ZenBossanova

Shardgun

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Brandon's latest FAQ Friday addressed if a shardblade could be a gun, ie a shardgun. 

Brandon eloquently and succinctly answered that with RAFO. 

Call me susceptible to misdirection, this makes me suspicious they do exist. I will not rehash the debate over Jasnah's bandolier, but it does seem like new ground to tread, and a big way to make this Desolation very different and more survivable. 

And I will be honest, I like the image of Jasnah tossing a bullet into the air, forming a shardgun, and immediately shooting. 

My only real concern is, how would a trigger & firing pin work if a shardgun is one single piece of metal. Firemagic? Fabrials? 

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4 minutes ago, ZenBossanova said:

this makes me suspicious they do exist

I imagine that you meant they "can" exist, as I doubt any pre-Recreance KR worldhopper left their Spren in gun-form, and I don't think anyone would be foolish enough to take a gun to the stormiest place in the Cosmere unless they've made ammo that works underwater.

That said, I do think that they could eventually be created eventually. Ammo could be an issue, but that's for later when they can get the concept in order. I don't really know how they would make the internal moving parts work, but the trigger itself isn't that bad. We know that a Shardbow would need real string and arrows, but don't normal bows bend some with the pulled back string? I could see there being a flexibility built in to mimic a "trigger," but how it connects to everything else could be an issue.

I will also say that a Fabrial-Tech Gun isn't out of the question either.

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I'm pretty sure one of the images in WoK shows a fabrial gun. I can't find it right now, but it shows something with a vaguely gun-shaped grip, a triple "barrel" each with what looks like a fletchet sticking out the end, and what looks like further notes on a gem housing.

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45 minutes ago, Krandacth said:

 

I'm pretty sure one of the images in WoK shows a fabrial gun. I can't find it right now, but it shows something with a vaguely gun-shaped grip, a triple "barrel" each with what looks like a fletchet sticking out the end, and what looks like further notes on a gem housing.

 

Do you mean this? Because it's a knife. I have no idea who deciphered this, but credit to whoever you are.

latest?cb=20101007055133

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I gotta confess, I don't see the point :) firstly even if a spren can replicate the parts, the parts are pointless without gunpowder and bullets. Secondly, if you know the tech, it seems a waste of a spren when it feels (I may be wrong) easier to carve one out of wood and soulcast it into metal. You actually get no magic advantages because I don't believe the spren could form part of themselves into a bullet while the rest of them is the gun. And if the spren can do that its a missile anyway And you don't need a gun. And if it's a normal bullet you may as well have a normal gun.

I think a Nahel- bonded spren can only be in one fixed shape and can't change or move it's fixed shape. Otherwise they would already be self-guiding, invincible missiles. That most of all is why I don't think it's possible. And if it is, need gunpowder, and probably there's easier ways to make guns.

Or maybe it's possible, but I'm just not convinced it would be that exciting :)

Edit - and @Storming Radiant, I believe the deciphering was done from the post below, well before my time but the third most popular ever on this site :)

Edit - and I agree that fabrial technology is more likely to achieve that, I'm sure some engineer can create a device to launch projectiles with the various surges, as they discover how to make fabrials for different surges. A gravity fabrial could have it's uses...

Edited by Extesian
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7 minutes ago, Extesian said:

and @Storming Radiant, I believe the deciphering was done from the post below, well before my time but the third most popular ever on this site :)

Thank you! I always wanted to see how it was done!

I agree with you about the Shardgun, but I'm actually pretty interested in Shardbows. They just sound really cool, though, if you have to use regular arrows I can't really see the point...

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If there was a shard-gun could it fire bits of itself (like you could throw a Shardblade) or would you need to load it with proper bullets?

 

Edited by Edgedancer81
whoops earlier replies suddenly loaded :)
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3 hours ago, Edgedancer81 said:

If there was a shard-gun could it fire bits of itself (like you could throw a Shardblade) or would you need to load it with proper bullets?

