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Old 09-10-2008, 02:50 AM
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Default Improvised Ammunition

SongofWar 04-19-2008, 12:05 AM Okay, I was thinking about this the other day. I did a search of this board but didn't find anything much on this topic. Let me know if I missed something.


In a twilight scenario, you aren't usually going to have 120mm sabot rounds laying around (assuming, of course, that you have something capable of firing them), or hundreds of rounds of 25mm ammunition, etc. This depends on the referee, of course, but other than your starting load for any vehicle or man portable heavy weapons your party may possess, in a semi-realistic scenario you aren't going to be able to find much in the way of reloads, or at least that's what I am inclined to believe.


Training rounds: How effective would the practice/training ammo for various weapons be? I saw a video once of a 120mm APFSDS training round demolishing a target, and while such a round may or may not have much effect on a tank, how would it fair against something like lighter armour, such as an IFV/APC? What about the blue tipped training rounds for various automatic cannons?


Also, say I run out of rounds for, in this example, a 25mm m242 on my LAV-25. Manufacturing an APDS or HEI-T round might be a little tough, could a casing reloaded in the same manner as used for small arms reloads work in a pinch against light vehicles, structures, etc.? I would think the anti-personnel effect would be satisfactory, but how would such a round fare? Would it work well enough to maintain some usefulness from the weapon system even after it's out of professionally manufactured ammunition? Would the round fragment during the high pressures involved in firing a round of that size?


What about practice rounds for recoilless rifles? I've read that they still have quite a lot of kinetic energy when they get down range, and could still be very effective against some targets. Would a stash of these do the job in a multipurpose role until I could get my hands on something better?


I see characters resorting to using anything they can get to fire from a weapon in their quest to stay alive in the world t2k takes place in.


Thoughts?

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Targan 04-19-2008, 05:27 AM We have in the past had an extensive discussion on this very subject on this forum but it was a long time ago (a couple of years ago maybe) so I suppose the thread has been culled from the archive by now.


As I recall the general consensus was that without an extensive modern supply chain to feed the specialised heavy industry needed, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to either manufacture ammo such as modern autocannon or tank cannon rounds from scratch or to reload them to a standard that would make the reloads safe to fire or even worth firing. Having shell casings to reload isn't much help because the case is often the lowest tech and most easily manufacturable component.


First you would need to either source existing stocks of projectiles (unlikely) or decide on a projectile type to try and manufacture. In the latter case you would need to keep it as simple as possible (impact-fused non-shaped charge high-ex or jacketed steel core rounds I guess). Then you would have to assemble the industrial equipment, basic component materials and qualified personnel needed to fabricate the projectiles. After all that you also have to have access to the chemicals, equipment and know-how needed to manufacture the primers and propellant to reload the casings, and have access to (or be able to fabricate) the equipment required for the reloading process. Obviously with high tech tank gun and autocannon rounds all that just aint gonna happen.


As for training rounds I'm sure they would have some offensive value depending on the nature of the round. You would need to research the specs on the training rounds in question and run the numbers through whatever system was used to generate the in game stats for the weapons in whatever rules set you use. I would use Guns, Guns, Guns myself and convert the 3G stats to my rules set.

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thefusilier 04-19-2008, 05:48 AM We used training rounds in a game once before. 84mm Carl Gustav rounds actually. Usually they have a concrete type filling and would be somewhat suitable for soft skin vehicles. The GM wasn't really sure what stats would be realistic, but in the end they were just used against some heavy reinforced doors of a building.


I brought up the very topic of manufacturing tank rounds (the last time it was discussed). I have loads of discussions saved and I might have that one. If I do, I will post it.

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Headquarters 04-21-2008, 06:40 AM We have in the past had an extensive discussion on this very subject on this forum but it was a long time ago (a couple of years ago maybe) so I suppose the thread has been culled from the archive by now.


As I recall the general consensus was that without an extensive modern supply chain to feed the specialised heavy industry needed, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to either manufacture ammo such as modern autocannon or tank cannon rounds from scratch or to reload them to a standard that would make the reloads safe to fire or even worth firing. Having shell casings to reload isn't much help because the case is often the lowest tech and most easily manufacturable component.


First you would need to either source existing stocks of projectiles (unlikely) or decide on a projectile type to try and manufacture. In the latter case you would need to keep it as simple as possible (impact-fused non-shaped charge high-ex or jacketed steel core rounds I guess). Then you would have to assemble the industrial equipment, basic component materials and qualified personnel needed to fabricate the projectiles. After all that you also have to have access to the chemicals, equipment and know-how needed to manufacture the primers and propellant to reload the casings, and have access to (or be able to fabricate) the equipment required for the reloading process. Obviously with high tech tank gun and autocannon rounds all that just aint gonna happen.


