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American Civil War fought in the space future

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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Dilandu   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:05 am

Dilandu
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The E wrote:The last significant development in firearms technology was the StG 44. Even there, it was more a development in terms of tactics than it was in technological terms; the recognition of the benefits of outfitting every soldier with the capability to both do precision engagement over standard distances but also to provide high volumes of automatic fire when required.



The last significan development was the adoption of intermediate cartrige and bullet, to be exact.

Ever since then, most developments have been in the area of optics and gun accessories to make guns more useful; the basic mechanisms haven't changed at all.


And so you are trying to claim that theere would be no advances in firearms technology? :) May I remind you AGAIN, that smoothbore muskets were in use for several centuries, before they were driven out by rifles in just about three decades...

This is something we're seeing today whenever a military tries to adopt a new gun: Even decades old designs like the AR-15 are still so good that finding something to do with the gun or put on the gun to make it fundamentally better is really hard.


Yes, that's why Russian Army generally stuck with smoothbores in 1850s. As Crimean War demonstrated clearly, it was a Very Bad Cause of Conservatism, because the rifles made "perfected by centuries" design of smoothbore musket outdated.


New technologies, like lasers, railguns, coilguns or gyrojets, need to offer compelling benefits to offset the drawbacks that their lack of decades of use and iteration produce. In the case of rifles and spitzer bullets, they offered a clear advantage in accuracy, and it still took a long time before they were universally adopted, because it took time for manufacturing capabilities to improve to make it practical to put them into large-scale production.


I agree with that, but what are you trying to prove by that?

Your hypothetical gyrojet weapon (which you're now telling us is basically half-way to a Banksian knife missile) is too costly.


Please give me ANY cost calculations.

As you said, you need something very close to post-scarcity conditions to even think about manufacturing them,


No, you claimed that without basically any proofs. When I replied that Minie balls represented basically the same kind of challenge and yet everybody turned from hand-made musket bullet to machined rifle bullets in just a few decades - you tactifully ignored my point.


at which point you kinda need to ask yourself why you're still thinking about sending out infantry. If you can build a weapon as capable as that in a form factor that would fit into a magazine that a soldier can carry, why aren't you building a drone that carries "dumb" weapon systems like a traditional rifle?


Basically, this is the question for nearly every sci-fi setting.

Even penny items, if bought a million times, will add up to very real costs. We can accept these costs if the benefits are there to justify them, but in your case, they just aren't:


Proofs, if you please.

And yet, homelessness is still a thing even in the most prosperous nations.


Compared to just two centuries ago, the situation improved not just drastically, but almost magically (as you like to use this therm). Per Europe, average level of homelessnes is less than 0,1%.

Oh, sorry, I thought you were trying to have a discussion on a level beyond pure handwavium. You're literally just waving your hands and positing that magic will happen to make all your dreams come true without thinking through the consequences of said magic.


Oh, sorry, I thought that, for once, you would bring at least SOME proofs for your claims? :) Currently in this topic only I presented some facts, like the existence of ultra-compact jets, the development of "smart bullets", like EXACTO and currently-unnamed Russian model, the "rifle revolution" of XIX century. You are just moaning about "this would be too costly" without any attempt to prove your point.
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- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by The E   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:52 am

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Dilandu wrote:Oh, sorry, I thought that, for once, you would bring at least SOME proofs for your claims? :) Currently in this topic only I presented some facts, like the existence of ultra-compact jets, the development of "smart bullets", like EXACTO and currently-unnamed Russian model, the "rifle revolution" of XIX century. You are just moaning about "this would be too costly" without any attempt to prove your point.


My basic theory here is this:
1. When outfitting an infantry unit, there are low-volume and high volume items. A rifle, for example, is a low-volume item: You only need as many of those as you have soldiers to equip, plus an overhead for spares. They are also not going to be replaced that often. A bullet is a high-volume item: For every soldier, you will need to procure hundreds, if not thousands, of them, and you need to keep buying and replacing them.
2a. If there are economic constraints on outfitting, it makes sense to spend a lot on the low-volume items while keeping the cost of the high-volume items as low as possible.
2b. For weapons, this means that an expensive gun firing cheap bullets is preferable to a cheap gun firing expensive bullets.
3. A gyrojet weapon consists of a cheap launch mechanism firing expensive munitions, since gyrojet munitions as posited by you require intricate machining.

So, to make these things of yours work, the following needs to be true:
1. These weapons need to provide overwhelming advantages. They need to outperform conventional rifles on several, not just one, axis; They need to hit harder, more accurately, and need to offer additional capabilities that ballistic weapons can't provide to justify their expense.
2. The technological advancements necessary to make these things work need to be inapplicable to other weapon systems (like, for example, drones), because if they were applicable to them, then building those would make more economic sense than trying to make gyrojet personal weapons work.

