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MADness
What level tools would be needed to make one's own guns and/or bullets? What other materials (i.e. chemicals, metals, etc.) would I need? And would any particular knowledge skills be of use?
svenftw
If it was my game you could reload ammo with shop level tools and using the Armorer skill. Just like IRL, you'd get a modest cost saving in exchange for spending a portion of your downtime loading your own casings. This would cover standard types of ball ammunition only, though. In order to do the fancy types like APDS and EX-EX ammo I would think you'd need a facility because you're getting into fashioning the ball into something that requires special technology.

If you wanted to come up with your own types of ammo, that's when you get into a gray area that the books don't even come close to covering so you'd be working with your GM on that. I'd require maybe Chemistry to be involved, and possibly other science and/or Build/Repair skills depending on what you planned to create.
Mx
Well thinks like silver/gold or even the electrum(silver and gold alloy) ones mentioned in feral cities shouldn't be too hard to make i think.
Ascalaphus
Well, the era when making your own bullets was a reasonable thing is long past - that's like, 18th century or so, maybe a little in the 19th century. After that, precision manufacturing leads to much more accurate firearms and ammo, with standardized and replaceable parts. High-tech or weird, futuristic bullets are even harder.

Of course, it's the future, so there's some smaller-sized production methods available. Mostly it'd be a matter of putting materials into a machine with the correct program to make bullets; as such I think perhaps the Industrial Mechanic skill is appropriate, perhaps with Chemistry for advanced bullets and maybe Armorer to develop recipes for new bullets / bullets for different guns.

Historical ammo OR basic ammo for exactly one class of gun - Toolkit
Normal bullets, any type of gun - Shop
Everything else - Facility

Of course, nanoforges also work. Because the future is nanotech. Which we only realized by SR4.
Yerameyahu
Do you actually save money IRL loading your own, say, 9mm ammo? You'd think it'd be harder to buy the parts and put them together than to just buy the product of a massive, efficient factory. smile.gif
LurkerOutThere
I do not reload personally but my father does and once you get past the initial start up costs you do save fairly significantly or at the very least get a lot better ammo out of the deal then what you'd get for equivalent price. This presumes your reusing brass(shell casings) or the savings reduce significantly. Plus custom bullets can make a difference if doing the research on your weaponry so I'd allow some possible bonsues for someone custom loading their own ammo.

I'd require a kit for most reloading tasks with arguably a chemistry kit if you wanted to work up your own powder.
svenftw
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jun 2 2010, 10:47 AM) *
Do you actually save money IRL loading your own, say, 9mm ammo? You'd think it'd be harder to buy the parts and put them together than to just buy the product of a massive, efficient factory. smile.gif


Basically what Lurker said, you do save money if you shoot enough to warrant loading your own. If you're not operating in bulk the initial investment and the labor involved makes simply buying ammo off the shelf more feasible.

But who goes through bulk ammo if not Shadowrunners? I'd think that it would make for some good background, especially for weapon specialist types.
Yerameyahu
And what kind of output do you get, man-hour to rounds? Given a little real-world info, a house rule for this should be easy enough. smile.gif
LurkerOutThere
Well yes I should put things in perspective. My huge extended family shoots for recreational, hunting, and even sport for a few of us.. When we go to the range we burn though a lot of ammo, granted we do this only once every couple months but considering we police our brass anyway we can recoup some significant costs reloading between shoots. Plus as I said above when you buy cheap ammo you get crap, military surplus that's been in storage for years if not decades in some cases, if we load our own we get a lot more consistent ammo for roughly the same price.

Edit addendum, I seem to recall as boy (the last time I sat down and reloaded quite a bit) I could do several hundred rounds in a few hours time with a good press and dies.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jun 2 2010, 11:47 AM) *
Do you actually save money IRL loading your own, say, 9mm ammo? You'd think it'd be harder to buy the parts and put them together than to just buy the product of a massive, efficient factory. smile.gif


I'm pretty sure that, yes, re-using your own brass saves you tons of money. Especially if you have odd, rare, or backordered ammunition types. To use a real world example, there are a -lot- of different ammo types. I'm not going to list them all, but you're welcome to wikipedia it up. Not all of them are made in huge factories any more, and they have varying supply and demand.

