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Shrapnel
QUOTE (Critias)
Doesn't that get a little wonky with range, though? You've got the AKs and SKSs and stuff with a much better accuracy-at-range than the M-16s and whatnot, with an assault rifle/battle rifle split like that.

I don't really understand the question. Which one are you considering the battle rifle?

And are you talking real life accuracy, or accuracy based on the Shadowrun range table?
Shrapnel
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
I would definitely not suggest setting ARs and LMGs at Serious with non-expanding/fragmenting bullets. What Power you set them at depends heavily on whether and how you're going to change the Damage Codes of other weapons in the game, and on any possible house rules for combat. Assuming no other changes to the game than fiddling with Damage Codes, 9M might be in order, perhaps 8M if you plan drop HPs to 6M.

I personally consider light Sporting Rifles to be closer to something like the .30-30 Winchester than .223 Remington. That way I don't have to fret too much about the weaker penetration and higher Damage Level.

Concerning the non-expanding/fragmenting bullets, perhaps you could have a split damage code such as 8S for all ranges up to long, ~100 meters, and 8M at extreme range? Of course, this just adds more confusion to an already confusing set of house rules...

The only reason I suggest this is that in the 5.56mm caliber, even non-expanding or fragmenting bullets tend to fragment at close ranges. They tend to yaw sideways, and tear apart at the cannelure. I know I'm getting into some pretty deep real life stuff, and starting to stray from the topic of Shadowrun, but just want to make sure we're on the same page.

If you have a little time on your hands, and like ballistics, you might like this:
The AR15.com Ammo Oracle

If you can't tell, this just so happens to be a hobby of mine... wink.gif

I'm personally thinking about just changing the HP to 6M, leaving ARs where they are, and *maybe* bringing the LMG up to 8S, just so the penetration is even with the ARs.

As for the .30-30, that is something I never thought of. It would make sense, for a sporting rifle.
Critias
QUOTE (Shrapnel)
QUOTE (Critias @ Jun 8 2005, 01:28 AM)
Doesn't that get a little wonky with range, though?  You've got the AKs and SKSs and stuff with a much better accuracy-at-range than the M-16s and whatnot, with an assault rifle/battle rifle split like that.

I don't really understand the question. Which one are you considering the battle rifle?

And are you talking real life accuracy, or accuracy based on the Shadowrun range table?

Classifying the smaller stuff as an assault rifle and the 7.62 stuff as battle rifles (IE, "sport rifle with burst fire" in SR) fixes (or at least approximates, if exagerates) their damage scores, yes. But then you've got (in SR) the rifle-class of weapon with much longer ranges than assault rifles.

So you'd have the AK (for instance) more accurate at longer ranges than the M-16, in Shadowrun, if you used that classification.

That doesn't seem...y'know...backwards from RL?
lorthazar
Okay, okay, so some people re just suggest a reduction in power for the HP. Well, not advisable. Reducing HP's to 6M is one of the stupidest ideas I have seen in a while. It would work if we were in SR1 but we aren't. basically you are saying that .44M would have the same ability to penetrate armor as a 9mmP? WFPRYF? A hit from a heavy pistol should be absolutely devastating to the unarmored and almost as devastating to the lightly armored.


Now if my idea of just increasing armor values versus HO, LP, HP, and SMG's is so repugnant to you that you feel you must insult it go ahead. You are only proving that you have closed minds. I don't expect people everywhere to embrace it. I do expect it to spark discussion. Some of the ideas are usable.

IMHO if you aren't going to do increased armor versus HO, LP, HP, and SMG becuase you want to increase the powers of relevant weapons I suggest:

Carbines(Multi weapons with SMG ranges) 8M
Shot Guns: 10M
Assault Rifles: 9M
Rifles: 9S
LMG: 9M
MMG: 10S
HMG: 12D
Shrapnel
QUOTE (Critias)
So you'd have the AK (for instance) more accurate at longer ranges than the M-16, in Shadowrun, if you used that classification.

That doesn't seem...y'know...backwards from RL?

Okay, I see your point now.

I, personally, would keep the AK as an Assault Rifle, not a Battle Rifle. The 7.62x39 is more akin to the .30-30 than it is to the .308, or 7.62 NATO. It is more of an intermediate rifle cartridge.

I would reserve the Battle Rifle status specifically for the 7.62 NATO. That would work well, though. Just use the sporting rifle range for 7.62, and keep the assault rifle range for the 5.56.

Now, the more I think about the sporting rifles, the more I still think the light version is probably a .223, or 5.56mm. Perhaps something like a .22-250? A varmint rifle, basically. The larger sporting rifle is more like the .308, or 7.62 NATO, a hunting rifle. Perhaps even a .30-06. That's the way I see it.

That also answers my other question, regarding the HMG. It is probably chambered for .30-06. That would fit nicely, in my opinion.

