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Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


Gtab posted:

Design reliable, lightweight, consistent caseless rounds or telescoping rounds and you will see a new generation of designs engineered to capitalize on this new ground. Of course, the crest of capitalization will be even faster than any new technology in guns has been in the past, because we have more communication, more money, more computing and machining power and all of that precious experience well-learned by over a hundred countries.

What's it gonna take to get caseless back in the running? As I understand the reasons for the G11 not taking off were entirely political and economical - the rifle and ammunition itself worked great and in trials proved reliable. The ridiculous rotating breech cylinder wasn't necessitated by the caseless rounds, so there's no reason simpler designs shouldn't work.

I mean, you seem to be suggesting it's an engineering problem, but didn't H&K and Dynamit Nobel have most of that figured out a few decades ago? Apart from the current economical reality, and general reluctance for military spending, are there other factors?

Rinkles fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2012 around 23:46

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Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


bunnielab posted:

Honestly there is no need to go beyond what we have now, assuming we are stuck with chemical propellants. Gunpowder is still the most compact and stable way to carry a bunch of "energy" around with you.

But caseless still requires a powder charge. Moreover, it's hard to extrapolate what new advancements technological quantum leaps of this sort could leed to in the future. Although, of course, there are also a number of immediate advantages to caseless ammunition: lighter weight, efficient stacking and loading, no case ejection means a faster cyclic rate etc.

Rinkles fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2012 around 00:17

Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


Sixgun Strumpet posted:

Keep in mind that no one wants faster cyclic rate. Guns already cycle too fast. The biggest benefit is weight, and the weight difference with/without brass is pretty negligible. The extra rounds you can get into a gun aren't enough to justify the change.

That's probably true, but the simpler action could cheapen maintenance and extend the life expectancy of parts. And is the weight reduction really that negligible? (According to wikiepedia "The 4.73 mm round is half the weight and 40% the size by volume of the 5.56x45mm NATO round. The round also has similar ballistics to a 5.56x45mm NATO round").

It would be a tremendous investment for it to be accepted at a wider scale, but once implemented I don't know if it would actually be more expensive in the long term than regular cased ammo.

Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


Gtab posted:

+


Thank you, this is exactly the type of response I was looking for. The layman articles I've read paint a fairly different picture, reducing the problem almost entirely to the collapsing of the USSR and the ripples that followed, but they're short on specifics - which is why I raised the question here. I wonder whether the G11 could have been spared had H&K settled on a conventional loading system. It seems incredibly foolhardy to burden an already ambitious and uncertain project with that sort of space technology.

Sorry for highjacking the thread, anyway.

Here's a gun I want for flagrantly patriotic reasons:

Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


Beardless posted:

That's a Radom pistol right? You're Polish I assume? I saw one of those in a gun store in Albuquerque NM once, did all of them have a slot for a shoulder stock, or just early models? the one I saw did have it. And on that note, I desperately want one of these:

A Blykcawica("Lightning") SMG, a Sten variant built by the Polish underground.

Like Gtab said, it's the wz. 35 Vis pistol, (Random is the name of the city which held the factory where they were originally designed and built). The shoulder slot stock was only present in the original run, before the war started, and in the first variant assembled under German occupation. The build quality, polish and finish would deteriorate and features would be removed with each new series. Eventually parts would be shiped from Random and assembled at Steyr before moving production there wholesale, because the resistance would steal components for their hombrew Vises. Compare the original '35 Polish model with one of the later runs from around 1943 (note how the take-down latch, the thing at the end of the frame just below the slide, is entirely missing in the second image but the threaded holes remain). Of the approximately half a million made, only 40k were not built under Nazi occupation.

I've heard the early variants were of great build quality and accurate to shoot, but I've never so much as touched one. It's also got a fairly interesting history. The chief designer lied about having a ready made prototype blueprint, to buy some time in the call for bids for the new Polish Army's handgun. The main contender was the prototypical Browning Hi Power (this was before 1935), but talks with FN fell through because of unrelated problems with plans for a Polish built BAR. Supposedly FN screwed with the licencing documentation, and the whole thing had to be redone, without FN footing the bill. The poor relations with FN dissuaded the Army from dealing with them again. Actually, what's more, because FN hadn't actually filed for a Polish patent (and there was no centralized European patent office at the time) for the Browning Automatic Rifle - I'm uncertain how exactly this worked, since I thought the BAR was a Colt design - they eventually produced the gun off license. Otherwise, the Polish Army may have been the first to have a double stack pistol as a standard sidearm. But that's also doubtful, because deals with other manufacturers, like CZ, never saw the light of day either because of financial troubles the country was having at the time (Poland had only been reconstituted in 1918).

Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


Beardless posted:

I don't remember how the quality was (not that I'm a good judge of such things), but I definitely remember that it had the stock slot, and I think it was labeled as being prewar. I have a big soft spot for the Poles in WW2, ever since I did a term paper on the Warsaw Uprising my senior year. It's kind of funny, I was originally going to write about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but then I ran across some info about the 1944 Uprising, and decided that that was A: more interesting and B: less well-known. If you have any more info about that kind of thing I'd be happy to hear it, though I don't know that this is the thread for it. One thing that's really fascinated me is the extent of the Polish Underground, how it wasn't just the resistance but also poo poo like schools, from grade schools to college level stuff (Including the seminary that John Paul II went to).

Thanks for the kind words for the AK. It's not too often someone in the West knows the difference between the uprisings. Both were tragic, but they were different events.

Regarding underground firearms, I hope this won't be too big of a derail, since it's a gun I'd naturally want in my possession, but my knowledge of guns in general is pretty rudimentary so I'm afraid I can't offer anything you probably wouldn't be able to find with a few google searches (though, provided you can read Polish).

As a side note on obtaining any Polish military memorobilia, in case anyone's interested, importing anything that was not souvenired by forgeign soldiers is especially difficult because of Polish historical heritage laws prohibiting anything from before 1945 (or sometime close) from leaving the country's borders without express permission - though that's moot in this case, because there's only a few of these in existance.

If you haven't heard of the Biechowiec-1, it was a fully underground developed and built sub machine, as opposed to the Blyskawica which was based off Sten parts the Allies would drop.



It was designed by a blacksmith's son, who had no higher education (6 years of primary school), but who had a knack for firearms from an early age (he got into some pretty serious trouble for bringing a self made semi-automatic to school one day). He was 17 when the war broke out. Submachine guns were popluar among the resistance because of their close quarters effectiveness, imporant for the guerilla and diversionary tactics they mostly employed. But as we know, they were still a relative scarcity during WWII even among the Germans. Now, the Polish Armia Krajowa (Home Army) made up most of the resistance, but there was also a partially independent rural movement, Bataliony Chłopskie (Peasans' Battalions), which got the really bad end of the stick when it came to munitions distribution. Henryk Strąpoć (~strom-poch), the would-be designer in question, was approached for devising a submachine gun for the BC - his role before mostly involved jurryrigging grenades and widening barrels for use with different calibers. He started work autumn of 1942 and had a prototype design ready next spring.


Here's a field strip. The disassembly required an actual screw driver

The Bechowiec was hammer fired from a closed bolt, unusual at the time, and operated by blowback action. It also had an external breech bolt - the whole thing sort of worked like an elongated semi automatic pistol with automatic capability. I've read that some speculate Strąpoć went with the closed bolt because he only had any experience with hand guns, and worked with what he knew. It had a 3 position thumb fire selector, one acting as a manual safety - which I'm pretty certain was a major innovation back then. The magazine doubled as a handle, and there was no stock. I suspect this may partially have been a concious decision to make the gun easier to conceal and a foldable stock wasn't worth the time and effort.

The engineering is really impressive when you consider the conditions under which it was created. Just eleven (some sources say 12) were ever put togther because Strąpoć's BC cell had to abandon the area, but parts were already made to assemble a similarly sized second batch. Only 2 or 3 are known to exist, of which only one is restored and mechincally functional. I'm afriad I could never find out what happened to Strąpoć after the Bechowiec production line was cut. Pretty neat gun, though.

Rinkles fucked around with this message at Mar 14, 2012 around 09:33

Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


First time I saw one I was convinced it had to be fictional - something off a movie set. It looks entirely insensible in a bad rear end sort of way.



I've read the heavy barrel lends itself to accuracy, but I don't understand why that would follow.

e:From the source page for the picture: "The weight of the solid steel around the barrel would have prevented, or at least lessened the muzzle lift and increased accuracy." All I can think of are sore wrists - but it's undeniably cool.


Rinkles fucked around with this message at Apr 11, 2012 around 05:33

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Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010


What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


AR-7

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