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G: Guns, guns, guns

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Sadurian Mike
384049.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:02 pm Reply with quote







Three guns?

Only in the purely civilian sense of the word which would have a gun as anything firing a projectile through a tube, or barrel, and also tools that have a similar look or action (such as nailguns, hot glue guns and so on).

In military terminology, only the last of the three (a 152mm howitzer) is actually a "gun". This is because the military classes guns as large calibre support weapons, including artillery and tank cannon. Mortars and most infantry weapons are not called guns, with the exception of machine-guns (support weapons, not submachine guns) and shotguns.

This classification is relatively recent. The origin of the word "gun" (or "gunne", "gonne", etc.) extends back to before the common use of gunpowder itself and was used to describe any weapon of war that threw a missile. It was naturally applied to early cannon and other firearms, and became a generic term that persisted long after non-gunpowder mangonels and other artillery pieces disappeared.

Webster 1913
Wikipedia
All-Experts

EDIT: Original image moved URLs, so new replacement edited in.


Last edited by Sadurian Mike on Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Janet H
384054.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:08 pm Reply with quote

So what are the smaller ones called, then? (For example that one at the top photo with the absurdly optimistic sights on it?)

 
Sadurian Mike
384059.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:27 pm Reply with quote

Generally the military call them firearms or small arms, or just "infantry weapons" (although that is a vague blanket term).

The one at the top, by the way, is the pistol version of the famous Israeli Uzi, a submachine gun that grabbed the world of firearms by the throat when it first appeared. Smaller ones have been made since (such as the one in the picture), but at the time it was ground-breaking.

 
Tas
384127.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:45 pm Reply with quote

Would that make it, technically, a machine-pistol then, SM?

:-)

Tas

 
Sadurian Mike
384151.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:56 pm Reply with quote

Anti-tank guns.
Part One: Early development

The development of anti-tank guns naturally shadowed the development and improvement to tank armour; as the armour thickened and became stronger, so the weapons made to defeat the armour needed to be improved.

In WWI the Allies had a virtual monopoly in tanks. German and Austrian armoured cars were rare on the Western Front and were limited to use on roads or good going so were a rare opponent of infantry at the time.

When the Germans first faced the tank they had no real answer to it. Artillery could be brought to bear (luckily the early tanks were painfully slow) and were certainly effective when fired over open sights (i.e. directly at the tank rather than firing at the area from a long distance). The Germans also developed the "reversed bullet" for their rifles and machine guns, which fired with the blunt end first and was packed with more propellant to hit harder. The blunt impact meant that the bullet wouldn't penetrate (even the other way around rifles and machine guns would rarely do that) but that the strike caused metal shrapnel within the tank as the shockwaves fragmented the interior lining of the tank walls. The round was notorious for damaging both the rifle it was fired from and the shoulder of the firer, and was extremely unpopular.

The obvious answer was to make the bullet travel faster, thus imparting more energy when it hit and hopefully either penetrating or causing a greater amount of wall fragments splitting from the inside of the tank. The problem was that at higher velocities, the standard round would simply fragment upon impact, being too weak to stand hitting armour plate at such speeds.

Enter the "K" bullet; a normal rifle calibre (7.92x57mm for the Germans) round with extra propellant and a hardened steel core. This theoretically allowed a standard rifle to fire armour-piercing rounds, but this was expensive to produce and not good for the rifles and so specialist anti-tank rifles such as the 13.2mm Mauser (seen below being examined by British troops in 1918 EDIT: different picture thanks to original moving), were developed that were strong enough to withstand the shock of firing and even more powerful round.




Although anti-tank rifles were light and portable, they were also correspondingly less powerful than wheeled artillery. Even as anti-tank rifles were handed out, the first dedicated anti-tank guns proper were being developed. The German 37mm Tankabwehrkanone was a new development because it was designed from the wheels up as an anti-tank weapon rather than an artillery piece subverted to an anti-tank role.




EDIT: Original images moved URL so replaced by equivalents.


Last edited by Sadurian Mike on Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:43 pm; edited 3 times in total

 
Janet H
384156.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:00 pm Reply with quote

Who on earth first thought, "hey, lets put the bullet in backwards and see what happens"?

 
Sadurian Mike
384158.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:01 pm Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
Would that make it, technically, a machine-pistol then, SM?

:-)

Tas

There is a great deal of overlap in the terms "submachinegun" and "machine-pistol", as the small SMGs are almost pistol-sized and the fully automatic pistols do an equivalent job in firing a lot of bullets fast.

The distinction is best made by the development of the weapon; a pistol that can fire fully automatic is a machine-pistol, but an SMG that has been scaled down is a small SMG. The UZI started life as an SMG, and smaller versions have been made.

I don't think anyone would say you were wrong to call the pistol Uzi a machine-pistol, though. Well, Uzi themselves might....

 
Janet H
384160.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:05 pm Reply with quote

..........and you wouldn't want to pic a fight with that lot?

I still think that such a 'stubby' gun would be hopeless to aim accurately, even over a short distance?

 
Sadurian Mike
384161.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:06 pm Reply with quote

Janet H wrote:
Who on earth first thought, "hey, lets put the bullet in backwards and see what happens"?

Some German physicist probably. You know how crazy those physicists can be.

 
Sadurian Mike
384166.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:08 pm Reply with quote

Janet H wrote:
..........and you wouldn't want to pic a fight with that lot?

I still think that such a 'stubby' gun would be hopeless to aim accurately, even over a short distance?

They are primarily for close and dirty work such as urban combat and anti-terrorism. Point and shoot basically, with a decent rate of fire you are going to hit something!

 
Mort
384169.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:12 pm Reply with quote

I wonder where a slingshot fits into this military classification.

 
Sadurian Mike
384171.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:14 pm Reply with quote

Good point. Going by the purely historical definition it is a gun because it throws a projectile. Militarily and in "civilian" usage, however, they are not guns.

 
legspin
384173.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:18 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Janet H wrote:
..........and you wouldn't want to pic a fight with that lot?

I still think that such a 'stubby' gun would be hopeless to aim accurately, even over a short distance?

They are primarily for close and dirty work such as urban combat and anti-terrorism. Point and shoot basically, with a decent rate of fire you are going to hit something!


Doesn't the rate of fire of the Uzi double with every step down in size?

 
Sadurian Mike
384185.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:26 pm Reply with quote

I'm not aware of that. The standard RoF for the 9mm Uzi is 600 rounds per minute, so to double that for the Mini-Uzi and then again for the Micro-Uzi would be an impressive feat!

Perhaps the RoF increases with smaller calibre ammunition; the Uzi has been chambered for 9mm, .22LR, .45ACP and .41AE, and the larger calibres would normally be accompanied by a slower RoF.

 
legspin
384197.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:54 pm Reply with quote

http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg17-e.htm

There is a chart giving the specifications nearly at the bottom.

Between the Uzi and micro-Uzi the rate doubles


Last edited by legspin on Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

 

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