Keep in mind, these are just my opinions.
mfb
eh. unless i mistaken, that really only applies to the AK-47, and only those that are poorly maintained. for instance, i'm reasonably sure that the FN FAL, Galil 7.62, and G3 are roughly comparable in accuracy at ~200-300m as the M-16. i don't really have any figures to back that up, though.
Shrapnel
QUOTE (lorthazar)
Reducing HP's to 6M is one of the stupidest ideas I have seen in a while.

Gee, thanks... nyahnyah.gif

QUOTE (lorthazar)
basically you are saying that .44M would have the same ability to penetrate armor as a 9mmP? WFPRYF?


Just curious, but did you happen to look at the website I linked earlier, concerning the body armor?

You might notice that the .44 Mag is capable of being stopped by a level IIIA vest. It tends to penetrate about the same as most other pistol cartridges, including the 9mm. (Which isn't very good at all, compared to rifle cartridges.) In it's defense, it's main advantage is the higher bullet weight, which means more backface deformation. (For example, more broken ribs...)

I would personally put the heavy revolvers, such as the .44 Mag, into the 7M category. Same as a 9mm +P+ coming out of a SMG barrel. This would make them capable of being stopped by heavier armor, but still able to do damage to light armor. Again, just my opinion.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Shrapnel)
The only reason I suggest this is that in the 5.56mm caliber, even non-expanding or fragmenting bullets tend to fragment at close ranges.

It's not something built into the caliber, however, it's specific to the M193 and M855 and some similar bullet designs which were created to blow apart -- I guess most countries haven't figured out yet that you can piss all over the resolutions of the Hague Conferences, nobody gives a shit. Until such designs become commonplace around the world, I will consider fragmenting FMJ rounds more of an anomaly than the norm.

I've read through the AR-15 Ammo Oracle a few times. There are only so few sites around with informative, intelligent discussion on wound ballistics.

QUOTE (Critias)
You've got the AKs and SKSs and stuff with a much better accuracy-at-range than the M-16s and whatnot, with an assault rifle/battle rifle split like that.

I'm sure mfb meant 7.62x51mm and up with "7.62", and would still classify something like the 7.62x39mm an assault rifle caliber. This is why I advocate always talking about calibers by at least diameter x case length or the proper name (such as .45 ACP).

QUOTE (Shrapnel)
I honestly have no idea what caliber the HMG would be. My first guess would be .50 BMG, but the 10S is too low, and that caliber has been covered by the Barrett 121, which is 14D. (A way more accurate damage rating for the .50 BMG, in my opinion.)

I absolutely agree, a more realistic Damage Code for HMGs would be 14D, or perhaps more than that to simulate the ability of such weapons to pretty much ignore any body armor worn by humans. The reason for HMGs having a relatively low DC in canon SR3 is, I suppose, game balance -- although I personally think game balance would best be served by making HMGs almost impossible to fire without at least some sort of support even for a troll.

lorthazar: Why only Moderate for Shotguns while Rifles get Serious? Any particular reason for giving MMGs a higher Power than Rifles?
Shrapnel
QUOTE (mfb)
eh. unless i mistaken, that really only applies to the AK-47, and only those that are poorly maintained. for instance, i'm reasonably sure that the FN FAL, Galil 7.62, and G3 are roughly comparable in accuracy at ~200-300m as the M-16. i don't really have any figures to back that up, though.

The FN FAL, Galil 7.62, and G3 have longer *effective* ranges.

As far as accuracy, I couldn't say for sure. My FAL is pretty accurate, but I haven't tried it past 100 yards, yet. It's still pretty new, and haven't shot it much.

Personally, I would put them in the sporting rifle range category.
Critias
QUOTE (lorthazar @ Jun 8 2005, 01:49 AM)
Okay, okay, so some people re just suggest a reduction in power for the HP. Well, not advisable. Reducing HP's to 6M is one of the stupidest ideas I have seen in a while. It would work if we were in SR1 but we aren't. basically you are saying that .44M would have the same ability to penetrate armor as a 9mmP? WFPRYF? A hit from a heavy pistol should be absolutely devastating to the unarmored and almost as devastating to the lightly armored.

I am very nearly left with no counterargument but "you're stupid." But I'll try.

For starters, try not to be some pistol caliber elitist. A sidearm is a sidearm, period paragraph, and there really isn't a world-shattering difference in terms of penetration between a 9mm and a .45. .45 people like to tell themselves they've got a super duper manly hand cannon, so they play up the differences -- but what it all boils down to is they'll both kill ya plenty dead. 6L and 6M? If anything, it overstates the difference between common handgun calibers. If the 9mm was such an amazingly sub-par round that was truly incapable of harming a human being, the plain simple truth is that it wouldn't be used by as many law enforcement and para-law enforcement organizations every day. Don't just listen to what some glossy gun rag you bought at Kroger's tells you. .45s aren't tac nukes, 9mms aren't BB guns.

