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18 December 2014


Some day we're going to look back and exclaim how useful computers used to be.

We'll mourn that things take six to eight weeks and all records are on paper exclusively again.

Because at least someone has to physically break into the building to access paper records and you can hire a dog to bite them while they're in there.

This Is Why Most Characters Have No Parents

"You're doing what? Going to fight a dragon? Oh, no you're not - you could get killed! You're going to sit right here while I make some cookies and run you a nice warm bath!"

David Morgan Marr at his commentary best.

17 December 2014


I gravitated towards games like Traveller then GURPS because they tended to be crunchier than AD&D.

Traveller was science fiction and reasonably internally consistent; with a huge body of fans poking holes (and patching them as fast as they poked).

GURPS introduced the reality check to the rules.  If the rules and reality disagree, go with reality.

The appeal of the reality check really comes from one player.

We were playing Twilight 2000 and I decided that I'd attempt to railroad one player to contrive a scenario where the other players would rescue him.

It required that he be overwhelmed by the opposition by sheer numbers once his rifle had run out of ammo or jammed.  He rolled a critical failure and his gun jammed.

Thinking things were going well, I get ready to tell him about his capture... and he says he takes out his other gun.

Did I mention that both his jammed gun and the other gun are M16A2s?

I grumble a bit, but we continue the fight.  I have unlimited mooks so I can wait him out on ammo.  He gets another jam and again draws a fresh M16A2!

You can't do that, I attempt to rule.

"Show me the rule that says I can't," he replies.

Putting aside the "The GM is always right" Rule Zero... with the rules as written, he's well within the constraints of the encumbrance system (even with the FIVE M16A2s he's packing).

We stopped playing T2K right after that.

Not Working

I have something to post until I hit the post button.

Once the screen I am typing on appears, it evaporates.

It's like trying to recall a dream.

I have the impression of a post, but not the words.

Get Well Soon!

Dr Jerry Pournelle has had a mild stroke.

He appears to be recovering and the prognosis is positive at present.

15 December 2014


I am noticing two basic responses from non-liberals to the outgoing Congress' Republican arm caving in on the cromnibus.

First is shock, SHOCK! that they'd do this after receiving a clear mandate from the voters in November.

Second is a weary, "we tried to tell you that's how they are..."

I think I am going to join the weary and accept that it can't be changed.

New Machine Guns

The Firearms Blog had a bit of a spat over someone using my unerring ability to say what they wanted to say in exactly the wrong way for their meaning to be conveyed.  They apologized for not seeing how it would be taken.

A sore spot among many people who can't afford a pre-86 MG is the feeling that those who can are actively working to prevent anything which would post-86 guns to be "freely" transferred.

As bumbling as NFATCA was over what leads to rulemaking 41P...  Jury's still out.

But what would happen to the value of those pre-86 guns?

On a lot of them, the value is going to plummet.  No way around it.

Guns made from parts kits will probably be affected.  They're not original at all.  No real provenance.

Completely original guns are likely to remain valuable as will guns with famous provenance.

I think the guns most affected will be the AR15.  I've recently seen conversions from semi-auto going for $25,000.  Such a gun is not really any more valuable than an ordinary semi-automatic AR if you can do your own Form 1; perhaps a few hundred more just in the saved effort.

$25,000 to (maybe) $2,000 is a heck of a hit.

The $16,000 for a registered drop in auto-sear will evaporate like a fart in the wind.  There isn't but $100 worth of professional machining in one of those; and you don't even need that level of skill to crank one out.

The Lightning Link will take a hit like that too.

People who bought MGs as investments probably are working against any change to the status quo that increases the supply of transferables.  People who bought MGs because COOL! are, I think, a lot more likely to be willing to take the depreciation because more MGs means more COOL! for them as well as everyone else.

There's something we can do to test the devaluation hypothesis.  Amnesty.  There's bound to be guns made right before an amnesty that are made just for such an event that don't exist now.  It'd be a good gauge of the pent-up demand as well.

Kinda related, I wonder if a case could be made that all pre-86 MG's are Curio and Relic.


Any other firearms that derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category requires evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.

Compare the price of a transferrable M16A2 to what a police force would pay.


Dave Trampier is dead.

Been dead since March.

That sucks.

Merlin 4

This is a variation of the GURPS: Technomancer world, Merlin.

Merlin 4 is a Quantum 3 world with a present date of 2014.

The point of departure is in 1975 when Soldier of Fortune magazine ran a full page ad titled, "Be A Man Among Men" with the text, "The Rhodesian Army offers you an interesting and varied career with new allowances for fighting troops and experienced mages."