 

I'll try to find the WoB in a bit, gotta drive to work in a minute. There one that talks about how splitting itself in two pats would be unpleasant for the Spren. They can do it, but they wouldn't like it at all. Which is why historically there have been shardbows, but they still required strings and arrows (and I think I combined two WoB's in that thought) 

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

I'll try to find the WoB in a bit, gotta drive to work in a minute. There one that talks about how splitting itself in two pats would be unpleasant for the Spren. They can do it, but they wouldn't like it at all.

Here you go

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My opinion is that there isn't going to be a shardgun like shardblade sprenblades where it's a spren physically materialized into a gun, but rather more like the shardbows and half-shard shields which are fabrial-enhanced objects. I presume there would be something like a gun which uses a fabrial to propel the bullet, which would not necessarily require gunpowder, but rather the surge of gravitation or pressure to accelerate it.

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43 minutes ago, Spoolofwhool said:

I presume there would be something like a gun which uses a fabrial to propel the bullet, which would not necessarily require gunpowder, but rather the surge of gravitation or pressure to accelerate it.

I think this too. Basically like a rail gun, but instead of using magnetism to propel the bullet along the length of the barrel, the fabrial lashes anything in the barrel many times in the direction the barrel is pointing. This actually opens up other, softer materials for bullets, because the gun isn't pushing on the bullet from behind (and so compressing it), though I don't know why you'd want softer bullets off the top of my head...

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1 minute ago, Krandacth said:

I think this too. Basically like a rail gun, but instead of using magnetism to propel the bullet along the length of the barrel, the fabrial lashes anything in the barrel many times in the direction the barrel is pointing. This actually opens up other, softer materials for bullets, because the gun isn't pushing on the bullet from behind (and so compressing it), though I don't know why you'd want softer bullets off the top of my head...

Stopping power. If the bullet smashes on impact, it will transfer its force to the target, rather than just penetrating. When firing on a squishy target, a softer projectile could potentially do far more damage than a clean in/out shot. If the harder projectile ricochets around inside the body, that's nasty... But that's not typically what happens. 

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8 minutes ago, Krandacth said:

I don't know why you'd want softer bullets off the top of my head...

It's an argument of stopping power versus penetrating power. Bullets have gone from round balls to pointed cylinders(some have rounded points, but you get my point :)), and that has a lot more penetrating power relative to a non-edged projectile at the same speed. Throwing knife vs throwing rock so to speak.

The rock needs to be going a lot faster to pierce the skin, but that slow impact can still KO you. Obviously the knife is more likely to be deadly, but as the size of the ammo increases, that disparity makes a difference. Which seems more likely to slow down a charging Thunderclast: a cannonball, or high caliber bullets?

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It also brings into play options for projectiles that are completely impossible in a combustion oriented propulsion system. You could fire acid filled glass balls with this method. Ice bullets... Pretty much anything you could fit in the barrel. 

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@Calderis and @The One Who Connects have supplied a good technical argument for softer/non-standard projectiles, but for you more visual learners out there:

Compared to traditional bullets/weapons, human bodies are super soft and squishy; relatively speaking, the difference in rigidity between a lead bullet and a human body is basically the same as the difference in rigidity between a lead bullet and a birthday cake.

If you want to ruin a birthday cake, you can do a lot more damage to it by throwing a tomato (or baseball) at it than by shooting it with a rifle.  Hitting someone in the chest with a 170 mph baseball can do more damage than hitting them with a 1,700 mph bullet.  Where the wound left by the bullet is likely to be clean and more-or-less easily patched up if it doesn't pierce a vital organ, the impact of the baseball would crush organs and crack bones not just under the point of impact, but around the point of impact.  If the subject wasn't killed instantly, even a veteran surgeon would probably have to scratch their head for a minute wondering where to even begin...

In the context of fabrial based weapons based on gravitation, using a larger projectile translates to having to lash your projectile fewer times to achieve equal destructive power.  While each lashing will probably require much more stormlight, and the projectiles will be heavier, you could probably use a much shorter "barrel" and overall the device would probably be much easier to manufacture and maintain, as it would require fewer mechanisms working to apply lashings in a highly synchronized short burst.

