by Bryn Monnery
Based on the Sk-19 as published in 2300AD
PP-HE rules by Peter Grining
Sk-19 rifle, without the Bildverstärker mit integriertem Entfernungsmesser Des Modells 19 fitted
'Now the standard service weapon of the German Army, the SK-19 is clearly a progressive development of the Traylor Arms M-2 Assault Rifle. The main improvements over the M-2 consist of the substitution of a reliable binary propellant system for fixed cartridges and the inclusion of an integral 30mm grenade launcher in the stock below the barrel. The binary propellant system includes a muzzle velocity governor keyed to the fire select switch, patterned after that on the French FAM-90. When on the burst setting, muzzle velocity is considerably reduced giving an extremely controllable automatic weapon. The resulting combination of a high rate of fire, ease of control, the shattering punch of the 9mm HE round, and the option of 30mm grenade fire makes the SK-19 the most devastating close-in assault weapon in service anywhere.'
-extract from the Rorttmann Weapons Catalogue, 2297 edition
The Sk-19 is a result of the switch from the rifle to the grenade launcher as the primary infantry weapon on the battlefield. The Sk-19 consists of 3 major subsystems. Firstly the weapon is based around of the body of a 9mm assault rifle. The rifle uses an energy enhanced binary liquid propellant system, and has 3 propellant components. The first is the fixed binary propellant in the cartridge itself, secondly the other half of the binary propellant is stored in a small canister inserted into the pistol grip of the weapon. The third component is the high density battery pack in the magazine. Sk-19 rifle magazines are not reloadable, and are discarded during combat. The magazines hold 50 rounds each and are inserted forward of the pistol grip, the rounds actually being stored vertically and turned 90 degrees in the receiver, a mechanism pioneered on the ancient German H&K G11 rifle of the twilight war.
The propellant system is superior to a fixed cartridge for several reasons. Firstly, by using a binary propellant, no stabiliser is needed and the energy density of the propellant is more than twice that of a conventional caseless cartridge. Secondly, the energy enhancement (sometimes known as an electrothermal propellant) smoothes out the pressure spike in the barrel, resulting in higher acceleration, and thus more power over a shorter barrel length, indeed the barrel length is only 242mm.
The explosive bullets do not explode in the sense of a shell, rather upon hitting flesh a small explosive charge fragments the round causing increased tissue damage and the retention of all the bullet matter in the target. The round is unfortunately poor at penetrating body armour.
The second component is the Lenkgranatenwerfer 19, the model 19 Guided Grenade Launcher. This is a 30mm smart grenade system, firing the German type-19 grenade system, but also capable of firing the French Type-17 grenade, although the French cannot reciprocate as their software is not written to do this. The LGW-19 is a 219mm barrel, with a semi-automatic receiver feeding from 2 3 round box magazines, one either side of the weapon. This allows for selectable grenade fire. In addition, the breach can be manually opened via the slide, and rounds manually inserted, generally specialised rounds like smoke.
While the grenades can be fused for impact detonation, it is only when the third major component of the weapons system is added that the GGW-19's full potential is realised.
The Bildverstärker mit integriertem Entfernungsmesser Des Modells 19 (BVE-19) is an electronic sight/ passive rangefinder. It provides night vision and x3.5 magnification, and it's ballistic computer integrates into the standard German Infantry Soldier System (Infantery Gefechtssystem 2288). When it is integrated, it can provide IFF, cutting down on friendly fire on the battlefield. The sight picture is transmitted straight to the helmet, allowing for engagement round corners etc.
With the rangefinder integrated, the grenades can be fused to detonate after a set distance, rather than on impact, creating an airburst effect over enemy infantry. To do this the distance must first be locked. When the grenade system is in "range" mode (the setting lever is below the forward grenade trigger) the weapon should be sighted on the target, it takes approximately 2 seconds to register the range, once on target, the locking button is depressed and the weapon is range locked as long as the locking button is depressed. Pulling the trigger will now fire a grenade fused to go off after a set distance. Normal battle procedure is to range lock the weapon, raise it and deliver 3 grenades as an airburst into the approximate area of the contact.
