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    Default Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    From the last thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by averagejoe View Post
    This thread is a resource for getting information about real life weapons and armor. Normally this thread would be in Friendly Banter, but the concept has always been that the information is for RPG players and DMs so they can use it to make their games better.

    As far as I can tell, the previous threads don't exist any more, except Version V and Version VI. This is Version VII.

    A few rules for this thread:
    • This thread is for asking questions about how weapons and armor really work. As such, it's not going to include game rule statistics. If you have such a question, especially if it stems from an answer or question in this thread, feel free to start a new thread and include a link back to here. If you do ask a rule question here, you'll be asked to move it elsewhere, and then we'll be happy to help out with it.
    • Any weapon or time period is open for questions. Medieval and ancient warfare questions seem to predominate, but since there are many games set in other periods as well, feel free to ask about any weapon. This includes futuristic ones - but be aware that these will be likely assessed according to their real life feasibility. Thus, phasers, for example, will be talked about in real-world science and physics terms rather than the Star Trek canon. If you want to discuss a fictional weapon from a particular source according to the canonical explanation, please start a new thread for it.
    • Please try to cite your claims if possible. If you know of a citation for a particular piece of information, please include it. However, everyone should be aware that sometimes even the experts don't agree, so it's quite possible to have two conflicting answers to the same question. This isn't a problem; the asker of the question can examine the information and decide which side to go with. The purpose of the thread is to provide as much information as possible. Debates are fine, but be sure to keep it a friendly debate (even if the experts can't!).
    • No modern real-world political discussion. As the great Carl von Clausevitz once said, "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means," so poltics and war are heavily intertwined. However, politics are a big hot-button issue and one banned on these boards, so avoid political analysis if at all possible (this thread is primarily about military hardware). There's more leeway on this for anything prior to about 1800, but be very careful with all of it, and anything past 1900 is surely not open for analysis. (I know these are arbitrary dates, but any dates would be, and I feel these ones are reasonable.)
    • No graphic descriptions. War is violent, dirty, and horrific, and anyone discussing it should be keenly aware of that. However, on this board graphic descriptions of violence (or sexuality) are not allowed, so please avoid them.


    With that done, have at, and enjoy yourselves!
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    Last edited by Yora; 2011-04-22 at 06:09 AM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Now my first question for this thread:
    What rifles are those in this picture?
    While many of the components seem familiar, I have no idea what models those rifles are. It's supposed to be German Army snipers in Afghanistan.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Probably a HK G3ZF.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Yeah, that seems to be the one. The stock reminded me a lot of the first one for the MP5.
    Didn't recognize it under the new rails they put on everything these days, and all the attachments.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    There also appear to be a pair of Accuracy International rifles (probably Arctic Warfare Magnums) in the background. And by a pair I mean five. Though I didn't know the Bundeswehr were still using their G3s - I thought everyone had a fancy new G36 - so at first I thought this might have been Norwegians, except the camouflage they're wearing is definitely Wüstentarn, not the Norwegian pattern stuff.
    Last edited by Kalaska'Agathas; 2011-03-29 at 01:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    German news report about the armed forces are usually not very good, but so far I don't think there are many cases in which foreign soldiers were used as stand-ins for ours.

    G36 are 5.56mm assault rifles, much like the american M16 (but much better and more advanced ). The G3 is an old style battle rifle using the 7.62 cartridge that has a lot more power and range.
    In the 60s and 70s, it turned out that combat in modern environments almost never took place at ranges that require the 7.62mm cartridge, and using the smaller 5.56mm is more than enough. Smaller cartridges mean less weight and smaller rifles, which more importantly means less weight, so you can carry more rounds for the same weight. I think the German Army used the G3 until 1997, at a time when no other modern army was still using 7.62mm rifles as primary weapons for the troops.

    However, if you want to shot at long ranges with high precision, 7.62mm ammunition performs much better, so several rifles that are generally obsolete, are still being used as sniper rifles. Just put a scope on top and a bipod under the barrel, and you got yourself a sniper rifle. The US Army uses the ancient M14 rifles from the late 50s in the same role.

    And yes, those in the background are AWMs. A german arms manufacturer has a licensing deal with Accuracy International to build several rifles under a different name for the German Army.

    However, something that confuses me is that rusty metal plate that seems to be boleted to the G3 in the foreground. What's that for?
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-03-29 at 02:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    German news report about the armed forces are usually not very good, but so far I don't think there are many cases in which foreign soldiers were used as stand-ins for ours.
    This may be true, but I don't read German and you only posted the photo, so based on the weapons in the photo, my initial reaction was "Norwegians" as they still have their G3 rifles in general use, but then I looked at the soldiers in question, noticed the Wüstentarn, and decided they were in fact Germans.

