Ranged Weapons
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ID: 4619


September 4, 2014, 11:28 am

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Cheka Man

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30 Bullets


30 Different Bullet Types, some classic, some really out there…

Full Item Description

A selection of bullets and shot shell loads, per suggestion from Dozus. A generator can be found here.

Some of these bullets are fictional, or urban myth, and may not be very effective in real life. However, some, like Mercury Tipped bullets have Hollywood ‘street cred’ and have a place in RP..

1. Armor Piercing(AP)
Era: Rifle
A round designed to penetrate light armor, it usually consists of two parts - a small diameter hard metal penetrator, usually steel or tungsten, and a softer ‘body’ providing proper aerodynamics and a fit with the barrel of the gun.

2. Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS)
Era: Modern
An advanced form of AP round, this consists of a dense penetrator surrounded by two or more ‘sabots’ which fill the barrel and then drop away once the round exits the barrel. Since the sabots can be of very light material, the penetrator can be heavier then standard AP without increasing total round weight. An added feature is that the bullet itself bears no rifling marks, as the sabot is all that contacted the grooves.

2. High Explosive (HE)
Era: Modern
This bullet consists of a hollow metal jacket containing a small explosive charge. It is fused to detonate after penetrating soft tissue to a depth of 5cm, generally causing severe internal trauma. Against body armor it may not penetrate (due to its generally light mass), but the explosion still generates massive shock through the armor.
Alternately, in larger calibers (12.5mm+) the round may be fitted with proximity fuses and explode nearby the target, showering it with small shell fragments. This is being considered in the Objective Individual Combat Weapon being developed by the U.S. Army.

3. High Explosive Armor Piercing (HEAP)
Era: Near-Future
Scaled down from the HEAT cannon round (High Explosive Anti Tank), this round was developed for use against heavy personal armor. It consists of a shaped charge detonated by either a proximity sensor, or a long mechanical ‘probe’ at the front of the round. This is needed to detonate the charge at the optimal distance from the target. As rotation disperses the jet of hot gases created by the explosion, it must be fired by a smoothbore weapon. When a mechanical fuse is used, the round is too long to be handled by automatic ammo handling systems and needs to be hand loaded for each shot. It is for this reason that proximity fuses are normally used.

4. Photon
Era: Sci-Fi
A specialized explosive that releases its energy in the form of coherent light, either directionally (into the target), or in an area-effect manner. Lethality is equal to an HE round of similar size, but the use of laser vs. blast/shrapnel has important implications with regards to defenses and countermeasures.

5. Radio-Tracking
Era: Modern
This copper alloy bullet contains an isotope of Americanium or similar material in low concentration. While not capable of damage beyond a typical bullet, it will radioactively tag a vehicle. Wounds caused by this weapon have the added effect of exposing the target to internal doses of radiation. This is not considered to be valuable tactically, or for use as a means of assassination, as the radiation dose is typically too low to be a significant hazard.

6. Silver
Era: Black Powder
For show or fighting supernatural foes, this bullet has a silver jacket over a lead core. Solid Silver is also used, though at a higher cost. A 9mm pistol round weighs approx 1/4 oz, and at Jan 2008 Silver costs $16.00/Oz. This means the projectile costs approx $4.00. Lead is about $0.06/oz -generally priced in pounds- making silver bullets nearly 300x more expensive. Silver bullets behave ballistically very much like a standard Jacketed round.

7. Fission
Era: Sci-Fi
Rare and highly dangerous to both shooter and target, this bullet, formed from an undisclosed Transuranic compound, will initiate a small nuclear explosion on the order of a few tons of TNT. As there is little space for elaborate fail safe systems or heavy shielding, the round must be carefully handled. The material itself has a short half life and will not remain viable for too long.

8. Electromagnetic Pulse
Era: Sci-Fi
This bullet is a nano-engineered lattice of lead plates and Teflon-like dielectric. The lead plates are charged with a powerful charge of electricity shortly before firing. Upon impact, the dielectric melts and the entire capacitor discharges, generating a powerful but short range electromagnetic pulse. This pulse can destroy or damage sensitive electronics.
Based (loosely) on flux compression generator bombs, see for details

9. Metal Jacket
Era: Rifle
More properly known as Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) rounds, these are lead bullets enshrouded by copper or other harder metals. The result is a bullet which does not greatly deform on impact and has high penetration. One advantage of these is that there is much less lead buildup in weapon barrels.

