Solomani Confederation (Military)


Emperor Mongoose
I had this sudden epiphany at lunchtime

It wasn't really sudden, and more of an unravelling revelation while crawling down a rabbit hole.

Rockitification has that ten metre gap, and the logical answer to that would be a hybrid gun, that fires rockets and snubs.

Minimal barrel would indicate that the rocket would be placed under, while a short barrel would be over.

Ammunition feed could be that you have one magazine stick downwards, and the other upwards, very much Lawgiver:


That looked awkward.

Also, bullpuppification, seemed pointless, considering barrel lengths of minimal and short. Mauser broomhandle seemed more likely:


On the other hand, those heavy rifle rockets are going to be rather large, which brought up this image:



Emperor Mongoose
That reminded me, bolt guns fire bolts:

Whereas conventional solid slugs utilize a propellant charge contained in a casing that forces the bullet down the barrel upon ignition, in contrast, a bolt is self-propelled; it features its own integrated solid fuel propellant that propels the bolt at high speeds, essentially acting like a miniature rocket.

Three quarters of an inch is 19.05 millimetres.

The standard bolt is set to .75 calibre, whereas Heavy Bolter rounds are larger, at 1.00 calibre.

That sort of is within spitting range of a rocketified heavy rifle bullet.

And, no recoil.

You still have that dead area of ten metres, though that may be more efficiently covered with a chainsword. Which is about three and a half squares, the half square being occupied by the wielder, arm extended plus sword, one square covered, plus charge movement.


Emperor Mongoose
You can only viable increase ammunition capacity so much, and gun fu iaidōing either magazines or a new handgun might be beyond the reach of even trained soldiers.

You could clone the handgun, and therefore double the magazine capacity. especially since the default receiver weight was four tenths of a kilogramme.

And then it clicked, what we end up is the equipment of a Space Marine.


Emperor Mongoose
I think I've gone as far as it's sensible for a snubbie.

Sure, you could make it minus eight inaccuracy, total minus ten, but I think that's so bad, it would have to bleed over to the under ten metres immune zone.

At eight deficits, you probably have to spread the love around, with hazardous and unreliable.

Slow loader seems a deficit, single shot seems iffy, but doing it in a bullpup might be one point, smoothbore musket two, and trying to ram it down a rifled barrel three.


Emperor Mongoose
So shotguns seem the next weapon type to look at.

It's a science fiction setting, so a shotgun seems just a tad above effectiveness as a musket, but the Field Guide does seem allow a careful customization that allows optimization of any weapon type, though I may have overlooked some, and the Law Level Factor Six Loophole, which allows shotguns.

Probably comes with minimum lengths, anything smaller being considered concealable, conceivably could include magazine maximums.

Also, calibre maximums, so heavy smoothbore may require a specific licence.


Emperor Mongoose
Bulky requires strength factor nine to neutralize it, and probably not worth to acquire, unless you happen to be in the infantry.

Assault receiver has no issue with small smoothbores, can't cope with heavy ones, and light and standard are bulky and very.

Longarm move into bulky with standard, and very with heavy.


Emperor Mongoose
From TL9 upward, weapons can be gyrostabilized. A gyrostabiliser weighs 20% of the weapon’s receiver weight and costs Cr300. A gyrostabiliser offsets an aiming DM up to -2 caused by movement or a poorly balanced weapon. This means it is possible to conduct aimed fire whilst moving, though only at a steady, careful pace. If a weapon is Bulky or Very Bulky due to recoil (not actual weight or bulk), a gyrostabiliser reduces Very Bulky to Bulky and eliminates the Bulky trait entirely.

The point being, we can get rid of bulky for standard in longarm, and reduce very to just bulky.

I see shotguns as being relatively cheap, except for by their nature, customized ones for hunting and sport for the rich.

Adding a gyrostabilizer practically doubles the cost, and by technological level nine, you're likely facing pre advanced combat rifles, so in Traveller, a shotgun fills a specific niche, or niches.

You can add all sorts of features for your shotgun to perform better, but you're likely going to be outgunned in most cases, if that's all you're bringing to the gunfight.


Emperor Mongoose
Large-calibre handguns cannot use any form of detachable magazine – this would make the weapon too wide to hold in the hand.

