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> Flintlocks, Black powder questions
Reaver
post Feb 10 2004, 06:08 PM
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What damage code do you think would be appropriate for flintlock pistols and rifles?
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Austere Emancipa...
post Feb 10 2004, 06:22 PM
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Humm. The most powerful muzzleloading rifles might well do 7S or even 9S, since at short/medium ranges they seem to be capable of the same velocities at same bullet weights as mid-caliber rifles (comparisons to .30-06 were common in my short Google-excursion). The ranges for those should be between the SMG and AR ranges.

Pistols I couldn't find a good source on. The few figures suggested performance between what might be considered Light and Heavy Pistols, so maybe 6M? Will vary a lot depending on ammo type, loading, etc.
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Reaver
post Feb 10 2004, 06:26 PM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
Humm. The most powerful muzzleloading rifles might well do 7S or even 9S, since at short/medium ranges they seem to be capable of the same velocities at same bullet weights as mid-caliber rifles (comparisons to .30-06 were common in my short Google-excursion). The ranges for those should be between the SMG and AR ranges.

Pistols I couldn't find a good source on. The few figures suggested performance between what might be considered Light and Heavy Pistols, so maybe 6M? Will vary a lot depending on ammo type, loading, etc.

I should have said this before. Think old fashioned powder, not the refined stuff we'd have today or in 2063. :)
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Austere Emancipa...
post Feb 10 2004, 06:29 PM
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I thought as much, which is why I also invested a few valuable minutes reading articles such as this, which suggest that the performance of blackpowder weapons has not significantly improved IRL. If the last 100 years hasn't seen significant improvement, I doubt the next 60 will either.
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Reaver
post Feb 10 2004, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
I thought as much, which is why I also invested a few valuable minutes reading articles such as this, which suggest that the performance of blackpowder weapons has not significantly improved IRL. If the last 100 years hasn't seen significant improvement, I doubt the next 60 will either.

AE, you rock! :D
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 10 2004, 06:37 PM
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Applying my lack of any real knowledge on the subject outside of speculation to pose a couple of questions:

Shouldnt you be able to vary the power of the shot depending on how much powder you use? Would black powder rifles/pistols fare comparably well to their modern fellows against modern body armor?
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nezumi
post Feb 10 2004, 06:39 PM
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The power would not even be close to on par with our present guns. I'd tend to say something like 4S or even 4M. It should not be more powerful than say a bayonet or a sword, and it's very unusual for someone to die within a few seconds of getting shot (unlike our present pistols). Usually cause of death would be infection or shock. Also keep in mind that most of the casualties from these weapons weren't wearing armor. The ranges would be piss poor. Medium range would be maybe maybe 20, I'd guess, with a musket, 10 or 15 with a pistol. Rifles would only do slightly better (better still with machined bullets and barrels). I'm not a ballistics person in any way, but I do read more than my fair share of history, and usually the only way they made effective use of muskets in the revolutionary war was by having a whole lot of them, and that was just until they could close the distance enough to use real weapons like swords.
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GunnerJ
post Feb 10 2004, 06:47 PM
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The ranges of a musket would be crap. On par with a hold-out pistol, maybe even. Musketeers fired their weapons in large group volleys, on the principle that enough lead going in one direction would hit something. They weren't even told to aim, as that was impractical at the ranges used.
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Reaver
post Feb 10 2004, 06:48 PM
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QUOTE (Jason Farlander)
Applying my lack of any real knowledge on the subject outside of speculation to pose a couple of questions:

Shouldnt you be able to vary the power of the shot depending on how much powder you use? Would black powder rifles/pistols fare comparably well to their modern fellows against modern body armor?

To a small extent. Too much powder and you could cause an explosion (think pipe bomb in your hand) or damage the gun.

