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Discussion Starter #1
So anyone know what the actual rate of fire for a bolter is? I always think it is semi auto with burst fire but i have read once of it going full auto in the night lords omnibus
 

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Well the A.A 12 shotgun has a rate of fire of 300 rounds a minute, it is 12 gauge so the calibre is just about the same as a boltgun, so I would use that figure as realistic rate of fire for a boltgun. That is of course if you like your sci fi to be far fetched but believable.
 

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A Boltgun can be fired in several modes. SemiAuto, Burst (3 and 4, possibly depending on type, and I think even 2 round), and full automatic.

The rate of fire is slightly a different thing. It is how many shots you can fire in a given time, usually expressed as per minute. In todays day and age, most assault rifles fire at 600ish rounds/minute. Now, they fire 5.56mm, or 7.62 ammunition - the boltgun fires 25mm. The nearest to that in small arm terms is the XM25. Can't remember of top of my head, but it isnt very quick.

Other than that, there are several explosive shell weapons on a heavier weapon system, like the Apache's 30mm gun the M230 which is similar to assault rifles, while the RARDEN is around 90rpm, but limited to 6 (or maybe 8, been a while) at a time to conserve ammunition.

In regards to 2 shot burst, there are russian weapons which fire at nearly 1800rounds/minute, but can only fire in burst because of that action.

Authors pick and choose depending on what they desire.



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Bolter is weapon category on its own and there has to be many different models with all kinds of rate of fire options. I doubt that Marines would be wasting ammunition going on full auto. I suspect ROF would be anywhere between 600-800 a min.

Also caliber is slightly different between normal and Marine bolters.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
huh, i dont really see the bolter as a full auto weapon. I always liked the way it was depicted in the game fire warrior, but hate how it is depicted in the game space marine
 

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The storm bolter was designed as a full auto assault version, so while a bolter may be capable of full auto, it's not its primary purpose. A SMs reflexes and marksmanship married with targeting technologies in their armour mean that one placed shot should be enough for most targets. Besides, with such a small mag capacity, it would be extremely wasteful to go full auto.

I wonder how many rounds a SM would carry into action. Modern troops wear battle vests or chest rigs with anywhere from 300 to 500 rds, plus grenades and other goodies. If a SM was carrying 500 rds of .75 ammo on him, he should be dripping with bandoliers and magazines mag locked to any spare surface.
 

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The storm bolter was designed as a full auto assault version, so while a bolter may be capable of full auto, it's not its primary purpose. A SMs reflexes and marksmanship married with targeting technologies in their armour mean that one placed shot should be enough for most targets. Besides, with such a small mag capacity, it would be extremely wasteful to go full auto.

I wonder how many rounds a SM would carry into action. Modern troops wear battle vests or chest rigs with anywhere from 300 to 500 rds, plus grenades and other goodies. If a SM was carrying 500 rds of .75 ammo on him, he should be dripping with bandoliers and magazines mag locked to any spare surface.
Well some art does depict them with gear. (from Forgeworld's Taros book.)



Remember too though that a Space Marine missions are short and sharp. They're not slogging it out it the trenches but used in elite surgical strikes and shock assaults; they don't need to be carrying a massive amount of ammunition. Especially not when a) their methodology of waging war and equipment makes close combat perfectly viable and b) they're only every a supply drop away from fresh reserves of material. remember that the Space Marines arrive via their fleet and as such can land new supplies via thunderhawk or simply shoot them onto the surface via drop pod. Vehicles like the rhino or land raider also carry supplies.
 

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That image depicts a marine with a grand total of 60 rounds. Even if the mission is short and sharp, it's usually right into the heart of an enemy position, where defenders would be most numerous. 60 rounds just isn't going to cut it. Firing on full auto they wouldn't last 30 seconds.

I know when I was going on patrols, even if they were only meant to be fairly short, I packed in as much ammo as I could, just in case resupply became difficult, as it usually does when the shit hits the fan. I'm sure SMs always prepare for the worst case scenario. Besides, certain scenarios would not allow for effective resupply from fleet elements. The fleet itself could be fighting, the mission might be subterranean, they may have teleported in.
 

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The Bolter is not a precision weapon. If it was, it wouldn't have the necessity for an explosive round. It can be used as one, don't get me wrong, but the warhead means it can be used as an area of effect weapon, similar to how the .50 cal or Minimi/GPMG are used today.

They are used against targets in hard cover like rocks or buildings, not because they can punch through the rocks (although the 50.cal with time can probably chew them apart), but because they cause spalling and fragmenting of ammunition. If you've ever thrown something like shale or flint, and you've seen it shatter, then that's what makes it lethal, as well as ricochets, in addition to fragmenting rounds scattering pieces of metal everywhere. Put an explosive charge behind, either on a impact triggered timed delay like the typical bolter ammunition, or airbursting, similar to Metal Storm Ammunition, you've got a recipe for mincemeat.

