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Guns in Space

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Nightcrawler, Feb 18, 2003.

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  1. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Couple of interesting questions.

    For one, will conventional firearms (including gas-operated designs) work in a vacuum?

    Two, will recoil-operated weapons work in microgravity? Think about it. If you're just floating there, and you fire a pistol, the recoil energy against your hand is going to cause you to move backward; actually, rotate, since it's asymmetrical and off-center. You'd essentially be unable to avoid limp-wristing your pistol. Recoil operated handguns, as far as I can figure, won't work properly in zero gravity.

    Revolvers will work fine, though, ironically enough.
     
  2. Shane

    Shane Member

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    I think without oxegon, combustion can't occur? So, since space is pretty much a vacuum I don't think a firearm would work too well. Correct me if I wrong.
     
  3. sonny

    sonny Member

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    Some manufacturers can't make their products work on earth:what:
     
  4. Blain

    Blain member

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    Laser guns, beam weapons, and plasma rifles are for space. :D
     
  5. Shane

    Shane Member

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    Electromagnetic "rail" guns might work in space too?
     
  6. Flying V

    Flying V Member

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    Both black powder and smokeless powder are self-oxidizing. They will work quite well in vacuum. Centerfire metallic cartridges are pretty much airtight, so it isn't as if they're dependant on atmospheric oxygen on earth.
     
  7. WilderBill

    WilderBill Member

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    Since a cartridge is sealed anyway, I think it contains enough oxygen for combustion.
    I'm not sure about the limp wristing thing. Seems like your mass is still much greater than that of the pistol, so it should work if you hold it firmly.
    Of course if it does work, then you will be propelled back with no gravity or wind drag to stop you.:scrutiny:
     
  8. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    Gunpowder contains its own Oxygen. Nitrate (NO3) is the Nitro in nitrocellulose.

    Also, mass and weight aren't the same thing. No gravity doesn't mean the ideas of inertia are negated. You will feel the effect of recoil, but you won't limp wrist...unless you already have that problem. Recoil will move you, backwards and rotationally, but WAY to long after the slide cycles to make a difference.

    Recoil springs don't care too much about gravity.
     
  9. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    WilderBill,

    That's ok, if you start moving back, just fire another round in the opposite direction!!

    F=mA! :) Check them vector math!

    yes, as everybody else has said, most bullets are self contained, and doesn't depend on external oxygen supply for it's combustion..
     
  10. Navy joe

    Navy joe Member

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    So if you fire John Woo style in opposite directions off-center to your body's vertical axis will you spin around fast enough to create your own gravitational field? Obvious problem I see is I can't pick up my brass, no telling where it went.

    Does Marvin shoot back? If so, we're screwed. "This is the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator, the most powerful handgun in the universe. So, you may be asking yourself did he vaporize 5 galaxies or was it six. To tell you the truth earthling I don't know. So do you feel lucky punk, well do ya?"

    I may be a gun nut, but if I got a chance to go into space I would not worry about taking a gun. I'd be much more interested in the whole sex in space research project. The elusive 220 mile high club ;)

    Finally, will astronomers be able to see it when the Glock blows up?


    :neener:
     
  11. rick458

    rick458 Member

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    with those big honkin' gloves on you would not be able to touch the trigger anyway:neener:
     
  12. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    I seem to recall reading somewhere that in the early moon landing missions that they took a rifle with them.
    Can anyone confirm this?

    I'd be really interested to see what shooting a rifle match on the surface of Mars would be like. (600 yards?! Bah, that's for beginners!)
     
  13. buford1

    buford1 Member

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    I belive gun powder makes Its own oxygen.
     
  14. Weimadog

    Weimadog Member

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    A shooting range would not be effected by any space noise ordinances.

    In space, no one can hear you shoot.

    They will, however, be able to hear you go on about how the 1911 is the best thing since sliced bread, or about how the Glock is a cheap piece of plastic which will blow up in your hand.

    The dead horses we beat on the Internet will certainly be dragged into the new frontier.

    Weimadog
     
  15. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Member

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    SPACE NINJAS!!!:evil:
     
  16. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Member

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    I seem to remember Orson Scott Card dealing with the rotation from recoil question in Ender's Game. In military school, Ender figured out it was best to have his troops attack like they were body surfing (prone firing position) -- the force would travel along the lengths of their bodies rather than through it perpendicularly, minimizing or eliminating any rotation. At worst, it would drive them backwards, but they'd still be facing the correct way to bring fire.

    This position also made them smaller targets.

    But it's been about a decade since I read the Ender series, so I might not remember all that right. And I don't think it was powder weapons, but the recoil problem would be the same.
     
  17. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Member

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    With no air friction and no gravity the range of bullets fired in space would be far greater than on earth and much more of a perfect line. No rainbows.

    Someone here posted recently on automatic airguns so I went to the site.
    Cool stuff.
    Might be exactly what you would want to use to shoot down the BGs satellites with your satellite.
    Compressed air powered they were.
    S-
     
  18. David Roberson

    David Roberson Member

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    Justin, I've heard a similar story. My father was an Air Force pilot in the 1960s and an acquaintance of some of the guys who went through astronaut training. He said he was told that a .45 went up with Aldrin and Armstrong and was actually fired on the moon in part of the same series of experiments as hitting the golf ball. Supposedly this was kept secret because of fears that it would be exploited by those worried about the militarization of space. It would be great to confirm whether this really happened.
     
  19. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    I've heard it suggested that bow/arrows might work in space...

    Hmmmm....maybe....most of the energy is imparted by the action of the bow straightening out....but I'm sure there must be some thrust opposite the direction of the arrows flight....
     
  20. seeker_two

    seeker_two Member

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    Revolvers should be OK...:D
     
  21. griz

    griz Member

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    Important Safety Tip:

    When orbiting the earth, you are already going around five to twenty times faster than the muzzle velocity of any firearm. No matter which direction you fire, you might shoot yourself. It might take an hour or so and isn't that likely, but the bullet is now in orbit at roughly your altitude. Gives a new meaning to the term down range.:eek:
     
  22. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Member

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    griz

    If you safety tip is true, why is that a fly taking off near the back windshield of your car to fly to the front seat doesn't get smashed on the rear windshield on take-off?

    Me thinks you are pulling our collective leg.

    S-
     
  23. DMK

    DMK Member

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    If the rounds are sealed at atmospheric preasure, wouldn't they rupture in the vacuum of space?
     
  24. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm not exactly up to speed (ha!) on orbital mechanics, but I think that shooting yourself is unlikely. Your orbit is directly dependent upon YOUR mass and YOUR velocity. The bullet, while launched from you, has a velocity of your velocity + muzzle velocity, and is of wildly diferent mass. I think your orbits would part ways quite rapidly.

    Hmmm! Thats an intersting point. The atmosphere in the cartridge is not necessary for combustion (as has already been mentioned, the oxygen is provided in the powder itself), so presumably they could be loaded and sealed in a vaccuum. The seal at the crimp would be the most likely spot for a pressure-related failure....I think it would either vent the contained atmosphere safely or just push the bullet out. Or, possibly just forward, causing a malfunction. I dunno.
     
  25. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    Alright, I can use my space-age techno-polymer guns now!!! :D
     
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