Does it hurt to be shot by phaser?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Shat Happens, Jan 10, 2023.

  1. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I know. I always think of that scene in Die Hard 2 where McClane hoses that airport security chief with a blank-loaded SMG to make a point. IRL, the guy probably would have survived, but he'd have been hurt.

    Of course, given the presence of 32-second grenades and undetectable porcelain pistols (that looked a lot like plain ordinary and completely detectable Glocks), DH2 is not a model of cinematic realism.
     
  2. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    Ehhh.... None of that would ever have happened in the first place.

    Blanks don't provide the necessary back-pressure to cycle a bolt in the receiver to allow the spent shell casing to eject. It all ejects out the muzzle and the bolt might twitch a little. Between the locking lugs in the breach and main bolt spring tension, there just flat-out isn't enough force that comes from a blank. You need a BFA (blank-fire adapter) in or on the muzzle break to hold in the expanding gas and let just a little bit out the front for appearances. That will allow the bolt to eject the shell. Some more finicky weapons require a wood-tip blank - that is, a non-crimped shell with a piece of wood shaped like a bullet where a normal bullet would be. Then you would have a shredder in the muzzle instead of a standard blank adapter, which will turn the wood bullet into sawdust (provided it wasn't already incinerated in the discharge). Wood-tips are used when the slope of the feed ramp won't accept crimped rounds and it jams before completing the breach-seating as the bolt is closing. Been shot at tens of thousands of times over the course of a decade by all these kinds of blanks and never once been injured. Long and short of it, you put a live round down a BFA'd weapon, it will blow up in your hands when the bullet hits the adapter. Best-case scenario, it will just take off the muzzle break and a part of the front sight and you'll be lucky not to get shrapnel in your face from the exploding receiver. This can happen as an accident if, say, a reenactor takes his/her weapon to a live-fire range, forgot it was BFA'd and they get a surprise the first time they pull the trigger with a live round. It should NEVER happen IRL with a semi- or full-automatic weapon as an intentional scenario, like what was shown in DH2 with those particular weapons. Dulles Airport didn't even look right, either!

    The only time this can work with an unmodified weapon is a revolver, where spent shell casings aren't ejected. Other problems can ensue with this kind of configuration, however. Just ask Brandon Lee. :(
     
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  3. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually wondered about that, given the vast difference in recoil between a real 9mm or 5.56 cartridge and a blank... it's why the "conscience round" trick in firing squad executions* never works.

    Given DH2's other inconsistencies, I guess I'm not surprised.


    *There are five shooters. Four have live rounds, one has a blank, and the rifles are randomized. In theory, each shooter is supposed to believe that he might not have fired a live round.
     
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  4. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    Exactly right. Any experienced shooter would immediately know the difference between a live round vs blank discharge. Especially with the high-powered bolt-action execution rifles.
     
  5. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Including McClane. He wouldn't have had to pop the SMG's magazine to know it wasn't firing live ammo.
     
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  6. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Jon Eric Hexum also died similarly.

    The closest thing I know of to a phaser is the electrolaser as wiki calls it:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolaser

    There, short range, heart disease and awkward falls are the hazard.

    This thing could burn you easily though
    https://www.army.mil/article/82262/picatinny_engineers_set_phasers_to_fry
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023 at 9:48 AM
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  7. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    He did, but I believe there were large differences in the incidents. According to his Wiki page:
    With Brandon Lee, the circumstances were a little more odd and somewhat mysterious. The lack of details on Lee's Wiki, compared to the relative abundance of details on JEH's page, is quite telling:
    As I understand it (and this may be urban legend), the front end of a revolver used in a close-up scene (by Skank, was it?) was shown with small round caps placed on the blanks to make it appear as if there were real rounds in the cylinder. Then, the props master would remove them for the actual shooting of the blanks at Lee's Crow character for the medium shot. It was said that one of the caps became accidentally dislodged in the breech of the revolver. The person or persons who were supposed to ensure the weapon was clear for use miscounted or something, and when the blank was discharged, the cap became a viable projectile, killing Lee with one shot. Again, I have no idea if any of that is true, but it's just what I've heard, and it was a believable-enough accident, and not nearly outlandish as Baldwin's Rust situation, which was actual live ammo being accidentally used. Whole different animal entirely but just as weird.
     
  8. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    "Klingons don't take prisoners" -Adm Kirk (who is subsequently take prisoner by Klingons a few movies later)
     
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  9. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    That was an odd contradiction.

    I can only assume he was speaking of no prisoners taken while in space combat (as the Kobayashi Maru scenario was designed to simulate). Kirk said those words in that context right after Saavik ordered all hands to abandon ship, probably assuming their escape pods would be picked up by the Klingons and the crew to be treated fairly under some interstellar equivalent of the Geneva Convention.

    Ground engagements, however, may be handled in a completely different way entirely, especially when the holding of hostages can leverage a more beneficial strategic position during potential face-to-face negotiation. Either that, or the prolonged use of dodgy cloaking technology drove Kruge and his crew clinically insane and they simply were not thinking or acting like Klingons normally would.
     
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  10. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps Kirk meant to say, "Klingons don't typically take prisoners".
     
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  11. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Kruge must have been pretty atypical, given that he vaporized his gunner for denying him said prisoners.

    Really liked when he told his new gunner: "Target engine only... understand?"
    The gunner thinks about his predecessor, whose oxidized remains the crew is probably still breathing. "Understood clearly, sir!"
     
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  12. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hm. Actually, given Meyer's background, was it possibly an in-joke reference to a classic film or such? Don't some militaries like to tell their soldiers that enemy forces don't take prisoners as a way of encouraging them to fight harder?
     
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  13. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It might be that Klingons don't accept surrender when on the battlefield, but will take prisoners if they need them for interrogation or possibly slave labor. Or to bargain for the release of their people. Klingons are fierce, but they're not stupid.
     
  14. at Quark's

    at Quark's Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ In fact, they're quite devious and cunning.

    In TOS, at least, before they got reduced to brawling, drinking, belching emptyheads in TNG and later.
     
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  15. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    Indeed. They really didn't go on bellowing about honor until TNG rolled around. They were a far more deeply interesting species in TOS. Romulans, too, if I'm honest. TNG kind-of eviscerated them as well. The Sela storylines were the beginning of the end for them and NEM's Schinzon plot finished them off.
     
  16. Sisko_is_my_captain

    Sisko_is_my_captain Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Doc on Voyager referred to phaser burns on occasion. Apparently stuns can burn your skin.
     
  17. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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  18. Oddish

    Oddish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And Krolla in "First Contact" (TNG episode) had a "phaser wound in his upper chest", despite the phaser being set only to stun. Beverly was sufficiently concerned that she beamed him to Enterprise.

    Of course, he shot himself muzzle contact, which might have made it do more damage.
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, the conspirators in Star Trek VI had wounds from high stun, close range.
     
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  20. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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