As for training rounds I'm sure they would have some offensive value depending on the nature of the round. You would need to research the specs on the training rounds in question and run the numbers through whatever system was used to generate the in game stats for the weapons in whatever rules set you use. I would use Guns, Guns, Guns myself and convert the 3G stats to my rules set.



I think the brass shell casings would actually be though to produce to.Refurbish might be possible , but actual new casings are made with tolerances hard to copy without a degree of industrialization. A man with machine tools could make a few every day I suppose .But centerfire shell casings are normally made in purpose built machinery .An aquientance makes his own shell casings from other brass casings ( a.308 cut below the neck becomes a .44 for instance ) .He also modifies some other shells to make rounds for obsolete rifles like the Norwegian Garmann rifle etc .But it is time consuming and demands know- how .Most brass cartridges were rimfire type in the infancy of cartridge loaded weapons. Centerfire rounds didnt take over as the mainstay until app. 25 years after the cartridge had been marketed.It was costly and difficult to make them.


.50 BMG shells could be reloaded. There are kits available and books and stuff.Solid metal rounds I suppose could be made in cottage industry.Propellant too.But I dont think they could get the shell casings right.


So - go blackpowder on the party .


It will work .

It will be cheaper

and it will be something they can actually buy / get .Althoug "rate of Fire" (ROF)stat will have to be changed to "Reload time "(RLD-time given in phases.Remember 1 phase for each operation . powder charge-ball-stoke-percusiion cap = 4 phases to reload ...)


please peruse the big book of wars black powder section for examples .


hehe

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pmulcahy 04-21-2008, 08:21 PM I think the brass shell casings would actually be though to produce to.Refurbish might be possible , but actual new casings are made with tolerances hard to copy without a degree of industrialization.


I'm not totally sure about that one -- just before Israel was actually made into a country of its own, the Jewish partisans had a very large underground (and I mean literally underground, in some cases) ammunition production capacity. Some of them were literally made from the containers of a very popular lipstick of the time (British or French, IIRC) -- the cases were brass, available in huge numbers, and the lipstick was so popular that nobody questioned the huge amounts of them that were imported into Palestine. Given the tools and the know-how, I'd bet brass casings wouldn't be difficult to make in a Twilight 2000 timeline.


Primers, on the other hand, might be a little more difficult. And of course, there are many firearms that are notoriously finicky about the ammo you feed them.

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Headquarters 04-22-2008, 01:17 AM I'm not totally sure about that one -- just before Israel was actually made into a country of its own, the Jewish partisans had a very large underground (and I mean literally underground, in some cases) ammunition production capacity. Some of them were literally made from the containers of a very popular lipstick of the time (British or French, IIRC) -- the cases were brass, available in huge numbers, and the lipstick was so popular that nobody questioned the huge amounts of them that were imported into Palestine. Given the tools and the know-how, I'd bet brass casings wouldn't be difficult to make in a Twilight 2000 timeline.


Primers, on the other hand, might be a little more difficult. And of course, there are many firearms that are notoriously finicky about the ammo you feed them.


Interesting fact with the lipstick .But again - the brass casings were machined products .An artisan could probably handcraft shell casings with tools like machine lathe etc. (lathe?) in a T2K cottage industry set up I guess ..




priming caps were invented and made in 1810 by a an English parson .The more complex priming caps for centerfire cartridges would be difficult to make I suppose.


Reloading is a big part of the game -maybe we should confer with someone over at a reloading and gun board to hear their opnions..


hq

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copeab 04-22-2008, 10:57 AM Spoilers for Harry Turtledove's _Guns Of The South_ follow









(spoiler space)











In that novel, time travels wanting to see the South win the American Civil War provide several thousand COnfederate troops with AK-47's and ammo. However, the CSA (in particular General Lee) end up not treating the slaves the time travelers want (keeping them slaves), so the supply of ammo is cut off.. The Confederacy begins reloading empty casings, but have to use black powder. The AK-47's continue to work, generally, but are prone to jamming as the black powder isn't powerful enough to automatically eject the empty shell and chamber a fresh cartidge. However, this is still superior to the breechloading rifles of the Union.


Brandon

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Hangfire7 04-22-2008, 02:10 PM Brass:


For small arms:


EASY!!!!!!!


First off Western brass would be plentiful and easily reloaded as it is brass. And when the brass wears out, or is damaged as is often the case when using the G3 the brass being a soft metal can be melted down and cast into new cassings. Not that hard really. Think about how long Europe has been casting church bells using primative methods?


Here is how it is done boys and girls,


You melt the old brass that can not be reloaded, pour them into molds that have a straight walled cassing <straight walled like most pistol cassings>


Then you put the thing in a sizing die to shape it and give it a "NECK" like is found on most modern rifle cassings. Then you ANEAL it, heat it to a specific degree to give it the hardness and firmness you require, you also can put it in a device and trim off any excess metal to ensure the case is the propper length within the tolerances of your weapon and reloading data.


