Questions tagged [weapons]

For questions about existing weapons or designing new ones.

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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 ...
Samuel's user avatar
  • 48.5k
31 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Culyx's user avatar
  • 4,339
57 votes
22 answers
16k 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 ...
r3y3s00's user avatar
  • 591
55 votes
13 answers
10k 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, ...
DaaaahWhoosh's user avatar
29 votes
17 answers
10k 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 ...
DaaaahWhoosh's user avatar
65 votes
31 answers
26k 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 ...
user avatar
32 votes
13 answers
22k 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, ...
Danny Reagan's user avatar
  • 6,056
42 votes
32 answers
35k 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'. ...
wposeyjr's user avatar
  • 1,200
28 votes
6 answers
100k 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 ...
Sunspear25's user avatar
25 votes
24 answers
9k 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 ...
Pasqueflower's user avatar
  • 1,178
19 votes
8 answers
5k 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
24k 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 ...
DaaaahWhoosh's user avatar
15 votes
9 answers
30k 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 ...
JD Solomon's user avatar
  • 1,112
6 votes
4 answers
879 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 ...
leoman's user avatar
  • 129
5 votes
3 answers
405 views

What weapons would fossorial people use?

The fossorial people are similar to humans. They are around 3ft tall as adults. Their limbs are far stronger, and their hands and feet are larger, with the fingers being shorter and more robust, and ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
141 votes
35 answers
32k 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 ...
Skye's user avatar
  • 10.2k
59 votes
15 answers
8k views

Quenching swords in dragon blood; why?

Imagine a typical fantasy world. Elves, goblins, dragons, magic. If you were to equate it to a D&D campaign, you would be close enough for proverbial government work. That said, thanks to time ...
Xavon_Wrentaile's user avatar
58 votes
21 answers
20k 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 ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
  • 56.2k
41 votes
14 answers
21k 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 ...
vsz's user avatar
  • 11.2k
26 votes
9 answers
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 ...
Feaurie Vladskovitz's user avatar
17 votes
7 answers
15k 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 ...
Llama_guy's user avatar
  • 981
16 votes
6 answers
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 ...
Mikey's user avatar
  • 17.4k
14 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
Pavel Janicek's user avatar
14 votes
11 answers
4k 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 ...
Feaurie Vladskovitz's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Smoj's user avatar
  • 963
7 votes
4 answers
752 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 ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
2k views

Forging metal under water, using thermite

I have a world setting that contains a variety of underwater species, some crustacean, some cephalopodic, and other varieties. Different species are adapted to different depths, and a few are ...
SkyBandit's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
13k 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 ...
Dustin Eiland's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
573 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?
Eric clifford's user avatar
52 votes
5 answers
14k 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 ...
Trismegistus's user avatar
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50 votes
19 answers
9k 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 ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.5k
38 votes
17 answers
11k 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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
37 votes
19 answers
10k views

How long could a late WW2-era battleship last under sustained ship of the line cannon fire?

In an alternate world of magic, a battleship similar in design to the Bismarck is stopped in the middle of the ocean. It was built by a society of Earth humans who moved to this world. All other ...
In the name of the story's user avatar
37 votes
14 answers
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 ...
Tomáš Zato's user avatar
  • 2,347
36 votes
18 answers
12k 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,...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.5k
32 votes
24 answers
5k 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 ...
Feaurie Vladskovitz's user avatar
32 votes
25 answers
8k 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 ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 3,806
25 votes
12 answers
13k 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 ...
Sora2455's user avatar
  • 559
24 votes
20 answers
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 ...
Jake's user avatar
  • 1,998
17 votes
9 answers
13k 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, ...
JD Solomon's user avatar
  • 1,112
16 votes
14 answers
25k 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 ...
Li Jun's user avatar
  • 8,899
15 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
DaaaahWhoosh's user avatar
15 votes
17 answers
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 ...
user96551's user avatar
  • 1,088
15 votes
3 answers
853 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 ...
JDługosz's user avatar
  • 69.5k
13 votes
18 answers
6k views

Modern era with magic that will stop gunpowder from igniting, what weapons are used instead?

One of the annoying problems with most urban fantasy series I've read is that they seem to mostly try to avoid discussing the fact that most of their fearsome magical foes could be felled with a ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.5k
13 votes
7 answers
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 ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 60.3k
11 votes
3 answers
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 ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.5k
8 votes
9 answers
9k 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 ...
Kit's user avatar
  • 478
7 votes
4 answers
628 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 ...
Mattias's user avatar
  • 1,430
6 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 353

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