    G36 are 5.56mm assault rifles, much like the american M16 (but much better and more advanced ).
    The G36's operating system is based primarily on the American AR-18, which was designed a scant six years after the M16, so I don't know how much more advanced it is, at least mechanically. It does use more modern materials than most M16 derivatives, but the optic sight issued with the G36 is significantly worse than the standard issue optic sights issued to the M16/M4 (i.e. Trijicon ACOG).

    The G3 is an old style battle rifle using the 7.62 cartridge that has a lot more power and range.
    In the 60s and 70s, it turned out that combat in modern environments almost never took place at ranges that require the 7.62mm cartridge, and using the smaller 5.56mm is more than enough. Smaller cartridges mean less weight and smaller rifles, which more importantly means less weight, so you can carry more rounds for the same weight. I think the German Army used the G3 until 1997, at a time when no other modern army was still using 7.62mm rifles as primary weapons for the troops.

    However, if you want to shot at long ranges with high precision, 7.62mm ammunition performs much better, so several rifles that are generally obsolete, are still being used as sniper rifles. Just put a scope on top and a bipod under the barrel, and you got yourself a sniper rifle. The US Army uses the ancient M14 rifles from the late 50s in the same role.
    Yes, I'm quite aware of the "Modern Combat occurs at 300 meters or less" assumption, which has proved quite wrong in the mountains of Afghanistan. Also, I'm pretty sure the Norwegians and several other militaries were still issuing Battle Rifles as their standard arm post 1997.

    And yes, those in the background are AWMs. A german arms manufacturer has a licensing deal with Accuracy International to build several rifles under a different name for the German Army.
    Cool, which manufacturer?

    However, something that confuses me is that rusty metal plate that seems to be boleted to the G3 in the foreground. What's that for?
    Given it's proximity to the scope on the G3, I suspect it's a mounting point for Night Vision Optics of the sort which fit in front of your daylight scope, allowing you to retain zero while having the flexibility of day/night scopes.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Just out of curiosity, how accurate is Robert Jordan's description of the various weapons in the WoT series (most notably his description of the various types of bows/crossbows)? Thanks in advance.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by vikingofdoom View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how accurate is Robert Jordan's description of the various weapons in the WoT series (most notably his description of the various types of bows/crossbows)? Thanks in advance.
    Maybe some short quote/description?

    Can't say I can have access to WoT, especially in original at hand.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalaska'Agathas View Post
    The G36's operating system is based primarily on the American AR-18, which was designed a scant six years after the M16, so I don't know how much more advanced it is, at least mechanically. It does use more modern materials than most M16 derivatives, but the optic sight issued with the G36 is significantly worse than the standard issue optic sights issued to the M16/M4 (i.e. Trijicon ACOG).
    Most small arms havn't changed much for a very long time. The M1911 just got past it's 100th birthday and the BMG is close to that.
    Cool, which manufacturer?
    Wikipedia says Metallwerk Elisenhütte Nassau, but I never heard of it before.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Actually I have a question... I have come across something on Tvtropes... namely that scythes were used as dueling weapons at some point, as well as combat weapons for their unpredictability.

    Does anyone know if this is true?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    Actually I have a question... I have come across something on Tvtropes... namely that scythes were used as dueling weapons at some point, as well as combat weapons for their unpredictability.

    Does anyone know if this is true?
    Partially.

    They probably were used in duels, or at least some manuals suggest so.

    They weren't however being used because of any particular advantages, but because duel is duel - many other crazy and impractical weapons were being used in duels - as long as opponent had the very same weapon this wasn't a problem after all.


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    Last edited by Spiryt; 2011-03-29 at 03:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    Actually I have a question... I have come across something on Tvtropes... namely that scythes were used as dueling weapons at some point, as well as combat weapons for their unpredictability.

    Does anyone know if this is true?
    There was a tendency to set up duels with strange criteria and impractical weapons, just for the giggles in some cases. There really wasn't anymore rationality behind it than that. Hobbling one leg of both combatants, putting blinders on them so that they can only see to either side and not straight ahead, etc. Handing them scythes because that's what happened to be handy fits right in.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    While scythes were used quite sucesfully in warfare, especcially in eastern europe, they were usually modified to have the blade mounted straight on the shaft like a spear or glaive. Not an an angle as used as a farming tool.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    While scythes were used quite sucesfully in warfare, especcially in eastern europe, they were usually modified to have the blade mounted straight on the shaft like a spear or glaive. Not an an angle as used as a farming tool.
    People who get hung up on weapon nomenclature have a tendencies to call them 'fauchards' or something similar at that point, although that's also pretty much what a falx is as well with a shorter handle.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Heh. Dueling weapons. There's an anecdote I found somewhere:

    A Swiss mercenary leader was challenged to a duel. When asked what weapons he preferred, he said "Units of soldiers".
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Our group has that running joke to say "cyanide pills" when asked to choose a weapon.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Fhaolan View Post
    There was a tendency to set up duels with strange criteria and impractical weapons, just for the giggles in some cases. There really wasn't anymore rationality behind it than that. Hobbling one leg of both combatants, putting blinders on them so that they can only see to either side and not straight ahead, etc. Handing them scythes because that's what happened to be handy fits right in.
    As I understand it, there is basically one known manual that happens to illustrate fighting techniques with scythes in it. Some might interpret this as "people totally fought with agricultural scythes back then"; my own view is that the art of trolling dates back to before the 16th century.

