
Shrapnel
post Apr 1 2006, 04:35 AM
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Back in 2nd Edition, in Fields of Fire, there was a rule where a firearm designed to use caseless ammunition could hold 20% more ammo.

The drawbacks were that the firearm and ammo were both more expensive, and had a slightly higher availability. The ammo types were not interchangeable, of course.

It seems that in 3rd Edition, this has changed. It now seems that there is no difference between the two, besides the lack of a cartridge case (also known as evidence... ;) ). Cost and availability are now the same, for both ammunition and firearms.

Am I understanding this correctly? Or did I miss a rule hidden somewhere in Cannon Companion?

Does anyone still use the 20% option as a house rule? Do you feel that this more accurately represents caseless ammo, or do you prefer it being the same as standard ammunition?

Thoughts and opinions are welcome...
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eidolon
post Apr 1 2006, 04:37 AM
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Don't have my books in front of me, but I'm pretty sure you're right about the lack of price difference. The one thing I do remember from the text is that you buy a weapon chambered for one and it can't fire the other.
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mfb
post Apr 1 2006, 06:01 AM
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if you're interested in interjecting sanity into the rules, you should simply state that a given weapon is either cased or caseless. doesn't matter which. the idea of having a weapon available in both is kinda insane, much less all of them. it'd be like having a vehicle available in both SUV and hovercraft.

but, to answer the question directly, no--no difference between cased and caseless in SR3.
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Cain
post Apr 1 2006, 07:01 AM
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I just declared everything to be caseless, for the most part. Players who wanted cool older guns could still find cartridges, but I found it easier to simply say that all modern guns were caseless.
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Snow_Fox
post Apr 1 2006, 02:43 PM
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Seems like a good rule.

I wonder why runners would use anything but caseless since ejected shells add to evidence on a scene.
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KarmaInferno
post Apr 1 2006, 05:00 PM
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Plus tripping on spent brass is just embarrasing.


-karma
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Fix-it
post Apr 1 2006, 07:25 PM
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Plus being busted and jailed from evidence of spent brass is just embarassing.
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Calvin Hobbes
post Apr 1 2006, 07:41 PM
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On the other hand, carrying ammunition is heavy, whereas ammo salvaged from your enemies is much easier. Most security forces use cased ammunition. Likewise, there may be slightly less stringent acquistion laws about cased ammo/cased weapons than not.
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Kagetenshi
post Apr 1 2006, 07:45 PM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
I wonder why runners would use anything but caseless since ejected shells add to evidence on a scene.

Sometimes you want evidence.

~J
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Teulisch
post Apr 1 2006, 07:53 PM
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cased ammo makes it easy to make your own reloads. it lets you more easily create 'special' ammo, possibly made from a substance you know is an alergen to your target. caseless on the other hand leaves less evidence, cant jam from a case failing to eject (i have jammed a lever-action rifle with the half-ejected case once). sometime you can shoot so the case hits someone in the face. i have had .45 cases bounce off me down at the shooting range- they are hot, and its rather distracting.

ofhand, i would sugest having both a cased gun and a caseless gun if you have an option.
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Lindt
post Apr 1 2006, 09:56 PM
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Try getting a spent shotgun shell thrown across your nose... *hates being left eye dominate*

Usually I call guns caseless, unless other wise specified. Its just convience sake.
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eidolon
post Apr 1 2006, 10:32 PM
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Nothing's more fun on the rifle range than your buddy's spent 5.56 casings jumping down your BDU neck. Mmmmm...
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Cain
post Apr 1 2006, 11:28 PM
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QUOTE (Calvin Hobbes)
On the other hand, carrying ammunition is heavy, whereas ammo salvaged from your enemies is much easier. Most security forces use cased ammunition. Likewise, there may be slightly less stringent acquistion laws about cased ammo/cased weapons than not.

Which is why I made *everything* caseless, at the standard price and capacities. Much less math involved, and a lot less bookkeeping. If a player really wanted to shoot a Colt 44 Dragoon, I said he could find or make ammo for it just as easily; it was just that all the modern firearms had switched over. Weapons that fired cased rounds were going to be vintage or antique, possibly even collection pieces-- definitely not something you'd want to have on a run.
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Kagetenshi
post Apr 1 2006, 11:56 PM
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It makes sense that corps would want to make their guns caseless, too—have you ever been on the wrong end of a slip-and-fall lawsuit involving evacuees tripping over spent casings?

