Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. WriterDude
    Offline

    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Icy cold wastes of Hell. Aka Norway.

    Combined Assault Rifle / Sniper Rifle - how would you do it?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by WriterDude, Jul 8, 2011.

    First of all, it's very important for me to keep the story as realistic as possible, though with some liberties. So an example, the main character is a cyborg, working as a sniper. She looks human in every way, but has been 'upgraded' with technology. At least one of her eyes are artificial, giving her some sort of nightwishion or thermal vision, as well as a head's-up display (HUD). This allows her to see the distance to the target, the wind direction and speed, stuff like that. Nothing that isn't possible with modern technology (like nightvision googles etc), but she has it installed in her eye(s). You get the idea.

    So anyway, she needs weaponry. A sniper-rifle can shoot from a long distance and is very accurate and deadly, but it's slow to reload and quite useless in close combat. For this reason, she needs a bigger weapon too. My idea was that she already has a rifle, so why not use it as an assault rifle if she has to? Instead of shooting one bullet at a time, she can flip a switch and shoot lots of them at once. This gave me a few issues:

    1. The barrel. A shorter barrel will be better for the assault rifle, but makes the sniper rifle less effective. She mainly works in a city anyway, so she doesn't really need to be able to fire a really long distance. A few blocks will do. Can she use the same barrel for both firing modes, or do you think she needs to go Aliens and have a two rifles combined in one?

    2. The bullets. Sniper rifles have a higher caliber than assault rifles, so what caliber do you think would be the best? Higher for the sniper and less effective assault rifle, or effective assault rifle and bad sniper rifle? Keep in mind she's modified with technology, so she (almost) always hits her target. A bullet in the head will kill you, whether it's 9 mm or .50, but she can't really take that chance. Likewise, if she has to use an assault rifle, she needs it to work as good as possible.

    3. The magazine. The higher the caliber, the heavier and bigger the bullets. She needs small bullets for the assault rifle and big one for the sniper rifle, so how many can she have? Keep in mind she has an ammo belt with more magazines over her chest (from left shoulder to right waist), so she has a few spare magazines if needed. But they won't hold much ammo each and takes a few precious seconds to reload.

    Thanks for any input. :)
     
  2. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    1. Why do you think the longer barrel will necessarily make the assault rifle less effective? Or are you just talking about maneuverability in a close setting?

    2. I don't know there has to be a caliber difference. I think the 7.62x51 NATO rounds are commonly used in both sniper rifles and assault rifles. Having that round for the assault rifle setting does not make it less effective.

    3. There is generally a switch or indicator you can flip to go from semi auto to full auto. In semi auto mode you can fire one shot at a time, while full auto of course fires many shots. You just reach up with the thumb and move the switch from one position to the other.

    4. With the 7.62 rounds I think you can get 30 round magazines. I know you can with the smaller 5.56 NATO round, but that round is less effective (though certainly can still be lethal).
     
  3. WriterDude
    Offline

    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Icy cold wastes of Hell. Aka Norway.
    Thanks for the advice. When I say the a shorter barrel would be more effective for an assault rifle, I mean it's a lot faster to aim with it in close combat. But it can't be too short, either. And thanks, I didn't even think of semi-auto. :redface: Not sure what caliber it will be, but I think 7.62 should be fine.
     
  4. Ellipse
    Offline

    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    32
    1) Why can't she just switch out the barrels when she is ready to snipe? If you don't want her to do that, she can still snipe with the shorter barrel. She just has to be prepared to make all the adjustments with her aiming.

    2) As for bullet caliber, I would suggest looking up the sizes sniper rifles use. A small caliber may destroy a part of the brain while a larger one will pulverize everything inside the skull.

    On an unrelated note, a bullet fired from a derringer (one of those tiny little pistols) can be can more dangerous than a 9mm. A lot of people underestimate the gun due to its size. The lower velocity and smaller bullet means the bullet can actually ricochet off bone multiple times within a person's body. Of course, for the derringer to really be effective, you have to be within ten feet of your target.

    3) I think Steer has pretty much answered your question here.
     
