A Gunsmith's Analysis (Updated for RC7)

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Katemonster
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A Gunsmith's Analysis (Updated for RC7)

Post by Katemonster » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:36 pm

A Gunsmith's Analysis of Receiver
Updated for RC7

Why yes, I have changed the title of the thread twice now, thanks for asking. I do feel that 'Analysis' is more appropriate than 'Perspective' or 'Critique' at this point though. -- The Management


[+] Click to view table of contents.
Table of Contents

I. - Introduction (this post)
II. - Bug Report
III. - Foreword on Weapon Critiques
IV. - Colt M1911A1
V. - Glock 17, Modified
VI. - Smith & Wesson Victory Model
VII. - Falling Damage, Safety, and Malfunctions
VIII. - Ballistics and Damage
IX. - Finishing Thoughts and Weapon Suggestions


Important Notes

Hammer Slippage
Clarification of Ejection Issues


Updates

RC7

Miscellanea

Glock 18 Rarity
Colt Series 80 Drop Safety
Ammunition Variations
Mauser C/96 Broomhandle
Katemonster's Other Weapon Suggestions
Worst Weapons to Add: Garand M1 Rifle
Revolver Hammer Fanning and The Legality of The Converted Glock 17
Reloading and Field of Vision
Introduction

Hello! My name is Kate, and I have been studying firearms scholarly, almost religiously, for the last 13 years - in particular, I have a thing for uncommon and unusual action designs. I've run my own private gun-plumber business for the last few years; stripping and refinishing a Marlin/Glenfield Model 60 this weekend, for that matter. I try to run my own blog about firearms tech but severe ADD makes it hard to stay focused long enough to post on a regular basis so it's a bit neglected. I was planning an illustrated mechanical comparison post about the KSG and Neostead shotguns, but haven't worked up the energy to actually do it... plus I can't find my photos of the Neostead's innards. :x

I'm also a fairly avid PC gamer with a taste for the retro and the unusual, as well as anything with really realistic firearm representation for obvious reasons. I played the bejeezus out of Half-Life: Firearms for a couple years until the competitiveness started hammering on the stress button too much (I'm more of a coop gamer.)

Let me get this out of the way before I start making any critiques: I love the bollocks out of Receiver. I like the short and to-the-point gameplay and the roguelike nature, and it's likely to remain my chief time-waster for a long time. I've been playing for about a week and I just beat it for the first time (without cheating, anyway) this morning; 40ish minutes with the 1911. Second highest I've gotten is 9 tapes with the Glock. I'm getting better at speed-reloads while being chased too. Note of course that this information is now out of date.

I understand that it takes a back seat to development on Overgrowth, and I do worry about Wolfire abandoning further development on it if it doesn't get greenlit on Steam, as well as from being generally overwhelmed by user input saying "this is wrong" and "you should add this". For this reason I was debating whether or not I should even bother registering due to the one-voice-in-a-million factor, but I've read through several of the threads here (including the 8-page additions thread) and I feel that I do have some unique things to add to the discussion, both in terms of weapon representation/realism discrepancies (I feel that's the most appropriate word, and I also use parentheticals way too much) and possible improvements to the game. I've also made a list of bugs I've observed, complete with screenshots.

By the way, bear in mind that I am at least passingly familiar with game mechanics since I've dabbled in modding various FPS's and RTS's many ages ago (just for my own fun, nothing I ever felt was good enough to release,) so I do have at least some understanding of what is possible and/or practical with regards to changing the game.

I'll be adding individual posts to this thread over the next few hours and/or days just to better organize my thoughts. I'll start with bug reports, and then with observations of weapon discrepancies. I'll add my suggestions on alterations/improvements afterward, either to this thread or to the existing alterations thread... or both? I do have rather detailed suggestions on weapons that would make very good additions to the game, but I'm going to hold off on posting those for a while because I don't want to go information-overload on the devs... and I also have some comedic suggestions on probably the worst, most frustratingly complicated weapons you could add. However, fighting with my sleep schedule has me feeling extremely ill at the moment, so these successive posts probably/maybe/probably won't come immediately.

UPDATE: Now that the bulk of this critique has been written and posted, I've linked to all the important posts in a table of contents at the top of this post; just click the spoiler box. I'll be maintaining and updating this thread in pace with the game, crossing off things that get fixed and/or adding stuff to the bug list.

--Katemonster :D
[+] Ignore this
Feel free to ignore this, I just want a persistent location to tally up my wins.

RC6
1 x 1911
1 x Glock
0 x Victory

RC7
2 x 1911
2 x Glock
1 x Victory

Total: 7
Also one time I found twelve tapes in one run. :3
Last edited by Katemonster on Wed May 01, 2013 7:21 am, edited 20 times in total.

Causeless
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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Causeless » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:18 pm

To be honest, I think you spent a little too much time explaining yourself and not enough actually talking about your opinions ;).

It's a forum; we are all here because we love Overgrowth and/or Receiver, we won't get mad if we disagree with anything you say.

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Djemps » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:08 pm

I actually appreciate your lengthy intro letter.

