IanS

Black Powder Rifles, Powder-Crafting, and Reloading

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It would be great if you could craft black powder. You could reload brass cartridges a certain number of times, and there could be a  Black Powder rifle that would be slow to reload, but would still be usable after all the brass casings are exhausted.

Edited by IanS
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so are you saying a musket like weapon? oh and welcome to the forums @IanS :D

Edited by oh god a wolf
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Thanks. Nothing ridiculously old fashioned, just a standard muzzle-loading black powder rifle. Black powder can be made from readily available raw materials from nature, like charcoal, manure, urine, and sulfur. You would still need to make bullets, but lead bullets can be retrieved from game and re-cast, and lead can be scavenged from many sources like fishing weights and old pipes. Fishing weights could be a good source of lead found in fishing huts. Saplings would provide the charcoal. Saltpeter could be obtained from outhouses or animal dens. Sulfur nodules could be found in naturally occurring deposits in hillsides and cliffs.

I also like the idea of additions like this because they would teach something about traditional skills, and I think that apart from being a blast, this game has a great potential as an educational resource.

Edited by IanS
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12 minutes ago, Samski said:

Don't forget the dynamite. :)

Good Idea! Maybe not dynamite per se, since nitroglycerin is not as simple to make as black powder, but explosive black powder charges could be a fun alternative and there are a number of ways they could be useful. They could be used for mining sulfur to make more powder, and for blowing up stumps and trees to make mass amounts of firewood. You could set them in the path of a bear or use bait to draw it in and then shoot the black powder charge to take out a bear with a single shot. You could also make the black powder element more rewarding by introducing blocked passages that lead to new map areas and can only be cleared with explosives.

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you could also use black powder as an accelerant for starting fires and as a cauterizing agent for treating blood loss.

Edited by IanS
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Personally I've shot a black powder rifle and it is AMASING!!! I really hope they add one. As for ammo crafting, on the Hinterland 'road map' (their plans for future updates), adding a craftable ammo system which I'm still on the fence about. For black powder though, I'm all for it. If they add one though the accuracy should be a little lass than the rifle.

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would you use sabots or authentic shot? Also, how long would it take to reload? Is there a misfire chance? I really love this idea, but if it would be implemented, I would want it realistic. I'm assuming that either you find caps, powder, and ammo separately, or they come together. Personally I think they should be found separately, but generally in the same house

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I like the idea of a muzzle loader.  Make it a .50 cal with a huge stopping power, with its own skill metric for loading times.

Down-sides (other than being single shot) would be weight and more meat being destroyed. Car batteries would be the main source of lead.  Lead can be melted over a normal fire, no forge required. You might have to find the bullet mold as a second item to craft bullets. Cloth for wads.  Cans of powder and percussion caps?  Maybe its a flint-lock?

 

Ok, its getting complicated, but it would be fun :)

Edited by ernestww
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On 2/13/2017 at 4:41 AM, CalNieDaGtarGuy said:

would you use sabots or authentic shot? Also, how long would it take to reload? Is there a misfire chance? I really love this idea, but if it would be implemented, I would want it realistic. I'm assuming that either you find caps, powder, and ammo separately, or they come together. Personally I think they should be found separately, but generally in the same house

I would think normal shot with cloth wads, since sabots aren't reusable and aren't as realistic to craft in the field. I like Ersnt's comment about there being a skill for reloading speed. I would think a reload should take about 30 seconds to start and get faster as the skill progresses. I like the idea of the resources being found separately, like the resources for crafting arrows.

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On 2/15/2017 at 6:44 AM, ernestww said:

I like the idea of a muzzle loader.  Make it a .50 cal with a huge stopping power, with its own skill metric for loading times.

Down-sides (other than being single shot) would be weight and more meat being destroyed. Car batteries would be the main source of lead.  Lead can be melted over a normal fire, no forge required. You might have to find the bullet mold as a second item to craft bullets. Cloth for wads.  Cans of powder and percussion caps?  Maybe its a flint-lock?