  5. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    The same is true of a weapon that fires .22LR ammunition. Those are typically considered to be target weapons. The ammo is cheap (you can get a drop-in conversion kit for an assault rifle that will let you shoot .22LR ammo), so people use it for target shooting. But if you get close enough to someone and hit them in the head (for example) with the .22LR, the bullet doesn't have enough velocity to exit. It just rattles around inside the head. Can be very dangerous.
     
  6. WriterDude
    Offline

    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Icy cold wastes of Hell. Aka Norway.
    To give you the quick version, she works in cities mostly. It gives her a lot of hiding places and lets her slide in and out of hiding with ease most of the time, so in many ways it's the perfect place. But being in a city also means it's hard to keep your back covered. If you are in a room in a tall building looking down the sniper scope and someone enters the room behind you, what do you do? In this case she won't have the time to switch barrels. She needs to turn around as quickly as possible to defend herself, and she needs to have the assault rifle ready to fire when she sees the enemy. The best solution would be to flip the switch from semi-automatic to full burst with her thumb as she's turning, changing the sniper rifle to an assault rifle.

    And that's why I wonder about the ammo size. It has to be big enough to function as a sniper rifle, but also small enough to function for an assault rifle. I think 30 rounds pr magazine should be enough, though.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the sniper rifle can shoot a long distance, but the assault rifle should stay close range to avoid accidents.

    And by the way, I mentioned I want it as realistic as possible, yet with liberties. She's a cyborg, for instance, so I want the rifle to be customized for her. It doesn't matter if it's not a real rifle or not. I'm thinking making it a double-barreled assault rifle. That way she can effectivly double the number of bullets ready. And it would look awesome. :D
     
  7. Lothgar
    Offline

    Lothgar Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    37
    City roof tops are obvious places to snipe from, thus EVERYBODY knows where to look if a sniper drops a target in the street. If she uses a rooftop, you should probably write her as taking steps in advance for a quick exit. Obvious quick exits include rappelling down the side of the building, jumping over an alley to the next building, changing clothes to appear as someone else, since she's a cyborg you are writing a high tech piece, so using a jet pack or helicopter for a quick exit is also not outside the realm of possibility.

    Shooting from a water tower or radio relay tower would serve to put distance between you and any civvies that might hear your shot.

    Shooting from inside a high story window, instead of a rooftop, allows you to remain concealed after the shot. professional snipers DO NOT fire with the muzzle of their rifle sticking out of a window, no matter what you see in the movies. They step back, concealed in the shadows of the room so that guards and lookouts can't spot them. Apartment buildings have windows that open (Usually to fire escapes). Office building windows usually do not open (especially on the higher floors), requiring a sniper to cut or break a hole in the plexiglass prior to making the shot.

    First, I'd wonder how they opened a locked door with a chair under the door knob, but that's just me.

    Second, I'd spin in one fluid motion, drawing my silenced 9mm pistol and plant a double tap in their chest, followed by a third through their forehead...just to be sure. Then, once I'm satisfied that no one else is around, I'd return to making my sniper shot.

    Footnote: All snipers (military and police) carry pistols for close combat.

    Professional high end sniper rifles tend to be bolt action, single shot units, which are manufactured to tighter specs for increased accuracy. The barrels are "floated", meaning they attach directly to the weapons receiver and while surrounded by the fore grip, the barrel never actually touches it (because physical contact during firing can cause microscopic energy transfers and vibrations that can affect accuracy (not at short distances so much, but at extreme long distances). Its a physics thing and I'll apologize in advance, because physics isn't my strong suit, but it is enough for me to know that it is better to have a "floated" barrel than not).

    If you are not out to tap a target a half mile away, you don't need a state of the art toy. During the Vietnam war, the M-14 rifle, 7.62mm NATO caliber, with a 20 round detachable box magazine, was fitted with a scope a became the M-21 semi-auto Sniper System.