6M is nothing to sneeze at if you're stupid enough to get caught without armor in Shadowrun. You're rolling a die with 6 sides, and trying to hit a 6. An average human being will have 3 dice for that test. If he spends all his average combat pool, he's got decent odds of a single success (which, of course, isn't enough to stage anything down). If he spends all his average human combat pool and the GM gives him a karma point to desperately spend, he's probably gonna stage it down one time. Once. A single damage level. That being the case, you might need to shoot them two, or maybe even (if you really aren't too good with a handgun) three times.

That's not that big a deal.

You want HP's to be powered down compared to everything else. This is the quickest, easiest, least play-disruptive way to do that. I'm sorry if you don't like everyone else's suggestion better than your own insane "change everything but heavy pistols, to change heavy pistols" madness. But maybe you shouldn't ask for input, next time.
Critias
QUOTE (mfb)
eh. unless i mistaken, that really only applies to the AK-47, and only those that are poorly maintained. for instance, i'm reasonably sure that the FN FAL, Galil 7.62, and G3 are roughly comparable in accuracy at ~200-300m as the M-16. i don't really have any figures to back that up, though.

Yeah, well. When someone says "the .223 assault rifle" I automatically think M-16 and family, and when someone says the "7.62 assault rifle," I then automatically think AK-47 and family. And then when the suggestion was "7.62 = sport rifle with burst fire," meaning ".223 = crappier range than 7.62," I thought the world had gone all crazified.

I love you, schnookums. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Shrapnel)
Now, the more I think about the sporting rifles, the more I still think the light version is probably a .223, or 5.56mm.

I think we were just talking about different things. To justify the Damage Code of the canon SR3 light Sporting Rifles, I just tagged them "similar to .30-30" in my head. If you want light Sporting Rifles in 5.56x45mm, just give them the same damage code as ARs have, that's all.

QUOTE (Shrapnel)
That also answers my other question, regarding the HMG. It is probably chambered for .30-06. That would fit nicely, in my opinion.

Uhh, what? The .30-06 is only barely more powerful than the 7.62x51mm, not enough even to merit one point in Power IMO. Not to mention that militaries wouldn't be overjoyed about having two caliber nearly identical in performance yet completely incompatible. And there'd be no point chambering HMGs in something as piddly as a .30-06.

QUOTE (Shrapnel)
You might notice that the .44 Mag is capable of being stopped by a level IIIA vest. It tends to penetrate about the same as most other pistol cartridges, including the 9mm. (Which isn't very good at all, compared to rifle cartridges.) In it's defense, it's main advantage is the higher bullet weight, which means more backface deformation. (For example, more broken ribs...)

Note that the .44 Magnum loading tested against the NIJ level III-A vest has a lead semi-wadcutter bullet. That's quite different from the ogive-shaped FMJ for the 9x19mm. With similar bullet construction, the .44 Magnum would likely penetrate a lot better, based simply on the fact that it puts more energy, force and pressure per unit of area than a "SMG 9mm". As for the backface deformation, as you know, III-A wouldn't include the .44 Magnum if it didn't fit inside the 1.73"/44mm deformation criterion.

QUOTE (Shrapnel)
I would personally put the heavy revolvers, such as the .44 Mag, into the 7M category. Same as a 9mm +P+ coming out of a SMG barrel.

With some assumptions about common bullet types (which would be very reasonable, at least right now IRL) that might be realistic for penetration of body armor. It certainly isn't for wounding potential against unprotected humans, however. With similar bullets, the .44 Magnum is going to put a far larger hole far deeper into the opponent than even the 9x19mm +P+ out of a long SMG barrel. Heck, a flat-nosed non-deforming .44 Magnum might create a larger (and certainly much deeper) wound channel than a hollowpoint out of the SMG.
Raygun
You silly gun people... smile.gif
Shrapnel
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Shrapnel)
Now, the more I think about the sporting rifles, the more I still think the light version is probably a .223, or 5.56mm.

I think we were just talking about different things. To justify the Damage Code of the canon SR3 light Sporting Rifles, I just tagged them "similar to .30-30" in my head. If you want light Sporting Rifles in 5.56x45mm, just give them the same damage code as ARs have, that's all.

We have similar ideas, just different visions. When I look at the sporting rifles, I see "Varmint Rifle", and "Hunting Rifle". Same basic idea, though.

QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Shrapnel)
That also answers my other question, regarding the HMG. It is probably chambered for .30-06. That would fit nicely, in my opinion.

Uhh, what? The .30-06 is only barely more powerful than the 7.62x51mm, not enough even to merit one point in Power IMO. Not to mention that militaries wouldn't be overjoyed about having two caliber nearly identical in performance yet completely incompatible. And there'd be no point chambering HMGs in something as piddly as a .30-06.