Nezumi, you are very right. Most people died more from infection from the wound than the wound itself. Especially in France where they never bathed or washed thier clothes. ;)

4M and 4S sounds good. I might bump muskets up to 5 or 6S. Muskets definitly tended to be a bit more lethal, especially during the civil war when a bullet could take off a limb.
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Hero
post Feb 10 2004, 06:52 PM
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Besides, it would also depend on the type of shot you are using, I have a friend that has a muzzle loader. He has used round and slug shaped shot, round shot is some what like a hollow point round in that it has a lot of surface area, but not vary accurate past a certain range. The normal slug form is far more accurate the the round shot, and has the usual effectiveness of a normal slug, except for the lower velocities. I say round shot would have a effective range of a light pistol while the normal slug form would either have an effective range of a heavy pistol or SMG.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Feb 10 2004, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (Jason Farlander)
Shouldnt you be able to vary the power of the shot depending on how much powder you use?

Yes, but you can do this by hand-loading ammunition for any sort of modern firearm.

QUOTE
Would black powder rifles/pistols fare comparably well to their modern fellows against modern body armor?

Slightly worse, because of the very large bullet diameters. I guess saboted ammunition would be possible, which would allow penetration comparable to modern rifles.

QUOTE (nezumi)
The power would not even be close to on par with our present guns.

All the sites I visited implied otherwise. Of the ~dozen tables I looked at, most showed muzzle velocities well above 1000fps at bullet weights between 60gr and ~120gr for the pistols -- comparable to, say, a .380ACP 105gr at 1000fps. For the rifles, like I said, the ballistics were comparable to mid-caliber rifles like the .30-06, but more likely to be something akin to the .45-70 -- I'd guess the large caliber would allow to make good use of heavy bullets.

You might be right about the ranges though, because I could find any reference for ranges of Ye Olde Guns, only modern ones. The modern ones appear to have effective ranges up to ~200-300 meters, or something like that. I've no doubt the accuracy is pretty much crap compared to "conventional" firearms (or whatever is the correct term for the modern firearms that are not muzzleloading nor use blackpowder).

[Edit]Looking at that again, either the pistol tables I saw were for really light pistols, or then muzzleloading pistols were indeed much weaker than the rifles. If it's the latter, 5M might be better for the pistols (worse penetration than Light Pistols, better wounding capability because of larger bullet). I'd still suggest 6S-7S for the rifle damages, unless someone has some data supporting the idea that the guns used to be significantly weaker.[/Edit]

This post has been edited by Austere Emancipator: Feb 10 2004, 07:03 PM
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Tom Collins
post Feb 10 2004, 07:08 PM
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As others have stated, the real problem with many of these weapons was infection. Today's weapons fire rounds at a high enough velocity that they are effectively sterile when entering a human body. Guns from the American Civil War and prior to it did not have such high velocities, and often dragged foreign material (ie clothing) in when hitting someone. This lead to a much higher rate of infection. Of course, with modern medicine, this is less of a concern. Of course, modern black powder rifles are a little better and can produce higher velocities.

As for ranges, it depends on what you are talking about. American revolutionary War muskets had an effective range of maybe 100yds. By the American Civil War, the rifles being used had a range of more like 300yds, and were reasonably accurate.

As for damage, I'd say maybe a 6-7M. These guns could easily do as much damage to someone as being hit with a modern rifle at close range (musket balls weren't exactly small). Maybe a little higher dmg code for later madel rifles. Regardless, because of their generally lower velocity, I would allow probably let whoever is being shot take thier armor rating and multiply it by 1.5 to reflect the fact that it will be more effefctive at stopping a ball than a bullet (or at least it seems like it should).
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Req
post Feb 10 2004, 07:22 PM
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QUOTE (Tom Collins @ Feb 10 2004, 11:08 AM)
As others have stated, the real problem with many of these weapons was infection.  Today's weapons fire rounds at a high enough velocity that they are effectively sterile when entering a human body.

Care to clarify this a bit? How does velocity = sterility? Last I checked, bullets weren't sterile. Modern guns may not bring big ol' scraps of your clothing with them, but I'm willing to bet if you dropped a modern round in a culture flask you'd find a trainload of microbes ready to go to work. And I wouldn't think every gunshot wound also included a 1"x1" square of cloth, in the old days.

