-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Sun, 12 Sep 1999 15:13:30 -0700


At 03:29 9/13/1999 +0800, you wrote:
>Question: i dunno, but isn't stowing weapons other than a beam saber kinda
>dangerous? I mean, i would understand it being stuck to the backpack and
>all that, but when parrying with a shield which has something potentially
>explosive in it...

That depends on the nature of the explosive; specifically, the detonation
method.

I'm always amused by all those movies where the heroes are threatened by
cases of dynamite in the midst of a fire. Fact is, dynamite is mainly
nitroglycerine and paste -- it's sensitive to concussion, not heat, so you
could burn it just like cordwood with no danger except toxic gas (nitrous
oxides). Dynamite is typically detonated using a blasting cap containing
fulminate of mercury, which is also not sensitive to heat. An electric
charge sets off the fulminate of mercury in the cap and the detonation of
the cap sets off the dynamite.

If the explosive in the weapon is detonated by concussion, then you would
not want to use it in a device that had to be transported around a
battlefield, so you wouldn't use it in a grenade. Instead, you would use
something that is set off by an electrical charge or some other
controllable impulse, something that you could pound all day without
effect, or a "binary" explosive -- two chemicals that are inert in and of
themselves but, when mixed, become explosive.

In any case, you would choose something that was inert until primed and put
in a failsafe that would not allow the device to be primed until it was
separated from the carrier.

The battle cry of the munitions team is "Safety first!"

-Z-

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