I know, I was grasping at straws here... I was just trying to figure out how anyone can justify a HMG having a damage code only 1 point higher than a MMG. Kinda like the sporting rifles, I'm just trying to convince myself that it makes sense, even though it doesn't... nyahnyah.gif

QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Shrapnel)
You might notice that the .44 Mag is capable of being stopped by a level IIIA vest. It tends to penetrate about the same as most other pistol cartridges, including the 9mm. (Which isn't very good at all, compared to rifle cartridges.) In it's defense, it's main advantage is the higher bullet weight, which means more backface deformation. (For example, more broken ribs...)

Note that the .44 Magnum loading tested against the NIJ level III-A vest has a lead semi-wadcutter bullet. That's quite different from the ogive-shaped FMJ for the 9x19mm. With similar bullet construction, the .44 Magnum would likely penetrate a lot better, based simply on the fact that it puts more energy, force and pressure per unit of area than a "SMG 9mm". As for the backface deformation, as you know, III-A wouldn't include the .44 Magnum if it didn't fit inside the 1.73"/44mm deformation criterion.


That is the main reason I used the level IIIA for the example. I highly doubt that a .44 Mag could penetrate even a level IIA vest, but the backforce deformation definitely wouldn't be within tolerable limits. Perhaps I should test this theory someday... I also agree that the bullet type makes a HUGE difference.

QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Shrapnel)
I would personally put the heavy revolvers, such as the .44 Mag, into the 7M category. Same as a 9mm +P+ coming out of a SMG barrel.

With some assumptions about common bullet types (which would be very reasonable, at least right now IRL) that might be realistic for penetration of body armor. It certainly isn't for wounding potential against unprotected humans, however. With similar bullets, the .44 Magnum is going to put a far larger hole far deeper into the opponent than even the 9x19mm +P+ out of a long SMG barrel. Heck, a flat-nosed non-deforming .44 Magnum might create a larger (and certainly much deeper) wound channel than a hollowpoint out of the SMG.


This is a valid point, as well. But how do we differentiate between penetration and damage when comparing an armored vs. an unarmored target? The only way I can think of is to raise the damage level to S, but that tends to unbalance everything again.

I am just trying to think of ideas to help balance a severly warped damage system. (Just wait until I start ranting about concealability ratings...) I know that not all of my ideas are perfect, but they are all that I can think of at the moment. It has been an enlightening discussion, so far. I do have plently of ideas for some new house rules I might use.

As much as I would like to continue this discussion through the night, I must call it an evening. I'll try to pick up where I left off tomorrow, if possible.
Shrapnel
QUOTE (Raygun)
You silly gun people... smile.gif

Of course, you finally show up when I'm ready to leave... wink.gif
lorthazar
Critias, I feel I have to respond to you personally becuase so far it is mostly you who is misinterpreting everything I say. So here goes.

QUOTE
For starters, try not to be some pistol caliber elitist. A sidearm is a sidearm, period paragraph, and there really isn't a world-shattering difference in terms of penetration between a 9mm and a .45. .45 people like to tell themselves they've got a super duper manly hand cannon, so they play up the differences -- but what it all boils down to is they'll both kill ya plenty dead. 6L and 6M? If anything, it overstates the difference between common handgun calibers. If the 9mm was such an amazingly sub-par round that was truly incapable of harming a human being, the plain simple truth is that it wouldn't be used by as many law enforcement and para-law enforcement organizations every day. Don't just listen to what some glossy gun rag you bought at Kroger's tells you. .45s aren't tac nukes, 9mms aren't BB guns.


Never said either thing. Never implied either thing. As we all know most concealable kevlar vests can stop both a .45 ACP and a 9mmP. And in most things I would call the two rounds comparable. The 9mmP gets you more shots to the clip generally, but the .45 ACP is more powerful. Just simple facts. However I did mention the .44M as in the .44 magnum and that particular round blows both the 9mmP and the .45ACP away. now the .44M will penetrate better than the 9mmP of the same bullet type. Now there are also several other powerful loads that can do the same or even better. 10mmFederal, .357Magnum, .50A&E, .440 COrbon Magnum, .45 Super......



QUOTE
You want HP's to be powered down compared to everything else. This is the quickest, easiest, least play-disruptive way to do that. I'm sorry if you don't like everyone else's suggestion better than your own insane "change everything but heavy pistols, to change heavy pistols" madness. But maybe you shouldn't ask for input, next time.


No, actually I think they got the damage codes right, or as close as they can get to right. I personally think all hold outs and light pistols should be bumped to M. My main problem is that they designed all those power numbers assuming no armor. When you add in armor it, suddenly, is off. My simplified proposal (se below) helps fix it for those people who think there is a problem with how some weapons pierce armor.