I'd wager the "infection" had less to do with the weaponsbeing fired and more to do with the lack of any reasonable antibiotics or medical care, but then that's just me.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Feb 10 2004, 07:31 PM
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At this point, it would be nice to know whether Reaver wants to implement actual 19th (or earlier) century weaponry, with authentic parts, firing authentic ammunition, or just authentic weapons used in a modern setting.

For example, if the limitation really is authentic ammunition, then penetration will be really poor against any form of body armor, because you are limited to slow, large-caliber expanding bullets. On the other hand, in such a setting penetration will be a non-issue, since there won't be any body armor either. Right?

And I'm with Req about the infections.
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Reaver
post Feb 10 2004, 07:34 PM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
At this point, it would be nice to know whether Reaver wants to implement actual 19th (or earlier) century weaponry, with authentic parts, firing authentic ammunition, or just authentic weapons used in a modern setting.

For example, if the limitation really is authentic ammunition, then penetration will be really poor against any form of body armor, because you are limited to slow, large-caliber expanding bullets. On the other hand, in such a setting penetration will be a non-issue, since there won't be any body armor either. Right?

And I'm with Req about the infections.

Reason for this is an astral quest. Weaponry would be roughly rennasaince level technology. Not worried about body armor as far as firearms are concerned as the runners won't have modern body armor.
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Reaver
post Feb 10 2004, 07:36 PM
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QUOTE (Req)
QUOTE (Tom Collins @ Feb 10 2004, 11:08 AM)
As others have stated, the real problem with many of these weapons was infection.  Today's weapons fire rounds at a high enough velocity that they are effectively sterile when entering a human body.

Care to clarify this a bit? How does velocity = sterility? Last I checked, bullets weren't sterile. Modern guns may not bring big ol' scraps of your clothing with them, but I'm willing to bet if you dropped a modern round in a culture flask you'd find a trainload of microbes ready to go to work. And I wouldn't think every gunshot wound also included a 1"x1" square of cloth, in the old days.

I'd wager the "infection" had less to do with the weaponsbeing fired and more to do with the lack of any reasonable antibiotics or medical care, but then that's just me.

Most infection was from the lack of hygeine that was typical in that day. Peple wouldn't wash thier clothes for days on end. When the bullet passes through it, you end up with all kinds of crud in the wound.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Feb 10 2004, 07:46 PM
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Then something like 4M and 5S might indeed be more reasonable. I won't comment on what the ranges on renaissance era firearms might be, because I haven't got a clue.
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Reaver
post Feb 10 2004, 07:50 PM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
Then something like 4M and 5S might indeed be more reasonable. I won't comment on what the ranges on renaissance era firearms might be, because I haven't got a clue.

I'm worried more about the damages, and I agree with those damage codes. I think that will do quite nicely. Thanks again AE. Thanks to everyone else as well :)
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Austere Emancipa...
post Feb 10 2004, 07:59 PM
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Glad to help. I'm grateful for every excuse to Google up some firearms-related stuff. :D
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 10 2004, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (Req)
QUOTE (Tom Collins @ Feb 10 2004, 11:08 AM)
As others have stated, the real problem with many of these weapons was infection.  Today's weapons fire rounds at a high enough velocity that they are effectively sterile when entering a human body.

Care to clarify this a bit? How does velocity = sterility? Last I checked, bullets weren't sterile. Modern guns may not bring big ol' scraps of your clothing with them, but I'm willing to bet if you dropped a modern round in a culture flask you'd find a trainload of microbes ready to go to work. And I wouldn't think every gunshot wound also included a 1"x1" square of cloth, in the old days.

I'd wager the "infection" had less to do with the weaponsbeing fired and more to do with the lack of any reasonable antibiotics or medical care, but then that's just me.

