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How to silence / supress a lasgun?


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#1 whoseyes

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:46 AM

As I read in the book, you cannot use a silencer with las weapons. 

Also, in the description of the several las weapons available, it doesn't say that the sound of a lasgun shot is less loud than a solid projectile (bullet) shot, although it describes it as resembling the sound of a whip.

Assuming that a lasgun shot is loud and not suitable to stealth operations, can't you use any device to supress the sound or the "flash" of these weapons?

From the picture of the long-las on the book, it seems that it has some kind of silencer, but the description says nothing about that. Also, on Gaunt's novels, Larkin uses flash supressors (and maybe silencers) with his long-las…



#2 Musclewizard

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:05 AM

From what I have read the noise a lasgun makes comes from the air being heated by the las-"bolt". I think there was a lasgun in one of the DH books that for some reason made less noise anad produced a less visible beam / shot making it more suited for stealth operations.

At the end of the day silencer for lasguns work exactly the way you want them to. Maybe there is a specific las-focus that somehow reduces the beams visibility and noise levels or again a specific patter on setting for lasguns that can produce the same effect.



#3 whoseyes

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:15 AM

Interesting, thanks for the technical point of view. Maybe the best way to do it, then, is designing a special pattern of las weapons oriented to stealth operations.

It's a pitty,  because somehow the longlas loses efectivity if you can hear and see where the shots come from…



#4 KommissarK

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

Which I beleive is noted in many of the publications that involve the Long-las.

The justification is that a las weapon is benefits from a lack of bullet drop or some such.



#5 Lynata

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:27 PM

Some fluff describes the long las as using a "flash suppressor" - the thick barrel extension at the front, which could probably be attached to any standard lasgun (I believe the long las is a normal lasgun with a certain combination of upgrades, similar to how a Stalker bolter is just an ordinary boltgun with specific upgrades as well). Now, given how the lasgun operates, one might argue that a "flash suppressor" does not make much sense, although perhaps it could be used to dampen the reflexion of the lens (which might be brighter than the focused beam) and maybe even to dampen the sound of discharge.

Looking at GW's own Codex IG, the extension is only described as a "reinforced barrel", likely to compensate for the greater heat and material stress caused by the increased strength of the beam.

So I suppose it's just a case of conflicting interpretations. But if you think a "lasgun silencer" would be cool, you could use this "flash suppressor" as inspiration. It is referenced in Black Library's Munitorum Manual, though I am fairly sure that it shows up in other non-studio sources as well. Perhaps even in one of GW's other books, but if so I have not yet found it.


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#6 Routa-maa

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

Black Crusade silencer was usable with any Pistol or Basic weapon.

Small quote from description: "Silencers lower the noise (and flash to a degree) from a weapon’s discharge."

Just read again Silencer description and where you can put it from OW and just started to wonder.

Why would you want to put Silencer in Needle Weapon as they say in weapon description that they are virtually silent already and don't have muzzle flash.

Must be something to do that they haven't put that perception penalty to test to hear needle weapon discharge already in the weapon. But I would propably just make it inbuild feature in needle weapons and change needle weapons to las weapons in where you can put silencer.

Just my own pennie for the thought.


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#7 Kasatka

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:00 AM

The problem is that a suppressor (the correct term for a silencer) for a solid projectile weapon just fundamentally wouldn't work on a weapon that functions by super heating the air between it and its target.

As per wikipedia:

"suppressor reduce noise by allowing the rapidly expanding gases from the firing of the cartridge to be briefly diverted or trapped inside a series of hollow chambers. The trapped gas expands and cools, and its pressure and velocity decreases as it exits the suppressor"

Also a large number of weapons use special sub-sonic ammunition in combination with a suppressor to reduce the noise generated.

Now how does a lasgun operate? As per 40kwikia:

"The Lasgun uses the same basic technology and operates along the same lines as other laser weapons, emitting a beam of highly-energetic, focused, coherent photons. The high amount of energy carried by the photons of the beam causes the immediate surface area of a target to be vaporized in a small explosion"

Okay so we need to delve into how much kineti energy is in each lasgun shot, as it will effect how loud it is. Some digging on the internet brings up references to the standard lasgun bing in the "19 megathule range". This isn't a real measurement of energy but the closest comparison would be 19 megajoules.

Megajoules as per wikipedia:

"The megajoule (MJ) is equal to one million (106) joules, or approximately the kinetic energy of a one-tonne vehicle moving at 160 km/h (100 mph)"

So thats a 19 tonne projectile travelling at 100mph as the equivalent kinetic energy in a lasgun charge pack. It sounds like a lot but if you consider that a lasgun has approximately 60 shots per charge pack then its only 0.316 megajoules per shot. For comparisons sake a standard 7.62 NATO which is able to kill in a single shot has between 3 and 4 kilojoules of energy. This works out as a lasgun blast being 100 times as powerful as a 7.62 round.

Obviously there would have to be some major drop of energy over distance with a lasgun, otherwise that maths is far off and ill have to comeb ack to it..


