How does a machine gun work?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jay H, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Just wondering, while playing "splinter cell" is a full auto mode of a standard machine gun a mechanical device or a electrical device? Like when you hold the trigger down in full automatic mode, is it closing a contact or pulling a wire or mechanical device?

    How does the gun know to keep on firing, via electronics i.e. battery powered and some small circuitry controlling the mechanical trigger or somehow a complete mechanical device?

    Jay
     
  2. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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    No electronics involved. Has something to do with the gases escaping down the barrel until the magazine is empty. I don't know the exact physics behind it, but check out this page for more information:
    http://www.howstuffworks.com/machine-gun.htm
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    some are gas driven, some are driven by the recoil. When a shell is fired it recoils against the action, pushing it back, at the end of it's travel the ejector kicks the empty case out, a big spring pushes the action forward, as it slides across the magazine a shell is pushed into the chamber, and the process is repeated. A semi-auto would catch the hammer to prevent it from firing without another trigger pull, a full auto won't, so it will continue to fire until the trigger is released. Machine gun implies fully automatic, unless you listen to the media where anything slightly different looking is a big bad machine gun.
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Thanks guys, The gas sounds like a great idea. I was just curious how a fully mechanical device can be "smart" enough to know that the trigger is still depressed. An electronic circuit is obvious but mechanically, the depressed trigger is not gonna be moving anything. I don't recall anything electrical in a gun so that was making me curious. So the trigger just gets the ball rolling until of course it is released. Cool!

    Jay
     
  5. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Jay, do you have any "Science Fair" projects you want to tell us about?
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    There is now a "machine gun" that is electrically fired. Main target the gun will likely be used for is missile interdiction. It's called Metal Storm (name of the company)
    Here's how it works, the gun uses caseless ammo with a gunpowder that can be electrically ignited. The gun is composed of multiple barrels, each barrel has multiple rounds stacked on on top of the other. When the electrical signal is sent to a barrel, it fires each round off separately.
    So, if you have a gun composed of 50 barrels, one "shot" will fire 50 rounds. A prolonged signal will fire multiple rounds from each barrel. Because there is no mechanical trigger, in theory, the only rate limit is the time it takes one bullet to travel far enough to leave room for gas expansion to begin on the next round.
    Here is a link to a news article about the gun system:
    Million rounds a minute
    Here is the company's site:
    Metal storm
    It is in the Guinness record book as well: It blew though 15 doors in .2 seconds. I have seen video of this, scary!
     
  7. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Anybody know how guns work in a burst mode? Like the M16-A2 with its three round burst? I'm wondering what kind of mechanism tells the gun to stop firing after three shots.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    hey, lucky guess [​IMG]
     
  11. dan levatan

    dan levatan Extra

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    keith,
    in simple terms the 3 rnd burst on the m16A2 works off of a cam mechanism which allows it to fire 3 rnds every time the trigger is pulled. Its a timing thing. But be advised this feature isn't worth a crap. More times than not you will get a rnd jammed in the chamber if you pull the trigger to quickly.

    You are better off using the semi mode and pulling the trigger as fast as you can. Trust me I have had plenty of experience.
     
  12. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    edit- whoops link has already been posted, but I love this animation. Hold the trigger down with your mouse, nice touch!
     
  13. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    Just as an aside, to be classified as a "machine gun" or fully automatic, the weapon has to be self powering, an externally powered weapon, the gatling gun or the GE Mini-gun are not machine guns and are not covered by the ban on them (Don't ask, GE will not sell you one[​IMG] , even if you could afford the 97,000 dollar asking price)
    just thing of how fast you could go broke firing a gun that uses $1000 worth of ammo every minute[​IMG]
     
  14. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    you can buy gatling guns though, the old hand crank style.
    I've seen mini's for sale that shoot 22LR but dunno anything about them. Look fun though [​IMG]
     
  15. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Dan "The Man" Levatan. Robin Williams says it so much better than I... [​IMG]
     

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