I've proposed several novel weapons on the Scrapboard, and I thought it might be useful to show these would be used by a force, so I wrote the guide below, in the style of similar guides on various Role-Playing Game pages. West-Force was a sort of joke between myself and a friend, which was used as a hypothetical unit to illustrate how equipment would fit into a force structure.
Dragon .45 The Dragon is the standard duty wear handgun of West-force, and is noted for its accuracy, stopping power and reliability. It is capable of firing both .45ACP and .45 Super ammunition. Standard model has a double column magazine, but there are also narrower frames that take a single column mag and are suitable for smaller handed personnel or those that need a more concealable weapon. A long barrelled version of the Dragon is available for long range work and is favoured by mounted units as a saddle pistol.
Wyvern .45 The Wyvern is a Dragon fitted with a shorter barrel and is more suited to concealed wear. Often this model is fitted with a frame with a shorter grip, but the weapons can still take the full sized magazines of the Dragon.
Hydra Hydra is a short barrelled small framed revolver. It is a useful weapon because it is easy to carry and fire from a pocket. This makes it a very useful backup weapon. It is usually loaded with a heavy .38 spl round but can also be loaded with .357mag, 9mm Luger, .380 and 9x18mm Makarov rounds.
A new variant, the Hydra Ten is chambered for 10mm and .40 S&W rounds.
Velata The 9x18mm Velata is available on small scale issue for when a compact weapon with a larger capacity than the Hydra is wanted. The Velata is usually carried with a 10 rd magazine and with extended 15 or 20 rd capacity magazines as reloads. The low muzzle velocity and muzzle blast of the Velata make it a good weapon to use with a suppressor.
CK The CK is a manual action pistol for long range suppressed precision shooting. It uses the .300 Whisper round and has many parts in common with the Whisperlite SMG. The CK is mainly used by special forces and covert units and can be fitted with a shoulder stock.
AMP The AMP is a long barrelled large frame revolver using the 6mm MIKE round. It is use as a specialised anti-personnel and anti-material pistol and is mainly used by special units.
Sub-machine guns and Carbines.
.45 Machine Pistol The .45 MP resembles the Ingram MAC 10 but uses a gas delayed blowback mechanism to lower its rate of fire. Magazines insert into the pistol grip and the weapon can take the same magazines as the double column Dragons. The MP is mainly issued to AFV crews for local defence but many infantry squads have acquired one or two for use when inspecting confined spaces. The .45 MP can be suppressed and the suppressor makes a useful forward grip.
M6 Carbine. The M6 is a light and handy weapon chambered for the 6mm MIKE round. It has a folding stock, a barrel of about 14 and a combat weight of around 5½lb. The M6 is a Reduced Power Assault Rifle and is used as an alternative to the 6.5mm assault rifle in situations where ranges are unlikely to exceed 250m. Much larger quantities of M6 ammunition can be carried, and the round's flat trajectory and low recoil make it very effective under such conditions, even on fully automatic. The stock is sometimes removed by vehicle crews, and heavy barreled support versions may be encountered. 6mm MIKE weapons are highly suited to police use.
MagSub. MagSubs are compact assault rifle type weapons chambered to use the powerful .45 Win Mag round. MagSubs are often suppressed and are mainly used by covert units, special forces and OP teams. Fitted with appropriate sights the MagSub can be used to snipe at targets within 200m. It is also used for Close Quarter Battle and has superseeded most SMGs in this role.
Stalker SMG. This weapon is closely based on the Silenced version of the British L34 Sterling SMG but has several components in common with other Westforce weapons and is .45 ACP calibre. The choice of the latter round not only makes the weapon more effective but easier to silence since the round is already subsonic. This allows the weapon to have a more compact silencer. The Stalker is easily distinguised from the L34 Sterling by having a webbing gaiter as the foregrip rather than a ventrally mounted wooden grip. The side-mounted magazine makes the weapon very handy in crampted conditions such as concealed OPs, especially when fitted with a 15rd Dragon pistol magazine. It's distinctive appearance means that squad leaders of close assault teams often carry this weapon as a means to identify themselves.
