Full Item Description
Superficially, the AK-217 greatly resembles its predecessor of yore, the AK-47, very much the modern vision of the Â‘assault rifle.' The barrel is somewhat thicker in appearance, while a secondary brass-catching system, often not much more than a bag hung from the receiver is commonly present, though not uniformly so.
The ammunition, too, bears a superficial resemblance to the chemical-propelled bullets of the 20th century, consisting of a simple, black plastic cartridge, Â‘banded' twice with copper, and tipped with a tungsten projectile.
The insides, however are vastly different. Barely more than a recoil powered ammunition feeder and a triggered launching coil, the AK-217 has even fewer moving parts than the AK-47. The ammunition, meanwhile, is little but a small ultra-capacity, quick discharge battery and a steel-cored bullet, occasionally of varying types, ready to be launched down the coil. Seated against the receiver, the bands of the cartridge make electrical contact with the coil on one band, and the trigger on the other - When pulled, the trigger completes the circuit, the battery discharges down the coil, and the projectile is accelerated to many multiples of the speed of sound. Typically, the weapon is capable of single, burst, and fully automatic fire.
Together, the system is both cheap, and reliable, and forms the basis of many hundreds of variant weapons. However, the original AK-217 is noted for its durability and ability to function under even the most averse conditions, owing to its extremely simplistic design. On average, the weapon is expected to last more than 50 years or 50,000 rounds before needing serious maintainance.
In the early phases of the War with the Scranja, Humanity found their traditional, chemically propelled personal arms useless against the heavy armor of the aliens. While the heavier, crew served weaponry worked sufficiently, as did the light coilguns mounted, by that time, upon the majority of the vehicles of war, no hand held weapon could penetrate, lacking sufficient velocity.
Personal coilgun designs had long been frustrated by the energy requirements, even the most effective of small batteries barely holding enough charge for a single clip of ammunition, and requiring far too long to charge for the battlefield. It was while changing the batteries in a laser designator that Pyotr Kalashnikov, a descendant of the once-famed Mikhail Kalashnikov, had his burst of brilliance.
If they mated a small battery to the bullet, the soldier would never notice the weight, and you could only run out of them together. A quick sketch, and a run to a Martian design consortium later, and the deal was done, with surprising swiftness. Convincing the military to accept it was another deal, eventually requiring firing through a mothballed Abrams tank from end to end.
Though brought into production too late to influence the war for the surface of Mars, the AK-217 would eventually become the weapon of choice of lowest bidder contracts everywhere.
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? Responses (16)-16
Interesting weapon, I especially like the history behind the evolution of the weapon, it's inspiring and helps add a sense of rhyme & reason behind it's development.
However the concept of still using cased ammunition doesn't feel all that futuristic, (modern day G-11's fire caseless ammo) and for a gun with few moving parts, a non cased ammunition would be a logical development (especially since the lack of a case ejection port opening after every round would increase muzzle velocity)
Still a nice piece, and an interesting take on how a modern day weapon would evolve in the future. If I had a clue how to use the voting system I'd gladly give it a 3.5
The point of caseless ammunition is valid. However, gunpowder propelled weapons have an effective maximum velocity, somewhere around 1300 m/s. The intent here is true hypervelocity - 10,000+ m/s, while remaining relatively 'primitive' for the weapon type. And, unfortunately, I can't think of a way to make ultracapacitors just evaporate. So, it's cased. Just slapping the battery pack into the rifle means it has to be replaced every half dozen shots - The capacitor / battery pack is kept in the case in order to remove that step.
Aside: Actually they are prototyping a laser system that is using small capacitors to fire reach pulse. They are using old Russian machine gun and submachinegun designs and making the capacitors bullet shaped. That way they have a simple solution to the power issue. And if you "catch the brass", you can easily reacharge the capacitors.
All that said, nice set of details, reasonable explanation, good writing style. Oh, and it is easy to dance to.
One nagging question. Why are the Starkin using a Russian name for the weapon?
I guess I have played too many sci fi games/ read too many novels for it to be.... errr ... novel for me. Nicely done, solid write up, for nothing special.. for me.
Moon, last sentence 6th paragraph for your answer to your question.
Otherwise has a very the Future is War/Plain flavor.
Yes, but that answer does not jive well with the information from the Starkin Federation base submission, in which they have more or less divorced themselves from the Earthkin and Earthkin culture.
Since this cycled back up:
It is from the 'before the death of Earth', Moon. The Starkin haven't really abandoned Earth culture. It was murdered. Bits and pieces that can be picked up are carried forwards, it's just that the majority of the people in space at the time were from one of the collapsing 'empires' or one of the up and coming ones, and Mother Russia wasn't there. Kalashnikov, the Ultimate Lord of Cheap Weaponry was, though, because it's a name that's functionally synonymous with 'a gun that you can make for a buck-fifty in the crappiest factory possible, and it will still work forever'. The AK-47 is on a national flag(Mozambique). I suspect that the AK lineage will not die until the last man kacks it.
That's my defense, and I'm sticking to it.
Now that I have the ability to place votes I'm just doing so; oh and good point about the electronic caps not being able to disintegrate. (Unless you used an E.E.P system of course, which this weapon doesn't, and even then it would be more costly to have to replace rather than recharge the caps so it makes more sense as written.)
Gave it 3.5/5, because it is a "Good Solid idea" with a little extra added. I liked it. Knowing very little about guns, it all seems to make sense to me and I can't think of any way to make it better.
A useful weapon.
Not bad, though it seems an awful lot of work when the issue of how to deal with armored targets historically was shaped charge explosives. Sure, it might meany you need to use large caliber rounds...
Currently, today, the United States uses depleted uranium projectiles launched from traditional guns as our primary armor penetration system. The EU militaries use Tungsten Heavy Alloys. The Nazis used cemented tungsten carbide. The Allies in WWI used hardened steel penetrators. By the 16th century, they had to change the design of castles, because they were getting knocked over by cannons firing simple iron balls. KE works -well-.
Kinetic energy is the simplest and most efficient form of doing damage to things. All it requires is an understanding of physics that comes prepackages with every moderately advanced organism's neural hardware and wetware.
And I'm sorry, but an EM accelerator is a hell of a lot nicer to have than something which might want to blow up in my hand if there's a stress flaw in the barrel.
True, but you still need to deal with recoil if you want to use direct KE...
Recoil on a mass driving/ magnetic driving weapon would be minimal, when compared to a standard shooting system. Even conventional weapons have mechanical recoil suppression systems that work reasonably well.
Simple, effective, and it has that nice touch that would make me pick it over a chemical weapon any day: if something goes wrong, like a stress fracture, it's much less likely to turn into a fireball in my hand.
Very nice, the history adds flavor the description is complete.