10. Hollow Points
Era: Rifle
Hollow point bullets, a type of expanding bullet, are designed with a cavity of various sizes in the bullet’s tip, the purpose being that upon striking a target, the force of impact will cause the bullet to expand, increasing the wound channel and reducing penetration. This generally causes much greater damage to body tissue than a metal jacketed round. Another name used in conjunction with hollowpoints are Dum-dum rounds, though one could apply this distinction to bullets which have been field-modified to improve their expansion, commonly by cutting a shallow X in the bullet’s tip.

11. Flashbang Slug
Era: Modern
This slug contains a small grenade like device which detonates on impact. The resulting explosion has no fragmentation effect but carries a powerful concussive effect as well as a blinding burst of light.

12. Mercury Tipped Bullets
Era: Rifle
A bullet with a hollow inside containing a quantity of mercury. Upon impact, the blob of mercury will strike the tip of the bullet, blasting it open with nearly explosive force. There are technical issues why this type of bullet might not be terribly feasible, but at the very least, it would introduce toxic effects above and beyond the lead used in the bullet.

13. Screaming Rounds
Era: Modern
A projectile shaped to produce a shrieking sound as it flys through the air. No real impact on damage and will reduce maximum range somewhat.

14. Rubber Bullets
Era: Modern
Actually a wide range of less then lethal projectiles, they are usually soft with little penetration, the intent being to strike a painful but non-lethal blow. Available as bullets, slugs, and shot of various sizes. Material varies, from the obvious rubber, plastic and even wood.

15. Tazer round
Era: Modern
A slug containing a self-contained electroshock device, capable of incapacitating most human targets. At higher tech levels, this could be applied to bullet-sized projectiles as well.

16. Incendiary
Era: Rifle
An incendiary round contains a quantity of inflammable material (often Phosphorous) which ignites upon striking a solid target. Hybrids of High Explosive/Incendiary, Armor Piercing Incendiary and Armor Piercing Incendiary Tracer exist as well.

17. Tracer
Era: Rifle
A tracer round contains a quantity of pyrotechnic material in its base that is ignited upon firing, producing a bright light allowing the stream of fire to be adjusted. Typically only useful with automatic weapons, and tends to give away the position of the firer.

18. Subsonic Rounds
Era: Modern
Specifically addressing ammunition not normally subsonic - usually rifle bullets. These bullets are larger then normal, made from extra heavy alloys and fired with smaller propellent loads. Often used in conjunction with silencers.

19. Fleshette Round
Era: Rifle
Either a single ‘little dart’ when fired from rifles, or a swarm when fired from a shotgun, fleshettes are small, arrow-like projectiles which work best against lightly armored targets.

20. High Explosive Squash Head(HESH)
Era: Modern
This projectile consists of a thin jacketed round (sufficient to survive being fired) filled with high explosive. When it impacts against the target, it spreads thin and is subsequently detonated. The resulting explosion causes massive shock to the target, even if armor is not penetrated.

21. Bio-active Round
Era: Modern to Sci Fi
This bullet is designed for very little penetration and is lighter then normal bullets as the intent is not to cause significant injury to the target. As a result, range is reduced significantly.
Upon impact, the target is dosed by whatever bio-active substance the projection has been loaded with. Poisons, drugs, nanobots, etc, are all possible payloads.

22. Adaptive Ballistics round
Era: Sci Fi
This bullet is capable of adjusting its own physical properties by dynamically changing it’s structure en route to the target, or briefly before through external signaling from the firearm. It is capable of changing from low penetration(Hollow Point) to high penetration(armor piercing).

23. Laser-Guided bullet
Era: Modern (.50 cal)/ Near Future
This round, which could easily be combined with any of the other ‘payload’ type rounds on this list, is augmented with a simple control system that can adjust the bullet’s aerodynamic properties to follow a laser beam emitted by the weapon firing the round.