Can't wait to hear some of your finer points. :-)

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Katemonster » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:54 pm

Bug Reports

This is for RC6. I don't think any of this was addressed in RC7.

• Ejected cartridges or shell casings that fall down stairwells tend to come to a stop floating just a few feet off the ground. Edit to add: I've actually had the game spawn a single live cartridge floating chest-height in the air with nothing anywhere near it for the game to mistakenly think it was sitting on.

• In the Additions thread, FlyingShisno mentioned something about sitting on top of the turrets and spinning around so they can't see you up there. Well... actually you kind of can. The player doesn't collide with the turret, and standing right in the middle of it serves as one tremendous blind spot:

Image

• The turrets also tend to not see me if I'm standing on a flight of stairs below their level, even though I'm plainly visible and only a few feet away; that happens most regularly in the room with the big yellow tanks, like here:

Image

• In certain rooftop locations, there are ventilation ducts that you can crawl underneath. However, after crouching to go under them, you can stand back up inside the duct and simply walk out the side. There's no collision on the bottom.

• It seems that shooting yourself in the foot is a viable suicide method, though I'm not sure if it's because the game was specifically programmed that way or if it's just because the ricochet spawns inside your player's collision box. Either way, if you do this, a black bullet hole sprite appears in the middle of your field of vision. Obviously not an issue if you just died, however the bullet hole never fades away if you have the invulnerability cheat turned on, and it's rather obstructive. Then again, maybe that's fair punishment for cheating?

• Beyond a certain range, you can see that drones have spawned, however they will be completely unresponsive. Repeatedly shooting a turret from a long distance and hitting it in the battery gives no visual indication that you managed to kill it (although headphones help with hearing the PCB-crunching anguish) and the gun won't point downward in sadness until you walk close enough to it (about the length of one block) to engage the AI and animation. This isn't so much a problem, however it's a bit worse with the flying tasers...

• A single shot from a block and a half away may kill a shock drone, but they don't fall out of the air despite being dead. Hitting them a second time will cause them to fall, regardless of how far away you are. However, approaching it to within AI engagement range, it will still hang in the air until you shoot it again. It's kind of annoying to waste a round to double-check that I sniped a hover drone from across the alley.

• I'm sure this has been reported a million times before, but for the sake of completeness: In one of the outdoor, ground-floor blocks, there is a flight of stairs that doesn't quite intersect the platform at the top correctly, and you can't step over that line without jumping. Screenshots:

(Sorry for the mouse pointer right in the middle, it's the fault of the mediocre screencap app I used, which also requires running the game in window mode.)

Image

Image

• More on the topic of stairs, I fell underneath this flight from the right-hand side (when looking up the stairs from the correct side) while panicking, and I wasn't able to get back out:

Image

• (See screenshots below first.) Sooo... is this intentional? I'm under the impression that it isn't. I'm sincerely hoping it isn't. If it is, I have no idea what's going on. This... amorphous... purple... blob thing appears more often than the regular bed, or no furniture at all. Furthermore, you can actually pull ammo/items through the ceiling/floor if you're standing in the room directly below (update on this point below.) I've never had a turret spawn in the upstairs room in the presence of the purple blob, by the way.

Image

Image

Image

Edit to add:

• Apparently pulling ammo/items through solid floors is an issue in general. I went to the same apartment block where that purple blob appears but this time with regular furniture. There were three rounds sitting on one of the nightstands upstairs, and by standing directly below it and jumping I could pick up the ammo through the ceiling.

• Opening the options menu does not pause tape recorder playback.

• Flashlights can shine through walls:

Image

Edit #2:

• Taser drones being able to see you through walls/ceilings is also an issue. A terrifying issue.

• This isn't exactly a bug, but I figured I'd mention it here. Since the world generation never ends and you can just run in one direction until the system crashes, the game has to continually spawn tapes, right? If it just placed 11 tapes randomly and that was it, you could end up running in one direction forever and not find anything. I generally try focus on each block one at a time and clear every floor I can get to, clean it out vertically before moving onto the next block or two. On the last winning run I just completed (in RC7 with the Glock,) I traveled something like 14 blocks before I was able to get up onto the roof, then backtracked along the roof back toward my starting block. I ended up finding 12 tapes, picking up #12 while the 11th was still playing.

-----------------------

That's all for now.

--Katemonster

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Last edited by Katemonster on Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:07 am, edited 11 times in total.

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Katemonster » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:01 pm

Sorry Causeless. I think... I speak from a position of high authority when it comes to gun mechanics, but I'm über-self-conscious about coming across as some kind of holier-than-thou snob. :oops: So, I might have over-explained myself trying to get around that. (I'm self-conscious about a lot of things.)

Thanks, Djemps. :)

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Djemps » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:03 pm

Katemonster wrote: I'm über-self-conscious about coming across as some kind of holier-than-thou snob. :oops: So, I might have over-explained myself trying to get around that. (I'm self-conscious about a lot of things.)
I totally understand.

Most people immediately dismiss new forumites who pop-up out of nowhere with overconfident assertions of superior knowledge.