Base ammunition capacity for any large-calibre smoothbore weapon is 10 shells for a longarm, 6 for an assault weapon and 4 for a handgun. Limitations for mechanisms such as a repeater are disregarded, but a weapon can be made compact or high-capacity which will affect maximum ammunition capacity. Longarms with a fixed magazine under the barrel are usually limited by the length of the weapon, with a capacity of 4-8 shells being common.

1. Not to sure about handgun, so that seems to indicate fixed magazine, usually a cylinder, though conceivably pump action. They have bolt action shotguns.

2. We can duplicate, possibly triplicate tube magazines, so length of the longarm would restrict single tubes.

3. We can fully automate them.


Emperor Mongoose
The cheapest shotgun, or to be more precise, breech loading smoothbore, smallish, would have to be a singleshot handgun.

You get the bulky trait for the the handgun receiver, base cost at twenty five percent discount, so one hundred thirty one and a quarter starbux; eight hundred grammes.

The assault variant would be two hundred twenty five starbux; two kilogrammes.

Gyrostabilizer for the handgun would result in three hundred extra starbux, and plus one hundred sixty grammes.

Singleshot would be 32.8125 starbux for the receiver.

Accuracy is about the same as the snubbie at minus two, tad more powerful than either the medium handgun or snubbie, but range is twenty and fifty percent more, respectively, at sixty metres in it's slug form.

If you use a handgun barrel or shorter, inaccuracy deficit could be possible, which would drop the price to 19.6875 starbux, at minus three (and minus two).

Snubbie singleshot would be 26.25 starbux, at minus five.

Snubbie ammunition is fifty percent more expensive, but no recoil.

I'm going to guess the ammunition costs more because the gunpowder formula, or propellant, is the actual difference.


Emperor Mongoose
I wouldn't want to call a gun a toy, but at these prices and performance, it might as well be.

The Taurus Judge is a five shot revolver designed and produced by Taurus International, chambered for .410 bore shot shells and the .45 Colt cartridge. Taurus promotes the Judge as a self-defense tool against carjacking and for home protection.

... It got its name "The Judge" in 2006 when Bob Morrison, Executive Vice President, learned that judges in high-crime areas of Miami, Florida, were purchasing the revolver for personal defense in their courtrooms, and after Morrison investigated further, the model designation was changed from 4410 to 4510 to more accurately reflect the revolver's versatility (.45 Colt + 410 shot → "4510").[1] Taurus International reports that the Judge is their top-selling firearm.[1]

The rifling is shallower than normal, giving single-projectile loads less stabilization than they would receive in other handguns while reducing the rapid dispersion of the shot from shotshells.[2] Taurus developed the shallow rifling after numerous experiments to find rifling that worked well with both types of ammunition.[3]

Though Taurus deliberately designed the Judge to fire shotshells, the Judge does not qualify as a "short-barreled shotgun" under the National Firearms Act of 1934 as its rifled barrel makes it a regular handgun.[2] However, the Judge is considered a short-barreled shotgun under California state law, which has a broader definition of "short-barreled shotgun," and the Judge is thus illegal to possess in that state.[4]

Shotshells for use in handguns have long been made by loading handgun cartridges with shot rather than single bullets; they are commonly called "snake shot" or "rat shot" indicating their main use for pest control. Standard rifling designed to stabilize bullets scatters shot limiting its effectiveness to very short range.[14] To meet this market, Taurus designed the .45 Colt/.410 Judge to use both bulleted cartridges and .410 shotshells. The rifling of the Judge barrel is designed to stabilize bullets but not unduly scatter shot.

Which is probably what the Shot Pistol was trying to replicate, at three dice, two metres, half a kilogramme, and sixty starbux; five starbux per round.


Emperor Mongoose
I think one reason a shot revolver is popular would be the intimidation factor, which might give an angry litigant pause, which might not be the case with a light or medium handgun, or a snubbie.

The shot revolver might lie between a medium and heavy handgun, as the large cylinder hints at rather hefty firepower.

The heavy handgun might not be really concealable, and is rated as bulky.


Emperor Mongoose
You can make a really cheap handgun with something of a punch, but Traveller Field Catalogue mechanics are going to punish you a bit if you aren't minimum strength factor nine.

Ammunition isn't particularly cheap either, at a starbuck per round.

If handguns are permitted, there are better choices, but again, it may be more going for that psychological effect.

I think any spaceman will recognize the actual threat from a snubbie at close quarters, which the indigenous inhabitants might not.

Having said that, we'll see if we can design the cheapest, post muzzle loader, firearm.

