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zero gravity sharpshooting (on a Reduced gravity aircraft )

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(+4, -3)
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While there are already normal services which lets you experience zero gravity on a "Reduced gravity aircraft" (Google it), there is none that I heard of, which would allow you to fire a bullet in zero gravity.

What this aircraft is, is a standard "Boeing 727", but outfitted with an internal 'bulletproof' room.

The idea is that you are allowed to try and shoot a target with a tethered rifle/pistol in zero gravity.

However for safety reasons, the rifle must be tethered by 6 wires (3 wires in front of gun, 3 wires in the back of the gun, that are connected to a 'seatbelt-like' mechanism on the wall. These wires serves to ensure that even if the gun is released, it will only 'point downrange'.

mofosyne, Apr 29 2012

reduced gravity aircraft http://en.wikipedia...ed_gravity_aircraft
remember that event in COD4:MW3 where you had to save the russian president? [mofosyne, Apr 29 2012]

Speaking of unique marksmanship competitions... Bonsai_20Bullets
[normzone, Apr 30 2012]


       Erm, as much as I hate to mention it..but I think it unlikely that any commercial flight would approve of a great deal of gunfire on their planes.   

       But, single interest groups etc..do I detect the motto of NRA airways, "you can take the joystick from me when you prise it from my cold, dead hands"..it does have something of a ring to it...
not_morrison_rm, Apr 29 2012

       We need some "why" in here. Why not, for instance, an aircraft which allows you knit or to drink a milkshake in simulated zero G?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 29 2012

       as for why? maybe some people want to know what it is like to be a killer astronaut. Might come in handy in the future?
mofosyne, Apr 29 2012

       //some people want to know what it is like to be a killer astronaut//   

       It'd look nice on the cv/resume... where do I sign?   

       //save the russian president?// Why would anyone actually want to do that?   

       Luckily nobody has mentioned what the gun juggler would do under such gravitic circumstances..
not_morrison_rm, Apr 29 2012

       Interesting... Gravity is one if the (many) things that makes sharpshooting a challenge. Removing it might make it even more of a challenge for experienced shooters, but only at long ranges. Even in a 747, shooting down the entire length of the cabin, bullet-drop would not be a significant factor with a target rifle or handgun. Maybe with a snub-nose .38 or some other notoriously inaccurate gun, but gravity doesn't have a great deal to do with that, either.   

       Hmm... If you could make an airplane 500 yards long that could fly a parabolic course, it might draw my aim off by an inch or so until I learned to compensate; let's say ten shots at most. Somebody who's not an expert shooter won't have learned to deal with all of the factors involved at those ranges anyway, so...   

       Interesting, but... I dunno.
Alterother, Apr 30 2012

       Yeah, but if we're going to make an airplane 500 yards long, why stop there? Let's make an airplane 5,000 yards long ;-)   

       The idea would make for some interesting additions to the code duello rules - " The party of the first part, having missed his shot and suffered richochet damage, may..."
normzone, Apr 30 2012

       True, zero-g shooting would be the ultimate in long- distance precision riflery. Actually, you wouldn't even have to use rifles. In a middle-orbit space station shooting range, a smoothbore would be more accurate because less resistance would be put on the bullet as it passed down the barrel.   

       This would be much better if conducted in space rather than on an aircraft. In a zero-g vacuum, firing from some sort of relatively massive shooting platform, competitions could be held at 5-10,000 yard ranges, and the best shooters would consistently produce incredibly tight groupings. It would become a discipline in its own right, with fundamentals entirely foreign to Earthbound marksmanship. The guns wouldn't even be firearms--more likely airguns or handheld railguns.   

       This entire thing could be easily simulated on the ground using trick guns that emulate the recoil of firing a round but actually just paint the target with a precisely-timed laser.
Alterother, Apr 30 2012

       //In a middle-orbit space station shooting range, a smoothbore would be more accurate // huh ?
FlyingToaster, Apr 30 2012

       //The guns wouldn't even be firearms--more likely airguns or handheld railguns.// How about the 5000 yard peashooter?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 30 2012

       //because less resistance would be put on the bullet// Not following what you're getting at. From the point of view of internal ballistics, a .30 caliber bullet weighs upwards of 300 pounds (over 10,000 gravities acceleration, force exerted along the axis of the barrel); the cross-barrel force of gravity, or lack thereof, will be (to 4 significant digits) non-existant.   

