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Author Topic: What's wrong with bullets?  (Read 3781 times)
Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2013, 02:28:41 am »

At a con some years ago, Greg Broadmore, of Dr. Grordbort's fame, had an amusing story about the (in-)advisability of telling the customs and security officers at airports that the large case he had was "full of ray-guns."
One of the nice things about ray-guns and the like is that they have much looser parameters for design and construction than conventional slug-throwers, which is fun for the designers and builders out there. A firearm has less latitude, inasmuch as it has a barrel, a breech/receiver assembly, some sort of grip, a firing mechanism, etc., all of which has to be in fairly specific order and place to be convincing.
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Pocko
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« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2013, 11:14:30 am »

To be very wishy-washy and sit on the fence, I think slug-throwers and "ray guns" can be done extremely well. They can also be done excruciatingly badly.

In terms of my own characters/costuming/making, I would genuinely go for both. A nice elegant Colt Navy in one hand, and some sort of energy weapon in the other.

I suspect that when people make sweeping generalisations about ray guns, they are picturing either a 50s retro style (which to me doesn't exactly fit the style/timeframe) or they are picturing the not uncommon "brass candlestick and coat hook" style (which without any additional work look exactly like what they are!).

It is entirely possible to avoid the two groups above with a bit of thought. You can design and make an energy weapon, in the style of a pistol, that looks like it fits the timeframe and also has a believable backstory/mechanism.
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Dr Fidelius
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« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2013, 03:01:08 pm »

I avoid the whole thing by not having a character who needs a weapon. I have toyed with the idea of a wrist-mounted crossbow to fire off tranquilizer darts (with a very large syringe strapped across my back labelled "In Case of Brontosaurus") but never got around to crafting one.

I find myself more a storyteller, my persona (such as it is) is an academic, and when I dress up for an event I am likely to be the least outlandish person in the room. And that is how I do Steampunk; quietly but with a certain panache.
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PatronZero
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« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2013, 09:02:46 pm »

Myself I tend to lean to a preference for 'primitive' slug-throwers rather than ray guns and other energy discharging devices, if said bullets are exotic in nature then such can well be equally 'efficient' in their application.
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Rockula
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« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2013, 09:08:54 pm »

I'd go with both, cover the bases in case of energy depletion and have a good old chemical reaction to fall back on.
 Or throw rocks.
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kidkunjer
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« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2013, 03:45:14 pm »

i find both ray guns and projectiles guns a little boring.

why not something like a quantum disruptor? (your enemy exists, does not exist, and both at the same time!)
or weaponised hallucinogenics?
or gravity inverter? (watch your victim sail up into the sky and away from earth)
or weaponised time travel? (flips them forward in time to when the earth is in a different place on its orbit so they suffocate in space)
how about a weapon that turns off the repelant force of the atoms in their body so pass through all solid matter?

the possibilities are endless and much more interesting than lead/light to make a hole in people.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 08:09:49 pm by kidkunjer » Logged
Capt. Dirigible
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« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2013, 04:35:35 pm »

i find both ray guns and projectiles guns a little boring.

why not something like a quantum disruptor? (your enemy exists, does not exist, and both at the same time!)
or weaponised hallucinogenics?
or gravity inverter? (whatch your victim sail up into the sky and away from earth)
or weaponised time travel? (flips them forward in time to when the earth is in a different place on its orbit so they suffocate in space)
how about a weapon that turns of the repelant force of the atoms in their body so pass through all solid matter?

the possibilities are endless and much more interesting than lead/light to make a hole in people.

