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Questions tagged [weapons]

For questions about existing weapons or designing new ones.

155
votes
14answers
19k views

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 ...
112
votes
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 ...
101
votes
10answers
20k views

This sword is forged from meteorite iron - but how is that any good?

You know the common trope in fantasy. Meteorite iron is amazing. My armor is made of sky iron, made for me. A bear's armor is his soul, just as your daemon is your soul. You might as well take him ...
72
votes
27answers
12k views

Sword in the rock - make it last the ages

Merlin the wizard has a problem. Sure, it was a piece of cake to move forward in time to the 21st century, procure a sword that was made with the highest 21st century standards, go back in time, and ...
70
votes
18answers
11k views

How do I make an alien technology feel alien?

In a lot of science fiction series, such as Halo, Mass Effect and Gears of War, they show alien technology that is flatly human with a few added-on bells and whistles. It lacks the awe or feel of ...
67
votes
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 ...
65
votes
34answers
18k views

What (modern) weapons could be used to destroy skeletal enemies as completely as possible?

As per the cliché, after getting hit by a truck, our protagonist finds herself in a 'swords and sorcery' fantasy world. Also as per the cliché, she is granted an overpowered ability to make her new ...
65
votes
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. ...
60
votes
31answers
22k views

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 ...
59
votes
10answers
10k views

Is it possible to create a practical sword that's naturally toxic?

While doing research, I stumbled across the alloy "arsenical bronze", in which copper is smelted with arsenic instead of (or in addition to) tin. This apparently gives you "a stronger final product ...
56
votes
22answers
13k views

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 ...
56
votes
18answers
16k views

Could a joke be funny enough to kill?

(This Monty Python sketch got me thinking) Could a joke be funny enough to actually kill a person? By "joke", I'm referring to the written/typed and narrated types of "jokes" (videos, pictures, ...
55
votes
7answers
12k views

How fast would a sword need to be to avoid getting blood on it?

If a sword were to be swung horizontally, through the torso of a human being, how fast would it need to be to not have blood on it after the swing? Assume the sword and its user are together able to ...
54
votes
26answers
8k views

Designing Hacking Arrows

How would you design a piercing projectile (arrows, bullets, shurikens, etc) that can deliver a payload of malicious software to a computer that it is shot into? Although it is rather silly and ...
53
votes
20answers
14k views

Would a fighter pilot with an invincible space ship be able to conquer the galaxy?

Setting Not so long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, there were two civilizations at war. Both were at war because the leaders of both wanted more and more power. Both were advanced and mined the ...
53
votes
30answers
8k views

How to subtly identify a weapon as powerfully magical?

I don't want to outright go out and say it: "Billy found the +5 magical staff Rynn's Lament," since a) that would be a n00b mistake and b) my character is not called Billy. In my worlds, magic is ...
52
votes
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 ...
52
votes
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 ...
51
votes
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 ...
51
votes
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, ...
50
votes
20answers
10k views

Why would people still use pump-action guns in the future?

9 out of 10 action heroes agree: Repeating a pump-action shotgun looks and feels just plain awesome. But besides the rule of cool, why would we still use pump-action guns in a future scenario 100-200 ...
49
votes
10answers
11k views

Are endothermic bombs possible?

Explosives as we know them are exothermic: they produce heat and light, or, in other words, energy is expelled. Let's consider endothermic bombs: weapons that, upon detonation, consume heat and / or ...
48
votes
5answers
5k views

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 ...
46
votes
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 ...
46
votes
15answers
6k views

Effects of bullets firing while in a handgun's magazine

A pacifist pyrokinetic in my story is accosted by several armed men. They have handguns, but they are currently holstered and do not have rounds in their chambers (these nameless thugs are all about ...
46
votes
9answers
7k views

Could a mouth-mounted gun be fired without damage to the shooter?

The world where the question spans over a 100 years between 1945 and 2045, the story beginning just at the end of WWII, and proceeding in such a way that never saw the end of the Cold War all the way ...
44
votes
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-...
42
votes
14answers
9k views

Mosquito Assassin: What is the most deadly substance that can be injected into someone?

Designing an electronic 'mosquito' among my arsenal of 'bugs'. Some work as remote ears, others as eyes. This mosquito is the assassin. He can fly into a room and when he 'bites' someone can inject ...
42
votes
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 ...
42
votes
9answers
12k views

Would a wound from a monomolecular blade instantly heal?

