This is a follow up to this question I asked a few days about methods to penetrate advanced body armor. That post primarily focused on possible methods of penetration, but this post will primarily focus on methods that don't involve penetration.

Going off the last post, there are various types of advanced body armors in this setting. They range in what they utilize and how exactly they stop bullets, but the main gist is most of them can stop a typical rifle round like 7.62 NATO but strain under higher power rifle rounds like .338 lapua, .408 cheytac, and .417 barret. They're similar to modern body armor in the sense that it's arranged in plates, but provides mostly full protection to the front of the body. On the rear of the body, there's limited protection, but for the most part it's open to attack.

So my main question is, in a scenario like this where body armor has outpaced typical armor piercing munitions, what options are there for guns and weapons to advance? In my head, I've thought of a few possibilities, most going from advanced recoil systems to far out ideas such as electrolasers.

There are few outlines for what I'm asking, besides the following:

  1. It must be reasonable to produce. Something with a high power cost like a handheld laser is fine, but something like antimatter bullets is not.
  2. Must be a "gun". By this, I essentially just mean that it must be ranged, so something like a laser or electrolaser, while not a typical gun, would still count. This also means no saying "combat would resort to a ton of close range knife fights."
  3. The idea has to be reasonably scientifically based. Making some stretches is fine, but can't be using all sorts of fictional materials.
  4. Lastly, the idea has to be practical. Something like, say, a grenade launcher, might not work, mostly due to the high weight, low accuracy, and low amount of ammo able to be carried.

I look forward to seeing your responses! I'm also open to other input that focuses mostly around the tactics of things as opposed to weapons. Thanks all!

  • $\begingroup$ Where are you going to find a "scenario like this where body armor has outpaced typical armor piercing munitions". That is not definitely not the case on Earth. $\endgroup$ – PcMan Jun 8 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ If downvoters could explain their reasoning, it would probably help the querent to improve the question. $\endgroup$ – JANXOL Jun 9 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ @JANXOL Exactly. I'd like to improve my questions and be a better contributor on this site, but it's difficult without feedback. $\endgroup$ – ZoTheCutestPirate Jun 9 at 6:04

The situation you have described would be temporary at best. There has never been a point in history where upon being confronted by a new form of armor protection some means of penetrating that armor was not discovered soon afterwards.

That aside the solution to the issue would be to simply make high velocity bullets/projectiles from the same material used to make the armor.

As described above the armor comes in the form of 'plates'. That in turn implies that whatever the material is, it can be forged, molded, annealed, compressed, glued etc into solid physical shapes. If so there's nothing to stop someone adapting the relevant technique to produce projectiles of the same material in any desired caliber.

Please note also that stopping penetration of a round is only one part of the problem. The wearer also has to deal with the kinetic energy imparted by a bullet. Even today while current high level body armor will stop military grade rifle caliber rounds the wearer will still suffer injuries including severe bruising, broken ribs and possibly internal bleeding etc.

For that matter it doesn't protect the wearer from the concussive forces of a nearby explosion e.g a grenade. It might well stop the shrapnel but assuming the explosion is close enough it will still incapacitate the victim in the sort term, often having long term effects.

  • $\begingroup$ This answer would be better on the querent's earlier question which directly asks about means of penetrating the hypothetical body armor. $\endgroup$ – GrumpyYoungMan Jun 9 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ Ceramic can be a plate, and theoretically could be formed into a bullet, but that doesn't make it a good penetrator $\endgroup$ – ZoTheCutestPirate Jun 11 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ A pure ceramic bullet? Probably not. A composite round of some kind? Perhaps. A lot would depend I think on how the ceramic was used in the round. As a core, as a hardened tip, as one of several layers of other hi-tech material? $\endgroup$ – Mon Jun 12 at 0:38

How about tangler or glue rounds? These are a staple of science fiction stories.

Using some form of sticky glue, perhaps it could super-glue some of the plates and joints together. I would envision this being shot from a large-bore gun of some kind, perhaps a 25mm gun. The advantage to this is that the round doesn't have to travel as quickly as a normal rifle round, so this could even be an air (co2) powered gun.

Typically a tangler round round surrounds the target, somehow. I'm not sure how that would be created with today's technology.

In fiction, these are generally considered less-lethal rounds, and are used where a "stunner" would be used if the setting allowed for it.


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