Frustration

Fabrial Firearms.

54 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Recently I have spent an increasing amount of time thinging about Rosharan magics, and one of the things I come back to quite frequently is the Fabrials. Well, this time I had the thought to try making guns with fabrials.

Guns(In their most basic form) fire bullets by heating the air behind the bullet, increasing the pressure, and forcing the bullet out. Now this becomes more complicated as things like bullet casings ibecome standard, but in essence this is what we are going for. A way to create a lot of heat, at a controlled point.

Fortunatly fabrails have us covered. Heating fabrials are really basic, requiring only: a flamespren, a ruby, stormlight, and the metal to form the cage. Now the most obvious metals to use would be pewter and zinc, intending to make as much heat as possible. However Duralumin could also be used, assuming it causes the fabrial to use up all of its stormlight in a massive burst of expression strength. So we build a long barrle and connect it to a trigger, which moves pewter and zinc levers forward and touches it to a flamespren in a ruby heating the air, and forcing the bullet to fire, using duralumin if that doesn't provide enough heat. And with this we have an increadibly primitive gun.

However this has a serious drawback, if duralumin is required then you have to open the gun up and replace the ruby each time you fire. But their is a simple solution. Flamespren are really easy to aquire, and gemheart farming will make rubies much easier to aquire. So if duralumin is required, or even if it isn't but the extra kick is desired. A simple casing of rubies containing flamespren can be made and attatched to each bullet. Which would have an intresting side effect of making it easier for Roshar to make fully-automatic firearms than semi-automatic.

Anyway what do you think? Any gun nerds out there going to come and tell me that all of this is wrong, or potentially other ways to improve the design? I welcome all suggestions.

Edited by Frustration
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I like how you're thinking, but is it the heated air that makes the pressure, or the exploding powder that makes the pressure? I could be wrong, but I doubt that intense heat alone could cause that much pressure.

Potentially a fabrial that is specifically designed to create air pressure could do the job. Perhaps a system of attractors and repellers working with air. I'm not sure. I like the idea, and: (6th of dusk 2)

Spoiler

We definitely saw a radiant wielding a shard gun. I know that is different because it involves a spren, but it has to have some sort of logic and this could be it.

 

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, Mage said:

I like how you're thinking, but is it the heated air that makes the pressure, or the exploding powder that makes the pressure? I could be wrong, but I doubt that intense heat alone could cause that much pressure.

Gunpowder doesn't actually explode, at least when used in bullets.

9 minutes ago, Mage said:

Potentially a fabrial that is specifically designed to create air pressure could do the job. Perhaps a system of attractors and repellers working with air. I'm not sure. I like the idea,

I gave some thought to that but I feel like that would be less effective, esspecially if duralumin is required, as you would have to change gems between each firing.

9 minutes ago, Mage said:

and: (6th of dusk 2)

  Reveal hidden contents

We definitely saw a radiant wielding a shard gun. I know that is different because it involves a spren, but it has to have some sort of logic and this could be it.

 

Spoiler

That is true, but shardguns would be exclusive to Radiants, and I'm trying to make something for the average soldier. Thanks for bringing that up though I had forgotten. I might be able to tease something else out from that reading.

 

Edited by Frustration
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Well we can have a couple of different ways to do Fabial guns. 
radiant guns should be able to be boom sticks in a way with the ability to mix stormlight and anti stormlight that just blows up but controlled in one direction. Kinda like a shotgun.

regular fabiral guns are quite simple. It’s an explosion of fire and heat that pushes the bullet forward and it’s not hard to make this if duralumin works the way you said. 
ultimately it would be fine grain being put in casing with the duralumin as the heating source like a firing pin. So apply stormlight and boom it’s a regular bullet just different. 

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Couldn't you add a contraption that refuels the gem after every shot? Just have a big huge gem that is very well cut as not to lose any light, and then another thing that creates the pure tone of honor (or another tone for another shard's light, if you want) and draws light into the fabrial gem.

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Posted (edited)

Fun!  I too have been thinking about this one a lot. 

Breaking it down to it's most fundamental, a gun is a solid projectile being accelerated in one direction, by gas or other "soft contact" energy to draw a line between a Gun and the crossbow & slingshot space.  That still leaves two broad categories to my mind: Gas acceleration (air pressure, steam, chemical, etc) and direct energy to the slug (coil guns, rail guns, Gravity Lashings, etc).  The rest of the process is figuring out where to plug the magic elements into the physics.  For simplicity Im assuming the Investiture power is worked out separately with Gems, medallions, breaths etc. and "reasonable" fabrial/tech functions.  