A much more involved grenade, the Programmable Pre-Fragmented HE grenade is also available. The Fire Control module inputs the distance to target, the grenade explodes after a set number of turns (the round spins, counting the turns). The explosion pattern can be set to to 'N' (Normal), 'U' (Down), 'L' (Left), 'R' (Right), 'A' (Contact), 'P' (Penetrate) or even 'O' (Up). 'N' is used for situations like firing into a room via a window. The pattern covers the room evenly, but wastes energy. 'U' is used over trenches, foxholes or walls, etc. 'L' or 'R' is around corners of buildings and such. 'A' is explosion on contact, 'P' mode is treated as a tamped explosion (EP=2). 'O' has no known use as yet, but is available. The explosion point is usually set from the Range Finder, but can be manually adjusted via the soldier system. Rather than standard fragmentation, preformed armour piercing flechettes are used.
Another grenade type under limited use is the target seeking grenade. This grenade has a small sensor array, a computer and fins to steer the grenade. The course alteration is small, and so it must be fired actually at a target, but provides a bonus to hit.
The point blank range (or the "point and shoot" range) of the LGW-19 is 150 meters. Targets are engagable upto 500 meters via indirect fire. In IDF mode (again, selected via the battle computer), the rangefinder takes the range, and a targeting reticule is displayed in the sight output, allowing for the correct elevation.
German Webbing contains 2 pouches for 2 LGW-19 magazines, one on the left and one on the right breast, and pouches on the left hand side of the belt with 6 9mm magazines. The right hand pouch (for hand grenades etc.) is often found containing loose 30mm of specialist types such as smoke or flechette. It is quite common to find additional pouches with 30mm, indeed, a recent photo of a Marine of the 3rd Battalion, DSM showed that his modified webbing carried 14 spare 30mm magazines, allowing him to engage the enemy with 48 HE grenades...
9mm Energy Enhanced Binary Liquid Propellant Assault
Rifle with 30mm Smart Grenade Launcher
Rifle Weapons System
Single Shots or Bursts
Grenade Weapons System
Normal, Contact, Penetration. Standard 60%/20% chance of being hit with 1D6 fragments in burst/twice burst radius.
Down, Left, Right,
Up. Director's call, but generally 80%/40% chance of
1D6 hits in direction of detonation in burst/twice burst
radius. 30%/10% in other directions. 30mm munition is set
to burst 2 metres from target, direction of detonation
covers 90 degrees arc. For example, a round is set to
detonate in Down mode over a trenchline. It explodes 2
metres above the trench. Targets up to 2 metres either
side are hit on a 1-8.
Concussion in Penetration, Down, Left, Right, Up modes is similar to a tamped explosion. Concussion is per normal into the arc programmed (same 90 degrees as fragmentations above), and halved in other arcs.
Cover Damage (Page 51 2300AD Director's Guide)
HETS (HE Target Seeking)
The HETS has more than half the explosive replaced with a +2 target seeker. The grenade gets a +2 bonus to hit.
HEF (High Explosive Flechette)
The DPV of the fragments is 1.2/0.4, with any remainder halved after penetrating armour, as above
EHE (Enhanced HE)
The HE as per the book, this uses considerably more potent explosives like PE-9, and is sometimes call a "Bunker Bomb".
Close Combat Flechette (CCF)
The CCF bursts in the barrel, effectively creating a giant shotgun. Often used in trench clearing.
|Our patrol had been
on Wolf 424-1 for 3 weeks, and we were preparing for the
final phase of our
Continuation, a long range recce patrol through the
Ariadne jungle. For
the last week our 4 man brick had been doing lanes,
simulated contact and engaging in some fairly impressive
I was the only civvie in my patrol, of the other 3, 2 were regulars. One was from the Maritime Regiment and one, a recent Brit émigré to Alicia, from the Red Lancers. The other territorial, Bruce (not his real name), was an Aussie who'd done four years as a trooper in their Commando Regiment. I, on the other hand, had just been talked into trying to get into SAS with only a few months prior basic military training as a reservist with the Royal Alicians behind me.