Proposal: Armor is 50% more effective Holdouts, Light Pistols, Heavy Pistols and Submachine guns. This means that the effective ratings are multiplied by 1.5(round down) versus these weapons.
Dissonance
From now on, all weapons do (6d2)P (1d4)DL, with modifiers based on the phase of the moon, whether or not the Sox won their last game, how much sleep the DM has gotten previous, and whether or not you're a hot elf chick with massive gonzo boobs.

Because they never die.
lorthazar
QUOTE (Dissonance)
From now on, all weapons do (6d2)P (1d4)DL, with modifiers based on the phase of the moon, whether or not the Sox won their last game, how much sleep the DM has gotten previous, and whether or not you're a hot elf chick with massive gonzo boobs.

Because they never die.

That is sig worthy if anythng ever was
toturi
Look at it from a SR tactical standpoint:

1) An averagely skilled guy with a heavy pistol shooting at a guy at 25m.

2) An averagely skilled guy with an assault rifle shooting at a guy at 25m.

Which is more lethal?
SpasticTeapot
QUOTE (toturi)
Look at it from a SR tactical standpoint:

1) An averagely skilled guy with a heavy pistol shooting at a guy at 25m.

2) An averagely skilled guy with an assault rifle shooting at a guy at 25m.

Which is more lethal?

Due to the fact that the guy will be firing in burst-fire, the rifle. I personally think that SR should just give the AR a higher power (~10) and only increase the damage code during burst fire. Shooting bullets aginst a 4' thick sintered tungsten wall will not yield results no matter how many you fire.
lorthazar
be careful you may want to amend

QUOTE
Shooting bullets aginst a 4' thick sintered tungsten wall will not yield results no matter how many you fire.


To include only commonly available bullets or someone might decide to refute that using theoretical weapons. Would such a wall stop a properly shaped depeleted uranium projectile weighing 25lbs and moving roughly 49,000 miles per second? A possibility 60 years in our future.
Arethusa
Unless you think assault rifles of the 2060s will be firing 25lb depleted uranium slugs are roughly 49,000 mps in 60 years (in which case, you're plain stupid), that response made no fucking sense and was not in any way appropriate (in which case, you'reó hell, I give up).
lorthazar
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Unless you think assault rifles of the 2060s will be firing 25lb depleted uranium slugs are roughly 49,000 mps in 60 years (in which case, you're plain stupid), that response made no fucking sense and was not in any way appropriate (in which case, you'reó hell, I give up).

Was just pointing out that no statement is carved in stone. Everything we say is impossible will one day be mundane. If you couldn't see that then maybe you need to lighten up bit man.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Shrapnel)


You might notice that the .44 Mag is capable of being stopped by a level IIIA vest. It tends to penetrate about the same as most other pistol cartridges, including the 9mm. (Which isn't very good at all, compared to rifle cartridges.) In it's defense, it's main advantage is the higher bullet weight, which means more backface deformation. (For example, more broken ribs...)

Yes, it's a common misconception that magnum rounds from pistols are somehow good against body armor.

Personally, I blame video games. Probably for the purposes of game balance game designers have generally made magnum rounds effective against armored enemies. Of course, in real life, they'd still be pretty useless.
lorthazar
So I take it you would let me fire .44 magnum rounds at you while you are wearing that level IIIA vest. Okay line up I'll get a gun and some FMJ rounds and well go to town. Just I will ask that you sign a waiver that you were doing this of your own free will and that I tried to warn you. The grand jury will want to see it.
Shrapnel
QUOTE (lorthazar)
So I take it you would let me fire .44 magnum rounds at you while you are wearing that level IIIA vest. Okay line up I'll get a gun and some FMJ rounds and well go to town. Just I will ask that you sign a waiver that you were doing this of your own free will and that I tried to warn you. The grand jury will want to see it.

Let me put it this way...

I would much rather be shot by a .44 Mag (even one using FMJ bullets) while wearing a IIIA vest, than be shot by any centerfire rifle caliber cartridge. Broken ribs are definitely preferable to a hole through one of your vital organs...

Sure, the .44 Mag *might* penetrate... But you're pretty much guaranteed the rifle *will* penetrate. Even a .30-30, which is relatively weak when compared to most modern rifle cartridges, can still penetrate a ballistic vest.

Now, if I happened to have a level III or IV steel or ceramic plate in there, I'd have a fairly decent chance against a rifle. But just a level IIIA or lower vest, I'd rather be shot by handgun cartridge any day. (That is to say, I'd rather *not* be shot at all, but if I had to, I'd prefer the handgun to the rifle.)

