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> Do guns work underwater?
ShadowDragon
post Oct 12 2006, 10:58 PM
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Last session my group found themselves in combat in the water. The street sam, who relies on his guns and shock hand wanted to shoot a devil fish (same stats as the devil rat; I know that's a big surprise). I ruled that guns don't work underwater, and neither would his shock hand. He commented that with future technology, all guns should work underwater. I stuck with my ruling, and his PC didn't take a scratch anyway, but I told him I'd look into it for future reference. In case it matters, he was using an HK MP-5, but usually uses an Ares Alpha.

So what do you all think? Do today's guns even work underwater? I'm sure some do, but how do you know which will and which won't? I've looked into it using google and I've found mixed reports.
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Slump
post Oct 12 2006, 11:03 PM
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From what I understand, some guns will be able to shoot something that is underwater, but the gun has to be above water. In the 3rd edition Cannon Companion, there was a rifle that worked underwater, it had a linkup to your air tank to keep the barrel and chamber free of water.

The biggest problem with shooting while your gun is underwater is that the bullet can't escape very well (all that water pushing on it), and your gun may explode -- either the action or the barrel may rupture. Plus, your ammo may not be sealed completely and wet gunpowder doesn't do much.
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Lebo77
post Oct 12 2006, 11:14 PM
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This was covered on Mythbusters this year.

Shooting a gun INTO water is a waste of time. The sudden decellertation the bullet experiences as it hits the water shreds the bullet within 3 feet of the surface. Ironicly, the faster the bullet is going when it hits the water the worse this effect, so slower bullets actualy penetrate farther.

Normal guns will fire underwater with no modification. However, care must be taken to ensure that there are no air bubbles in the barrel, as this could cause the barrel to explode. Ranges are DRAMATICLY reduiced underwater, down to 10-15 feet or less if I recall correctly.

I know in the game that a spcial weapon was required. This is not realistic. However, gus are not designed to fire underwater. If you want to shoot people underwater, get a speargun.

- Lebo77
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lorechaser
post Oct 12 2006, 11:18 PM
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From topglock.com:

Can I shoot my Glock underwater?

Just about any handgun will fire underwater -- at least once. :-) However, firing underwater is NOT recommended because it can have devastating effects on the pistol and the shooter -- a potentially dangerous activity that should only be utilized by trained personnel wearing proper equipment for protection against potential pressure wave effects of underwater detonation. The shock/pressure waves in water can really damage internal organs (ever heard of lithotripsy?). Shooting a pistol underwater can lead to property damage, serious bodily injury or even death.

NOTE: Glock, Inc., specifically disclaims any and all liability from anyone performing or attempting to perform underwater firing with a Glock pistol -- you do so at your own risk.

The Glock 17 may be equipped with an optional set of maritime spring cups for use in water environments. Maritime spring cups are not intended for submerged firing, but for surface use by special ops teams who operate in and around water. The maritime spring cups are two small parts within the firing pin assembly and are not included on any Model 17 sold by Glock (civilians can only get them through 3rd parties). They insure that water can pass by the firing pin within the firing pin channel, thus preventing the creation of hydraulic force within the firing pin channel -- which would slow the firing pin down, causing light primer strikes. With the special cups, the action will cycle reliably while submersed, if a little bit slower. NATO specification ammunition (such as Winchester's Ranger RA9124N) with waterproof sealed primers and case mouths is recommended.
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kzt
post Oct 12 2006, 11:18 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon)
So what do you all think? Do today's guns even work underwater? I'm sure some do, but how do you know which will and which won't? I've looked into it using google and I've found mixed reports.

All will, at least once. :) It can be very bad to do so, as the gun may blow up. I'd expect an SMG/AR to blow up with water in the barrel.

