This was a surprise. I haven’t had a chance to fire this, but a friend has and gave me the run down on the pistol compared to the venerable FN FiveSeven.

RUGER-57™ 5.7x28mm Pistol

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Introduced in 2020, Ruger stepped in to save the 5.7x28mm cartridge, which has been limping along since the early 1990s. The caliber has a small but loyal following, but outside of a few custom offerings for rifles, the round was relegated to the overly expensive FN FiveSeven and the accompanying P90 personal defense weapon and its civilian carbine versions. Adding to the caliber’s troubles was an infamy for being a “cop killing” because of its ability to penetrate soft armor decades ago. The manufacturers of the 5.7mm cut the power of the round, dropping its speed from a blistering 2100fps from the pistol to a mundane 1600fps, placing it on par with .22 magnum. coupled with the expense of the round, this limited the popularity of the 5.7mm.

Ruger has stepped in with a similar pistol to the FiveSeven — a hammer-fired semi-automatic that has a 20 round (metal, not polymer like the FN), and with a thinner, more ergonomic grip. Unlike the FN, the safety is placed at the back of the receiver, like many handguns and is ambidextrous. The slide has a cut in the front, top-side to reduce weight and aid in function. This and the lower bore axis of the Ruger mean faster follow up shot and even less felt recoil than the already very easy shooting FN FiveSeven.

Limited commercial reloaders can reproduce the velocities that made 5.7mm a decent self-defense pistol, and Ruger is pushing manufacturers to offer more 5.7mm offerings.

PM: +2   S/R: 3   AMMO: E   CLOS: 0-8   LONG: 15-22   CON: +1   JAM: 99+   DR: 0   RL: 1   COST: $800

GM Information: Most commercial rounds for the 5.7mm have a DC: D and reduce armor effects by one. For military and specialty loads, the round halves armor ratings. Both commercial and military rounds hav a -1WL to inanimate objects.

(I carried a FN FiveSeven for years and loved it. The weight was almost non-existent, like carrying an airsoft gun. Even with an anemic round, 20 in the mag was enough to do the trick. I also had a P-90, which was easily my favorite “long” gun. But the wimping out of the round’s speed and power, and the expense of the bullets led to me abandoning it for the Walther PPQ. I’m hoping to get my grubby wee paws on this thing soon to try it out. SCR)

The Steyr TMP has been a staple of action movies for a decade, but was a somewhat lackluster piece of equipment in real life. However, Brügger & Thomet, a Swiss defense contractor that specializes in sound suppressors, bought the design and did improvements to it that led to its recent adoption by the Swiss military for its echelon troops. (It is also popular with some police departments around the world.)

B&T MP9-N

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Also called the Machinenpistole 14, the MP9-N is a selective-fire 9x19mm personal defense weapon in the same vein as the P-90 or H&K MP7. It is capable of 1100 RPM, and uses either a 15, 20, or 30 round magazine, usually clear plastic to allow the user to do a spot ammunition check. It uses an H&K style selector, rather than the original Steyr cross-bolt safety/selector, has a folding stock, and a Piccatiny-style rail for attaching tactical lights or lasers.

PM: 0   S/R: 2/10   AMMO: 30   DC: F/I   CLOS: 0-8   LONG: 25-50   CON: +3   JAM: 98+   DRAW: -2   RL: 2   COST: $3000

GM Information: With a suppressor affixed, the MP9-N specs change in several areas:

PM: +1   DC: E/H   CLOS: 0-6   LONG 18-30   CON: n/a   DRAW: -3

Arsenal Arms created a “ballistic knife” — a combat knife with a six shot .22LR revolver cylinder inside the handle of the knife. The gun is actuated by turning a portion of the trigger, which levers up and for every squeeze, a round is fired. Some of the game stat stuff is conjecture based on videos on the web, as I’ve not actually seen one of these. The trigger looks very heavy and awkward, so accuracy is going to suffer severely. The cylinder looks like it might be off the NAA pocket revolvers, so you can probably carry an extra cylinder (if you can figure out how to keep the rounds in, and hot swap the cylinder. Reloading looks like you’d have to take the cylinder out, knock the rounds that don’t fall free, out, then feed and replace the cylinder before closing.

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G.R.A.D. MODEL RS1 BALLISTIC COMBAT KNIFE

PM: o  DC: +2   CON: +1   DRAW: 0

(as gun) PM: -1   S/R: 1   AMMO: 6   DC: D   CLOS: 0-1   LONG: 3-6   CON: +1   JAM: 97+   DRAW: 0   RL: see GM information… COST: ~$2000

GM Information: the RS1 is designed to be a last ditch weapon, so reloading was not a priority. To hot-swap a cylinder, the reload time can be dropped to 3 rounds, to feed the cylinder in the weapon new rounds takes 5 rounds.

(Ed. If anyone has one of these and care to correct me on elements of the function, etc., please do…)

Here’s some vid of the thing in action:

The X-47B drone just made its first carrier landing. How important is this? Well, the Navy is saying its on par with the first naval aircraft. The craft are remote-piloted, smaller than most naval aircraft (more to a carrier), and are much, much cheaper per unit than most of the hot-shit new fighter designs. Oh, and not having a pilot on board means it can out turn anything in the skies.

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Here’s the first catapult launch of the craft:

And the first landing:

Can Cylon Raiders be far behind..?

