We're holding a smaller, lower-effort competition while things simmer down enough for me to reboot the Texas competition to allow more people to participate. Those of you that choose to participate, enjoy.
This competition is intended to be a brief 1-2 week long effort which should require only a handful of man-hours to complete, depending on skill level. Unlike a proper competition, this has one person who's judge, jury, and executioner (me!), to allow the maximum number of competitors. Consider this a brief interlude before the reboot of the Texas competition (which is likely to pick up more or less where it left off). Accordingly, there will be relatively little fluff and editorializing. Contestants will be given a basic setting and a set of requirements with a description of the unique mission needing to be solved. Beyond that, contestants will be responsible for filling in the gaps on their own, to whatever degree they see fit.
Programs required: Solid modeling software, ammunition load development software, ballistic calculator, performance estimators (provided)
Expected man-hours: 5-10
Deliverables required: Image of loaded cartridge and projectile, cutaway or exploded view of projectile or projectile + cartridge, cartridge data sheet, bill of materials (including all component masses and materials), ballistic charts (not required to be in graph form), completed performance estimate sheets, any supplementary materials the contestant chooses to provide.
The competition will be largely conducted via the SH discord, if you're interested please PM me for a link if you don't already have one.
After the War, the Great Plains became virtually cut off from the rest of the former United States. Governments fractured into small polities based around towns and cities, as local populations realized they no longer were enfranchised as part of a larger economy and logistical network. State governments began to be seen overwhelmingly as distant meddlers who offered nothing in return for their interference in local politics. The area around the Black Hills was no exception. The states of South Dakota and Wyoming disintegrated quickly once the Federal Government of the United States no longer took a direct role in state affairs. A loose government formed around Rapid City, supported by strong manufacturing jobs, traders, and a large ammunition plant that could support paramilitary operations ranging around the Black Hills region and securing the roads that remained passable. Due to this, their influence expanded well into Eastern Wyoming and north to Southeast Montana and North Dakota. The emerging Dakota Union became the primary, if thinly spread, force in the northern plains region. Their most famous agents would be the Sioux Scouts.
Unlike most pre-war infantry forces, which operated as part of large combined arms units in a highly tiered structure, the Scouts are highly independent light infantry. Often, Sioux Scouts will travel hundreds of miles unsupported in units as small as pairs, or even the occasional single Scout. While on patrol, they are responsible for their own sustenance and upkeep, foraging for food and shooting with their rifles what they need to survive. For the moment, there are no other organized military forces in the region, and Scouts are tasked primarily with maintaining contact, trade, and awareness of the peoples living inside the Northern Great Plains, and the hills to the West. As part of their duties, they are sometimes called to settle disputes, mete out justice, or are even permanently stationed in affiliated regions to maintain law and order. In times of war, they function in larger units as an army to protect Black Hills from incursion, but this hasn't happened in many decades. There is no distinction between "officers" and "enlisted" in the Sioux Scouts, but there is a basic hierarchy, and Scout pairs will often have a subordinate and a superior. In times of greater trouble, Scouts are also expected to marshal and lead local forces in the local defense. Generally, Sioux Scouts travel on foot or on horseback. They are substantially made up of Indian peoples, although any residents of the Dakota Union may join the all-volunteer force.
Currently, the Sioux Scouts are armed with a motley assortment of both manually-operated and semiautomatic rifles in various calibers. The Sioux Scouts have requested a new semiautomatic rifle to replace these, and it has been determined that they require a new caliber to go along with it, hopefully phasing out the assorted legacy calibers in the process. Thanks to the plant in Rapid City, this is a very feasible request for the Dakota Union (and helps sustain jobs in its largest city). You are an engineer at the Rapid City plant, tasked with creating a report on what the new caliber's characteristics should be. Resources, testing facilities, and reams of research are made available to you. The year is 2221. Get to work.
The new round must:
1. Produce no less than 700 ft-lbs at 600 yards.
2. Penetrate twenty-four 1/2" pine boards at 600 yards (equivalent to a lethal penetrating shot on a quartered buffalo).
3. Drop no more than 96 inches at 600 yards (2.6in sight height, 100yd zero, 59.0F temperature, 29.92in Hg pressure).
4. Drift no more than 36 inches at 600 yards (2.6in sight height, 100yd zero, 59.0F temperature, 29.92in Hg pressure, 10mph 90 degree crosswind).