With combat in Vietnam winding down (see GURPS: Funny New Guys) and racial tensions still running high, this ad was answered by many returning chimera veterans; many of whom had never felt they'd belonged at home anyway; especially spider and snake people.

Because Rhodesia was well outside the mana fall, it had very few native mages and almost no chimeraism.  The influx of experienced combat mages answering the ad changes the history of Rhodesia from both Merlin 1 and Homeline.

See Secrets and Sense Foes turn out to be devastating to guerilla warfare making ambushes, mines and weapons caches easy to find.  Widespread healing magic eliminate many casualties and are extremely positive propaganda for the Rhodesian government both at home and abroad.

The real turning point occurs on September 19, 1976 when the Rhodesian Parliament passes The Oath Acts.  These acts require all government officials to submit to an Oath spell when taking their oaths of office and Analyze Magic to confirm that the casting of Oath was successful.  While seemingly small, this had huge repercussions with regards to international recognition.

The oft stated position of the Smith government that the majority black population was simply not educated enough to handle the responsibility and consequences of the vote was shown to be sincere when coupled with Truthsayer castings.  With a magical compulsion to obey their oaths, laws were passed to begin the education of the black population in how a Parliamentary Democracy worked and what their responsibilities as citizens were.

The United States, over the objections of The United Kingdom recognized Rhodesia on April 19 of 1978.  This ultimately leads to the defeat and annexation of Mozambique once their ZIPRA ZAPU ZANU ZEBRA ZANLA proxies had been defeated in 1979.

By mid-1988 "majority rule" had been established with most citizens being eligible to vote regardless of color.  While the United States is critical of the requirement of citizens to pass an extensive civics examination to obtain the license to vote, it has to be admitted that it's the same examination for everyone and anyone can take the required classes free of charge (it is in fact mandatory for primary schools to teach).

Much mourned by many anthropologists and  sociologists who specialized in Africa is the elimination of the extended system of familial obligation that had served to limit the ability of many blacks to succeed when compared to whites for many years.  While it is often blamed on the effects of "westernization" it seems to have actually been a victim of the increased opportunities available to nearly everyone.

The pattern established by Rhodesia in bringing racial equality to a previously segregated government put a great deal of pressure upon South Africa to end Aparthied which ended four years earlier in Merlin 4 than Homeline.  Many Aparthied policies had been unofficially abandoned years earlier but a significant Afrikaans voting block feared the Anglicization of South Africa by adopting Rhodesia's methods.

Angola turns out much the same in Merlin 4 as Homeline with Cuban troops being familiar with the same magic that was overwhelming to ZANLA and ZIPRA.

The success of The Oath Acts reach out to other Western democracies searching for ways to eliminate political corruption.  Florida being the first to introduce such requirements via ballot measure in 1988.  Several other US states adopted similar measures with it being adopted nationally as the 28th amendment in 2002 as bitterness over the Lewinsky scandal and passage of the USA PATRIOT act created a popular demand with many congressmen voting for it in hopes of placating the voters enough to keep their seats in the 2002 elections.

This applies to anyone who takes an oath of office or service, including bureaucrats and the military.  Many elected and appointed officials refuse to submit the the spell and resign; hardly any in the military refuse (sometimes to their embarrassment).  The effect on the War on Terror compared to homeline is staggering as honest (and magically compelled) politicians prosecute the war for the benefit of the nation without regard to their personal or party ambitions.  The same spells which proved valuable in The Bush War and techniques developed in Vietnam virtually eliminate Islamic terrorism by 2004.

The trickle down effect of the 28th has been a dramatic downsizing of American government with the near elimination of the Departments of Energy and Education and Environmental Protection Agency.  While the US has become fully deregulated, much of what we know as regulation has been replaced by law because the political goals are often the same, it's just Oath won't let Congress abdicate their legislative power to executive branch officials (who are also bound to refuse such powers).

With even politicians submitting to Oath, it becomes common practice to use it during the execution of contracts, greatly simplifying business and leading to a second magic induced economic boon.  To do business in America means submitting to spells verifying the intent and honesty of all parties, despite the apparent loss of freedom, this has actually led more businesses to do business in the USA because it eliminates so many variables and concerns.

Of great concern to Infinity Unlimited is the 2012 discovery that natural nuclear reactors in Gabon have created gateways to another world.  Merlin 4 is studying this intently and is close to learning The Secret in their own.


iPod functionality restored to The Lovely Harvey's car from where the thief broke the cable.

Simple but awkward.

