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Author Topic: Spinning barrels? What for?  (Read 18356 times)

Hopelessnoob

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2012, 07:44:20 PM »

Both of those have problems with the fact that the magnets would need to be replaced frequently at least in today's testing designs. Gunpowder weapons require very little in a technical way and require very little training to operate and repair to keep functioning while a rail gun is much more complicated.
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Avan

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2012, 07:53:48 PM »

On the note of metalstorm, they were being considered as aircraft or missile based weapons (As opposed to field weapons), to disperse a very large number of projectiles over a relatively large area very quickly, and then they would be reloaded at base (For the aircraft version, the missile version I suppose would just self-destruct)



ALSO, on the note of flying and spinning barrels, I suggest that Alex add a feature allowing us to...



DO A BARREL ROLL!


*collective audience groan* :D

Falkenot

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2012, 10:08:32 PM »

Hm, it is all about efficiency. I am pretty sure that the theoretical energy efficiency of a railgun should be much higher then that of powder weapons, i don't see where large energy losses would be absolutely necessary. So if you have a sufficiently efficient energy source, the fuel + bullet for a railgun should take up a lot less space then powder + bullets for a powdered gun.

However, i think one important factor should also be style. A railgun feels far "cleaner" than a powdered gun, where you are basically producing a lot of additional unwanted trash in the form of shell hulls, gases, additional heat, and so on, when compared to the railgun which basically takes a lump of metal and energy and without a lot of byproducts accelerates the bullet.

You raise a very good point, if rail-guns do one day become efficient, weapons relying on gunpowder discharge to function may well go away. I guess I'll have to appeal to the lore to prop up this argument. Given how many high-technologies have been on the decline for many centuries, the ability to produce or maintain railguns might have become too expensive for everyone without a functional government backing them. Thus powder discharge weapons might make a comeback due to how easy it might be to produce these types of rounds and barrels. Although, since I've not known anything about the lore that specifies this, I think I'll leave this point to speculation :P.

Quote
I don't really agree with this. If you have efficient railguns, they should be more effective then gunpowder weapons in pretty much any situation. Worst case, you need another additional reactor (or a larger one) for the additional power, but since you also need a lot less space for the bullets (you don't need bullet hulls and powder, just good shaped pieces of metal), that should balance out to still having more space left over. Also, i am pretty sure that heat, or more specifically getting rid of it, is a very important aspect in space combat. And i just can't see a railgun ever producing more excess heat than a gunpowed weapon. Sure, you have pretty high currents to induct the necessary magnetic fields, but as long as you have good enough conductors that should still work out. Using superconductors might be problematic because of the formerly mentioned heat problems, but it is pretty easy to increase the conductivity of any conductor by simply increasing its size.

Some areas may become efficient, and others may be stagnant. Perhaps these rail-guns though highly energy efficient, are produced in materials that are prohibitively expensive, or ammunition that doesn't harm the barrel is, or their maintenance might be staggering or require a great deal of expertise whereas a chain gun or simple gunpowdered weapons might not. In any case, I don't know whether any of my objections are true on this point, so I'll concede this part of the argument :D.

On a pointless realism point of order gunpowder technonolgy dosnt work in space because of the lack of oxeygen, you have to use self feeding types of propelent or compressed gas weapons. Energy weapons are one of the few things which become more practicle in space because there is far less obsticles (mostly micro scopic) to disapate the beam potential.

It was surprising to me when I found out, but apparently gunpowder contains its own oxidizer as well as many other explosives. C4 for instance. We may not get the shockwave and the sound may not travel all that far in a vacuum before its dissipated, but igniting a charge inside a barrel where the discharge is focused and sheltered away from the vacuum the bullet will fire; guns will work perfectly well in space (potential tweaks may be needed, but the theory is the same :P).

Railguns generate an insane amount of heat, therefore I can imagine them being used to deliver powerful killing blow and nothing more.
I'm surprised weapons like mass drivers, also known gauss cannon or coil cannon, that are actually already famous, are often misjudged as conventional weapons. These weapons are on the same league of rail guns, and are better then them under many aspects... like having the projectile suspended all the time in a magnetic field, therefore nullifying any kind of heat for friction with the barrel. They are also very easy to realize and to operate energy wise.

So whenever I see a gauss cannon, I suppose that kind of tech was developed instead of the rail one.



the issue with gauss/coil guns need to be extremely long to reproduce similiar power to a railgun, it's the main reason we aren't focusing on them for potential usage in weapons
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kwekly

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2012, 11:56:07 PM »

the game already has both rail guns (high velocity cannon) and gauss cannon (gauss cannon)
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kajanov

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2012, 08:50:21 AM »

OK, to get a few things out of the way:

1. I agree that spinning guns look cool (as far as I am concerned the only advantage I could think of (I meant to mention that in the OP, somehow slipped my mind)).
2. As or oxidizer(saltpeter in gunpowder(black powder)), it is (and must be) present in every explosive, however it is not the thing that stores oxygen for the combustion, but rather it is what makes the explosion actually happen in that it is a catalyst, that makes oxygen from air react with the fuel(coal and sulfur in black powder) producing and exothermal reaction(one that produces heat) which creates a lot of gas as a product of high speed burning(oxidizing) of fuels in the powder. So projectile weapons we use today would still require air or oxygen in order to fire in an environment without oxygen (yes, even atmospheres that don't contain oxygen). But that is not to say, that pressurized oxygen can't be stored in the actual bullet case.

