New answers tagged

-1

A "Justice" system for dealing with infractions against a political/legal code, or potentially for high level society members to punish/control/torture the others through fear/force. Imagine a misdemeanor offense requiring the defendant to go to a range and fire a single shot, a felony might require up to five shots, while a high crime requires the ...


-1

just use a U-shaped pipe mechanism, so if the energy from the failed shot goes backwards, it is also redirected to the forward.


2

You can compare them by analogy to a real-world weapon that also has a high chance of backfiring and yet still sees widespread deployment: Nukes. (Admittedly, nuclear war invites overwhelming retaliation more than it directly backfires. But the results are the same, insofar as inflicting devestating harm on the aggressor.) Guns would be used as defensive ...


0

They could just use light-gas guns instead of guns powered by gunpowder. Light-gas guns are basically a very powerful version of air guns. The idea is that you have a piston that compresses a light gas (usually hydrogen or helium) and then a rupture disk that breaks when the light gas reaches a specific (and very high) pressure. The light gas then blows ...


3

Polymer cased and telescoped ammunition was the basis of the LSAT program, which has evolved into the Next Generation Squad Weapon. The smaller size and weight of the polymer cased, telescoped rounds allows soldiers to either shed some weight while carrying the same amount of ammunition as today, or increase their load outs for the same amount of weight as ...


3

Polymer-cased Maybe. One advantage of metallic cases is that they take thermal energy with them as they are ejected. It would take a good look at the tradeoffs involved. Shotguns have made the transition, after all. Telescoping Again maybe. The advantages of telescoping ammunition are in storage, which might apply to small arms as well as autocannon. ...


1

How interesting! I like those ideas you have bullet pointed, especially the witch-dunking trial. I think that the limitation of guns backfiring isn't going to stop civilizations from developing advanced weapons. Sure, in the beginning after people realize how dangerous these things are they will focus their battles on using swords, bows and arrows, etc.. ...


1

You are a spy on a secret mission. Any spies that get caught will be killed. Any weapon other than a magic gun will be found immediately, you will be identified as a spy, and killed. Bringing a magic gun with you gives you a decent chance to escape if a single person finds out you are a spy, instead of certain death. Or you are a harmless citizen on a walk ...


0

I like the idea of using some of the more insidious techniques. Perhaps a railgun/coilgun could be used to fire nanobots. The nanobots manage to get past the ship's defenses and still carry enough energy to penetrate the hull. Now the nanobots start converting the hull into more nanobots. The issue is that nanobots must be externally controlled, so they each ...


0

The handgun grenade (tm). This device looks just like a pistol it's balanced so when you throw it it flies like an axe. When you pull the trigger it starts a mechanical timer. When the timer counts down to zero the pistol fires. Now look, it doesn't matter if it the gunpowder explodes in the gun 50% of the time or not. It's going to do 100% of the exploding ...


7

If a magic 50/50 gun randomly kills either the target or the triggerman, then one way to make it a 100/0 gun is to make the target the same as the triggerman. This immediately suggests two applications: Suicide. I recall reading a sci-fi story a long time ago in which, IIRC, guns were outlawed(?) and so you had to go to extra lengths to commit suicide; the ...


8

Trial by combat https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_by_combat In a trial by combat, adversaries would settle their cases with a trial by combat. This method was used in the past in Europe. (note, it's apparently an exclusively germanic thing; the related trial by ordeal is much more widespread, but the combat between parties is exclusively germanic). A trial ...


1

It's hard to imagine that a weapon would have a 50% chance of backfiring and not be improved. There are so many ways you could make the triggering remote and therefore safer that it is silly to think that wouldn't happen. However, assuming a 50% self-kill and 50% enemy-kill ratio it could be used in: Arming untrained civilians Trained soldiers with swords ...


4

Whilst most people would baulk at the 50% risk of a lethal backfire, there are people who will take that risk. Suicide bombers are a thing; however, this may not fit well into your world, and it may be hard to explain why they'd use guns instead of bombs. Sniping is a possibility, assuming that one can train with firearms without risk – I think your ...


2

Minefields I think you might get some truly terrifying minefields. Assuming that putting some distance between yourself and where they are planted before they detonate gives you some level of protection, then you have a field of explosives that might kill an enemy because: a) You step on one and it explodes under you. b) Someone else steps on one a short ...


48

Booby traps. If half the time the guns wound the person they are aimed at, and half the time they wound the person firing them, then make it so the person they are aimed at is the one setting them off.


2

They would use other ranged weapons that don't involve gunpowder, possibly including: Bows (most likely compact designs like the English shortbow or Japanese hankyu). Crossbows Slings Javelins and other thrown weapons Swords might get used, but they would be backup weapons for people using bows or crossbows. The linchpin is whether or not technology has ...