Bizon This is a weapon with a large capacity helical drum and chambered in the 9x18mm Makarov round. The Bizon is used at ranges of less than 100m in situations where excessive penetration could endanger non-combatants. It is mainly used by Special purpose and Military Police units.
Compact Machine Pistol. This is a special purpose weapon mainly used by covert units and VIP Protection teams. Whereas the .45 MP is designed for cheap mass production this is a more sophisticated weapon and has a double action mechanism so that it can be quickly drawn and fired. Ammunition and magazines of the 9x18mm version are the same as the Velata pistol. The .45 variant uses magazines from the Dragon.
MP-Zipper (Defensive Machine Pistol). Zipper is a simple compact machine pistol designed as a defensive weapon for troops that would find carrying a larger weapon too much of an encumbrance when performing their duties. Zipper is not intended as a close combat weapon but to deliver suppressive fire at 50-200m to allow the soldier to break contact. It fires a very high velocity 7.63x25mm APCR round with good penetration against body armour. The weapon is a simple compact machine pistol with a magazine that inserts in the grip, a retractable stock, folding foregrip and compensator. It is worn in a holster with a MP40-type pouch that also accommodates a fast-discharge smoke grenade.
Ronin 6.5mm Assault Rifle. This is a conversion of weapons such as the M-16 and AR-180B. Overall length is kept at 36 to keep the weapon manoeuvrable for operations such as house sweeps. Mountain infantry may use a longer barrelled model. Usual modes of fire are single shot and speed-burst, a two round burst fired at a very high cyclic rate. The 6.5mm MPC round used will shoot flat to 300yds and can be used against targets to beyond 800m.
The Rifle is designed to be as light as possible in its basic configuration - a shade over 4.5lbs in total. Few units use it in this form since recoil is fierce. Instead useful ballast is added in form of sighting systems, grenade launchers and high capacity magazines. A combat rifle with optic scope, sighting laser and 28mm grenade launcher will weigh under 9lbs.
Renegade 7.62x39mm Assault Rifle. This is the same weapon as the 6.5mm but reconfigured so that it can use the same magazines and ammo as the AK series weapons. Controls and operation are exactly the same as the 6.5mm so little re-training is needed. The 7.62x39mm round is not as ballistically and terminally effective as the 6.5mm but this weapon does allow the soldier to use enemy ammunition. The 7.62x39mm is therefore mainly used by long range units and special forces. Full auto and heavy barrelled versions may be encountered.
- Standard Model. This is the basic weapon and often seen in the hands of sentries, ammo bearers or heavy weapon operators. It has a 16.1 barrel.
- Grenadier Model. This is the Standard model with the addition of the 28mm repeating grenade launcher, grenade sights and other items.
- Personal Defence Carbine (PDC). Used by non-combat troops for whom full-sized rifles would be an encumberance. Weapon has a 14.5 light profile barrel and a wire telescopic stock. It is usually only fitted with iron sights.
- Recondo model. This is based on the PDC but has provision to fit a suppressor and is usually fitted with accessories such as a night vision scope and other optics. Reconnaissance troops rely on stealth and carry a lot of equipment so prefer a light weapon that is only likely to be fired in self defence.
- 6.5mm Heavy Barrel. A heavy barrel variant of the assault rifle is used as a support weapon for long range precision fire and as a light machine gun to supplement the fire of the Raven and Reaper when necessary. This has a 16.1 barrel of heavier configuration than the standard rifle, a bipod, heatsink, C-mag drums and is capable of medium cyclic rate fully automatic fire. Weapons either have a fixed heavy barrel with a Heatsink or a Raven heavy barrel with a quick changing capability.
The bolt mechanism of the Heavy Barreled version allows single shots to be fired from a closed bolt and fully automatic fire to be from an open bolt. These components can also be fitted into standard rifles.
