Oltux72

Scadrian guns are deficient in performance

22 posts in this topic

Or are they? Compared to our firearms they are. There is no question about that. @SkipMage and @mathiau are likelier to be able to give more examples than I but

  • Skulls thick enough to stop a bullet
  • thieves considering an oak table sure to stop bullets

are not realistic with modern firearms. But are we looking at modern firearms? I would say we are not. And that cleans up the discrepancy. I would say that Scadrian firearms match ours in performance somewhere around 1800 in terms of muzzle velocity. But this is not a technical oddity. It makes very much sense in their terms. Hence I did not include this in a thread dedicated to technological oddities (and frankly, it had enough examples). I will allow myself a slight discourse into the philosophy of engineering. If you build a gun and its ammunition you have competing design goals

  • muzzle energy
  • stopping power
  • accuracy
  • rate of fire
  • reliability
  • durability
  • price

And possibly more. But Scadrians are in an environment where fights against allomancers are a possibility. Hence they could never switch exclusively to guns. Crossbows and wooden clubs (they call them duelling canes because it sounds better) are still a thing. Against a Coinshot a gunfighter is at a disadvantage. The Coinshot can carry more ammunition, does not need a rifle, is quieter and, most important, can sense and disarm you.

Are you at an incurable disadvantage? Well, no. You do have one major area in which you have a potential edge: accuracy
You have gunsights. The Coinshot has not. More important, your accuracy allows you to outrange Coinshots in a sensory sense. Waxillium when flying up a highrise is limited to using the structural steel in it. He cannot push on the streetlights on the ground. His range against objects in that size class must be below 200m at most.
That is well under the range of our rifles. It is not well below the range of historical firearms. Hitting somebody with a standard military gun made around 1800 at a range of 200m is outrageous. But not because the bullet would not fly that far or fail to kill you at such range, but because your accuracy was hopeless. They did not even try in military tactics.

That has consequences. The main design goal of firearms development is shifted. Muzzle energy is pointless, if using it means coming so close that you will already have been killed before you are in range. Your primary design goal is now accuracy at range and secondarily rate of fire, because you surely won't live long enough for a lengthy reload against a coinshot, nor is the stopping power to reliably drop a Pewterarm with one bullet within easy reach, nor will you hit an electrum allomancer without a hail of bullets.

Remember that Wellington, Blücher and Napoleon still fielded riders whose body armor was expected to stop a longarm's bullet. Complaints about performance are - I am afraid - anachronistic and not adapted to circumstances.

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I personally think that sanderson studied the subject more on a cinematic level than in terms of realism. That of shielding yourself with the tables is a typical scene from old Western movies.

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25 minutes ago, Gisaku75 said:

I personally think that sanderson studied the subject more on a cinematic level than in terms of realism. That of shielding yourself with the tables is a typical scene from old Western movies.

Sure, but why? Because 1850 or so it had a decent chance of working. It seems to me that we are approaching old movies with an attitude of hubris. They were made by people whose grandparents still had memories of using weapons powered by black powder. Remember that muzzle energy goes up with the square of velocity.

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Posted (edited)

28 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Sure, but why? Because 1850 or so it had a decent chance of working. It seems to me that we are approaching old movies with an attitude of hubris. They were made by people whose grandparents still had memories of using weapons powered by black powder. Remember that muzzle energy goes up with the square of velocity.

old movies were made to show off not to be historically accurate, and grandparents' stories don't count as accurate historical accounts. If a wooden shield had been able to stop a bullet it would not have disappeared from the battlefield a couple of centuries before 1850. The armor disappeared precisely because it did not provide any protection against firearms. If 2mm of steel can't stop a bullet it is impossible that a normal table can.

This is an example of what guns do at a wooden table. Also note that Wax uses the equivalent of a Colt Pacemaker which is much more advanced than the gun in the video. Weapon technology on Scadrial is post 1870 not 1850.

Edited by Gisaku75
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7 minutes ago, Gisaku75 said:

old movies were made to show off not to be historically accurate, and grandparents' stories don't count as accurate historical accounts. If a wooden shield had been able to stop a bullet it would not have disappeared from the battlefield a couple of centuries before 1850. The armor disappeared precisely because it did not provide any protection against firearms. If 2mm of steel can't stop a bullet it is impossible that a normal table can.

You are conflating two technologies that are related but not precisely the same. Wooden armour against longarms was hopeless even as early as the 18th century. But that is not what we are talking about in a saloon fight. They were using handguns.

As far as metal armor is concerned, the idea that it totally vanished many centuries ago is false. Breastplates remained in use on the battlefield into the 19th century. Why did shields vanish? Because armor you can wear is superior in terms of mobility and allows both hands to be used.

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2 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

You are conflating two technologies that are related but not precisely the same. Wooden armour against longarms was hopeless even as early as the 18th century. But that is not what we are talking about in a saloon fight. They were using handguns.

As far as metal armor is concerned, the idea that it totally vanished many centuries ago is false. Breastplates remained in use on the battlefield into the 19th century. Why did shields vanish? Because armor you can wear is superior in terms of mobility and allows both hands to be used.

