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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:34 am 
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Posts: 71
Why not a repeating crossbow?

With modern materials and design, you could have a cylindrical magazine in the body and a pump or lever action with modern gearing. You could set the skeleton framework up with templates and basic implements for transforming appropriate local materials into bolts, even. Using modern materials for springs and the bowstring(s) you could have a very powerful weapon, collapsible for storage, with a good range and with the ability to make its own ammunition in many environments.

For example, from "Audace ad Gloriam" (my pseudo Traveller supplement for Exploration and Survival gear) ...

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Quote:
FLATBOW

This is simply a 1½ kilo block of mixed ePolymer and Smart Metal which can transform, on command, into a standard Crossbow.

The main benefit is in storage, as the unit packs down to a 1 liter volume shape to fit most conveniently and with perfect efficiency into any space available in a pack or emergency supply capsule.

The transformation takes 15 Combat Rounds from, or 30 Combat Rounds to reformat back into block form.

The basic package includes a ½ kilo block of ePolymer and Smart Metal which, when triggered, forms into five Bolts for the FlatBow in 5 Combat Rounds.

These two components are often found as a com­bined 2 kilo, 1 ½ liter volume, block for storage purposes.

Bolts can be reformed in the same way that the FlatBow itself can be, though this is most often done to repair broken Bolts – as long as all the parts have been gathered together, they can be reformatted into a whole Bolt (or Bolts).

The body of the FlatBow has integral templates allow­ing the measurement of replacement Bolts, if forming them from local materials.

Mass: 1½ kg. Cost: 50 Cr. Power: 1 x A Battery (15 PP to format/reformat). Accessories: 5 round BoltBlok (½ kilo), 5 Cr (AAAA Battery, 5 PP to format/reformat). Law Level: 8 (General Use), 9 (Survival Kit).

A FlatBow is tricked out to mount standard Scopesights, but does not come with them as part of the package.

FlatBows are Law Level 8 if a character wants to possess one for their own personal use and keep it in their own home, but Law Level 9 for inclusion in a Survival Kit kept for offplanet use and stored appropriately (or if owned privately but stored and used only on the premises of a registered sporting club).

Range: Assault Weapon. Damage: 2d6+1. Recoil: 1.

A FlatBow takes three (3) Minor Actions to recock and reload. They can take any type of Bolt used by any of the Crossbows or Flatbows in the game.

-----

Phil


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:30 am 
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Location: Northern California
A high-tech crossbow is something that's come up as a suggestion in the group. There's a number of (somewhat nebulous) ballistics reasons for not favoring crossbows - mostly around the idea bows and crossbows simply aren't as lethal as bullets (regardless of if you believe in hydrostatic shock or not) and ammunition storage and so on.

However, the primary reason why a crossbow isn't a popular idea is simply as the universe meta-design, I want to avoid the imagery of "Dungeons and Dragons" in space (the players are hardcore fantasy RPGers so this is a constant thing) - so no laser swords or vibroweapons or whatever. Similarly, armor shouldn't look like medieval plate armor. And no bows or crossbows.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Given that, I would go back to the Pneumatic Gun then. Basically a pump action air rifle. But, as an item in a survival kit, it is likely smaller than a true rifle, probably a Carbine or even a pistol.

The gun is NOT designed for a firefight. It is designed to bring down small animals up to about 25kg for food. Thus is doesn't have fancy armour piercing rounds or incredible stopping power. It is probably about as powerful as a .22 rifle (ish).

Anything more than that and you are not really talking about a Survival Weapon, you are looking at a combat weapon.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:59 pm 
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I will mention again that Lewis and Clark took a Girandoni (SP?) air rifle on their exploration in 1803 and it was very successful at taking down deer.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:35 pm 
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I stand corrected... Make that up to 200kg of food animal!

Thanks Agatsu77, I had forgotten that earlier comment.

If you can take down a deer or other large food animal with an air rifle, there is no need for anything fancier. Modernize the TL4 weapon (about where L&C would fall) and you have a reliable, weapon requiring very little support that meets the needs of a "survivor rifle" Give them a box of slug-bullets, make it so that it can be partially disassembled for storage and call it good!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Location: Northern California
Cyborg IM1 wrote:
Anything more than that and you are not really talking about a Survival Weapon, you are looking at a combat weapon.


Actually, this particular weapon would be a combat weapon by that definition. The idea is that on many non-Earth worlds out there, avoiding large beasts like you can on Earth may not necessarily be an option, and there might not be convenient small critters that you can pop for food. So under the definition of a lot of people on the board, I'd think it'd be more of a "defense weapon" - it can be used for combat but it isn't ideal for the purpose: low ammunition capacity, un-optimal range, and similar drawbacks.

The reason why it's a "survival" rifle is that it is: very low-maintenance (you should be able to simply leave it in its padded storage case for 30 years in the trunk/locker of your vehicle and it'll be ready provided you charge it in the sun or whatever), have a minimum level of utility even with un-optimal or makeshift ammunition (this is why I'm leading towards an air rifle of some sort), durable (should be able to endure abuse), and be useful in the widest variety of Earth-type climates (it doesn't need to be useful in all climates, just "most").


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Agreed, I used poor word choice. Of course it could be used as a combat weapon, but as you said, it would not be ideal.

If it can drop a 200 kg Bandershatch, then it can drop a lightly armoured human.

I wouldn't want to use one as my primary weapon in a war though (but it might be useful as a hold-out weapon or as a something I keep in a rack over my head inside my tank!)

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