 

Ok, its getting complicated, but it would be fun :)

Fantastic idea about car batteries as a lead source! They could be harvestable with either the hatchet or pry bar. I don't agree with the idea of it being heavier though. The main penalty should be single shot functionality and long reload speed. Blackpowder rifles are almost always lighter weight than bolt action rifles like the one in the game, so if anything, the blackpowder rifle would weigh less, but that would be offset by the additional accessories you need to craft bullets. If the bolt action rifle in the game is 10 lbs (which I personally think is a bit exaggerated for a bolt action with iron sights) than the powder rifle should be 1-2 lbs less. It's common for a .50 caliber powder rifle to weigh 6.5 - 7 lbs. Same with the meat being destroyed. They fire big heavy slugs with lots of stopping power, but they are heavy because they are a low speed, short range round. It's actually the shock wave of high speed, high penetration rounds like 7mm that is responsible for doing the most damage to the meat. It is a bit complicated, but really no more than making the bow and arrows that are already in the game.

Edited by IanS
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Ians,

Great points.  

Wiki has the Lee Enfield No. 4 at about 9 lbs. (probably the rifle depicted in game).  I always thought they should have the No 5 as a rare find at Trappers.  It has a weight of about 7 lbs and was a popular 'scout rifle' after the war. 

Black powder -  I always just assumed they would be heavier with longer barrels for the slower powder, but I stand corrected.   The 1853 Enfield rifle-musket used in the Civil War was 9.5 lbs, the Springfield rifle musket 9 lbs.  - so very comparable in weight it seems.

I defer to your knowledge of ballistics, but it makes sense that the meat damage (blood shot) is from the hydrostatic shock of high velocity projectiles.

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There have been numerous threads in the wishlist subforum in the past about introducing more firearms and the ability to craft ammunition. While this is certainly debatable, I personally would not consider it a priority, the reason being that additional firearms would - this is my personal view - not add anything substantially new to the gameplay. If you are interested in further arguments for or against additional firearms, dig up the old threads.

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On 2017-02-09 at 3:54 PM, IanS said:

you could also use black powder as [...] a cauterizing agent for treating blood loss.

This is probably not going to work. There were a lot of posts ~6 months ago detailing how cauterization is not a good technique as it will actually increase the risk of negative complications from wounds. Additionally, gunpowder contains toxic ingredients and setting it off within a wound would likely propel bits of gunpowder, dead flesh, dirt, etc. into healthy tissue. There's a very good reason why soldiers are issued trauma packs instead of cans of gunpowder for dealing with severe wounds ;)

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On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 2:31 PM, IanS said:

I would think normal shot with cloth wads, since sabots aren't reusable and aren't as realistic to craft in the field. I like Ersnt's comment about there being a skill for reloading speed. I would think a reload should take about 30 seconds to start and get faster as the skill progresses. I like the idea of the resources being found separately, like the resources for crafting arrows.

30 seconds real time or 30 seconds in game? Real life, I'll be the first to say it takes me at least 5 minutes to get it right. As for the sabots, maybe make them an option, like being able to find sabots or shot, to make it easier to find ammo. I think that ammo for this type of rifle shouldn't necessarily common, but should definitely be somewhat easier to find than .303 bullets, since time is given up for reload.

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On 2/22/2017 at 3:42 PM, IanS said:

Fantastic idea about car batteries as a lead source! They could be harvestable with either the hatchet or pry bar. I don't agree with the idea of it being heavier though. The main penalty should be single shot functionality and long reload speed. Blackpowder rifles are almost always lighter weight than bolt action rifles like the one in the game, so if anything, the blackpowder rifle would weigh less, but that would be offset by the additional accessories you need to craft bullets. If the bolt action rifle in the game is 10 lbs (which I personally think is a bit exaggerated for a bolt action with iron sights) than the powder rifle should be 1-2 lbs less. It's common for a .50 caliber powder rifle to weigh 6.5 - 7 lbs. Same with the meat being destroyed. They fire big heavy slugs with lots of stopping power, but they are heavy because they are a low speed, short range round. It's actually the shock wave of high speed, high penetration rounds like 7mm that is responsible for doing the most damage to the meat. It is a bit complicated, but really no more than making the bow and arrows that are already in the game.