5. All performance requirements must be met at 200 ft/s below the spec velocity, except the 600 yard energy requirement, which can be met at 500 yards at -200 ft/s, instead.
6. Produce pressure no greater than 52,000 CUP (brass cased) or 50,000 CUP (steel cased).
7. Use a projectile composed only of any combination of the following: Copper alloy, bronze alloy, lead alloy, iron alloy, steel alloy, tin alloy, nickel alloy, and/or zinc alloys. Titanium, tungsten, aluminum, magnesium, and other exotic metals are not allowed.
8. Minimum magazine capacity must be 20, with a stack height no greater than 5 inches.
9. Cartridge overall length may not exceed 2.8 inches.
10. Cartridge recoil from a 10lb weapon may not exceed 12 ft-lbs.
11. Cartridge must meet performance requirements from a 22" barreled weapon.
12. Cartridge must cost as little as possible.
You are provided with calculators to use to estimate these values for the competition. For trajectory, drift, and energy, you must use JBM Ballistics calculator here. Internal ballistics must be estimated via the Powley Computer (just check the pressure box and enter 52,000 CUP for brass or 50,000 CUP for steel). Also please see my guidelines for modeling steel cases here. The pine penetration value must be calculated with this spreadsheet, and the recoil energy with this spreadsheet. For the purposes of this competition, cost per round is determined solely by the materials used. Please reference the material cost sheet here. If you do not already have a solid modeling program, you can use Google SketchUp for free. @Toxn has a lot of experience with it, you might ask him.
BULLETIN: ALL INDUSTRIAL-MECHANICAL CONCERNS
SOLICITATION FOR ALL-TERRAIN SCOUT TRUCK
The Provisional Government of the Lone Free State issues the following solicitation for a new All-Terrain Scout Truck. The vehicle will be the main line ground combat asset of the Texan Free State Rangers, and the Texan Free State Patrol, and will replace the ageing G-12 Scout Truck. The All-Terrain Scout Truck (ATST) will be required to counter the new Mormon vehicles and weapons we are encountering in the frontier, while still being fully road mobile and easing conversion training and maintenance for the Lone Free State militias. Please see the attached sheet for a full list of solicitation requirements.
Submissions will be accepted in USC only.
OOC Note: I recommend reading the lore segments, as they are stripped down to effectively present only relevant facts and context about the situation in Texas. You don't, strictly speaking, have to, but it's considered essential information.
IS IT TIME FOR A LONE FREE STATE ARMY?
The Lone Star
by Captain Julio Rodgers of the Texas Free State Rangers
March 15, 2240
As a Texan first and a Ranger second, I value the independence of Texans above all else. Historically, the Lone Free State has ensured the liberty and independence of all Texans by eschewing a traditional military organization, and instead leaving the common defense to local authorities, who are adequately funded from the national treasury and very well equipped. This has done exactly what it was intended to do, and sets the Lone Free State apart from other governments in a way that has made it the greatest nation in the Former United States. However, as we approach the middle of the 23rd Century, we will find ourselves up against enemies unlike any we have fought before. Even now, past the New Mexico territories, our rangers tell us a state of Cascadia is building a military force the likes of which this continent has not seen since before the War. Our current system for national defense cannot-
THE LAND BEYOND THE MISSISSIPPI: LONE STAR EDITION
The Post-New York Times
Op-ed by Muhammad Alharris
September 1, 2241
Past the quiet iron hills, the swamps of the Mississippi Commune, and the great river of the same name, lies a hard but beautiful place. Texas, the hardest hit of the 50 formerly United States, is even today no forgiving haven for weary travelers. Sweltering, 120 degree summers that last 9 months mean only men of grit and guts dare live there for very long. When my uber pulled into the station at Beaumont, I was already soaked with sweat. I checked my phone, 103 degrees, it read. It was 10 AM, in early May. Unlike in the East with its electric trains connecting the microcities that dot the coast, Texas is a place of roads. Great, spanning highways harkening back to the old world criss cross the country, with ubers flitting to and fro in chaotic swarms. What mass transit there is takes the form of large electric uber trolleys that seat 50, but I found that most people still drive their personally owned ubers - powered by diesel! - 1 to a person or two. Independence is the most important thing to Texans. No wonder, since it was so hard won in nuclear fire. And, I think (maybe a bit darkly), who else would put up with living here?