~J
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Raygun
post Apr 2 2006, 12:51 AM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Apr 1 2006, 11:28 PM)
If a player really wanted to shoot a Colt 44 Dragoon, I said he could find or make ammo for it just as easily; it was just that all the modern firearms had switched over.

I understand what you're saying here, but you might want to know that the Colt .44 "Dragoon" is caseless. It's a blackpowder revolver. Any cased/caseless switchover is pretty irrelevant here as it doesn't even use cartridges. Just make sure to apply a few complex actions to reload it.

QUOTE
Weapons that fired cased rounds were going to be vintage or antique, possibly even collection pieces-- definitely not something you'd want to have on a run.

Marginal simplicity at the cost of realism. Bah. :)
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hyzmarca
post Apr 2 2006, 01:02 AM
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QUOTE (Cain)
QUOTE (Calvin Hobbes @ Apr 1 2006, 12:41 PM)
On the other hand, carrying ammunition is heavy, whereas ammo salvaged from your enemies is much easier. Most security forces use cased ammunition. Likewise, there may be slightly less stringent acquistion laws about cased ammo/cased weapons than not.

Which is why I made *everything* caseless, at the standard price and capacities. Much less math involved, and a lot less bookkeeping. If a player really wanted to shoot a Colt 44 Dragoon, I said he could find or make ammo for it just as easily; it was just that all the modern firearms had switched over. Weapons that fired cased rounds were going to be vintage or antique, possibly even collection pieces-- definitely not something you'd want to have on a run.

So, does that mean that I coal load a volcanic rifle with ammo from a random security guard's rifle but I'd have to special order cartriges for a sawed off winchester?
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Cain
post Apr 2 2006, 02:05 AM
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QUOTE
I understand what you're saying here, but you might want to know that the Colt .44 "Dragoon" is caseless. It's a blackpowder revolver. Any cased/caseless switchover is pretty irrelevant here as it doesn't even use cartridges. Just make sure to apply a few complex actions to reload it.

Oops. :oops: Well, we know why I never try and argue the gun experts....
QUOTE
So, does that mean that I coal load a volcanic rifle with ammo from a random security guard's rifle but I'd have to special order cartriges for a sawed off winchester?

Huh? If you mean, do I let players swap rifle ammo freely, then answer is yes, because I can't be bothered to track all those details. I'm aware that there's lots and lots of rifle calibers; but I don't know enough to represent them accurately. As my previous mistake shows. ;)

As far as a sawed-off Winchester, I kind-of assume that Winchester is also making modern firearms, and thus their rounds are caseless as well. Old-style cased ammo is just as availiable as standard ammo in my games-- not necessarily the most realistic, but I assume that there'd be enough of a vintage gun market to support it. Nowadays, you can find all kinds of odd ammo types at a good gun store-- I can't imagine that changing.
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Shrapnel
post Apr 2 2006, 02:08 AM
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Does anybody feel that it's reasonable for caseless weapons to hold 20% more ammo, if standard ammo is considered the norm?

I realize that this question doesn't apply to those who rule that all weapons fire caseless ammo, otherwise you would have to raise all weapon capacities by 20%.

Do you feel that by eliminating the brass case, it would reduce the size of the cartridge? Or would you consider them equal in every way?
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ShadowDragon8685
post Apr 2 2006, 02:26 AM
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As a tounge-in-cheek aside, I can't wait for the Saeder-Krupp '61 Durango to come out in Hovercraft.
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Raygun
post Apr 2 2006, 03:14 AM
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QUOTE (Shrapnel @ Apr 2 2006, 02:08 AM)
Does anybody feel that it's reasonable for caseless weapons to hold 20% more ammo, if standard ammo is considered the norm?

It depends on how the ammunition is stored. In a conventional box magazine where cartridges are stacked one on top of the other, it's unlikely to make much difference at all because cartridges with equivalent performance are going to be roughly the same diameter.

In a tubular or helical magazine where the cartridges are stored end to end, there could be a significant increase in capacity due to the caseless cartridge being shorter than a comparable cased cartridge (the bullet is stored inside of the propellant charge, rather than ahead of it). For example, the 4.73x33mm DM11 caseless cartridge used in the G11 has an overall length of (you guessed it) 33mm (1.3"). The conventional cased cartridge equivalent, the 5.56x45mm NATO, has an OAL of 2.1" (53.3mm). The caseless cartridge is 38% shorter.