For making your own bullets, I'd probably steal arsenal's modification rules - some mods require a second skill, in which case the total threshold is split into two parts. Half for the hardware skill, half for the appropriate other skill(such as, say, artisan for custom look). I'd require at least a shop for this, and probably steal from the Chemistry rules a bit - having a factory lets you make larger batch sizes.

In this case, hardware and armorer.
Falconer
My own thoughts on the matter for the rediculously high price of SR ammo is that it's been through the cleaners. Cheap ammo probably has taggants/hardened RFid to say who sold it, when, and to whom making it easier to trace. EG: This APDS ammo is actually military black market which some grunt sold after claiming to have fired it on the practice range as ID'd from the paper trail.


So from that aspect, yeah I could see someone reloading their own with a specialized toolkit. I'd probably require shops (mini-forge) if they were trying to make their own bullets/powder/casings and the like though to completely build from scratch. (IE: need a chem shop to make your powder, and a metalshop to make the bullets/casings).

And yes, it really is a function of how much you shoot. Reusing brass is the biggest savings. Handloads are also a lot more likely to fail in use too (including things like shell rupture badly damaging the gun/user), so I'd be a little more vicious with the glitches. (including keeping tight eye on the glitches during the crafting test).
Deadmannumberone
Additionally, I'd make it an Armorer+Logic (rounds/30, 1 hour) test if using a single stage reloading press, (rounds/100, 1 hour) for a progressive reloader, and adding a +1 modifier if using a basic feed mechanism that feeds bullets automatically or +2 with complete autofeed (bullets, powder, primers and cases).



As for a cost example, I'll use Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P ammo;
Comercial purchase: $1,000 for fifty boxes of 20 (1,000 rounds)

Reloaded: I'll go with a high end progressive reloader with autofeeds for the bullets and primers added (could easily put out 250-300 rounds per hour) for an initial cost of around $300. Powder costs $10-20 a pound (6,997 grains) for the budget grade, or $25-50 a pound for the more competitive powders (I will assume $20 a pound here) with each round getting 9 grains (1.286 pounds of powder for 1,000 rounds, comes to about $26), the bullets cost $21 for 100 (so we spend $210 here), the cases are $160 for the nickel finish ($130 for brass, however the Speer rounds have a nickel finish so I'm going to go with them) for 1,000, and the primers will be $30 for 1000. The final price comes to $726 and four hours for 1000 handloads. The cost of rifle brass is much higher ($300-500 per thousand for most calibers), but you would still have saved money by the time you break the 1,000 round mark.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Deadmannumberone @ Jun 2 2010, 06:07 PM) *
Additionally, I'd make it an Armorer+Logic (rounds/30, 1 hour) test if using a single stage reloading press, (rounds/100, 1 hour) for a progressive reloader, and adding a +1 modifier if using a basic feed mechanism that feeds bullets automatically or +2 with complete autofeed (bullets, powder, primers and cases).

As for a cost example, I'll use Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P ammo;
Comercial purchase: $1,000 for fifty boxes of 20 (1,000 rounds)

Reloaded: I'll go with a high end progressive reloader with autofeeds for the bullets and primers added (could easily put out 250-300 rounds per hour) for an initial cost of around $300. Powder costs $10-20 a pound (6,997 grains) for the budget grade, or $25-50 a pound for the more competitive powders (I will assume $20 a pound here) with each round getting 9 grains (1.286 pounds of powder for 1,000 rounds, comes to about $26), the bullets cost $21 for 100 (so we spend $210 here), the cases are $160 for the nickel finish ($130 for brass, however the Speer rounds have a nickel finish so I'm going to go with them) for 1,000, and the primers will be $30 for 1000. The final price comes to $726 and four hours for 1000 handloads. The cost of rifle brass is much higher ($300-500 per thousand for most calibers), but you would still have saved money by the time you break the 1,000 round mark.


And if you cast your own bullets, which is still pretty common for those who are REALLY into handloading, you can save even more, though you would have a hard time doing the really snazzy ammunition with a Reloading Kit... Unfortunately, My Kit is Single Stage... but it is extremely reliable, as I have had it for well over 20 years...

