|From:||Paul Jonathan Adam <Paul@********.demon.co.uk>|
|Subject:||The Arms Bazaar - 3 of 3|
|Date:||Sat, 04 Nov 1995 10:11:34 GMT|
The Arms Bazaar - 3 of 3
RINGING THE CHANGES - GUNSMITHING AND HANDLOADING
Firearms B/R: Concentrations are Gunsmithing (by weapon type)
Handloading (By ammunition calibre)
Repair (by weapon type)
Characters may well want to modify their weapons, and there is much that
can be done: a lot of it is too fiddly to detail here (does it really
matter, for game purposes, whether you use Pachmayr or Hogue grips?)
Accessories with significant effects are listed here, however, in terms of
doing the work yourself rather than having others do it.
A mechanical toolset (500Y) is required to carry out most gunsmithing work
in addition to any specialist parts required. Note that parts cost is often
considerably lower than the price of the accessory in the rules: this is
because the book cost includes fitting charges. Apply the Cost Multiplier
given to the price of the item, to find the 'parts cost' of an item: in
other cases the price is listed as a percentage of the base cost of the
As described in Fields of Fire. The cost of the parts is 50% of the base
price of the weapon (custom grips, new trigger springs, shock buffers, et
cetera), and a base time of 24 hours of work is required. Make a Firearms
B/R (5) test to find the actual time taken. The result is an extra die
available for the weapon's owner when using that weapon (but a -1 die for
anyone else using that weapon)
Mounting a gas vent onto a weapon is a simple procedure, taking about one
hour and a Firearms B/R (4) test. Optionally, it may need to be `tuned' to
the weapon in question, requiring a Firearms (4) test and 100 rounds of
ammunition before it functions at its full potential: until then it
operates at (Rating-1). Removing a gas vent requires a Firearms B/R (3)
test and five minutes. Weapons which come with pre-installed gas venting
lose that benefit when an additional vent is mounted (they are usually
pierced barrels, rather than the add-on compensators). Cost Multiplier =
A grenade launcher can be added quite easily, in one hour with a Firearms
B/R (4) test. Other items such as small shotguns, floodlights, et cetera
are at the GM's discretion.
Two mounting systems are possible: one simply attaches the GL to the
weapon, another attaches a mounting rail to the weapon. The grenade
launcher then attaches to this rail, and can be quickly removed. The rail
system allows a GL to be removed or mounted in a Complex Action: however,
it imposes an additional -1 Concealability penalty, and adds Y100 and 0.5kg
to the cost and weight of the weapon. Other accessories may (again, GM's
discretion) be attached to that rail in similar timescales.
Cost Multiplier = 0.9
Laser sights operate on one of two principles. One, as in the book, is a
small laser which projects a spot of light as an aiming aid. Advantages are
small size, the ability to mount it either above or below the weapon - or
to build it into the weapon's structure - and the ease of using the weapon
`from the hip'. The disadvantages are the visible beam (characters with
thermographic goggles/cybereyes may use an IR laser, visible only to
thermal vision systems, to counter this for an extra Y100) and the limited
range of the beam, especially in bright daylight. Cost Multiplier = 0.7
The other system projects a bright dot into the firer's field of view:
older versions use a scope, later ones have a simple flat plate atop the
weapon. The dot is aligned with the barrel. The advantage is the lack of
any visible beam and the ability to use the weapon in bright daylight and
longer ranges: the drawback is that the scope may only be top-mounted, and
the weapon must be on the firer's line of sight (e.g. fired from the
shoulder, not the hip). See under Scopes for rules for fitting this, and
for combining it with other types of sight.
A traditional laser sight may be mounted in thirty minutes with a Firearms
B/R (4) test. Cost Multiplier = 0.7.
A rangefinder may be integrated into a laser sight or a scope, at double
its normal cost (thus not using up a mount). These rangefinder-scopes have
to be bought: availability is at GM's discretion, but for indication they
exist today (the Parker-Hale LORUS is an example) so should not be too hard
Mounting a standard rangefinder follows the procedure for a laser sight.