24. Radar Guided Bullet
Era: Modern/Near Future(?)
Another bullet ‘feature’ which could be stacked with other types listed here, this round is directed to it’s target by radar. Includes a nose-mounted sensor and a simple base-mounted control system.

25. Monofiber
Era: Sci Fi
This bullet will deploy at it’s base four Monofilament fibers with small weights attached. The spin of the bullet will cause them to furl outwards, held taut by the small weights. Upon striking the target, the monofilaments will shred into the target cutting a huge entrance wound. The added drag (primarily the weights) reduces bullet velocity and range significantly. As well, high velocity can cause the weights to shear off, making the monfilaments useless as they trail behind the bullet. This limits its use to low velocity pistol and shotgun rounds

26. Frangible Rounds/Breaching Charges
Era: Modern
These projectiles are intended to expend all of their energy on the first thing they strike, to minimize the dangers of ricochets and unintended overpenetration. They usually consist of a thin outer jacket and a filler of small lead shot. See Glasier Saftey Slug for an example.

27. Improvised Fragmentation Shell
Era: Gunpowder
Shotgun shells lend themselves to customization. If it might cause injury, it has been tried. Dimes, thumbtacks, nails, etc, have been used, and though they are dangerous at short range, none really improve over buckshot.

28. Frozen Hydrogen
Era: Far Future
These exotic bullets are formed of metallic hydrogen trapped in a special crystalline lattice. Upon shock of impact, the containment fails, and the hydrogen reverts to gaseous form near instantaneously. This provides a powerful non-chemical explosion, which is followed by a secondary explosion as the hydrogen ignites.

29. Anti-Matter
Era: Far Future
Largely created for propaganda purposes, the Anti-matter bullet is considered in the same class of weapon as Fission grenades. Containing a vanishingly small quantity of antimatter with virtually all of the bullet’s body devoted to magnetic containment, it is both a triumph of engineering and of madness. A single bullet can cause an explosion equal to a large nuclear warhead, assuring that the one firing the round will be a casualty. It is considered fortunate that these are extremely expensive.

30. Phase Bullet
Era: Far Future
This bullet is designed to phase into different types of matter - moving from a heavy transuranic slug to ghostlike neutrino. The round stays in it’s neutrino form for only a few milliseconds, the interval being selectable. In neutrino form, the bullet can pass uneventfully through most materials. As a result, this round can be used against heavily armored vehicles and installations. Against personnel it is little value, as the thickness of personal protection is too thin to properly time the phasing and so it generally passes harmlessly through.

A note on Usage

Some round types are specifically listed as being ‘slugs’. This does not necessarily need to be the case. Some firearms (Such as the 20mm XM-109!!) have projectiles large enough to accommodate the same type of loads as a shotgun slug.,14632,Soldiertech_XM109,,00.html
Futuristic arms, such as rocket rifles, could also manage to deliver more ‘roomy’ projectiles with room for features. Similarly, advances in explosive power could allow for very small but effective explosive rounds.

Related Concepts:

Stacked rounds
More of a different type of weapon.,1,6&album=Area Denial Weapons Systems (ADWS)&category=Photos

Dragons’ breath Pyrotechnic Shell

Not included in main list since it does not actually have a projectile but a spray of burning materials.'s_Breath

Rock Salt
As with the Dragons Breath, Rock Salt is not really a projectile. The use of Rock Salt is very, very limited due to it’s very light weight and is only of any real use at under 10 meters of range. Only at point blank range could it be considered dangerous. Against entities or alien beings especially vulnerable to salt, this round might have some application.


Additional Ideas (1)

A couple more sure to add fun to combat:

Glue Rounds

Era: Sci-fi

A thin outercasing surrounding an extremely viscious liquid that can becomes sticky upon exposre to air. While of little immediate problem individually (unless fired from a shotgun) on full auto these rounds can quickly render a target impaired, with portions of clothing sticking to itself, and effected weapons jamming. 

Often used by law enforcement to slow down fleeing suspects they also have a surprising effective deterrent on animals and will readily obscure a vehicles windshield.

When fired from a machine gun these roudnds can also lay down an effective temporary barrier for crowd control.

(Note those issued such rounds often are provided with a small can if chemical dissolvant to allow for easier apprehension of the target and clean up of accidents.

