Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

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bore blocker

build UAVs and block guns with them
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

Weighing in at 50 pounds and 5 feet this single use UAV would have one purpose in life. It would fly over a battlefield or other place with big guns and look for metal cylinders of the right size and shape. When found it would kamakazi its very non-lethal payload, a bore-blocking chunk of itself, into the end of the weapon. Options include very hot metal, glue, and a thing to scrape up the inside of the barrel as it goes in.

edit: Many have said this isn't as expedient as destroying the artillery with explosives. The purpose of this proposed weapon is to allow neutralization of weapons in an environment other than a hot war. e.g. North Korea after it does something stupid.
Voice, Jan 09 2011

UAV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UAV
In case anyone is confused by the acronym. [DrBob, Jan 12 2011]

Sorry, I thought you meant something like these http://obamaforward...4/EARFLAPGREAT.aspx
Bullshit defenders - Ear coverings [Dub, Jan 12 2011]

Switchblade kamakazi drone http://en.wikipedia...ronment_Switchblade
[Voice, Mar 23 2015]

Multiple Kill Vehicle hover test video https://www.youtube...watch?v=KBMU6l6GsdM
[notexactly, Mar 25 2015]


rcarty, Jan 10 2011

       [21 Quest], it doesn't need to contain explosives, because the enemy gun already contains them. By stopping the projectile, the enemy gun blows itself up. No explosives = cheaper, safer (for you).
I think acid (glass vessel to shatter) or arc-welding (large capacitors) would be the most effective methods of fixing the 'block' into the barrel (I've considered this kind of idea myself, but on a personal, hand-gun stopping level - a thing you can keep in your pocket).
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 10 2011

       There is an advantage to a non explosive approach, as it limits the collateral damage if the image acquisition software messes up, or hits the local plumbing supply warehouse. That way, the pipe simply becomes useles, while the firearm/large bore weapon become dangerous to the person trying to use them.   

       Rather than having a single large unit, I'd go with a smart cluster approach. One UAV carries and directs multiple small beads with minimal guidance and a large self welding capacitor. A 6mm (1/4") steel bead welded to the side of a gun or mortar will stop it from working just as much as a big chunk of something, and be less obvious to the gun crew trying to use it (boosting the self removing crew effect). With sufficiently good aim it will take out small arms as well.
MechE, Jan 11 2011

       Decoy gun barrels would be a cheap countermeasure, wouldn't they?
mouseposture, Jan 11 2011

       Simply firing the weapon without aiming at the incoming ordnance would be a cheap countermeasure, wouldn't it?
rcarty, Jan 11 2011

       Mythbusters "•Sticking your finger in the barrel of a gun as it's firing will cause the gun to blow up and leave you safe: mythbusted. You can get a barrel to balloon slightly, but it won't explode and you will lose your hand."
rcarty, Jan 11 2011

       Your search is as good as mine. But I think it largely depends on the caliber and magnum of the weapon. Sticking your finger in the end of a high calibre weapon (barrel diameter greater than that dimension of your own finger) would be pointless. And attempting to do so to a low calibre weapon where the diameter is less than your finger would also be pointless. If the magnum of the bullet is low there is a good chance of blocking the round with your hand. But if the magnum is high you're probably just going to get shot by the bullet and shrapnel from your own hand. If you're close enough to stick your finger in the barrel, you might as well try to go for the full disarmament instead.
rcarty, Jan 11 2011

       From recent conversation with a guy who makes and fires cannon for film etc., one of the common causes of cannon failure is projectile jamming due to debris in the barrel.   

       I could imagine that it wouldn't take much (e.g. a handful of gravel or other small, hard bits) to cause the projectile to pick up on the inside of the barrel, causing enough damage to disable the gun, or make it too risky to fire.   

       I'm not entirely convinced by the Mythbusters TV programme. Some of their 'experiments' have made dodgey assumptions. Sometimes they carry out a single test to validate a reported event which may have been subject to a number of unknown variables. Should be regarded primarily as entertainment.
Twizz, Jan 11 2011

       Yeah, if you're close enough to stick a finger in, try to push the hand upward instead.   

       There is a difference between a finger and a steel bead though, seeing as bullets are intended to go through finger like objects, not so much steel. At the least, a bead in the barrel will deform/shatter the ordinance causing it to shred or tumble coming out of the weapon, and not hit it's target, also plating more material on the barrel, reducing it's utility. At most, in the case of explosive shells, it will cause premature detonation and destruction of the gun and crew.
MechE, Jan 11 2011

       [Twizz] Mythbusters report that they generally do more trials off screen to get real numbers, where possible. (Not possible when destroying complex apparatus for instance). I'm not saying they are especially rigorous, but given the assumptions are usually based on the "myth" as reported to them, they are at least making an effort.
MechE, Jan 11 2011

       There's no reson to think that a modern barrel would "blow up": distend a little (as mentioned) as the lead bullet expands much more than it should while plowing through your finger. There might be damage to the rest of the mechanism; a revolver might spray damn-hot gas out the back of the barrel onto the shooters hand.   

