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87 votes
Accepted

Is the concept of a biometric smart gun that will detonate when anyone besides its owner touches the weapon unrealistic?

A smart gun which only fires in the hands of an authorised individual -- which may include any soldier in your army -- is a useful and practical concept. It may have issues when transferring weapons ...
David Hambling's user avatar
77 votes
Accepted

Can guns be rendered unusable by changing the atmosphere?

Make the atmosphere more combustible by adding lots of methane or other super-volatile gases. It won't stop the guns from functioning, but it will make using them suicidal for the wielder. It does ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
  • 69.2k
68 votes

Could you strap shotguns to the back of a centaur to be fired during a charge?

Johnny walked the two pairs of shotguns over to Stormhoof and Cloudwing. “So, you strap these on so they are on either side. Then when you get to their line, pull these strings and they’ll shoot. ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
65 votes

Effect of Modern Firearms on Dinosaurs

Movies like the Jurassic Park series often fail to understand the psychology of dinosaurs, as well as that of even modern animals. Solitary predators, no matter how powerful, are cowardly by necessity:...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 61.9k
63 votes

What effects would propellant that expands at near light speed have on firearm technology?

(...) propellant that expands at near light speeds (...) It doesn't matter whether the projectiles themselves would go near light speed... Just the propellants doing so would already be quite ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
58 votes

Can one rig a revolver to guarantee that the only bullet in Russian Roulette is in the last chamber?

Two Identical Guns: Your criminal has a matched set. One is pre-loaded to be only in the last chamber OR just empty (and concealed out of sight of the victim). The criminal does his whole show, steps ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.7k
52 votes

Which modern firearm should a time traveler bring to be easily reproducible for a historic civilization?

Bring the Tools, not the Weapons The hard part here is getting the precision tooling you will need done right. Rifling a barrel and pressing ammunition is pretty darn hard without the right equipment,...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
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49 votes
Accepted

What's the most advanced weapon a time traveler from the 21st century could make with the technology of the Middle Ages?

(I feel bad about giving this answer, given how horrifying this weapon continues to be in the modern world, and how unconscionable it is to have it widespread any earlier in history, but...) You are ...
IchabodE's user avatar
  • 5,688
48 votes

Can a precognitive dodge modern firearms?

It's complicated: First of all, kudos for limiting it to five seconds. More than that starts getting strange. Second, I strongly suspect you're going to start hitting a problem with precognition, ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.7k
47 votes

If humans had no access to gunpowder, what else would they use to power guns?

Gunpowder with a different ignitor than sulfur. A primer on explosives for coal miners. US Geological Survey Bulletin 1911 The heavy lifting in gunpowder is done by charcoal (the fuel) and potassium ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
46 votes
Accepted

How would I make guns uncreatable in a post-apocalyptic world?

The Japanese Samurai were enthusiastic proponents of firearms. One of the most dramatic scenes in a Japanese movie is the ending of Kagemusha, which recreates the Battle of Nagashino, where the Takeda ...
Thucydides's user avatar
  • 97.7k
45 votes

What effects would propellant that expands at near light speed have on firearm technology?

In point of fact, you do not want fast propellants in firearms. Here's what happens when you load a fast-burning pistol powder into rifle cartridges: http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2015/01/what-...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 20.5k
45 votes

What would the proper shooting stance be for a recoil-free arm cannon?

Yes, you are right. Under those rules, aligning hand (or arm), shoulder, eye and body in the straightest way would be the best posture for accuracy. Essentially the postures adopted by Olympic ...
Faerindel's user avatar
  • 2,050
45 votes

Why would guns not work in the dungeon?

Forfeit If this is a reality show, then there must be cameras (or something analogous). And it's in the interests of the show runners to get good footage of the event, so it should already be against ...
Admiral Jota's user avatar
  • 1,722
45 votes
Accepted

Effect of Modern Firearms on Dinosaurs

For most dinosaurs just use a living animal of the same size, when possible use ground birds for bipedal dinosaurs. For anything else use a mammal of similar size. Just be aware head shots are less ...
John's user avatar
  • 81.5k
44 votes

In a post-apocalyptic future planet where robots are the only sentient life... why would they use wild-west and WW2-era tech?

