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Tom Jefferson
January 15, 2000, 12:32 AM
It is possible now to define the requirements for a truly new rifle, incorporating accuracy and velocity, control, versatility and convenience. Help evaluate the requirements and properties.

1 Accuracy and Velocity - .1 moa at 6000 fps (under .28 inch caliber) with dynamic wind correction to 500 yards.

2 Completely adjustable trigger with keyed phrase (or number) electronic lock. Recoil compensation. Integral optical sight.

3 Multiple caliber support, .17 to .5 inch.

4 Folds into three pieces fitting into 12 inch square high impact case, weight less then 7 pounds (plus 2 pounds for case).

What do you think?

Gale McMillan
January 15, 2000, 09:21 AM
First it would take a new propellant system. After you come up with a propellant that will give you 6000 fps the rest become impossible What I am saying is you might as well ask for 10,000 fps and pack in a container 6 inches and weigh one pound. Get realistic

Pierre
January 15, 2000, 09:38 AM
Not even close to your requirements, but the HK G11 is .223 cal, caseless, holds 100 rounds on top, is a bullpup configuration, has "around the corner" optics, cycles in single or 3rd burst mode at 3,00 rds pr/minute and weighs only 5lbs loaded? Is this close enough to a "millenium weapon??

Tom Jefferson
January 15, 2000, 04:05 PM
Gentlemen, plese be of good faith! The purpose here is to try to find the qualities that appeal to shooters, and sportsmen. Let the technical people worry about the implementation. What ddo we want the piece to do. This is not a military weapon!

Keeper
January 15, 2000, 08:08 PM
Not that I don't think the weapon you put forward is impossible but the cost of such a weapon in the next say 10 years or more would be way over what any of us could afford. Take a look at the new rifle that is being looked at by the army the thing costs 50,000. The weapon you want will not be feasible for more than 25 plus years IMHO anyways and even if it was who is going to shell out that type of money?

Tom Jefferson
January 15, 2000, 09:41 PM
Perhaps this isn't going to work.... But I'll try again anyway.
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Please suspend belief(if necessary) and just imagine the qualities and properties you would like such a rifle to have. I ask only that you focus on the precision shooter and hunter, imagining how you could meet the needs of both.
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What are those needs?
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Ask for anything just don't exceed the laws of physics in your requests.

hksigwalther
January 15, 2000, 10:14 PM
Hmm. Some type of energy weapon. Rail gun? (Just need a more compact efficient energy source.) Something other than lasers as they would be hampered by environmental conditions.

- Ron V.

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LOCHFAL
January 16, 2000, 12:11 AM
How about an invisibility field only effective on the Anti's

pete80
January 16, 2000, 01:44 AM
The G11 wasn't .223 cal., it was 4.7mm.

Long Path
January 16, 2000, 08:33 AM
I'm with HKSigWalther; a rail gun would be the right direction to head, but there's no way you could even come close to making weight, right now. (Though they might work for tanks, and definitely would be feasible for ships.)

Tom, 6k fps may sound feasible, but that's before you look into the way air resistance increases with speed. I believe the correllation is resistance is squared with respect to speed. Galeleo didn't even think air resistance mattered a whit, and "proved it" at the Tower of Pizza and through experimentations with artillary (which fired projectiles at about 200 fps at that time, and thus diminished the effects of air resistance to within the margin of error. He knew something was wrong; he just didn't think it was the air.).

.1 MOA at 500 yards? Uh, well, if conditions agree... why not. It's utter science fiction, now, but hey, if you get that 6k fps thing worked out...

Multi-cal. Okay. Why?

Why three-piece? What's with the case?

Okay, you're definitely getting credit for thinking outside conventional parameters. Now justify that it's possible. I don't think it will be for over 100 years. But who knows what they were saying about the future of firearms in 1871, 100 years before I was born?

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Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?

Matt

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January 16, 2000, 01:04 PM
TJ:

In a word - YES!!

