Lunar Infantry

How would you equip soldiers fighting a ground war on the moon? Could you just give them M16's and call it a day?

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  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yes, in theory, bullets will work fine in space.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      With no air, and less gravity, a bullet maintains it's momentum for longer and shoots a flatter trajectory. So I think a .22lr is enough. Perhaps a fully automatic weapon so you can simply drown them in volume of shots at range?

      The problem is that no matter what direction you shoot, if the elevation is right, your own bullet will boomerang around the moon and hit you in the back. Super risky using kinetic projectiles on the moon.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        ... Do you know how big the moon is?

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          True but it'll take around 200 minutes for it to orbit
          6,700 mi*5280 ft÷2970 ft/s÷60s

          Moon circumference 6786 miles
          M4 muzzle velocity 2970 feet/second

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Oh good so you only have about three and a half hours to get out of the way. Well until you consider that the moon is rotating on its axis, you would have to intentionally move to where the projectile would eventually land to actually have a nice day in the back, this is not happening.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              also that would be if the moon was perfectly flat and a perfect sphere
              neither of which are true

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Not to mention how porous cheese is, our soldiers would just sink into the moon's surface.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Not memeing but moon dust would be the biggest impediment to semi-automatic firearms for lunar combat; that dust is reportedly 10 times worse than mud at gumming things up

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        True but it'll take around 200 minutes for it to orbit
        6,700 mi*5280 ft÷2970 ft/s÷60s

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Oribital velocity around the moon is around 1.6km/s, while 5.56 has a muzzle velocity around 0.9-1km/s. The bullet would be a lot flatter and go a lot further, but it would still fall before making a full orbit.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          You could get 556 up to orbital velocity
          >no atmospheric pressure plugging the barrel and hampering muzzle velocity
          >smooth bore, no energy wasted making the bullet spin

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            keep in mind that lunar orbital velocity at the surface is 1 km/s (like... 4000 fps? idk)

            I'm not sure if just removing the rifling and air would make standard 5.56 hit 1km/s. Maybe with a very long barrel, but certainly with a hotter propellant and/or lengthened cartridge.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              it won't, you'd need big cartridge

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Well are we going to upgrade the space suits to something more than a flimsy cloth pressure suit? If not just give them .22

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    less heat less recoil any hit might just pop the suit.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Things overheat MORE in the vacuum of space rather than in an atmosphere.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        how big of a radiator would you need to put on an AR to be able to fire at ~30 rounds per minute?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Ths one right here.
      Airgun-style pressurized gas (or even spring-loaded) weapons with sharp needle like projectiles would be very nasty for anyone who needs a sealed vac-suit.

      The lack of air resistance and lower gravity would make them much more deadly on longer ranges.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        why is the bottom of the magazine not as wide as the top?

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          my guess is it holds the spring

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Phase plasma rifle (40 watt range)

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Considering the lower gravity, I think armor capable of stopping 20mm autocannons would not even require an exoskeleton.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      the mass is still there even if it feels lighter. apparently astronauts struggle with their own body/suit weight because they "feel" lighter, but the same amount of force is required to do anything. there was a cool video from Smarter Every Day talking about the challenges of walking on the moon.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      inertia kills any manoeuvrability and less gravity means less traction while keeping inertia the same - think trying to stop while running down hill wearing stilts - and more mas you have longer they become...

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    With no air, and less gravity, a bullet maintains it's momentum for longer and shoots a flatter trajectory. So I think a .22lr is enough. Perhaps a fully automatic weapon so you can simply drown them in volume of shots at range?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      keep in mind that lunar orbital velocity at the surface is 1 km/s (like... 4000 fps? idk)

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You would need to find a way of keeping the guns cool. Barrel lifetime would be significantly shorter, because of the amount of heat warping they'd go through. Ammo cookoff would be a real possibility. Vaccum is an excellent insulator, and so any heat produced in the gun will stay in the gun. That's not even considering the heat that the sun constantly dumps into the gun.
    This is why space suits are refregirated, it's the only way to keep astronauts from being cooked alive by their own body heat.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Water cooled guns are back baby

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Good luck keeping the water from freezing and/or boiling away in the 300 degree temperature shift in the shade

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Water cooled guns are back baby

          A liquid helium jacket would actually be ideal IMO. Luna has a 400C temperature swing between PSR and direct sunlight and AFAIK helium is the best coolant for dealing with that kind of an ambient temperature shift.

          Not memeing but moon dust would be the biggest impediment to semi-automatic firearms for lunar combat; that dust is reportedly 10 times worse than mud at gumming things up

          It is really bad (ground up metal basically) but it doesn't get kicked up really.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            How does surrounding the barrel with 400C helium keep it cool?

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Anon... the AMBIENT temperature is high, hence the coolant

              It won't get kicked up unless you're diving for cover during a gunfight. The whole situation is too impractical for anything except
              1. a completely sealed mechanism
              2. A single shot breech/muzzle loader
              I think the second is more likely, as there are fewer points of failure

              Yeah, see more proof that the M4 is never going away. Sealed action.

              >It is really bad (ground up metal basically)
              The moon isn't made of metal. It's just ground up rocks.

              It is silicon, iron, aluminum, and titanium all bonded to oxygen.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                How do you cool the coolant once it reaches ambient temp?