Keep the Faith
Branmac
I have reloaded for over 15 years. I would say tools wise a kit would be sufficient for each weapon category. A shop should easily cover all the different types. And my experiences match Deadmannumberone for expenses. Once you have the setup it is dead cheap if you already have the brass, and still cheaper than retail if you buy brass.
Yerameyahu
So, do we want to say 25% savings, and the production rate Tests quoted above? I'll give it a try in my game sometime. smile.gif Too bad I mostly use caseless. frown.gif

To save your brass in combat, you'd need (I guess) a collector bag? Maybe an accessory mount of some kind.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jun 2 2010, 07:11 PM) *
So, do we want to say 25% savings, and the production rate Tests quoted above? I'll give it a try in my game sometime. smile.gif Too bad I mostly use caseless. frown.gif

To save your brass in combat, you'd need (I guess) a collector bag? Maybe an accessory mount of some kind.


A catch bag works well, but they are a bit unweildy in my experience... I never really liked them... As for cost expenditures, I was usually able to Reload 3 Boxes of .44 Magnun/9mm Para Ammo for the cost of a Single Box Purchased (With recylced Brass of course)

However, Policing Brass after a firefight is a tedious and time consuming task (having policed a LOT of brass over the years in the military), which is why I generally only use Caseless Ammunition in Shadowrun as well... No brass (with your fingerprints possibly all over it) to pick up at that point... Makes sanitizing a crime scene a LOT easier...

Keep the Faith
Falconer
Overcomplicated...

Just stick w/ one kind of reloader and don't pile up too many details. Given the tech... say 10 rounds per success per hour would probably be a good start (maybe with a variable threshhold for different ammo types, say avail/4 round up for the threshhold just to make the harder to get stuff harder to make).
Yerameyahu
Right, Tymaeus, so the bigger savings will probably not be realized here. smile.gif As it should be.
TheOOB
An average caseless round in SR4 is only 2 Nuyen, you would have to be making them in very large quantities to make it cost less money, and by that point you are a bullet maker, not a runner. The only real reason I could see to make ammo yourself is to make specialty ammo that isn't normally sold(like silver bullets for fighting shapeshifters.
Mx
QUOTE (TheOOB @ Jun 3 2010, 07:42 AM) *
The only real reason I could see to make ammo yourself is to make specialty ammo that isn't normally sold(like silver bullets for fighting shapeshifters.

Considering that shapeshifter and their weakness to silver is relativly common knowledge so i think its probaply not too hard to find a place selling silver bullets.
Mx
QUOTE (TheOOB @ Jun 3 2010, 07:42 AM) *
The only real reason I could see to make ammo yourself is to make specialty ammo that isn't normally sold(like silver bullets for fighting shapeshifters.

Considering that shapeshifter and their weakness to silver is relativly common knowledge so i think its probaply not too hard to find a place selling silver bullets.
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (Mäx @ Jun 2 2010, 10:49 PM) *
Considering that shapeshifter and their weakness to silver is relativly common knowledge so i think its probaply not too hard to find a place selling silver bullets.



Still availability 12. Casting them would be easy though.

I'd say caseless should be easy enough to churn out with a little Chemistry knowledge and a recipe off the nets.
Be funny to meet up at the gunbunny's pad and accidentally grab a tray of congealing caseless ammo from the freezer instead of ice cubes.
Branmac
Interestingly enough, casting silver bullets is tougher than most people think. An author recently tracked an attempt to do that because she used silver bullets in a story.

http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/silver...erbullet5.shtml
Deadmannumberone
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Jun 3 2010, 04:06 AM) *
I'd say caseless should be easy enough to churn out with a little Chemistry knowledge and a recipe off the nets.
Be funny to meet up at the gunbunny's pad and accidentally grab a tray of congealing caseless ammo from the freezer instead of ice cubes.


I guess I could touch on caseless ammo. Caseless ammo isn't too difficult to produce, just add an oxidizing agent and a strong bonding agent to some regular powder, and then combine the elements in a mold with a caseless primer and you have a caseless round. And with as prevalent as it is in the 2070s I don't see any reason stores don't sell caseless ammo molds, the oxidizing and bonding agents, and the primers necessary the make caseless ammo yourself. Perhaps a Chemistry+Logic (2, 1 minute) test to mix the powder, oxidizer, and bonding agent properly, then an Armorer+Logic (open, 10 minutes) test, with a limit of 30-60 minutes per batch of propellant mixed up, to see how many bullets are made with each batch with 10 rounds per hit. Though it would have to cure at 70+ F (some bonding agents require as high as 200 F), so you won't pull out a tray of caseless ammo instead of ice cube.