Here’s the stats for the X-47B for the James Bond: 007 RPG:

PM: +2   RED: 2   CRUS: 500   MAX: 700   RNG: 2,100   FCE: 5   STR: 25   COST: n/a

GM Information: The X-47’s small profile gives opponents looking for it a -2EF to their Perception. The drone can carry 4500 lbs of missiles or other ordinance.

Voting is open over on Stuffer Shack for the 2013 RPG site of the year. So, if you’ve enjoyed the site, gotten good use out of the game-specific materials, or just wants to be a mensch…go over and vote for us!

Quick note for the GMs out there: this is a toy you might not want your players to get their hands on unless absolutely necessary. They’re new, rare, still in testing, and expensive.

XM-25 25mm Defilade Target Engagement System (“Punisher”)

The XM-25 is a airburst grenade launcher that uses various targeting methods, including a thermal sight, and a laser aiming designator to program the internal ballistic computer onboard the round, allowing the user to program the range at which the grenade should detonate. This allows the round to be fired over an obstruction and explode above the target. They can also breach a thin barrier (like a window or door) and explode on the other side.

The 25mm × 40 low velocity grenades called high-explosive airbursting (HEAB) rounds, armour piercing explosive rounds, flechettes or canisters of lethal tiny darts for close-quarters combat, door breaching loads, anti-personnel rounds, and probably the weapon’s most lethal type of ammo: thermobaric (or fuel-air bombs [FAE]) grenades.

Here’s the US DoD description of the FAE effects: The [blast] kill mechanism against living targets is unique–and unpleasant…. What kills is the pressure wave, and more importantly, the subsequent rarefaction [vacuum], which ruptures the lungs…. If the fuel deflagrates but does not detonate, victims will be severely burned and will probably also inhale the burning fuel. Since the most common FAE fuels, ethylene oxide and propylene oxide, are highly toxic, undetonated FAE should prove as lethal to personnel caught within the cloud as most chemical agents.

A GM can probably understand why you don’t want characters wandering about with the latter. Considering the cost of the FAE round is about $1000/shell, you have a good reason for why they wouldn’t be issued one under anything but the most extreme conditions.

PM: 0   S/R: 1   AMMO: 4   DC: see below   CLOS: 0-30   LONG: 100-210   CON: n/a   JAM: 95+   RL: 2   COST: $30,000

GM Information: The XM-25 must be aimed to use the programmable function of the grenades. The user gets the usual +3 EF modifier, but can ignore cover modifiers against them. The damage of the grenades is DC: J for the HEAB and HEAP rounds (the armor piercing rounds half the armor of a vehicle and ignore personal armor benefits.) The canister rounds do DC: I and ignore half the personal armor benefits. Door breaching rounds are area effect, but the damage if DC: H and the barrier provides double the usual damage protection, but is itself destroyed.

The FAE grenade does DC: L with a blast radius of 25′ for damage falloff. Fire damage at DC: F follows for 6 rounds, unless the fire can be extinguished. The damage is applied to any structure that the person might be in — like a small house, say. They’re incredibly destructive.

This is loosely based on the mission the group played last week. It’s for a team of four to six spy/military type characters.

Moving on intelligence gathered at Camp Delta from a Russian arms dealer, the team is being put in play to stop the sale of weapons from the bratva (Russian mob) and al-Shahab in Somalia. the method of delivery is keen: the freighter Kapitan Kurila has been “hijacked” by Somali pirates and brought into port in Mogadishu. Their mission is two fold: 1) destroy the shipping container (standard 20x8x8′) with serial number BF20389 and the armaments (including explosives, ammunition, etc.), and 2) capture/kill the arms dealer’s number two guy who is moving into the lead position, Igor Borodin. Borodin is with the deal to do a face-to-face with the al-Shahab #2 Sheik abu Yassou Rouma. Abu Yassou, if discovered, is eminently expendable.

Satellite imagery puts the freighter at the wharf inbound of the southern waterbreak. There’s easy ingress from the sea, but a 50 yard area to cross that will most likely have Somali terrorists hanging around waiting to offload and take possession of the weapons. They can come in from the sea, as well and board on the starboard side, away from the wharf. (Use Google maps — they have a good shot of the area I’m talking about.)

The ship itself is a 300′ Feeder-style freighter with the cargo holds modified to take standard containers, two arranged side to side, with up to four or five stacked on top of each other. There will be a small area to maneuver around the containers to check numbers, gain entrance, etc. The gunwhales of the ship are lower than the main deck, allowing for relatively easy access (EF5 Mountaineering.) There are three holds, searching each will take about 3 minutes, during which time they should have to be careful of the crew of 14 and about 4 of Somalis. An EF6 Demolitions is needed to destroy the container, delivering a DC L to the container, and a DC H to the boat.

The team members looking for Borodin will find him on the second deck of the superstructure in the officer’s wardroom with Abu Yassou, two former-Spetnaz-types, and there is a Somali lookout in the corridor. Six of the crew are in the first level wardroom watching Russian porn and with a good Charisma EF4 can be subdued. There is a man working the ship’s crane, there are three men aiding in moving the containers, and two guards roving. The Somali guards are on the cargo deck with the loading crew. There’s about a dozen ashore waiting for delivery with a couple of pickups they are going to offload into. The sheiks old Mercedes-Benz C class is there, as well.

Any alert and they’ll have the place swarming with the Somalis from the wharf. Ten minutes after a firefight starts, they’ll have more bad guys than they can handle.

They will extract by boat to a waiting submarine.

Have fun…