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Gun Barrel Overheat


Steve
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I haven't checked but I don't recall ever seeing any such rules.

 

Personally, I wouldn't bother with any hard rules on it and simply treat it as a "feature" of the Real Weapon limitation.  If using critical failure rules and one came up while using a gun that's seen heavy use, I'd use that to describe the crit fail results.  You could do something similar for any character that has Unluck.

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I also think it's more of an issue with belt fed machine guns than it is with magazine fed ones. It would take a HUGE amount of magazine swaps in a very short period of time to cause an issue with the typical assault rifle (M16, AK47, etc...).  The typical foot soldiers of today don't carry enough ammunition for this to be a factor.  Back in WW1 they developed water cooled machine guns that could fire continuously for over 30 minutes.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1917_Browning_machine_gun

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Weapon overheat was an issue with the mag-fed M4A1s issued to the Army platoon in the Battle of Wanat.  In that instance an undergunned platoon was hung out to dry in a location where they were bound to be attacked by overwhelming numbers of insurgents, which is what happened. 

 

I'm not sure I'd bother modeling it in Hero as it's annoying bookkeeping for a rare case that's not heroic or fun.  You'd have to use some sort of activation mechanic that's dependent on the number of charges used in the past few turns.

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Unless the game was super gritty and very, very hard realistic, I wouldn't bother.  It takes quite a few rounds to cause heat distortion in a gun, and like L. Marcus mentions, its not going to be very often that PCs fire that many rounds in a fight.

 

As a related note, they used to issue asbestos gloves to M-60 infantry gunners in Vietnam so they could hold and swap out the barrel.

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The question came up as I was reading a supplement for another game set in the Vietnam War era. It was talking about barrel overheat in autofire weapons that could cause misfires, requiring either a change of barrels or pouring four quarts of water on the barrel to cool it down.

 

I'll have to re-read the weapons it was talking about. Maybe it was only talking about the belt-fed type they used in helicopters.

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Our defense squads in the RSAF used the FN MINIMI as a support weapon. The machine gunners were supposed to change barrels after a couple of hundred shots fired. That's more shots than the vast majority of PCs ever fire in a firefight, I'm thinking.

 

My one Danger Int campaign lasted less than a turn before TPK, so, yeah.

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Random M4 documentation:

 

 

 

(3) BURST BARRELS RESULT WHEN THE WEAPONS ARE FIRED UNDER VERY EXTREME FIRING SCHEDULES AND THE BARREL TEMPERATURE EXCEEDS 1360 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. WHEN THE BARREL REACHES THESE EXTREME TEMPERATURES, THE BARREL STEEL WEAKENS TO THE POINT THAT THE HIGH PRESSURE GASES BURST THROUGH THE SIDE OF THE BARREL APPROXIMATELY 4 INCHES IN FRONT OF THE CHAMBER. THIS CONDITION CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY.

 

...

 

(B ) FIRING 140 ROUNDS, RAPIDLY AND CONTINUOUSLY, WILL RAISE THE TEMPERATURE OF THE BARREL TO THE COOK-OFF POINT. AT THIS TEMPERATURE, ANY LIVE ROUND REMAINING IN THE CHAMBER FOR ANY REASON MAY COOK-OFF (DETONATE) IN AS SHORT A PERIOD AS 10 SECONDS.

 

...

 

(D) SUSTAINED RATE OF FIRE FOR THE M16 SERIES RIFLES AND M4 SERIES CARBINES IS 12-15 ROUNDS PER MINUTE. THIS IS THE ACTUAL RATE OF FIRE THAT A WEAPON CAN CONTINUE TO BE FIRED FOR AN Indefinite LENGTH OF TIME WITHOUT SERIOUS OVERHEATING.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That helps.  In a minigun each barrel is firing somewhere between 300-1000 rounds per minute.  The other thing that helps is that round cook-off is irrelevant--the round isn't in the breech long enough to get cooked off, and even if it did, it was going to be fired in a few milliseconds anyway.

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  • 5 months later...

you would use the jam limitation
but in real life you would need to slam through at least 3 clips or 100 belt fed rnds to get near doing that 

I've heard that autofire weapons can experience overheating of the barrel due to heavy use. Does anyone know if this is covered in the rules anywhere?

If it isn't, how could this be simulated?

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Ultimate Glock Meltdown

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ub4OswUhLwo

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimate AK Meltdown: Revisited

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwSJiAwoMpY

 

 

 

Edit: How does one have the videos show up in the post? Not just the links.

Thanks.

 

Just paste the link instead of using the "Link" button from the toolbar.

 

 

:)

HM

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Yes, automatic weapons overheat. But the amount of bullets you have to use is beyond reasonable in a Hero fight, as the others said.

 

It is a issue with Machine Guns (Supression Fire weapons) in particular. As a result overheating can be the actual limit for firing rate:

The MG42 had a theoretical fire rate of 1.2k - 1.5k. But due to overheating and the weight of carrying the munition, this was never truly archieved. It was forbidden to fire more then 250 rounds in one burst and 300-350 rounds per minute.

The MG42 was also somewhat unique in WW2 because you could quickly switch the barrel. That way you could just negate the heat-buildup and get a fresh barrel. So if you were in a defensive position you could spend more time firing.

 

Handheld weapons do heat up. But the amount of ammunition required to do that is ludicrous to carry around. Just look at the Meltdown series. You need around 10 minutes of constant autofire+reload to break down most handheld weapons. That is 50 Hero combat turns or 300 segments.

 

As to how to model it:

- Any of the existing jam mechanics

- Add a Endurance reserve for the barrel/overheating part. Add "extra endurance cost" to the attack, so it draws from the Endurance reserve in addition to Charges. As usual with End Resevere in 6E you might end up wasting more points then you save that way.

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