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Questions tagged [weapons]

For questions about existing weapons or designing new ones.

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5answers
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What is the amputationility of a monomolecular wire weapon?

Monomolecular wire weapons are a somewhat common element in science-fiction. Including in this this fantastic image I found while looking into this: Is the only infeasible thing in this image that ...
56
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22answers
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Is there a way to create a bomb to destroy a star?

I want to create a sci-fi story, and since galactic warfare is on a larger scale, nukes wouldn't do much damage (or I wouldn't think so anyway). I would like ideas about an ultimate deterrent that ...
51
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13answers
8k views

Can you shoot someone with a bullet… from orbit?

I remember a character I once created who was a really good sniper. When describing him, I said he could pull off a headshot on a terrestrial target from orbit. Now, in this case it was with a laser, ...
60
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31answers
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How to solve the old 'gun on a spaceship' problem?

The problem: If somebody fires a (kinetic) gun on a spaceship, the bullet is likely to penetrate the hull and cause a host of problems. I want to incorporate spaceships and fighting on them and in ...
112
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35answers
21k views

Why would giant mechs use melee weapons?

Mechs are really just giant usually bipedal walking tin cans with their human pilot inside. I mean, shoot the legs and they can't move much anymore. Not really realistic. Regardless, in a futuristic ...
51
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19answers
14k views

Are gunswords feasible?

A common trope weapon in science fantasy (such as RWBY or the appropriately named Gun Sword) is the gunsword. As the name implies, a gunsword is a sword that's also a gun, or vice versa. This has ...
38
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32answers
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Most effective long-term zombie killing weapon

So I asked this question a few days ago, with excellent and certainly useful feedback. I've decided I'd like to build upon that question with some ways to combat our 'new and improved super zombies'. ...
20
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9answers
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Plausible plasma weapons?

In a lot of science fiction, the advanced weaponry takes the form of guns firing directed bursts of plasma. These searing bolts of fire are classic ways to create weapons apparently rooted in science, ...
22
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16answers
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Weapons for Mer-people

Thanks to this question on undersea fortifications, I have begun to wonder about the kinds of weapons mer-people would use when fighting one another. Normally, mermen are assumed to use tridents, but ...
25
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3answers
4k views

Lightning Rifle

I'm interested in the technical feasibility of a rifle that fires a lightning bolt. Typical lightning requires a large difference in electrical potential, and something that prevents equalizing this ...
14
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4answers
16k views

How to make a Sound Gun

I have this fictional sci-fi galaxy (similar to Mass Effect) in which a race of aliens is blind, but has superhuman hearing. I want to make these aliens interesting and somewhat scary on the ...
16
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6answers
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How will my nerdy Mars astronauts do battle between their colonies?

What would battle tactics look like outside the scientific research stations? Year: 2100ish Mars: Two 'surface,' permanent scientific research colonies with a little over 100 scientists and engineers ...
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6answers
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How can I make scythes a viable weapon in a (slightly) less-realistic world?

I've always liked the idea of scythes. Their connotation of death and reaping is always satisfying. But they're also a polearm, and that could make for some interesting martial feats. But nearly every ...
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11answers
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Larger weapons for a larger world

Okay, so its been said by various people time and time again that overtly huge fantasy melee weapons are not practical in any way whatsoever. They are too large and cumbersome, and in a fair fight ...
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3answers
6k views

What happens when cut with a heated blade?

I'm asking the question to figure out the effects of what will happen when a substance is cut by a heated blade, lets say of a dagger's length, not a blade made of literal fire or heat. Steel that has ...
15
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4answers
989 views

Scientifically plausible lightsaber

It is the time of year we all have been waiting for. Ho, ho ho! The Star Wars are around the corner! Help me design scientifically plausible light-saber: In other words: What has to happen in order ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Attenuation of a laser in space?

Given that a laser beam is made up of coherent light waves running in parallel in the same direction, and that space is not a complete vacuum (dust, radiation, electromagnetic forces etc.), what kind ...
36
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17answers
9k views

How can I liquefy my enemies?