To get it out of the way, a Soulcaster Gun would be able to do anything easily: since it can change materials directly and doesnt always have to obey conservation of mass, there are near infinite physics loopholes to exploit.  

For gas acceleration, thermal energy in a burst is going to be difficult, it is fundamentally a more sluggish energy than most, it's why we usually have to jump to an adjacent energy (pressure changes, electricity, radiation, etc) to move it faster than the normal Convection/Conduction/Radiation pathways will allow.  For a gun you'd need a storage means, so most likely a hot air tank to build pressure and a release mechanism to fire.  This can be surprisingly effective (see below about a real historic Air Rifle that Im a big fan of).

At a physics level you will always get more volume bang for your energy buck if you can engage a phase change in your cycle, because the expansion from a solid/liquid to a gas is will nearly always take way less energy than the equivalent expansion of air by heating alone.  For these purposes that really just translates into a steam pressure gun that would be essentially the same design with little water in the tank (and a few additional safety features for explosion and implosion dangers).  In a modern world there might be more optimal chemicals (the refrigerant gas industry has been developing more and more for decades) but for roshar simple steam & a thermal Fabrial is going to be one of the more ideal and easy to mass produce.

A tangent option that I've been looking at recently for a proper zombie apocalypse firearm) is an HHO gas gun.  If you do an electrolysis reaction on water to split the oxygen and hydrogen but you let the gasses mix directly into their perfect ratio, it becomes a lot more explosive than it would be at a different mix.  Ignite that and all the energy is released in a superheated steam explosion (See Here for a decent experimentation video with some explosions shown) which is why it's considered too dangerous to store.  It also will produce one of the hotter has torches you can make.  All it takes is water, a few volts of electricity, and the right electrolyte catalyst, so any Stormform, lightning capable radiant (dustbringers and Skybreakers Im guessing), or electric Fabrial should be able to drive it from Stormlight supplies (and water).  

Similarly for pure energy weapons, any any Division surge user, Stormform, or equivalent electric Fabrial should be able to drive a magnetic Coil gun or at larger scales actual Railguns (which operate on an electric field/charge mechanism instead of the magnetic one of Coil-guns).  We've done the math a few times on gratitational Lashing Guns and I think the consensus is that there's no hard reason they couldnt work but they require a lot of lashings on top of each other to reach a useful ballistic acceleration, so they would likely prove energy inefficient compared to other options.  Probably the very best option for large artillery's guns though, since it scales up better than any of the others.  

 

11 hours ago, Frustration said:

Gunpowder doesn't actually explode, at least when used in bullets.

I dont mean to be contrary but yes it very much does, it was literally the first known chemical explosive.   Fuel plus oxidizer driving an explosively fast chemical reaction with a phase change.  Are you perhaps thinking of the distinction between "explosion" and "detonation" where there's more rate & wave subtlety involved?

Quote

I gave some thought to that but I feel like that would be less effective, especially if duralumin is required, as you would have to change gems between each firing.

It's less effective but there is some pretty cool historical precedent.  The Lewis & Clark expedition had hunting rifle that was purely compressed air (with an external compressor) that was too expensive and complex for mass market but was pretty clever and effective without needing manufactured cartridges (just the actual slug). The stock was a detachable compressed air tank so it was essentially a glorified BB gun, but in many ways it was superiors to the muskets of the day. 

Quote

https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/lewis-and-clarks-girandoni-air-rifle/

"With a muzzle velocity of 1,000 feet per second, the windbuchse, literally “wind rifle,” could put a lead ball clean through a one-inch pine board at 100 yards. Its full magazine [22 lead ball shots] could be discharged completely in less than 30 seconds. In comparison, its contemporary gunpowder driven musket was considered accurate to only about 50 yards.

 

Quote
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That is true, but shardguns would be exclusive to Radiants, and I'm trying to make something for the average soldier. Thanks for bringing that up though I had forgotten. I might be able to tease something else out from that reading.