Basically, the only way I can see to make these things work is by giving the people using them Culture-equivalent technology that allows them to indulge in deliberately weird ideas without having to take economics into consideration, or by setting up a situation where this is truly the best use of resources for some reason.

Even penny items, if bought a million times, will add up to very real costs. We can accept these costs if the benefits are there to justify them, but in your case, they just aren't:

Proofs, if you please.


You know, I made a point right after the sentence you quoted that you may want to address?
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Daryl   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:34 am

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I thought that Manticore had already perfected the individual weapon. We just need to develop the gravitics technology to make it work. Some time ago some balistic experts on here worked out that each pulsar dart had about the same kinetic energy as a .50 cal, but had minimal recoil.
I agree with The E that existing individual weapons systems are optimal for today's technology. Although I prefer a bull pup design as it shortens the weapon and makes it more agile for retargeting. For military weapons I also believe they have gone too far with the .223 (5.56mm), as while the 30 06 was ridiculous, and the .308 (7.62 NATO) was still too big, a .250 to .280 would be not much heavier than .223 but provide better penetrating power. As most opponents have light armour that can just stop .223s it would cause them to have to reequip.
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Dilandu   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:42 am

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The E wrote:
My basic theory here is this:
1. When outfitting an infantry unit, there are low-volume and high volume items. A rifle, for example, is a low-volume item: You only need as many of those as you have soldiers to equip, plus an overhead for spares. They are also not going to be replaced that often. A bullet is a high-volume item: For every soldier, you will need to procure hundreds, if not thousands, of them, and you need to keep buying and replacing them.



This is generally true, but the one advantage of guided weaponry is, that it is much cheaper per goal/target. If you could provide any soldiers with guided weapon, that could kick-start them on marksman level, you would just need less bullets in average situation. This worked perfectly fine with missiles and bombs; one guided weapon, while more costly per unit than unguided, could do the job of several dozen unguided weapon - thus negating their cost advantage.

2a. If there are economic constraints on outfitting, it makes sense to spend a lot on the low-volume items while keeping the cost of the high-volume items as low as possible.


As I mentioned above, this logic led to Crimean War Russian debacle. In some situation, "keeping the cost of high-volume items low" simply did not work.

2b. For weapons, this means that an expensive gun firing cheap bullets is preferable to a cheap gun firing expensive bullets.


Generally true, but if expensive bullet could reduce the number of bullets required for hitting the target, then the situation changes.

Example: AA artillery and surface-to-air missiles. The AA gun is a expensive gun, which launched cheap munition. The SAM is a relatively inexpensive "gun" which fire very expensive munitions.

Problem was, that as soon as jet era came, the number of cheap shells, required to shot down modern planes skyrocketed, and in combination with the ridiculously expensive last-generation heavy AA guns, this made SAM much more cost-effective proposition. Initially, SAM's did not have much advantages in preformance over shells - with the sole exception of MUCH higher probability of hit per projectile. But it was enough.

3. A gyrojet weapon consists of a cheap launch mechanism firing expensive munitions, since gyrojet munitions as posited by you require intricate machining.


Basically yes.

So, to make these things of yours work, the following needs to be true:
1. These weapons need to provide overwhelming advantages. They need to outperform conventional rifles on several, not just one, axis; They need to hit harder, more accurately, and need to offer additional capabilities that ballistic weapons can't provide to justify their expense.


THAT guided gyrojet projectiles could provide, and better than "unpowered" guided bullets. Missiles by definition are less restriced in improvements than shells - one of the reason is, that we need only to change the projectile, not both projectile and launcher.

As an example - the "Standard" family of missiles enjoyed at leas double increase of flight range since 1980s. They still could be launched from the Mk-41 VLC.

Could you imagine, how incredibly hard it would be to double the range of, say, 127-mm naval gun? This would require great changes not only in projectile, but in gun itself, too (unless, of course, we would make the projectile powered... but then the advantages of "costly launcher & cheap projectile" decreased...)

2. The technological advancements necessary to make these things work need to be inapplicable to other weapon systems (like, for example, drones), because if they were applicable to them, then building those would make more economic sense than trying to make gyrojet personal weapons work.


Examples, maybe? :) And, actually, gyrojet-like recoiless projectiles would be MORE suitable for small, anti-personnel drones, than greatly sophisticated super-duper rifles. Weight and recoil, you know...

I could fit several of my hypotetical guided gyrojet projectiles on small, light quadrocopter. It would not have any problems using them - they are rocket, they are recoiless.

Could you fit your mega-rifle under the same light quadrocopter? :) And how well it would handle the recoil? :)

The application of technology is double-edged sword; it could be used by both sides, you know)


Basically, the only way I can see to make these things work is by giving the people using them Culture-equivalent technology that allows them to indulge in deliberately weird ideas without having to take economics into consideration, or by setting up a situation where this is truly the best use of resources for some reason.


Basically you still failed to prove any of your points with cold, hard fact. :) I presented you the theory, the fact that support the theory, and the historical examples of "how it worked in real life".