Velocity does not sterilize a bullet... directly. Heat does, though. Friction causes heat. Air resistance is a form of friction. I think thats where Mr. Collins is coming from. I, personally, dont know whether a greater amount of heat is transferred to a bullet through the gunpowder explosion or through friction, but bullets *do* get really hot before they hit. Hot enough to sterilize the bullet? I'm not sure. Probably. It doesnt matter, really. The bacteria on the bullet the moment before impact arent the real problem.

The real problem are bacteria on the clothes and skin of the target. You dont need a 1" square patch of cloth to introduce millions of bacteria into a wound, a tiny piece will do. This, combined with the lack of any real antibiotics and the fact that doctors didnt understand the importance of sanitation/disinfection until the 1870's (they didnt wash their hands or sterilize equipment), is why so many people died of infections in pre-20th century wars.
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Tom Collins
post Feb 10 2004, 08:09 PM
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ok, here's the way it works. A bullet fired from a modern gun reaches temperatures between 200-300C without too much trouble. This is hot enough to effectively sterilize the bullet (boiling water @ 100C will do a fairly nice job of sterilizing something for you, like said water). Additionally, modern ammo is less likely to drag in foreign objects (like clothing). Because of this, you can treat a wound from a modern rifle as damn near sterile (they'll probably still want to make sure it's clean, but they probably won't be pulling peices of clothe out of you). Of course, this is for todays high velocity rifles (>2000fps). The muskets and rifles of old fired at a much lower velocity (~1000fps at best). This means that the round is less likely to be sterilized when being fired, and more importantly, was MUCH more likely to contaminate the wound with foreign material.
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Req
post Feb 10 2004, 08:18 PM
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QUOTE (Tom Collins)
ok, here's the way it works. A bullet fired from a modern gun reaches temperatures between 200-300C without too much trouble. This is hot enough to effectively sterilize the bullet (boiling water @ 100C will do a fairly nice job of sterilizing something for you, like said water). Additionally, modern ammo is less likely to drag in foreign objects (like clothing). Because of this, you can treat a wound from a modern rifle as damn near sterile (they'll probably still want to make sure it's clean, but they probably won't be pulling peices of clothe out of you). Of course, this is for todays high velocity rifles (>2000fps). The muskets and rifles of old fired at a much lower velocity (~1000fps at best). This means that the round is less likely to be sterilized when being fired, and more importantly, was MUCH more likely to contaminate the wound with foreign material.

Well, boiling water for 10 minutes is a good way of killing most things in it. But it's by no means "sterile." "Aseptic," maybe. I see where you're coming from, but "sterile" means something different - no detectable microbial population at all. And we normally do that with an autoclave (pressurized steam at high temperature for a half hour) or various nasty gases - ozone, high-dose vaporous hydrogen peroxide, etc etc etc.

I'm sure the infection factor was effected (somewhat) by the weapons, but I'd say it's a drop in the bucket compared to the medical state of the art. If you were to bring you 30-06 to a civil war battle and plug some Rebs with it, I'm willing to bet that the ones who didn't die from the shot would face serious infection problems.
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boodah
post Feb 10 2004, 08:24 PM
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reaver, why do i not want to game all of a sudden?

-=shudders=-
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Nikoli
post Feb 10 2004, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE
I'm sure the infection factor was effected (somewhat) by the weapons, but I'd say it's a drop in the bucket compared to the medical state of the art. If you were to bring you 30-06 to a civil war battle and plug some Rebs with it, I'm willing to bet that the ones who didn't die from the shot would face serious infection problems.


This also explains why doctors saw a significant decrease in infections with patients who were worked on after the field hospitals ran out of silk. The surgeons would use horse hair, but this was normally too stiff to stitch a wound with, so they would boil it to soften it enough to close a wound.
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Jason Farlander
post Feb 10 2004, 08:29 PM
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Attaining a temperature of 300C will kill any bacteria on the surface of the bullet. They will simply burn off, like sticking a wire loop into a bunsen burner flame. Autoclaving is not an appropriate analogy, because it has different considerations.
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