Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why the Third Imperium is going to kick your low tech a**

Traveller has always been known for it use for slug throwing weapons in preference to energy weapons. At times it doesn't feel very futuristic. I mean how many ways can we deliver a high projectile target down range.

Well now we know.

The Army's XM-25 rifle.

The basic idea is that the rifle has a range finder and shoots a 25 mm (1 inch) shell. Inside the shell is a cheap computer chip that can track how far it goes before it detonates. This allows the shooter to cause the shell to explode BEHIND cover like a wall or embankment.

Yikes.

8 comments:

Caleb the Heretic said...

It was developped by HK, not the US military. Just saying. ^^
Anyway, this weapon won't change jack just because it's "new and improved".

Fitz said...

The Brits have been doing the same thing since the beginning of the 19th century with their invention of shrapnel shell. Mind you, they had to rely on much more crude timing mechanisms, but the principle is the same.

Christopher B said...

Several years ago, I read an article about development of a similar weapon system. That one, IIRC, was more functional. It featured a standard small-caliber (8mm?) automatic rifle with an over-barrel 20mm system that also included "smart" ammo. But this ammo could be programmed for more than just range; it could be programmed for on-impact detonation, and for firing through windows - upon penetrating a pane of glass, the round would detonate after a brief delay. I wonder what happened to that weapon...

5stonegames said...

In Traveller terms this is an late TL8 Grenade Launcher .Its not quite up say the RAM launcher from Traveller

The older M203 under rifle barrel one is late TL7 and the M79 (the one that looks like a shotgun) is TL7

Traveller isn't terribly far behind on tech (ignoring he skiffy grav and jump bit) though its fair to say the modern day Earth is high balkanized and a split tech level, 7-8 in everything but computers which are Tl11 (figured from the capability of a hand computer in Traveler)

Spawn of Endra said...

I read about this I think on an AP feed, which had a slightly different tone, but the same substance. It's interesting that the article addresses that "the enemy" may eventually get their hands on this, which is among the first things I think about when we get a bit rah-rah about our weaponry.

We learn: "The military isn't overly concerned that the weapon might be captured by the enemy, because they would be unable to obtain its highly specialized ammunition, batteries and other components."

Right, just like all the hard-to-find uniforms they obtained that allow them to walk into NATO bases in broad daylight. They obtained the gun after a firefight, but none of the accessories? Hmm. I guess they would just give up on THE MOST AWESOME GUN EVER in that case. That would explain why every mujaheddin threw away his Stinger launcher when he ran out of missiles during the Soviet occupation, and why the Soviet Union still occupies Afghanistan after all these decades.

What's the point in trying to get more missiles, it's not like I'm fighting in a proxy war? Who in the world is ever going to give me ammunition for this zany gun I found? I can't think of anyone who could help me get this thing to work.

Heck, I guess I'll tie two flasks of oil to a goat and hope for 2d8 damage for 2 rounds. This crappy gadget's just encumbering me. (An Old School mujaheddin, obviously.)

C'nor said...

To easy to sabotage it. What if someone sets all of the ammo in the gun to go off after half a mile? When you've walked that far... BOOM! Not exactly so much fun for the guy using them.

Lord Kilgore said...

@ChristopherB
The weapon you're thinking of was the XM29 which combined a 5.56mm rifle and a 20mm smart grenade launcher. The weapon was too heavy and too fragile, and the 20mm grenade was not powerful enough. It was cancelled.

The XM25 is a development of the grenade launcher part, upping the grenade to 25mm to increase lethality. It otherwise works like the XM29 grenade.

The grenade spins for accuracy and it counts the number of revolutions to calculate range. So you can't just set them to "go off after half a mile" like C'nor wondered about.

Christopher B said...

Thank you for resuscitating my old, failing brain cells, Kilgore!