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Author Topic: Machine Guns and the Scythe Principle  (Read 7222 times)
DubstepDisciple
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« on: June 18, 2011, 10:53:54 pm »

Now I heard about this idea awhile back and I am not sure if I used the right terminology for it but many different sources say that modern weapons lack the accuracy of semi-automatic weaponry. The Scythe Principle essentially is mounting a machine gun or automatic weapon at a level that is at about neck level for zeds. From there you just have to pivot horizontally and you essentially "cut" off the heads of approaching zeds in large horizontal swathes. Now I am not saying this is a fullproof tactic but I could see somebody sitting in the cab of a truck with the door up and the barrel of a machine gun braced against it (perhaps a bipod would be attached on the bottom and you can then brace it against the front of the door while pulling back against the weapon for increased accuracy) unloading and doing quite a bit of damage.

Even if the zeds don't die outright I think its a more efficient use of automatics in a zombie scenario. Again assuming you somehow have access to this kind of hardware.
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 12:21:04 am »

Nah, it's pretty much a pointless waste of ammunition for several reasons:

1. Bullets aren't very good at decapitating.
2. People, and therefore zeds, are many different sizes. There is no definite "neck-level".
3. Unless you hit a zed clear in the center of mass, which would be lower than neck-level anyhow, you won't do much to stop them. The bullets would just go through.
4. You'd run out of bullets extremely fast. Within 15-30 seconds even with the most high-capacity guns.
5. You'll wear out your barrel.
and 6. Anything short of a direct mount to either a vehicle or the ground and that thing is gonna buck like a mule.

So yeah, if you're close enough to do that, you'd be better off just switching your gun to semi-auto and choosing your shots.

On the other hand, if it's rage zombies, like in 28 Days Later, this might work just because they can be killed by non-headshots.
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 03:44:52 am »

Like Any said, I would only do that in a situation like L4D or 28 days later, because they don't have to take a bullet to the brain to die.
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 05:04:59 am »

i think that in the case of zombie apocalypse geneva convention would be suspended. And using dum dum bullets could be more effective than standard ones. even if they dont decapitate them, ripping large holes in them is going to decrease the zombies uhh fighting ability.
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 05:43:54 am »

i think that in the case of zombie apocalypse geneva convention would be suspended. And using dum dum bullets could be more effective than standard ones. even if they dont decapitate them, ripping large holes in them is going to decrease the zombies uhh fighting ability.

Standard army ammunition isn't only intended to injure more than kill for humanitarian reasons, but mostly for efficiency. The wounded cost more than the dead. Kill a soldier, you take out one. Wound a soldier, you take out three. (This is the approximate proportion of manpower you take away from combat to run nurseries and evacuate the wounded.) After all normal wars don't go on until one side is exterminated, but until it had enough and surrenders, so to the other side "dead" bring no advantage that "out of combat" doesn't already have.
Now when the objective is killing, the army certainly does have the proper ammunition, however I don't know in what amounts, given that it's not what is primarily used in combat. They may have to use them sparingly, either to defend sensitive positions, or by giving them to good shoots who will use them to their best.


As to automatic weapons... remember that bullets are not a continuous stream. When you spray around, you get many scattered hits (and even more misses), not a solid line of death. If a zombie is running straight at and you have a split second to react, shooting in full auto mode is as good as any reaction, but given a choice, aiming is a much better idea.
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 05:51:08 am »

I dunno about Dodom. Have you seen how effective miniguns are. That is literally a line of bullets. Granted it does use a ridiculous amount of ammunition but if you had a minigun at a gate and a buttload of ammo you would be able to scythe through them with no problem.

