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Ok, I'm not a firearms expert by any means, but I was wondering what kinds of modifications could be made to an already made gun, and how much they would cost to do? I don't mean things like adding a Gas Vent system and such - I mean things like changing the fire modes, increasing ammo capacity, adding lengthened barrels, customizing the grips, adding foregrips, etc. And what types of effects would they have in game terms (aside form the obvious increased ammo and extra fire modes)?
While rules for this stuff isnt in the SR4 rules, they did exist in sr3, in the canon companion, i beleive. Things like extended barrels, i beleive, reduced tn's, but made concealabiltiy harder, as well as having a cash cost.
Austere Emancipator
Extended and shortened barrels only cause a +/- 10% change in effective range in SR3, so the TN changes from that are pretty minimal. They do have an effect on concealability, as Aku mentioned.

Since discussing what effects such modifications would really have is more or less taboo in this forum, I suggest you just wait for the SR4 version of the Cannon Companion.
While I actively avoid slaving to "realism" in the game, I am actually interested in it. Especially where roughly capturing the spirit of reality would not get in the way of gaming, or even result in a cleaner set of rules. I find it also provides good tips for in-game descriptions even if the rules mechanics themselves are not changed.

Plus there is the general interest POV.

I've found you personally do seem to keep a solid tone of an uneasy peace with "this is real, these are the wacked rules, and apparently the two don't always match up, but they kinda do sometimes". So i for one urge you to fire to speak. smile.gif
While AE and Raygun are clearly THE forum experts on this sort of thing, I have a little bit of knowledge (firearms buff), and some experience (former US Army Mech Inf), so I can chime in a little on this thread.

Ammo capcity is a pretty easy one to address. For most automatic firearms, ammo count is a function of the magazine, not the weapon itself. For example, your standard HK MP5 9mm SMG uses a 15-round or 30-round magazine. However, there are 3rd party companies that manufature things like the 100 round Beta-C magazine that is designed to work with the MP5.

I would venture to say that it should be relatively easy to purchase that sort of extended capacity magazine for most shoulder-fired SMGs/ARs in the game.

I've got some input on the "lengthing barrels" thing too. And AE/Raygun, please feel free to correct/berate/pimp slap me if I'm wrong.

IRL, I don't see a lot of reason for going through the trouble of getting a longer barrel for a firearm. From what I've read/learned, a longer barrel (depending upon the caliber the weapon is chambered in) will give you higher (sometimes only marginally) muzzel velocity, which COULD translate into more penetration (aside from projectiles that like to fragment at higher velocities), and would likely get you a slight increase in range. But with the WIDE range of firearms available (IRL and in SR), why would you want to?

If a particular cartridge out of a particular firearm doesn't do what you need, move up. That 9mm Glock doesn't cut it? Move up to a 10mm Glock. Concealability not an issue? Move up to an MP5 or an M4 Carbine.

That M4 not making the cut? Move up to an FN SCAR-H (7.62mm). There are just so many calibers and so many different firearms, I just can't se the practical reason for making costly changes to one firearm when moving to a different one will often produce better results. The only possible reason you'd want to do this is MAYBE if you are one of those dedicated, single weapon buffs and refuse to use anything else, it might make sense. But it certainly isn't the best way to achive the performance increase you are looking for.
My dad has a 36" barrel single-shot, break-action shotgun. It also has a full choke. Antedotally i noticed a better vertical range than the 30" modified choke pump action. It sure had a harder kick. The choke would help, but for higher flying birds penetration of the feathers is also a real issue. The break-action was also chambered for 3" shells, and the pump only 2 3/4". But this was even with the same ammo in both. Now would that translate into enough for meaningful figures in SR notation? Not sure since i wasn't measuring that precisely.

I think you have a good point about just picking a different model to help give you what you want, although creating a wide variety of different "factory" models is part of what the CC rules were about.
Austere Emancipator
Raygun is the expert. I just repeat what he's said in earlier threads on the same subjects. smile.gif

Making semi-automatic weapons capable of fully automatic fire can be very simple, or it can be very difficult. Sometimes it can happen almost accidentally -- stories abound of old M1911s that have turned FA because of worn parts. With some weapons, you need to do quite a bit of welding, milling and other assorted metalworks, often including creating new parts from scratch.

This article describes how a semi-automatic UZI can be select-fire; although some of those steps are not strictly necessary for making it SA/FA, note that at the receiver, bolt, extractor and trigger group would have to be modified. In general, a GM would be justified to require a Firearms B/R Shop, a few days' work and a pretty good Firearms B/R skill to make a SA weapon SA/FA. Making a SA (or even SA/FA) weapon SA/BF or SA/BF/FA could be even more difficult. Once modified, however, the only change should be the firing mode -- added parts might increase weight, but that change is generally insignificant.