The G11 had an increased capacity (50-round magazine as compared to the conventional 30-round) due to the design of the rifle, not the ammunition. A similar example of this would be the design of the MP5 in comparison to the P90. Both cartridges are cased, but it's the design of the firearm and magazine that gives the P90 its 50-round capacity, compared to the MP5's 30-rounds.
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Shrapnel
post Apr 2 2006, 03:45 AM
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QUOTE (Raygun)
QUOTE (Shrapnel @ Apr 2 2006, 02:08 AM)
Does anybody feel that it's reasonable for caseless weapons to hold 20% more ammo, if standard ammo is considered the norm?

It depends on how the ammunition is stored. In a conventional box magazine where cartridges are stacked one on top of the other, it's unlikely to make much difference at all because cartridges with equivalent performance are going to be roughly the same diameter.

In a tubular or helical magazine where the cartridges are stored end to end, there could be a significant increase in capacity due to the caseless cartridge being shorter than a comparable cased cartridge (the bullet is stored inside of the propellant charge, rather than ahead of it). For example, the 4.73x33mm DM11 caseless cartridge used in the G11 has an overall length of (you guessed it) 33mm (1.3"). The conventional cased cartridge equivalent, the 5.56x45mm NATO, has an OAL of 2.1" (53.3mm). The caseless cartridge is 38% shorter.

The G11 had an increased capacity (50-round magazine as compared to the conventional 30-round) due to the design of the rifle, not the ammunition. A similar example of this would be the design of the MP5 in comparison to the P90. Both cartridges are cased, but it's the design of the firearm and magazine that gives the P90 its 50-round capacity, compared to the MP5's 30-rounds.

Here's my theory.

SR3 says that all firearms are available in cased or caseless versions. Same cost and availability.

The only way I see that being feasible is by simply rechambering the firearm for a caseless cartridge. It's doubtfull that they would change the magazine or receiver design, as this would likely be cost prohibitive. This way, all they would have to do is change the barrel, and possibly the bolt.

So, if the magazine is the same size, the cartridge needs to be close to the same overall lenghth to feed properly, correct?

Perhaps they simply make the cartridge slimmer, closer to the bore size, but kept overall length the same? If this were the case, wouldn't that allow a greater magazine capacity?
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Raygun
post Apr 2 2006, 04:16 AM
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QUOTE (Shrapnel)
The only way I see that being feasible is by simply rechambering the firearm for a caseless cartridge.  It's doubtfull that they would change the magazine or receiver design, as this would likely be cost prohibitive.  This way, all they would have to do is change the barrel, and possibly the bolt.

I'm afraid it's far more complex than that. There's no way it can be made that simple to switch between both types of ammuntion, mostly for the reason that in a firearm using cased ammunition, the case itself performs the very important functions of sealing the breech and acting as a heat sink. In a firearm using a caseless cartridge, the firearm itself has to somehow perform those operations. Those are differences that would very significantly alter how an engineer would approach the design. Enough difference to make it impractical for both types of ammunition to be used in a firearm of the same design.

I suggest you search for caseless ammunition in these forums. I've explained it before in far more detail.

QUOTE
So, if the magazine is the same size, the cartridge needs to be close to the same overall lenghth to feed properly, correct?

Length is very important, but so are diameter and shape. The magazine may have the same external dimensions, but if the dimensions of the cartridges are signficantly different (say a much smaller diameter), the internal dimensions of the magazine are going to have to be different, meaning separate production lines for each magazine at some point.

As far as functionality is concerned, there is some room for variation in most automatic firearms, but not a whole lot or you tend to compromise reliability. In any case, any difference in cartridge dimensions are going to call for a bit of re-engineering, even if it is minimal. Say a step or two added to the end of the production line. If one of those cartridges were to be caseless, it would complicate production by a few orders of magnitude, to the point where the firearms would effectively be two independent designs.

QUOTE
Perhaps they simply make the cartridge slimmer, closer to the bore size, but kept overall length the same?  If this were the case, wouldn't that allow a greater magazine capacity?