    Semi-automatic rifles can function just fine as sniper weapons, especially if your shooting distance is 600, 700 or 800 meters. If you need to make a shot at a 1,000 meters or more, you'll be better off with the really high end specialty weapons.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, many police SWAT and some military snipers employed the German HK91 or the Belgian FN-FAL rifles for sniper use. They are both 7.62mm NATO caliber, both come standard with 20 round magazines, both are semi automatic (The FN can fire full auto if needed). These rifles were fitted with high power zoom scopes, shooting bipods and match grade barrels and trigger assemblies. Normal human snipers could peg a man sized target in the chest at up to 800 meters, sometimes 900 meters if they were lucky. A high tech cyborg might be able to make a head shot from that range and still retain realistic plausibility.

    For sniping purposes, a semi auto 7.62mm NATO rifle should be fine, with a few 20 round magazines. Have your cyborg carry a high capacity pistol with several magazines for close in fighting...or being a cyborg, give her some "built in" weapons to fight with :)

    Fire an assault rifle in a city and you'll find that rifle rounds rip through people, drywall, doors, windows and keep on flying down range. Any rifle is intended for distance shooting. A weapon that fires pistol cartridges (handgun or sub machine gun) has less penetration power than rifle cartridges. Using hollow points makes the rounds spread out, reducing over penetration of people, walls etc....however they still tend to punch right through drywall into the next room. Nothing is perfect.
     
  8. WriterDude
    Offline

    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Icy cold wastes of Hell. Aka Norway.
    Wpw, thanks for awesome answer, Lothgar! :) I thought about giving her a pistol or two, but decided it wasn't going to be much use. As you said, she can spin around, draw her gun and shoot the opponent twice in the chest and once in the head to be sure. But what if there are two opponents? Or five? Or if the enemy isn't human? The story is as realistic as possible, but I already said she's a cyborg. (btw I don't mean robot with human bits, like Robocop or Terminator. I mean human with a few, small "upgrades". We have prostetic limbs in the real world, and she has a few upgraded versions. She's still 90% human.) Anyway, it's not an action story, but there are things out there in the city most people don't want to know about. And some of these requires a great deal of firepower to handle. That's why I want a combined sniper- and assault rifle. It just seems more practical. She is already holding the rifle, so it would be better to spin around, flip to full auto and fire instead of spin around, drop the rifle and draw a gun. And if she has to run, she is already holding the rifle right away. Probably a silenced rifle, so it won't make that much of a noise. Not that she hides in a crowded area, though. Loneliness is her friend. ;)
     
  9. Ellipse
    Offline

    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    32
    If she is a cyborg, she may not even need the scope. In fact, Simo Hayha, a Finnish sniper who also has one of the highest kill records in any major war, preferred using the iron sights on his rifle to a scope for several reasons (one being that the sunlight could glare off the end of the scope and reveal his location to the enemy).

    Are cybernetics common place in your universe? Are they still an experimental technology or do all military branches across the world have access to them? If it is the latter, the first thing done after developing such technology is developing a counter measure for it. Security companies would be quick to develop a means to detect people with cybernetics, especially if those implants are meant for combat. Do people with cybernetics weigh more than a normal person? Will their cybernetics set of metal detectors? Can their cybernetic parts be hacked?

    I would suggest watching the anime tv series and movie Ghost In the Shell. It does an excellent job of showing the future where cybernetics are common place and how the world has adapted to it.
     
  10. WriterDude
    Offline

    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Icy cold wastes of Hell. Aka Norway.
    She is a cyborg, yes, and I've been thinking about dropping the scope. But right now that's not really important to the story. If you've seen Terminator, remember when he lost some skin in the face and revealed the read eye? That's what she would look like if she peeled off the skin on her face. I'd think half the face would still be human, but the rest is a robot. If she can look like that and still have scope-eyes, then sure, a scope it is.

    And no, cyborgs are not common. The story evolves all around our real world, and I intend to have it quite realistic. But there are also a second world the cyborg are trying to keep hid. She'll do anything to stop anyone from finding out about it, and I mean anything. Nuking the White House? Well, if that's what it takes... :p But anyway, she works for a company that tries to protect the knowledge of the other world. These are the high-tech guys who gave her the cybernetic implants. There are other cyborgs like her around the world working for the company, but in this story, she is the only cyborg. There is another character from the company as well, and while she also has access to high-tech stuff, she's not a cyborg.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page