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Author Topic: Training Ammunition  (Read 4047 times)

pfarland

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Training Ammunition
« on: 12 February 2014, 12:45:22 »
I was just reading through the Interstellar Ops beta Force Ops.  I had a thought, one of the things involved in the cost of normal non-combat running of a unit is ammo.  Any military force does need to 'shoot off' a bit of ammo in the normal process of things just to keep their edge.  But what we don't have is any training ammunition.  With your normal combat loads, you need to have larger amounts of propellant, explosives, depleted uranium or tungsten penetrators, and all sorts of goodness packed into various ammos to make the ammunition effective.  When you're at the range or live firing at targets you don't need all that.

Case in point:  In the Army, I remember the 'training rounds' for both our AT-4 (a shoulder fired anti tank rocket) and our M-203 (a 40mm grenade launcher).  The AT-4 'trainer' was a tube adapter with a 9mm pistol cartridge in it and the 40mm Training Round was filled with an orange dust and no explosive.
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Pat Payne

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #1 on: 12 February 2014, 14:18:35 »
They almost certainly do have trainer rounds, I'd guess. The fluff in Liberation of Terra Vol. 1 explicitly states that the participants in the Martial Olympiads use low-power lasers to avoid injury and damage to property, so they'd have to use training ammo in the ACs, L/SRMs and other ammo-consuming weapons.

Archangel

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #2 on: 12 February 2014, 14:43:10 »
I don't see any question.

With regards to the training ammunition, like with the US military, there are likely several variants of training ammunition that try to cater to an individual unit's budget.  Of course many units can't afford even the cheapest of these.  On the proving grounds on Outreach, the weapons of all participants had to be powered down to non-lethal levels or loaded with marker ammunition.

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pfarland

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #3 on: 12 February 2014, 15:00:09 »
It's not meant as a question, it's meant as a discussion topic.  And were in the rules does it list training ammunition?  In the fluff about the Outreach Proving grounds it states that (taking your word for it, not looking it up) and there are rules for powering down weapons, but none for marker or training ammo.  I'm sure both are mentioned not just there but other places as well.
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Weirdo

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #4 on: 12 February 2014, 15:06:43 »
To my knowledge, there are no special rules for training ammo. There are scenarios that adress it though, and those say that since 'mechs in the training system are programmed to react to simulated hits as if they were the real thing, you use the standard rules and assume that all the damage you're writing down is simulated. About the only thing I could imagine is that pilots would not actually take damage from head hits or ammo booms(well, maybe the latter if the programmers were really sadistic), though of course any damage from falls or other physical impacts would be very real.
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guardiandashi

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #5 on: 12 February 2014, 15:18:05 »
To my knowledge, there are no special rules for training ammo. There are scenarios that adress it though, and those say that since 'mechs in the training system are programmed to react to simulated hits as if they were the real thing, you use the standard rules and assume that all the damage you're writing down is simulated. About the only thing I could imagine is that pilots would not actually take damage from head hits or ammo booms(well, maybe the latter if the programmers were really sadistic), though of course any damage from falls or other physical impacts would be very real.
heck even the clans use training ammo, but their trick is their version of training ammo uses some live rounds or low powered munitions that can still cause some damage.
IE say said autocannon fires a 10 round burst... it might have 1-2 fully live rounds mixed in each burst with the rest being tracer, blanks or similar.

dmzline

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #6 on: 12 February 2014, 17:21:34 »
Not to bring too much realism into the discussion, but if it followed real-world experiences, training ammunition would cost more per round/ton than live ammo.  This is partially due to economy of scale: there is a lot more live ammo made than training rounds.

ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #7 on: 12 February 2014, 18:11:16 »
Could always use paint rounds, at least in the RPG.  As far as the rest of it, Weirdo mentioned the 'simulated effects' - considering BT has a 'degredation' paradigm for damage compared to real-world one-shot-kill effects, it makes sense to train with the same.  The only time I'd expect real damage in a training scenario is falling damage, and well...hope you're not in a 'Mech that has less than 10% of its tonnage in armor points in any location.  (This is always one of my design requirements)

pfarland

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #8 on: 12 February 2014, 18:38:37 »
Not to bring too much realism into the discussion, but if it followed real-world experiences, training ammunition would cost more per round/ton than live ammo.  This is partially due to economy of scale: there is a lot more live ammo made than training rounds.

