Do Zombie Survivors need to Reload?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by hencook, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. hencook

    hencook New Member

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    Hi. I'm writing a fiction where the characters would need to reload cartridges in a survival type setting. I am investigating the possibility of including reloading into the story, but only if it makes sense to.

    The setting- In the near future, aliens come to Earth and save us from global warming. The aliens are nice enough to give willing humans a ride across the galaxy. The aliens do not like our history with nukes, so they decide to not let us use their laser guns, or any other advanced technology that they deem to be dangerous, except for their space stations. We are allowed to carry conventional firearms. Our humans command a space station into the far reaches of space. A zombie like alien infestation overruns the station. During the day, the survivors are at peace, but only have access to only parts of the station. During the night, the aliens become active.

    The question I am mainly asking is whether or not reloading would fit into this setting.

    Would reloading to make rounds more accurate be plausible?
    Would reloading to conserve ammo be plausible, or would we be more likely to just find unused factory cartridges?
    Would reloading to create merely functional ammo be plausible if you had to jury rig some of the bullet parts?
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    It would make some sense but what happens when a stray bullet goes through the skin/outer wall of the space station??

    It would take a lot of fore thought to have taken reloading supplies to a space station!

    Even if it is a fictional story, if you start throwing "jury rigged" bullets together, you would quickly lose several of your characters when their guns explode and you would surely lose a lot of readers, if they reload.
  3. hencook

    hencook New Member

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    This is not a normal NASA space station. It is a very large station, complete with a mall (complete with a hunting supply store), and one of the character's personal effects can be reloading equipment. Given the circumstances, it's probably okay to fire and not worry about decompression, if the station is many miles long. In fact, the standard issue pistol on board the station is actually a gun that fires subsonic taser rounds... but the rounds don't do much against aliens.

    Also... it's a futuristic space station. Those things get attacked by space raiders with missiles. There is a LOT of protection against decompression, as the hull is extremely thick. Bullets? Alien Swarm Missiles.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  4. lawdawg

    lawdawg Member

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    "Would reloading to make rounds more accurate be plausible?"

    Reloaders do regularly make more accurate ammo than factory simply because you can tailor-make rounds for your particular firearm as opposed to factory "one-size-fits-all" ammo.

    "Would reloading to conserve ammo be plausible, or would we be more likely to just find unused factory cartridges?"

    I think that would depend upon the resources available to the humans. If the resources are there to make powder, primers, brass (or similar) cases, and projectiles, then reloading would be just as ecomomical and easy as on earth.

    "Would reloading to create merely functional ammo be plausible if you had to jury rig some of the bullet parts?"

    "Bullet parts" (components) are VERY important. There are numerous types of powders available, for instance, and each one has its own unique characteristics that make it really good for one type cartridge, but very bad and dangerous for another. The type metal used in the projectile can also adversely affect accuracy and functionality of a particular cartridge.

    Be very careful in what you write about and be sure to know your subject well. As you well know, the reader has to fully trust the author in order to enjoy the story. I once read a book (I forget the title and author, which says a lot), which was a crime-mystery. About halfway through the book, the main character was described as having a Glock. On the very next page, the same gun was described as a revolver. I have never heard of or seen a Glock revolver and am pretty sure they do not exist. I could not get past this one discrepency, and ended up putting the book down without finishing it. It would have been just as easy for the author to describe the gun without the brand, since he obviously did not know what he was writing about, and I could have continued reading the story. So know your subject well. If your characters reload, then do not describe the process, unless you are familiar with the reloading process.


    -
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  5. hencook

    hencook New Member

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    That is exactly why I am here. I am asking if the subject applies to the setting first to consider if the subject needs researching.
  6. lawdawg

    lawdawg Member

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    Of course, I didn't mean that to look like you did not know what you are doing. And BTW, welcome to the forum, I think you will find the people here informative, but not in an arrogant way. Hope I didn't come off that way.
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Curious how the reloading gear and components got on the space station to begin with. If the Aliens picked me up I don't think I would bring my whole reloading set up.
  8. shorter260513

    shorter260513 New Member

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    I think reloading would be a must ammo would become scarce but spent casing would be everywhere most people dont even know what they are looking at in the reloading section so if its not a ready made bullet ready to go it would probably be left as trash
  9. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    take the spent casings to send in part trade back to earth or wherever for more ammo. reloading is not feasable in space, besides what besides the zombies would you be hunting in space? next question..would ammunition fire in a complete vacuum (as in space)? the ammo needs Oxygen to ignite and burn the powder..right?
  10. shorter260513

    shorter260513 New Member

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    if the round is airtight why not the air is sealed in with the powder should be the same as firing underwater it would be a cool experement for someone to try
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  11. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    No, the burning powder produces it's own oxygen.

    That's why guns will fire underwater.

    As to the "reloading" thing, and "reloading equipment would not be in space", the guerrillas, in the Philippines, reloaded their ammo. No reloading equipment. No components. They used the powder salvaged from Naval mines. They reused primers by beating the firing pin dent out, and using the white tip from matches as the priming compound. They used brass curtain rod, cut to length and filed to fit, for bullets.

    It's amazing what you can do when you have to.
  12. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i'm guessing reloading for accuracy is less of an issue.. but rather just reloading to HAVE ammo.

    lets face it. in space.. you have only what you brought with you.. or what comes in a supply ship. once 'factory loaded ammo' is exhausted.. you must make your own thru reloading.. or improvise.

    since reload components like primers will be the main issue.. once those are depleated.. you are limited in what you can do.

    projectiles could likely be contrived. even a powder substitute (BP ) could be had... brass can be re-used a number of times..

    I'd guess brass and primers will deplete first.. having a barrelled action and projectiles and black powder might open up the possibility for primitive conversions to some sort of flintlock type weapon i guess.
  13. hencook

    hencook New Member

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    Ah, that solves it pretty well then. Other than a few accidental hands blowing off, IT CAN BE DONE! But our spacefarers have their hands on much more materials... can it be done better?

    -The bullet can be made with scrap metal, by melting it down using an office grade incinerator. From paperwork to those oh so top-secret prototype kids toys, I'm sure you wouldn't want your competitors to get their hands on one of your prototypes. So that's why we have an industrial incinerator. Now as for casting the bullet... I'm open to any creative ideas on that, because I'm drawing a blank.

    -The casing will be reused cases of course.

    -The propellant could be makeup powder, as I'm sure that in a Dystopian Future, nobody would care about safety regulations. Makeup powder isn't very creative though, even if it is humorous. I guess we could just use fertilizer.

    -The phosphorus match head sounds like an excellent idea to keep...

    Might I remind you all... The job of a military adviser is to not just find holes in the writer/director's technical decisions, but to try to imagine of ways, or compromises, to suit the vision of the writer/director. As far as you are all concerned, you are all my military advisers, working for free, of course. :D
  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    lead or other soft metal could be melted and cast using ez to make forms. it.. charred wood with hoels drilled in. crude sand or ceramic / clay casts. just pull a coule original slugs to make the initial casting mould.

    might not be a superior accurate projectile.. but it will fire and at a few feet or yards would do the trick..

    soundguy
  15. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Good post Alpo.
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