FAST ENOUGH, BUT NOT ENOUGH
Texas Patrol Weekly
by Deputy Marshal Art Renner
January 13th, 2243
There is no question that the G-12 Armored Truck has been the backbone of Lone Free State defense since the teen years of this century. Fast, with top speed of 70 mph, and long legged, with a range of almost 250 miles on a single tank, the G-12 was exactly what Texas needed to patrol its substantial and growing border. Was. The situation of today is not as it was. We're familiar with the scene, immortalized in the 2229 movie Lone Star, of Marshals charging into battle at 50 miles per hour against the bandit menace, triple machine guns blazing and almost out of fuel, but just in time to save the day, and a grateful settlement. Today, the machine gun is not The Decider anymore. That title now belongs to the recoilless and the autocannon, because we aren't just facing banditos anymore. Now, they have their own armored cars, their own machine guns, and even their own recoillesses from time to time. The G-12, Old Reliable, is now Old Liability.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO AUSTIN
by Marie Lemarre
July 23, 2239
Texas is not the jewel of the United States as it once was, but in the 23rd Century it still remains a force to be reckoned with. The unquestioned source of Lone Free State power is its vast, soaring highways, which keep men and materiel flowing to where they are most needed. Trucks of every variety use these roads, but they are most critical as a national security asset. Would our borders be as safe as they are, would the productivity of the free Texas man be as great as it is, without the ability of the Texas Patrol to go from Amarillo to Corpus Christi in six hours? No! The lifeblood of the Texan state pumps over our soaring highways, and our highways protect that lifeblood all the same. Of all the former American member states, only Texas has maintained its highways, and it reaps the benefits.
THE GROWING THREAT PAST THE BORDER
The Lone Star
by Hillum Dickens
October 4th, 2242
Our border is once again threatened! A new fanatical enemy has appeared in Rockies, threatening our settlers in Moriarty, Wagon Mound, and Springer. Twelve settlements have been raided in the past eight months, with ten more reporting sightings of the "Mormon Menace". Just last week in Springer, cowherds were attacked by men with face cloths, wielding rifles and riding in trucks. They threw crude incendiary devices and torched several buildings, including a Post Office. The local Border Guard was alerted, but by the time they could ride over the men were gone, and 1200 head of cattle with them. These attacks cannot go-
SHOCK AND AWE IN RATON
The Lone Star
by Hillum Dickens
May 30th, 2243
The Sante Fe militias are defeated! Mormon forces, better equipped than any we have seen before, have crushed the Lone Free State militias ordered to reinforce Raton by Provisional Governor O'Connor. Initial attacks on the border town were met with local response, but results were inconclusive as the Mormons led the Sheriff's deputies on long chases through the mountains. Exhausted and drained, they returned only to find buildings burned, farms destroyed, and livestock and materiel stolen out from under them. Immediately upon receiving the news, Governor O'Connor ordered the Texas Free State Rangers to assemble and deputize across the state, and an immediate action by the Sante Fe mayor to mobilize the militias in the area and march on Raton in response. Once they arrived, they found not forces of elusive mountain men, but a war machine of hundreds of men armed with heavy weapons, and tens of powerful tracked armored trucks with high caliber cannons. The Santa Fe Command, convinced of its numerical superiority, attacked the Mormon forces with haste. The Mormons responded by firing salvos of powerful new recoilless weapons that turned armored trucks into scrap, and using their own, better armed and armored trucks to mop up defenders. The result was a massacre.