The Ross Rifle, which the in-game gun is modeled after, is 9.6 lbs in the real world, unloaded. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_rifle

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I had thought it was generally accepted that it's modeled after the Lee-Enfield No.4?  Maybe I'm wrong on this, and I personally am not familiar enough with either rifle to say. 

Your point about the weight is still correct though--the game largely has the rifle weighing the right amount..

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I would also assume that the in game rifle is a Lee Enfield and not a Ross rifle. The Ross rifle was the preferred rifle for sniping in WWI but its battle performance was so poor for the regular infantry (it started as the battle rifle for the Canadian forces due to political corruption basically) that is was replaced in either 1916 or 1917. As a consequence, by the end of the war there would be a lot more Lee Enfield's coming home than Ross rifles.

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On 10/02/2017 at 6:12 AM, IanS said:

Black powder can be made from readily available raw materials from nature, like charcoal, manure, urine, and sulfur.

Making potassium nitrate from urine and manure is supposed to take months. Like about ten months. If it's cold it should take longer. Given sources of ammonium nitrate (cold pack) and potassium chloride (sodium free salt), saltpeter looks much faster and easier to make.

Also, uncombined sulfur is only likely to be readily available in areas of volcanic or geothermal activity.

But I like the idea of mixing the saltpeter, charcoal and sulfur before grinding them...

Edited by mystifeid
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14 hours ago, toebar said:

I had thought it was generally accepted that it's modeled after the Lee-Enfield No.4?  Maybe I'm wrong on this, and I personally am not familiar enough with either rifle to say. 

Your point about the weight is still correct though--the game largely has the rifle weighing the right amount..

I think it's a bit of a chimera. It is definitely an Enfield and not a Ross, but it has mixed features. The top of the stock and the sight location is like a No 4, but it has a nose-cap like earlier models. In any case, I think you are right about it being an Enfield, and killfixx is right about the weight being realistic. I definitely spoke too soon about the weight of the in-game rifle and compared it to the weight of modern rifles despite the game clearly describing it as old. The thread kind of got sidetracked there, but the point I was making is that black powder rifles are not heavier than bolt action rifles, no matter the age. Black powder rifles have far fewer components. So I don't think added weight would be a realistic handicap for a black powder rifle, and I personally think the lengthy reload speed and would be enough to balance things out and keep it challenging.

Edited by IanS
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On 2/23/2017 at 5:23 AM, Hotzn said:

There have been numerous threads in the wishlist subforum in the past about introducing more firearms and the ability to craft ammunition. While this is certainly debatable, I personally would not consider it a priority, the reason being that additional firearms would - this is my personal view - not add anything substantially new to the gameplay. If you are interested in further arguments for or against additional firearms, dig up the old threads.

I think you are missing the point of my suggestion. I am not suggesting adding more guns for the sake of frivolous variety. I agree with your view that having a bunch of guns that are cosmetically, or even ballistically different, would not add substance to the game, and that was not my suggestion. My suggestion was specifically to add black powder, for the very reason that I believe it WOULD add something to the gameplay in the form of new gathering and crafting challenges. It is also consistent with the theme of the game in that black powder is desirable for being somewhat sustainable without manufacturing technology, as opposed to brass cartridges, I also think the involved activities would have some educational value because it would teach something about chemistry and traditional skills.

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On 2/23/2017 at 6:33 PM, CalNieDaGtarGuy said:

30 seconds real time or 30 seconds in game? Real life, I'll be the first to say it takes me at least 5 minutes to get it right. As for the sabots, maybe make them an option, like being able to find sabots or shot, to make it easier to find ammo. I think that ammo for this type of rifle shouldn't necessarily common, but should definitely be somewhat easier to find than .303 bullets, since time is given up for reload.

Good idea about the ammo scarcity. As far as reload time, I think you are either an inexperienced black powder reloader, or an obsessive perfectionist if your reloads are taking 5 minutes! No offense intended either way. Most experienced BP hunters can do 1 minute or less, and some (presumably like many soldiers in the 1800s) do it in less than 30 seconds. Still, you are probably right that 30 seconds is too fast for a starting point. It would make more sense if it took several minutes at first and lowered to 30 seconds as the skill builds.