For example:
http://www.glockfaq.com/generalinfo.htm
The Glock 17 may be equipped with an optional set of maritime spring cups for use in water environments. Maritime spring cups are not intended for submerged firing, but for surface use by special ops teams who operate in and around water. The maritime spring cups are two small parts within the firing pin assembly and are not included on any Model 17 sold by Glock (civilians can only get them through 3rd parties). They insure that water can pass by the firing pin within the firing pin channel, thus preventing the creation of hydraulic force within the firing pin channel -- which would slow the firing pin down, causing light primer strikes. With the special cups, the action will cycle reliably while submersed, if a little bit slower. NATO specification ammunition (such as Winchester's Ranger RA9124N) with waterproof sealed primers and case mouths is recommended.

Although you may install the maritime spring cups on any Glock model, *only* the Glock 17 was designed and intended to use the modified spring cups for aquatic firing -- and only then using 9mm ball ammunition to remain within acceptable pressure limits. The foolhardy who insist on living dangerously must keep several things in mind: The Glock 17 must be fully submersed underwater. There must not be any air left within the pistol as the muzzle is pointed towards the surface of the water after submersion to allow the air in the barrel to escape. Use only full metal jacket, ball-type ammunition because the water within the barrel can spread a hollow point out within the barrel upon firing. This increases the bearing surface of the bullet to the barrel and could catastrophically increase pressures. Even if the barrel doesn't burst, the expanded bullet would get even bigger upon exiting into the water and would slow down very quickly while tumbling. Accuracy would be terrible.

The marinized Glock 17 is primarily for use by various Special Warfare units operating in aquatic environments. At least one specialized Scuba diving group regularly uses G17's to dispatch sharks where they dive. The Glock 17 using NATO specification ball ammunition will completely penetrate a minimum of one 1/2" pine board at a distance of ten feet from the muzzle when fired underwater.

Trained personnel who use Glocks underwater know they must obey several rules:
1) use only a Glock Model 17 with amphibious spring cups (reliability issue);
2) use only 9mm FMJ subsonic, sealed primer ammo;
3) completely immerse the pistol and get *all* the air out of the barrel;
4) wear protective ear plugs, gloves, wet suit, face mask, etc.;
5) do not fire near solid objects or in enclosed spaces to prevent return
concussion.

However, any Glock -- even those not equipped with maritime spring cups -- will normally fire while submersed underwater. But doing so may generate excessive internal pressure and may cause the pistol to literally blow up. This is especially true with the use of high-pressure rounds (such as the .40 S&W/357 SIG) or hollow-point bullets.

I recall a reported incident where a Glockster on a boating holiday decided to show some friends how his Glock would fire underwater (because Tommy Lee Jones said so in the movies). He stuck his hand overboard, pulled the trigger and came back with a bunch of shredded plastic and a badly injured hand.

Another reported case was the Glockster who decided to try out his Glock 23 .40 S&W in the swimming pool after seeing pictures of Glocks being fired underwater on the web. He was totally submerged, with the gun, as he fired at a piece of wood on the bottom of his pool. The Glock did fire, the .40 S&W FMJ round left the barrel and went into the wood. The chamber also exploded and implanted shrapnel into his leg. Thinking that the water would muffle the blast, he did not wear hearing protection (the blast is actually about 4 times louder underwater). He is now mostly deaf in one ear and hears high-pitched tones most of his waking life.
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MikeJW
post Oct 12 2006, 11:19 PM
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Even now there is a kit you can use on a Glock 17 made especially for shooting underwater but yeah, the above are right.
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mfb
post Oct 12 2006, 11:19 PM
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in real life, guns will shoot while submerged... for a while. the resistance of water on the action of the weapon will, at some point, cause the weapon to jam or otherwise misfire. and before anyone asks, no, bullets do not need an external source of oxygen (eg, the atmosphere) to fire. the explosion of gunpowder works too quickly for atmospheric oxygen to feed it; therefore, gunpowder has oxygen built right in.
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Dentris
post Oct 12 2006, 11:24 PM
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And do not EVER, shoot with the gun only partially emerged (like only the canon). It can go horribly wrong.
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Mistwalker
post Oct 13 2006, 12:03 AM
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Ah, but what about the wireless connection to your smartlink gun?
would that still be strong enough to go thru the water?
hmm, what about the battery power for the gun's wireless connection?
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kzt
post Oct 13 2006, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE (Mistwalker)
Ah, but what about the wireless connection to your smartlink gun?
would that still be strong enough to go thru the water?
hmm, what about the battery power for the gun's wireless connection?