I've had several conversations with some folks about a similar design. There appears to be two big drawbacks to the concept. Those being propulsion - it takes a lot of energy transduced to a mechanical vector to achieve that sort of acceleration in a small device. The effects of atmosphere is the second major issue to a high velocity KE (kinetic energy) projectile.

I don't think such a device would lend itself to hunting as the effect of ultra velocity impacts would leave little game left. As a competitive tool, it would have to stand in its own category. As a weapon, it would never get beyond the confines of wishful thinking for the majority of the populace.

If you've more than a passing conceptual interest in this, contact me via email.

hksigwalther
January 16, 2000, 01:49 PM
Well, I see two other problems not brought up.

1: I'm not a metallurgist but I don't know of any hardened material (possibly alloy) for the barrel that would be able to handle those speeds for very long unless the projectile was something considerably softer.

2: The heat generated by the friction between the projectile and barrel and also the propellent would be incredibly high (to get to 6Kfps).

- Ron V.

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[This message has been edited by hksigwalther (edited January 16, 2000).]

Tom Jefferson
January 17, 2000, 04:36 AM
hksigwalther and others; thanks for entering the spirit of this thread! Since you have been so kind let me proceed by giving some brief details of two (already patented) methods (quite old really the work was done over 20 years ago) which address some of your points.
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1 In an arrangement (now in the public domain from multiple inventors)the propellant can be kept out of the bore of the rifle by initiating ignition BETWEEN the projectile and the propellant column. hksigwalther was right in raising this issue since propellant induced wear (friction) is major source of barrel erosion at high pressures.
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2. Projectiles which continue to accelerate after leaving the barrel are quite capable of achieving high velocity (or maintaining a given velocity) without the problems associated with existing systems. Like 1 this has been done before although some details of a high accuracy solution set are not yet the subject of a patent application and must remain unspoken here in a public forum (or the laws of most countries including ours reduce or eliminate the inventors rights).
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Now then can we continue to talk about the properties we would like in an improved shooting and hunting rifle rather then the specific solution set? Again I'm trying to understand what others who have an informed interest in these areas might find desirable and appealing.
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Heres one- how about a weapon which requires no licensing and can be sold through the mail or on the internet (legally in the U.S.- lord knows I don't want to talk about foreign arms laws!).

Keifer
January 17, 2000, 09:39 AM
I live in Illinois and do most of my hunting with a shotgun. If envision the hunting firearm of the next millenium as follows:

1. A smoothbore capable of firing sabot slugs a.at 2000 fps with 2moa accuracy and 1000 fp of energy at 200 yds.

b. at 3500 fps with 1moa accuracy

2. A "grip adjustable" choke - capable of being adjusted while shouldered.

3. An optical sight switchable for suitability depending on the load detected in the chamber. Also displaying the ammo/choke configuation in the heads up display.

4. Instant load selection: I can't count the opportunities I've missed by having the wrong load in the tube while hunting.

Long Path
January 17, 2000, 10:02 AM
Tom--
Don't mean to be a wet blanket, here, but continuous accelleration... that's a rocket-propelled missile, and thus not a rifle, not legal.

To your last, are you saying,"Let's just focus on what we want, not how we can do it"? If so, my interest is waning. I enjoy science fiction, but the best SF is based on practical concepts of only a single fiated technology.

Regards,
L.P.



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Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?

Matt

Keeper
January 17, 2000, 11:16 AM
I see what you are getting at now. I want a rifle that has an integral recoil reduction system that can make a .308 or 30.06 feel like a .223 and .223 feel like a .22. I would also like to see ceramics and carbon fiber used not just for weight but I want a rifle that you could leave in a lake for a year and not see any rust.