Now, the thing is, PACT ammo is really plentiful and cheap, but it is metal cased and thus non reloadable. So it can not be resized and reloaded.


Small arm ammo from about .50 on down would be easy to reload, and is possible to make fresh casings, certainly in a town such as Warsaw or Krakow if you wants an idea using game canon.


Now, for larger rounds that is more of a problem. They require larger tools to make such dies, and larger amounts of material and well the powder charge and such is much greater that you will have greater problems if something goes wrong. HOWEVER, I can see taking a large caliber gun round or a tank shell and loading it into what is essentaily a giant buckshot round. Especialy since infantry and some mounted forces would be the dominant force on the battlefeild, so tank crews for example would be saving their few antitank rounds for going head to head with other tanks and APCs. And if a salvaged tank is pressed into an infantry support role then having a large supply of Flechette or Buckshot rounds would be perfect, imagine a 120mm buckshot shell?


Another idea would be to add Flame Throwers to replace a tanks gun, using pitch or tar and compressed air from a pipe mounted inside the main gun, or replacing a coaxial MG again as a infantry support vessel.


Oh, as for primers, I have done this in reloading just to see if it worked,


I took a used primer that when deprimed durring the reloading process came into three pieces, the cup, the anvil a three piece prong looking thing and a burnt flake of the primer explosive, in the repriming process a small pin goes through the casing and hits the hole in the bottom of the casing, pushing the spent primer out of the casing, it often pops the dent out made when the firing pin hits it. I took a piece of cap from a cap gun <the round plastic ones that come in rings of five or six caps in a circle> removed the explosive portion of cap and put it in a used pistol primer, loaded it into a empty casing and loaded it into a revolver and fired. IT FIRED!!!!!


So, if you can make caps, or the active material you can probably reuse the old caps, of course your dud rate would increase for several reasons.


Relaoding ammo is EASY!!!! I have a 1974 Winchester/NRA ammunition book and it has not only several "recipes" on what powder, primer, casing,projectile weight as well as type and shape, but in the back has schematics and disagrams and dimensions of casings for most rounds made in the 19th and 20th Centuries.


If you have a decent skill with tools and patience then it is possible, heck I have looked at plans for such weapons as Stens, Mac-10s and Greaseguns and it is well within the capability of a well equiped home workshop. To me the hardest part would be the barrel, otherwise a drill press and maybe a laith and I would whip something out.

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Headquarters 04-23-2008, 02:07 AM Brass:


For small arms:


EASY!!!!!!!


First off Western brass would be plentiful and easily reloaded as it is brass. And when the brass wears out, or is damaged as is often the case when using the G3 the brass being a soft metal can be melted down and cast into new cassings. Not that hard really. Think about how long Europe has been casting church bells using primative methods?


Here is how it is done boys and girls,


You melt the old brass that can not be reloaded, pour them into molds that have a straight walled cassing <straight walled like most pistol cassings>


Then you put the thing in a sizing die to shape it and give it a "NECK" like is found on most modern rifle cassings. Then you ANEAL it, heat it to a specific degree to give it the hardness and firmness you require, you also can put it in a device and trim off any excess metal to ensure the case is the propper length within the tolerances of your weapon and reloading data.


Now, the thing is, PACT ammo is really plentiful and cheap, but it is metal cased and thus non reloadable. So it can not be resized and reloaded.


Small arm ammo from about .50 on down would be easy to reload, and is possible to make fresh casings, certainly in a town such as Warsaw or Krakow if you wants an idea using game canon.


Now, for larger rounds that is more of a problem. They require larger tools to make such dies, and larger amounts of material and well the powder charge and such is much greater that you will have greater problems if something goes wrong. HOWEVER, I can see taking a large caliber gun round or a tank shell and loading it into what is essentaily a giant buckshot round. Especialy since infantry and some mounted forces would be the dominant force on the battlefeild, so tank crews for example would be saving their few antitank rounds for going head to head with other tanks and APCs. And if a salvaged tank is pressed into an infantry support role then having a large supply of Flechette or Buckshot rounds would be perfect, imagine a 120mm buckshot shell?


Another idea would be to add Flame Throwers to replace a tanks gun, using pitch or tar and compressed air from a pipe mounted inside the main gun, or replacing a coaxial MG again as a infantry support vessel.