INTELLIGENCE DOSSIER: CALIFORNIAN DEVELOPMENTS IN MILITARY TECHNOLOGY
CONFIDENTIAL - CLASSIFICATION A
TEXAS LONE FREE STATE RANGERS
PUBLISHED: August 9th, 2244
RECEIVED: August 18th, 2244
DURING THE SECOND EXPEDITION INTO THE GONZALEZ CLAIM, INDEPENDENT RANGER DETACHMENTS WERE DISPATCHED TO LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ABOUT TEXAS'S NEAREST NEIGHBOR AND THEIR MILITARY CAPABILITIES. WHAT WAS LEARNED IN THOSE SORTIES IS OF THE HIGHEST NOTE AND PRIORITY TO THE SECURITY OF THE LONE FREE STATE. CALIFORNIAN WEAPONS ARE ADVANCED FAR BEYOND OUR EXPECTATIONS, AND INCLUDE TRACKED, ARMORED TRUCKS ("TANKS") WITH POWERFUL GUNS COMPARABLE TO LIGHT ARTILLERY, AND ARMOR UP TO THREE INCHES THICK. THEIR AIR FORCES, THOUGH SOMEWHAT LESS TECHNICALLY SOPHISTICATED THAN OURS, ARE FAR MORE NUMEROUS AND CONTAIN A WIDER VARIETY OF AIR ASSETS, INCLUDING HIGH SPEED TURBOJET AND PISTON POWERED AIRCRAFT DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO COUNTER OTHER AIR ASSETS. THESE WOULD POSE AN EXTREME THREAT TO FREE STATE AIR GUARD UNITS, WHICH INCLUDE ONLY LIGHT AIRCRAFT INTENDED TO COUNTER GROUND TARGETS. THEY POSSESS A STANDING ARMY IN NUMBER EXCEEDING EVEN ALL MILITIA AND GOVERNMENT FORCES IN THE LONE FREE STATE BY MANY TIMES. THIS ARMY IS ALSO WELL EQUIPPED WITH A VARIETY OF WEAPONS CAPABLE OF PENETRATING VIRTUALLY ALL LONE FREE STATE GROUND ASSETS, SUCH AS THE G-12 ARMORED SCOUT TRUCK-
GUNS OF TEXAS
Encyclopedia of American Small Arms, 6th Edition
Vienna Publishing, 2241
Despite having no formal military, the Lone Free State of Texas has an extensive arsenal of sophisticated small arms and artillery. Local militias are provided a stipend with which they can purchase arms from the government, up to and including recoilless rifles of 105mm bore according to reports. It is therefore worth examining the weapons of the Lone Free State.
The primary pistol of the Lone Free State is the G-36. This recoil operated semiautomatic pistol holds 15 rounds and has a barrel length of 102mm. Bore diameter is 10.2mm and it fires a 10x22mm round that was developed in the pre-war United States. Standard ammunition is semi-jacketed with a steel core, with both penetrating and expanding characteristics. The slide and barrel are both hammer-forged steel, while the frame is steel with polymer panels. Unusually, the gun is fired with a cowboy-esque hammer, and not a striker as has been ubiquitous for nearly two centuries. This pistol is commonly seen in Texas, as it is the best weapon available for purchase using government funds for local militias and landowners. At the same time, many local shops turn out boutique pistols of numerous varieties, all of which are broadly similar in characteristics to the G-36. In most cases, like the A1 version of the G-36, they provide a slot on top of the slide for a rugged reflector sight, which is commonly attached.
The most common rifle is the G-15. This is a 10-shot, manually operated rifle with provision for an optical sight, normally a robust 1-8x being attached. Caliber is the relatively antiquated 7.62x51mm. The feed mechanism is a sturdy steel box magazine which sits below the action of the rifle. Unlike most manually operated rifles of the Americas, the G-15 is lever actuated, not operated via a bolt handle. Texan shooters feel this gives them a superior rate of fire without compromising range, although it must be said this compromises prone and concealed fire capability. The G-15 is being phased out in favor of the newer and semiautomatic G-38.
Pistol caliber automatic shoulder weapons are uncommon in Texas, but the numerous police and paramilitary forces of the state occasionally use "sub machine guns" as they call them. Virtually the only model available is the G-32, which fires the same 10x22mm round as the G-36 pistol. It is a select-fire, closed bolt weapon using an unusual gas operated mechanism. Capacity is 35 rounds. Reportedly, it is very expensive and usually requires local funds in addition to the stipend to afford. Occasionally these weapons find their way into criminal hands, and they have also been seen in the possession of settler citizens who have legitimately purchased them.
