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Space guns

Posted 06-02-2011 at 05:09 PM by PeriapsisPrograde

Could guns be used in space? Problems:

1. Recoil would send the gun flying.
2. Would the firing mech work in orbit?
3. How to get bullets out of orbit.

my rough solns
1. Thrusters on the back and top to compensate immediately after the bullet is fired. No scopes
2. Use nitroglycerine instead of gunpowder
3. Shoot them with other bullets.

Suppose we want to hit a satellite in a higher orbit. Fire prograde.
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  1. Old Comment
    1. claim it as working as intended "Automatic retaliation dodging system"
    2. the bullet is sealed and contains the oxidizer for the reaction. (modern bullets should fire underwater)
    3. not missing the target.
    Posted 06-02-2011 at 05:30 PM by Sar Sar is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Samuel Edwards's Avatar
    Wouldn't it make more sense to use infrared sensored missiles in orbit rather than bullets of any kind? they can track movement of the target, and make adjustments when it moves, and you could destroy tht target manually, once it infiltrates the outer casing of the target.
    Posted 06-02-2011 at 06:27 PM by Samuel Edwards Samuel Edwards is offline
    Updated 06-02-2011 at 06:31 PM by Samuel Edwards (typo)
  3. Old Comment
    Ghostrider's Avatar
    Firearms can be used in space. Modern cartridges (bullets are the projectiles, not the whole round) use smokeless powder which contains its own oxydizer and will fire underwater, in oxygen-free atmosphere and in the vacuum.
    Since there is no air resistance, the bullet will remain at muzzle velocity for the whole of its trajectory, so its delta-V is exactly that. The problem with firearms in a vacuum is heat buildup, which can lead to self-ignition.
    Posted 06-04-2011 at 06:49 AM by Ghostrider Ghostrider is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Samuel Edwards's Avatar
    ...Which can be very bad.
    Posted 06-04-2011 at 11:04 AM by Samuel Edwards Samuel Edwards is offline
  5. Old Comment
    The Soviets apparently fired an aircraft cannon from one of their Salyut (Almaz) stations.

    Posted 06-06-2011 at 03:07 AM by krashkart krashkart is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Posted 06-06-2011 at 05:19 PM by kevin580 kevin580 is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by kevin580 View Comment
    All we need is a gun large enough to launch the HARP into orbit. Just imagine it: an entire constellation of earthquake guns parked in geostationary orbit.

    This is probably the most useless idea I've had all day.
    Posted 06-06-2011 at 08:45 PM by krashkart krashkart is offline
  8. Old Comment
    kevin580's Avatar
    Posted 06-07-2011 at 07:58 AM by kevin580 kevin580 is offline
  9. Old Comment
    A handgun would probably fire, provided it is not exposed to very high differential temperatures, which could seize the bullet in the barrel.

    Recoil is an issue. Even if you have a good grip on something, it would try to push you back and swing you around. A second shot would probably miss.

    Heat will be difficult to get rid off. Shedding heat is limited to radiation. A standard handgun is not optimized for that (would require additional cooling fins).

    Firing a handgun within a spacecraf is probably not the best idea. Even small calibers would penetrate the presssure wall. When the vessel is protected with Kevlar fabric against micro-meterorites, the fabric would be on the outside, so the bullet would penetrate the pressure shell, before getting caught in the Kevlar mat.

    A better alternative might be rocket-propelled bullet guided by an open (eg. slotted barrel).

    As always, have a look at the Atomic rockets page: http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/spacegunintro.php
    Posted 06-08-2011 at 07:10 PM by francisdrake francisdrake is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Bloodworth's Avatar
    recoil can be done away with by using what amounts to a recoil-less rifle, in which part of the propellant gasses are vented out the back of the gun to reduce or eliminate recoil. It can also be eliminated by firing thrusters opposite to the direction of weapon fire.

    Also, bullets fired from orbit, depending on the direction they were fired, would most likely either eject themselves from orbit, or deorbit themselves.
    Posted 06-08-2011 at 11:07 PM by Bloodworth Bloodworth is offline
    Updated 06-08-2011 at 11:09 PM by Bloodworth
  11. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by francisdrake View Comment
    A better alternative might be rocket-propelled bullet guided by an open (eg. slotted barrel).
    Something like this?
    Posted 06-09-2011 at 05:01 PM by Conqueror_Worm Conqueror_Worm is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Ghostrider's Avatar
    The Gyrojet design could work if you could have the rocket accelerate to full speed before exiting the barrel. The main problem with the Gyrojet is that its muzzle velocity is quite low: if you shoot anyone at point-blank range with it, you will only make them very angry.
    Posted 06-11-2011 at 11:16 AM by Ghostrider Ghostrider is offline

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