1

Just an excuse to wear more armor If guns are not widely used, then your ennemies probably use swords and bows. Hence you'll probably have to wear an heavy armor. And those are more than able to protect you from a handgun explosion. Edit In fact, you could simply add a protection to the gun itself. If the explosion itself is not magic, it is not a Dangerous ...


13

Use them anyway Guns have become ubiquitous because they are powerful. They are significantly better than other alternatives, which is why they have dominated warfare for hundreds of years. These weapons are too invaluable to be discarded. States, extremist groups, and those in an inescapable bind would use these to horrific effect. If guns had a 50/50 ...


-1

You can use a concept like lasers; they can be more targeted to damage shields. Because the lasers definitely have the velocity to pierce the shields of an enemy ship. I also think that we can use particle accelerators (if they can be shrunk down and with the use of efficient energy sources mounted on the ship) can fire a high velocity stream of electrons, ...


0

then they'd be abandoned. No weapon with a 50 percent reliability and 50% chance of failure would ever be fielded on a battle. You'd kill half your forces to misshaps.


16

Answer: Paperweights. If every firearm ever invented is likely to 'backfire' 50% of the time when used and thereby endanger the user no-one will touch them. No matter how sophisticated or elaborate the design the user would be better off equipped with a cross bow or a long bow or even a sling. Its another story however with Grenades and or Rockets. Both are '...


19

If powder ignition is strictly 50% mundane effects and 50% "bad" magical effects you can use this phenomena to create a true random number generator. It's a physical phenomena that might be superior to observing things like radioactive decay if you build the right equipment for it.


7

SHOOT GUNS WITH YOUR GUNS If all the gunpowder has bad juju in it, take a lot of it, shoot this thing at your enemy with a gun that not requires gunpowder (trebuchet, crossbow, etc) and let it explode on impact. The half chance of the bullet going fowards or backwards DOES NOT MATTER if they are both the enemy. Basically all guns are considered area ...


1

I don't think ptfe would be non letal even if you tryed. I use PFTE tubes in my 3d printers and they are only as slippery as their surface finish. You see, if the surface of the tube is smooth it has really low friction, but with time it degrades from the contact with the filament and the surface becomes rought, and the friction increases. If you coat the ...


3

Cannons would be buried in the ground with a solid metal hatch that is closed immediately after firing. If the round returns, it harmlessly bounces off the hatch. or The return shots miss because the barrel exit is away from the head of the soldier.


14

VOLLEY GUNS: Why would you use a gun that kills the person standing behind it as often as in front? Why, obviously don't stand behind it. Put your guns on carts, fired en mass at the enemy. Have the fuse or lanyard be somewhere OTHER than behind the guns. Weapons like this were being built around the time of the Civil war, and used to defend narrow places ...


52

Springs All you're doing is writing off one mechanism of stored mechanical energy - gunpowder. That doesn't make swords the default, that makes people look harder for other means of flinging things accurately through the air. Repeating crossbows for example, or simply refinements of the standard crossbow. Do the properties of gunpowder hold true if it's ...


8

And if all other plans fail, why not sacrifice yourself for the cause? Your life for his. Before Altair, that was the Levantine approach. That is my favorite quote from Assassin's Creed Unity. And it makes sense historically: the real world assassins are mostly known in the west because of their branch that specialized in conflict. They were called the ...


3

One possible use would be in playing a version of Russian roulette. Another possible use would be in mass executions. The gun would be firmly mounted to fire in one direction. One victim scheduled for execution would be tied up firmly in place with his heart right in front of the muzzle of the gun. Another victim scheduled for execution would be tied in ...


1

Check out 2 websites: 'Tough SF and 'Atomic rockets' for details on space based particle and laser weapons Plus missiles and and other concepts). There are examples of different potential types of energy weapons and discussions of the engineering and energy requirements of each. Plus comments on their relative merits as potential weapon systems. The NASA ...


3

/highly visible/ To be visible the beam must either give off light itself, or excite the medium it is traveling through to give off light. In an atmosphere that would be the air. If the particles were dropping off energy in the air it could heat the air to glowing: this would be flames. If the particles very rapidly heated the air that would be analogous ...


0

People talking about metal and plastic printers, but what about resin ones? Well, here you can see an AMAZING person do it, and it works really well. Can't say much about durabillity tough, it is a really new field. But the cool thing is resin printers are pricier than plastic ones, but WAY WAY WAY cheaper than metal ones. And everyone with a bit of ...


6

As previously mentioned, US military research in the 90s on slippery materials as a nonlethal means of area denial for crowd control suggested the concept was not effective. This was known as the Mobility Denial System. Sticky materials also proved ineffective for other reasons (mainly, sticky foam is too dangerous if it gets over the face, and too ...