Offsetting the lack of machine pistols somewhat, the Texas government has aggressively pursued the sturmgewehr concept as part of their arms program. The latest of many Texan weapons in this class is the G-42, a gas operated select-fire weapon with a capacity of 28 rounds. Caliber is 6.86x40mm, and muzzle velocity is over 900 m/s. This rifle has been made relatively inexpensive due to a large production rate and widespread adoption by the settler population, who use it primarily for homestead defense and hunting. Like its manually-operated predecessor, it is compatible with optics, and usually is found equipped with the same 1-8 optical sight. Numerous other weapons, including pre-war designs both reclaimed and newly manufactured, are also used by various Texas citizens and militias.
Although there is not much need for belt fed machine guns in cattle herding (the primary trade of the citizens of the Texas countryside) the Texas government has procured significant numbers for border control and to combat bandits. Most of these are contained in armories at the various outposts and post offices that run along the country's substantial highway system, but some are held privately. Despite most belt feds worldwide being based on designs from over 200 years ago, many of those in the Lone Free State are original designs dating to within the last 50 years. This is exemplified by the primary Texan belt fed machine gun, the G-17A4, which fires an advanced high pressure steel cased 7.62mm round with either an open or a closed bolt operation. Most remarkable is its weight, which is just over 8 kilograms. Stocked infantry variants, as well as more numerous fixed/vehicle stockless variants both exist. Texan heavy machine guns still fire the 322-year-old 12.7x99mm round, albeit in a greatly augmented form. Like the smaller 7.62mm machine gun round, it uses a steel case and relatively high chamber pressure of 4800 BAR, which results in a 3,150 ft/s muzzle velocity with its 750 grain armor piercing explosive projectile. The principal machine gun in this caliber is the G-19A2 which is gas operated and utilizes a soft recoil system and has a rate of fire of approximately 500 rounds per minute. These machine guns are usually seen mounted to government G-12 4x4 armored cars.
Only in the past 15 years as the Lone Free State invested heavily in autocannons. For most of its post-war history, there were simply not enough targets that required automatic cannons, with very few armored ground vehicles and aircraft being operated by non-state actors in the Texas region until recently, to necessitate development of new weapons. However, as the Lone Free State has expanded, it has begun to encounter better organized and armed natives, necessitating the development of a standardized suite of new large-caliber autocannons. Chief among these is the electric G-37 firing a 30.5x114mmB round with a muzzle velocity of about 820 m/s and a rate of fire of about 550 rounds per minute. Interestingly, this cannon is capable of being mounted on any of the same pintle mounts as the G-19A2, giving light Texan units potentially very good firepower.
Despite not seeing the need for autocannons for many years, the Lone Free State has liberally used the recoilless artillery concept, with most local militias possessing some stockpile of recoilless weapons. Numerous variants of recoilless rifle exist in three primary calibers, 57.2x305mmR, 76.2x406mmR, and 105.4x610mmR. These recoilless cannons are commonly mounted to the light helicopters used by various Texan government entities.
A Texan G-18A7 helicopter waits for routine maintenance outside the hangar. These helicopters are the primary aerial support asset across the Lone Free State of Texas. (Reader's note: This picture shows two quite shagged out Kiowas, but the G-18 is a unique indigenous design to the LFSoT. The Kiowa is only used here to represent the kind of helicopter that the G-18 would be.)
Supplementary Out of Canon Information:
I. Technology available:
The following armor materials are in full production and available for use. Use of a non-standard armor material requires permission from a judge.
Basic steel armor, 360 BHN. The reference for all weapon penetration figures, good impact properties, fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 4 inches (RHA).
Density- 0.28 lb/in^3.
ii. Aluminum 5083
More expensive to work with than RHA per weight, middling impact properties, low thermal limits. Excellent stiffness.
Fully weldable. Available in thicknesses up to 4 inches.
Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1 vs CE, 0.9 vs KE.
Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.33 vs CE, 0.3 vs KE.
Density- 0.1 lb/in^3 (approx. 1/3 of steel).
