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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old April 8 2009, 04:22 PM   #1
Dingo
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TR-116

Hey,

I've scoured the web for specs on the TR-116 rifle and I'm curious as to what's a reasonable figure for it's max range and max effective range to be. I'm gonna plug in the figures to a similar rifle I know of from the 21st Century, the M21 Sniper Weapon System, for lack of reference.

I ask because in a future fanfic of mine (after I finish writing Dark Realm), I intend to have a character who replicates a TR-116 during the Dominion War when his outpost is overrun. He flees into the hinterlands of the conquered planet (in orbit of which is a Dominion effort to build an artificial wormhole using Starfleet prisoners as slave labor) and serves as part of an irregular force mixed between Starfleet, a few Maquis, and one or two mercs. (This is using events from Star Trek: The Next Generation - Tunnel Through the Stars).

The TR-116 my character uses, however, isn't like the TR116 from fields of fire with Lt. Chu'lak's modifications. This one fires a straight trajectory. But I've also come up with different sorts of bullets that my character designs, namely one that punches through Cardassian/Jem'Hadar armor and then breaks into fragments that when they make contact with the bloodstream, burn hot like White Phosphorous (a nasty modern chemical explosive).

Any idea on how far the TR-116 can shoot?
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Old April 8 2009, 05:57 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: TR-116

This is actually something you can use hard scifi for. That is, real-world physics should provide an answer even in the fictional context.

If TR-116 fires bullets rather than tiny rockets or other self-propelled ammo, those bullets will follow a relatively flat ballistic trajectory. Aerodynamics will dictate the terminal velocity of those bullets, and they will probably travel at that terminal velocity for most of the distance, regardless of muzzle velocity - that is, hitting the air will slow down the bullets right from the start. And 24th century technology should be able to provide a muzzle velocity quite equal to the fastest possible velocity a bullet can have in air, either by use of high explosives (probably with controlled burn profile rather than single detonation) or acceleration fields (electromagnetic or gravitic). And we can also assume that recoil will not be a factor, as gravity control tech will easily negate it, or precision counter-recoil devices can be machined into the weapon even if no gravity magic is in use.

So, how far can a bullet go if it's fired horizontally and has a plausible, medium supersonic speed, say, 1 km/s? Remember that a bullet drops to the ground in the same exact time regardless of whether it was dropped from your hand or fired horizontally from a firearm. For a standing man, that time might be generously estimated to be about 1 s. That'd give a maximum range of one kilometer, which is also the range at which various factors will affect the course of even a perfectly aimed bullet too badly to hit anything much.

Add a self-guiding projectile, and you might fire slightly upward to get a nice arc to a couple of kilometers and still hit something. Or crank up the muzzle velocity to 10 km/s and use an aerodynamically perfect bullet to preserve that speed through the trajectory (say, use the same forcefields that turn those brick-shaped shuttles into aerodynamic craft). But if you can have a self-guiding, forcefield-shaped projectile, why bother with the gun? Just use a tiny ballistic rocket or aircraft to fly a hundred of those bullets to the enemy, no matter whether he is one or a thousand kilometers away, and have the bullets home in on him.

Frankly, a gun of the sort described is best used at distances of about one kilometer, because beyond that you will begin to need augmentation devices (for sighting, guiding, range-boosting etc.) that are in fact much better used without the stupid gun.

In the Trek context, we also have to mind that TR-116 was supposed to be an anti-Borg gun. The Borg Drones are seldom engaged at large distances: a range of ten to fifty meters is actually the likeliest one, and the gun might be optimized for that, just like the submachine guns of WWII were.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old April 8 2009, 06:02 PM   #3
Dingo
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Re: TR-116

In the Trek context, we also have to mind that TR-116 was supposed to be an anti-Borg gun. The Borg Drones are seldom engaged at large distances: a range of ten to fifty meters is actually the likeliest one, and the gun might be optimized for that, just like the submachine guns of WWII were.
True. But I imagined that it has other variants too, perhaps a modular kit that all it needed was a couple hand tools and a customizing kid and you'd get a sniper rifle.