Some newbies try to circumvent this by going into great detailed explanations about why they posses such awesome skills, but the longer they ramble on the more they tend to reveal the fact that they actually have no idea what they are talking about.

You've successfully avoided both traps, and have already earned my respect in the realm of gun knowledge (and you haven't even mentioned any specifics yet).

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Katemonster » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:23 pm

Before I start ripping into the gun portrayals in just a minute, let me say this: I have no idea what kind of familiarity level the developers have with the 1911 and with firearms in general; I don't know what discrepancies arise from simple unfamiliarity and which were the result of things simply being cut due to the 7-day time constraint for initial development... which I'm guessing is a lot of things. (Bang-up job on that, by the way; one of the nicest out of all the 7DFPS entries I think.) So, if I come across as condescending and start pointing things out that are already known, I apologize and slap myself on the wrist in advance.

Secondly, the notation system I'm using for key commands uses * to mean "hold down this button during the next button-press" and ° means "repeatedly click this button until maximum satisfaction has been achieved." So, (T* -> R -> E) is read as "press and hold T, tap R, release T, tap E", and (E -> V° -> Z° -> R) would be "tap E, tap V repeatedly until all shells are ejected from the revolver, tap Z repeatedly until fully reloaded, tap R." Yes, I've probably put too much thought into this.

Also, I don't own most of the photographs used to make the following illustrations, but I am using them for Educational Purposes; so be it.

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Katemonster » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:23 pm

Colt M1911A1

Note: There's a lot here. I've tried to make it as clear as possible but... it's a lot of information to digest. Feel free to ask if you want something clarified.

Info-bombs away!

1) The first thing that stood out to me with the 1911 is the magazine capacity. There are 8 round magazines available for the 1911, but they have a different floorplate shape and extend a bit past the bottom of the grip; also, to my knowledge, such mags were never made or offered by Colt. The M1911 in other calibers like 10mm Auto (the Delta Elite pistol,) 9mm Luger, or .38 Super do have 8 round magazines as standard. However, the original, flush-fit .45 ACP magazine as shown in Receiver holds only 7 rounds. One round in the chamber and seven in the magazine is called out as "7+1 capacity", and I imagine this might be where the confusion around magazine capacity stems from, from someone saying "oh yeah, it holds 8 shots."

This has been fixed in RC7.

Also, this is totally cosmetic and unimportant, but I feel that the cartridges could be displayed to sit a little higher in the magazine:

Image

2) The slide-draw in the game is only about half what it should be. This is purely cosmetic, but still kind of a glaring error compared to the other cosmetic issues. Easier to show than tell:

Image

Image

Image

This has been addressed and improved on as of RC7, but is still not quite right.

One other thing to note - of little consequence to gameplay - is that, due to how the 1911's locking system works, the barrel moves back just a bit and tilts to point slightly upward when the slide is drawn back:

Image

3) If there is a round in the chamber and you pull the slide all the way back - for whatever reason - that cartridge should be completely ejected from the gun, no matter what. (Well... barring a broken extractor claw, but let's not even get into that.) The current behavior of the game is that locking the slide open with (T* -> R) will extract the cartridge but not eject it; it will just magically float above the magazine or somehow end up back inside the magazine. Whether you pull the slide back with (R) or (T* -> R), that shell should be immediately ejected, period.

Also, if you (T* -> R) to get the magic floating cartridge, pressing (T) will push it back into the chamber but pressing (R) will eject it from the gun. More on that in point #5 below, though. Anyway...

"But then how do I check that the chamber is loaded without having to chase the stupid cartridge down the stairs?" I hear you cry. There's a thing called a 'press-check', as in pressing the slide back, just far enough that you can see the brass shell through the ejection port. See brass, know it's loaded. I'd suggest adding a function for that and binding it to (Y); that is, hold (Y) to hold the slide half-way back and point the gun upward:


Image

This has been fixed; realistic press-check function was added in RC7.

4) Not sure if I'd chalk this one up as a bug or not. If you lock the slide open on an empty gun with (T* -> R), insert a loaded magazine (Z), and immediately withdraw that magazine (E), the top-most round in the magazine will stay in the gun, magically floating behind the chamber. You can then tap (T) to chamber it, despite the absence of the magazine necessary to hold that cartridge there. Interestingly, it does not do this if you have a loaded magazine in the gun and an empty chamber, where (T* -> R -> E) will leave you with a completely empty pistol. And of course from point #3, having loaded chamber and no magazine present, (T* -> R) will pull the cartridge out and have it floating in that spot.

Realistically, if the slide is locked open and the gun is empty, inserting a loaded magazine and immediately withdrawing it without releasing the slide should leave you with a still-empty pistol, and that top-most round should stay in the magazine and come out along with it.

This is still an issue, but the behavior has changed slightly in RC7. See updates here and here.