- Marksman's Rifle. This an accurized version of the Standard rifle fitted with such features as a free-floated match-grade barrel. The weapon can be fitted with a target trigger unit but for military weapons the standard selective fire trigger is often retained since it provides greater self-protection when operating in close terrain. The Marksman's model is available in two barrel lengths; a standard length 16.1 barrel and a longer 24 barrel. Many police departments hold a number of Marksman's rifles, some in .19-223 chambering. With their heavier barrel, bipod and selective fire mechanism the Marksman's rifle can provide a police department with machine gun capability in an emergency.
.270 Battle Rifle This is a larger version of the assault rifle chambering the .270 Win round. Length is about 42. It may be found in the hands of squad sharpshooters and is often issued with AP ammo for use against high value enemy equipment. May be found with a speed-burst setting.
Sniper units have a range of weapons available. Scoped versions of the Whisperlite and .270 Battle rifle are used, as are bolt action .270s, .338s and several models of .50.
M16s in 5.56mm calibre are used for close range sniping missions. The round has less terminal effects than a 6.5mm but a flatter trajectory.
The 20mm AMR held by some Anti-armour platoons may also be used for stand-off attacks and can be easily fitted with a 14.5mm barrel that gives greater range.
ULAW-68. ULAW-68 is a very useful light anti-armour and assault weapon. Closely based on the Armbrust, it is an unguided 68mm soft-launch rocket designed for various battlefield roles. Four types of warhead are in common use.
ULAW-90. ULAW-90 spans the gap between ULAW-115 and ULAW-68 for several specialist roles. It shares some warheads with the Flagon launcher. Three warheads are available.
- HEDP (Loki). a HEAT warhead with anti-personnel and incendiary effects. The HEDP is effective against tanks and is usually applied against the rear or sides in volleys. frontal hits often damage vision systems, making the tank vulnerable to follow up attacks.
- Bounding Anti-personnel (Leaper). Used where there is less need for anti-armour capability. On impact with the ground a small charge throws the rocket 2-3m into the air where it explodes, showering the area with fragments. When fired into a room or bunker the bounding charge kicks the warhead from the rear wall and into the centre of the room.
- Incendiary TPA (Lucifer). Filled with the same liquid Thickened Pyrotechnic Agent used in M202 Flash rounds, Triethylaluminium (TEA). The splash rocket is used against machine gun nests, buildings and vehicles.
- Thermobaric (Lamburst). A round loaded with Fuel Air Explosive. Used less than other 68mm rounds because of its large effect area. Often used for long range attack.
HVALAW. The High Velocity Anti-Light Armour Weapon is the smallest calibre weapon of the ULAW family. It is also the only weapon that must be extended or telescoped before it can be fired. One of the reasons for the creation of the HVALAW was to give a quick kill capabilty against targets such as bandit technicals. While weapons such as DGLs and ULAW-68 could easily destroy these, the problem was hitting such fast moving targets. HVALAW is a 40mm throwaway recoilless gun loaded with a HEDP round. Velocity is supersonic and at least 700m/s. HVALAWs are designed so they can be joined together to form multi-shot assemblies. Two to four barrels is usual, although larger clusters may be used, paticularly on vehicle mounts. The long range and high velocity of the HVALAW has lead to some novel applications. Volleys of HVALAWs have proved very effective against helicopters. They have also been used in a sniping role against high value targets or individuals.
- HESH. A multipurpose round with capability against both armoured vehicles and buildings. In urban combat this round is used as a breaching munition to create entry holes for assault squads.
- HEFT. HE-Follow Through is another round used for Urban operations. It has a fuse that can distinguish between hard and soft targets. Against a hard surface it detonates, while against soft material it delays detonation until it has buried itself further. Warhead is an Explosive Formed Penetrator with a follow through fragmentation grenade. The EFP creates a hole that the fragmentation charge is ejected into. The warhead detonation also creates a local fragmentation. The HEFT is effective against both armoured vehicles and bunkers.