I corrected my post look at the posted video and you will realize that your deductions are totally wrong

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37 minutes ago, Gisaku75 said:

I corrected my post look at the posted video and you will realize that your deductions are totally wrong

That is a strange conclusion. The weak handguns in the video went through two plates of pine at an optimal angle. The rifle destroyed the thing.

Yes, Waxillium is using a revolver. That tells us something about the gun. But what does it tell us about the ammo?

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5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Or are they? Compared to our firearms they are. There is no question about that. @SkipMage and @mathiau are likelier to be able to give more examples than I but

  • Skulls thick enough to stop a bullet
  • thieves considering an oak table sure to stop bullets

Bullets slow enough to be pushed away, implying subsonic bullets.

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7 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

That has consequences. The main design goal of firearms development is shifted. Muzzle energy is pointless, if using it means coming so close that you will already have been killed before you are in range. Your primary design goal is now accuracy at range and secondarily rate of fire, because you surely won't live long enough for a lengthy reload against a coinshot, nor is the stopping power to reliably drop a Pewterarm with one bullet within easy reach, nor will you hit an electrum allomancer without a hail of bullets.

If Main goal is accuracy, then better powder is also Main goal. It is because how important is muzzle velocity. Slow bullet is going down much more than fast one, shooter need to take much larger corrections in the fly, also bullet is much more affected by things like wind. Not even mention lower range. And faster bullet can less Likely be Pushed by Coinshot, because IT gives him less Time to react.

No, those guns are not against Allomancers. They are much more Likely for civilian use - remember, Basin don't experienced ANY war, so is logical they don't improve weapons. But now flying thread existed, so they would need weapon strong enough to shot down flying machines - this mean much stronger eplosives and faster projectiles.

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Just now, Bzhydack said:

And faster bullet can less Likely be Pushed by Coinshot, because IT gives him less Time to react.

Also, we've never seen anyone push a coin to a speed anywhere close to that of sound so a Coinshot shouldn't be able to stop supersonic bullets even if they do react to them

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3 minutes ago, mathiau said:

Also, we've never seen anyone push a coin to a speed anywhere close to that of sound so a Coinshot shouldn't be able to stop supersonic bullets even if they do react to them

A coin has far worse aerodynamics. Furthermore from a viewpoint of a coinshot, you can get far more energy into a slow, heavy projectile. The internal ballistics of a coinshot are the same as the external ones. His barrel length depends on the distance he can push on an object for. That in turn goes up with mass.

 

10 minutes ago, Bzhydack said:

If Main goal is accuracy, then better powder is also Main goal. It is because how important is muzzle velocity. Slow bullet is going down much more than fast one, shooter need to take much larger corrections in the fly, also bullet is much more affected by things like wind. Not even mention lower range.

True but at least the effect is predictable.

10 minutes ago, Bzhydack said:

And faster bullet can less Likely be Pushed by Coinshot, because IT gives him less Time to react.

True but that has diminishing returns. Once you are below human reaction times, you are done.

10 minutes ago, Bzhydack said:

No, those guns are not against Allomancers. They are much more Likely for civilian use - remember, Basin don't experienced ANY war, so is logical they don't improve weapons. But now flying thread existed, so they would need weapon strong enough to shot down flying machines - this mean much stronger eplosives and faster projectiles.

Depends on what you mean by war. The great houses definitely have troops. Scadrial has weak governments and a very armed nobility. Nobility in turn means allomancers.

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True but that has diminishing returns. Once you are below human reaction times, you are done.

Yes, but for some reason they're speed are not yet high enough to go under that

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5 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Depends on what you mean by war. The great houses definitely have troops. Scadrial has weak governments and a very armed nobility. Nobility in turn means allomancers.

War i mean literal war. Not conflicts between houses, not robberies and fights against bandits. War with armies, front etc.

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By far the worst sin against physical realism in firearms I've seen in Mistborn comes from the Wax flashback scene, when he fires a bullet out of a naked cartridge to kill the bad guy.

Bullets do not work that way.  Without a barrel to channel the powder explosion, the bullet won't accelerate up to any serious velocity.  To put it simply, you can't get a gunshot without a gun.

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10 hours ago, mathiau said:

Yes, but for some reason they're speed are not yet high enough to go under that

Do we not have multiple quotes from Waxillium that he can defend himself against bullets only if he knows they are coming before they are fired?

7 hours ago, Bzhydack said:

War i mean literal war. Not conflicts between houses, not robberies and fights against bandits. War with armies, front etc.

Well, this is what I was touching upon. They have armies, albeit small ones. Is there a real difference between large scale combat against, for example, bandits and a small war? Is that what is currently going on in Syria a war? Were the countless colonial military campaigns in Africa war?

4 hours ago, Mason Wheeler said:

By far the worst sin against physical realism in firearms I've seen in Mistborn comes from the Wax flashback scene, when he fires a bullet out of a naked cartridge to kill the bad guy.

Bullets do not work that way.  Without a barrel to channel the powder explosion, the bullet won't accelerate up to any serious velocity.  To put it simply, you can't get a gunshot without a gun.

