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Submunitions - Giant shotguns?
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 00:32   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

Just a quickie, this - Am I correctly understanding the nature of railgun submunitions to be essentially the same as shotgun shells (i.e. buckshot), or are they explosive fragmentation rounds?
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 00:38   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

I think they're explosive fragmentation rounds. Like, they use the large blast template, so I imagine it's shot at a slight upward angle so the shots come down all boom-y like.
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 00:45   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

It's like a HE round, but railgun style.. I'm guessing that it blows up once it reaches target..

And when you miss it goes through the ground for a few miles XD
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 00:47   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

I've always thought of them as giant shotgun shells that explode just before the target and shower them with whatever.

But I guess it's whatever you want it to be in the end.
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 00:55   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

I seem to remember reading that it distributed bomblets that "detonated at an optimum height" or somesuch.
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 00:56   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

There's actually been a few threads on the topic before, and I think the general consensus was that they were more or less "shotgun style" rounds.

The primary reasons were that it was pretty technologically difficult (not to mention unsafe) to be accelerating tiny explosive projectiles up to hypervelocity speeds down a ~6-7m long barrel (read: night instantaneously), not to mention likely extremely difficult to construct a submunitions bundle that would be thin enough to fire through the rails.

Instead, tiny flechettes on a timed separation from the bundle would be much safer for the firer, be easier to fit between the rails, and would likely produce about the same amount of damage; peppering the area with tiny fio'tak shards of death.
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 00:59   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

In the codex it says that subunitions rounds are a single bullet that separate into many small needles. It is like a shotgun in the end but not in the beginning.
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 01:04   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

Actually, Doctor Wu, the codex just says a "sophisticated bundle of submunitions".

Submunitions can mean either explosives or solid projectiles, but I don't think the codex really makes the distinction either way, giving us all room for interpretation...
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 01:24   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

I'd personally go with the shotgun approach.
The advanced submunition bundle could be as simple as a frangible cartridge holding many small flechettes or shot pellets.
Upon exiting the muzzle the cartridge shatters and releases the payload. The spread at this point will most likely be smaller than 1º.
Downrange the spread is much greater due to the relative speed and angle of the flechettes.

In order to control the spread (ie: same blast size regardless of range) there may be solid shell with a delay fuse to break it up at a preset point, or ammunition with shell cases made of different materials, and the most effective type for the current range is loaded/cycled automatically.

They could also be a high-explosive fragmentation charge fired down the barrel, working in a similar way to the FRAG-12 shotgun round.
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Old 25 Mar 2008, 05:17   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Submunitions - Giant shotguns?

Furthermore, if it was ain airburst style submunition package, I would imagine it working like the AFP. It does not. It's a direct fire weapon, that allows cover saves. The effect should certianly be similar to the beaten path of machineguns, imho.
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