Fired on full auto, even if the Space Marines cannot directly target their opponents, but know of their position, they can effectively spray and pray.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjqu4hBFWFA

It's a brief marketing demonstration of its effectiveness, and what is mostly apparent about the XM25's HEAB (high explosive airburst) is that it has an aft-charge, causing fragmentation to targets it has already passed, which means it can do its signature firing into a room and making gibs out of whatever is in there - that's probably the metal storm ammunition type, which going by Codex:Space Marines is limited to "Sternguard" Veterans or "Seeker" Veteran Squads in Legion Crusade List.

Considering the nature of the operations that Astartes undertake, I think that's more of a gameplay balancing factor, and that the Astartes given enough time and information are probably able to requisition more ammunition of this type. I think the only reason the Boltgun ammunition isn't a direct quote of the XM25 HEAB is because a load of geeks in a shed in the black country or the early 80's weren't aware of its existence and their knowledge of weaponry wasn't as well known or availability to research (short of Jane's) was harder to get hold of for up and coming writers.

Edit - in addition to KF, my webbing on deliberate ops took 8 30 round magazines (only loaded 29 though, left the spring springy and reduced stoppages) in addition to the one loaded in my rifle, and I had a daysack which contained a further 300 rounds in magazines and either a 420rnd ammo can or enough for two reloads of the attached fire support group, whether it was the 60mm mortar rounds, spare LASM's, or up to 400 link of either 7.62 or 5.56. Throw in a couple of reloads for the Sig, and two full tracer magazines, and 4-5 grenades, and multiply that between 8 of us. That was a typical load for a deliberate helo-borne operation - fly in, drop between 1-5 clicks, yomp in, drop day sack, fire and maneuvre in, complete objective, and then yomp over to the helo for pick up. The amount of ammunition there was in case the operation went tits up, such as a Chinook or Merlin getting shot down, or there was a redirect to a TiC with T1 casualties en route to pick us up. I've only ever needed that amount of ammunition once, and that was when we pushed too far north nearly into Ghor to avoid an encirclement.

But consider that with Space Marine operations - for example Beta Anph IV saw a Terminator Squad infiltrate a genestealer infested network of prefabs - their ammunition soon began to run dry, and Culln lost 2 to genestealers. It doesn't state how much ammunition was present (and they were using Storm Bolters with obvious full automatic), but simply that there was probably only 6 seconds of ammunition available to the Assault Cannon - which you can assume is roughly analogous to something like a 30mm Avenger (the 7.62 probably was more like the rotor cannon of 30K Legiones), which is around 4200 rpm at full speed - the hopper for the Ass Can was likely around 400.



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Discussion Starter #12
The Bolter is not a precision weapon. If it was, it wouldn't have the necessity for an explosive round. It can be used as one, don't get me wrong, but the warhead means it can be used as an area of effect weapon, similar to how the .50 cal or Minimi/GPMG are used today.

They are used against targets in hard cover like rocks or buildings, not because they can punch through the rocks (although the 50.cal with time can probably chew them apart), but because they cause spalling and fragmenting of ammunition. If you've ever thrown something like shale or flint, and you've seen it shatter, then that's what makes it lethal, as well as ricochets, in addition to fragmenting rounds scattering pieces of metal everywhere. Put an explosive charge behind, either on a impact triggered timed delay like the typical bolter ammunition, or airbursting, similar to Metal Storm Ammunition, you've got a recipe for mincemeat.

Fired on full auto, even if the Space Marines cannot directly target their opponents, but know of their position, they can effectively spray and pray.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjqu4hBFWFA

It's a brief marketing demonstration of its effectiveness, and what is mostly apparent about the XM25's HEAB (high explosive airburst) is that it has an aft-charge, causing fragmentation to targets it has already passed, which means it can do its signature firing into a room and making gibs out of whatever is in there - that's probably the metal storm ammunition type, which going by Codex:Space Marines is limited to "Sternguard" Veterans or "Seeker" Veteran Squads in Legion Crusade List.

Considering the nature of the operations that Astartes undertake, I think that's more of a gameplay balancing factor, and that the Astartes given enough time and information are probably able to requisition more ammunition of this type. I think the only reason the Boltgun ammunition isn't a direct quote of the XM25 HEAB is because a load of geeks in a shed in the black country or the early 80's weren't aware of its existence and their knowledge of weaponry wasn't as well known or availability to research (short of Jane's) was harder to get hold of for up and coming writers.

Edit - in addition to KF, my webbing on deliberate ops took 8 30 round magazines (only loaded 29 though, left the spring springy and reduced stoppages) in addition to the one loaded in my rifle, and I had a daysack which contained a further 300 rounds in magazines and either a 420rnd ammo can or enough for two reloads of the attached fire support group, whether it was the 60mm mortar rounds, spare LASM's, or up to 400 link of either 7.62 or 5.56. Throw in a couple of reloads for the Sig, and two full tracer magazines, and 4-5 grenades, and multiply that between 8 of us. That was a typical load for a deliberate helo-borne operation - fly in, drop between 1-5 clicks, yomp in, drop day sack, fire and maneuvre in, complete objective, and then yomp over to the helo for pick up. The amount of ammunition there was in case the operation went tits up, such as a Chinook or Merlin getting shot down, or there was a redirect to a TiC with T1 casualties en route to pick us up. I've only ever needed that amount of ammunition once, and that was when we pushed too far north nearly into Ghor to avoid an encirclement.