- Smoke. This round is intended to create a large area smoke screen for small units. It is particularly useful as a defence against snipers during peace-keeping mission. A warhead contains several HC smoke sub-munitions which are ejected over a large area at the desired range. The range is set by a dial on the side of the launch tube before firing. This round can also produced with irritant gas sub-munitions, or a mix of the two. Smoke can be coloured for physiological effects, mustard yellow being a useful colour.
ULAW-ILL. The ULAW-ILL is essentially a short disposable one-shot flare launching mortar of 51mm calibre. The base is angled so the barrel fires at 45 degrees and perforated so the device can be staked in place if desired. The latter feature also allows mounting on a vehicle body. Weight is only 1kg. There are several models of ULAW-ILL, though externally they are identical. The standard projects its paraflare c900m and illuminates an area of 250m diameter for up to 50secs, making it useful for squad support and for crew served weapons. Range can be reduced by launching at a steeper angle. In addition to a white light flare there is also a Dim flare that produces most of its light in the near infra-red range.
38mm Flare Tube. A disposable one-shot flare launcher this device differs from similar models in that it is designed to be attached to the furniture of rifles so illumination rounds are available for immediate launch. A 600m range is possible if fired at 45 degrees or shorter ranges at steeper angles. The paraflare produces a 200m diameter illumination area and burns for 30secs.
28mm Grenade Rounds. 28mm grenades are most commonly fired from the Ripley , which resembles a large-bore repeating shotgun mounted under the barrel of a Rifle. A more compact double-barrelled launcher is available for SMGs and M6s.
Types of Round.
Economy Grenade Launcher. This is essentially a simplified single-shot weapon for firing 28mm Grenades. A break open barrel mechanism is mounted on the lower receiver and trigger mechanism of a Ronin rifle. Fixed, folding and telescopic wire stocks are used. Mechanism is single action and a simple quadrant sight and ladder sight is fitted.
- Canister (Buckshot OOO)
- Canister (Flechette)
- HESH-Frag with self-destruct
- Concussion with SQ/SD fuse. Short arming distance for explosive door-breaching.
- Hatton-round. Non-explosive, non-lead door-breaching round. Lethal if fired against personel.
- CS. Fitted with impact and time fusing. When detonated ejects three pellets producing irritant gas. In civil applications is fired in a high trajectory to detonate in the air.
- CS-Ferret. Baracade penetrating round for firing through windows etc. Impact initiates fast discharge of CS.
- Bean-bag. LLW kinetic energy round for hitting individuals.
- Multiple Baton. Rubber cylinder divided into segments. Used to deter crowds. Can be fired against hard ground so pellets richochet against legs.
- Dye/Scent round. Has some impact effect but also marks the target with a coloured and malodorous liquid.
Launchers are carried by most vehicles on operations that do not carry 3BTs. One of their main roles is to fire at suspected mines and booby traps to detonate them. They are also used for Recon by Fire to shoot at suspected ambush points or to fire LLW rounds in the event of mob violence.
Platoon Leader's Weapon. PLW is another weapon using the 28mm grenade and shares some components with the Economy Grenade Launcher. It is a break open double-barrelled weapon but with longer barrels than the launcher mounted on SMGs and M6s. As well as a double-action hammer the PLW-40 features an improved sighting system with provision to mount an optic sight and a bubble clinometer on the quadrant sight. A laser-ranger and electronic clinometer is another option. The PLW can be fitted with a folding bayonet and there is a kit that allows a .45 pistol to be mounted as a foregrip. Attachment is by the grip panels to allow the slide to recoil.
The PLW is mainly used to fire signalling rounds, some of which are too long to fire from launchers such as the Ripley. For self –defence or close combat it can be loaded with canister rounds.
