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Bill4747 05-06-2009 01:56 PM

Information about firearms needed
Hello everyone,

I am not very well informed about firearms (never fired a gun myself) and I am writing an rpg game system that uses modern fireams. I could use some help with a few concepts.

In general, how much damage does a single round from a 9mm pistol compared to a single round from an m16 do? is there a signifigant difference?

How wide and how far can shotgun shot be effective against unarmored targets?

If a weapon is semi automatic or fully automatic, does firing many rounds increase the chance of hitting a target, and or increase the chance of damaging the target? Can you fire too many rounds and lose effectiveness?

If possible, I would like the game to be reasonably realistic.

Thank you for any help.

Bob Wright 05-06-2009 02:07 PM

O.K. I'll take a stab at your questions:

The wounds caused by a high velocity rifle bullet are more severs than a pistol bullet wound. Velocity causes a shock wave behind the bullet which disrupts tissue to a greater extent. And, there is more chance that the high velocity bullet will shatter bone and cause fragmantation of bone chips in the wound.

A shotgun, depending on ammunition, shot vs. slug. A slug is effective out to about one hundred yards or so. A slug is a big, soft lead bullet, very heavy, and causes considerable damage. Shot, depending on the size, is normally effective out to about forty yards or so. The shot pattern is not so great as often depicted, being only about thirty inches in diameter at the largest. Up close, in feet, the shot charge is lethal, and has the shot collar or wadding in its composition.

Fully automatic weapons usually provide little accuracy, as the recoiling firearm is difficult to control. A machine gun's effectiveness is best achieved when firing at area targets, where the beaten zone is likely to inflict wounds on several targets probably unseen by the gunner. In moving targets, such as air-to-air, it does increase the chance of scoring hits. Generally, a spray of bullets is best calculated to keep your opponent's heads sown.

Bob Wright

Dillinger 05-06-2009 02:12 PM

Welcome to the Forum Bill -

You are writing an RPG using modern weapons, but you have never fired one before? :confused:

Interesting. Okay, this should be a hot thread in about 30 minutes.

Just about ANY pistol cartridge ( like the 9mm ) is going to have less overall effect to an unarmored, or armored for that matter, target when compared to a rifle cartridge. Rifle cartridges are just going to be more powerful due to how they are designed.

I suppose some assclown will make the argument that .500 S&W ( a large handgun catrdige ) is more powerful than the .222 hornet ( a small bore rifle cartridge ) - but for the most part, a rifle cartridge is going to do more damage.

So, the answer would be a resounding YES. Getting shot with a rifle cartridge is going to hurt a hell of a lot more than getting shot with a pistol cartridge.

The spread of a shotgun's pattern can be controlled by what size choke is inserted in the barrel. That is how duck hunters can shoot birds that are flying away from them, or how clay pigeon shooters can break small targets that are flying at a fast clip. Remove the choke and you get a much wider spread, but less effective range. I am not an expert in this area, so I will leave the details up to someone else.

Multiple round firing is touchy and not easily explained. Burst firing is commonly used as opposed to Spray and Pray. With Burst shooting, the shooter sends 3 to 5 rounds towards a target with one pull of the fully automatic trigger. The short 3 to 5 round burst is more controlled and has less of a chance of muzzle climb due to recoil affecting accuracy. This is more common in CQB types of settings.

At longer ranges, say 100 yards, burst firing isn't as effective because of the time in travel the bullets have in relation to the moving platform that is the weapon system firing them. In that case, multiple single shots are more accurate and a better method of hitting what you are shooting at.

That assumes you aren't being ambushed, or you aren't in immediate danger. Suppression fire can be used to keep an enemies head down while you move, recover down troops, or just get your butt out of a bad place.

In the event of Suspression Fire you, and possibly several of your comrades, put as much lead in the air, headed towards the bad guys, as you can to keep their heads down and stop them from shooting at you. It's not designed for One Shot One Kill, it's designed to put as much lead into an area as possible and hope for the best.

