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Nameless

How strong is shardplate?

Question

So, I have seen a lot of people talking about how a few bullets could break Shardplate, and they get that from this:

Quote

Questioner

How many shots would it take for Wax using his gun to break a section of Shardplate?

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on the gun... Okay, so Vindication. He could probably... depends on the bullet, cause he's got several styles. But let's just say two or three. There's an argument he could do it with one, with the right shot, the right bullet, in the right moment.

But an earlier WoB said this:

Quote

VindicationKnight

To what extent could Shardplate resist a bullet?

Brandon Sanderson

Plate would resist a bullet well.

I think that people have taken the first WoB to mean something other than what it does. I think that they are forgetting that Wax is a steelrunner, and can push on his bullets to give them more momentum, even increasing the power of his pushes by increasing his weight, while most gunmen cannot do this. from what I have found, a .22 rifle has about the same amount of energy behind it as an English longbow, which I think the Alethi have, and those arrows do about nothing to plate. I think that a regular (or even irregular like vindication) pistol would have less energy behind it than a .22 (correct me if i'm wrong) and the only advantage of a bullet is that it is more focused. So I think that guns should do little to shardplate, unless you get something like Wax's extra-large shotgun. What do you think?

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9 answers to this question

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Even using conservative estimates (high end for bow, low end for gun, sourced mostly from wikipedida) a rifle bullet is easily 1.5-2x more powerul than an arrow in terms of the amount of kinetic energy it delivers.  comparing average to average and the rifle is going to come out looking better still, though i didnt try to calculate those numbers - nor did i try to account for the fact that an arrow is going to lose more of its speed than a bullet is.  I believe it also delivers that energy to a smaller area, as you noted, which means its going to be even more effective at causing damage than the above numbers suggest.  A Colt .45 actually has higher initial energy than the low-end .22 rifle example (though i suspect the rifle fares better over long dsitances - not doing that research now), so at short range its going to be even more effective.  so basically, in any reasonable scenario, a bullet is going to be several times stronger than an arrow, and likley more accurate as well.

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1 hour ago, Llstml said:

I think that people have taken the first WoB to mean something other than what it does. I think that they are forgetting that Wax is a steelrunner,

Coinshot and skimmer called crasher actually.

1 hour ago, Llstml said:

pistol would have less energy behind it than a .22

I think this is incorrect.  Larger caliber rounds carry more energy as momentum = mass*velocity.  Also think about the recoil and stopping power of a bazooka vs that of a .22.

I do agree however that plate would stand up to guns fairly well and that many people underestimate its strength.  In my mind you are going to need something built to stop a tank to actually have confidence of killing a shardbearer.

Edited by Karger
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1 hour ago, Karger said:

more energy as momentum = mass*velocity

I think you mean "as kinetic energy = .5*mass*velocity^2"

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7 hours ago, ChickenLiberty said:

I think you mean "as kinetic energy = .5*mass*velocity^2"

That is probably a more accurate example of what is happening.

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Just now, Karger said:

That is probably a more accurate example of what is happening.

Why? We do not know what shatters the plate. It could be energy or momentum or both. Nor do we know how this accumulates. Repeated hammerings work, hundreds of arrows do nothing. But there may be a lower limit below which damage does not accumulate. It looks like the effect of concentrating energy and momentum on a small area with a bullet does not work.
I would try a large calber low velocity weapon to maximize momentum.

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Either works.  I am sure Navani knowns the answer.  I do not.

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15 hours ago, Karger said:

Coinshot and skimmer called crasher actually.

Sorry, I got coinshot mixed up with F-steel,which is steelrunner.

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I could also be that the bullet could be Aluminium...

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18 minutes ago, GoWibble said:

I could also be that the bullet could be Aluminium...

Not sure if that would work but it would be interesting.

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