Remember, folks... A handgun is only for fighting your way to your rifle!
Johnnycache
QUOTE (lorthazar)
So I take it you would let me fire .44 magnum rounds at you while you are wearing that level IIIA vest. Okay line up I'll get a gun and some FMJ rounds and well go to town. Just I will ask that you sign a waiver that you were doing this of your own free will and that I tried to warn you. The grand jury will want to see it.

Not very many people would even let you fire a .22 at them while they wore a vest.

I was thinking about this - I think heavy pistols should be 6(s). Rifles should be 7 or 8(m)

Heavy pistols have a round that damages tissue more - a single shot from a heavy pistol is harder on tissue then a single shot from an AR. But armor does more to heavy pistol shots then it does to rifle shots. Sport and sniper rifles in SR are actually about right, in my opinion.
Shrapnel
QUOTE (Johnnycache @ Jun 8 2005, 08:35 PM)
Heavy pistols have a round that damages tissue more - a single shot from a heavy pistol is harder on tissue then a single shot from an AR.

I'm gonna have to disagree with this one.

Sure, the heavy pistol is a larger caliber than the assault rifle, so it makes a larger permanent cavity.

Yet the rifle has usually *twice* the velocity of the heavy pistol, which creates a much larger temporary stretch cavity.

In my personal opinion, velocity is more important than caliber. To support my opinion, here is some excellent reading material:

*Edited to note that this may or may not support my opinion, depending on how you interpret it. These two sites actually cover both views rather well.*

Firearms Tactical Institute: Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness

Military rifle bullet wound patterns

Now, I am well aware that Shadowrun is "just a game", and one that constantly defies realism in many different ways. Most of this, however, this can be explained by the fact that "It's MAGIC!!!", or by an advancement in medical technology.

Yet, the game is full of firearms. Even if your character doesn't use them, odds are they will be used against your character at some point in time. Firearms are limited by physics, and I seriously doubt ballistics have changed that much between now and then. The only real advancement in firearms in the Shadowrun universe is the availability of caseless ammunition, and even that isn't a new idea.

Basically, I still stand by the idea that all pistols should do less damage than rifles.
Johnnycache
The stretch cavity made by a AR class bullet doesn't seem as large to me as the gi-normous permanent cavities made by high caliber pistols.


From your source 1st source, "conclusions" section, highlighting mine:

QUOTE
Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock" of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the words of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, "too little penetration will get you killed." 42,43 Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.


That means the issue is whether handguns penetrate, and larger handguns do a damn fine job of it - at short range. There are all kinds of reasons why we use ARs and not handguns in the army - ammo capacity, a mating of durablity and rate of fire, accuracy, range - but the raw hitting power of the bullet isn't really among them. I'm talking about assault rifles now, which don't have the same class of bullet as MGs and larger rifles.

And neither of those sources truly compares the potential of the two . . . I wish I had my ayoob books handy...
Shrapnel
Yeah, after I had posted, I realized that I just supported both sides of the argument.

It worked out rather well, though. I'd rather everybody be well informed, than just try to show my side of everything.

Of course, in the second source, the pictures of the rifle wound cavities are pretty impressive. Not only do you get excellent penetration, but the wound channel increases as the bullet yaws.

Hard to say who's right in the end, but my money's still on the rifle.

*Edited to add that I just realized I have taken a perfectly good discussion on Shadowrun weapon damage codes, and changed it into an argument about the terminal effects of rifles compared to pistols. Sorry to hijack the thread, guys.*

And now back to your regularly scheduled Shadowrun programming...
Crusher Bob
If I recall correctly, the organs largely effected by the temp cavity are any ones filled with fluid (stomach, bladder, possibly the heart and aorta although they are quite tough compared to the stomach and bladder) and the liver. Otherwise, you need a permnent wound cavity to do much.

IMHO, 'heavy' pistol rounds will produce a large wound cavity, so it's effect against human sized unarmored opponents will still be pretty good. The reason the system (link I posed above) seperates damage and penetration is so that rifle caliber wounds don't do magical extra damage because they penetrate quite well.
Dissonance
How about we boil it down to 'Getting Shot really fucking sucks' and call it a day?
Crusher Bob
Sigh, the whole point of rules is so that you avoid the 'Bang, I got you!" "Nope, you missed" phenomena.

Good rules should provide predictable results, support the atmosphere of the game, not break suspension of disbelief, etc...

The main problem with the SR gun rules is not really in the results or the atmosphere section of the game, but in the suspension of disbelief part. The rules about magic are equally wonky, but less people complain about them becuase they don't have an in depth knowledge of magic... Notice how we get complaints about the decing rules from the computer people and what few car people we have here at dumpshock have complained about the rigging rules some too. The gun bunnies are just more vocal.

Admittedly, most of the rules for SR are mathematically bad as well, which is why you see te occasional table of statistics grace these boards as well.