 

The biggest restriction there is that those

Spoiler

guns will most likely be unable to manifest any moving parts, so they'd have to operate on "solid-state" circuitry (investiture or otherwise) and/or external ammo. but that still leaves so much magic potential for magic effect fabrial gins.  Especially since they'd probably natively target the Spiritual Aspect.  Even without that, coil guns and rail guns have dont need moving parts beyond the solid metal slug it fires so they could certainly become those sorts of weapons I think.  

 

Edited by Quantus
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8 minutes ago, Quantus said:

I dont mean to be contrary but yes it very much does, it was literally the first known chemical explosive.   Fuel plus oxidizer driving an explosively fast chemical reaction with a phase change.  Are you perhaps thinking of the distinction between "explosion" and "detonation" where there's more rate & wave subtlety involved?

Yeah probably.

13 minutes ago, Quantus said:

For gas acceleration, thermal energy in a burst is going to be difficult, it is fundamentally a more sluggish energy than most, it's why we usually have to jump to an adjacent energy (pressure changes, electricity, radiation, etc) to move it faster than the normal Convection/Conduction/Radiation pathways will allow.  For a gun you'd need a storage means, so most likely a hot air tank to build pressure and a release mechanism to fire.  This can be surprisingly effective (see below about a real historic Air Rifle that Im a big fan of).

So the duralumin heating model is off the table without adding water or something?

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Posted (edited)

Could this topic name please name "Spoilers" in the topic title - some of us are avoiding previews - including (especially) for First of the Sun. Even the title is a bit of a spoiler. maybe something like "Fabrials as seen in Sixth sequal preview [Spoilers]"

Edited by Treamayne
SPAG/Content
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35 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

Could this topic name please name "Spoilers" in the topic title - some of us are avoiding previews - including (especially) for First of the Sun. Even the title is a bit of a spoiler. maybe something like "Fabrials as seen in Sixth sequal preview [Spoilers]"

It's specifically not those, this is a general conversation of how somebody might make a practical gun using contemporary magic knowledge with RL science.   In point of fact, every mention of what you are concerned with so far has been behind a spoiler tag (other than yours...)

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40 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

Could this topic name please name "Spoilers" in the topic title - some of us are avoiding previews - including (especially) for First of the Sun. Even the title is a bit of a spoiler. maybe something like "Fabrials as seen in Sixth sequal preview [Spoilers]"

What Quantus said, this is specifically using fabrial technology as known by RoW to make firearms.

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2 hours ago, Frustration said:

So the duralumin heating model is off the table without adding water or something?

Oh no, not off the table at all:  any of these systems could probably benefit from the extra Burst effect of duralumin, especially assuming you can bypass heat transfer limits and just directly, magically flash the temperature at duralumin superspeed.  It's just that  with the same overall fabrial mechanism you could see significantly more efficient energy use with water/Steam as your working fluid instead of just air, to take advantage of the phase change (over just air volume heating that is much smaller per unit energy).  And with or without Steam as the fluid, the pressure storage tank design gives you the option of multiple shots per tank recharge, so you would have to swap out your investiture power supply every single shot.  

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, Quantus said:

Oh no, not off the table at all:  any of these systems could probably benefit from the extra Burst effect of duralumin, especially assuming you can bypass heat transfer limits and just directly, magically flash the temperature at duralumin superspeed.  It's just that  with the same overall fabrial mechanism you could see significantly more efficient energy use with water/Steam as your working fluid instead of just air, to take advantage of the phase change (over just air volume heating that is much smaller per unit energy).

I might have to crunch some numbers and build a skematic now.

7 minutes ago, Quantus said:

And with or without Steam as the fluid, the pressure storage tank design gives you the option of multiple shots per tank recharge, so you would have to swap out your investiture power supply every single shot.  

That's why I was thinking of putting the ruby on the back of the bullet, which would replace the lost stormlight each time the gun is fired and make the gun fully automatic.

Edited by Frustration
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1 hour ago, Frustration said:

What Quantus said, this is specifically using fabrial technology as known by RoW to make firearms.

1 hour ago, Quantus said:

It's specifically not those, this is a general conversation of how somebody might make a practical gun using contemporary magic knowledge with RL science.   In point of fact, every mention of what you are concerned with so far has been behind a spoiler tag (other than yours...)

