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51 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Massive carbon dioxide flood This would work like a limnic eruption such as killed nearly two thousand people at Lake Nyos, and also many animals. People suffocated, and it was noted at the time that ...
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25 votes
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A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

If you had some way of efficiently generating neutral particle radiation without generating a whole load of gamma rays at the same time, you could make a neutron bomb that actually worked like people ...
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22 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Kill Switch In the distant future, the Facebook Pepsi Corporation covers five eights of the planet. Every child is fitted with a Facebook Pepsi "Hornet" implant at the base of their spine ...
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18 votes
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Accuracy limits of Victorian-era rifles

Accuracy variables: There are a lot of variables that are tricky to control for your super-sniper, mostly the quality of the industrial processes at the time. If he maintains his own gun-smithy, he ...
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14 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

This kind of weapon exists and is called a nerve agent. A famous example is sarin, which was twice used in terrorist attacks in Japan. From the wiki: Exposure is lethal even at very low ...
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13 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Nanobot swarm Nanobots are highly advanced nanotechnology used in warfare. They are released in swarms (which covers the criteria to be noticeable). They can be controlled and they are able to target ...
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11 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Don't say. The war people were working on something. They must have found something. Because everyone is dead. Like they just sat down and died. Even in the tanks and war machines; even in the ...
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7 votes

How to justify guns being advanced earlier

Byzantine gun tech Secrecy, Technology, and War: Greek Fire and the Defense of Byzantium, 678-1204 The question is secrecy. At the heart of the Greek fire story is the legend that this ultimate ...
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7 votes

Firearms in early modern time - who could afford them?

Grades of Guns: We are used to the idea today that guns should be clean, efficient, and highly functional weapons that work more-or-less like they are supposed to, fire multiple shots, and generally ...
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6 votes

Accuracy limits of Victorian-era rifles

Pretty poor First, let me endorse the answer by DWKraus, which does a good job of enumerating many of the variables that will contribute to inaccuracy. There are a few additional points, however, ...
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6 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Halt all brain synapse for a bit (Brain EMP) Imagine a sustained EMP, but rather than targeting wired electronics, it's geared specifically to overload the electrics within our brain. Hold the brain ...
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5 votes

How to justify guns being advanced earlier

Better steel, lots of good deposits of sodium/potassium nitrate, alchemical discovery of guncotton Gun technology was hamstrung by these factors for quite some time. Lack of good steel (or the ability ...
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5 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Supervillain First, the hapless population of the planet was passivated and caused to accept the idea of a supervillain surrounding them with broadcasting satellites. The satellites released a ...
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4 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

The Ice-nine Approach Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle uses as its primary macguffin Ice-nine, an allotrope of water that is solid at higher temperatures than more common ice and self-catalyzes crystallization ...
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4 votes

Defending against dinosaurs with an automatic shotgun that fires miniaturized anti-tank munitions

Do you know the term Elephant Gun? Calibers like .600 Nitro Express or .460 Weatherby Magnum. Those are what a hunter needs to face an elephant or similar animal, and to bring it down with one well-...
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4 votes
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Defending against dinosaurs with an automatic shotgun that fires miniaturized anti-tank munitions

Enough to P*ss it off: A 12 gauge shotgun shell, even one filled with high explosive, is a relatively small projectile for anti-vehicle weapons. If I'm reading the specs right, it's actually a tiny ...
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3 votes

Defending against dinosaurs with an automatic shotgun that fires miniaturized anti-tank munitions

You don't need a shaped-charge bullet to kill a dinosaur. Regular armor-piercing ammunition will work. Sure, maybe a dinosaur has too much bone and meat for a normal, jacketed lead bullet to do the ...
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3 votes

Defending against dinosaurs with an automatic shotgun that fires miniaturized anti-tank munitions

Maybe with Modifications This is the only image I can find about what these rounds do when fired. For scale the round in the top image is small enough to fit inside a normal shotgun casing. The ...
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3 votes

Accuracy limits of Victorian-era rifles

By 1870, effective range of sharpshooting was about 1000 yards This was pretty much as good as early rifles like Sharps rifle or Whitworth rifle could do reliably. General John Sedgwick was killed ...
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  • 40.7k
3 votes

Cryogenic weapon

Dineutrinos Note: I was making this up, but doing a web search, I see that dineutrinos actually exist. Whether they can be used this way ... well, the first ArXiv paper I looked at seemed quite hard ...
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3 votes

Accuracy limits of Victorian-era rifles

To get those long ranges your shooter will be shooting up at an angle. AKA "volley fire". The Enfield had sights to facilitate this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWOw9Q6bovs But the ...
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  • 272k
2 votes

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Vacuum bomb Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, ...
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2 votes

How to justify guns being advanced earlier

Things that need simply someone with a bright idea: Socket bayonets replacing plug bayonets, soon after plug bayonets replaced pike-and-shot formations. An unshaken pike block still beats musketeers ...
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2 votes

How to justify guns being advanced earlier

With war comes innovation My suggestion is that in your world. A world war happens early as well. Empires have conjoined into about 5 major powerhouses. and allies have been formed. Minor wars lead up ...
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2 votes

Defending against dinosaurs with an automatic shotgun that fires miniaturized anti-tank munitions

These would be very effective. Doing my own research and definitely not stealing from Daron I got these pictures: https://i.stack.imgur.com/jRgmd.png https://i.stack.imgur.com/dk9SI.png The FRAG12 ...
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1 vote

If all humans of this era suddenly became fast enough to dodge bullets, how would this change the military's choice of weaponry?

Different guns have different bullet speeds. BB guns are the slowest, comparable to paintball shots. Most guns nowadays however shoot bullets that come out of the barrel faster than sound. If everyone ...
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1 vote

Cryogenic weapon

Basically, no. The problem is not just that the bullet has to act like a heat sink of nearly infinite capacity. The real problem is that the target body has a finite thermal conductivity, and ice in ...
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1 vote

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Perhaps a bit less hard scifi, but say they invented teleportation a la Star Trek, but due to power constraints full body teleportation is too costly (and certainly too costly to affect an entire ...
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1 vote

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

If the goal is just to leave intact corpses, then there are a lot of options – poison gas, plague, radiation – but they are all far from "clean". Any chemical or biological agent is ...
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  • 4,434
1 vote

A weapon that can instantly kill millions without harming the bodies

Anti-gravity satellites Special device (or weapon) emitting a gravity beam to pick up people from the surface and put them in a low orbit trajectory, long enough to kill them. Most times they need to ...
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