The simplest approach would be, as far as I can tell given the tech levels, to have the robots' programming dictate that they need to use those weapons. As a potential option, have the protagonists' ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 32.1k
43 votes

Can guns be rendered unusable by changing the atmosphere?

Considering the propellant in all munitions that I'm aware of (except fuel-air bombs and spud guns) is self-oxidising, that is to say, it requires nothing from the atmosphere (guns and bombs work fine ...
Samwise's user avatar
  • 4,444
43 votes
Accepted

Why limit to revolvers?

The answer is cold welding. Modern engineers struggle to prevent cold welding in space from destroying moving parts. Maybe your engineers have come up with a coating for the inside of the guns that ...
Ryan_L's user avatar
  • 13.8k
43 votes
Accepted

Which modern firearm should a time traveler bring to be easily reproducible for a historic civilization?

Unless he's an expert metallurgist the biggest issue you're going to have isn't in terms of producing the parts; anyone with a drill and a hand file (or some rocks that will serve the purpose) and ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 45.4k
43 votes
Accepted

Best way to smell-proof a revolver in 1998?

Total jacketed rounds Your character is in luck. There's an excellent an air-tight container for bullets of all sorts: the jacket! Jacketed rounds were invented for a number of reasons, but one of ...
Daniel B's user avatar
  • 19.7k
42 votes
Accepted

Post-apocalypse ammo

You can make bullets out of almost any metal if you want, but there are always going to be tradeoffs. Why are most bullets today made of lead? It's dense. This means that you get more mass (hence ...
Tim B   II's user avatar
  • 54.1k
42 votes

Elves with Guns: how do they avoid blowing their ears out on the battlefield?

Elves don't have the same health concerns as humans. Elves are elves, so inherently have superior biology to humans. When your lifespan is thousands and thousands of years you're going to need ...
DKNguyen's user avatar
  • 11.1k
41 votes

Is the concept of a biometric smart gun that will detonate when anyone besides its owner touches the weapon unrealistic?

There are cases where you want someone to handle the gun without firing it. Just to name a few: the legitimate holder has lost the gun and someone returns it to them the legitimate holder is dead but ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 291k
40 votes

Post-apocalypse ammo

Boring old lead shot. This is post apocalypse! Can't we jazz it up some? Let us consider the blunderbuss, a black powder muzzle-loaded shotgun and a fine weapon for your survivors. I thought you ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
39 votes

Best gun in the post-apocalyptic Wasteland?

I'll start by assuming the your aim is survival - not to finish off World War 3 Learn to use a spear/club/javelin. First Point - Modern ammunition has a finite supply - it cannot be replaced if the ...
Mon's user avatar
  • 17.4k
37 votes

If humans had no access to gunpowder, what else would they use to power guns?

I present you a real weapon used in real wars, made in 1779. The Girardoni air rifle. It was not merely an experimental curiosity, it was mass-produced and was in active military service for decades. ...
vsz's user avatar
  • 11.2k
35 votes

Guns vs. Moon Dust

Dust is going to be a big problem for anything with moving parts. Moon dust caused all kinds of havoc with the Apollo missions, getting all over every surface, causing respiratory problems, destroying ...
AndyD273's user avatar
  • 34.7k
35 votes
Accepted

Reasons to pack weapons on interstellar mission?

No. They don't need to pack weapons. The very spaceship they are travelling from Proxima Centauri is already absolutely packed with weapons because by itself it is a weapon. Its propulsion system ...
a4android's user avatar
  • 38.5k
35 votes
Accepted

Energy sheathed bullets: What's the point?

Armor penetration Conventional bullets all work the same way: by applying kinetic energy directly to a small area on the target and punching through it. This is relatively easy to armor against: hard ...
Cadence's user avatar
  • 38.5k
34 votes

Why did the "Orks" never develop better firearms than Firelances and Handcannons?

Firearms were adopted primarily because they could be effectively used by relatively unskilled people with little training against warriors who had been trained for a lifetime. They were actually ...
Thucydides's user avatar
  • 97.7k

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