I would suggest getting a couple books on tactics from the Military Book Club and I would also pick up a copy of "The Compendium of Contemporary Weapons" from Palladium Press. That has extensive damage ratings for a lot of modern firearms and is easily adaptable to most RPG combat systems....

The guys will be along in a bit to offer their thoughts I am sure...


Benning Boy 05-06-2009 02:31 PM

1 Attachment(s)
If you have this, one shot takes out platoons!

c3shooter 05-06-2009 02:57 PM

Full auto fire is best in bursts, as the man said.

In a defensive scenario, there is one time that full auto is used- called a "final protective fire" . A fire plan is developed, including a final direction of fire (or for belt feed autos, a final protective line) This provides an interlocking field of fire- or, in the vernacular, a "wall of steel" in front of your position.

When you find that the 3rd Godless Horde (Reinforced) is in your defensive wire obstacles, and that you are about to become Medal of Honor nominee (translation- you are about to be overrun by a vastly superior force) command is given to fire the FPF. Every weapon goes to a predetermined direction of fire, and shoots what they have, as long as they have it.

Does not last a real long time, impressive as hell when you do it, and WILL chew large chunks off opposing force. However, when you suddenly find that your bullet bag now contains only crumbs from the cookies you had stashed in there, it IS time to revert to Plan B- and fix bayonets- it is about to get REAL ugly FAST.

Benning Boy 05-06-2009 03:02 PM

Perhaps more info about your game concept would be helpful, or at least as much as you can share without giving up your concept.

Auto fire is best with burst, forget what you see in movies. Depending on the size, you can easily warp a barrel with sustained fire, which is why crew served guns are issued with spares.

skullcrusher 05-06-2009 03:46 PM

For shotguns, slug barrels are shorter. A saboted slug is used in a rifled barrel and a rifled slug is used in a smooth bore. Either way, generally speaking, the accuracy (drop in trajectory) is greatly increased for longer shots. There are loads that are accurate over 100 yards, but most commercial loads will drop greatly over 100 yards. Shot barrels are smooth bore and longer. Depending on the choke and load, shot is accurate out to 40 yards or so. Farther than that, the energy loss and spread of shot makes them less lethal. A short barrel shotgun using shot is meant to cover a wide area, but the lethality of the load is greatly diminished due to spread of the shot. Riot shotguns are short barrel and used to cover a wide area at short distances.

These are generalities, and there are exceptions to the rule.

LegatoRedrivers 05-06-2009 05:42 PM

Oh, boy...

Not enough info here, I think. I assume we're working with a tabletop RPG system as opposed to a computerized MMO style system.

What are we working with on game mechanics, here? Are we going with something more along the lines of D&D 3.5, or something with an ability list more akin to 4.0? D20 system, a d10 system (ala Cyberpunk), or something else entirely? What's the game idea? (I.E what will your players be up against)

Just remember, realism in a game like that is a strict line. Nobody likes a first round TPK caused by super-realistic weapons damage. Get too far into it, and you've got a mess of stats not only for weapons but various types of ammo, (for example, JHP vs. AP, grain weight, slugs vs buckshot...) that will leaves player's heads reeling.

Could be a massive undertaking. I wish you luck in it.

WDB 05-07-2009 01:02 AM

My thought is there has been more than a few saying they are developing a game and need info. For the most part the information is easy to get from the manufactures. So why ask the question here? Maybe to get some nice quotes for another use?

Bill4747 05-07-2009 01:39 PM


Originally Posted by WDB (Post 103090)
My thought is there has been more than a few saying they are developing a game and need info. For the most part the information is easy to get from the manufactures. So why ask the question here? Maybe to get some nice quotes for another use?

I have found plenty of information on the internet about firearms. The reason I posted here is to get the informed opinions of people more knowledgable than myself in this area. So the game mechanics would be at least somewhat realistic.

'nice quotes' ? can you explain what you mean by that? Do you think I am some anti-gun nut? I am an avid gamer, and have played paintball, I just have no experience with real weapons. And for what it is worth, I really am a pen and paper rpg game designer.

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