5

No. Even with the obvious problems with Helium-4 noted by a other posters, extensive research has discredited the notion of both sticky and slippery substances as nonlethals. The US Army carried out quite a lot of work in this area -- the most promising was sticky foam but even that did not prove effective. Your best case -- and you might want to use ...


1

Simple - just build a 'moat'. i.e. circle your creatures 'tree city' with water if available backed up by of just as good a wide field of open ground of "killing ground' on all sides.You said you creatures don't like walking, how do they feel about swimming? If water isn't workable a steep ditch with the earth banked up behind it. Shaped so that the ...


3

No, but not in the way you are thinking. As @jdunlop pointed out, the Helium would immediately boil. However, this in and of itself is extremely useful. You see, while jdunlop is right that it will (more or less) instantly boil, it will still be extremely cold. "Extremely cold" is an understatement. With that in mind, I would like to do a frame-...


10

No Given the edit, the helium would vaporize so quickly it wouldn't have time to disperse. It would likely explode like a container full of liquid nitrogen. It wouldn't be a superfluid; it wouldn't be a fluid. It wouldn't even stick around for long. It would definitely chill the area, you might give some people frostbite, but a hand-grenade sized container ...


1

Make the wall unclimbable by either one of these options. Make the wall smooth and slippery without any place for the attacker to get a grip. Cover the wall with glass or ceramic material. Make the wall sharp and pointy with spikes, bones, thorns, barbed wire, or pieces of obsidian sticking out of the wall. Build booby traps in the wall like giant chain ...


2

Probability-manipulating healer nanites: Unbeknownst to the population at large, alien nanites have crept into our world. The aliens are spreading them to people for inexplicable alien reasons, and they give humans access to alternative dimensions where intelligent beings actively seek interaction with our universe (for fun, entertainment, study, or any ...


2

Ineptitude of technology versus efficiency against natural defences. The "humans" in your scenario could be superhuman, and the weapons are simply not strong enough to do any decent damage. Due to some reason or another, the best weapon the technology in your world can create is very inefficient for its purpose, and hardly does any damage to the ...


2

Excessively Armor-Piercing Weapons Some properties which make a weapon armor-piercing also reduce the damage they do to a soft target. Against an unarmored human, hollow-point bullets are more effective than armor-piercing or full metal jacket because the HP expands and spends energy in the target where AP or FMJ might overpenetrate. Of course a 5.56mm hole ...


2

Warhammer 40k-style Void Shields A void shield is an energy shield that shunts things of suitable energy/mass trying to penetrate the shield into an alternate dimension (the warp, for 40k, hyperspace or N-space or wherever in your universe) but only as long as the power lasts. So your gallant heroes arrive at Evil Facility X. They are each equipped with a ...


4

Ablative Body Armor We all think that in "real warfare" it's one shot one kill, but for the past few decades, that have been becoming less and less true. Many armies now equip thier soldiers with body armor that includes ceramic plates that can stop most battlefield ammunition. These ceramic plates are typically rated as class-IV body armor ...


2

Inverse Ninja Law The inverse ninja law is a media trope regarding not only ninjas, but any character type that is shown to attack in massed numbers, such as soldiers, robots, daleks, or vampires (but not zombies). It states that the threat level of any number of ninjas or other whatsits is inversely proportionate to their numbers. Therefore, if you're ...


2

Perhaps they are gladiators? Soldiers in your army will have the best weapons that you can economically provide for them, and will tend to be brutally efficient (and not take stupid risks like walking across an open hangar into gunfire when cover is available). Gladiators on the other hand are equipped to put on a show. They are given exotic or visually ...


2

You can make walls taller, and with smooth overhangs that they cannot climb You can make vegetation gaps, with water/mud obstacles and pit/deadfall obstacles and tanglefoots. You can make fire obstacles You can tie your defenses into difficult terrain: Mountains and lakes and rivers You can create belts of impassable vegetation: Thorny bushes/vines, nettles ...


6

Repurposed Arrow Slits For starts, you can always make it more difficult to climb a castle wall by doing something fun like smearing the side of the wall with pitch or oil. Or, even given six-armed creatures, you heavily sand-down the castle walls to make them incredibly smooth and virtually impossible to climb. But, if you really want to send people off the ...


1

It's really dangerous until it goes fast enough to get really awesome For starters, the 'monomolecular edge' isn't helpful at all to actually being an effective sword, it's actually the opposite. Force is just 1/2 mass * velocity, so a mono-molecular blade, which has really little mass, will just have really little force, so once you get past a certain point ...


4

Make your nation bigger. Clearly you love the military and all their sweet stuff. And you want what is essentially the US Military to be fighting they way they do now in a near future post apocalyptic environment. That is what you need to have! That is where your passion is. To keep the sweet military you just need a bigger population. And fortunately ...


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