Mar 192010
 

Shotguns are awesome.

While they lack a rifle’s range or the MG’s sustained fire ability, they’re capable of generating absurd amounts of damage in one quick pass. So when From Software decided to up the ante with Slug Guns, you’d think we’d slapping them on our ACs ASAP, right?

Wrong.

Far from the wonder weapon we had hoped for, Slug Guns suffered from several design faults that made them ineffective. They were heavy, fired slowly, and had horrible shot spread.

And to add insult to injury, they were back weapons; between the time you needed to deploy, track, fire, and wait for the next shot to load, you’d have just enough time to watch as an enemy AC packing SGs gave you a faceful of buckshot.

cheney gun Armored Core Analogs: Slug Guns

How your AC sees the enemy.

The slug gun sounded good, in theory. But in reality, it was more a liability to the user than to the enemy. Honestly, who’d be crazy enough to take an artillery gun, load it with buckshot, and hope that it’d actually work?

Apparently the Japanese were, and that’s exactly what they did. Foreseeing the potential threat that aircraft would have on their ships, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) outfitted the Yamato-class warship’s massive 18.1-inch (460-mm) gun batteries with a special Sashikidan shell.

San Shiki means “beehive” (Correction, it actually means “Type-3″ thanks to Dr. Rondart for pointing that out), and that’s exactly what it was – a gigantic cluster of shrapnel and incendiary munitions that used a timed fuse to create a cloud of flak in front of incoming aircraft.

And like the Slug gun, the Sanshiki proved to just as hazardous to its user. When the Yamato fired the Sanshikidan for the first time during the battle of the Philippine Sea, the shells accidentally damaged four of the IJN’s own Zeroes, while forcing a fifth to ditch so the idea never caught on.

 Armored Core Analogs: Slug Guns

Imagine an evil version of this. Possibly commanded by Dick Cheney.

But while this attempt proved over-sized shotguns were probably not the best way to swat aircraft, the Americans did find plenty of use for the idea in the Vietnam War, particularly for their M48 medium tanks.

The M48′s 90-mm gun was capable of loading the M377 shell, which was basically a shot cup carrying 5,600 flechettes. The M377 was a nightmare for enemies hiding in dense vegetation, but lack of supplies limited its effectiveness.

Eventually, the U.S. built up on this idea, and developed the M1028 shell for the M1 Abrams’ 120-mm gun, just in time for counter-insurgency campaigns following their 2003 invasion of Iraq.

m1028 pic1 Armored Core Analogs: Slug Guns

The M1028 used 1150 tungsten slugs, which created a lethal cone of steel out to 600 yards, and was meant to be an anti-ambush round against insurgents carrying portable anti-tank weapons. The slug was just as effective at punching man-sized holes through concrete and cinder block walls at close range.


Of course, ACs are a far cry from RPG-wielding infantry, or enemy aircraft, which leaves one wondering if we’ll ever find a practical use for the Slug Gun.

Aside from humiliating noobs, that is.

  • http://www.ravenrepublic.net Lord Leperman

    The Yamato version sounds like it could have been one heck of a super flyswatter.

  • http://ravenrepublic.net NiX

    It just keeps getting better and better! :D

    What's funny about AC Slug Guns is that they don't even fire slugs. XD

  • Goat

    I learned something new. Haha.

  • Twin-Skies

    Actually, the term “Slug Gun” refers to a type of shotgun that is modified to fire large, solid lead “slugs”.

    The projectile's heavy weight and stopping power makes them a popular substitute for hunting rifles, especially in hunting grounds where only shotguns are allowed for shooting large game like deer.

  • grog_magog

    They've been calling them “slug” guns from AC1. No further “googleing” was made after that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.palafox Anthony Palafox

    Its just like how they kept calling multi-barrel back cannons “chain guns”. >_<

  • Dr. Rondart

    “Sanshikidan” simply means, literally, “Type-3 Shells”

    As for Slug Guns, there is one ENERGY Slug Gun from AC:MoA that has the firing rate of a rifle. Much hurt ensued. Also never forget the Kamal, the one Slug Gun that proved that even these measly weapons had balls. Solid brass ones.