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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old June 3 2008, 05:57 PM   #1
Superman
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Location: The wastelands of the Obamanation
A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

I was reading the bio of The Crimson Avenger, a Golden Age hero who used a gun that fired knock-out gas very much like The Green Hornet did.

So here's my question: are there guns available today that can shoot streams of gas? I suppose such a device wouldn't have many practical applications, and would probably not be in widespread manufacture because of the opportunity for misuse.

Does anyone know if the military or police forces use this, outside of guns that fire gas cannisters?

\S/
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Old June 3 2008, 06:03 PM   #2
Superman
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

Mods, can you please move this? I thought I was in the tech forum...

\S/

Done - Holdfast

Last edited by Holdfast; June 4 2008 at 09:18 PM.
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Old June 4 2008, 10:07 PM   #3
JustAFriend
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

"Knock-out gas" doesn't really work.

Go google the incident a few years ago where the Russian police tried to take down a Muslim group holding a theater hostage; the gas took (killed) out more hostages than terrorists.

Also, the gas would not stay together and the shooter would just be as vulnerable as the target.....

Microwave pain weapons have already been developed and have far more promise (and could probably be down-sized to carryable size eventually...)
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Old June 4 2008, 10:48 PM   #4
Ariadne
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

Hair-dryers could be considered to be somewhat of that nature.
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Old June 4 2008, 11:35 PM   #5
JoeZhang
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

The Sandman also made use of a gas-gun.
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Old June 5 2008, 12:04 AM   #6
Tralah
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

Edit: Nevermind, figured out the answer to my own question
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Old June 5 2008, 01:45 AM   #7
Superman
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

JustAFriend wrote: View Post
"Knock-out gas" doesn't really work.

Go google the incident a few years ago where the Russian police tried to take down a Muslim group holding a theater hostage; the gas took (killed) out more hostages than terrorists.

Also, the gas would not stay together and the shooter would just be as vulnerable as the target.....

Microwave pain weapons have already been developed and have far more promise (and could probably be down-sized to carryable size eventually...)
Hmm...microwave pain weapons. That's interesting.

Do you know/think these will be available to civilians or just to police/military?

\S/
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Old June 5 2008, 08:46 AM   #8
Timo
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

Well, they currently require a honking big generator and an antenna the size of a double bedstead, so I'd think civilian applications have to wait for a while.

An easier solution would be to use a blinding laser. That's cheap, has low power requirements, and is just as likely to leave the victim permanently injured. Also, the threat force can protect itself with similar ease (reflective glasses vs. the thick clothing that protects from current microwave weapons).

There's a big problem with all known riot control weapons in that department: what is barely sufficient for inconveniencing a burly, minimally protected rabble-rouser will permanently injure his slim and unprotected girlfriend and definitely kill the little baby on her arms. In that sense, civilian applications make more sense than government ones, because a civilian on lawful business is unlikely to apply the weapon on a diverse mass of people, and more likely to fire it at a single threatening individual.

OTOH, a civilian on unlawful business could wreak just as great a havoc with a nonlethal weapon as with a shotgun - probably even greater, as many nonlethal weapons are lethal across a wider angle than the typical gun. So there would have to be extremely tight regulations on who could possess a nonlethal weapon, probably tighter than with guns. Let's see how that works out.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 6 2008, 12:16 PM   #9
All Seeing Eye
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

I would think that one day it may be possible to have a gun that contains liquefied gas that once shot at the target becomes a gas again en route due to coming into contact with air temperature.
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Old June 6 2008, 12:24 PM   #10
Timo
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

...I guess the best case would be if the warhead were relatively solid on its way to the victim, then splashed all across the victim's face like slime, and then rapidly dissipated into something the victim would inhale and/or absorb through his or her skin.

The final dissipation could be due to body temperature, or due to a bicomponent structure where the primer would be mixed with the actual agent due to the strength of the impact. But how to make the projectile fly through air in solid form, then break to cover as much of the victim as possible? Proximity fuze? A jet of slime instead of a projectile? The first sounds too high-tech, the second wouldn't have much range.

Still, there's always a problem with gasesous poisons in that the dosage delivered is highly variable. If you only want to tranquilize rather than kill, you need to use something like a poison dart, with a specific dose stored inside.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 6 2008, 12:54 PM   #11
All Seeing Eye
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

How about a Taser like weapon that instead of shooting volts of electricity it injects poison instead, or a similar weapon like that which doesnt hit the target but lands in the vaccinity thats has a camera and shoots out gas when you push a button on the gun.

OR

How about something like what the Ghostbusters use, a box device that you slide in and push a button and it opens up giving off gas, ya know instead of sucking the ghosts in.

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Old June 8 2008, 05:28 PM   #12
LaxScrutiny
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

I was thinking maybe a batarang-like device that hits the target every time, knocks them out instantly first strike, and returns to your hand.
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Old June 9 2008, 06:42 AM   #13
Mike Farley
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Re: A bizzare question: guns that fire gas?

LaxScrutiny wrote: View Post
I was thinking maybe a batarang-like device that hits the target every time, knocks them out instantly first strike, and returns to your hand.
Unless caught by a small poodle who then runs off.
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