DGLs. Disposable Grenade Launchers (DGLs) are designed to fit onto the furniture of rifles or SMGs and offer a variety of warhead types. Unlike conventional rifle grenades they can be carried ready to fire at all times.
Rifle/ Hand Grenades. Rifle/ Hand grenades are fragmentation grenades that can either be hand-thrown or projected from a HAGL or rifle muzzle.
Raven 520. Raven is a LMG version of the Ronin which is some what more sophisticated than the Heavy barrelled Ronin. The bipod is attached to the gas tube and there are numerous other modifications. It is designed to fire from an open bolt during automatic fire and from a closed bolt for semi-automatic fire and the rear of the upper receiver has been extended so that the bolt does not touch the endplate at the limit of its rearward travel. This reduces recoil and improves control. The barrel can be easily and simply changed by operating a barrel latch on the left and moving the barrel forward using the foreend. For this reason the Raven has its bipod attached to the gas tube. The foresight can be adjusted for both elevation and windage allowing barrels to be zeroed individually.
Reaper. Reaper is a 6.5mm light machine gun or squad automatic weapon. It shares most of its components with the Raven, the most obvious difference being the provision for using either magazine or belt-feed. It also shares a large number of components with the Ronin assault rifle, the most obvious difference being the receiver. The Reaper is belt fed, but has a ventral magazine well as a backup. Magazines cannot be topped up by charger while mounted on the Reaper. Reaper is gas operated and by adjusting the regulator the rate of fire can be varied from 480-900rpm.
The Reaper is somewhat heavier than the Raven but has a greater capacity for sustained fire. Most Infantry platoons have a mix of Reaper and Raven with the latter usually in the majority. Typically a platoon has between one and three Reapers.
Squad LMG. A bipod equipped .270 belt-feed weapon that is lighter than the GPMG and mainly intended for squad level operations. The LMG resembles the rear half of a MG42 grafted onto the front half of a bren-gun. Overall length of the weapon is the same as the .270 Battle rifle and it is noted for its good balance making it easy to fire from a standing position. LMG it uses a lighter shorter barrel than the GPMG so overall length is less than 42 and weight under 16lb. Provision is made so that the feed cover can be removed and fitted with an assembly that can accept a downward feeding magazine.
GPMG A .270 beltfeed weapon designed to be either fired from a bipod or a tripod. More versatile but heavier and longer than the LMG, it is usually found in the weapons team or squad of a platoon. Uses the same belts as the LMG and shares many components in common.
As a company support weapon a longer heavier barrel is usually fitted. This model is more likely to be used with a tripod as well as from a bipod. Heavier barrels are used for weapons intended for sustained fire or vehicle mounting and these may be used with a water cooled barrel jacket.
Changing other components of either the LMG or GPMG can alter the cyclic rate. By reversing the bolt spring cyclic rate can be increased from 700rpm to 1,200rpm. All barrels have a heat sensitive markings. Blast suppressors are also widely used
The Universal Launchers are a family of weapons, ranging from small calibre HEAT-MP-Frag rockets to 115mm Anti-armour or Thermobaric weapons. All can be launched from their carrying container or attached to a sighting unit carried by the squad Bazooka Joe. Not only is the Bazooka Joe most practised with the Universal launchers but he is to regard them as his primary weapon, so on patrol will carry a launcher ready to fire and respond.
ULAW-115. Standard Weapon of the Squad's Anti-Armour specialist. The 115mm ULAW-115 is found in three forms.
MBIL. The MBIL is carried by the squad Bazooka Joe when Tanks are not expected. The MBIL Recoilless Grenade Launcher consists of four muzzle-loaded 40mm barrels arranged 2x2. The sighting unit includes a laser rangefinder and a fuse programming unit. These systems combine to program rounds to airburst in much the same manner as the OICW/OCSW, the difference being that RLGL rockets have a much larger warhead and a flatter, faster trajectory. Operation is simple. The gunner lases the target and a simple LED display indicates if the muzzle needs to be elevated. At the same time the round is programmed with the range. A thumb-operated directional pad can modify fuse settings, options including point, delay, stand-off and air-burst. Airburst and stand-off settings can be modified to detonate short of or beyond the lased point.