I feel forced to make a salvage attempt.

Did Waxillium actually shoot him, or did he kill as a Coinshot and merely created an unopposed projectile against another Coinshot by explosive disassembly of a cartridge?

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8 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

I feel forced to make a salvage attempt.

Did Waxillium actually shoot him, or did he kill as a Coinshot and merely created an unopposed projectile against another Coinshot by explosive disassembly of a cartridge?

That's something to consider. Forch (i think that's his name... It's been a while since I read era 2, forgive me if i misremembered) seemed to still be Pushing on the casing (I recall it being described as flipping away unnaturally fast in some sense, as if Pushed), not the bullet, which would free Wax to Coinshoot the bullet that was now free of the casing, unopposed, and at least vaguely given a head start by the propellant.

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10 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Do we not have multiple quotes from Waxillium that he can defend himself against bullets only if he knows they are coming before they are fired?

Still, he can't know exactly the moment they are fired and that should be enough

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Posted (edited)

On 7/23/2021 at 9:29 AM, mathiau said:

Still, he can't know exactly the moment they are fired and that should be enough

Faster than sound doesn't necessarily mean faster than perception. Still a stretch but if he Pushed on any fast moving lines, especially if he was paying attention to where gunmen were to begin with then it would technically be possible. We've seen multiple times Steelpushers reacting very quickly to movements of the blue lines. And no amount of force a tiny bullet has is ever going to compare to the force Pushing it away so as long as the Push is initiated before the bullet hits then the Steelpusher will be fine.

Edit: Just to clarify, it is possible for the human eye to see a modern bullet in flight. Now yes this is exceptionally difficult and is dependent on the bullet and gun and lighting but it's still possible. Now that is a tiny piece of high velocity metal. A blue line moving would be much easer to perceive at high speeds, especially if you are prepared for it.

Edited by StanLemon
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On 7/23/2021 at 9:51 AM, Halyo_Alex said:

That's something to consider. Forch (i think that's his name... It's been a while since I read era 2, forgive me if i misremembered) seemed to still be Pushing on the casing (I recall it being described as flipping away unnaturally fast in some sense, as if Pushed), not the bullet, which would free Wax to Coinshoot the bullet that was now free of the casing, unopposed, and at least vaguely given a head start by the propellant.

I don't think so.  I had the same reaction as @Mason Wheeler: bullets can't work that way.  Both Forch and young Wax were Pushing on the slug and casing (as a single object) already; the text clearly implies that by Pushing on the primer cap, Wax "fired" the bullet, which killed Forch.

The problem is that without a gun barrel to contain the expanding gas, as well as the mass of a firearm to resist the backwards momentum, what I'd expect to see is 1) most of the energy wasted pushing air outward in all directions, 2) the empty cartridge flying back toward Wax, and 3) the massive slug dropping weakly at Forch's feet.

I'd also point out that if I were in a saloon and a gunfight broke out, I'd knock over a rusting table and hide behind it whether I thought it would stop bullets or not, on the principle that if they can't SEE me, it's harder for them to SHOOT me.

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Posted (edited)

On 2021-07-26 at 11:04 PM, AquaRegia said:

I don't think so.  I had the same reaction as @Mason Wheeler: bullets can't work that way.  Both Forch and young Wax were Pushing on the slug and casing (as a single object) already; the text clearly implies that by Pushing on the primer cap, Wax "fired" the bullet, which killed Forch.

The problem is that without a gun barrel to contain the expanding gas, as well as the mass of a firearm to resist the backwards momentum, what I'd expect to see is 1) most of the energy wasted pushing air outward in all directions, 2) the empty cartridge flying back toward Wax, and 3) the massive slug dropping weakly at Forch's feet.

I'd also point out that if I were in a saloon and a gunfight broke out, I'd knock over a rusting table and hide behind it whether I thought it would stop bullets or not, on the principle that if they can't SEE me, it's harder for them to SHOOT me.

I think that by Wax pushing on the cartridge the backward pacing vector of force was redirected forward, propelling the bullet.

I agree that it will be weaker than using a gun but depending on the cartridge some force will leak forward, and the range was short iirc si it didn’t break suspension for me.

The spent cartridge will be interestingly deformed.

Edited by Blackwarder
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The way I see it, Scadrial must overcompensate with their casings. The text of the book said the casing was sent flying back implying that it didn't get completely destroyed. 

The only way I could see things happening the way they do in the books is that between the casing somehow holding itself together and staying in place long enough thanks to Waxes shove of the pin that enough force was directed forward just long enough ahead of the rest of the explosion to kill Forch.

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18 hours ago, StanLemon said:

The way I see it, Scadrial must overcompensate with their casings. The text of the book said the casing was sent flying back implying that it didn't get completely destroyed.

That's a good point - I watched some YouTube videos of bullets being fired while NOT in a gun, and the casings generally end up either split open like a used banana peel or blown to tiny pieces.

As with many other things in the Cosmere that may look fishy, it can help quite a bit to smooth it over with "magic".

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