As for price:
You will need a specially designed bullet to give the round the resiliency to be handled and loaded, so the price there will likely go up to about $30 for a hundred rounds that compete with the Speer Gold Dot, the powder is virtually the same when used with a good oxidizing agent, the oxidizing agent varies, but potassium peroxymonosulfate goes for around $25 a pound (I don't know the exact mix off hand, but I'm guessing it will be 1.5-2 pounds for 1,000 rounds), then the bonding agents cost around $40 per quart, though a thousand rounds could likely be made with about a pint or so of bonding agent, and the special primers will likely cost around $70-100 per thousand. In the end it sit at around the same price.
MADness
Wow....just....wow. I was not expecting this kind of response. Very useful. Thank you.

And in case anyone was wondering, the character is a former R&D nerd/instructor on field modification and maintenance for Ares Firewatch teams. After some (unimportant to this post) events toss him onto the street, he starts using his skills for a couple of Nashville fixers. He eventually works his way into actual running, but maintains his warehouse/workshop as a safe house. I was just curious as to the general needs to make his own gear. Which, I think, would limit traceability.
Raven the Trickster
What do you guys think about making a lead backed and cored wooden bullet for vampire hunting? I don't know enough about the mechanics of bullets to know if that's an even remotely functional idea, but it seemed cool in theory.
Sengir
I don't think that a wooden surface would interact nicely with the rifling, so how about the reverse approach? A "soft" hollow point bullet with a wood pin along the longitudinal axis sounds more realistic to me.
Deadmannumberone
QUOTE (Raven the Trickster @ Jun 6 2010, 10:22 AM) *
What do you guys think about making a lead backed and cored wooden bullet for vampire hunting? I don't know enough about the mechanics of bullets to know if that's an even remotely functional idea, but it seemed cool in theory.


If you use one of the denser hardwoods, you'd end up with a round similar to the Hi-C plastic rounds, though availability may be higher. And wood interacts just fine with the rifling of a barrel.
Raven the Trickster
The reason for the lead backing was really so it would interact better with the rifling anyways, since I wasn't sure about how the wood would interact with rifling on its own.
Sengir
QUOTE (Deadmannumberone @ Jun 6 2010, 09:57 PM) *
And wood interacts just fine with the rifling of a barrel.

Well, according to my grandfather the exercise rounds for the Kar98 had wooden bullets and only produced a sawdust cloud...any records of real wooden bullets?
Yerameyahu
This is the silliest idea. smile.gif
Bob Lord of Evil
Well...I would go with something like this...

Desktop Nanoforge (recently pointed out to me as an alternative)

The benefit, is actually two fold...less expensive and more accurate.

Let me qualify the accuracy claim. A lot of handloaders aren't just there to save money they are doing it to get the most accurate match up between their firearm and their ammunition. The bullet, the powder, and the primer...each is a different element in an attempt to maximize accuracy and terminal ballistics out of a single firearm (especially rifles).

How many rounds an hour...five to ten hours to get setup (different test loads, chronographed from a benchrest, and compare groupings). Once you have settled on a load, you can easily do 300 to 400 rounds in an hour (depending on your setup, although the manufacturers claim a couple hundred more an hour).


In game...

Savings...it varies but you wouldn't be out of line saying 10-15%.

Accuracy...+1 wouldn't seem out of line.
Yerameyahu
+1 DP would be worth *paying* 15%, 20% more, with a huge smile on your face. I'm all for a nominal price reduction for investing time and equipment, but a mechanical bonus of any kind is a bad idea.
Deadmannumberone
QUOTE (Sengir @ Jun 6 2010, 04:17 PM) *
Well, according to my grandfather the exercise rounds for the Kar98 had wooden bullets and only produced a sawdust cloud...any records of real wooden bullets?


Most likely they used ash, oak, pine, cedar, or maple, not the more dense (and resilient) woods like teak or ebony.
Yerameyahu
Man, I don't even wanna know what teak and ebony cost in 2070.
Deadmannumberone
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jun 6 2010, 07:21 PM) *
Man, I don't even wanna know what teak and ebony cost in 2070.