Cost Multiplier = 0.8
Fitting an imaging scope to a weapon which has none requires two hours and
a Firearms B/R (4) test to physically attach the mount and then the scope.
If the weapon already has a scope of some sort, removing one and fitting
another requires two Complex Actions and no test.
Once a scope has been fitted to a weapon, it must be zeroed, needing half
an hour and 50 rounds. Make a Firearms (5) test: failure imposes a penalty
of -1 at Short range, -2 at Medium range, et cetera as the scope's line of
sight and the weapon's line of fire do not converge. Once a scope has been
zeroed, it can be removed and refitted freely without rezeroing: only major
derangement of the weapon (being thrown out of a window onto concrete, for
instance) may require the scope to be reset.
For an additional Y500, a scope may include a parallax-corrected aiming
mark for rapid acquisition of targets: basically, you can combine a red-dot
sight (see under 'laser sight') with a magnifying, low-light etc. scope.
Cost Multiplier for all scopes = 0.9
A shock pad requires ten minutes and a Firearms B/R (4) test to fit. Cost
Multiplier = 0.7
A silencer may be built from scratch in a workshop in six hours with a
Firearms B/R (5) test and approximately Y250 of materials. Fitting a
silencer to a weapon not previously so equipped requires one hour and a
Firearms B/R (4) test. A silencer may not be combined with gas venting, at
least not by PCs without access to advanced design and manufacturing
The most basic external smartgun link simply provides targeting data and
ammunition status to the firer. It mounts as if it were a standard scope,
but requires an additional thirty minutes to wire the round-counter in to
allow the shooter to track ammunition remaining. It does not provide the
benefits of full cybernetic control of the weapon. Cost Multiplier = 0.7
This is a considerably more extensive rework of the weapon, requiring a
base time of 18 hours and a Firearms B/R (6) test. Parts cost is equal to
the base price of the weapon.
A suppressor may be built from scratch in a workshop in six hours with a
Firearms B/R (5) test, requiring Y500 of materials. Fitting a suppressor to
a weapon not previously so equipped requires one hour and a Firearms B/R
(4) test. A suppressor may include gas venting: double the time and cost to
build the suppressor, and the price of the gas vent must be included. A
combined gas-vent/suppressor requires tools and thirty minutes to remove
without damaging it, and the gas vent functions at -1 to its rating.
Trigger Group *GM OPTIONAL*
A gunsmith may modify a weapon to alter the manner in which it fires. The
scale is at the GM's discretion. Modifying a H&K HK227-S (SA/BF) to also
fire full-automatic is quite trivial. Modifying an assault cannon to fire
fully-automatic is manageable, although the weapon itself probably will not
Changing the trigger mechanism is a 4-hour job requiring a Firearms B/R (5)
test and 10% of the base cost of the weapon. Suggested rules effects are as
Removing/downgrading fire mode (e.g. SA/BF/FA to SA/BF only). No penalty.
Adding lower fire mode (e.g. BF to SA/BF): no penalty.
Semi-automatic weapon to any burst/automatic fire - Weapon will fail from
overstress within 20d6 shots, unless it is a 'civilian' semi-automatic
version of a full-auto weapon. (10% of weapon cost and 10 minutes to
repair, requires a Firearms B/R (5) test)
Burst-fire to full-automatic: Normally no penalty but at GM's discretion.
Mounted as any other scope, but cannot be combined with any other adjunct
other than a rangefinder. May also be under-barrel mounted, though,
possibly on a quick-change rail mount. Cost Multiplier = 0.8
AMMUNITION AND HANDLOADING
With cased ammunition, an option for those on a budget - or the
perfectionist - to collect the fired cases, and re-use them. The equipment
to reload ammunition costs Y250 and basically comprises a press, dies, and
powder measure. The fired case is cleaned, the old primer punched out and a
new one fitted, a charge of powder dispensed into the case, then a new
bullet seated, pressed and crimped into place.