5) This is related to the above two points and also somewhat intermittent. If you lock the slide open (whether with an empty chamber or with a loaded chamber, where it should eject the round anyway but currently doesn't, or if the pistol locks itself open on its own after firing the last shot,) insert a loaded magazine, and press (T), the slide goes forward and chambers a round (or the round that was chambered before and should have been ejected but wasn't.) However, if you press (R) instead of (T), which should do the same thing, it will eject the topmost cartridge for no apparent reason. That's... kind of silly.

How it actually works: If the slide is locked open, you can release the slide by pressing downward on the lever with your thumb, or by tugging backward on the slide just a little bit. So, in other words, with a locked back slide, (R) and (T) should accomplish the exact same thing, regardless of any other factors.

This behavior has been addressed in RC7 but is still intermittently present. As with point #4, see updates here and here.

6) Currently, if the hammer is decocked and you perform (T* -> R) to lock the slide back, then release with (T), the hammer will go back to the decocked position. In real life, pulling the slide back far enough even to do a press check will push the hammer all the way back to the cocked position.

On a related note, I'm chalking this up as a bug: Make sure the pistol is cocked, perform (T* -> R) or hold down (R) so that the slide is open, and perform (F* -> LMB) to decock the hammer. This shouldn't be possible, but in-game the hammer will actually partially decock and noclip half-way into the slide, then start spasming and foaming at the mouth. No really, try it. If you lock open with (T* -> R) and do this bug-decock, tapping (R) won't recock it; you actually need to let the slide all the way forward then press (R) again. Tapping (F) will recock it though.

Keep in mind, by the way, that - regardless of the position of the manual- and grip-safeties - the trigger doesn't work at all if the slide is pulled back more than 1/16". This is the disconnect function, and is necessary for the gun to be able to recock itself after firing while you're still holding down the trigger.

7) There are two issues with the safety lever. The first one has already been brought up by many other people, but I'll go ahead and actually illustrate it. What Receiver displays as the safe position is actually the fire position, while Receiver's displayed fire position isn't possible. When on fire, the safety still points upward a little bit, not forward. In the safe position, the top of the safety lever extends into a triangular notch in the slide. This, of course, prevents the slide from being drawn back while the safety is on, and obviously also prevents the safety from being switched on while the slide is pulled back at all. Illustration below. On a related note, the game shows the safety shift rearward slightly as you switch between positions. In actuality, the lever just rotates around a pin located at the rearmost point (which I'll show in point #9,) no forward/backward shifting involved.

Slide locking functionality fixed in RC7. Animation not updated yet.

Image

8) The second issue with the safety lever is that, on the real deal, the safety and the hammer lock each other out. If the safety is on, the hammer obviously can't be dropped/decocked, but also if the hammer is decocked, the safety cannot be switched on. Currently in Receiver, you of course can't fire or (F* -> LMB) decock with the safety on, however the game lets you turn the safety on after the hammer has been decocked, then recock with (F) or (R); that shouldn't be possible.

This has been fixed in RC7, although it still pops up at game-start. See update here.

9) In addition to the manual safety lever, the 1911 pistol has a grip-safety on the back of the pistol grip. This rotates around the safety lever's axle, and must be pressed in firmly to allow the trigger to be pulled. Illustration below.

My suggestion would be that bringing the weapon to ready with either (Q) or (RMB) should automatically squeeze in the grip safety, while letting the weapon down or holstering it should release the grip safety. The main implication this would have is it would prevent you from firing without bringing the weapon up to your eye (read as: wasting ammo by firing while forgetting to aim when you're panicking from a drone chasing you.) You'd also need to bring the weapon up to decock with (F* -> LMB).

Image

10) One feature that I would suggest adding is the ability to load a cartridge into the chamber without using a magazine. With no magazine in the gun or in-hand, and the slide locked back (T* -> R), tapping (Z) should thumb a cartridge directly into the chamber. Do take note that doing this, then inserting a loaded magazine before releasing the slide, would result in a spectacular jam, preventing the slide from closing all the way. After all, it can't push a cartridge into a chamber that's already loaded. To clear this jam, you'll have to lock the slide open again and remove the magazine; the magazine will go into your hand, and the round that got jammed half-way up the feed ramp will fall out through the bottom of the gun and onto the ground.

Miscellaneous note: I think it is both extremely clever and hilarious how you did the "firearm operation manual" with the diagrams labeled with the key bindings. One observation I made though; in the endgame sequence of slides, the 1911 user manual image showing the disassembled weapon shows the hammer in the decocked position. To disassemble or reassemble a 1911, the hammer must be cocked to remove/install the slide. Now, there's no reason that you can't decock it (Carefully! Don't just let it slam into the frame.) while disassembled, but there's not generally a reason to do so during basic cleaning and lubing.

--------------------

Edit to add: If you have any questions about where any part goes or where any pivot point is for animating the 1911, this animation is about as sexy as it gets.

Even though that's a lot of complaints (No! I'm not complaining! I'm just making observations, I swear!) I really, really like Receiver's effort at making realistic and highly-involved weapon manipulation, and the Wolfire team has certainly done an impressive job of it. If my observations and suggestions are taken into account, Receiver would be pretty much impossible to top for weapon realism. In any case, implementing these changes really wouldn't change most of the established command sequence combos, such as for rapid reloading.