For structural integrity, the following guidelines are recommended:
For heavy vehicles (30-40 tons), not less than 1 in RHA/1.75 in Aluminum base structure
For medium-light vehicles (<25 tons), not less than 0.5 in RHA/1 in Aluminum base structure
Intermediate values for intermediate vehicles may be chosen as seen fit.
Non-structural passive materials:
Steel, approximately 500 BHN through-hardened. Approximately 1.5x as effective as RHA against KE and HEAT on a per-weight basis. Not weldable, middling shock properties. Available in thicknesses up to 1 inch.
Density- 0.28 lb/in^3
Mass efficiency vs RHA of 1.3 vs CE, 1 vs KE.
Thickness efficiency vs RHA of 0.14 vs CE, 0.1 vs KE.
v. Assorted stowage/systems
Mass efficiency vs RHA- 1 vs CE, 0.8 vs KE.
vi. Spaced armor
Requires a face of at least 1 inch LOS vs CE, and at least 0.75 caliber LOS vs fullbore AP KE.
Reduces penetration by a factor of 1.1 vs CE or 1.05 vs KE for every 4 inchair gap.
Spaced armor rules only apply after any standoff surplus to the requirements of a reactive cassette.
Reactive armor materials:
A sandwich of 0.125in/0.125in/0.125in steel-explodium-steel.
Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
Must be spaced at least 2 sandwich thicknesses away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 81% coverage (edge effects).
A sandwich of 0.25in steel/0.25in rubber/0.25in steel.
Requires mounting brackets of approximately 10-30% cassette weight.
Must be spaced at least 1 sandwich thickness away from any other armor elements to allow full functionality. 95% coverage.
The details of how to calculate armor effectiveness will be detailed in Appendix 1.
i. Bofors 57mm - 85,000 PSI PMax/70,000 PSI Peak Operating Pressure, high quality steel cases, recoil mechanisms and so on are at an equivalent level to that of the USA in the year 1960.
ii. No APFSDS currently in use, experimental weapons only - Spindle sabots or bourelleted sabots, see for example the Soviet BM-20 100mm APFSDS.
iii. Tungsten is available for tooling but not formable into long rod penetrators.
iv. Texan shaped charge technology - 4 CD penetration for high-pressure resistant HEAT, 5 CD for low pressure/ precision formed HEAT.
v. The subsidy-approved GPMG for the Lone Free State of Texas has the same form factor as the M240, but with switchable feed direction.. The standard HMG has the same form factor as the Kord, but with switchable feed direction.
i. Engines tech level:
1. MB 838 (830 HP)
2. AVDS-1790-5A (908 HP)
3. Kharkov 5TD (600 HP)
4. Detroit Diesel 8V92 (400 HP)
5. Detroit Diesel 6V53 (200 HP)
ii. Power density should be based on the above engines. Dimensions are available online, pay attention to cooling of 1 and 3 (water cooled).
iii. Power output broadly scales with volume, as does weight. Trying to extract more power from the same size may come at the cost of reliability (and in the case of the 5TD, it isn’t all that reliable in the first place).
iv. There is nothing inherently wrong with opposed piston or 2-stroke engines if done right.
i. LRFs- unavailable
iii. I^2- Gen 2 maximum
vi. Texas cannot mass produce microprocessors or integrated circuits
vii. Really early transistors only (e.g., transistor radio)
viii. While it is known states exist with more advanced computer technology, the import of such systems are barred by the east coast states who do not approve of their use by militaristic entities.
Armor calculation appendix.
If you exclusively reside in Mechanized Warfare, as many of you do, you might have missed that SH is holding its quasi-annual design competition, which is for an armored car to be developed for the future post-apocalyptic Lone Free State of Texas, circa 2245. Check out the thread here.
Does anyone know of any military studies that analyzed the reload speeds for different tanks? The question occurred to me when I watched this video tour of the T-55's interior:
At the 10:00 mark, Mr. Moran demonstrates how the loader would put a shell into the tank's cannon, and the effects of the turret's small size and of the loader's awkward seating make it clear that the process would be slow. My question is: how slow?
Side question: Am I right to assume that storing the tank shells all over the inside of the turret like that is an inherent design flaw of the T-55 that makes it inferior in that regard to modern tanks?
Thanks in advance.