But consider that with Space Marine operations - for example Beta Anph IV saw a Terminator Squad infiltrate a genestealer infested network of prefabs - their ammunition soon began to run dry, and Culln lost 2 to genestealers. It doesn't state how much ammunition was present (and they were using Storm Bolters with obvious full automatic), but simply that there was probably only 6 seconds of ammunition available to the Assault Cannon - which you can assume is roughly analogous to something like a 30mm Avenger (the 7.62 probably was more like the rotor cannon of 30K Legiones), which is around 4200 rpm at full speed - the hopper for the Ass Can was likely around 400.
but i think it is a precision weapon. I mean in many novels i have read it is of the space marines perfectly placing shots with there bolter. Now yes space marines do have fantastic aim, but the weaponry must match that
 

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but i think it is a precision weapon. I mean in many novels i have read it is of the space marines perfectly placing shots with there bolter. Now yes space marines do have fantastic aim, but the weaponry must match that
Their armor/musculature absorbs the recoil and perhaps even the bolter itself has anti-recoil mechanisms at work.
 

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The possibility of making a precision shot (at shprt range) does not make it a precision weapon.

It can be upgraded - the M.40 Targeter or Nighteye 'scope' are typically fitted on 'Stalker' pattern bolters to make them into effective battle rifles seen often on elite units like Deathwatch, or those at Standoff ranges like scouts. But mostly, marines are engaged in combat shorter than 25-50 yards. The marines enhanced muscular and skeletal systems and reinforced by power armour absorb the recoil far better than even todays military can hold their weapons, allowing one handed firing.

If the Snipers shot hits, then there is rarely a need for the explosive round - the brain stem severed, or the spinal column destroyed, etc. The explosive round is there in the event of a miss - a non vital body part, or even the nearby terrain, or against targets so large/well armoured/lacking in vital bodyparts like Orcs, Nids, Necrons, Daemons or Armoured vehicles, the explosive round allows damage regardless of where you actually hit.



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The bolt Gun is a very decieiving weapon for all the familiarity it has with Warhammer 40k fans. When reading Cannon Lore, or Lexicanum and other official GW sources, the boltgun is played out to be something akin to a Semi-Auto Colt 1911 handgun with larger ammunition. Sounds the same, fires the same, and reloads in a similar fashion. However in much of modern media (a.k.a Fan-made Films, Video Games, Movies) The boltgun is portrayed as this Rapid Fire, high ROT weapon that sounda akin to a M249B being fired.

Therefore it can be confusing on how fast the Rate of Fire really is; statistics or not. My honest guess after reading Lore is that it is similar a a hyrbrid of AK-47 and a AT-4. The ROT of the AK, with the velocity of as large round, mixed in with the roar of the shell which probably comes from an AT-4.
 

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I would imagine that boltguns also come in different size? Can't see human sized SoB using Astartes sized boltguns. Same for Bolt Pistols and Storm Bolters?
 

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Just going to point out the fact that the idea of precision weapon is misleading.

The Browning M2 was used as an antimaterial rifle on occasions, and I'm fairly certain it's probably the poster boy of non precision.
 

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Being able to be used as such does not a weapon make.

A knife is not a ranged weapon. Sure, it can be thrown. I must have thrown my bayonet thousands of times at a board and got it to stick point first in the throat of a mansized target shape in a board in my room. Doesn't make it a ranged weapon, though.

The Deuce is not a precision weapon by intent, design or use. The bolter, meanwhile, is something that is intended to kill even on a miss - similar to the 50. cal - it is fired at a RoF fast enough, with a wide enough AoE in a cone of effect to wound and suppress enemy light infantry and vehicles that are not coated in sheet metal.



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Being able to be used as such does not a weapon make.

A knife is not a ranged weapon. Sure, it can be thrown. I must have thrown my bayonet thousands of times at a board and got it to stick point first in the throat of a mansized target shape in a board in my room. Doesn't make it a ranged weapon, though.

The Deuce is not a precision weapon by intent, design or use. The bolter, meanwhile, is something that is intended to kill even on a miss - similar to the 50. cal - it is fired at a RoF fast enough, with a wide enough AoE in a cone of effect to wound and suppress enemy light infantry and vehicles that are not coated in sheet metal.
Personally I always viewed the bolter as someone going.

Hmm, we're fighting green monsters that can take serious wounds before going down. Wouldn't it be nice to have a weapon that can overwhelm their toughness and put them down for good.

After all. In 40K the only weapon from our time that is used for serious warfare is amusingly enough the Deuce.

To us a rocket propelled semi auto grenade launcher would be an area effect weapon, as using it against a single human would be pointless.

But to space marines it's basically the AK-47 of the astartes, considering the things they regularly fight.
 
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