Does your stuff work in the rain? If so it will probably work in water, at least until you are totally swimming.

In the real world, very little electronics is certified for use below 10 feet or so unless it's built for diving. So I'd guess that typical equipment wouldn't work so well if you took it wreck diving to 50 meters of sea water. Buy (and pay the big bucks for) milspec stuff built for SEAL teams if you want to do things like that.
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blakkie
post Oct 13 2006, 12:37 AM
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Tangentally related. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangstick
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Kyoto Kid
post Oct 13 2006, 12:52 AM
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...this is what the GyroJet is designed for.
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silentmaster101
post Oct 13 2006, 01:28 AM
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actually funny thing is, mp-5 is one of the only guns of today that really work under water, although accuracy is bad and refire rate is slow as hell.

also any weapon with caseless design is completely sealed from water until the magazine is changed. todey h&k g11 (which never made it into production but is the only one to use caseless ammunition), is consequently completely water-tight
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kzt
post Oct 13 2006, 01:39 AM
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QUOTE (silentmaster101)
todey h&k g11 (which never made it into production but is the only one to use caseless ammunition), is consequently completely water-tight

It did get deployed with some German elite units, the German goverment bought like 3000 of the 12 million or so that were in the contract. (East German reunification cancelled the deal.) Mixed reports is what I heard. Not in use any more.

The G11 rifle also had a complex action IIRC, with really tight tolerances.
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Domino
post Oct 13 2006, 01:49 AM
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QUOTE (kzt)
QUOTE (Mistwalker @ Oct 12 2006, 07:03 PM)
Ah, but what about the wireless connection to your smartlink gun?
would that still be strong enough to go thru the water?
hmm, what about the battery power for the gun's wireless connection?

Does your stuff work in the rain? If so it will probably work in water, at least until you are totally swimming.

In the real world, very little electronics is certified for use below 10 feet or so unless it's built for diving. So I'd guess that typical equipment wouldn't work so well if you took it wreck diving to 50 meters of sea water. Buy (and pay the big bucks for) milspec stuff built for SEAL teams if you want to do things like that.

WHAT?!
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dog_xinu
post Oct 13 2006, 02:07 AM
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QUOTE
there was a rifle that worked underwater


the one I can thing of is the Colt Water Carbine. SMG if I remember correctly.


Guns dont work well underwater, or at least in my games. The "water carbine" is designed to work underwater are your only options.

in RL, guns do work underwater but the range is nada. But this is a game so I allow the "water" guns to actually works.
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Clyde
post Oct 13 2006, 03:10 AM
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I'd say you made the right call, Shadowdragon. Even if a handful of real life guns can operate underwater, there's no reason to change your call in this circumstance. As for using a Shock Hand in water, yeesh.

A specially designed weapon, like the old Colt Water Carbine, would be the way to go when shooting underwater.
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krayola red
post Oct 13 2006, 03:13 AM
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What's the difference between guns designed to shoot underwater and regular guns?
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kzt
post Oct 13 2006, 04:12 AM
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QUOTE (krayola red)
What's the difference between guns designed to shoot underwater and regular guns?

The minimum is that they are modified so that the firing pin doesn't get too slowed down by the water. And the round chamber pressure with water in the barrel is less than the bursting pressure of the weapon plus the safety factor.

The USSR designed some special purpose weapons explicity designed to work underwater. They are still for sale from Russia as far as I know.