There is a surprisingly diverse range of handheld weapons for use in combat, beyond the typical gun-related firearms. I'm looking for a cooler way to destroy enemies, and though flamethrowers are ...
42
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19answers
6k views

How to add tactics and maneuvering into space warfare

I have a setting with space fleets fighting, the include both capital ships and human flown 'space fighters', which I already put some work into justifying: How to keep humans pilots instead of AI in ...
29
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25answers
6k views

Aerial combat: winged humans

I shall present myself: I am Alfara Gal Strid, proud leader of a clan of Arat'nie - what you would simply call "winged humans". I come to you with a troublesome question. You see, for a long time we ...
30
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24answers
4k views

Close Quarters Combat… In Space

A simple enough question, but one that Grimmsdottir and I agonized over. Basically, what would enable close-ranged fighting between space fleets/ships? We both agreed that having gargantuan ships ...
46
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5answers
9k views

Pew Pew Lasers! What would directed energy weapons actually sound like?

Anybody who has consumed a space opera movie, tv show, or video games knows that energy weapons go pew-pew. I however want to do something more creative for my setting, and with truth being stranger ...
37
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14answers
7k views

How, if at all, can space battleships mitigate gun recoil?

I am making a game universe involving spaceships. While chewing through the implementation issues, I also keep making story and environment plans. Big battleships have big guns. However such guns ...
25
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9answers
6k views

A more powerful bow

What methods are there to make more powerful bows, besides simply upscaling it? Just for definition, I will take more powerful to mean that it has more draw strength and longer range. The tech level ...
24
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20answers
6k views

The new rioters weapon of choice

The nation of Futurestan is a typical overly complex futuristic dystopian utopic society of the 23rd century. Fossil fuels are widely unavailable because only barbarians would think it was a good idea ...
8
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6answers
787 views

Weapons for a civilisation-destroying giant robot

An assortment of alien adolescents accompanying adult aliens on an alcubierre-drive ship just happen to have been passing near the Sol system. Having noticed that there is lots of EM radiation coming ...
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12answers
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How to safely knock someone out

I'm the new superhero on the block. I've got the classic powerset - super-strength and super-durability. I don't have to worry one bit about your average thug hurting me. On the contrary, I'm really ...
18
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9answers
8k views

Advantages of a flame sword?

I was wondering what benefits are granted when a sword is either on fire or emitting flames. I once read that such a weapon would be completely useless, as it would cauterize any wounds it inflicts, ...
15
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17answers
4k views

How to justify the absence of weapons

Think, a post apocalyptic world ravaged by nuclear wars. Most of the population has been eliminated. A small amount, but still a substantial number, a million or so people survive, residing in special ...
13
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3answers
567 views

Quantum containment for nuclear explosive bullets

What is a plausible way to have a micro-scale containment system that prevents excited nuclear isomers from decaying? background A nuclear isomer is an excited state of an atomic nucleus. This is ...
6
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9answers
6k views

Would glass bullets be feasible in a hypothetical world?

Enter the world of hypothetical-ness: Imagine a world where we have used almost all of our copper, lead, and iron supplies and deposits. The amount that we still do have is not enough to make a lot ...
6
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4answers
3k views

How powerful does an orbital laser cannon need to be?

I am an evil genius owning a space station in a 400km orbit around Earth. As part of my plan for world domination I would like to equip this space station with a ground-attack laser cannon. ...
5
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4answers
575 views

Could Nuclear Weapons Divert or Destroy an Asteroid?

This was discussed in another question related to reaching earth's core using nukes. I re-ask it here to (1) stop unintentionally hijacking other topics, and (2) be able to respond (as someone cut my ...
8
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3answers
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How would the rules for carry and use of weapons be affected by reliable stun guns?

