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Old 01-21-2010, 11:45 PM
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Default high caliber and support ammo

firewalker 11-17-2005, 09:47 PM there was some talk in the biases and armories thread about the relative scarcity of ammo for some of the older more oddball ordnance.

a point was made about the difficult of reloading rounds for heavy weapons would be in the actually warhead. the fancy HET HEAT might not be imposable to at lest jerry rig (in a primitive fashion) but stuff like APPERS and WP (or the other fancier alphabet sup ones) rounds would for all intents be limited to what was left from when the factories stopped running.

how do you guy's mange this do you allow reloading of heavy ammo and how much of it?

one thing that seams like an obvues solution (with out the mane gun a tank is just a really big APC after all) is to start seeing reloads with more primitive business end. say for instance good old fashioned ball rounds, sold lead (or steel or what ever) the reloading process would be almost like a rifle bullet just on a larger skall. with no explosive charge they would be almost useless against infantry (expect say mast formations) but would still worth while for use agenst other vehicles (in a reduced capacity, could be a long drawn out tank duel) or buildings/fortifications.

*I've wanted to out fit a masted sailing ship (like the constitution from Spanish main) with some of the older recolues rifles, but I could never think of a way to justifie having enough ammo to make it worth whill.


Targan 11-18-2005, 01:27 AM APFSDS (but not DU) cannon rounds would not be too hard to manufacture. The penetrator part of the projectile could easily be machined from solid steel, no need for jacketed composite alloy rounds or HE and fuses there. The only tricky part would be sourcing injection moulding equipment to manufacture the plastic sabot sheaths which surround the penetrator until it leaves the barrel. Targeting equipment fitted to MBT main guns is callibrated to the ballistics characteristics of rounds designed to be fired by the weapon, so home-made non-standard ammo may be highly inaccurate as well as potentially dangerous to use. Small-batch APFSDS rounds with characteristics copied from stock examples should remain close to spec for targeting calibration purposes.


Twilight2000V3 11-18-2005, 09:40 AM It is virtually impossible to reload ammunition for anything 20mm and over.

Even if you can get a loading machine the propellant used is not your average smokeless powder.

There is no way in hell you can reload 120mm ammo (probably 105mm ammo too).


ReHerakhte 11-18-2005, 04:03 PM It is virtually impossible to reload ammunition for anything 20mm and over.

Even if you can get a loading machine the propellant used is not your average smokeless powder.

There is no way in hell you can reload 120mm ammo (probably 105mm ammo too).

To go further with this comment, modern ammunition (pretty much covering anything from about the 1960s onwards) requires a more sophisticated process for making its propellant. During WW2, ammunition was produced in labour intensive factories where they did such things as cook grease to produce glycerine and converted silk & nylon stockings for use as powder bags for example. They might have a factory close by that milled the cases, another that cast the projectiles, another that made the fuzes etc. but each facility was relatively close to the others (in terms of the 1930s-1940s road/rail network), say in the next town or village.

Supplies required for the projectiles and cases were generally rubber, brass and steel,maybe some alloys or other metals (e.g. tungsten) for specialized rounds.

WW2 era heavy gun/artillery ammo required actual firing of the ammo and then recording where it struck at what range etc. This info would be scribed into training manuals & artillery charts etc. for the people operating the guns so that they would use the charts to adjust the sights based on the range to target.

Modern ammo is done in more automated factories that are often just one facility in a network spread around the state or country (more efficient road/rail transport keeps them all supplied).

Supplies required for the projectiles and cases are generally rubber, plastics, brass, steel and other metals & alloys. Plastics and alloys obviously compound the problem of production because you need more specialized facilities than simple rubber works or smelting works. Some tank gun rounds are multi-part rounds, having a seperately loaded projectile and a number of charges depending on what range they wish to fire at much like some artillery rounds.

Producing the propellant requires a lot of chemicals and lots of quality control because as was pointed out by Targan, fire control systems are matched to the ballistics of the ammunition, the info is loaded into the system and you simply select what ammo you are using from a list it provides you with - as soon as you change the ballistics, the fire control system will be unable to factor in the change and you're more than likely going to miss the target at anything more than say 500m.

And even then, you probably won't hit the point you're aiming at. Fire control systems do all the work for you these days so you would have to relearn all the earlier techniques, finding out exactly where the round hits at what range etc.

A lot of what I have mentioned here is straight from my memory so there may be some faulty info here and there but hopefully it illustrates how much more involved the process is these days. With the breakdown of society in general, lack of electricity, lack of workers, lack of chemicals etc to make the components and then assemble them, I agree with Twilight2000V3, it's going to be virtually impossible to make modern heavy weapons ammo.

Having said all that though, if you had an area that still had a working facility and a population to support it (and power, storage, transport, food, worker housing, security forces etc.), you could make something of a campaign out of locating the raw materials to keep the factory fed. However, if it was the only facility left making such things, you can bet it would be sought after by anyone with enough organization and gear to attempt a takeover.




ChalkLine 11-18-2005, 04:28 PM HEAT warheads are not easy to make, the internal dimensions are precisely calculated to created the proper monroe effect, getting them wrong turns the round into an underpowered HE round.

Fuzes alone are miracles of engineering, many are piezo-electric (although these can be shorted out by sophisticated countermeasures) and 'shoulder firing' and other advanced fuzes are also very difficult to manufacture. Once again, the materials are outre and difficult to get a hold of.

Tank penetrator rounds, if not made out Uranium 231 ('DU') are usually made from tungsten, but to make these you need wolfram. Tungsten is usually far more needed in machining for tools and can't be wasted in shooting at people! This happened to the Germans in 1943 when the allied blockade ceased wolfram imports and the bitter choice had to be made on tank rounds or tool surfaces, logic won out and the Germans had to be clever in getting around the no tugsten problem.

All this said, if you can get your hot little hands on a batch of prewar fuzes you can make simpler, less effective but still bloody deadly loads for your weaponry. The VietNamese imported Soviet Russian and Chinese fuzes during the VietNam war and managed low-mediun intensity warfare quite well (I bet the people there wouldn't have described it as 'low-medium')


firewalker 11-18-2005, 05:46 PM so if you can find someplace with some sort of vestigial manufactory no how and some equipment. as well as at lest some amount of several rare and hard to find substance /items. you may be able to make a vary few low quality modern tank/artillery/heavy weapons rounds. sound about right?

alright how about non modern rounds for tank/artillery? with out ammo any tanks or self propelled artillery are nothing more than poorly designed APC's. good as movable strong points at lest (assuming there still moving that is), and any towed artillery would be basically scrap metal looking for a black smith.

now as a warlord/new age chieftain or what not, i'm thinking how much of a waste all that is. i mean i still have the nice marvel of a modern gun tube just nothing to push through them.

like i was saying none of the multiy letter warheads just say: lump of lead/iron, hollow lump of lead/iron full of black powder or big pile of small lumps of lead/iron (held together with a thin wire mesh).

no fancy propellants black powder or the cheap gun cotton knock off's. explosive rounds have fuses from the civil war or at best WW1 (really lucky people can make ww2 fuses).

even if the targeting equipment still works your just going to have to do with out. back to firing by dead reckoning and training manuals & artillery charts.

might even have to try and strip out the modern ignition system and replace it with something more primitive.

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