Other than this, I believe, that high ROF guns with a barrels arranged such as the pictures show with a proper automatic loading mechanism are more feasible and more accurate than a spinning barrel gatling mechanism.

Note this is a personal opinion and I am by no means asking to change anything in the game because of me. I just want to put want you to consider looking at it from a different angle.
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pigreko

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2012, 12:03:39 PM »

Both of those have problems with the fact that the magnets would need to be replaced frequently at least in today's testing designs. Gunpowder weapons require very little in a technical way and require very little training to operate and repair to keep functioning while a rail gun is much more complicated.

not really, the coil needed for the mass driver is not a magnet but a conductor. And the what generates the ele.magnet field is the shape of the coil itself, whenever you discharge the impulse to fire. That is why they are actually not so hard to produce/use.
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Flare

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2012, 01:29:49 PM »

2. As or oxidizer(saltpeter in gunpowder(black powder)), it is (and must be) present in every explosive, however it is not the thing that stores oxygen for the combustion, but rather it is what makes the explosion actually happen in that it is a catalyst, that makes oxygen from air react with the fuel(coal and sulfur in black powder) producing and exothermal reaction(one that produces heat) which creates a lot of gas as a product of high speed burning(oxidizing) of fuels in the powder. So projectile weapons we use today would still require air or oxygen in order to fire in an environment without oxygen (yes, even atmospheres that don't contain oxygen). But that is not to say, that pressurized oxygen can't be stored in the actual bullet case.

Even if gunpowder doesn't ignite or expand in a vacuum, there are chemical compounds that do, many of them in fact.  For example, the fuel used for the space shuttles, underwater rocket propelled torpedo, pretty much all ballistic missiles, and just basic rocket motors that you can attach to stuff and let them fly. It's relatively simple to substitute the fuel in the rounds for one that does ignite in a vacuum, and this is considering that you can't modify gunpowder itself ignite in a vacuum.

As you've said, the oxidizer releases the gases needed for the rest of the fuel to ignite itself and releases the gases that push the bullet out of the barrel. The amount of oxygen needed for the combustion of the fuel isn't all that great. We have rounds that can function underwater without any need to make a separate compartment for the oxygen for example, and high altitude aircraft have cannons that aren't affected by the low oxygen density.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 02:36:17 PM by Flare »
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icepick37

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2012, 02:28:21 PM »

I think this is because modern bullets actually have quite a bit of room to spare in there for plain old air. So that provides the needed oxygen. But obviously most bullets aren't really designed with this in mind. It would probably be trivial to do so, though.
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Flare

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2012, 02:39:52 PM »

I think this is because modern bullets actually have quite a bit of room to spare in there for plain old air. So that provides the needed oxygen. But obviously most bullets aren't really designed with this in mind. It would probably be trivial to do so, though.

As kajanov tried to explain, it's not actually the oxygen that expels the projectile forward, it's the gases that are released when the rest of the gunpowder mix is ignited. Not much oxygen is needed, in fact the little oxygen that the saltpeter produces is all that is needed to set the rest of the fuel mix alight.
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icepick37

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2012, 03:29:27 PM »

Bah... I need to brush up on my chemistry...

What are the gases actually being produced in modern smokeless gunpowder? Heck what is the propellant, haha. It's an "oxidation" reaction I assume, though you are correct that it doesn't mean any actual oxygen is needed.
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Flare

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2012, 06:28:11 PM »

What are the gases actually being produced in modern smokeless gunpowder? Heck what is the propellant, haha. It's an "oxidation" reaction I assume, though you are correct that it doesn't mean any actual oxygen is needed.

I don't quite know myself :P. I've tried looking into it on the subject of the thread and couldn't find anything apart from a few posts on a gun forum deriving an article one of them read that said smokeless gunpowder was contributing to global warming.
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Ivaylo

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2012, 01:07:44 AM »

Modern real-life bullets no longer use black gunpowder. They use something called cordite most of the time. Still, the actual list of components to smokeless powder is way too complex to get into. You can read about it here if you wish: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokeless_powder

In Starfarer, Domain advances in chemical engineering, nanotechnology and industrialization have led to the development of even more advanced chemical propellants. Of course, not all guns in the game use chemical propellants, as people have noted in the thread. Some are rail guns, others are much more exotic and use Lorentz force to propel their projectile (Mjolnir cannon).


They key thing to remember is that the technology at use in the sector was actually developed during different Epochs of the Domain. And, unlike real life, new tech is not almost always better than the old.
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DNAz

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2012, 01:28:42 AM »

They key thing to remember is that the technology at use in the sector was actually developed during different Epochs of the Domain. And, unlike real life, new tech is not almost always better than the old.
Man this game even has some 40k in it...my my my
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icepick37

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2012, 11:00:27 AM »

Or is it the other way 'round.   ;)
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Zarcon

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Re: Spinning barrels? What for?
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2012, 11:23:13 AM »

Or is it the other way 'round.   ;)

This thread is full of spinning 'rounds.   ;D
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