Even penny items, if bought a million times, will add up to very real costs. We can accept these costs if the benefits are there to justify them, but in your case, they just aren't:


In my case, I still did not see any counter-argument that did not fell in area of philosophical.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Dilandu   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:45 am

Dilandu
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Daryl wrote:I thought that Manticore had already perfected the individual weapon. We just need to develop the gravitics technology to make it work. Some time ago some balistic experts on here worked out that each pulsar dart had about the same kinetic energy as a .50 cal, but had minimal recoil.


The "gravitic technology" for firearms - it is the classical "iris door, that dilates". Even if it is possible, there is little reason to actually do that. Electromagnetic forces are by definition more cost-effective than gravity, so basically we could build workable railgun for a tiny fraction of cost and energy that gravitic gun would require.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Imaginos1892   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:14 am

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Dilandu wrote:Electromagnetic forces are by definition more cost-effective than gravity, so basically we could build workable railgun for a tiny fraction of cost and energy that gravitic gun would require.

And you know that…how? You've put both kinds into production, tested them in the field, and analyzed the costs?

We've been building ballistic projectile weapons for 400 years. We've gotten really, really good at it. A number of very bright people have built gyrojet weapons, and none of them have been remotely as easy to use, effective, and sustainable in the field as the crudest modern ballistic weapons. (AK-47, ugh!)

The purpose of a soldier's gun is to put destructive energy into the enemy. The more destructive energy it delivers to the target, the more effective it is at defeating the enemy. Modern rifles are much better at delivering that energy than any gyrojet gun that has ever been built, or proposed.

You see, there is a glaring flaw inherent in the basic gyrojet principle — most of the projectile's weight is lost in flight. You remember, all that fuel it needs to reach the target? It's a variant of the Rocket Equation that makes it so difficult to reach orbit. The heavier your projectile, and the faster you want it to travel, the more fuel it has to carry. The more fuel it has to carry, the more fuel it needs. E = MV ^ 2, and V doesn't mean much if the M delivered to the target is miniscule.

A ballistic rifle can pack all the fuel you want into the cartridge, because it's all left behind. Only the payload travels. It's much more efficient.
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Dilandu   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:07 am

Dilandu
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Imaginos1892 wrote:And you know that…how? You've put both kinds into production, tested them in the field, and analyzed the costs?


Basic physics laws. :) Of all fundamental interactions, gravity is the weakest one. The only reason why sci-fi authors in clinging to "gravity guns" and "gravity tech" is because strong and weak interactions are very limited in range (basically on the atom-size scale).
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Dilandu   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:09 am

Dilandu
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Imaginos1892 wrote:We've been building ballistic projectile weapons for 400 years. We've gotten really, really good at it. A number of very bright people have built gyrojet weapons, and none of them have been remotely as easy to use, effective, and sustainable in the field as the crudest modern ballistic weapons. (AK-47, ugh!)


We've been building smoothbore muskets for 400 years. We've gotten really, really good at it. A number of very bright people have built rifled weapons, and none of them have been remotely as easy to use, effective, and sustainable in the field as the crudest smoothbores... ;)
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Imaginos1892   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:21 pm

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Dilandu wrote:We've been building smoothbore muskets for 400 years. We've gotten really, really good at it. A number of very bright people have built rifled weapons, and none of them have been remotely as easy to use, effective, and sustainable in the field as the crudest smoothbores...

I hope you don't actually believe that. Rifles gave a substantial, immediate improvement in range and accuracy and were little more difficult to use or maintain than muskets. Some hide-bound armies (Great Britain!) were reluctant to replace their huge inventories of muskets, and slow to adopt new tactics to take advantage of those improvements. Some did (The US Continental Army) and proceeded to kick the ass of their much larger, more experienced and better supported opponents.

When, exactly, have troops equipped with gyrojet guns ever defeated soldiers equipped with ballistic guns?
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Re: American Civil War fought in the space future
Post by Dilandu   » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:32 pm

Dilandu
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Imaginos1892 wrote:I hope you don't actually believe that. Rifles gave a substantial, immediate improvement in range and accuracy and were little more difficult to use or maintain than muskets. Some hide-bound armies (Great Britain!) were reluctant to replace their huge inventories of muskets, and slow to adopt new tactics to take advantage of those improvements. Some did (The US Continental Army) and proceeded to kick the ass of their much larger, more experienced and better supported opponents.


Then why you absolutely denied the possibility of other firearms revolution? The idea of rocket-powered projectiles by now is exactly like rifles during the most of smoothbore era; some advantages are clear, but disadvantages are far too great. But this is technological problem, not fundamental.

P.S. The US Continenal Army during the American Revolution used exactly the same smoothbores as British Army. Simply because the infantry line was, at this time, most effective infantry tactics, and nothing could replace it until fast-reloading rifles appeared in XIX century.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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