I figured TR-116 had a sniper variant as Fields of Fire suggested.

One km sounds like a reasonable range, but modern snipers have been able to kill targets at more than twice that range with modern guns, but that's with the enhanced optics and the like...
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Old April 8 2009, 09:03 PM   #4
JNG
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Re: TR-116

I want to be clear that it was not stated anywhere in the episode that the TR-116 was designed for anti-Borg applications. I am rather glad of this, since the idea that Borg can somehow protect themselves against any particular form of energy as long as it isn't kinetic seems like nonsense to me (but unfortunately it didn't stop the novel writers from thinking that the nightclub scene in ST: First Contact somehow meant projectiles are Borg kryptonite ).

I think holographic sighting and tricorder tie-ins to advise the shooting could do a lot to extend the effective range of such a weapon, but the mini-transporter thing was even niftier, and regenerative phasers apparently niftier still.
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Old April 9 2009, 12:35 AM   #5
The_Beef
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Re: TR-116

Dingo wrote: View Post
But I've also come up with different sorts of bullets that my character designs, namely one that punches through Cardassian/Jem'Hadar armor and then breaks into fragments that when they make contact with the bloodstream, burn hot like White Phosphorous (a nasty modern chemical explosive).
Just wanted to chime in on this particular aspect: even though you said this is a personal modification, it's almost certainly in conflict with whatever treaties the Federation has signed to restrict weapons and I doubt any normal Starfleet personnel would condone or tolerate its use, as it sounds extremely painful. I think it's a really cool idea, I just wanted to make sure that the conditions in which it's being used are reasonable (say, if it's a Starfleet officer who's using it, he must be in a pretty dark place at this point and it might cause conflict with any other Starfleet personnel around). That being said, I don't want to really stick my nose into your story, I just figured it was worth mentioning.
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Old April 9 2009, 06:05 AM   #6
Dingo
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Re: TR-116

I know those would be very controvertial, Beef, and you bring up a good point. The situation was dire. Capture would mean interrogation, and possibly being used as forced labor for that artificial wormhole. Let's Lieutenant Magleash was largely isolated (on a Dominion overrun planet) until he joined a unit called 'Renegade Squadron'. (This is from my fanfic). He also sought revenge for deaths at that labor camp and used this particular TR-116 round to extract his revenge.

Formed clandestinely by Starfleet Intelligence during the darkest point of the war, Renegade Squadron was composed of personnel recruited by hook and crook and whatever it took. They were gunfighters, mercenaries, smugglers, gunrunners and select Starfleet Intelligence and Security personnel.

They pulled off numerous raids and delaying actions against Dominion forces, but capture meant torture and likely death and the Federation denying that they even knew you existed.

The bullet was designed by Starfleet Intelligence Operative and Renegade Squadron member, Lieutenant j.g. Magleash when his outpost in the Badlands was overrun by the Cardassians and Jem'Hadar. Hiding out on this planet he used it to deadly effect as they tried to build an artificial wormhole:

I intend to have a character who replicates a TR-116 during the Dominion War when his outpost is overrun. He flees into the hinterlands of the conquered planet (in orbit of which is a Dominion effort to build an artificial wormhole using [COLOR=#bbccff]Starfleet prisoners as slave labor[/COLOR]) and serves as part of an irregular force mixed between Starfleet, a few Maquis, and one or two mercs. (This is using events from Star Trek: The Next Generation - Tunnel Through the Stars).

The TR-116 my character uses, however, isn't like the TR116 from fields of fire with Lt. Chu'lak's modifications. This one fires a straight trajectory. But I've also come up with different sorts of bullets that my character designs, namely one that punches through Cardassian/Jem'Hadar armor and then breaks into fragments that when they make contact with the bloodstream, burn hot like White Phosphorous (a nasty modern chemical explosive).
Renegade Squadron was successful, but disbanded as soon as the war ended, it's Starfleet personnel were reintegrated into the Fleet, its existence classified to the highest levels, and its non-Starfleet members paid off and dispersed through the quadrant.

The TR-116 in their hands was one of many weapons they used against the Dominion...