A fabrial based short-barrel shotgun would probably be a highly effective weapon, as it could be loaded with traditional scatter-shot for taking down people in close quarters, or with heavy "slugs" for punching into chitin or granite.  A thunderclast might not be damaged much by a single hit, but if it suddenly had a dozen bullets embedded in its chest with active lashings on them, I suppose it could be thrown off balance.  Shardblades, shardbows, and catapults hurling boulders will most likely remain the most effective weapons against thunderclasts for the foreseeable future... 

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2 minutes ago, hwiles said:

Hitting someone in the chest with a 170 mph baseball can do more damage than hitting them with a 1,700 mph bullet.

I agree with the entirety of your post excluding this. Once a projectile breaks the sound barrier things get nasty fast. 

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14 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I agree with the entirety of your post excluding this. Once a projectile breaks the sound barrier things get nasty fast. 

Don't supersonic projectiles fragment when they hit bodies and slow down, thereby causing lots of tiny pieces to spread through the body? 

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On 6/20/2017 at 10:09 AM, Spoolofwhool said:

Don't supersonic projectiles fragment when they hit bodies and slow down, thereby causing lots of tiny pieces to spread through the body? 

They can depending on the material. The Shockwave they cause, relative to the size of the bullet, is also pretty devastating. 

50 caliber sniper rifles are designated as anti-armir weapons and illegal to use on people in war because of this. There are documented cases of 50 caliber sniper rifles ripping limbs from people in near misses. 

Edited by Calderis
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27 minutes ago, hwiles said:

shardbows,

Oh yea. Sadeas' Grandbow against the Chasmfiend is a perfect example of why this would work. The arrow didn't kill the Chasmfiend, but it knocked it back somewhat.


Here is something else that I can use to make the comparison a bit clearer: (because my first example was bad)

Quote

11 – After Being Shot In The Armor, You Can Still Fight

There have been a significant number of cases where officers have been shot wearing their body armor. The majority of them equate the feeling of being hit with a bullet with the feeling of being hit with a hammer. If the vest stops a bullet, it may still force the vest fabric into the body of the individual. This can cause bruising, or more severe internal injury. Equally, a strong enough impact may even knock a wearer down. This may also lead to injury.

To date, no one has died because of this and it’s not likely that the wearer will be incapacitated by it. Many law enforcement officers who have been shot in the armor have responded back, in the attempt to neutralize the threat. And, this is even before the use of the latest vest materials, which have been designed to reduce the effects of a blunt impact.

Bullet-proof vests turn that penetrating power into a blunt force impact. It is less likely to be lethal, but still hurts like heck. A Thunderclast's body essentially has this quality in spades, making it much more likely to survive impacts of all kinds. Shardblades bypass this restriction altogether, which fits with Szeth;s reasoning for their creation in the first place.

However, as stated, those impacts can knock you down and even injure you. A stone body can chip and crack just like Shardplate, eventually breaking chunks off. If you shattered a Thunderclast's kneecaps, I don't see it getting around as easily as before. If a Thunderclast tries smashing Dalinar like the Chasmfiend did in WoK, combining a heavy impact with already cracked/fragmented "bones" can lead to more damage, even turning the act of moving into a risky gamble.

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

I agree with the entirety of your post excluding this. Once a projectile breaks the sound barrier things get nasty fast. 

Depends somewhat on bullet size, but I'll take it as a fair point that the issue isn't as black, white, and simple as I made it sound in my metaphor.  I was originally considering something like a 22LR, or a 9mm.  I'm no gunsmith, but my understanding is that those are more-or-less the most commonly available rounds that would be expected to harm/kill the target without being complete overkill.  You brought up a .50 caliber sniper rifle...Besides the fact that those bullets are really heavy relative to normal ammunition used in personal defense (like 20-25 x heavier than a 9mm handgun bullet I think), my understanding of ballistics is that that level of firepower would be more suited to shooting holes in engine blocks (thunderclasts?) than people...