Keeper
January 17, 2000, 11:34 AM
While we are at it I want a scope with a laser range finder that adjusts automatically and has a built in gps.

muleshoe
January 17, 2000, 11:47 AM
Keifer has a great idear with a grip adjustable choke on his scatter gun, and it is more probable than the accuracy he is asking for. Very doubtful out of a smoothbore. TJ, sounds like you are wanting a mini-cruise missile launcher. That would be fun but I doubt even the NRA could make a good enough arguement for the continued acceleration theory. Seems like I saw Superman battle some sinister bad guy who had a death ray gun of some sorts. Thats what I want, you could cook your supper at 1000 yds. ;)

Tom Jefferson
January 17, 2000, 07:09 PM
Actually, Long Path it is not illegal to have a rocket launcher (for sufficiently small rockets in most states) but this in fact is not the proposal. The key to the technique is not to build a rocket but to obtain a rifle lauched projectile which can continue to accelerate after leaving the muzzle. This boost mode activity is not addressed by any existing gun laws or restrictions of which I am aware (since the effect is obtained with out an explosive material or rocket fuel). Its not science fiction at all, indeed when I did the patent search I found that the Navy had actually tested the method in the 70's (of course not for sports shooting).
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KEIFER you got it guy! Great set of requirements! I love the load selection and grip set choke requirement. High accuracy slugs-excellent request! Any one else agree?

Certainly the purist will argue its not a rifle anymore but we won't worry about them. My only concern is if you have load selection how do you deal with the rounds limits for shotguns in most states? Whoops I just thought of way to do it! Very interesting or maybe- Way Cool!

hksigwalther
January 17, 2000, 08:54 PM
Well, certainly, the faster the better (up to relativistic speeds). If you can get a platform to launch something at that rate the less likely environmental conditions will be a factor. There would be no need for mid-flight correction. Even at the conditions TJ had mentioned (6Kfps/500yds) this is only 0.25s. Less airtime equals less effects.

Unfortunately, at those speeds any (small) projectile will have minimal effect as it doesn't spend enough time to transfer the necessary energy to the soft target. In my opinion, the round would just go through like an arrow. I remember a small demonstration of a pistol round shot at a sandbag and the sandbag stopping the round. Then an arrow was shot at the sandbag and it went through. The key was, of course, momentum. The high speed of the new requirement, I think, would give the new projective the momentum it needs to go through like an arrow.

Microchips underneath the skin in your fingers (and thumbs) and (both) hands with the reader all the way around the grip areas. Unfortunately, this could be used for other purposes (the chips that is).

The perfect weapon would be (near) instantaneous with no recoil and minimal weight. Sounds like a laser with compact energy source (with and adjustable beam diameter). Don't have to compensate for bullet drop.

- Ron V.

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Tom Jefferson
January 17, 2000, 09:37 PM
hksigwalther, although it may seem that a laser weapon might be a preferred kind of new rifle, it has inherent problems when used as a tool to kill (game or enemy soldiers)most wavelengths readily absorbed by animals can also be absorbed by humidity, water (rain), and surface structures (skin, adipose, muscle) or in the case of humans reflected by suitable choices in first or barrier layer clothes. A projectile delivers much more energy then with any forseable advance (short of a light portable fusion reactor- don't hold your breath)in laser technology with existing power supplies x ten (that is with ten times the power available today in a 20 lb package you still would have trouble bringing down game or a man at more then a few feet away.
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Although there is a class of weapons which would meet some of your descriptions (restricted to antipersonel and unusual circumstances) they are not generally known, and certainly aren't sport related so we won't go there.

muleshoe
January 17, 2000, 10:26 PM
I believe that if you have a projectile that continues to gain velocity in an uncontrolled environment, ie: outside of the barrel, you can kiss accuracy goodbye.

Tom Jefferson
January 18, 2000, 03:49 AM
Well muleshoe, why do you believe that? The bullet that leaves a conventional weapon undergoes continuous deceleration as it traverses the air cloumn between the muzzle and target, nonetheless we can all agree that very accurate rifles exist. Why then should we not expect similar behavoir from an accelerating projectile?
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In point of fact although, this possible property (an accelerating projectile) seems to have peaked some interest. The solution set limits the use of this type projectile to calibers greater then .25 inch (due to laminar flow properties of air at 1 atmosphere). The high accuracy of the initial description, however of .1 moa seems to have raised little comment. It is actually more challenging and indeed as you suggest even a minor instability added by an acceleration menas may render it unobtainable.