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#8 Lynata

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:40 AM

Beams of light don't have kinetic energy. Lasguns kill by superheating the target surface, which results in a small explosion as the affected material - be it flesh or armour - suddenly expands. My own interpretation of the fictional term "megathule" is a measure of energy power - either how much power the shot consumes or how much it has.

If there's a sound as the weapon discharges, its noise would not have to do with kinetic force but with how quickly the heat affects the air surrounding the barrel, and perhaps even the exact condition of the atmosphere. In this sense, a lasgun suppressor might actually work, for as per the quoted wikipedia description, it would basically dampen the effect by giving the affected air some split seconds of time to equalise before exiting the end of the barrel.

Where this idea might fall flat is when we realise that the air would expand not just around the barrel but at the entire length of the beam. The only way to still make it work is to assume that somehow the lens gets hotter than the beam itself, thus resulting in a stronger (read: louder) expansion.

I'm sure that if you condense all of this into technobabble, you can make it sound swallowable - provided you do really want to run with this idea. ;)


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#9 Fgdsfg

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:51 AM

Whisper-bolt Discharger, Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisitions, pg. 60.

Makes a las-beam harder to see and hear. Perception-based Tests to notice suffer a -20 and can only be attempted at half normal range. Reduce damage by 1. Rare.

If your GM is a bro, you should probably argue a bit with him over this, because I think that anyone playing a Sniper of any kind should start with this.


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#10 Kasatka

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:11 AM

Fgdsfg said:

Whisper-bolt Discharger, Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisitions, pg. 60.

Makes a las-beam harder to see and hear. Perception-based Tests to notice suffer a -20 and can only be attempted at half normal range. Reduce damage by 1. Rare.

If your GM is a bro, you should probably argue a bit with him over this, because I think that anyone playing a Sniper of any kind should start with this.

That is a Rare upgrade to a weapon, and it also lowers the damage of the las bolt, so i'd argue that not everyone should start with it, and in fact it should replace the chamelioline cloak due to it's rarity - otherwise said sniper will be impossible to find which is OP and doesn't offer room for improvement, which is what starting characters are all about. You don't see psykers starting with force weapons, or heavy gunners with multi-meltas…


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#11 KommissarK

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:12 AM

Honestly, to the OP, if stealth/covert operations is the goal, just give them silenced autoguns as mission gear, and provide them with XP for training in Basic(SP) (or just handwave that they get some training on specifically these guns).



#12 PrimarchX

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

You could specify that standard atmosphere is 'transparent' to the wavelength of the laser being used, to the extent that energy doesn't disapate to an appreciable extent in it., but does when it hits a solid target.



#13 Fgdsfg

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

Kasatka said:

Fgdsfg said:

 

Whisper-bolt Discharger, Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisitions, pg. 60.

Makes a las-beam harder to see and hear. Perception-based Tests to notice suffer a -20 and can only be attempted at half normal range. Reduce damage by 1. Rare.

If your GM is a bro, you should probably argue a bit with him over this, because I think that anyone playing a Sniper of any kind should start with this.

That is a Rare upgrade to a weapon, and it also lowers the damage of the las bolt, so i'd argue that not everyone should start with it, and in fact it should replace the chamelioline cloak due to it's rarity - otherwise said sniper will be impossible to find which is OP and doesn't offer room for improvement, which is what starting characters are all about. You don't see psykers starting with force weapons, or heavy gunners with multi-meltas…

There is ample opportunity to grow outside of this, but it ultimately gets down to what kind of game you want to play. Without this, anyone will instantly see exactly where a Longlas shot came from. Without the Cameleoline Cloak, they'll see you.

As for the reduction in damage; it is entirely up to you whether you use it or not, obviously. In a straight-up battlefield situation, obviously you'd take it off.


Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.


#14 Kasatka

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:24 AM

Fgdsfg said:

There is ample opportunity to grow outside of this, but it ultimately gets down to what kind of game you want to play. Without this, anyone will instantly see exactly where a Longlas shot came from. Without the Cameleoline Cloak, they'll see you.


As for the reduction in damage; it is entirely up to you whether you use it or not, obviously. In a straight-up battlefield situation, obviously you'd take it off.

 

I really can't agree that without the singular BEST upgrade for a longlas and the singular BEST upgrade for stealthing about, enemies will instantly spot you. Its not an all or nothing situation - however the massive bonuses from such upgrades just make it too easy to go sniping without  repurcussion.

Why a sniper would sit still and not move, despite being aware that their targets had spotted them is beyond me. After all, the long las is more of a bolt action rifle issued to a designated marksman (to use a real world parallell) than it is a full on "i can outrange any return fire" kind of sniper weapon. Pretty much any enemy heavy weapons will start shredding up the area a sniper is in if they just sit still with a long-las and chamelioline hoping not to get spotted.


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#15 Darck Child

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:27 AM

In Dan Abnett'a Gaunt's series, Larkin uses a modified Long Las clip that used a lower power level that would allow him not to give away his position  while sniping at the enemy at night.  I think it was in the book: Sabbat Martyr .






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