That is usually the case for 'over the counter' stuff.  Your basic FMJ/ball round.  Once you start getting into the goodies like DU or Tungsten penatrators.  Especially once you get into missile or rocket rounds or cannon rounds the cost difference is quite large.
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kaliyama

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #9 on: 12 February 2014, 19:42:35 »
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« Last Edit: 30 March 2014, 19:17:25 by kaliyama »

rlbell

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #10 on: 12 February 2014, 20:22:39 »
I was just reading through the Interstellar Ops beta Force Ops.  I had a thought, one of the things involved in the cost of normal non-combat running of a unit is ammo.  Any military force does need to 'shoot off' a bit of ammo in the normal process of things just to keep their edge.  But what we don't have is any training ammunition.  With your normal combat loads, you need to have larger amounts of propellant, explosives, depleted uranium or tungsten penetrators, and all sorts of goodness packed into various ammos to make the ammunition effective.  When you're at the range or live firing at targets you don't need all that.

Case in point:  In the Army, I remember the 'training rounds' for both our AT-4 (a shoulder fired anti tank rocket) and our M-203 (a 40mm grenade launcher).  The AT-4 'trainer' was a tube adapter with a 9mm pistol cartridge in it and the 40mm Training Round was filled with an orange dust and no explosive.

My favorite training round was the practice rockets for an unguided rocket pod used by the Canadian Air Force.  The high explosive filling and fuse were replaced by a hard steel rod fixed along the the central axis of the rocket to keep the weight and balance correct.  Among the targets used for practice were obsolete tanks (Centurions).  It was discovered that the practice rockets had were punching holes through the armor of the targets, so the standard practice was modified to include some practice rounds in the warshots when the planned target included armored vehicles.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #11 on: 12 February 2014, 20:32:34 »
in the novels, there seem to be several different approaches.

the Wolf's Dragoons and other group that can afford it go for basically MILES gear. weak lasers and receptors carry the battlefield combat data for each shot, while visual simulation is provided by blank rounds, harmless missile simulator rockets, and so on.

less well off groups seem to rely on really old methods.. smoke missiles, paint rounds, and referees which make judgement calls. (this one can be seen in the first Cabelleros novel)

the clans take a very hardcore approach.. their rounds/missiles are 'down powered', as are the lasers.. basically the equivalent of doing life fire training with rubber bullets in RL. generally less than lethal, but you'll be able to tell your hit, and if you really really unlucky you might still kill someone.

Scotty

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #12 on: 12 February 2014, 21:04:52 »
In the Dark Age novel Ruins of Power, training exercises are conducted using paint munitions for missiles, and there's a mention to paint ammunition as used in training exercises in some of the early scenario fiction.  Paint rounds sound like they'd work fairly well for most autocannon and missile simulations, since I'm pretty sure it's fairly well established that penetrating munitions don't work well against BT armors, and most 'Mech-scale ammunition is explosive.

Unless you're talking gauss.  Then it turns into some silly "magnetic-paint soaked foam pellet" in my imagination. :D
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WarGod

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #13 on: 12 February 2014, 22:03:08 »
depends on the training ammunition for cost.

Sim rounds for small arms are actually more expensive then live rounds, as in Chalk or paint rounds for rifles, and machine guns.  (honestly I thought the sims where better then the miles gear, sims made sure you got a healthy interest in find hard cover) SRTA rounds cost about the same.

When I was a Brad gunner, our training ammo was straight steel rounds, which cost about 8 bucks a shot (Guessing) , compared to the Fused HE, HEI, AP, or API rounds our bushmasters used in combat.   We also fired off "out dated ammo"

The training missiles where a Laser adapter inserted into TOW tubes, I think one cost something like 50 grand.  We only go to live fire tows about 3 times a year.  But we had SIM gunnery every couple weeks.

Oddly enough Tank rounds to simulate HE uses a small powder charge, with a burster to throw dust around.  While the training sabot rounds where basically steel lawn darts, and not  High velocity Tungsten tipped DU rounds.

Force one force training rounds for tanks is a Laser adapter inserted some way into the tank gun, so it would emit, but your loaded still had to put a low powder round into the tank breach.  As I understand it, not a tank cranker.

I can see Mech units using the same types of set up.  Or Given laser assisted targeting, might not need most of the adapters, maybe the equivalent of blank charges to make some flash and noise, while the lasers, and computers score every thing.

Initiation to War, has some pretty descriptive "semi live" mech training in it.
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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #14 on: 12 February 2014, 23:24:10 »
SIM rounds are great . . . except for the bulky safety gear.  Closest I have had anything come to me, makes a nice zipping sound as it goes by.

While it might not apply much for BT, rocket artillery uses non-aerodynamic training rounds which keeps munitions (or supposed to . . . ) on the approved ranges due to shorter flight profiles.

