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Author Topic: Is it possible to engineer steampunk weaponry  (Read 1874 times)
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« on: February 11, 2018, 05:48:41 pm »

It occurs to me that alot of innovations we have today would be different in an alternate steampunk set universe but at the same time I also want a universe that takes place during ww1 or ww2 but this can be difficult when taking into account that not only are both campaigns mainly populated by dieselpunk but this is the main time period when people were inventing things to be used to fight each other so a musket or something of the sort would be hard to imagine. Pneumatic weaponry seems to fit but it a steam cannon to me seems a bit primitive and not what I'm going for so I'd like to find a way to have cannons within a steampunk fanfic in gonna write Undecided
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 09:56:01 pm »

It occurs to me that alot of innovations we have today would be different in an alternate steampunk set universe but at the same time I also want a universe that takes place during ww1 or ww2 but this can be difficult when taking into account that not only are both campaigns mainly populated by dieselpunk but this is the main time period when people were inventing things to be used to fight each other so a musket or something of the sort would be hard to imagine. Pneumatic weaponry seems to fit but it a steam cannon to me seems a bit primitive and not what I'm going for so I'd like to find a way to have cannons within a steampunk fanfic in gonna write Undecided
I had to split your post from the previous thread because it was a different subject. I'm assuming you wanted to start a new thread. When you want to start a new thread, get yourself to a major section (e.g. "Tactile"). The press the button "New Topic" on the top right of your screen...
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 12:21:38 am »

Gunpowder and canons predated steam engines. Nothing should prevent you from having them in a steampunk setting.
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 07:25:46 am »

It would be possible to keep the steampunk aesthetic in later period weaponry.
E.g. a modern Minigun is basically a hand-operated Gatling rebuilt in stainless steel and titanium then powered by an electric motor.
It would be equally plausible to keep the shiny brass, octagonal barrels and power the mechanism by a steam-turbine or wheel-&-piston railway-style.

Try some of these as examples:
https://onedio.co/content/13-perfectly-looped-mechanical-gifs-that-show-how-different-guns-work-16265

Some, like the Gardner Gatling and Hotchkiss are steamy without even trying - cams, gears, levers, etc galore - and even post-1900 plastic guns like the Famas and M4 can become passable when cgi'd as machined steel.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 07:27:53 am by Fairley B. Strange » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 09:39:12 pm »

Isn't this "reverse Steampunk"? More like a post-apocalyptic scenario where a nuclear war happens in WWII.
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 08:16:02 pm »

I may be wrong but I seem to remember that the Mythbusters built a reasonably successful steam powered machine gun in one of the early series.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2018, 06:50:07 pm »

There's always the idea of some sort of hybrid weapon. These cannons had a steam-powered hydraulic loading system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abyHm5gnvgw
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 02:16:35 am »

Dead simple and not primitive at all. 

Have a look at a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolver_cannon and a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_cannon.  A proper one is limited to ~30mm but with some imagination and creative license it wouldn't be difficult to increase this.  Clearly the cartridges would be standard powder, but steam power could rotate the cylinder /barrel.  That's big stuff.  You could go smaller.  You could augment the gas action that's used on small arms with steam power. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas-operated_reloading) Small backpack with combination furnace and boiler, steam hose to weapon and lots of smoke. Perhaps not too stealthy, but perhaps impressive. A steamy version of those bad guys in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow?

Remember the spent cartridges being ridiculously ejected from the Transformers' and Death Star's laser cannons?  Blending new and old works very well visually.

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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 06:00:24 pm »

If you look at ornamental artillery (pre-WWI), a lot of it is very steamy/mythological. If you want to incorporate steam/air itself, air rifles have been a thing for centuries, and were a powerful tool for silent killing. Steam-throwers could do the same amount of damage as a flamethrower, and pneumatic loading systems arent hard to imagine, not to mention hydraulics for bigger weapons.
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 11:55:29 pm »

I do not believe that steampunk small arms must necessarily be “steam powered” as mor advanced chemical propulsion based weaponry can certainly be “steamy” ...

I myself have designed ( but not yet prototyped ) a gas operated , magazine fed, breachloading , bullpup , flintlock assault rifle using paper cartridges and a flintlock priming pan feeding system.

Other steamy liquid chemically based projectile weaponry has been proposed here in the past ..
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2018, 02:12:19 am »

Plus. during the Victorian Age, gun engraving became BIG, not to mention that cartridges came into existence.
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2018, 12:57:31 am »

...erated , magazine fed, breachloading , bullpup , flintlock assa...

Err in light of the thread title, how do you configure a breechloading bullpup? And how do paper cartridges stay intact inside a sprung mag and whilst being thwacked by the bolt? Maybe a flame thrower would be simpler, although you might just be describing one  Smiley
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 12:59:12 am by cossoft » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2018, 07:19:42 am »

...erated , magazine fed, breachloading , bullpup , flintlock assa...

Err in light of the thread title, how do you configure a breechloading bullpup? And how do paper cartridges stay intact inside a sprung mag and whilst being thwacked by the bolt? Maybe a flame thrower would be simpler, although you might just be describing one  Smiley

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breechloader indicates a firelock in which the back end opens to accept bullet and powder charge , or cartridge, as opposed to a muzzleloader, in which the breech end is sealed forever and one must dump the charge and bullet down from the muzzle, then ram them home...