Somanywords </dies>

--Katemonster <3

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Shadowfury333 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:32 am

I can see those changes being really neat to play with, especially thumbing in a single round and grip safety. The rest of them are probably less noticeable edge cases, so I don't see it likely to mess up muscle memory too much by adding them in.

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Katemonster » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:59 am

Glock 17, Modified

First off, I'd like to commend Wolfire for an awesome job with the autosear end-plate modification. I'm not entirely sure why a modified Glock 17 was chosen rather than the Glock 18, other than maybe putting the selector in a more visible location? In any case, you guys absolutely nailed it. Now then...

1) Cosmetic nitpicking: The slide of the Glock is pulled back about the correct distance, unlike the 1911, but the hold-open notch and lever still don't line up with each other correctly. I can only guess that the notch is modeled too far forward on the slide, but there's no way to see the left side of the gun in-game while the slide is closed.

This appears to have been fixed in RC7.

Image

I will also note that the Glock's barrel moves rearward and tilts just like the 1911 barrel, and actually the tilt is much more pronounced on the Glock.

2) The Glock demonstrates all the same issues listed in M1911A1 rundown points 3, 4, and 5 in regards to the magic floating cartridge, lack of a proper press-check, and inexplicable ejection behavior. I'm not going to try repeat all that information here.

As noted on the 1911, these problems have been partially alleviated and a more realistic press-check function was added in RC7. Some problematic behavior is still present but has slightly changed; see updates here and here.

3) If you unload the Glock in-game and dry-fire it, it will make a 'click' every time you pull the trigger. What happens in reality is that the Glock's striker (spring-driven firing pin; the Glock does not have an internal hammer) normally sits at a sort of half-cocked position. When you pull the trigger, the striker is pulled back to the fully cocked position and then released. When the slide cycles after the shot, the striker is moved back to the fully-cocked position, then returns to the half-cocked position when you release the trigger. If the slide doesn't cycle after the trigger is pulled, the trigger bar has no way of grabbing hold of the striker from the decocked/fired position, so the weapon effectively stays decocked until you manually recock it by pulling the slide back at least a little bit. So, if you pull the trigger and the gun goes click, it should only go click once; it should then remain silent on subsequent trigger pulls, until you at least press-check the slide to reset the trigger. Whether the gun is set to semiauto or fullauto fire makes no difference on this.

4) Receiver currently displays the Glock as having a thinner front sight blade than the 1911. In fact, the standard 1911 front blade is 0.125" wide while the standard Glock front blade is 0.149" wide. That, combined with the weapon being shorter (the Glock having a 4.5" barrel compared to the 1911's 5" bore) and thus putting the front sight closer to the eye, should make the Glock's front sight appear much fatter than the 1911's and be much less precise to aim with.

5) I know a few other people have mentioned this, and I already pointed it out in the last illustration, but the Glock's model shows the floorplate/drop-shoe of a magazine on the bottom of the grip, even when there's no magazine present.

Fixed in RC7.

6) Yes this is more nitpicking, but the gun should be textured a lot darker. The only parts of the weapon that shouldn't be/aren't a flat, super-dark grey would be the white highlights on the sights and the bare stainless fire-selector crossbolt on the autosear mod plate (ie the little thing you move side to side.) Cosmetic nitpicking aside, part of the reason I bring this up is that having grey, aluminium-cased ammo (as the game currently does) with a light-grey gun would make a press-check sort of frustrating since you'd hardly be able to tell the casing from the gun itself. In fact, as cool as the aluminium Blaser cases are, press-checking might be an argument for just going back to a regular brass texture. Update for RC7: This issue actually did pop up for me, regarding not being able to tell whether or not a round was chambered when press-checking due to the color/shade of the cartridge and the gun being almost indistinguishable.

Of course, my suggestion in the 1911 section about being able to manually thumb a cartridge directly into the chamber also applies to the Glock.

That's all I have on the Glock, at least for the moment. My brain is still on the fritz and I may be forgetting something.

--Katemonster <3

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Anton » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:33 am

Katemonster wrote:I'm not entirely sure why a modified Glock 17 was chosen rather than the Glock 18, other than maybe putting the selector in a more visible location?
This has a surprisingly simple answer. The Glock 17 is a much more common gun, and would be easier to potentially find in a post apocalyptic world. As far as I understand it, the Glock 18 is pretty rare.

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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Katemonster » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:50 pm

Hello Anton. :)

Well, that's generally true, yeah. I really can't speak for elsewhere in the world, but the Glock 18 is around in the US. It's completely illegal for civilians to own, but there are several law enforcement SWAT teams that have purchased them... for what reason I don't exactly know. Fullauto fire from a pistol isn't a terribly practical thing.

Any machine gun (defined by the BATFE as any firearm that can fire more than one shot with a single trigger pull) made after a 19 May 1986 cannot be transferred to a civilian. Some people talk about a "Class III license" that will let them get around this, but there's no such thing. The only way you can possess a Glock 18 without being part of a government agency is if you are a machine gun dealer, and you aren't allowed to have the licensing to be a machine gun dealer unless you actually conduct business selling machine guns to government agencies. Trying to use that paperwork just to enhance your own collection will result in a pretty fierce slap on the wrist and having your licensing revoked and all your toys taken away.