    It's like those gunsmiths that made pistol-axes and such--more of an outlandish, attention-grabbing thing meant to draw attention to yourself than something meant to see serious use.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryHankovitch View Post
    As I understand it, there is basically one known manual that happens to illustrate fighting techniques with scythes in it. Some might interpret this as "people totally fought with agricultural scythes back then"; my own view is that the art of trolling dates back to before the 16th century.

    It's like those gunsmiths that made pistol-axes and such--more of an outlandish, attention-grabbing thing meant to draw attention to yourself than something meant to see serious use.
    According to some historical records, judicial duels (specifcially judicial ones, where some 'judge' commands people to duel to resolve whatever the issue is), were especially prone to the 'get silly with it' school of thought. Basically bored officials setting up semi-random criteria for the duel more to entertain the audience than actually resolve the case.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Fhaolan View Post
    According to some historical records, judicial duels (specifcially judicial ones, where some 'judge' commands people to duel to resolve whatever the issue is), were especially prone to the 'get silly with it' school of thought. Basically bored officials setting up semi-random criteria for the duel more to entertain the audience than actually resolve the case.
    "I say, heinrich! what if, no hear me out, what if we put one of them in a hole and give the other a rock in a bedhseet?"

    being a judge back then must've been so fun...
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    For those who haven't seen it, here* is an example of what Shademan is talking about - it shows up in a bunch of different places, the Talhoffer version is also pretty famous.


    *Link goes to the Wiktenauer HEMA wiki.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    I can't really check it thoroughly right, now, but I'm pretty damn sure that one person is actually halfway buried in the ground.

    And that was one of the two? (or more) possibilities when man was supposed to fight a woman. Other than finding some man to fight in the lady's name, obviously.

    As you can see on pic Hades provided, the right text starts with "Die Frau(e) muss"...

    So in this case it was not just for stuff and giggles.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Here's the relevant text transcribed (the image I linked earlier is from Paulus Kal), as well as a translation into English. Note that you may need to scroll down to the Duel Between a Man and a Woman section, and click 'Show'.

    And here is the Talhoffer version of it.

    And yeah, the man in each case is definitely in a hole in the ground. Relatively recently National Geographic I think did a special on one of the Talhoffer fechtbuchs, and they had a little re-enactment of the sequence.

    The last I heard, nobody seems quite sure whether this type of duel happened often, or whether it happened once and was so strange that everybody decided to put it in their books.
    And in fleeing one passed too near me and I cut off his head to teach him some manners.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    As you can see on pic Hades provided, the right text starts with "Die Frau(e) muss"...

    So in this case it was not just for stuff and giggles.
    If you can decipher it, I can translate it. And though I can read those letters in print, that handwriting is beyond me.

    Ah, found said transcription:

    Yes, it actually says he is burried. But I think the word used could also mean "dug in", in that he's just standing in a hole. The word "Grube" describes an open hole as shown in the picture, and the english translation claims that it's stated that he might "walk a bit". The german line is very outdated German, so I'm not completely sure about the accuracy, but it might fit.

    Not that any of it makes any sense.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Yeah, I guess it makes sense.

    Thinking about it, being actually buried tightly in the ground would be to severe handicap for any form of fight.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Yeah, I guess it makes sense.

    Thinking about it, being actually buried tightly in the ground would be to severe handicap for any form of fight.
    Yep. She'd only need to walk behind the guy and give him a good whacking. That would totally take the fun out of the whole thing.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Whjat's he armed with? Just a stick?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Whjat's he armed with? Just a stick?
    If memory serves, in Talhoffer's they get what looks like a decently sized club

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Weird to see this thread staying silent for that long...

    And anyway, somewhat specific question:

    Oakeshott, and in result most people, call XX and XXa swords as "14th to 15th century". Yet most of them I was able to see, were generally late, or even actually distinctly Renaissance weapons.

    Anyone have some examples of earlier ones?

    In general, this would be question about some good place in the Net (or sum books) with authentic swords descriptions.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. VIII

    Will modern firearms work in a vacuum? Specifically in orbit or on the moon, both on the light and dark sides.

    This has bothered me for a couple of years now since I ran a Traveller game. Then I just ruled 'no' because with the gyrojet pistols, rocket rounds for shotguns, and lasers the players had enough alternatives.

    The discussion centred mainly around whether the powder would work in a true vacuum (probably), and how well the mechanisms would withstand the temperature extremes of the environment.
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