This is Spoilers (that's when I stopped reading and posted what I did):

15 hours ago, Mage said:

Potentially a fabrial that is specifically designed to create air pressure could do the job. Perhaps a system of attractors and repellers working with air. I'm not sure. I like the idea, and: (6th of dusk 2)

  Reveal hidden contents

We definitely saw a radiant wielding a shard gun. I know that is different because it involves a spren, but it has to have some sort of logic and this could be it.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Treamayne said:

This is Spoilers (that's when I stopped reading and posted what I did):

 

Which is not related to the main discussion, and can be entirely ignored, so I don't see why you are arguing for a change in the tittle to be about something unrealated.

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22 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

This is Spoilers (that's when I stopped reading and posted what I did):

 

The spoilers you are citing we're clearly marked as spoilers within the individual post.

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Posted (edited)

Brandon has hinted that fabrials can be made for every surge but adhesion right?

Then combustion is a non-issue. All you need is a device that lashes sharp pieces of metal towards a target. Another fabrial inside to remove friction to make the bullets fly faster by removing wind resistance possibly as well.

No need for gunpowder or pressure. Just a triple lashing making the "ground" the same as the target.

Edited by 2spooky4myshirt
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7 hours ago, 2spooky4myshirt said:

Brandon has hinted that fabrials can be made for every surge but adhesion right?

Then combustion is a non-issue. All you need is a device that lashes sharp pieces of metal towards a target. Another fabrial inside to remove friction to make the bullets fly faster by removing wind resistance possibly as well.

No need for gunpowder or pressure. Just a triple lashing making the "ground" the same as the target.

Dang that would make tracking bullets via spiritual realm

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1 hour ago, Rg2045 said:

Dang that would make tracking bullets via spiritual realm

You would need a bondsmith if that's even possible. Lashings just do a direction, not towards an object.

 

I've given some thoughts to ammo, and imagine painrail bullets. When they come into contact with an aboject they touch duralumin to the gem. If you get hit and somehow live, it will almost instantly render you uncontious.

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6 hours ago, Frustration said:

You would need a bondsmith if that's even possible. Lashings just do a direction, not towards an object.

The most basic lashings, yes. More advanced ones can be used to direct something straight at an object.

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Ta'veren Kaladin said:

The most basic lashings, yes. More advanced ones can be used to direct something straight at an object.

Where are you getting that from?

 

Edited by Frustration
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2 hours ago, Frustration said:

Where are you getting that from?

 

Basic Lashing: This ability alters an object's or being's spiritual gravitational bond to the planet below, instead temporarily linking it to a different object or direction. 
 

just a quick copy paste from the coppermind

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Just now, Rg2045 said:

Basic Lashing: This ability alters an object's or being's spiritual gravitational bond to the planet below, instead temporarily linking it to a different object or direction. 
 

just a quick copy paste from the coppermind

The Coppermind has no authority on it's own, where in the books or from WoB does it say that lashings can be directed at an object?

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I don't have a copy of any stormlight books, so I can't provide a specific example, but I remember some scene somewhere, I think it was szeth, who lashed someone to a moving object. Besides, if it's the surge of gravitation, that's how it works, not by lashing in one single direction. (Otherwise we'd just be falling through space more so than we are, without a planet to sit/ stand/ walk/ run on) Obviously I'm assuming the physics of the surge based on real world gravity and the many times Brandon has said that he wants his magic to work as much like irl physics as possible.

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1 minute ago, Ta'veren Kaladin said:

I don't have a copy of any stormlight books, so I can't provide a specific example, but I remember some scene somewhere, I think it was szeth, who lashed someone to a moving object. Besides, if it's the surge of gravitation, that's how it works, not by lashing in one single direction. (Otherwise we'd just be falling through space more so than we are, without a planet to sit/ stand/ walk/ run on) Obviously I'm assuming the physics of the surge based on real world gravity and the many times Brandon has said that he wants his magic to work as much like irl physics as possible.

It works in directions, not objects

Spoiler

Balyne

In WoR, when Kaladin is chasing Szeth through the storm, could he have just Lashed himself to Szeth and followed automatically? I realize he was new to his abilities and may not have thought of it, but is it possible?

Brandon Sanderson

One thing about Lashing that is counter-intuative to people who know physics is that Lashings are usually in a direction, not toward an object. It means that physics wise, it's not actually increasing the gravitational pull of an object--but sending you a direction. I did this because of just this type of question; it made the magic too powerful.

Stormlight Three Update #5 (Nov. 19, 2016)

 

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I'm grasping at straws here, but he does say usually, which implies that there are exceptions, and I'd expect minor differences between fabrials and surgebinding anyways.

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