Probably a couple hundred grand per kilo, or around a quarter nuyen a gram. Since most bullets are a few grams, 150 nuyen.gif for 10 rounds is reasonable.
Yerameyahu
Well, if it's 200,000/kg, that's 200/g, right? So that's like 600 per *bullet*, plus shaping and mass loss therefrom?
Deadmannumberone
Sorry, I meant per cord, not kilo. One cord of teak weighs about 3,000 kg, thus, once processed into bullet sized lumps, it ends up costing around a quarter a gram (or there abouts).
Raven the Trickster
I suppose you could always do it as a discarding sabot type round, that would gave a further benefit of being able to use a plastic sabot and maybe even managing a fully non metalic round out of the bargain. Don't know how well the flight characteristics of such a round would work though. Any thoughts from the rl gun knowledgable members?
Bob Lord of Evil
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jun 7 2010, 02:06 AM) *
+1 DP would be worth *paying* 15%, 20% more, with a huge smile on your face. I'm all for a nominal price reduction for investing time and equipment, but a mechanical bonus of any kind is a bad idea.


Actually I reduced the savings, in RL you can save about 50% on most popular calibers by handloading.

Handloads that bestow said benefit are specific to a single weapon and thus can't be freely traded amongst party members. It takes time to manufacture the ammo. Initial investment...say 6K for the dies, progressive presses, cartridge trimmer, chronograph, etc.. Hey, you could even require that they have a high-speed camera for slow motion flight path analysis...tack on 80K. biggrin.gif

It is hard to imagine that +1 DP is going to break the game.

Would you explain your reasoning against this?
Deadmannumberone
QUOTE (Raven the Trickster @ Jun 6 2010, 08:07 PM) *
I suppose you could always do it as a discarding sabot type round, that would gave a further benefit of being able to use a plastic sabot and maybe even managing a fully non metalic round out of the bargain. Don't know how well the flight characteristics of such a round would work though. Any thoughts from the rl gun knowledgable members?


As I stated earlier, the high density hardwoods will have similar flight characteristics to the Hi-C plastic rounds.

QUOTE (Bob Lord of Evil @ Jun 7 2010, 07:53 AM) *
Actually I reduced the savings, in RL you can save about 50% on most popular calibers by handloading.

Handloads that bestow said benefit are specific to a single weapon and thus can't be freely traded amongst party members. It takes time to manufacture the ammo. Initial investment...say 6K for the dies, progressive presses, cartridge trimmer, chronograph, etc.. Hey, you could even require that they have a high-speed camera for slow motion flight path analysis...tack on 80K. biggrin.gif

It is hard to imagine that +1 DP is going to break the game.

Would you explain your reasoning against this?


Realism based:
A firearms kit for basic handloads, with a 50% savings; A firearms shop or better for the more accurate handloads that give a +1 DP when used in a match grade gun (modification that uses one modification slot, has availability of 12, threshold of 15, and costs 500 nuyen.gif ) at standard price with productivity rate halved (unless using a microfac). Require an Armorer + Logic (6, 1 hour) extended test (with bonuses from a Math SPU, science/physics knowledges, and relevant sensors) to get the basic formula.
Bob Lord of Evil
QUOTE (Deadmannumberone @ Jun 7 2010, 02:54 PM) *
Realism based:
A firearms kit for basic handloads, with a 50% savings; A firearms shop or better for the more accurate handloads that give a +1 DP when used in a match grade gun (modification that uses one modification slot, has availability of 12, threshold of 15, and costs 500 nuyen.gif ) at standard price with productivity rate halved (unless using a microfac). Require an Armorer + Logic (6, 1 hour) extended test (with bonuses from a Math SPU, science/physics knowledges, and relevant sensors) to get the basic formula.


Seems infinitely reasonable, well done! biggrin.gif
Yerameyahu
There are already so many DP bonuses, and this would be yet another post-split one as well. I mean, do what you want in your game. *shrug*
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Bob Lord of Evil @ Jun 7 2010, 06:53 AM) *
Actually I reduced the savings, in RL you can save about 50% on most popular calibers by handloading.

Handloads that bestow said benefit are specific to a single weapon and thus can't be freely traded amongst party members. It takes time to manufacture the ammo. Initial investment...say 6K for the dies, progressive presses, cartridge trimmer, chronograph, etc.. Hey, you could even require that they have a high-speed camera for slow motion flight path analysis...tack on 80K. biggrin.gif

It is hard to imagine that +1 DP is going to break the game.

Would you explain your reasoning against this?



I really think that your cost estimates for the equipment are WAY off here... You could roll all of what you just described into a Shop for 5,000 Nuyen...

Just Sayin'

Keep the Faith
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