Last edited by Dingo; April 9 2009 at 10:26 AM.
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Old April 10 2009, 09:32 AM   #7
Timo
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Re: TR-116

I want to be clear that it was not stated anywhere in the episode that the TR-116 was designed for anti-Borg applications. I am rather glad of this, since the idea that Borg can somehow protect themselves against any particular form of energy as long as it isn't kinetic seems like nonsense to me.
Oops, right, and agreed. Apparently, TR-116 was specifically intended to cope with situations such as the one the Albino's guards encountered in "Blood Oath"...

One wonders if this still weren't a good idea. A superior being jams Kirk's phaser - at which point Kirk whips out his patently unjammable revolver and kills the superior being. (Although I gather it should be theoretically possible to build a phaser that is just as unjammable as a revolver - and for a sufficiently advanced being to jam anything, including thrown daggers.)

Timo Saloniemi
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Old April 13 2009, 08:10 AM   #8
Strider
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Re: TR-116

Dingo wrote: View Post
...he joined a unit called 'Renegade Squadron'. (This is from my fanfic). He also sought revenge for deaths at that labor camp and used this particular TR-116 round to extract his revenge.

Formed clandestinely by Starfleet Intelligence during the darkest point of the war, Renegade Squadron was composed of personnel recruited by hook and crook and whatever it took. They were gunfighters, mercenaries, smugglers, gunrunners and select Starfleet Intelligence and Security personnel.
It's not really all that important, but you lifted the name and concept of Renegade Squadron straight from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
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Old April 13 2009, 10:23 AM   #9
Dingo
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Re: TR-116

That's what inspired it and trust me, when I write the fic, I will give credit where credit is due.
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Old April 18 2009, 11:00 PM   #10
Myasishchev
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Re: TR-116

JNG wrote: View Post
I want to be clear that it was not stated anywhere in the episode that the TR-116 was designed for anti-Borg applications. I am rather glad of this, since the idea that Borg can somehow protect themselves against any particular form of energy as long as it isn't kinetic seems like nonsense to me (but unfortunately it didn't stop the novel writers from thinking that the nightclub scene in ST: First Contact somehow meant projectiles are Borg kryptonite ).
Their superior intellect is no match for our puny weapons, of course.

If i remember Field of Fire correctly, it's only explicit that it was designed to work in the presence of an energy-dampening field (as nonsensical as that is, but I won't comment further on it). This supposes a chemical projectile ignited by a firing pin with gadgety add-ons like targeting computers and forcefield sabots or whatever limited to nice-to-haves but kept from being integral parts of the device. Unless the chemical explosive is corbomite or something, this limits the range, accuracy, and power of the bullet to basically that of a modern-day rifle, so treating it identically to a contemporary weapons system is exactly what Dingo'd want to do.

However, I'd find it more interesting if he subverted the notion that 19th century technology is dangerous to the futuremen. Chemical projectiles would probably be about as effective against armor that can already stop a 5000 Kelvin particle beam from incinerating the wearer's torso as throwing a rock at it.

Headshots could still work, though.
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Old April 19 2009, 05:49 AM   #11
Dingo
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Re: TR-116

However, I'd find it more interesting if he subverted the notion that 19th century technology is dangerous to the futuremen. Chemical projectiles would probably be about as effective against armor that can already stop a 5000 Kelvin particle beam from incinerating the wearer's torso as throwing a rock at it.

Headshots could still work, though.
Perhaps they've improved on the combustion of gunpowder and made for more efficient energy transfers. And maybe tritanium is like a modern sabot round, intended to puncture body armor.
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Old April 19 2009, 08:35 PM   #12
Good
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Re: TR-116

I wouldn't worry about fancy cargos like the blood boiling stuff. We've seen plenty of ultra-high-explosives like Triceron from TNG- Reunion. A couple of cubic millimeters was enough to blow up a room, So the amount you could squeeze into a bullet would more than enough to splatter a Jem Hadar.

Instead, look at some of the real like research on sniper weapons. Things like self-guiding GPS bullets that steer by changing shape or using tiny jets of gas. Getting the bullet to the target should be the interesting part as far as writing goes, not what happens when it hits.
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