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Well it would have to radiate, same as anything else. A coolant buys you time but it is not without compromise. Back when machine guns used water jackets they had to deal with the water getting hotter than the ambient temperature, if you want to think about it that way. The issue on the moon is that there are temperature extremes and you need a fluid that is capable of cooling and incapable of freezing solid. There aren't a lot of good options tbh

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Hook the space marines catheter up to the coolant jacket on the barrel. When his gun overheats he can relieve himself and the deliciously cool piss with sooth the barrel before evaporating and fricking off into space.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It won't get kicked up unless you're diving for cover during a gunfight. The whole situation is too impractical for anything except
            1. a completely sealed mechanism
            2. A single shot breech/muzzle loader
            I think the second is more likely, as there are fewer points of failure

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >It is really bad (ground up metal basically)
            The moon isn't made of metal. It's just ground up rocks.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Early moon infantry with our level of tech:
    Gyrojets in small calibers
    Mini-rocket or air-propelled AI-operated explosive drones that target enemies without friendly transponder.
    >essentially omnidirectional smart grenades
    Lvl III or IIIa padding/reinforcement to space suits, maybe.
    Futuristic lunar infantry will probably have self-repairing suits, so bigger calibers would probably be necessary to ensure mission kills

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I wonder if this is an application where the man portable rail/coil guns that are coming out would be useful. On Earth they're just novelty range toys, but in lower gravity where carry weight is less of an issue, the weapon could be larger and more powerful with a bigger battery pack.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'd give them dartguns because elastic bands and needles are much more versatile than bullets and cleaning kits

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Infantry-infantry engagements on the Moon won't really exist.

    will be no Fog of War.
    In the early days of Moon colonization, a Moon variant of Starlink will be deployed to the Moon, and it will have a constellation of hundreds or thousands of satellites in orbit. Each of these satellites will have many sensors and relays, so a real-time tracking of everything on the surface of the Moon is likely. Because there are so many satellites, the system is robust to losing a few with no system degradation. Also, with the way the orbits would be set up (assuming orbits of 100km, the satellites are going ~1.633 km/s and completing orbits in 117.8 minutes, plus precession) you won't see the same satellite for a long time. Also, because there's no atmosphere on the moon, all adversary rockets and satellites can be trivially tracked because altering course by burning propellant is quite easy to see. And there is no stealth in space, so it's not possible to ever really hide.

    !
    Ok, so hypothetically the adversary has a bunch of infantry that leave their habitat and trek across the Moon surface (on foot and/or in rovers) and head towards your base. You would first warn the troops and their leaders. If they do cross your border, you can attack them with missiles. They cannot hide from the missiles. And because there's so little gravity and no atmosphere, missiles are hugely better than on Earth. The size of lunar ballistic missiles will be tiny. Like MANPADS tiny. Using some basic assumptions on a Javelin, if you shoot it at 45 degrees on the Moon it will go 2500km and hit in 30 minutes. Obviously with lunar-optimized systems these could be improved. The Javelin has about a 1kg explosive payload, which means a lethal radius of ~100m on Earth. On the Moon, the lethal radius of 1kg warhead would be far bigger (no atmosphere to slow down the splinters), and the spacesuits would be far more fragile.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >1kg explosive payload = ~100 meter lethal radius
      The rest of the reasoning here is sound but you're not going to get away with that kind of abstraction on /k/. Associating a 100 meter frag radius with a Javelin calls your other math and assumptions into question.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I mean *maybe* if you put tiny tungsten frag in it, and the target was unarmored space suits. I see the low lunar gravity making heavy-ass armor standard issue for moon troops, though.

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Tie a really long wire between two drones and have them fly at the other infantry

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Honestly, just .22s and proximity handgrenades. That's all you need.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'd give them moonboots with grenade proof shock absorbent plates. They'd literally be able to sue their grenades to rocket jump like in Quake, utilizing the same principles as the Project Orion propulsion system.

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Wouldn’t you be able to shoot artillery thousands of km on the moon with good accuracy as long as you know the elevation?

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Large caliber mag-fed semi-auto recoilless rifles with beehive ammunition and airburst munitions

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      For me it's 10mm caseless AP explosive tip

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    get some NASA gun lube and you're good to go I guess. lunar dust and regolith is gonna do a number on them anyway.

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Return to medieval style melee warfare

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  19. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Reminder that the soviets installed autocannons in their space station, test fired it unmanned though.

  20. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >ctrl F vacuum welding
    >no results
    Metals will spontaneously weld together in a vacuum because there's no oxygen to form a barrier over the reactive surface of metal.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      as long as you keep them lubricated they'll be fine
      grease/oil that works in vacuum is the hard part here

  21. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >not using shotguns
    cringe and unrealistic
    using bullets is actual moron mode
    if you puncture their pressurised suit then they die
    its not like they are wearing armour

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      space suits have micrometeoriod protection, they're definitely immune to birdshot and maybe to pistol caliber/buckshot

  22. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What kind of melee weapon would you go with? I'm thinking a ballistic knife, but one with a secondary folding blade incase you still need a knife after shooting it.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      absolutely vicious attack

      >RIP POCKOCMOC heat shield

  23. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'd make sure to have someone who could speak Russian
    And were not panicky trigger happy little b***hes

  24. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

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