       Still, I'd rather be the person behind the gun.
FlyingToaster, Jan 11 2011

       Some modern handheld weapons are designed to fire underwater. Not much difference between a finger and a barrel full of water, ie some weapons would not only fire through your finger, but would cycle and be ready to fire again.   

       Anyhoo, as to the idea, there are lots of ceramic based rapid setting epoxies now, that would be essentially impossible to remove from the bore of the artillery/tank weapon without removal and lathing. The small ceramic beads inside would do a very good job of jamming an artillery round.   

       I am absolutely certain that a barrel obstruction in a large artillery piece would either a) cause a blowout of the breech and probably kill the loader, or b) the barrel would burst radially from the grooves. Either way, you've disabled the weapon.   

       ....But it'd be easier to smiply penetrate the top of the machine with a copper EFP travelling at ~4000 m/s, killing everyone inside and destroying the machine, which is exactly what modern anti-armour weapons are doing now.
Custardguts, Jan 12 2011

       //it'd be easier//


The problem with this idea that I have decided to focus on is the issue of counter-measures. You don't need any to defend against this weapon. You just wait until the UAV lines itself up with the end of your large calibre barrel, which it has to do in order to deliver its payload, and then fire. Instantly obliterating the problem.

//bore blocker//

[insert list of names here of people that you thought this could be applied to]
DrBob, Jan 12 2011

       {Linky}, oh, my mistake - should have read the post not just the title
Dub, Jan 12 2011

       //Instantly obliterating the problem// from the point of view of *both* combatants (since the artillery shell is also neutralized). Who comes out ahead? That's determined by whether the bore blocker, or the shells are cheaper. The shell may contain explosive, but has little or no electronics. The bore blocker contains more electronics, but no explosive. If the bore blocker is cheap, it can be used in large numbers to suppress artillery. Assuming you had some reason to suppress it without destroying it.
mouseposture, Jan 13 2011

       I think the described UAV would be a bit too conspicuous. What about an insect, such as a bee, with a tiny payload of something that would fuse to the barrel. The bee could be radio controlled with electrical stimulus to specific body parts for guidance, but you would need a tiny camera also for steering. Or, you could train the bees to search for round cylindrical objects and the payload could detonate (fuse) upon an inductance current when entering the barrel.
saprolite, Jan 13 2011

       Is aluminium used much in military hardware? If so, a fine mist of mercury would start a slow but unstoppable amalgamization reaction.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 14 2011

       While aluminum is heavily used in military hardware, it is not likely to be present in gun barrels or ordinance.
MechE, Jan 14 2011

       No, but I bet it's used in parts of the carriage, hefting lever, charging reciptocator or armament voltick.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 14 2011

       There ya go then.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 14 2011

       I really like this idea. Unfortunately, if the UAV doesn't have any explosives on board, it seems like the simplest countermeasure would be a fairly sturdy metal cap over the barrel that can be opened with a pull string a second before firing the weapon. Heck you could probably design an automatic spring loaded one that would get blown out of the way by the air in front of the projectile.   

       I like the idea of the radio controlled insect doing this. If the project could maintain secrecy, and only use them in situations where it was highly likely for the weapon to be fired before someone might inspect the barrel, it might take quite some time before the enemy realized that they needed to add barrel covers. They'd probably waste a lot of time trying to figure out if they had a bad batch of ammo.
scad mientist, Mar 23 2015

       Then you make a version that welds the barrel cover shut.
MechE, Mar 23 2015

       I think it might be challenging to develop the UAV that can accurately target the barrel and crash- land inside before welding itself to the side. It will be 10x harder to make the new version that can land on the outside of the barrel, identify the seam between the cap and barrel and make a good sturdy weld that won't just tear apart when the weapon fires. It might be used as a ace up the sleeve to win one battle, but as soon as the enemy starts seeing their barrels blowing up again, they will stop firing and retreat. It won't take them long to figure out another workaround. I think the R&D might be better spent elsewhere.
scad mientist, Mar 23 2015

       I had a similar idea specifically for disabling tank cannons, though it would work equally well against artillery. It's basically this on an MKV-style flying machine, so it can orbit the tank as the turret turns, and dodge the tank's shots at it. See [link].   

       Suggestion: Use thermite instead of capacitors or ceramic epoxies. It will produce stronger welds and more barrel damage.   

       Regarding welding the barrel cover shut: It doesn't need to land. Any hovering platform (such as a small helicopter, a bee, or, again, an MKV) equipped with vision could easily deal with that. Artillery rounds generally don't use impact fuzes AFAIK, though, so it being blown open is still a problem.   

       // I think the R&D might be better spent elsewhere. //   

       You're getting paid to post on here?
notexactly, Mar 25 2015


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