To be honest any hand held 'weapon' built by steampunks with brass doo-dads and copper coils etc can be called whatever you wish. It's not actually going to function so whether you call it a 'ray gun' or a 'gravity invertor' or a 'quantum disruptor' is entirely up to you. The 'ray' that it's meant to emit could just as easily burn through flesh as it could disrupt time and space or reverse gravity? It's all just make believe, anyway!
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kidkunjer
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« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2013, 05:11:50 pm »

my own steampunk creation weapon has a sticker on it that says "warning, quantum disturbances this end -->"
but yes essentially its no different from anyone elses painted plastic and reclaimed brass bits raygun.
but i was more thinking in a fictional context such as novels and movies...
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Dr Fidelius
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« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2013, 06:56:18 pm »

I always did like a clear "This End Towards Enemy" label.
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pakled
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« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2013, 04:28:28 am »

Any good claymore would give you that...Wink
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Atterton
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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2013, 02:44:48 pm »

The mine or the sword?
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« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2013, 08:28:15 pm »

The mine or the sword?
BOTH! Smiley
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kidkunjer
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« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2013, 11:59:07 pm »

ooh i like it Smiley that's going straight into one of my stories, but i think i'll have it so it fires magnetised barbs, which one can then reverse the polarity and draw them back to you by the power of pseudoscience!

although i need to think of a fix as my fictional world has no electricity... perhaps a machanism flipping powerful permanent but shielded magnets over in a kind of 3d tubed iris effect or something...
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Sebastian Dante
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« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2013, 11:41:14 pm »

I enjoy the aesthetics of either if they are well built. As a personal preference, I go with bullets every time, but that's partly because I have more ideas in relation to the look feel and build of these weapons. Personally I always feel my outfit is lacking without my trusty flintlocks, which unfortunately is most of the time as many of the British public and most of the British police prefer you don't carry anything that looks like a firearm.

Also, a large and obvious weapon is often detracting from the image and background of a persona in question. Often a weapon can be as good if not better if it is styled in a minimalistic fashion, something similar to Moriarti's small caliber pistol contraption that is shown in Sherlock Holmes
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Sethodine
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« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2013, 02:17:58 am »

Personally I prefer slugthrowers. I carry one all the time anyways, so it wouldn't make me feel weird to wear one in public as part of a steampunk do. Unfortunately, I don't have a slugthrower that looks steampunky. I've been considering investing in a Russian 7-shot revolver called the Nagant M1985 (designed in 1895) but being on the poor side of things at the moment that will have to wait.

I like a good raygun just as much as the next steampunk, but it is rare that I actually see a good one. Perhaps this will be my next challenge (?)
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« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2013, 05:33:40 pm »

~Crossbows, says me!
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hardlec
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« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2013, 03:36:51 am »

Ray Gun, please.

HG Wells referred to the heat ray. Verne had an electric gun.  In terms of the science fiction of the time, Ray Guns are perfectly valid.

If I want to go to the everglades and hunt Pythons, I most surely would take a gun, probably several.  When I go to the range I poke holes in paper with a gun, or at times, an arrow.  Target shooting is very relaxing, but ammunition can get expensive.  Archery is less expensive. Neither is really good for costume events or conventions. Ever got a bowstring caught in your bodkin?

If I go to a costume event, I want to have fun at the event.  A light weight, safe, "colorful" prop ray gun is fun at a convention. It is safe and easy to carry about.

A rubber band catapult makes a dandy slug thrower.  It works with snails, too.
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« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2013, 10:34:06 pm »

My grandfather used to walk about the garden with a stick with a nail in one end. When he would come upon a slug, "shluck"- onto the nail. Then he would deposit the corpse in a bucket of lime.
my raygun design is based on a German flare gun of 1890s vintage. It's meant to fire bolts of highly charged particles in a "lightning bullet" which has surprising man-stopping capabilities. (Throws them about three feet backwards)
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Maudlin Hart
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« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2013, 02:09:41 am »

My steampunk persona includes a compact semi-automatic handgun of Lunar manufacture which fires short-range chemical projectiles comprised of dihydrogen monoxide and certain saponids. By which I mean a bubble-gun. I call her Loreley.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2013, 05:13:34 am »

i find both ray guns and projectiles guns a little boring.

why not something like a quantum disruptor? (your enemy exists, does not exist, and both at the same time!)
or weaponised hallucinogenics?
or gravity inverter? (whatch your victim sail up into the sky and away from earth)
or weaponised time travel? (flips them forward in time to when the earth is in a different place on its orbit so they suffocate in space)
how about a weapon that turns of the repelant force of the atoms in their body so pass through all solid matter?

the possibilities are endless and much more interesting than lead/light to make a hole in people.