So. There are no (legal) Glock 18s in civilian hands, but probably at least a few hundred in law enforcement hands around the US. Meanwhile, the Glock 17 and Glock 22 (caliber .40 S&W with 15 round magazine) were the most common law enforcement sidearms in the US for a loooong time; now the S&W M&P has taken over a large part of the market and a lot of police Glocks are being sold off to gun shops. Finding a surplus Glock 22 with four magazines for $400 + tax isn't uncommon.

However, the autosear mod endplates are also extremely illegal, like possessing the endplate and a Glock to install it in, or having a Glock that has been modified to use one of those endplates (it requires a notch cut in the top-rear of the pistol's frame to install) even if you don't actually have one, is I think a maximum of 10 years in prison and $125,000 fine. The ATF isn't known for going easy on people for NFA violations. There are very few, if any, legally transferable Glock autosear plates; like, if there are any, you can probably count them on one hand, and they are stupid-expensive. It wouldn't be too terribly hard for some dope in a machine shop to manufacture them illegally though.

Update: The legality of converted Glock 17 has been touched on in greater detail here.

ANYWAY.

Is that the Bank of China Tower in the skybox texture? All of what I've said is kind of pointless if Receiver takes place outside the US, and there's nothing to say that it doesn't I guess.

I do think that visibility of the selector is a legit thing to point out though. Other than if you wanted to make the PC look at the side of the pistol every time you flip the selector, there isn't really any good way to tell what you have it set to on the 18. Having the crossbolt selector on the back end makes it easy and immediate to tell what setting you're on.

Anyway, I'll say again: Just slap me if I'm just telling you guys stuff you already know.

--Katemonster

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Last edited by Katemonster on Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Anton
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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Anton » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:57 pm

I personally know very little about any of this, so I always like to read up on it. I just was walking down the street with Aubrey 3 days ago, and we happened to be talking about Receiver, and that was what he said was one of the motivations for using the Glock 17 with a mod, rather than the Glock 18.

As for the setting, it's not really so specific as to be any particular location, although, I believe that he did use some of the Hong Kong skyline as a reference. So for all intents and purposes, it is nowhere. :)

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orlok
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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by orlok » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:26 pm

hello there

I sit halfway between a "youtube" gun owner and some personal experience when I lived in South Africa, so, it's nice to have someone who knows their stuff and without being preachy about it.

Keep the constructive criticism coming.

personally, i'm not too fussed about the asthetics at this time rather gameplay but again the more info the better. (especially any myth busting).

Nice to "see" you

rgds

LoK

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Katemonster
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Re: A Gunsmith's Perspective

Post by Katemonster » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:21 am

Smith & Wesson Victory Model

I'd like to apologize in advance for the ridiculous volume of technical detail in this post. There aren't actually that many behavioral changes I'm suggesting, but I'd like it to be clearly understood why they should be that way.

1) The Victory Model is a wartime-production version of the S&W Military & Police revolver made 1942-1944, later renamed the Model 10 when S&W finally started using actual model numbers. The Victory is distinct from the other M&P/M10 variants in that most of them have a rougher but more durable finish (except the very early ones like shown below,) and has a lanyard loop on the bottom of the grip. Receiver's model of the Victory lacks the lanyard loop:

Image

Of course, you can always say that the loop was simply removed (which would leave a small hole in the bottom of the pistol grip where it goes.)

2) The second cosmetic item to point out is that the Model 10 family, like most older S&W hand-ejector revolvers, has the firing pin fixed directly to the front of the hammer. You'll be able to see what that looks like in the illustration for point #3.

3) In Receiver, having the cylinder opened prevents you from cocking the hammer, however having the hammer cocked doesn't stop you from opening the cylinder. It doesn't quite work that way on the real thing; the cylinder latch and the hammer lock each other out of operation.

There's this little thumb pad on the left side of the gun behind the cylinder; that's the cylinder latch - push forward on it to release the cylinder. When you push forward on the cylinder latch to open up the gun, part of it goes under the back of the hammer to prevent it from being cocked, and it stays there under light, forward spring pressure until the cylinder is closed. When the hammer is cocked, that same part of the cylinder latch can't go forward, so the cylinder can't be unlatched. This is somewhat easier to show than tell:

(By the way, the photos of this S&W Model 36-1 are mine. It was made in 1967 or 1968 and is my own concealed-carry weapon; I inherited it from my grandfather.)

Image

Now, there is a way to circumvent the hammer being locked forward when the cylinder is opened, but I figure the PC for Receiver is sort of a novice with firearms so that wouldn't be immediately obvious and can probably be ignored. If you really wanted to implement it, just bind (Y) or something to hold backward on the cylinder latch. That way, if the cylinder is opened, you can manually cock the hammer with (Y* -> F). The other way around however, there is no way to open the cylinder if the hammer is cocked; you must decock it first.