Higher capacity: As TheOneRonin said, that's a factor of magazine size (for weapons fed from removable magazines, obviously), and requires no modification of the firearm itself. High capacity magazines are often more expensive per round capacity, and are obviously heavier and bigger (reduced concealability). As long as the layout of the weapon allows for using a larger magazine, it would make sense to allow at least +100% higher capacity. The most extreme example I can think of is using a Beta C-Mag on an M14, 100 rounds instead of the 20-round magazines they normally use. That about doubles the weight of the weapon, however. Magazines for small arms with a capacity greater than 100 are a rarity -- weight and reliability become greater issues than the benefits of a slightly higher effective RoF.

If the weapon has an internal magazine, revolver or break feed, etc., then increasing ammo capacity would generally be too difficult to bother with.

Customizing grips: A bit of work and a gun feels better in your hands. That's it. It's nice, but it has little effect on your accuracy or ability to manage recoil, unless the original grips are really shitty.

Foregrips: Assuming these are for a weapon that doesn't readily allow such modification (like rail systems on most modern military assault rifles), there's no real point. You'd have to create a plastic foregrip out of scrap and somehow make that stick, or else replace the whole or the lower half of the weapon's fore-end. Assuming there is a rail system and you can just buy one from a store and stick it on, that doesn't really require anything.

Depending on the weapon you're attaching one to, the effect it has on concealability might be significant. The added weight is something like 4-8 ounces/100-200 grams. It can help you control recoil better. The only real downside I can think of is that it can snag on things or get in the way -- I kind of like the idea that it would reduce the amount of Take Aim actions you can pull off, because it makes it harder to rest the weapon.

Barrel length: In case the weapon has a barrel that sticks out of the fore-end and does not have any attachments (Gas Vents, integral Sound Suppressors, etc.), shortening a barrel is easy within certain limits. Extending a barrel means probably means buying a new gun -- you can make a barrel yourself, with the aforementioned Firearms B/R Shop, quality steel, and good skills, but, as TheOneRonin said, it doesn't seem like a worthwhile endeavor for a criminal, considering the limited benefits and the loss of concealability. Instead go from a pistol to a SMG, from SMG to AR, sporting rifle to sniper rifle, or vice versa.

A longer barrel does give more time for the propellant gases to expand and accelerate the projectile, but the effect this has depends on the cartridge (propellant type and amount, mostly) and how long the barrel is to begin with. With rifles, there is a general rule that 1" of barrel equals 20fps of muzzle velocity. In other words, if you change the ~20" barrel of an M16A2 to a 26" one, you gain about 120fps -- from about 3000fps to 3120fps with 62gr standard military FMJ loads.

In most cases, that would not make much of a difference in terminal effect (penetration or damage againts humans). With a more extreme example, though, like going from a 16" AK-47 barrel to 26", it might make a real difference for effective range at least. And going from an 8" SMG barrel to a 16" one could easily be considered a significant enough change to increase both damage and range. In any case, increased effective range would probably be felt well before increased terminal effect.

Shortening a barrel can cause drastic changes in velocity. A 11.5" barreled Colt Commando has a muzzle velocity 400+fps lower than a 20", which translates to as much as 25% less kinetic energy at the muzzle. That means a much shorter effective range and significantly worsened terminal effect. On the other hand, 8.5" shorter overall length means better maneuverability in confined spaces, easier concealability, and lower weight. That's a pretty extreme example, though, shortening a barrel by over 40%. Going instead to a 14.5" M4 barrel still lowers effective range quite a bit and cause a hit in terminal effect (depending heavily on ammunition used), while still allowing better maneuverability and concealability.
Last time we had a serious SR campaign (admittedly in 2e) when we thought that the stock weapons weren't fitting a particular niche we'd grab for a copy of the Shooter's Bible, Edge of the Sword or one of the other firearm purchase/spec books.

Usually there was a weapon that just about fit the need. We'd scale off of the stock firearms (predator = 10mm Glock, Smartgun = Mac10, etc) to adjust price. Meaning if someone wanted a 35/70 BFG pistol and it cost, say, $1800 vs. the $600 of the Glock then in the Sr BFG pistol cost 3x a predator.

The mage in that campaign used a weapon based on a 10 guage magnum "roadblocker" shotgun designed for police officers who needed to disable vehicles by shattering engine blocks. IIRC it was a 4-shot (3 in the tube, 1 in the chamber) rifled beastie that only fired slugs doing something like 12S and limited to single shot.

My group instituted a House Rule on Custom Guns.

Custom Gun = Personalized to your hands, by adding weight or lightening the frame. Adjusting trigger weight, barrel length, grips, sights, hammer, saftey, mag release, etc, etc, etc.

6 - Applicable Firearm Skill + (1D6 x 1K Nuyen) = +1 for THAT PATICULAR weapon

The Cost includes accesories, range fees, and ammo costs with a time of one month to customize the gun, and practice with it long enough to get comfortable.
That sounds like a lot of work and a lot of money for very little return (in SR3 and SR4). Especially considering there is a chance you might have to ditch/destroy said weapon if the run goes bad.

I do have a question about your formula, though.