Realistically the only reason why I wouldn't take a machine gun in the field is the weight and the sound. If you have ever been near one firing it is bloody loud.
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 06:21:45 am »

@Dodom- i agree with you, but i dont really see the point in your post:P
Army uses standard rounds because
a) they are cheap
b) geneva and other conventions dont forbid them.
aaaand... army has stocks of illegal to use ammo, is that what you are saying?

and on  a side note- dum dum rounds can be made fairly easy by anyone who has standard fmj rounds, just make two criscrossing cuts on the tip of the bullet, at least thats how they did it in ww1.
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 06:54:42 am »

I don't claim any expertise on weaponry, but the ammunition thing came from an article I've read in a hunting magasine explaining what made a hunting rifle a hunting rifle. Essentially, it's made to kill; the projectile must lose most or all its velocity within its target so the energy is all converted into damage and the target dies as quickly as possible. You wouldn't want to shoot a moose with a single shot from an army M-16 - the moose would kill you.
So I wasn't even thinking about illegal stuff there. I don't actually know whether any standard hunting ammunition would be useable in any standard military guns, but if it does, then I'd bet the army does have some.

(And I'm certain that every army has a few illegal tricks up their sleeves, just in case.)
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 12:20:37 pm »

Pictured here are .30 claiber bullets, not the .223 that you'd find in an M-16, but it is a standard military caliber and everything is essentially the same.   The first one pictured is a standard military 145 grain (weight) Full metal jacketed bullet.  The second is a 168 grain SST bullet (nylon tipped and made for hunting) and the last is a 168 grain hollow tipped match bullet (made for target shooting).   The military one is a little lighter and by far the cheapest to produce.   The reason it is lighter is because it doesn't have the added "Boat Tail" at the bottom.  The tapered bottom makes it more accurate at longer ranges.   The hunting one has that tip to help the bullet expand when it hits something, it delivers almost all of it's energy to the target where the military one is made to penetrate light materials like wood, dirt, and even cider blocks.  The target one has a holllow tip not for expansion, but because it creates a pocket of air in the front that ballistically is better than a tip.  To my knowledge they don't make "dum-dum" or hollow point bullets for rifles much, it's mostly for defensive pistol bullets.  The ballistics of larger hollow tips is bad and military rifles are meant to be shot out to 100's of yards at least.  As for being able to use different types of bullets rifles are much less finicky about bullet shape than pistols.  Many pistols will only take certain shaped bullets and jam when using other shapes.



Machine guns are good at what they were designed for, firing a lot of bullets into a large area.  Not good for head shots, but blowing off limbs and snapping spines will slow down a zombie horde.
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 03:16:02 pm »

Machine guns are good at what they were designed for, firing a lot of bullets into a large area.  Not good for head shots, but blowing off limbs and snapping spines will slow down a zombie horde.
and they would be even better at that using dum dum bullets, right?
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 03:25:42 pm »

If you really wanted to get them at neck level, why not set up like, wire to cut their throats? That'd be cool...

Also Sok, what are dum dum bullets? I feel like you're just waiting for somebody to ask that. 
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2011, 03:46:56 pm »

haha actually no, but i had no idea on how to respond to dodoms post, but ive felt that she responded to mine:D
also- dum dum bullets are basically any kind that rapidly expands after hitting the flesh. they can be standard fmj rounds with cuts on the jacket, can be filled with mercury, be explosive... you get the idea.

also, wikipedia says that its the hague convention that prohibited the use of these bullets, not geneva as i said previously:P
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Ricky S
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 02:31:45 am »

haha actually no, but i had no idea on how to respond to dodoms post, but ive felt that she responded to mine:D
also- dum dum bullets are basically any kind that rapidly expands after hitting the flesh. they can be standard fmj rounds with cuts on the jacket, can be filled with mercury, be explosive... you get the idea.

also, wikipedia says that its the hague convention that prohibited the use of these bullets, not geneva as i said previously:P

Ah the Hague. I have been there.

Well once the dead rise up the international laws and treaties will mean very little.
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 03:26:37 am »

i dont think that these conventions apply to zombies. they only apply to soldiers in the time of war, i think, and you cant declare a war on zombies (in a literal way, not metaphorical:P)
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 05:03:54 pm »

If you really wanted to get them at neck level, why not set up like, wire to cut their throats? That'd be cool...

They'd probably just fall over rather than get decapitated to be honest.
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