Imagine an effective ranged stun gun that renders an opponent unconscious is built in the near future and is easily produced. It works like this: for most people if shot they will be knocked ...
155
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14answers
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How to best upgrade your Towel for military combat? [closed]

Often your Towel is something which is very useful to carry around with you, especially in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where you are taught to upgrade your Towel by, say, reinforcing the ...
67
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11answers
11k views

Let's weaponize jellyfish

Jellyfish are... weird. They're clear, slimy, and can sting after death. Sounds perfect for experimentation, so lets weaponize them! Consider a hypothetical world where jellyfish are extremely common ...
44
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24answers
21k views

Why do aliens who visit us have higher tech than us? Couldn't they wait for us to have it too?

It is a well known fact that if aliens invaded, it would be our puny kill-one-person-then-reload-for-half-a-second-or-more-firearms against their super-cool-ultra-mega-thingy-laser-mumble-quantum-...
52
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11answers
10k views

What would be the best way to fight a duel with lightsabers?

Lightsabers are really, really different from modern swords. They have weightless blades, will cut through their targets independent of velocity, and can be turned on and off fairly quickly. In light ...
65
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20answers
13k views

What kind of weapons could squirrels use?

Okay, so I know this sounds like a joke, but it's not. I am 100% serious. So my world has this kind of... squirrel expy, that is somehow intelligent enough to use weapons + have some sort of society. ...
35
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12answers
7k views

Weaponry made from extreme light-weight steel: swords and daggers

Imagine there was a material that was mostly identical to steel in almost every way, but instead of a density of $7.85–7.87 g/cm^3$ it would be a tenth of that. That is about 4 times lighter than ...
52
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24answers
11k views

Wooden sticks are the only allowed weapons in a technological society - how far would these weapons have progressed by now?

Imagine that the inhabitants of Earth all follow a religion that allows only wooden weapons. How would warfare look nowadays? Commandment 37. 37a) Thou shalt make weapons only from the wood of ...
26
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18answers
7k views

Can spacecraft defend against antimatter weapons? How?

Here is what we know: We have the means to create stable antimatter We can direct it in a beam It can travel nearly as fast as light with ease Antimatter and matter combine in dangerous ...
22
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5answers
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What are the advantages of a coilgun v.s. a railgun?

I want to know the pros and cons of hand held rail guns versus coil guns. They will be given to infantry who can easily lift the weapons. If need be they could have twice the strength of a normal ...
14
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15answers
3k views

Boarding weapons in space

I'm writing a story that's relatively hard Science Fiction. Therefore (Although fancy and high tech) the personal weapons are, at their core, regular firearms. Now, in boarding scenarios you want to ...
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5answers
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Advantages/Disadvantages with Large Naval Guns

When it comes to naval guns, bigger isn't always better. The 46cm/18.1" guns on the Yamato-class battleships didn't have much in the way of advantages over the Iowa-class's 40.6/16" guns. Yet the ...
20
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7answers
3k views

How advanced or effective weapons can be created from mostly animal body parts?

I have a race of carnivorous mammals living in a very resource-poor environment. Due to a mixture of lack of resources (no metal, no wood or tough stems, etc) and cultural taboos, they are only ...
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18answers
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Would 'magic' muskets be a significant advantage over actual muskets?

In my world I have one side armed with 'muskets' which utilize a simple form of magitek. Their 'bullet' is actually a magical 'blast' of condensed magic from the air. Despite being magical in theory,...
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22answers
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What would a sentient, intelligent, but very small bird use as a ranged weapon against human or larger armored targets?

So I have sparrows, which are sentient and intelligent, which are physically exactly still just the same, no extra hands or anything, so any weapon would have to be held in the feet or somehow ...
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9answers
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How can I kill everyone by the age of 25?

Recently, I asked How would government change if everyone died by the age of 25? as something of a thought experiment. After some consideration, though I've developed the premise a bit further, and I'...
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10answers
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How to create a glove that sparks fire when making contact with human skin?

In the universe I am designing, an anthropomorphic species exists that can create fire at will. One normal human wants to trick others into thinking she is one of these creatures. She wants to ...