4) So, I think most people have at least some understanding of the idea behind a double-action lockwork, but I'll go ahead and detail it here for anyone who is still confused. There is a point to all this, an issue with the Victory's portrayal to comment on. Anyway, grab a sandwich and some coffee and prepare yourself for a massive infodump.

'Single-action' or 'double-action' denotes the behavior of the trigger, not the behavior of the person holding the gun. On a single-action firearm like the Colt M1911, pulling the trigger performs one action: releasing the hammer/striker to fire the gun (this isn't a big deal on semiauto pistols since rearward movement of the slide recocks the hammer anyway.) On a single-action revolver, you have to manually cock the hammer with your thumb before every shot. Pulling the trigger with the hammer decocked accomplishes nothing.

On a double-action firearm, pulling the trigger can accomplish two functions automatically, one after the other: first it cocks the hammer/striker, then it releases it to fire. Early double-action revolvers were simply referred to as 'self-cocking'. Due to the extra work performed, a double-action trigger pull is longer and takes much more force. On a double-action weapon, you can usually still cock the hammer with your thumb to achieve a light and crisp single-action trigger pull.

There are double-action autoloading pistols, like the Beretta M9, where the hammer can be left decocked; first shot is double-action, and the slide then recocks the hammer automatically so every successive shot is single-action. These are often called DA/SA pistols so that they are differentiated from now-ridiculously-popular DAO designs. Some pistols, like revolvers which have the hammer completely inside the frame or the striker-fired Glock (which really starts at half-cocked rather than decocked, as I described in the Glock's own post,) are denoted as "double-action only" or DAO.

I swear there's a legitimate reason for all of this nonsense, but I'm not going to go into all that until much later. For now, I just want that understood so I can talk about the correct behavior of a double-action, hand-ejector revolver like the S&W Victory.

When the revolver is decocked, the trigger is positioned way forward inside the trigger guard, about half-way forward. When you fire in double-action mode, it takes a fair amount of force to pull the trigger all the way back almost to where it touches the back of the trigger guard, and this pushes the hammer back slightly past the cocked position, then immediately lets it go to fire the gun. When you cock the hammer with your thumb for single-action fire, it pulls the trigger back along with it. With the hammer sitting in the cocked position, the trigger is just slightly forward of the firing point and it takes very little effort to push it back that last bit and release the hammer. (This is also important because the trigger has to move in order for the cylinder to rotate; you'll see why later.)

So, why am I pointing all this out? Because when you cock the hammer with (F) in Receiver, the trigger doesn't move back the way it should:

Image

Also, I'll say that the double-action pull should not only be slower but should also noticeably throw off the accuracy. It takes a lot of strength and practice to accurately fire a revolver in double-action. Anyway, I'll be talking more about SA, DA, and DAO trigger systems much later, after I've finished critiquing the Victory.

5) Next off I'd like to make some comments about rotating the cylinder. Spinning the cylinder with the mouse wheel when it is open is fine, obviously. When the cylinder is closed into the frame, however, the behavior is a little different than what the game displays, and from what you would intuitively expect I guess. There are two parts that interact with it regarding rotation; one is the indexing bolt, which prevents the cylinder from rotating, and the other is the ratchet pawl that pushes the cylinder around when you cock the hammer.

The indexing bolt locks into little slots in the side of the cylinder to prevent it from rotating regardless of whether or not the hammer is cocked. When the gun is being fired, this keeps the chamber lined up with the barrel. When the hammer is decocked, this prevents you from inadvertently spinning the cylinder and skipping shots while handling the gun. (I have a pair of revolvers made by H&R and Iver Johnson which are about 120-130 years old. They do not lock the cylinder when decocked, and it is very annoying.) The indexing bolt is withdrawn as you begin to pull the hammer (or trigger) back, and is allowed to snap back against the cylinder as the hammer nears the cocked position (or sear breaking point to fire in double-action); it grabs a locking slot on the cylinder again right at the end of the rotation.

The ratchet pawl is attached to the right side of the trigger; as the trigger is pulled or the hammer cocked, this pawl pushes up on a set of teeth on the back of the extractor star (which Receiver doesn't show,) pushing the right side of the cylinder up and rotating it counter-clockwise. (Incidentally, I originally thought it looked like Receiver showed the cylinder rotating the wrong direction until I turned on slomo. The framerate was just playing tricks on me.)

(For modeling purposes, take note that a revolver with an even number of chambers, like the Victory, has the indexing notches lined up directly over the chambers. On a revolver with an odd number of chambers, like my five-shot Model 36-1, the notches are located in between the chambers.)

Image

Getting to the point: To manually spin the cylinder, you have to withdraw the indexing bolt by holding the hammer half-way back. If the hammer is fully cocked or the trigger completely released/hammer decocked, the indexing bolt is in place and you can't spin the cylinder. The way I'd deal with this in the game is have it so spinning the cylinder with the mouse wheel automatically holds the hammer half-way back; let it go forward again when it stops spinning, or pull it to fully cocked with (F) and cause the cylinder to immediately slam to a stop when it lines up with the indexing bolt. (Please don't ever do this with a real revolver, you'll warp or shatter the indexing bolt if you do it very often or with sufficient force. Sufficient force to do damage is much lower than you think it is.)