Critias
QUOTE
Notice how we get complaints about the decing rules from the computer people and what few car people we have here at dumpshock have complained about the rigging rules some too. 


A decent handgun's cheaper than a decent car or decent computer, and you can get an AK for ~$300. We outnumber 'em, that's all.

QUOTE
The gun bunnies are just more vocal.


That, and (in addition to outnumbering them) people notice when we talk. We wave around guns while we complain. wink.gif
hyzmarca
Of course, the realitive weakness of SR assualt rifles is a balance issue for one reason, auto fire. The power and DL increase caused by a 10-round burst more than justifies an initial power decrease. There are very few burst-fire capible heavy pistols and it isn't reasonable to put 6 points of recoil comp on them. It is, on the other hand, reasonable to put 2 points of recoil comp on a rifle. It is slightly less reasonable to put on 10 points of recoil comp, but it is doable.


There is the other unfortunate problem of the damage code. There is power represent both wound size and penetration while DL represents wound severity.

Hopefully, the SR4 rules will address this rather than simply making armor give extra dice or auto-successes.

Increasing the value of armor hand having weapons with less penetration rating than the target has armor stage down to stun would be a good idea. It would make pistols less deadly but the damage could still be staged up to physical with skill.
Johnnycache
I've talked to three (four counting me) gamer/shooters since we waded into this and a general consensus of "Caliber for damage code weapon type, cartridge velocity for power.

It makes sense to me - a heavy pistol would have a high code, low power, an smg would be that with autofire, an AR would have medium both, an MG would be that with higher rate of fire, a sniper rifle or large MG would have both high...there's one more guy I want to talk to who is a gamer/shooter/cop but I don't run into him often...
Shrapnel
QUOTE (Critias)
QUOTE
The gun bunnies are just more vocal.


That, and (in addition to outnumbering them) people notice when we talk. We wave around guns while we complain. wink.gif

Hey, I resemble that remark!!! biggrin.gif
Arethusa
Thanks to Greg Dean, I am about ready to murder the next person to try that joke. It's so goddamn unfunny that I never knew it was a joke until he made two comics about it not being a funny joke.
Shrapnel
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Thanks to Greg Dean, I am about ready to murder the next person to try that joke. It's so goddamn unfunny that I never knew it was a joke until he made two comics about it not being a funny joke.

There are actually comics about that? Wow... Sorry, didn't mean to offend anybody.

I guess you probably don't want to hear the stupid joke of the day, then? biggrin.gif
Arethusa
Take a look.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Johnnycache)
I've talked to three (four counting me) gamer/shooters since we waded into this and a general consensus of "Caliber for damage code weapon type, cartridge velocity for power.

It makes sense to me - a heavy pistol would have a high code, low power, an smg would be that with autofire, an AR would have medium both, an MG would be that with higher rate of fire, a sniper rifle or large MG would have both high...

Unless you're short on time and you've got hundreds or thousands of calibers and weapons to stat out, I urge you not to create some sort of table for the Damage Code based on bullet diameter and muzzle velocity. Basically, making a simple mathematical formula for damage in a RPG won't work -- it'd have to be a really damn complex one to give you reasonable results.

For one thing, what you suggest above ignores the role played by bullet weight -- in fact it significantly favors light weight bullets, or calibers with mostly light weight bullets made for them, possibly giving them a boost in Power. For example, compare an Aguila .45 ACP High Power, a .451" 117gr bullet fired at 1450fps, to a .45-70 rifle firing a 405gr SP .458" bullet at 1330fps. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be shot with the .45 ACP "High Power" if I had to choose. wink.gif There are plenty of similar examples with high-velocity, low-weight handgun loads and high-weight, low-velocity rifle loads.

You'd also get really funky results for penetration with this system, since the kings of velocity are the various large-case .22s - .25s, (40gr VMAX @ 4200fps for a .220 Swift) and the ultramagnums up to around .338 (at the large-caliber end, 200gr @ 3350fps for a .338-378 Wby Magnum). These make the .50 BMG M33 Ball round, firing a 707gr bullet at just 2910fps, seem like a lumbering giant. However, the M33 Ball will penetrate just about anything far better than the ultramagnums can dream of without armor piercing ammunition -- and indeed far better than the .22s-.25s can manage even with APs. Even the .50 BMG SLAP rounds lose to the .220 Swift, clocking 4000fps out of an M2HB, yet still managing to penetrate a respectable 34mm RHA at 500 meters.

When doing up DCs for a fairly limited list (2-digit number) of calibers, you'll get far better results simply looking at the actual (armor) penetration and tissue damaging potential of individual calibers.
Yoan
A friend of mine acquired a Sig Sauer P226 recently. His reasoning:

QUOTE
Fullsize 9mm semi, radioactive sights. 9mm because caliber only counts if you only have one bullet.
TheOneRonin
QUOTE (Yoan)
A friend of mine acquired a Sig Sauer P226 recently. His reasoning:

QUOTE
Fullsize 9mm semi, radioactive sights. 9mm because caliber only counts if you only have one bullet.