Edited by IanS
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On 2/23/2017 at 10:24 AM, cekivi said:

This is probably not going to work. There were a lot of posts ~6 months ago detailing how cauterization is not a good technique as it will actually increase the risk of negative complications from wounds. Additionally, gunpowder contains toxic ingredients and setting it off within a wound would likely propel bits of gunpowder, dead flesh, dirt, etc. into healthy tissue. There's a very good reason why soldiers are issued trauma packs instead of cans of gunpowder for dealing with severe wounds ;)

Those would be very valid concerns in a non-life-threatening situation, but remember, the Long Dark is not set in a modern ER. To use the Revenant as an example, I don't think Hugh Glass would have used powder to cauterize a would if he'd had a nice bag of styptic agents and sutures handy nearby! It would not be preferable to other treatments, but given a lack of alternative medical supplies, it would be preferable to bleeding to death. I hadn't thought of it till reading your comment, but I think the fact that it is not a perfect solution, but a compromise with potential consequences just makes it more consistent with the theme of the game and the elemtn of weighing consequences and risks. This is why the game allows you to drink unsafe water, which is obviously not advisable but is something that would be done in desperation. Do you want to pass out and die from dehydration? Or get sick? For me, those kind of choices are part of what makes the game compelling.

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9 hours ago, IanS said:

Those would be very valid concerns in a non-life-threatening situation, but remember, the Long Dark is not set in a modern ER. To use the Revenant as an example, I don't think Hugh Glass would have used powder to cauterize a would if he'd had a nice bag of styptic agents and sutures handy nearby! It would not be preferable to other treatments, but given a lack of alternative medical supplies, it would be preferable to bleeding to death. I hadn't thought of it till reading your comment, but I think the fact that it is not a perfect solution, but a compromise with potential consequences just makes it more consistent with the theme of the game and the elemtn of weighing consequences and risks. This is why the game allows you to drink unsafe water, which is obviously not advisable but is something that would be done in desperation. Do you want to pass out and die from dehydration? Or get sick? For me, those kind of choices are part of what makes the game compelling.

Yes, but the Revenant is also fictional ;)

Wounds that won't stop bleeding without tourniquets or cauterization are likely fatal anyways to a lone survivor. Everything else you're probably better off using cloth, moss, or paper to stop the bleeding and heal naturally. Remember, blood loss is bad but usually treatable with direct pressure. A massive infection due to necrotic tissue in and around the cauterization site would likely kill you regardless.

For a summary video (which does concede that it may work provided you can get to a hospital quickly) see: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/how-cauterizing-a-wound-works-and-why-you-shouldnt-try-1540569493 

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6 hours ago, cekivi said:

Yes, but the Revenant is also fictional ;)

Wounds that won't stop bleeding without tourniquets or cauterization are likely fatal anyways to a lone survivor. Everything else you're probably better off using cloth, moss, or paper to stop the bleeding and heal naturally. Remember, blood loss is bad but usually treatable with direct pressure. A massive infection due to necrotic tissue in and around the cauterization site would likely kill you regardless.

For a summary video (which does concede that it may work provided you can get to a hospital quickly) see: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/how-cauterizing-a-wound-works-and-why-you-shouldnt-try-1540569493 

I think you know as well as I do that it was widespread in that era and historically accurate if not medically advisable, so your point that it is a fiction movie is a non sequitur, in addition to ignoring the fact that Hugh Glass is a real person and did have to treat his wounds with less than ideal methods as a result of his less than ideal situation. You are also attacking a straw man with that observation because I was not referring to the Revenant as a source of medical knowledge, but as an example of the sort of desperate situation where someone might resort to that. ;) My point is that the fact that certain treatments can be risky is not in itself a reason to exclude them from the game, any more than they should exclude the ability to drink dirty water simply because it is not advisable. Decisions that require you to weigh risk add depth to the game and fit well with the theme. I do think it goes without saying that antibiotics would be a necessary follow up to to cauterization. In any case, I don't think it's important that powder cauterization make it into the game, and I don't want to sidetrack the discussion into this one narrow aspect any further, my main point in responding to the initial comment was not to defend cauterization as something that deserves to be in the game, but simply to point out that just because something is not ideal and carries risks shouldn't exclude it from consideration, but if anything might make it more worthy of consideration.

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