The case for the improved laser

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dragoner
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The case for the improved laser

Post by dragoner » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:17 pm

Originally posted by Victor Raymond in the Classic Traveller group on MeWe


The case for the improved laser rifle and laser carbine - here goes:
Laser carbines are introduced at TL8, weighing 4kg with a 3kg power pack providing 50 shots. Laser rifles are TL9, weighting 5kg with a 4kg power pack providing 100 shots. I want to build a case for making these smaller/lighter as tech level increases.

In JTAS #2, Loren Wiseman made a case for how to build a laser pistol. In his editorial, he notes: "We choose to make no change to the power pack (but, we could, if desired, make it weigh less, and radically reduce the number of charges it held, or make available more compact PP's at higher tech levels)." So there's clearly a precedent for this. Supporting evidence can be found when looking at vacc suits, which stay the same price, but drop 2kg per tech level: "Vacc suits are relatively bulky, and weigh 10 kilograms; the weight counts against personal weight allowances. This weight is reduced 2 kilograms per tech level as the suit gains increasing sophistication. For example, a TL 10 vacc suit weighs 6 kilograms, and a vacc suit at tech level 13+ adds no apparent weight." (emphasis added)

Let's be conservative, and reduce both weapon weight and power pack weight by 500 grams per tech level. We may also reduce the number of shots, as we reduce the size of the power pack. At TL12, we get the following: Laser carbine, 2kg, with a 1kg power pack, assuming 50 shots. At TL13: Laser rifle, 3kg, with a 1.5 kg power pack, assuming 100 shots.

We can cut the power pack size by 1/2, and assume half the number of shots. That would mean a laser carbine power pack of 500 grams, and 25 shots, and a laser rifle power pack of 750 grams, and 50 shots. The power pack size and weight are small enough to be comparable to slugthrower magazines, so we don't need the cable and backpack arrangement, we can just treat the power pack as an accessory integral to the weapon.

Just to double check, the laser carbine "loaded" would be 2kg + 500 grams, or 2.5kg. That's comparable to an M1 carbine in WWII U.S. Army usage, which is about 2.6kg loaded. The laser rifle would be 3kg + 750 grams, or 3.75kg. That's comparable to an M4 carbine in modern U.S. Army usage, which is about 3.4kg with a 30 round magazine. So this would make sense from the perspective of weight. While the length of the weapon would likely remain the same, the overall "bulk" of the weapon would be reduced.

I suspect that this thought exercise has been done before, but I thought I would share it as a modest addition to CT's weapons locker. Comments always appreciated.

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Re: The case for the improved laser

Post by dragoner » Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:51 pm

First laser pistol I remember was designed in a Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society. I like the way Victor Raymond has laid these out, and I thought I made an auto-laser carbine, but I must be thinking of some other game.

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