Tube artillery uses single bag charges to also keep on ranges . . . except when someone does not, loads all four charges and plants the shell in a restaurant parking lot off base.  Which leads to senior NCOs counting shoelaces and junior officers tracking down ID10T forms until their commission ends.

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pfarland

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #15 on: 13 February 2014, 00:23:37 »
Unless you're talking gauss.  Then it turns into some silly "magnetic-paint soaked foam pellet" in my imagination. :D

Thank you.  I needed the vision of magnetically accelerated, iron impregnated, paint soaked sponges flying down range at high mach speed floating around in my skull.  Just think of the poor sap having to load it!  LMAO
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Scotty

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #16 on: 13 February 2014, 00:40:14 »
I'm desperately tempted to sig this part.

I needed the vision of magnetically accelerated, iron impregnated, paint soaked sponges flying down range at high mach speed floating around in my skull.  Just think of the poor sap having to load it!
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guardiandashi

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #17 on: 13 February 2014, 01:03:42 »
Thank you.  I needed the vision of magnetically accelerated, iron impregnated, paint soaked sponges flying down range at high mach speed floating around in my skull.  Just think of the poor sap having to load it!  LMAO
I am thinking more of a non ballistic plastic (basically solid enough to hold together in flight but not actually do "real damage" to a mech) plastic round with iron driving bands, mostly hollowed out, but filled with paint, ... like a giant paintball, or paint stick, with iron driving bands attached, so the gauss magnets can "grab it"

glitterboy2098

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #18 on: 13 February 2014, 01:05:01 »
I am thinking more of a non ballistic plastic (basically solid enough to hold together in flight but not actually do "real damage" to a mech) plastic round with iron driving bands, mostly hollowed out, but filled with paint, ... like a giant paintball, or paint stick, with iron driving bands attached, so the gauss magnets can "grab it"

Ferromagnetic Sabot around a plastic projectile.

Nightlord01

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #19 on: 13 February 2014, 04:25:44 »
Ferromagnetic Sabot around a plastic projectile.

You'd get a lot of velocity out of your projectile with that, you'd kill any poor unfortunate sap you hit with it if they weren't wearing at least battle armour. :P

mbear

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #20 on: 13 February 2014, 08:46:50 »
Several works have stated that when training the targeting computers of the units attach to a "range master" computer that acts as a referee and draws the "damage" inflicted on the unit. This applies to every weapon.

The Kell Hounds sourcebook had a scenario where the Hounds were training a militia. The militia forces used standard missile bodies for their missile launchers, but the explosives were replaced by paint. This led to a scenario where the polka-dotted Hound 'Mechs had to fight a DCMS unit.

I imagine autocannons could be used the same way.
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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #21 on: 13 February 2014, 10:06:43 »
Oddly enough Tank rounds to simulate HE uses a small powder charge, with a burster to throw dust around.  While the training sabot rounds where basically steel lawn darts, and not  High velocity Tungsten tipped DU rounds.

Force one force training rounds for tanks is a Laser adapter inserted some way into the tank gun, so it would emit, but your loaded still had to put a low powder round into the tank breach.  As I understand it, not a tank cranker.

Unless they changed after I got out, our training HEAT rounds were just a large chunk of aluminum, and for force on force we had a launcher on top of the gun tube that had a bunch of small Hoffman devices (kind of like a flash bang with smoke) that fired off when we fired the main gun.

glitterboy2098

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Re: Training Ammunition
« Reply #22 on: 13 February 2014, 11:05:13 »
You'd get a lot of velocity out of your projectile with that, you'd kill any poor unfortunate sap you hit with it if they weren't wearing at least battle armour. :P

who says it is being used in simulations where squishies are present? even paint rounds and smoke rockets could be quite dangerous to conventional infantry.

there is not going to a single 'one size fits all' training method. when you training vehicle vs vehicle with no infantry of any stripe present, smoke, paint, and weakened lasers works great. in conventional infantry is present your going to want to use either a MILES system like we use today, or referees making all the calls like in pre-digital times. and so your crews have experiance with live ammo, you have live fire training against unmanned targets. the latter is actually done for the army in its various training centers.. after doing scenario work against the 'Red Force' they go to a live fire range and shoot at a series of popup targets simulating the movements of enemies. we see this sort of training early in the clan invasion novels.. kai taking Yen-lo-Wang through the training grounds shooting scrap metal targets that have IFF beacons to trick his computer into showing combat vehicles. we see the vehicle on vehicle paint approach used by the cabelleo's, complete with mention and illustration of the potential dangers of the approach. and we see a MILES type approach in use by the fedsuns for infantry training in the second 4th succession war novel, and in use for combined arms training by the dragoons and new SLDF in multiple books.

 

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