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Potential Overkill?

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posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 07:42 PM
I was watching something on the history channel about the history of the bullet and they got onto metal storm. I know a litle about them and what they've done...but I hadn't seen this thing before. It was basically a box...with a lot of tubing to hold all the bullets tail to nose. It's a branch off of the gun that fired 180 cartridges out of 36 barrels in a fraction of a second. Basically you put it down on the ground and it was attatched to a computer where you control where it fires and how many bullets it fires, be it 1, 1/2, all, whatever. But the thing was that if they could get it to sustain fire, it would go well over 1 million rounds a minute. It got me thinking isn't that just overkill. I mean, I doubt you're ognna have that huge a troop concentration where you're going to logicaly need 1 million bullets. In the demo they showed it was just about 2 trucks and 4 guys, nothing huge. Of course the guys died and the trucks blew up. But how much ammo is wasted off of that? Probably hundreds of thousands of rounds. SO pretty much unless you've got a few thousand troops coming at you, you're really not gonna need to be able to fire 1 million rounds a minute for logical purposes.

Any thoughts?

posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 08:08 PM
The 1 Million rounds per minute figure is a theoretical figure. In reality metalstorm guns only fire in extremely short bursts. The goal is to have a sort of a shotgun pattern with bullets that actually stay on their path. So a metalstorm gun is likely to be used against equipment only. As you said, troops concentrations of reasonable size without cover are very unusual.

The thing is, even against vehicles you cant put it to very succesful use, since the rounds are either too small or the ammunition wouldnt suffice. I guess that the reason why AFAIK no metalstorm gun has entered service to day, although the technology now has been around for a while.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 02:30 PM
I know it was a hypothetical ability to sustain that rate of fire, but they said they're working on a way to keep that going and they said it's coming along fine.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 02:48 PM
Dont forget that centerfugal gun I keep hearing about, Ill need to find the linlk...

That History Channel show also talked about Blended Metal bullets, OMG!!

The harder the target, the harder the bullet, the softer the target, the more it expands. Anybody read that story about the private contractor who got a kill when he shot an insurgent in the upper thigh with a blended metal bullet? The guy couldnt believe the shot killed the guy.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 03:06 PM
I heard about that story but I neevr could find a place to read it...

That bullet expanding thing was kinda disgusting with that piece of meat they used. It expanded and tore up the meat more, just imagining that going through human flesh was disgusting.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 03:10 PM
I'm probably going to get flamed for this but Blended Metal bullets should be banned, they are way too much like explosive tipped bullets which are banned I believe, horrible and discusting weapon if you ask me.

posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 06:54 AM
What it all comes down to is weight, cost, and reliability. With a few 'special mission' modifiers.

It is /vastly/ easier to assemble a single 'stack' of barrel-as-mag loaded bullets, as a wooden-round sealed pressure vessel, than it is to design a gun in which separate cartridge case and a projectile are brought together outside the gun (1 manufacturing process) and then inserted into it as a function of yet more separate system elements (magazine catch and spring for instance require very special metals compared to the simple aluminum clip enclosure.

The bolt/receiver group assembly, being /nothing but/ high grade steel and chromed parts with tolerances of less than a mil. All of whose 'operating subassemblies' must be measured and integrated for minimal variation in performance norm for an INCREDIBLE range of dynamic temperatures and erosive gas conditions.

Even the barrel is exceedingly complicated for what it does (in most useages) being chromed and rifled for the launch of multiple rounds whose very _firing_ ruins whatever presumption of point accuracy you had in 'aimed fire' attacking. Even as the length of the device, it's cooling jacket/hand grip and forward sight post/muzzle blast diverter also add cost and complexity (4 ounces of weight 2ft ahead of the mag well 'center of gravity' automatically adds muscle fatigue equal to a pound aft of it for instance).

Now, imagine that you eliminate ALL of that. That the barrel cluster is a single machined slab of alloy whose total temperature is the _average_ of the number of times each barrel is fired (transmitting heat into say the surrouding four barrels staggered around it). And whose structural integrity and aimpoint hold is a function of the honeycomb effect of the entire block rather than any single unit.

Furthermore, there is no need for specific ammunition feed into/thru a separate magazine so that you can effectively mount it _externally_ to such things as UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) chassis with little more than electrical connection.

Even the preconceived notion of how fast vs. how /well/ you shoot is thrown out because the rounds leave the barrel so close together as part of the same firing:recoil impulse that they in fact need dispersion devices just to ensure adequate target center-mass coverage.

Do this, and all of a sudden, the concept of 'muzzle loader' becomes rather less quaint a notion because, especially for sited (pedestaled) defenses, you can provide a lighter, less jam prone, more repeatable, 'throw away' engagement profile within a device that is similar in concept to a Claymore mine.

As far as rates of fire, keep in mind that, by WWII, we were looking at as much as 50,000rds for each soldier killed. A main battle tank carries about 6,000rds (imagine _the brass_) as a basic load for it's GPMG and coaxials and can double this to 10-15,000rds if it expects an infantry heavy threat.

Comparitively 180 rounds fired out of 36 barrels (i.e. 5 round bursts) is just not that big a deal. A similar count of 30rd magazines, loaded to 25rds to save spring life, in a _3-round_ burst limited M16 would be four mags or about 6lbs. But it would come 'attached to' an instantaneous weight penalty of some 8.3lbs of gun.

14lbs is a lotta hump by the 2nd day of a patrol op. Even as I -guarantee you- if you fire at the rates the MStorm can achieve, you will have at least one serious stoppage, every 2nd magazine.

The Metalstorm battles that weight and operative efficiency problem on both ends of the (useless when empty because I can fit the same propellant in HALF the brass weight) cartridge and mechanical cycle and that can only be considered a 'good thang'.

While, as I said before, if you have certain missions where either conditional prohibition of mines requires a system that nominally 'picks it's targets'.

A remote vehicle installation which cannot undertake sophisticated pintel mount maintenance or reboresighting.

Or are facing a threat which requires special tradeoffs in armor fenestration for cheapness or (defensive) engagement windowing to survive (such as active protection system missile defense), the MStorm's ability to cluster a lot of rounds into a relatively longrange, low dispersion, _non complex_ (look at Arena's 'air mine' system), engagement metric makes a LOT of sense.


P.S. never forget that one of the key principles of maneuver by fire is 'shoot shoot shoot'. Because, for any given formula of rounds per kill under X engagement condition, the more you shoot, the more you can /change circumstances to Y/ by advancing to the point where that SSPK or Single Shot Kill Probability is a function of shooting junior in the face as he looks up from his full hunker mode while your buddies are bouncing bullets off the rim of his fighting position.

Better to send a bullet than a man where a round expended is a life saved... And suppression mode engagement to fix your opponent's position and destroy his initiative is _very_ wasteful of ammo.


posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 01:58 PM
Pontential over kill is having enough nukes to nuke the whole world 3 times!

but seriously, metal storm hmm? yeah, people are talking about it, but it doesnt seem to bad, considering that reloading it could just be as simple as putting a new block of pellet objects in, and it could be good for area clearence.

posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 04:51 PM
It does nothing more than a well placed Claymore or two... at a fraction of the weight, expense, and trouble to set up... can do.

Don't get me wrong, it's a cool technology, however it is still too inconvenient for Joe Snuffy to lug about and use.

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