Tom Jefferson
January 18, 2000, 03:50 AM
Any further discussion of Keifers excellent suggestions for a adaptive shotgun/rifle-like weapon?

Long Path
January 18, 2000, 09:06 AM
Please expand upon how a constant-accelleration-projectile is NOT a rocket. Where is the boost coming from? What propels it initially and in flight? WHY should laminar air flow be an issue at over .25", when clearly it is viable with projectiles several inches in diameter at similar velocities?

Deceleration by air resistance and accelleration by g are constants. How do you maintain constancy of thrust (which comes fromwhere, exactly?) without either a barrel for stability or a fly-by-wire technique? Gyros?

??

??

muleshoe
January 18, 2000, 09:40 AM
Well TJ, inside a barrel the thrust is contained and centered equally across the exposed surface of the bullet. Or at least I assume it's equally. How do you keep the thrust centered once your projectile exits the confines of the barrel? If it's off, even fractionally, won't your projectile tumble? :confused:

Tom Jefferson
January 18, 2000, 08:22 PM
muleshoe- inside of the barrel of a rifle the rifling spins the bullet, differential pressure partially and continuously kicks the bullet about its center axis due to small imperfections in the bore, a major differential change at the end of the barrel can further distort the path of the projectile (that's why target shooters recess and carefully dress the crown of the barrel). Once it leaves the barrel the bullet continues to spin and any acceleration not centered on the axis of rotation (but in a vector direction the same as the direction of the bullet as it left the muzzle) will cause the bullet to spiral downrange to the target (at a pitch rate equal to the decaying spin of the projectile- that is a lengthing spiral).
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Our boost mode technique needs to be centered and if possible sustain and or increase the spin rate- you may find this a tall order. *
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Properly controlled this motion can be used to steer the projectile downrange and can be used to make dynamic compensation of secondary factors, wind, isotherms, small obstructions, corners and motion of the target. Naturally this steering can be accomplished with a deccelerating projectile also (though with a much narrower range of response).

hksigwalther
January 18, 2000, 08:34 PM
Oh no, TJ, I agree with you concerning lasers. They work fine...in a clear atmosphere without any countermeasures. And even then, they can only cut holes, not much energy transfer to the target. I just can't get past on how to get projectiles to >= 6Kfps.

Concerning acceleration past the barrel, there was one experiment I saw in one of the educational programs of using a laser to propel a conical shaped object with a very highly polished reflective surface. I think the idea was to focus the beam of the laser (which was being aimed at the inside of the cone) from behind the cone (pointy end is forward). This would focus the incoming beam even tighter behind the cone creating a plasma which then propelled the cone. (I think this is how it worked. Someone correct me if I am wrong.)

So...maybe if you shot a projectile with a shiny indentation at its back end (much like the reflective surface of a flashlight) out of a barrel and then lased it from behind as it went on its way then maybe you can accelerate it.

- Ron V.

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Tom Jefferson
January 18, 2000, 09:12 PM
Actually hksigwalther, this method could work but not due to radiation pressure (light pressure) but rather by choosing a material for the interior of the projectile, along with a reflective material forming a nozzle at the rear so that the wavelength of the laser is optimal for the atmospheric transport (wavelengths in the near IR that are not absorbed well by water [and therefor by flesh by the way]). The material in the projectile is choosen to be highly absorbtive of the laser wavelength and thus by pulsing the laser into the projectile a series of (rocket like) exhaust pulses boost the velocity of the round. The return of the laser pulse tells us the velocity of the projectile downrange and thus this method provides the abiltiy to increase, decrease or hold steady the velocity of the round downrange.
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Unfortunately this method requires a great deal of energy in the laser pulse and therefor a bulky and power hungry laser (heavy battery). Less constraining then the pure laser approach but not in the cards in the first quarter of our new century (by my estimates).