If you can change the barrel from short/handgun to rifle/long/very long, you might have an actual squirrel gun.


Emperor Mongoose
Crossbow bolt or arrow are five starbux each, so no.

Archaic firearm slugs are a quarter starbux, but if you can tolerate slow loading, unreliability tends to be a deal breaker. Inaccuracy and slow loading combination as well, unless you plan to use the musket as a club or pre bayonetted it.

(Additional) inaccuracy on a platform you want to use over ten metres seems foolhardy, so deficit points would need to be reallocated.

If we take at face value that Unreliable factor one satisfies three deficit points, you probably could risk it as a hunting rifle: the target is at a distance, and if at first the bullet doesn't ignite, pop it out and reload.

That's why you don't want slow loader combined with Unreliable.

I don't think there is an inherent cost discount with archaic firearms, like with the shotguns' twenty five percent off.


Emperor Mongoose
So, small smoothbore in a handgun receiver.

Bulky, inaccurate minus two, penetration minus one.

One hundred seventy five starbux, minus twenty five percent at one hundred thirty one and a quarter starbux, Unreliable minus forty percent at seventy eight and three quarters starbux.

Singleshot 19.6875 starbux; repeater 39.375 starbux.

Weight remains at eight hundred grammes.


Emperor Mongoose
Capacity for repeater is base ten, plus forty percent fourteen, halved seven rounds.

In theory.

Base ammunition capacity for any large-calibre smoothbore weapon is 10 shells for a longarm, 6 for an assault weapon and 4 for a handgun. Limitations for mechanisms such as a repeater are disregarded, but a weapon can be made compact or high-capacity which will affect maximum ammunition capacity.

So, four times one hundred forty percent is five point six.

Fixed magazine is 35.4375 starbux (minus ten percent), and seven hundred twenty grammes (minus ten percent).

That can't be right, repeater would be lighter than singleshot.


Emperor Mongoose
So, four and three fifths divided by five and three fifths is 0.8214285714285714.

Each 10% reduction in ammunition capacity reduces loaded weight by 5% and reduces the receiver cost by 5%.

41.07142857142857% is half.

Times 19.6875 starbux; eight hundred grammes.

8.081830357142857 starbux; 328.5714285714286 grammes.


Emperor Mongoose
Or it's actually fifty percent for both cost and weight, because the empty chamber would not count as capacity.

And what we would have above, is a one bullet magazine capacity.


Emperor Mongoose
Mathematically, you could half the repeater cost modifier and arrive at singleshot cost modifier, which basically synchronizes with fifty percent deduction of the magazine capacity.

Weight does not get modified, despite text that pretty much states that the base weight includes all the loaded ammunition weight.

To be fair, I doubt the formula actually reflects reality, especially with barrel and stock cost and weight dependent on the receiver.

Which, if for example it were ten starbux and four hundred grammes, would make the full stock one starbux and forty grammes, and a very long barrel ten starbux and four hundred grammes.


Emperor Mongoose
On the whole, cheapest firearm you could have is a deficited small smoothbore.

But, even if you do manage to bring the cost down to twenty starbux, is it a worthwhile buy?

The ammunition costs a starbux, for three dice minus two, at sixty metres; light rocketified rifle rounds are two dice at two hundred fifty metres, costing four fifths of a starbux.

Bulky versus zero gravity; rifle barrel versus minimal barrel.

Range zero to ten (short), eleven to fifteen (short minus two), sixteen to sixty (effective minus two), sixty one to one hundred twenty (long minus two), one hundred twenty one to two hundred forty (extreme minus two).

Range zero to ten (short, one dice), eleven to sixty two and a half (short minus one), sixty three to two hundred fifty (effective minus one), two hundred fifty one to five hundred (long minus one), five hundred one to a thousand (extreme minus one).

Also, rockets are inherently caseless, whereas shotgun shell has to be ejected.

The rocket bullets cost double at eighty centimes, compared to forty for twenty two long rifle, but same as with the shotgun, you need a rifle length barrel to achieve sixty percent rocket range, whereas minimal for the rocket. Shotgun extreme reaching two hundred forty metres at minus two, which is effective for the rocket at minus one, effective range at sixty, is short range for the rocket.

Likely inaccuracy two plus bulky one, against inaccuracy minus one, plus zero gravity.

Default capacity about five or six, versus eight or nine.