Yep. Welcome to the (so far) century-old conundrum. How to make propellants offer equivalent performance at reduced volume. Progress has thus far been marginal.
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Shrapnel
post Apr 2 2006, 04:31 AM
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QUOTE (Raygun @ Apr 1 2006, 11:16 PM)
QUOTE (Shrapnel)
The only way I see that being feasible is by simply rechambering the firearm for a caseless cartridge.  It's doubtfull that they would change the magazine or receiver design, as this would likely be cost prohibitive.  This way, all they would have to do is change the barrel, and possibly the bolt.

I'm afraid it's far more complex than that. There's no way it can be made that simple to switch between both types of ammuntion, mostly for the reason that in a firearm using cased ammunition, the case itself performs the very important functions of sealing the breech and acting as a heat sink. In a firearm using a caseless cartridge, the firearm itself has to somehow perform those operations. Those are differences that would very significantly alter how an engineer would approach the design. Enough difference to make it impractical for both types of ammunition to be used in a firearm of the same design.

I suggest you search for caseless ammunition in these forums. I've explained it before in far more detail.

I understand completely that the ammunition is NOT interchangeable. The firearm either fires cased ammo, or caseless. Not both.

My point was in regards to a production standpoint.

I doubt any company would want to create two drastically different versions of the same product. It would seem much simpler to use the existing furniture, trigger assembly, and receiver of their current line. In fact, I am sure they would like to use as many identical parts as possible.

My theory was that a new barrel and bolt would likely be the only real difference between a cased and caseless version. Of course, if they could mold the caseless ammunition into the same shape as the cased version, perhaps all they would have to change is the bolt, for sealing purposes. In that case, the cartridges would be virtually identical.

I'm just trying to figure out if the 20% increase in magazine capacity would be justified or not.

ETA: It seems that the real difficulty would be in reducing heat without the use of a brass case. I don't know how it would be accomplished, but it seems the engineers in SR3 have found a way... ;)

This post has been edited by Shrapnel: Apr 2 2006, 04:36 AM
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mfb
post Apr 2 2006, 04:54 AM
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QUOTE (Shrapnel)
My theory was that a new barrel and bolt would likely be the only real difference between a cased and caseless version.

it can't be, though. the entire firing chamber has to be redesigned from scratch, since caseless weapons use electronic ignition and cased still, as far as i'm aware, use impact ignition in SR. moreover, as Raygun pointed out, since a caseless weapon is not ejecting a hot chunk of brass (effectively cooling the weapon), the weapon itself has to absorb all that heat from firing. that means the entire weapon, pretty much, has to be built to different, more heat-resistant tolerances.
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hyzmarca
post Apr 2 2006, 05:17 AM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Apr 1 2006, 09:05 PM)
QUOTE
I understand what you're saying here, but you might want to know that the Colt .44 "Dragoon" is caseless. It's a blackpowder revolver. Any cased/caseless switchover is pretty irrelevant here as it doesn't even use cartridges. Just make sure to apply a few complex actions to reload it.

Oops. :oops: Well, we know why I never try and argue the gun experts....
QUOTE
So, does that mean that I coal load a volcanic rifle with ammo from a random security guard's rifle but I'd have to special order cartriges for a sawed off winchester?

Huh? If you mean, do I let players swap rifle ammo freely, then answer is yes, because I can't be bothered to track all those details. I'm aware that there's lots and lots of rifle calibers; but I don't know enough to represent them accurately. As my previous mistake shows. ;)

As far as a sawed-off Winchester, I kind-of assume that Winchester is also making modern firearms, and thus their rounds are caseless as well. Old-style cased ammo is just as availiable as standard ammo in my games-- not necessarily the most realistic, but I assume that there'd be enough of a vintage gun market to support it. Nowadays, you can find all kinds of odd ammo types at a good gun store-- I can't imagine that changing.

Actually, my specific referance was to the volcanic rifle, produced in the middle of the ninteenth century by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company. It was one of the earliest lever action repeating rifles and one of the earliest rifles to use caseless cartriges.

By SR canon, all caseless rifle cartriges are interchangable (and all removable magazines are interchangable in spite of capacity differences; must be magic) so I should be able to load brand new ammunition into my 200 year old rifle in spite of the fact that the type of caseless cartige use by the volcanic rifle is not the same as modern caseless cartriges.

Of course, by extention, generic shadowrun cased pistol ammo will fit my Dardick model 1500.
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