Writing a book, need some info

Discussion in 'History' started by SDJonathan, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. SDJonathan

    SDJonathan New Member

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    Hey guys, I'm currently in the process of writing a novel about a rather unconventional apocalypse, and I need some info about the timeline of guns. I've looked online, but the particular details I need are sparse for this particular question.

    Basically, the setting of the book is a mild version of an "Alternate Earth". It's mostly the same, but with two main differences:

    Number 1: The world's religions are completely different; all existing religions are replaced with fictional ones unique to the book's universe

    And number 2, which is the one I'd like your input on, is the invention of a fabric in 1961, with such incredibly high tensile strength that it was, for all intents and purposes, impossible to pierce through force alone; it had to be cut, exploiting it's comparatively weak shear strength.

    As a result of this, armor made out of the fabric essentially rendered explosion-propelled bullets useless in warfare, leading to a sort of Armaments Renaissance, where a large assortment of medieval weaponry was revived, and people raced to develop the new modern projectile weapon.

    I'm certain that this is physically impossible and nonsensical on some level (and I'd love to hear your explanations of why), but I chose to do this as a stylistic choice, as it tends to be way too easy to kill somebody with a gun, and the survivors of the story's apocalypse are scarce to begin with. I honestly just wanted to know how advanced the specs would be for the various firearm types in 1961, like round capacity, ease of reloading, accuracy and penetrative power, in case I decide to show an "antique" firearm at some point in the story (as I very well might). Any information you can offer would be greatly appreciated, and thank you for your time!
     
  2. Babyfacenelson

    Babyfacenelson New Member

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    Old blunder bussess and smooth bore would shoot almost anything you shoved down the barrel.
    Glass, nails, broken blades.
    Could work, not modern, but it's better than a knife
     

  3. SDJonathan

    SDJonathan New Member

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    Very interesting info!

    What kind of reloading time are we talking here? Is this before or after guns could shoot more frequently than a bow and arrow?
     
  4. Babyfacenelson

    Babyfacenelson New Member

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    Nope. An arrow with some sort of very sharp peircing point would be "better" most of the time for penetrating the armor you described.
    These guns could take 20seconds to 2minutes to reload..
     
  5. SDJonathan

    SDJonathan New Member

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    Thanks for the info, while it wasn't entirely what I asked, it was indeed very interesting and helpful information I intend to make use of :)

    On topic though, what were firearms like in the early 1960s in terms of round capacity, reloading speed, accuracy and penetrative power?
     
  6. rocshaman

    rocshaman New Member

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    Or you could consider a spear gun of some sort. Essentially the spear could be propelled by an explosive charge. And I think spear guns have been around since at least the 50's. As far as firearms go they've been fairly advanced since the start of the 20th century. 1911 pistols, M1 carbine fromm wwii, high power rifles such as winchester 70, Remington, all sort of revolvers and semi-autos. Depends on what you want.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  7. SDJonathan

    SDJonathan New Member

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    Right, so it seems that even 1960s firearms would be a force to be reckoned with against non-armored targets, much better than the weapons people would be using, so a civilian who got his hands on one would certainly be able to do some damage with it if he were so inclined. Fortunately, they wouldn't be all that common in the story's universe.

    I'm considering that firearms (but not other weapons) would be illegal for anybody, even soldiers and law enforcement officers, to carry in my story's setting, mostly because they'd be useless against any armored person, and thus the only use it could have would be against unarmored civilians. 2nd Amendment rights would thus be applied to modern firearm substitutes, as well as melee weapons and bows.

    Does that sound logical, or should I just have their obsolescence alone do the job?

    Thanks for your help guys!
     
  8. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    If a person is shot in the chest with a 12 guage slug at fairly close range, i'm not sure if it would matter if they were armored by "soft"/impenetrable armor, as the force of the impact could probable cause enough internal injuries and bleeding to kill them anyway. Not to mention, even a 9mm would probably put most people on their butts, screaming in pain for a minute. http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f12/random-thoughts-thread-11615/index1546.html look at this test on clay block.

    Many "bullet resistant" vests available today are not "stab proof". It is my understanding that correctional officers usually use something specifically made with points/blades in mind.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  9. SDJonathan

    SDJonathan New Member

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    Yep, I suspected as much, I figured that this kind of event would be incredibly unrealistic. I'm gonna go through with it anyway though, since the setting it results in is something I find interesting.
     
  10. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Do you remember the fabric used for the cape in the Batman Begins movie? It was made rigid by applying an electrical current and could be made to form a preset shape. Perhaps a combo of electrical current-powered stiffness and your new fabric would give you the armor you need. I don't know enough about body armor to say.
     
  11. rocshaman

    rocshaman New Member

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    Another thing to consider is in an apocalyptic future, the ammo is going to run out sooner or later. I don't know how long after this apocalyptic event your story begins but eventually the ammo will be gone and most all guns will be rendered as fancy clubs. Black powder weapons on the other hand could be the rule of the day. It really depends on how much technology and civilization has been lost in your scenario. Do any factories still operate, is there still fuel production of any sort because without it there are no aircraft, trucks or other vehicles to move raw materials around etc.
     
  12. SDJonathan

    SDJonathan New Member

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    As far as damage goes, the apocalypse in my story basically left no destruction, but 99% of humans, and 100% of all other animal species, instantly vanished.This apocalypse happens in the first chapter of the story.
     
  13. rocshaman

    rocshaman New Member

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    I guess the humans that are left are gonna be vegetarians, or cannibals then :D Seriously, if that's the case then there is gonna be a lot of stuff lying around for them to use for years to come... Unless of course it was lost in the apocalypse somehow as well.
     
  14. SDJonathan

    SDJonathan New Member

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    Thankfully that won't be a problem. The apocalypse had some rather interesting side-effects on the survivors ;)
     
  15. rocshaman

    rocshaman New Member

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    Cool, good luck with the book....
     
  16. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    in 1960 there was basically all the same guns as now except for the polymer framed guns. The ar15/m16 was just being tested and was given to troops in 1963
     
  17. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Indeed, the right fabric and some electricity can invariably provide rigidity and stiffness.
     
  18. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    MOST of the firearms you may know were in use by 1961- in many cases LONG before 1961. The AR15/M16 was being fielded, but please recall the AK47 is from 1947, the Tommy gun from the early 1920s, belt fed machinegun were common in WW 1, 1917. The .357 Magnum is from 1935.

    I DO recall one very good "after the apocalypse" novel- premise was that for reasons never stated- explosives would not, internal combustion engine would not run, a steam engine would function until you loaded down the engine. However, things powered by people (bows and slings) worked just fine.

    Recall a couple of sci-fi novels that the armor worn would go rigid on impact- BUT that did create HEAT inside the armor. Keep a steady stream of bullets hitting a man, he could not move, and would cook from the heat.

    Assuming that the magic cape has been created that can resist any impact- how do you feel about flamethrowers? Even if the cape can block the heat- it consumes all of the oxygen.

    Take a look at the tactics and edged weapons of one of the finest military units of it's time- the Roman Legions. They had swords (the gladius) the javelin, and a wicked lead weighted throwing dart (plumbat) that was a lot like a banned toy- Lawn Darts. Might be some food for thought there.
     
  19. PeterLuger

    PeterLuger New Member

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    This is getting interesting.. When you finish the book, please make alot of copies, cause I wanna read it man!