Any gun enthusiasts here?

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Hi, as you know I'm developing a game, but there is some area in which I am completely clueless.

In my European, socialist, shitty country(filled with submissive socialist zombies) weapons are completely forbidden, so I never held a firearm of any kind in my life. I have a very shallow knowledge about them.

So, a question for the lucky Americans who still have enough freedom for this basic human right, which kind of ammo would fall into these 3 categories of ammo: light, medium, heavy?

Remember, this is for a game, not real-life, but be as realistic as possible.

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12 minutes ago, Armantium said:

light, medium, heavy

Ammo doesn't really fall into such nice categories in the real world. Weight of ammo isn't necessarily as important as how fast it is travelling, or how it behaves when it hits something. Hollow point or armour piercing bullets, for example, cause damage significantly greater than a standard bullet of a larger calibre...

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Swift is correct -- ammo doesn't really fall "into" categories.  However, with that being said, if I had to categorize ammo,

I would estimate .22 is light, 9mm is medium and .50 is heavy.  

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4 minutes ago, swiftcoder said:

Ammo doesn't really fall into such nice categories in the real world. Weight of ammo isn't necessarily as important as how fast it is travelling, or how it behaves when it hits something. 

No, I mean it in a completely different way, not weight but their destructive power.

2 minutes ago, ByteTroll said:

I would estimate .22 is light, 9mm is medium and .50 is heavy.  

Yes, that's what I was looking for.

What other kinds of ammo would fall into the 3 categories. I need at least 3 per category.

Edited by Armantium

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3 minutes ago, Armantium said:

No, I mean it in a completely different way, not weight but their destructive power.

Yes, that's what I was looking for.

What other kinds of ammo would fall into the 3 categories. I need at least 3 per category.

That is about as diverse as that spectrum is going to get for the reasons provided by Swift.  My advice for you is to add types.  For example, .22 is light and does little damage.  .22 hollow point is still light, but does far more impact damage that standard .22.  

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1 minute ago, ByteTroll said:

For example, .22 is light and does little damage.  .22 hollow point is still light, but does far more impact damage that standard .22.  

Hm, but wouldn't such type have overall decreased range and velocity, which would be sufficient to put it into a category of light?

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5 minutes ago, Armantium said:

Hm, but wouldn't such type have overall decreased range and velocity, which would be sufficient to put it into a category of light?

Not necessarily.  For example, take .22.  The difference between .22 and .22 hollow point is the actual bullet -- not the powder load of the bullet.  The one exception to this is magnum rounds.  A .22 magnum round has a bigger powder load, but still is no where close to something like a .50 cal.  A .22 will go a few hundred feet give or take a thousand depending on conditions.  A .50 will go for miles. 

Edited by ByteTroll

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Look up the weight of the projectiles and the muzzle velocity o different weapons that use them. Different weapons will achieve different velocities with the same ammo.

Velocity and mass tell you momentum, which tell you impact force.

Then there's projectile types though. Military ammo (FMJ) is designed to punch nice clean holes in humans. Hunting ammo (hollow point) is designed to start expanding on impact to create as much trauma as possible, resulting in massive exit wounds (this is a war crime for the military to use against people). Other rounds are designed to be used against vehicles, so are legal within the laws of war, but would do horrendous things if fired at a human.

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3 hours ago, Armantium said:

Hm, but wouldn't such type have overall decreased range and velocity, which would be sufficient to put it into a category of light?

You're thinking in terms of videogame tradeoffs ("If it's more powerful, it must travel a shorter distance"). But it's more often just a real-life money tradeoff ("Just doing target practice? Don't waste the expensive bullets.").

This can also have interesting gameplay ramifications - if different types of bullets cost more in-game, players might want to reserve their more powerful ones. Or, if players find ammo instead of buying it, provide less of the more powerful ammo, so players conserve those more. That reminds me of the gameplay of the N64 Turok game, where you got shotgun shells and explosive shotgun shells. Explosive shotgun shells were always better, you just didn't find them as often and so had to conserve them more.

At some point though - varying per game - reality needs to take a backseat to gameplay. If you want different bullets to have genuine tradeoffs unrelated to cost, that's so common in games that I doubt it'll break immersion, even for gun experts.

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3 hours ago, Armantium said:

What other kinds of ammo would fall into the 3 categories. I need at least 3 per category.

Your are going by this all wrong. Guns and ammo don't work like that.

First ammo is mostly rated on it's stopping power. Second the gun firing the ammo will greatly effect it's stopping power and drastically change the mechanics.

So lets say your ammo is arranged as follow : .22 LR, .17 Aquila, 45 ACP and 9mm.

To a person with little to no knowledge of ammo that would look right, It is in order of caliber. It's wrong the .22 LR and .17 Aquila are rifle rounds as such they hold much more gun powder than both the the 45 ACP and 9mm.

So your light, medium and heavy ammo is more a question of handgun, rifle or sniper. Except that is wrong also as there is many handgun  ammo that has more stopping power than rifle rounds. Not to mention that most guns can often only be loaded with one caliber safely.

 

The question here is do you even need this info. Because if your game is based on realistic firearms you will need to use realistic values. As there is no real "light medium and heavy" ammo and no ammo that fits all guns this isn't possible. So you will need to change the way your game works to a more realistic scale.