The second point is that, even when decocked, the ratchet pawl acts as a one-way ratcheting clutch and prevents the cylinder from being rotated clockwise. If the gun is in good condition, you should only be able to spin it counter-clockwise. (If the gun is sufficiently worn or has just been abused, you can go the other way if you keep clockwise pressure on the cylinder and then pull the hammer back just a hair and release it, but you have to click the hammer like that on every indexing slot.) I figure you can either make it so the mouse wheel only works in one direction, or make it so that spinning the mouse wheel either way turns the cylinder the same direction when closed.

Lastly, if the hammer is cocked, you shouldn't be able to spin the cylinder at all.

Cylinder cannot be rotated while hammer is cocked as of update RC7.

6) Now that double-action functionality and the cylinder rotation mechanics have been covered, I'd like to explain something about the misunderstood concept of "trigger-cocking". Firing accurately with a double-action trigger pull takes a lot of practice because of the amount of wrist strength involved; one method some people use is to pull the trigger back in double-action just shy of the firing point. You get the cylinder rotation and indexing out of the way, and it takes less force to hold the trigger there than to get it there, so you can stabilize the gun and aim more carefully after you've pulled the trigger most of the way back and then just give it that last little nudge to fire. The method for practicing this is (with the gun unloaded, of course,) to spin the cylinder around using the trigger without actually (dry)firing the gun and without touching the cylinder or hammer. Note, however, that the hammer does not stay cocked after you let go of the trigger.

In Receiver currently, a very quick tap to (LMB) in an effort to fire will instead cock the gun as if you had pressed (F). The gun should not be staying in the cocked position after a partial trigger pull; the cylinder should rotate and lock on the next chamber, but the hammer will go back down to the decocked position when you let off. This has the implication that you will have skipped a shot, and will have to manually rotate the cylinder or pull the trigger six more times to go back and fire that chamber; this is very annoying if the gun is only partially loaded. Which I think is totally within the spirit of Receiver.

Now, let me re-qualify the above statement. Trigger cocking like what's shown in Receiver (and some other fiction I've encountered) is possible, but the gun isn't designed to do it. The very edge of the trigger's sear-catch surface may come to a stop pushing directly into the double-action sear on the hammer, but this is like trying to push the sharp edges of two knives into each other perfectly parallel without having them slip and you losing all of your fingers. It happens a bit more frequently than flipping a coin and having it land on edge. I wouldn't even put it on a luck roll, I would just take out that behavior completely.

7) The gun apparently has a phantom cylinder yoke (or cylinder crane, if you prefer.) Swing the cylinder open and you'll see a second yoke (without its journal shaft) still up inside the frame. Illustration:

Image

8) Shells sticking in the chambers... what to say about this?

Well, you mentioned in the update video that shells can expand from the explosion inside. Well, in the spirit of pedantry, the powder deflagrates (subsonic combustion front), it does not detonate (supersonic combustion/explosive shock wave.) If it were an 'explosion', you would no longer have a gun in your hand. (Sometimes this happens.) Anyway. Yes, fixed, metal-cased ammo is used specifically because the brass expands to completely seal the breech end and prevent any propellant gas from leaking out. (Not that this makes much of a difference on a revolver, considering how much gas pressure you lose from the gap between the cylinder and barrel.) The brass cools and relaxes/contracts a moment after the shot, so sticking isn't too much of a problem, especially with low-pressure ammo like .38 Special or .38/200 British (the two calibers the S&W Victory came in, not interchangeable.) Unfired cartridges should/will slide out very easily, while expanded cartridges will stick, but not very tightly. If the gun is really dirty, yes, the unfired carts may stick a little bit and the fired shells may bind tightly.

However, they would bind to the chambers, not to the extractor star. If you punch the extraction rod (V), and the shells stick, the extractor star should go back into the cylinder due to spring pressure, but the shells will stick there part-way out of the cylinder; they wouldn't go back into the cylinder, like they do currently. It would actually be a bit more difficult to shove them back into the cylinder than to simply pluck them out with your fingers. Striking multiple times on the extractor rod wouldn't push them any further out.

So, let's say that the gun is actually fairly clean, and the shells aren't sticking excessively. First, unfired cartridges should fall out easily on the first hit to the rod, always. In fact, it would be both realistic and funny if having the cylinder open and pointing the gun higher than, say, 40° above the horizon would cause the unfired shells to just fall out on their own without the player hitting the extractor rod. The fired shells may require a couple hits to the rod and a bit of shaking to have them fall loose, but they ought not to ride back into the cylinder with the star if they fail to fall out the first time; of course, that prevents you from closing the cylinder until the shells have all fallen out.

-----------------------------

In conclusion, I should have registered under the screen name Teal_Deer instead. x__x

--Katemonster

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Last edited by Katemonster on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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