The SPP-1 underwater pistol, 4 barrel firing darts ,effective range 11-17 meters, dart doesn't stabilize in air.
http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg140-e.htm

APS underwater assault rifle, 20or26 round mag, selective fire, 10-30 meter effective range in water (depth dependent), apparently not good in air, cyclic 350-600 RPM (depth dependent). Also fires darts.
http://world.guns.ru/assault/as69-e.htm
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mfb
post Oct 13 2006, 05:14 AM
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as a general blanket ruling, i'd say you can fire half a magazine from most guns before something goes wrong and they stop working (double feed, misfire, whatever). that's just an educated guestimate, though.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Oct 13 2006, 11:09 AM
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The West has got their underwater toys as well.
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nezumi
post Oct 13 2006, 04:15 PM
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As an aside, I suspect certain ammo types won't work either. My understanding of explosive rounds is there's, well, an explosive that goes off on impact. So any explosive rounds will likely go off as soon as they hit water (in most cases, inside of the barrel of the weapon). Flechette rounds will be almost completely ineffective. I personally would rule that gel rounds will have a range of a few feet because they'll deform against the pressure of the water. I can believe APDS would be able to penetrate fairly well, and normal rounds would have at least a few feet.

Automatic fire would, as stated above, likely jam if it functioned at all. I personally would want to say that a rifle is more likely to have catastrophic failure than a handgun (higher speed and a longer barrel, so more time for something to go wrong and more inertia to make it go wrong). Shotgun slugs, which don't have rifling, seem like they'd have some advantage, but that's just me. With any of them, I would greatly increase the chances of a botch or a super botch, but allow for close range firing. I would basically reduce the effective ranges to something like short 1 ft., medium 4 ft., long 8 ft., extreme 12 ft. (or something like, I'm just making these numbers up) and likely increase the base damage of the weapon.

The thing on mythbusters is interesting. Why do the higher speed bullets not penetrate as far as lower speed bullets? I'm guessing they made sure they had bullets of the same weight (err... where the lead is the same weight, rather than a heavy bullet at low speed vs. a light bullet at high speed).
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Fortune
post Oct 13 2006, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi)
The thing on mythbusters is interesting. Why do the higher speed bullets not penetrate as far as lower speed bullets? I'm guessing they made sure they had bullets of the same weight (err... where the lead is the same weight, rather than a heavy bullet at low speed vs. a light bullet at high speed).

You really should check it out if you get the chance. They used a variety of weapons, from pistols to rilfes, shotguns to (IIRC) a machine gun of some type. (It's been a while, and I was only half paying attention at the time :oops:)
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Lebo77
post Oct 13 2006, 04:34 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi)
The thing on mythbusters is interesting. Why do the higher speed bullets not penetrate as far as lower speed bullets? I'm guessing they made sure they had bullets of the same weight (err... where the lead is the same weight, rather than a heavy bullet at low speed vs. a light bullet at high speed).

The faster a bullet is mooving when it hits the water, the greater the deceleration forces it experiences when it hits the water. Drag (the force exerted by a fluid on an object moving through it) increases as the SQUARE of velocity (aproximately). For a bullet moving relitively "slowly" this force only deforms the bullet slightly, and it continues on it's way for a few feet, though not in a straight path most of the dime due to the defformation of the round). A bullet fired twice as fast will experience about 4 times the force (per unit of surface area) and be shredded into numerous lower-mass fragments which are not aero (or, more relevently hydeo) dynamicly efficent. This makes the .50 BMG/FMJ round berak apart within INCHES of strikeing the water. Beyond a few feet the fragments will have lost the velocity required to cause serious injury. Additionaly, the shreded pieces will corkscrew off in every direction.

To answer your query: No. They used standard (as I recall) FMJ rounds, appropriate to the weapon in question. It would be hard to find a 9mm pistol round with the same mass as a .50BMG round or vice versa. The 9mm would need to be made of depleated Uranium or some one super-heavy metal, or the .50BMG woudl need to be made of Aluminum. Either of these changes woudl result in dramaticly effecting the balistic properties of the round. In the case of a super-heavy 9mm, it could even destry the weapon by dramaticly increaseing cylinder pressure.

The final conclusion was that by diving down five or six feet, you could be completely protected from people fireing from the surface.
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Fortune
post Oct 13 2006, 04:41 PM
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Lebo77 was much more helpful than me ... but I'm cute. ;)
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