However if you made up your own guns and ammo then there is no problem. You could use it without people complaining. With your own guns there could be some kind of light, medium and heavy ammo that works with all guns; instead of forcing the gun to be rebuilt for each ammo type.

 

If you want list on ammo search "compare X gun ammo" as in "Compare handgun ammo".

4 hours ago, Armantium said:

In my European, socialist, shitty country(filled with submissive socialist zombies) weapons are completely forbidden,

All that means is that you need to join a sports gun club. Here in my own country we had similar laws, so I had to join one to learn more about guns. If you can't join a club then first do some basic research on guns before implementing them into your game.

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56 minutes ago, Armantium said:

Can one extrapolate this value from barrel length and caliber of the projectile alone?

Caliber doesn't tell the whole story with different firearm cartridges.  For example, the picture below shows a variety of rounds that all have a .22 caliber bullet, but wildly different powder loads behind them.  On the left you have a .22 LR cartridge, which is typically used at relatively short ranges (< 100m) for target shooting or squirrels; many of these rounds are manufactured so that they have a muzzle velocity below the speed of sound (~1000 ft/s).  On the right is a .22-250 round, which can exceed 4000 ft/s muzzle velocity, and is typically used for long-range shooting, 300-700m.
 22s.jpg.bae81ce7b3d3551d1e66cc151f68733d.jpg

Similarly, there is a huge difference between rifle, "intermediate" and pistol rounds.  Below are a 7.92mm Mauser rifle round, a 7.92mm Kurz round (used in the first modern-style assault rifle, the StG 44) and the 9mm Parabellum pistol round.  Very different powder loads, bullet masses, and bullet geometries.  The usefulness of each round really comes down to range and rate of fire.  The Mauser rifle round is a very accurate and effective long-range ammunition, but has tremendous recoil - so unless fired from a heavy weapon with a bipod or tripod, fully-automatic fire is not feasible; after the first round or two, the recoil would destroy any ability to aim accurately.  On the other hand, the 9mm pistol round has significantly less recoil, but nowhere near the same stopping power, and becomes pretty inaccurate and ineffective at anything beyond short distances.  This means it was well-suited for pistols and also sub-machine guns, like the MP 40, where the lighter weight and recoil of the 9mm made fully-automatic and burst fire from a hand-held weapon very effective in close-quarter fighting, but mostly useless beyond that range.  The intermediate Kurz round was designed to have most of the ballistic performance of the full rifle round, out to the ranges that were typically encountered in actual battle, but with reduced recoil to permit rapid fire.  It was also about half as heavy, in pure weight, so you could lug around twice as many rounds of ammunition.

8mm-792mm-9mm.thumb.png.30942041d0c6f929a63c1563c90a22e2.png

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8 hours ago, Armantium said:

So, basically, you can make a universal ammo with different charges, that would perform with drastic variation in different guns - pistols, rifles, miniguns?

No. The performance difference in different guns depends only on barrel length (less power is wasted with a longer barrel, as gases have more time to push the bullet forward before dispersing) and rifling. The bullet is the same (provided it isn't damaged in strange ways) and the power of the charge is the same.

Moreover, cartridge size is usually as large as possible given constraints on weapon size, weight and number of shots (if you need more, they need to be smaller), and of course unit cost.  

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8 hours ago, Armantium said:

So, basically, you can make a universal ammo with different charges

You could use a common caliber and just attach different charge to it, however even if ammo has a common caliber it isn't the same. Look at the images linked by @ericrrichards22 they are the same caliber yet the way they look is completely different, the way each fires will also be completely different.

The only thing the ammunition share is there caliber.

 

Think of the MP5 it uses a small roller-delayed blowback mechanism. So loading your MP5 with 10mm or 40.cal causes the gun to perform poorly in almost every way. Not to mention you don't get the full power of each round so you are just buying larger ammo for no reason.

Both the 10mm and 40.cal MP5s did exist, they where just discontinued after poor performance, with the MP5/10 coming back in to popularity with so many people thinking bigger is better.

 

Then there is the fact that just because a caliber is bigger doesn't mean the ammo is better. A 50.cal round with a small cartridge won't be as effective as a 22.cal with a large cartridge. Then there is the fact that some calibers don't work well with all cartridge sizes and with some gun designs.

So you can say that caliber*powder = power and it would work in a fantasy world.

You could also say your handguns uses a 22.cal light and 22.cal medium and 22.cal heavy, in a fantasy world that could work, however in real life there isn't any handguns that fire the large 22.cal rounds.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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I just remembered that Deus Ex 2 had universal ammo, and it made it worse than the previous one, among other things, so I don't think I'll go that route after all.

 

Although they did have a fairly reasonable explanation-

Quote

 

Each magazine is loaded with a nano-mass that is dynamically configured by the weapon itself into whatever form of projectile is needed for the weapon that the magazine is slotted into. As a result, by 2072 most forms of case and caseless ammunition have disappeared due to the benefits that universal ammo present.

In general, heavier weapons use up more ammo per shot. The user will get many more pistol shots from a single magazine than from rockets or flamethrower strikes.

 

 

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