Or, phrased another way, how thick would the blade behind the cutting edge need to be in order to cause significant and lasting damage to a human body? My question can be considered an expansion of ...
40
votes
11answers
10k views

How disarmed does a nuclear bomb get by shooting it? [closed]

A Simple scenario; you have a guy with a gun (a very big and loud gun), and a ticking nuke with seconds left. All the controls, buttons, and wiring on the thing are in a different language, and he’s ...
40
votes
15answers
9k views

What would justify hunting dragons that are made with real physics, with melee weapons?

In many depictions of dragon slaying, we often see people fighting dragons toe to toe with melee weapons, like swords or axes. But in real life, we kill actual gigantic animals, like elephants or ...
40
votes
11answers
14k views

Is the whip sword feasible?

There are many weapons that appear in fantasy that are unrealistic for use in combat, from Cloud's sword in Final Fantasy to Daedric weaponry in Skyrim. One of these (less-than-realistic, in this case,...
39
votes
17answers
10k views

How to realistically create a bow that's also two one-handed swords?

In the anime RWBY most characters have crazy weapons with multiple forms, like a scythe, that’s also a gun, or a gauntlet, that’s also a gun or a sword, that’s also a scythe AND a gun! But the ...
38
votes
32answers
29k views

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'. ...
38
votes
13answers
10k views

How advantageous is an invisible sword?

An adventurer has come into possession of an invisible sword. How advantageous in a duel or skirmish would this be? Good for a one-time trick, a significant advantage throughout a fight, or even a ...
38
votes
14answers
11k views

The gun which makes no sound

Is a gun which produces no sounds within the human range of hearing possible? I know of a couple issues: Most bullets move quick enough to make a whistling sound, but I may be incorrect in that ...
38
votes
5answers
10k views

Why would someone carry a traditional longbow instead of compound bow?

I have a community with great knowledge but limited resources so bows are preferenced over guns. Is there any reason why their warriors would carry "English" long bows instead of modern style compound ...
38
votes
15answers
6k views

What would be favoured weapons and weapon styles of a four-armed human?

I have a race of humanoids with 4 hands. They are on average 7 feet tall and are as dexterous with each of their 4 hands as a human is dexterous with each of their arms. What kinds of weapons would ...
37
votes
14answers
6k views

Suitable real world critters for a causing mayhem (disabling comm and defense systems) via catapult?

So I have a concept in mind for a future dystopian world. The world: Technology exists on par with modern technology. This technology is not widespread; in fact, it is quite rare. Most humans do not ...
37
votes
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 ...
36
votes
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 ...
36
votes
14answers
9k views

How can hornets be engineered to kill a human with a single sting?

Asian Giant Hornets are particularly vicious and deliver a dose of neurotoxin to its victims. Generally an average of 59 stings are sufficient to kill a healthy non-allergic man Given a suitable ...
36
votes
16answers
21k views

Modern soldiers carry axes instead of combat knives. Why?

In my alternative history story, taking place at the end of the 20th century, one country has an army with platoons of airborne scouts. But unlike modern special forces they don't use combat knives as ...
35
votes
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 ...
35
votes
18answers
14k views

What kind of realistic ranged weapons would be effective in spaceship combat?

So my indomitable army of bunnies have developed space travel and built their first space ship for the exploration of the great universe. However they have a problem! After some consultation with the ...
35
votes
14answers
9k views

What would be the ideal melee weapon for someone with superhuman strength?

Many video games and movies set in a medieval-like fantasy setting feature implausibly huge weapons, which would be completely impractical in real combat. Sometimes people defend the realism of ...
34
votes
21answers
15k views

Are “Midas” swords useless for warfare?

Are swords, spears, and arrows that turn slain enemies into pure gold useful, in medieval combat, or are they useless aside from free money? Notes about the weapons: flesh wounds don't turn people ...
34
votes
36answers
12k views

How can I make guns available, but not swords?

I'm writing a world where iron is incredibly rare and the technology to make more complex metals like steel was never developed. However, both lead and niter are incredibly common, so firearms were ...
33
votes
20answers
9k views

What projectile weapon can replace a bow under the following circumstances?

I have a race of elf-like humanoids that live in a forest. One of their best methods of travel is what you may call "forest running". They are attuned to the harmonic movement of the forest from a ...