The paper cartridges must needs be robust enough to withstand feeding and loading, but being combustible, burn up to leave nothing to eject.

the bullpup configuration merely places the reciever directly against the buttplate.

the two most difficult issues are self-priming of the flintlock pan, (which is accomplished by turning a priming cylinder when the action is worked) and the cycling of the action, which is done by collecting the expelled gasses in a compressed gas reservoir and allowing them to slowly drive the action bolt via a clockwork gear mechanism powered by said gas reservoir ...

I expect to be able to achieve a rate of fire of nearly 4 rounds per minute!

or I can simply make it a pump action.

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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2018, 08:38:28 am »

Ok, as a technician in this field, I'll bite...
You've set yourself a hard task, but it's theoretically feasible.

Instead of simple rolled paper cartouches, I'd suggest something sturdier like the impregnated cellulose of the combustible cartridge cases on the 120mm gun on M1A1 Abrams tanks, it supports the full weight of the DU penetrator projectile during the loading process yet flashes to gas when ignited.
However, with a combustible cartouche, the real concern would be inadvertent ignition:
- an overheated chamber can be mitigated by cooling fins or heatsinks
- breakage and spillage from the cartouche being loaded would be a risk as propellant would be dumped amidst the heated and moving mechanism with flash and friction ignition risks, so you'd need a very controlled loading system.
- similarly, with no cartridge rim extraction of loaded but unfired cartouches will require a mechanism to extract and eject the full unfired round.
- flashover from char from previous shots would require a bore evacuator to draw any debris forward down the barrel away from the next round
- any form of muzzle suppressor that would increase rearward gas flow back into the action would be an issue
 - and obviously a Stoner/Ljungmann direct-gas system would need to be a short stroke piston instead.

The self-priming flintlock pan could copy the 'tipping scent-bottle' design of the early percussion rifles, dispensing a small dash of FFFg on each tip of the reservoir.
Having your mechanism nearer your shoulder is potentially unweildy like all bullpups but no more unsafe having the breech beside your head as in front of it with a conventional rifle layout.

Hmmm, by the time we worked out the mechanics, you'd probably end up with the Brass and Engravings version of the German G11 Caseless rifle.
The outside is pure 1990s plastic Space-gun, but check out all that shiny metalcuckoo-clock loading mechanism inside...
https://goo.gl/images/ZCR9FF
The loading plan was comparitively simple, the caseless blocks of propellant with jrojectile embedded fed downwards into a rotating breechblock and were fired conventionally by a pin - it was getting the rifle to safely eject unfired rounds that added all the extra bits.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 08:43:39 am by Fairley B. Strange » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2018, 08:28:03 am »

If you want steam powered guns, there's a difficulty using steam to directly drive a bullet, condensation in the barrel.  To avoid this the steam would need to be super heated and the barrel kept above the boiling point.

Another possibility is a steam engine driving an air compressor for an airgun.

One interesting possibility is hydrogen peroxide generating steam to drive a bullet.

What about weaponizing some of the phenomenon that Victorian science was coming to recognize?  Could a focused shot of air, or burst of sound, be used to disable a target?
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2018, 01:31:50 pm »

Deleted 'coz I messed it up.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 01:42:59 pm by cossoft » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2018, 01:40:29 pm »

Now that someone's mentioned using bursts of sound, I offer this:-



It's a device sold and (controversially) legal to use in Europe on children.  Keeps the little blighters away if you read the marketing. I think McDonald's and some councils use them.     I guess a much larger one running off a huge steam powered generator might be what you're after.

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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 05:01:04 pm »

 

What could be more steamy  than boiling oil?
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2018, 02:30:52 am »

Now that someone's mentioned using bursts of sound, I offer this:-



It's a device sold and (controversially) legal to use in Europe on children.  Keeps the little blighters away if you read the marketing. I think McDonald's and some councils use them.     I guess a much larger one running off a huge steam powered generator might be what you're after.



Macdougals burgoids tried them around here... rather controversial.
What has worked is piping in classical music!
Somehow the riffraff cannot abide it....

Yhs prof mvl
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2018, 03:17:58 am »

Now that someone's mentioned using bursts of sound, I offer this:-



It's a device sold and (controversially) legal to use in Europe on children.  Keeps the little blighters away if you read the marketing. I think McDonald's and some councils use them.     I guess a much larger one running off a huge steam powered generator might be what you're after.



Macdougals burgoids tried them around here... rather controversial.
What has worked is piping in classical music!
Somehow the riffraff cannot abide it....

Yhs prof mvl

 They utilise this weaponry out side the local municipal library - with great effect.
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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2018, 07:14:55 am »

Now that someone's mentioned using bursts of sound, I offer this:-



It's a device sold and (controversially) legal to use in Europe on children.  Keeps the little blighters away if you read the marketing. I think McDonald's and some councils use them.     I guess a much larger one running off a huge steam powered generator might be what you're after.



Macdougals burgoids tried them around here... rather controversial.
What has worked is piping in classical music!
Somehow the riffraff cannot abide it....

Yhs prof mvl
With my hearing, I prefer the classical music.
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