- The guided model, Gerat uses a fire and forget system and has the option of direct or top attack modes. Flight time to 400m is 2secs and motor burnout is at around 800m.
- The unguided model, Thumper, weighs around 8kg and incorporates a spotting rifle. Practical range for the unguided version is about 400m.
- The unguided model is also available with a thermobaric warhead designated Thunderclap. Fired at a high trajectory range of this version exceeds 1km and blast area is more than 50m.
SBIL. The SBIL is a single barrelled version of the MBIL and superficially resembles the RPG. It can be fitted with the MBIL sighting/ programming unit or can fire its rounds dumb . As well as the 40mm rounds of the MBIL it is also used with overcalibre rounds including those designed for the RPG-7. The SBIL therefore has a lower rate of fire than the MBIL but more destructive and anti-tank capability.
A company may field a mix of MBILs and SBILs or a mix of MBIL, SBIL and ULAW-115.
Lurker ATGW. Lurker is an infantry portable anti-tank guided missile similar to the American Javelin or Israeli Spike-LR.
System consists of a command launch unit with sighting system and a missile in disposable launch tube/transport container. The missile is self-guiding to the target it is locked on to out to 2,500m range. Using fibre optic control range is 4,000m. Operator selects between direct and diving top-attack modes. Lurker is held by the anti-armour section of infantry combat companies. Extra Lurker firing posts are often issued to light forces that face an armoured threat. Scale of issue is usually one per platoon.
Several launch tubes can be connected to the control unit and fired using a separation mode. Auto-gathering and Lock On After Launch are also available as options.
Flagon. Flagon is a long barrelled 90mm recoilless rifle of fairly conventional form. It is usually used by the Company-level Anti-armour section of Infantry units when there is little threat of enemy tanks. Ammo includes HEAT-Frag, HESH, smoke and canister.
Helion. Helion is a major anti-armour system. At 45-50lbs weight a missile can be carried and launched by dismounted infantry but it is far more common for it to be fired from a vehicle or aircraft. Helion is a modular system, the same basic airframe being used for a variety of warheads, guidance systems and motors. Battalion's AGTM (anti-ground target missile) platoons use Helion and at least one section in an AGTM platoon will have capability to launch Fibre-Optic guided rounds. As well as a HEAT warheads there are also a thermobaric and a warhead containing AT-AP bomblets.
Helion is also used mounted on the turret pylons of IFVs and in this mode is usually encountered in a laser-beam riding HEAT form. As well as a capability against vehicles the missile is also effective against subsonic aircraft. Vehicle launch tubes can also fire an unguided HESH rocket useful for urban combat.
HAGL The High Angle Grenade Launcher (HAGL) is a platoon-level indirect fire weapon used instead of the 60mm Commando mortar. It fires a range of ammunition including Rifle/Hand grenades.
60mm Mortar family of Weapons.
A range of sighting systems, baseplates, bipods and two forms of barrels. The lightweight Commando barrel is 650mm long and is usually used as a platoon support weapon with only a small baseplate and no bipod. In this mode it has an effective range of around 1,200m. A sliding collar with two J shaped legs can be fitted, and is useful if it is desired to keep the weapon trained on a location. The barrel can also be fitted to the larger baseplate and bipod and fitted with more advanced sights. In this mode accurate fire can be made to more than 2,200m.
The heavier barrel is of two-part construction and is usually used at company level fitted with the large baseplate, bipod and sighting system. When both sections of barrel are used the 1400mm barrel gives range in excess of 6,000m. Using only the lower part of barrel for a 740mm barreled weapon range is around 3,500m. The lower section of the heavier barrel can be used in Assault mode with lower charge settings although it is heavier and bulkier than the commando configuration. Used like this range is about 1,300m.