Our issue weapon was a version of the German Sk-19 rifle. It was a fairly deadly bit of kit, although its complicated mechanism was a nightmare to clean in the field. However it was sealed from the outside environment, and to be doubly sure we used to seal the barrel with wax. (Which obviously offered no resistance to a 9mm bullet going 1000 meters per second.) It's best feature though was the grenade launcher. It allowed our 4 man patrol to fire off more lead in the first 10 seconds of a contact than a twilight war platoon.
Corporal D was telling us; "The Commonwealth Armies teach you to engage targets with 3 rounds of rifle fire. Bollocks you do! I was on a patrol on Harris Island 6 years back and we were bumped by a platoon of French Colonial Marines. In the 3 minute firefight, the 4 of us expended over 200 grenades, and 3000 rounds of 9 milli, leaving 19 of those f****rs dead and wounded. Told them, you don't f*** with the Alician SAS."
Although D was sometimes prone to exaggeration the thought of carrying that much ammo daunted me. However when we were on operations we were far from support and absolutely on our own. With no QRF to pick us out of the merde we were reliant on ourselves to hit the enemy with as much concentrated violence as possible to carve out an opportunity to get to an extraction point. That's what we were training to do.
"Today you will be engaged on a 2 way range. That's right, rounds will be coming back at you, but the drones are programmed to miss, but this exercise does have a significant danger. On average 1 in 9 people get shot, and many of those die. A lander will be circling, and medevac time is 20 minutes to the hospital at Silkwood."
Silently crawling up to the bunline, having received my orders, I was feeling more nervous than I'd ever felt in my life. The enemy consisted of a simulated French infantry platoon, who'd be firing small arms and concussion grenades back at us. The bunline was 20 meters from the first French trench, which was my target.
After maybe 5 minutes, my TISS signalled a 30 second warning to attack, I had the range of the 1st trench pre-set, and 6 "Peepies", Programmable Prefragmented HE loaded.
In the first 10 seconds 17 peepies went down range, smashing the drone troopers in their trenches, reload, and the shout "Prepare to move!", 3 Flechette, 3 HE in. "Move!". Smoke has obscured the battlefield, we pepperpot straight to the first trench, I jump in screaming, my finger stabbing the grenade trigger, putting over a thousand steel needles into the drone troopers I haven't even registered yet, followed by the thudding of 9mm on auto as I carve them up.
I jump out of the trench, barely 10 seconds has elapsed. I put an HE and rifle fire into the next trench as my oppo Bruce moves forward with the intention of murdering it's inhabitants.....
Inside 3 minutes the entire simulated French platoon was dead, and Corporal D was screaming at us; "That's f***ing abysmal, the drones weren't even shooting accurately, F, raise their accuracy 50%. You lot, prepare to f***ing do it again! You better start switching on!"
Extract from "From Civvie to Soldier: On Selection with the 26th (Alician) SAS"
The mechanics of the design are 3g3, with FF&S used in parts.
You may notice that the weapon has 3 new stats, accuracy, reliability and recoil. This is how they are used.
Quite simply, this is a modifier to hit. The Sk-19's round has fairly poor aerodynamic properties, and has is classified 3g3 Damage Class 1, which equates to accuracy -2. However, the weapon has a +1 sight integral to the design, for a total accuracy of -1 (or 0 with grenades).
Weapons are classified into the following catagories:
When the weapon is exposed to difficult conditions, or a 10 is rolled while on Full Auto, a reliability check is made. Roll d10, if equal or over then the weapon is fine. If under the weapon jams. If under by more than 4, the weapon fails catastrophically.
This is a penalty to hit based on the number of rounds fired in a combat round. In a combat round, a character may fire upto his strength of recoil without penalty. However, for every point over his strength, ALL shots suffer a -1 to hit penalty.
While not a real problem for rifles, it is a serious problem for handguns.