Tom Jefferson
January 29, 2000, 01:49 PM
Although I replied to Long Path via e-mail he has not responded back. Therefor I'll answer some of his points openly here.

The system is not a rocket because it lacks an ignitor or oxidiser and the source of chemical energy is normally inert and non-poisonous and therefor does not come under any federal or state projectile restictions of which I am aware.

Like most rifle rounds the projectile is spin stabilized.

The acceleration profile is adjustable and downrange wind corrections (small corrections) can be made during time of flight.

Gale McMillan
January 29, 2000, 02:21 PM
Ok I will play. Since it is going to have to be a new concept rifle lets solve each problem step at a time. Projectile will be a rocket type missal that will have a smart guidance system which rides a IR laser beam to the target. That takes care of both accuracy and velocity. Next would be the launcher, It would have a rail with an air bearing so there would be no wear on the rail and could give the missile a precision launch path .Since the guidance system is in the projectile it won't contribute anything to the weight of the launcher so it would be easy to keep the weight of the launcher to a minimum. With this concept all you have to do is generate a solid propellant that was progressive burning so that when it gets to the end the burn rate is that of TNT. No Problem all we have to do is submit an unsolicited proposal and sit back and wait for the big bucks to start rolling in!

Jake 98c/11b
January 30, 2000, 09:56 AM
While I think this is far fetched, I too will play. What about a gyroscopically stabilized platform. Would certainly stabilive the sights for longer shots now possible with your 6k projectile.
Gale, if I remember right TNT detonates at about 21,000 fps so we only need a progressive burning propellent that is about half that of TNT. That should make things a whole lot easier don't you think ;)

Art Eatman
January 30, 2000, 02:18 PM
Staying for the moment with the basic package: consider the "average hunter" who does do walking and stalking type hunting--as opposed to one who climbs in a stand and sits.

The lighter the package, obviously, the easier to carry. Fine. At the end of a 100-yard "walk" up a steep mountain side, you surprise the elk of your dreams. I submit there is a certain amount of need for a gun to be heavy enough, balanced well enough, that you can hold pretty steady and make a successful shot.

So I'm not sure I'd want a hunting rifle which weighed less than some six to seven pounds, fully dressed.

Tom Jefferson
January 30, 2000, 11:10 PM
Let's back up a little. These properties are not necessarily connected. That is the high velocity does not have to be ultra accurate (with an associated doppler lidar wind and steering system)and vice versa. In fact if the goal is high accuracy in a light package for modest ranges (300 yard max) the high velocity is a distraction.

Alternately, the same in flight acceleration technique and steering system can be used to produce an ultralight rifle (2 to 3 lbs.) that has high accuracy and low kick with a projectile at 3k or less.

The system can and should be operable as a conventional rifle by adopting a cartridge capable system for a standard loaded round that can also be fed and support the high accuracy, high performance steerable rounds.


No rail gun here, no air bearing lets stay with techniques that can be brought into production with existing components (I don't know of any rail gun without a power supply far too heavy to lift let alone take to the range or woods).

A compact lidar suitable for short (300 yards or less) is much easier then you might think to implement, although it is still a serious development project. The system would still require skill from the shooter and (depending on the range and velocity of the round) solid follow through on the target- a skill not presently absolutely required (although common among experienced shooters).

Nyterunner
February 1, 2000, 11:40 PM
RECOIL! LOTS AND LOTS OF RECOIL!! I LOOVVEE RECOIL!!!!!! MAKE IT A REAL MAN'S WEAPON!

Long Path
February 2, 2000, 09:44 AM
Tom--

Dunno what happened to my response to your email... I wrote you back.

To answer your initial question, YES! We'd love it. The 3-piece breakdown into the case isn't that necessary, but not necessarily preclusive.

You've a pretty positive group, here, I'd say. I think we'd all like it, if we can grip the concept. We're all just fuzzy on the final product.