Oh, as for primers, I have done this in reloading just to see if it worked,


I took a used primer that when deprimed durring the reloading process came into three pieces, the cup, the anvil a three piece prong looking thing and a burnt flake of the primer explosive, in the repriming process a small pin goes through the casing and hits the hole in the bottom of the casing, pushing the spent primer out of the casing, it often pops the dent out made when the firing pin hits it. I took a piece of cap from a cap gun <the round plastic ones that come in rings of five or six caps in a circle> removed the explosive portion of cap and put it in a used pistol primer, loaded it into a empty casing and loaded it into a revolver and fired. IT FIRED!!!!!


So, if you can make caps, or the active material you can probably reuse the old caps, of course your dud rate would increase for several reasons.


Relaoding ammo is EASY!!!! I have a 1974 Winchester/NRA ammunition book and it has not only several "recipes" on what powder, primer, casing,projectile weight as well as type and shape, but in the back has schematics and disagrams and dimensions of casings for most rounds made in the 19th and 20th Centuries.


If you have a decent skill with tools and patience then it is possible, heck I have looked at plans for such weapons as Stens, Mac-10s and Greaseguns and it is well within the capability of a well equiped home workshop. To me the hardest part would be the barrel, otherwise a drill press and maybe a laith and I would whip something out.


I say -dont say no,just give penalties..(as a GM determining the chance of success)..I guess opinions differ somewhat on the subject - making the fulminate in the primer is easy enough given the know how and materials-this was done in 1810 by a parson in a cottage in England,and could certainly be done by someone in a cottage in T2K.Wiki percussion caps and see.


propellant is more of a nut to crack. Blackpowder is easy enough .But modern nitrate based smokeless powders or gun cotton type propellants would be beyond the reach of most homes or even small industries.Blackpowder burn at a rate of app 250-300m sec according to type .Modern propellant burns much faster -i.e its far more powerful.Modern arms work poorly with blackpowder.


Most brass casings of some quality will be reloadable app 15-20 times .

The priming caps might be re-useable a few times 1? 2? Also there are different primers out there -the boxer primer is widely recognized as reloadable -the berdan is widely recognized to be a bitch to reload.In fact -some militaries specifically make ammo that will be difficult to reload to prevent anyone else from reloading it .(making casings weaker than need be -and primers of the berdan type -see some of the newer Swedish military ammo for instance)


But casting your own shell casings by making a mold ? I dont see you making that happen in a T2k enviroment -unless you have som really good equipment .There is a difference between the tolerances for shell casings fired by manually operated repeaters like a revolver or a bolt action rifle and those fired by automatic repeating arms.


Shells tend to rupture more easily as the composition of the metal and its heat treatment vary from the optimum ( factory ) standards.A fraction of an inch difference in the size/outer dimensions of case or bullet or a variance in propellant can cause a jam.


Or more accurately -your GM should roll on a table for each round fired to get a result for jams or misfires based on what kind of industrialization level the

shell in question was reloaded by .Jams ,accuracy issues,ballistic perfomance -everything is affected by slight variations.


Reloading is easy -as long as you can order shells,primers,bullets,propellant etc from a distributor. Making it your self is hard at best.


As for weapons -that is absolutely doable .I suppose you have heard about mr .Lutys British Standard SMG- a SMG made soley from plumbing parts that are all standard fare in shops across the UK.Some machining required of course -but not more than a little drilling and/or a few spots of welding

Or just check the Soviet,British,German and Japanese emergency smgs from when they were hard pressed-like the PPSH-43,The Sten,the Mp-3008 and some of the Japanese LMGs from 1945-dont think they were ever named.Also resistance built SMGs like the Polish Blyzkawica all buildable in a basement and with hand tools except for the barrels and bolts .


All in my humble opininon of course.

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Old 02-09-2010, 10:19 PM
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They also have such training rounds for M-72 LAWs and AT-4s. They're only about 20mm and produce a flash when they hit, but you could probably put one through a car door or windshield, or even puncture a radiator with one. (The rocket launchers have to be specially modified to fire them, but you can fire practice rounds from them repeatedly.)
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:15 AM
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I have no idea how you would reload cartridges above, say .50 BMG. You are not going to run larger cases through a hand press

Blackpowder can be substituted for smokeless, but it is not a 1 to 1 ratio and there are some other things like wadding and filler that need to be utilized to duplicate pressure curves. I wonder how hard it would be to make cordite in a cottage industry? In all reality, manufacturing some form of smokeless powder is certainly not impossible.

Primers will be more difficult to manufacture/obtain, but their are some "field expedient" methods and suitable substitutes. I think the Anarchist's Cookbook might delve into some of them.

The basic projectile will be easiest. Casting lead bullets is very easy...jacketing them with old brass casings (you can jacket cast lead .22 bullets with spent .22 LR cases to make jacketed projectiles for .223/5.56Nato reloads.) Making 20mm and larger projectiles that will travel well when fired is another story...If you have the right raw material, you could mill it on a lathe, I suppose. Much more detailed process, but not impossible.
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