The overhead cost (for primer and powder) is Y10 per 100 rounds. Cases cost
Y50 for 250, or Y180 for 1000, and have an attrition rate during repeated
reloading of about 5% due to damage, distortion, cracks etc. Bullet cost is
Handloading requires a base time of one hour per 100 rounds required, and a
Firearms B/R test with a target number of 4. Success reduces the time per
100 rounds by 10%, to a minimum of 50%: so 4 successes produces 100 rounds
in 70% of an hour, or 42 minutes. A failure indicates one or more defective
rounds: roll on the tables below.
Number of Defective Rounds
1-2 - 1
3-4 - 2
5 - 3
6 - See "All Rounds" below
Type of Defect
1-2 - Primer not fitted. Round is a dud. Perception (3) test to notice
this when loading round into magazine or weapon.
3 - Primer fitted backwards. Round is a dud. Perception (4) test to notice
this when loading round into magazine or weapon.
4 - Case splits when fired. Weapon requires a Strength (6) test to clear
the chamber before it will work again.
5 - Powder charge not dispensed. Round is a partial dud: when fired, bullet
will lodge in barrel and require a Firearms B/R (4) test to remove , base
time 1 minute.
6 - Round accidentally overcharged with powder. Roll 1d6: on a 1, the
weapon is damaged and non-functional, otherwise that round is *loud* and
generates excess recoil, but otherwise has no adverse effect.
1-4 Powder charge incorrect. Apply a +1 penalty to all shots at Medium
range, +2 at all Long Range shots and +3 to any Extreme range shots.
Also subtract 1 from weapon Power.
5-6 Powder charge incorrect. Apply a +1 penalty to all shots at Medium
range, +2 at all Long Range shots and +3 to any Extreme range shots.
Also add 1 to weapon Power. Weapon will fail from overstress after 10d6
rounds (10% of base price and Firearms B/R (4) to repair, base time ten
Either "All Rounds" effect may be noticed with a Firearms (5) test when the
weapon is fired: undercharged rounds feel 'sloppy', overcharged are louder
By careful experimentation with powder type and charge, bullet weight, et
cetera, the accuracy of a weapon may be improved. For instance, my first
pistol (a Smith and Wesson 4506) preferred 230-grain bullets over 4.4
grains of Bullseye, while my Glock 21 (same calibre) shoots noticeably
better with 200-grain bullets and 5.7 grains of Red Dot. Careful choice of
ammunition can reduce dispersion, but there is no "best" which can be
looked up in a book.
To find the optimum ammunition type, a character must make up about a
thousand rounds with varying charges, weights, powder etc. and test-fire
them under controlled conditions, such as on a range or similar (about 40
hours total time) to measure the dispersion and reliability of each load. A
Firearms (4) test, at the end of this, means the optimum combination has
been found: all ammunition made to that formula provides one extra die for
all Firearms tests made with that weapon.
The bad news is that the "best" load may be affected by any changes such as
a new barrel, or by fitting a gas vent: any major changes to the weapon
require that the process be gone through again. Identifying the ideal load
is a task to be undertaken *after* you create the ideal weapon... Also,
this load applies to a specific bullet type: an "accuracy load" in
explosive rounds gives no help in determining the best combination for
Match Grade Ammunition
A similar effect can be obtained by the use of match grade ammunition,
manufactured to tighter tolerances than most factory loads. Match-grade
costs twice as much as standard ammunition in any given nature, including
APDS. As with handloads, there are many variations and only experiment will
allow the ideal to be determined: the character must expend 250 rounds in
controlled conditions (about 10 hours total time) to identify the best
brand and bullet weight. The result is the same, an extra die when using
the weapon in combat. Likewise, any major change to the weapon results in
the procedure having to be repeated.
"When you have shot and killed a man, you have defined your attitude towards
him. You have offered a definite answer to a definite problem. For better
or for worse, you have acted decisively.
In fact, the next move is up to him." <R.A. Lafferty>
Paul J. Adam paul@********.demon.co.uk