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Bolt round effectiveness (realistic take)

 Post subject: Bolt round effectiveness (realistic take)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Hey all,

I'm writing a story set with a 'Gaunt's Ghosts" style more realistically oriented way, and I have a question about bolter rounds.

I have several of the characters carry compact bolt pistols chambered for special fifty caliber rounds designed for weapons of the type and I was wondering. In reality, how effective would a fifty to seventy five caliber explosive round be? I have a character that takes a shot at the big bad with the compact and hits him in the shoulder, severing his arm, but the baddie survives. I would assume that a shot to center mass would almost certainly kill you with either round. It would shred vital organs and almost certainly kill you instantly, or if not, send you into immediate shock and render you effectively incapacitated and out of the fight.

At the moment, I'm basing my seventy-five caliber bolter round effect descriptions on the Frag 12 shotgun round, which is essentially what a bolt is, as I elaborated in my previous topic. But I still would like to know just what exactly these rounds, especially the fifty compact, would do to a human target. Unless they were using especially high explosive rounds, I doubt they (regular human sized bolters, at least) would blow you limb from limb, but I don't doubt that they would seriously wound or more commonly, outright kill you with one round, with a second only occasionally needed in the event of an overpenetration, glancing hit, or seriously stubborn enemy.

Thanks for all your help.

Peace out and God bless.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:48 pm 
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There is no such thing as overpenetration with a bolt round. They have "mass reactive" fuses which allow them to detect when they have penetrated a target and are now inside it, then initiating the detonation of the warhead.

Imagine your frag 12 round going off inside the targets body. Then imagine firing 5 or 6 in rapid succsession that ALL go off inside the targets body.

http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Bolter

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:38 pm 
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I think that getting hit with a burst from a bolt gun probably bears more resemblance to a direct hit from an RPG than to normal gunfire. The target would be converted to hamburger. Even so, as with ordinary gunfire, only a hit to the heart or central nervous system would guarantee an instant kill. Barring that, severe trauma to other organs and bleeding would quickly finish the job.
If you wanted to have a character lose an arm to bolter fire and live, there would need to be some explanation for why he didn't bleed out within seconds. Certainly in the rather subjective "realism" of 40K this could be managed....

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:48 pm 
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Just think of the fact that a .50 caliber round today will almost certainly kill you after impace, pretty much wherever you're shot due to the massive trauma it cases to your body since it'll rip off the limb it hits or completely tear you apart if it hits you center mass.

Look at it as if you shoot a bunny or a bird with a slug shot from a shotgun... not much left to look at, the corpse won't even be gruesome, it'll just be a pool of blood with hints of former feathers (or fur) left on the ground.

Now imagine this round to explode inside the body, throwing shrapnel in all directions within the victim's body..

This is the most likely scenario of anyone hit with a bolter round:
Image

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:08 pm 
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Ladies and gentlemen, I present the pocket bolter!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:17 pm 
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I agree that a number of bolt rounds would tear you up pretty bad, but what I'm getting at is a single round. My mental image is the round hitting the target, detonating, and spraying his immediate surroundings with gore (much as with the round of canister shot in the climax of Michael Mann's Miami Vice, if anyone's seen it). Not taking him apart totally, but leaving a horrific hole in his chest and definitely messing things up internally.

Obviously it would vary between rounds with different powder charges. The rounds my characters are using are what I call "Aquilla Tactical Hunter-Shok" low-ex ammo, designed for hunting the tough skinned hive lizards of the planet that the main character is from, whose pelts are very valuable as heavy duty clothing for their resistance to tearing and wear. However, the explosion of a regular bolt round will almost certainly damage the hide, so these lower charge rounds were developed to kill the tough creatures while minimizing damage to the skin. They are also used informally by law enforcement in hostage situations, where an armored or exceptionally resilient target has to be taken out, but shrapnel wounds to the hostages are a concern.

But now I'm getting off topic.

How he managed to survive the hit is one of the unexplained things that make the other characters so surprised that he survived. I imagined he had a Rasputin level of inhuman endurance as well as luck. He was in the middle of a firefight when shot, so he had backup. Also, as the rounds were lower-charged, he suffered less concussive internal injuries and shrapnel wounds as well.

Once again, what I'm getting at is a single round.

Thanks for your comments.

Peace out and God bless.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:27 pm 
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@Hunting with bolter rounds:
I don't think that the imperium would approve of the usage of bolter rounds for hunting, let alone order an entire manufactorum to start producing a new round.

My reasoning behind this is that the bolter round is extremely expensive and time consuming to create, and also requires a huge amount of maintenance.

My guess is that something along the lines of MAYBE a hellfire gun being authorized for hunting purposes...

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Müller wrote:
Now imagine this round to explode inside the body, throwing shrapnel in all directions within the victim's body..

This is the most likely scenario of anyone hit with a bolter round:
Image


Totally off topic, but good Fallout reference.

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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:59 pm 
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A regular round from a .50 cal sniper rifle will take a person's arm off if it were to hit them in the shoulder. If you consider a .75 cal explosive round of a bolter there is pretty much no chance a person would survive. This round would probably take thier arm and head off thier body as well as turning a large part of the torso into gib.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:23 am 
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This is how I picture bolters ...

At 0:33

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyRmHT2q7kg


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