To be honest any hand held 'weapon' built by steampunks with brass doo-dads and copper coils etc can be called whatever you wish. It's not actually going to function so whether you call it a 'ray gun' or a 'gravity invertor' or a 'quantum disruptor' is entirely up to you. The 'ray' that it's meant to emit could just as easily burn through flesh as it could disrupt time and space or reverse gravity? It's all just make believe, anyway!



Whew! I was sure I just melted my own foot off, Captain. I'm so glad it's impossible to do that with this thing! *aims at monitor and fire--
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« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2013, 09:37:38 am »

It seems like with every Steampunk Adventurer or Pirate, or Spy or even paranoid Mad Scientist are armed with a ray gun.

Not to hate on those who like the concepts of Ray guns, but I must ask, what is wrong with bullet-shooting guns!?! It's not like we can't get fake ones to modify to our liking, But as a RL sport shooter, Why are there no Flintlocks or revolvers or even a blunderbuss that (pretends to) fire bullets instead of beams of light?

Perhaps Victorian time travellers found that ray guns are more efficient and accurate than bullet throwing weapons. In action movies, the bullet weapons aways jams or get out of ammo. Ray guns don't. Ray guns still work under water, in extreme weather conditions, in outer space. In SP crime stories, ray guns don't have gun shot residue, so no one can see if you've fired a ray gun. Also no nozzle blast, silent. I only see positives, almost no negatives.  Wink

That said, I think it's an easy way out to use ray guns in a story. Have the setting in a Victorian town, replace fire arms with ray guns and you have a SP story. It's in the category:"just glue some cogs on it and call it Steeeeampunk."

All of the above, IMHO.
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« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2013, 10:07:55 am »

And of course on a purely practical level, its easier to make a ray gun shaped water pistol or Nerf weapon look good than it is a realistic looking plastic gun.
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von Corax
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« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2013, 11:29:27 pm »

It seems like with every Steampunk Adventurer or Pirate, or Spy or even paranoid Mad Scientist are armed with a ray gun.

Not to hate on those who like the concepts of Ray guns, but I must ask, what is wrong with bullet-shooting guns!?! It's not like we can't get fake ones to modify to our liking, But as a RL sport shooter, Why are there no Flintlocks or revolvers or even a blunderbuss that (pretends to) fire bullets instead of beams of light?

Perhaps Victorian time travellers found that ray guns are more efficient and accurate than bullet throwing weapons. In action movies, the bullet weapons aways jams or get out of ammo. Ray guns don't. Ray guns still work under water, in extreme weather conditions, in outer space. In SP crime stories, ray guns don't have gun shot residue, so no one can see if you've fired a ray gun. Also no nozzle blast, silent. I only see positives, almost no negatives.  Wink

Also, a ray gun doesn't leave behind a temporal-displacement-charged bullet to cause random after-paradox disruptions in the timeline. Smiley (It is well known that attempting to fire a time-local bullet from a displaced gun is generally far more hazardous to the wielder than to any bystander.)
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Hey Joe
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« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2013, 01:58:31 am »

The idea of a "slugthrower" interests me. The general idea would be mounting a jar full of slugs onto a pellet throwing crossbow? This has possibilities.
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2013, 05:52:15 am »

The idea of a "slugthrower" interests me. The general idea would be mounting a jar full of slugs onto a pellet throwing crossbow? This has possibilities.



Equip the little fellows with tiny swords and rifles, and you have a ready-made task force to handle enemy incursions! Why use a cross bow, use a blunderbuss or a large-bore gatling gun, firing whole squads of the little hellions. Imagine turning the tide and driving your adversaries back with millions of tiny shock troops!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 05:54:10 am by MWBailey » Logged
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