Getting shot in the torso with a typical personal defense weapon may or may not be lethal.  It will definitely hurt though, and there's a very real chance of permanent injury from shockwave or shrapnel.  Similarly, there's a chance for complete recovery.  Getting hit in the torso by a ~100 mph baseball usually isn't lethal and won't typically cause permanent damage; getting hit in the torso with a 150+ mph baseball would almost certainly result in death via critical damage to multiple vital organs as long as it wasn't a glancing blow.  Getting shot anywhere with a .50 caliber bullet can kill (even a shot in the hand/foot can require immediate medical attention to preserve life), via a combination of organ-damage, internal-hemorrhaging radiating from the site of the wound, and last but not least, blood-loss from the gaping hole.  

Otherwise thanks!  A friend once shared the "Throwing a tomato at a cake," metaphor with me to explain how large non-rigid projectiles and human bodies work in high-speed collisions and I've found it to be an elegantly humorous visualization.  Thought I'd brighten the community's day with a comical, if somewhat morbid, materials science lesson. :lol:

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@hwiles like I said, I agree with everything else. The Tomato example is a very good mental image. 

Yeah, 50 cal is total overkill, I just brought it up as an example of possibility and I did mention that the effects are relatively to size. I'm not totally sure on the mechanics of it, but the way I understand it is just like the cone that appears visually behind a supersonic jet, the same happens around a bullet beyond the sound barrier. A small arms bullet is almost always subsonic, so I don't even know what the effects would be. But supersonic bullets have effects beyond the penetration of the object itself.

Physics is most definitely not my strong point, so I don't claim to know at what size bullets the effects are as... Messy as required to outweigh the damage of a blunt instrument at fastball speeds in the abdominal cavity. I just know that the primarily liquid nature of our bodies makes blast waves a very very bad thing. 

Edited by Calderis
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As I have been saying for over a year now:
Why are we fixating on Shardgun or Shardbow? There is zero advantage in that.

Now, Shardarrows and Shardbullets are entirely different thing...

Of course we don't know how far living spren can go from their Radiant; but the summonable (instant reload!) soul-piercing arrows are scary. Of course, the gun cannot use cartridge type ammo - each time you'd want to shoot you'd have to supply powder.

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37 minutes ago, Oversleep said:

As I have been saying for over a year now:
Why are we fixating on Shardgun or Shardbow? There is zero advantage in that.

Now, Shardarrows and Shardbullets are entirely different thing...

Of course we don't know how far living spren can go from their Radiant; but the summonable (instant reload!) soul-piercing arrows are scary. Of course, the gun cannot use cartridge type ammo - each time you'd want to shoot you'd have to supply powder.

I fully agree. This thread has kind of sidetracked to fabrial guns. 

As far as your point though, I think the easiest application of a ranged shard weapon would be a chakram. No propulsion method needed. It's unlikely to out range the bond and the drawbacks of a thrown weapon are pretty much removed. Limitless ammo with the Spren returning to you. The weapon doesn't need to aim for a soft spot. It can't get stuck or lost. And there's no need of multiple parts on behalf of the Spren or extraneous equipment for the user. 

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35 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I fully agree. This thread has kind of sidetracked to fabrial guns. 

As far as your point though, I think the easiest application of a ranged shard weapon would be a chakram. No propulsion method needed. It's unlikely to out range the bond and the drawbacks of a thrown weapon are pretty much removed. Limitless ammo with the Spren returning to you. The weapon doesn't need to aim for a soft spot. It can't get stuck or lost. And there's no need of multiple parts on behalf of the Spren or extraneous equipment for the user. 

Yeah, IIRC we discussed Shardshurikens some time ago.

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One thing I didn't see mentioned in the back and forth on tissue outcomes from ballistic projectiles was ballistic factors themselves.

If a shardgun was more a spren powered rail run that provided multiple lashings as someone suggested (which IMHO is only realistic non-fabrial method), you don't have to worry about fundamentals of marksmanship, you don't have to worry about environmental factors like wind or humidity, trajectory or bullet drop, "Zeroing" at specific ranges to account for things.

In fact you have 'perfect' accuracy and can shoot over and around things, but lashing directly to your target or uninvested equipment on the target.

I think the force multiplier comes from the flexibility in use and perfect/customs accuracy without need for excellent marksmanship skills.

Want to make him drop the shardblade?  Shardgun lash the round to the targets hand.  Want to prevent him from running away, target his knee.  

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