Right. Tell your friend his logic is a bit flawed. If I can't kill it with 10 rounds from my HK USP45, then he won't be able to kill it with 15 rounds of 9mm from his Sig.

And as soon as I get my hands on a Glock 20 (10mm Auto), I shouldn't need more than one bullet.

Raygun
QUOTE (Yoan @ Jun 10 2005, 04:36 PM)
A friend of mine acquired a Sig Sauer P226 recently. His reasoning:

QUOTE
Fullsize 9mm semi, radioactive sights. 9mm because caliber only counts if you only have one bullet.

Sheer genius. So why isn't your friend packing a much smaller, easier to handle .22LR pistol? Because not only does caliber (and by that I assume you mean bullet diameter) matter, so does mass, velocity and bullet construction.

And I hope your friend doesn't have to do much shooting in the dark. Tritium sights may be stylish (ooo look! they glow!), but the light they emit can compromise your ability to process low ambient light. In other words, there's a good chance those glowing sights will be bright enough to compromise your ability to identify your target. Fiber optic sights work better, by gathering available ambient light and directing it to your eyes. They're never too bright.
John Campbell
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Thanks to Greg Dean, I am about ready to murder the next person to try that joke.  It's so goddamn unfunny that I never knew it was a joke until he made two comics about it not being a funny joke.

If you're reading Real Life, I have no sympathy for anything you have to say about anything else being goddamn unfunny.
Johnnycache
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Johnnycache)
I've talked to three (four counting me) gamer/shooters since we waded into this and a general consensus of "Caliber for damage code weapon type, cartridge velocity for power.

It makes sense to me - a heavy pistol would have a high code, low power, an smg would be that with autofire, an AR would have medium both, an MG would be that with higher rate of fire, a sniper rifle or large MG would have both high...

Unless you're short on time and you've got hundreds or thousands of calibers and weapons to stat out, I urge you not to create some sort of table for the Damage Code based on bullet diameter and muzzle velocity. Basically, making a simple mathematical formula for damage in a RPG won't work -- it'd have to be a really damn complex one to give you reasonable results.


No, I wasn't suggesting going into every single caliber - there's no need for comprehensive firearms rules in a game at all. I just mean restating the six or so existing SR categories so they make a tiny bit more sense.

Not that I care - I'm a game balance guy, and you can already kill stuff with guns well enough but not too well in SR. This is all acedemic too me - a house rule for gun power would have to be brilliant for me to bother using it over the normal ones.
Vaevictis
QUOTE (Yoan)
QUOTE
Fullsize 9mm semi, radioactive sights. 9mm because caliber only counts if you only have one bullet.

Now, I'm no expert on guns having only fired them on rare occassions in my life, but it would seem to me that on the face of it, the appropriate quote would be:

Fullsize 9mm semi, ... 9mm because caliber only counts if the target is fighting back.

As I said, I don't know a whole lot about the subject, but against an unarmored target, I expect there are going to be shots where a .44 is instant death where the 9mm is not. In those cases, with the .44, they're dead and not shooting back at you. With the 9mm, they might be. I dunno about you, but in those cases, I'd rather have the larger caliber.

Also, I would expect that if they have armor strong enough to stop penetration in both cases, the likelihood of the .44 dropping them on their butt, possibly with a few broken ribs is higher than with the 9mm; that's good too.

OTOH, the .44 doesn't do you much good if you're 4'6", 95lb and it knocks YOU on your butt.

But I always figured that the appropriate way to pick out a gun was get the gun with the maximal lethality given the situational constraints you expect to find yourself in; maximize your accuracy, bullet velocity, bullet mass, rate of fire, clip size, etc, but don't get a gun whose recoil you can't handle, and don't expect to carry an assault rifle in your pocket or glove box either, etc.

(Now, don't get me wrong with what I'm saying here. 9mm may be the best thing for you given the situational constraints -- there's an ex-Green Beret weapons instructor I know who once said on the subject, "The fact that it's 9mm won't matter when I put two between their eyes" -- but if caliber didn't matter, then all firearms would use the same caliber, right?)
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Vaevictis)
As I said, I don't know a whole lot about the subject, but against an unarmored target, I expect there are going to be shots where a .44 is instant death where the 9mm is not.

Those are going to be quite rare. The only way that would reliably come into play is when the centerline of the bullet passes within ~0.2"-0.5" of the spinal column or the brain, where the 9mm might not cause enough damage to the CNS while the .44 would. However, ceteris paribus a .44 Magnum JHP shot through the thoracic cavity will incapacitate the target faster than an identical shot with a 9x19mm JHP, which is just as important.
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