Why is it generally cheaper to customize a gun for a really skilled shooter than it is to customize one for a beginner?
Well, we figured Guy X with Pistols 4 is generally an excellent shooter, and is as comfortable firing a stock .22 snubby as he is firing a big fat Predator, but if that handcannon had thicker grips, and a commander style hammer, he's be even more comfortable shooting with pays 2K for the accessories and gunsmith time, plus spends 3 weeks at the range with it, and now is rolling Pistols 4(5 with the Predator)

Same setup with a guy Pistols 2, who knows how to load and fire a gun, but has issues. He talks to a pro, who reccomends a a smartlink software suite tailored to beginners, as well as some changes to gun itself, extending the barrel, thinning the grips, and a custom slide which should help him out, as well as some one on one training, exercises, and instructional software. 8K and he's rolling Pistols 2 (3).

I know it seems cost prohibitive, but really, how many new shooters do you know with custom guns? The rule is kinda aimed at Gun Bunnies anyway, who are gonna have custom shooters. It's there for flavor more than anything.
Hmm, ok. TRhanks guys. smile.gif The main reason I'm asking is that I've got this really flashy type guy I'm about to bring into a game (we've only got 2 players, so the GM asked us each to make a second character) that's the type to use customized guns and such. His primary weapon is the Ares Alpha, which I'm not quite sure how to modify for him (aside from Gas Vent 3, shock pad, and an airburt link for the grenade launcher anyway) but I thought maybe he could fix it up to have higher ammo capacity or something, anyway. But for his secondary guns, I wanted to get him something like the sidearms used in the movie Equilibrium (what can I say? Those were some badass guns!) - essentially a heavy pistol with autofire capability, large ammo capacity, and some sort of muzzle brake/underbarrel weight combination (and yes, we allow Gas Vent on pistols. Why the rules don't is beyond me...). I figured maybe modifying the Predator IV to have autofire and slapping a Gas Vent on it would work fairly well, especially if the magazines could be modified (or special ones purchased) that have a stacked feed system, like the Fichetti Security 600 apparently does, and some real world pistols do, I know. But I don't know if the Predator could be modified to work with a magazine like that or if it'd be better to just see if I can convince him to let me have a new gun entirely that would work that way, maybe for the price of an assault rifle or something...
You could always just use the already existing machine pistols... slap a gas vent onto those, and you're good to go. Or use a Viper.

If I wanted to trick out an Alpha, you'd see a grenade link, sure... but it'd get a scope, bipod, and a suppressor, too. My personal favorite, though? Suppressed XM30 running a scope, shock pad, bipod, and the underbarrel shotgun devil.gif
Big D
Dual-wield Ingrams. Then you don't even have to max out a second skill.

Why do you need a scope anymore if you have smartlink and glasses or eyes with vismag? You don't have to point the gun at something anymore to zoom in.

I'd take the GL over a shotgun most times, especially since you pick up the +2RC free with the Alpha.

If you *really* want to kill somebody from range, though, wait until they come out with the 4.0 Barrett stats.
Well, for long range he's got an SM-4, although a Barrett would be nice... Also, while I could have him dual wield Smartguns (and he does have one...doesn't every street sam?), it's not really the thing I'm looking for. I'm trying to get these guns as a style issue as much as for game stats.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (DrowVampyre)
[...] especially if the magazines could be modified (or special ones purchased) that have a stacked feed system, like the Fichetti Security 600 apparently does, and some real world pistols do, I know. But I don't know if the Predator could be modified to work with a magazine like that [...]

What's the standard capacity of the Predator IV? If it's around 15, it's built to use double stack magazines -- you can't fit much more than 6-9 rounds in a through-grip single stack magazine. If you want more capacity, you'll have to extend the magazine out of the grip, like the 33-round Glock 18 mags or 20-round SIG P226 mags. Since the Predator is such a popular weapon such magazines could easily be available, and would not require any modification of the weapon itself.
It's 15. However, the Fichetti Security 600 holds 30 in a non extended mag, due to a "highly effecient feeding mechanism", which works...somehow I have no idea of.
I figured it was some kind of high-power small caliber round in a triple-stack mag. If that's too much for you, you could always say there's a bit of a quad-stack hanging just out of the butt of the gun, Spectre style, but not so far that it makes it ridiculously huge.

In other words, it uses that most powerful rule of physics... the rule of buuuuuullshit. smile.gif
LOL, yes, I'll buy the mags from Penn & Teller Enterprises, a subsidiary of Ares Arms. wink.gif
My books aren't handy, but isn't the Fichetti a light pistol vs. the heavy pistol Predator? Assuming ammo has a square caseless propellent and that a heavy pistol is 9mm (which is probably lowballing it), you could fit 30 light pistol 6.36mm (~.25ACP) rounds in the the same magazine space as 15 9mm heavy pistol rounds.

If the pistol used a different magazine layout (bullets facing up/down vs. forward/back) it could possibly store more ammo than that, assuming a light pistol round is shorter than a heavy round.
Yeah, the Fichetti is a light pistol. HGowever, it's also much smaller than the Predator (at least, from what I can tell. More concealable and in the pic it looks significantly smaller, but there's no side by side comparison).
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