Something to consider is that powerful countries don't necessarily have the resources to field a large number of these. Depending on any number of factors, these could result in a global Cold War, or roughly the equivalent to the US after WWII, when we were the only ones with The Bomb for a while.
Heck, you only need one to be the most dangerous world power. Go to Comment
This is fantastic. I imagine they are relatively more expensive than nuclear weapons in our world, hence a powerful nation might only employ a handful of these, correct? Then, I would think that most war efforts would consist of espionage and sabotage, locating and deactivating these weapons so that a conventional invasion would be possible. Very very good submission, and an easy 5. Go to Comment
You just made my head hurt, man. Steampunk ninjas. Ow.
But yes, for assassins and scouts who need relative silence, they're excellent. They lack the full stopping power of a black powder weapon, really, but for what they're meant for, they're excellent. Go to Comment
Sort of. It comes with a crank you plug in, like hand-cranking an old car to kick-start it, except here each wind compresses a bit more air in the canister. Otherwise it's essentially a clockwork rendering of an air rifle. Go to Comment
Actually, if you've ever used a crossbow, this is easier to reload; rather than requiring you to haul the string back and then nock a quarrel in the grove, you snap it open and slide in a fresh projectile, then snap it shut again. A slight modification could allow for it being a double-barreled weapon, allowing two shots per reload action. Overall, I'd say the basic model would take less than half the time to reload that a crossbow does. If you modified it to match, say, the loading mechanism described in the article Val linked, you don't even need to waste time on reloading - just match the ammunition to the charge of compressed air, and you're good to go until you run dry on both.
As it is, though, this is more of a sniper's weapon than something you'll find on the field of open battle. Given that most of the parts should be able to be designed in a modular fashion, it should be a fair bit simpler to innocently smuggle it into a location than most crossbows; in a world with thaumatechnology, the parts might all resemble pieces you'd find in an engineer's kit bag. Go to Comment
Cute dress-up of the classical air rifle. The reloading time is .. awful harsh, though to be expected with the handcranking.
Historically, air rifles were used by sniper units during the musket / breechloading time, for their relative resilience to the weather, as well as their extremely rapid firing rate - approximately one shot per second, until the air ran out, which was about 30 shots. Go to Comment
Good idea. I imagine it looking and acting something like a Super Soaker without the water (and minus the crazy colors... preferable), but overall it is a nice sniper/hit-and-run type weapon. Go to Comment
..It was 4 ft (1.2 m) long and weighed 10 pounds (4.5 kg), which made it the same basic size and weight as other muskets of the time. It fired a .51 caliber ball1 at a velocity similar to that of a modern .45 ACP and it had a tubular, gravity-fed magazine with a capacity of 20 balls. Contemporary regulations of 1788 required each rifleman, in addition to the rifle itself, to be equipped with three compressed air reservoirs (two spare and one attached to the rifle), cleaning stick, hand pump, lead ladle, and 100 lead balls, 20 in the magazine built into the rifle and the remaining 80 in four tin tubes. Equipment not carried attached to the rifle was held in a special leather knapsack. It was also required to keep the leather gaskets of the reservoir moist in order to maintain a good seal and prevent leakage. 2
The air reservoir was in the club-shaped butt. With a full air reservoir, the Girandoni Air Rifle had the capacity to shoot 30 shots at useful pressure. These balls were effective to approximately 150 yards on a full load. The power declined as the air reservoir was emptied 3.
30 Shots could be managed with basically medieval technology. This would kick the behind of a crossbow :P
The question in my mind now is pretty simple... Why use this weapon instead of a crossbow? A crossbow will punch through all historical armours. Crossbows are easier to reload and would be much easier to build. That and crossbows would be sooo much cheaper. Well, the bolts would probably be a tad costly compared to lead shot.
As a coolness factor, the clockwork rifle is definately up there. But it strikes me as a pretty pointless luxury weapon. The only advantage I can think of is that you won't have a bow string to get wet. But something as delicate as a clockwork weapon most likely wouldn't stand up too well in the wet either. Go to Comment