       I think the major problem here is the idea that a 727 could fly a significant distance with no flight path deviations, while intentionally correcting the flight path to follow a theoretical "no external forces" path. You'd really need to fire, and then get the aircraft out of the picture. Of course, that just means shooting out from inside the aircraft, and it seems that has been Baked To A Fare-Thee Well.   

       Now, if you were in a situation where you were not locally simulating, but actually experiencing "no external forces" (orbital or deep-space), and doing so in a vacuum environment, then that's a different colony of brickbats.
lurch, Apr 30 2012

       but... tethering the gun takes all of the fun out of dealing with the re-coil.   

       Re: orbital sharpshooting, smoothbore, etc.:   

       Rifling spins the bullet to stabilize its trajectory as it is subjected to interference by various forces; air resistance, gravity, wind velocity, etc. But in order for the bullet to be engaged by the lands, it must be forced through a barrel that is slightly smaller than the bullet's original diameter, which means that there is some additional kinetic interaction between the bullet and the rifled barrel that affects the final trajectory of the bullet in several boring, technical ways--basically, barrel squeezes bullet, bullet pushes back. This interaction is inherently accounted for in the design of both gun and bullet.   

       However, in the absence of these extraneous forces, the bullet does not need to spin. A smoothbore barrel imparts far less resistance upon the bullet, as its inside dia. needs only match the bullet's dia. closely enough to make a seal. Thus, there is less kinetic interaction between the two.   

       Examine the main guns used on modern battle tanks: some use traditional rifles in the 70-90mm range, firing projectiles that directly engage the lands inside the barrel, while others use smoothbore cannons of up to 120mm which fire sabot rounds containing self-stabilizing munitions. The smoothbores produce higher muzzle velocity with relatively lower recoil.   

       In essence, I was extrapolating on my 'outer-space sharpshooting' tangent by saying that, in such an environment, rifles would be unnecessary and that competitive shooters would quickly move to very low- caliber extreme-velocity smoothbores.   

       Sorry, all of my annos on this post have been sort of stream-of-thought affairs.
Alterother, Apr 30 2012

       OK, that makes sense.   

       In fact, since you (& your shooting gear) and the target would both be absorbing energy from each shot, this could make things very interesting - if the target is not physically attached to the same structure which bears the shooter & shooting gear, then there would be a change in relative motions for each shot.   

       So... maybe you drop off an object from the ISS, then get 5 shots to deorbit the target into Kazakhstan.
lurch, Apr 30 2012

       I thought the reason tank guns were smooth bore was to allow them to fire shaped-charge rounds - presumably, the jet is disrupted if the round is spun (8th?)
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 01 2012

       Shaped-charge rounds such as HEAPs are indeed fired from smoothbores, but they are usually sabot rounds just like the kinetic penetrators. HEAP rounds are also fired from rifled cannons; I don't think spin has any bearing on the impact effects, but I'll happily defer to [8th] if I'm wrong about that.   

       Shaped-charge rockets such as RPGs or the WWII Panzerfaust spin in flight, although not as fast as a rifle round.
Alterother, May 01 2012

       From what I've read, centripugal forces indeed do affect the jet from a shaped charge. There's a lot more at play here - indeed apfsds projectiles even have a level of roll-stabilisation, but not in the 100krpm's range of a regular bullet.   

       There are both rifled and smoothbore MBT cannons. Both can shoot both APFSDS, HESH and HEAT rounds, using tricky things like freespinning driving bands, etc.   

       In theory, in a vacuum you'd have little reason to spin a projectile, given the overriding factor in atmospheric external ballistics is aerodynamics, and most of the reasons for spin-stabilising a projectile are to resist destabilisation due to aerodynamic forces. There are some terminal ballistic advantages to having rifled projectiles, largely for increased penetration.   

       Anyhoo, as to the idea - I wonder if an arbitrarily large aircraft can maintain zero g's across it's entire length? Thinking about the fact that it must pitch throughout the parabolic trajectory - there will be forces acting on the front and back of the aircraft due to it's pitch change that will feel like +ve or -ve gees to an occupant.   

       The other way to do it is to drop a long horizontal tube and so there is no rotation/translation other than vertical. Problem here is that due to air resistance the tube won't accelerate at 1 g, and so an occupant still feels support through the floor - at an increasing rate as velocity increases and air resistance increases.   

       Dammit, let's just do this at a lagrange point, just to keep it simple.
Custardguts, May 02 2012


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