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 Less-Lethal Ammo

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rae
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PostSubject: Less-Lethal Ammo   Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:24 am

First off, I'm writing in a Four Color superhero universe, so this is a place where you can expect to be fighting things like this:

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Yes, that's a brain with two floating eyeballs in a jar, mounted on a clockwork robot thing.

That said, I don't want the weapons I put on my battlesuit character to be total fail. In this case, there is heavy fighting in an underground installation where there may or may not be hostages. Ricochets would be a serious hazard, meaning rubber bullets would be right out, and potential hostages / panicked security guards mean that he is definitely wanting the least lethal ammo he can possibly use.

Would it stretch the suspenders of disbelief entirely too far if...
1] He were using wax bullet carrying a small amount of super concentrated oleoresin capsicum (much like in PepperBalls), which run through a belt-fed shoulder mount? Basically, is it conceivable that he might have come up with a new sort of cartridge to get past the problem with them not having the power to cycle an automatic?

2] He's created a very small sticky-foam cartridge (about the size of a shotgun shell) AND he's created some sort of not-too-harsh solvent so that it can be easily & quickly removed if he's accidently shot someone in the face with it?
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PostSubject: Re: Less-Lethal Ammo   Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:48 am

rae wrote:
Would it stretch the suspenders of disbelief entirely too far if...
1] He were using wax bullet carrying a small amount of super concentrated oleoresin capsicum (much like in PepperBalls), which run through a belt-fed shoulder mount? Basically, is it conceivable that he might have come up with a new sort of cartridge to get past the problem with them not having the power to cycle an automatic?

It's possible, but given the fairly miniscule amount of concentrate that could be mixed in, it would take a high rate of fire with something that hits almost as hard as rubber bullets. From a damage control point of view, a full-auto paintball gun loaded with Pepperballs would be preferable.

Quote :
2] He's created a very small sticky-foam cartridge (about the size of a shotgun shell) AND he's created some sort of not-too-harsh solvent so that it can be easily & quickly removed if he's accidently shot someone in the face with it?

It'd be simpler to go with a shotgun that shoots tazers. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

The main issue overall, I think, is the applicability of less-lethal ammo to the situation. Unless your dude's planning on tazing and immediately securing everyone he comes across, he'd be better suited to using more standard ammunition and slowing down to pick targets. Less-lethal stuff isn't terrifically reliable and works for a very short amount of time. It doesn't help rescue hostages if a guy with a face full of pepper spray foam sprays bullets into a group of hostages, for example, or if there's more than one hostage-taker and one gets back up while you're tazing the other.
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PostSubject: Re: Less-Lethal Ammo   Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:30 am

He actually was planning on securing each person, since they're up against a team of supervillians, so there is not likely to be that many of them (no more than ten). HUEG armies of Metahumans are a thing that Does Not Happen, mainly because there just aren't that many Metas with more than spot-on-the-wall powers.

I'm concerned about giving him regular bullets in this situation because he is in concrete corridors with his three team mates. If one of them gets hit with a Pepperball or w/e, it will hurt and they will be unhappy, but they are highly unlikely to be greatly injured. They are about to split up, and the corridors are filled with smoke thanks to a Meta who has been flinging gelatinous green burning crap around. That particular Meta has already been taken down & secured, along with a superstrength buddy of his, but they do not yet know exactly how many of them are left inside. They also do not know if all the security guards -- or god forbid, scientists -- have all made it out, if any of them are hostages or just running around loose down there.

I'm mostly looking for suppressing fire that isn't likely to accidently gak a teammate or a guard while his teammates get into position. Would the tazer shotgun work for that? It doesn't look like it could manage a very high rate of fire.
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PostSubject: Re: Less-Lethal Ammo   Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:58 am

Hmm. Well, typically you don't want traditional fire-and-maneuver tactics in this kind of situation...

What kind of technology level is your guy working with?
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PostSubject: Re: Less-Lethal Ammo   Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:58 pm

Most of the world is mostly stuck with today's IRL tech levels. However, superheroes, supervillains, and associated groups can get Tony Stark level awesomeness going for them. This fellow, Blue Gunner, is in a fully-functional battle suit that:

-is light enough to fly and run in
- has mechanical 'muscles' that can bend steel (patent pending)
- allows fine manipulation such that he can balance an egg without cracking it
- brushes off small arms fire (though a heavy machine gun will do more than tickle)
- has a built-in 'first aid' servo that will make an EMT wet his pants with envy (patent pending
- enough telemetry links to send an M-16's entire magazine down range as precision-fire.

Yes, I know, that's not exactly precise definitions, but I srsly want to punch in the throat any author that feels the need to detail that shit down to the last erg of power output. e_e Especially since it is sort of a trope of superheroes that their capabilities shift and change between adventures (which at least makes a certain amount of sense in the case of a battle suit).

A little more background on tech: The Big Baddie for this piece has found a way to build an army of cyborgs, but is missing a critical piece to make them function as a unit. While he can enter basic instructions directly into their programming, it is still fairly crude. He is after the brain of a specific telepath, a telepath whose specialty is body-riding and mind-links. He has a way to turn her brain into into the 'master control' for his army.

Some of the people Gunner is in there with are as bullet-proof as his suit is. Most, on both sides, are not. Obviously, the bricks are going to laugh off wax bullets, even if hit in the eyes. But the same power that protects them from blunt force trauma don't necessarily protect from poisons or burns.

I should also say that I'm not detailing much of Gunner's part of the fight since he's not even the main character. He's just one of the team mates, and as I was writing, I stopped and went, "Is this something that will make people like Penguin and [IRL friend] bitch and moan?"
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PostSubject: Re: Less-Lethal Ammo   Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:19 pm

I keep forgetting to reply to this. I mean, I'll be thinking of ideas and whatnot while I'm at work or something, but by the time I get home my brain dumps it.

A couple options here:

Thermal vision for the battle suit. This will negate the visibility problems with the smoke unless the one guy's superpower gives off some [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

Another issue, to help with rate-of-fire with Taser rounds, is to bypass the cycling issue entirely and go with an electrically-driven gun. Remember Mouse's guns in the Matrix? If you don't, that's okay. Anyway... yes, these were props:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

...but they rigged up these props to fire 12-guage blanks at 900RPM by installing an electrical system to cycle the action.

Failing that, I've heard that the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] will cycle just about anything. Although it's got a pretty slow rate of fire, there you have it.

There's some really crazy less-lethal stuff coming out these days but it's all still pretty much in the prototype stage.
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