Questions tagged [weapons]

For questions about existing weapons or designing new ones.

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48
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
57
votes
22answers
15k 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 ...
53
votes
13answers
9k 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, ...
62
votes
31answers
24k 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 ...
25
votes
16answers
7k views

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 ...
29
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3answers
5k 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 ...
24
votes
25answers
8k views

Sci-Fi weapon that can kill people through armor, but doesn't damage starship hulls?

I have been trying to come up with some kind of small arm that could be used in a science fiction setting with the following two characteristics: It is designed so that it won't put a hole in a ...
17
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
133
votes
35answers
28k 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 ...
55
votes
20answers
17k 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 ...
30
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13answers
14k views

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, ...
40
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32answers
33k 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'. ...
37
votes
14answers
14k 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 ...
16
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6answers
1k views

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 ...
12
votes
9answers
24k views

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 ...
12
votes
11answers
3k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
696 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
369 views

Could a percussion rifle be produced in the 15th-17th century?

Could a percussion rifle such as the springfield m1861 be made somewhere between the 15th-17th century? If so how would it be made?
15
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5answers
1k 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
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
45
votes
19answers
7k 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 ...
37
votes
17answers
10k 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 ...
31
votes
25answers
7k 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 ...
50
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5answers
12k 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 ...
31
votes
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 ...
24
votes
5answers
74k views

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 ...
37
votes
14answers
8k 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 ...
24
votes
12answers
11k views

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 ...
11
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
32
votes
18answers
11k views

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,...
25
votes
9answers
8k 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
votes
20answers
7k 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 ...
18
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8answers
4k views

A Non-Iron Elvish Steel

One of the most overlooked elements of modern fantasy is that cold iron serves as either an effective shield or an effective weapon against supernatural creatures, like fairies or spirits. With that ...
18
votes
9answers
11k 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, ...
16
votes
14answers
13k views

Is it possible to make sharp wind that can cut stuff from afar?

You know the typical wind slash in anime or games where the swordsman slashes from afar either vertically or horizontally and the wind pressure or projectile cut the opponent, like in this image for ...
15
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7answers
13k views

Handheld weapons, plasma vs. laser

Assume a fairly futuristic scenario where we can deal with the energy requirements of handheld laser weapons and the realistic creation of plasma ammunition etc. From what I understand a plasma gun ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

Weapons for Long-armed (Winged) Dragons?

In a world I am building, I have a race of Dragons. A lot about them is based around questions previously asked on this site; as a result, most of them are around human-sized and cannot fly (a pox on ...
15
votes
17answers
5k 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
votes
3answers
656 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
619 views

Planet of the Aves: Low tech Weaponry

On the planet of the Aves, birds have evolved to dominate the Earth instead of mammals. Of the thousands of species in this world, both on the ground and in the water, the only one to develop sapience ...
6
votes
4answers
546 views

How can I make an anti-matter “rod” warhead for interplanetary delivery?

In the story I'm writing, a civil war is fought between Earth and Mars. Although there is a huge orbital and ground war campaign, conditions deteriorate to the point where Earth decides to unleash the ...
6
votes
9answers
7k 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 of ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What subatomic particle is best for a particle accelerator gun?

Theoretically, assuming it was possible and practical to take a particle accelerator and turn it into a gun/cannon weapon, and use it to shoot accelerated subatomic particles. What sort of subatomic ...
6
votes
4answers
4k 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. ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
914 views

Sonic Weapon for Non-Lethal Crowd Control [closed]

In my book there is violent protesting throughout the city. Peacekeepers have been called to quell any acts of violence, but there are rebels amongst the crowd that attack and kill peacekeepers when ...
157
votes
14answers
20k 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 ...
74
votes
35answers
22k 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 ...
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 ...

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