Stench Rounds:

Era- Sci-fi

A useful round for crowd control and repelling wild animals, the stench round contains a chemical substance (such as beutraic acid) that upon exposure to air vaporises into a small cloud of toxic stench.

Originally designed as a slug for shitguns, a submachine gun or assault rifle can also create a small to medium sized cloud of miasma with a quick burst.

While similar to tear gas in composition, the main effect of these rounds is revulsion, and often neasuea/vomiting, making them more PR friendly due to lower incidents of accidental death, and minimal collateral damage.


2012-03-03 10:54 AM » Link: [4619#80706|text]
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Comments ( 16 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
January 11, 2008, 14:00
4/5 for this cornucopia of bullets.
Voted Murometz
January 11, 2008, 15:18
The "Era" detail puts this one over the top for me. Printing for GM binder insertion. I actually needed something like this! Good one, val!
Voted Chaosmark
January 11, 2008, 17:35
I like the 'Era' detail as well. It puts things into perspective, and helps give you a certain 'feel' for each projectile.
Voted the Wanderer
January 11, 2008, 19:49
Finally something I can use in a modern/fantasy game without disrupting my universe.
Simple, often overlooked item given a great facelift. Well done!
January 12, 2008, 12:24
Was just going to add, looks like you did quite a bit for research on this, and it shows! And it saves someone like me from having to do the research myself. Kudos.
Cheka Man
January 12, 2008, 12:54
Have an HOH from me.
June 10, 2009, 20:36
3354 hits. More of you vote please:P
Voted Ted
June 11, 2009, 13:09
Some Additional Ideas:
You didn't mention that breaching rounds are great for shooting locks and opening doors.

Era: Modern
A rubber projectile with a cavity in the tip of the bullet. Upon impact, the tip crushes, releasing any number of liquid contents. Most commonly used with fake blood to simulate shooting someone.

Black Talons:
Era: Modern
Rounds designed to deploy blades during flight to a target. Intended to increase the severity of wounds.
June 12, 2009, 20:16
Well, bleeders are somewhat covered off by:

21. Bio-active Round
Era: Modern to Sci Fi
This bullet is designed for very little penetration and is lighter than normal bullets as the intent is not to cause significant injury to the target. As a result, range is reduced significantly.
Upon impact, the target is dosed by whatever bio-active substance the projection has been loaded with. Poisons, drugs, nanobots, etc, are all possible payloads.

And Black Talons themselves are a real bullet type that is a modified hollow point. No blades extend during flight, the bullet deforms on impact to form blades.

I am working on a second 30, so I think I will add these to it in some form - thanks!
Voted OmegaDraco
February 27, 2012, 20:06

Nice list! Useful to have handy. I would like to see depleted uranium rounds added. Unike incendiary, these pyrophoric rounds burn when in contact with air and can catch nearby targets on fire while still maintaining an armor piercing quality. In addition, these shells are highly radioactive and cause long term adverse effects to kidney, brain, liver, heart, and other important body systems to anyone unfortunate enough to survive the encounter.

Voted axlerowes
February 27, 2012, 20:13

Wow! This is a really well put together list with enough but not too much detail. Did depleted uranium not make it on the list? Did I miss it. Is it lumped with some other group?

March 2, 2012, 20:19

I did miss DU, but would consider them as #18 with complications :)

As for the prior comment on DU, the pyrotechnic effects occur when striking a hard target,

That said,it would be effective and the US army uses DU for some 7.62 and .50 cal rounds.
Voted Silveressa
March 3, 2012, 10:42

A useful list, sure to make any gun bunny characters happy, and allow players to customize their capabiltities without needing to purchase new weapons. (Especially useful for shadowrun.)

(On a side note with #13: No real impact on damage should read no real damage on impact unless my understanding is completely off on how this round functions?)

Voted Dossta
May 22, 2013, 16:04
The Era was a really nice touch, and I like that you cited your sources so that people could easily go look up more info if they wanted to. Also glad you mentioned Dragonsbreath and Rock Salt (great for Urban Fantasy settings).

Commented on for the Commenting Challenge
Voted custos
June 18, 2014, 3:02
Only voted
Voted Aramax
October 8, 2014, 10:09
solid 4.5


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