The center console and ash tray have to come out to route the cable, which is the awkward part since the seats have to be moved every which way and since the shifter can't be in "PARK", you've got the door chime bonging at you most of the operation.

13 December 2014

Long Term Frog Lube Report

For about a year I've been using Frog-Lube CLP instead of Shooter's Choice solvent and LSA.

One gun that it did a great job of cutting through years of accumulated gunk was my Grandfather's H&R top-break.

Today I was fondling the guns in the safe and noticed the ejector star was sluggish about returning back home into the cylinder.

Taking it apart I found that every place that had accumulated Frog-Lube CLP was now a red-brown sludge.  No evidence of rust, but it was not slippery anymore.

I've read that you should apply the Frog Lube and remove "all" of it.  Well, if you can't easily get to the part you want lubed, don't drip it in the area needing lube!

Got the thing completely cleaned out now and back to LSA for the H&R.

12 December 2014


I am not going to say it was torture or not.

What I am going to say is that anyone who can make National Socialists look good by comparison deserves to be tortured good and hard by someone who takes delight in administering such suffering.

Hitler and his buds didn't set that bar very damn high either.

11 December 2014

How Far

Do you live within 2,500 feet (that's almost half a mile) of a daycare, library, nursing home, park, playground, school, or school bus stop.

Think hard about that.

That's the radius that my sheriff wants to put around those places and forbid "sex offenders and predators" from living there.

The current exclusion zone is 1,000 feet around a daycare, park, playground, or school.

It's almost ceremonial since if the offender already lives in the zone, they won't be forced to move out of it.

But I wonder if there's many places in the county where you're not within 2,500' of one of the aforementioned places.  Going way out in the country is probably not an option since those places are very expensive around here and most felons aren't exactly rolling in dough.

Again I question our treatment of sexual predators.  If they're so dangerous we can't trust them living within 1,000' of our children, why aren't they locked up?  Being convicted of a sexual predation crime is already a life sentence with the registration and living restriction requirements; why don't we be honest and make it a real life sentence?

By the way, a close examination of what the law says is a sexual predator probably doesn't coincide fully what what you think of as such a predator.  We've stripped intent from the laws.  One could quite legally be convicted of molesting a child if said child wandered into the bathroom while you were taking a shower.

10 December 2014

For Once Ahead Of The Curve

I notice lots of folks talking about sitemeter today.

Welcome to January under the desk.

Nuking sitemeter also dropped hits from spam collectors too.

I am astonished that I figured this out on my own months before everyone else.  It doesn't normally work that way.


It's very depressing when you read a line , "The last enemy we fought that even paid lip service to these rulebooks was Nazi Germany, a lifetime ago," and realize that despite the holocaust the FUCKING NAZIS were more civilized about warfare than anyone we've fought since.


09 December 2014

Pulsing Beams

I've been reading my Little Black Books again.

In Book 2 there's no combat difference between the beam and pulse lasers.  Despite descriptions that imply that beam weapons are more likely to score a hit and pulse lasers do more damage; neither gets a die modifier that differentiates them.

The pulse laser is half the cost of the beam laser, so I'd go with those.

You'd have thought I'd have noticed this thirty years ago, but I've honestly never used Book 2's combat rules.

Book 5 rewrote the entire combat system and there is a difference between beam and pulse lasers there that make beams worth paying extra for; it takes fewer beam lasers to increase the USP code rating for a given battery.  A single triple beam laser turret has the same rating as two triple pulse laser turrets.

Book 5 also adds plasma guns, fusion guns and particle accelerators in both turreted and barbette form.

Most of this is now trivia since GURPS: Traveller uses an entirely different combat system derived from 3e GURPS: Vehicles.

The difference between beam and pulse lasers there is a firing mode and not a physical difference in the weapons.

Traveller Tuesday officially belongs to Erin, I'm just dangling from her coat tails on the idea.

Thag Remember

I do recall when a certain someone blogged about taking a class on the disassembly and repair of the item in question.

It's so amusing watching them deal with helpful suggestions.

Related, I learned that roofing tar is not a recommended firearm lubricant.

Poking Around

In a vain hope of finding The Lovely Harvey's stolen gun, Willard and I canvassed the local gun and pawn shops.

What I have discovered is the used market is awash in M&P40's.  So many that you save about $100 if you're willing to go .40 S&W instead of 9mm.

It seems about even whether they will have the external safety or lock or not.

The local market is not awash in used Glock.

I noticed the shift back to 9mm a bit ago (just after everyone else started talking about it!) and understand why there's lots of used .40's out there.

I wonder if we're seeing more M&P than Glock locally is the much larger number of optional features on the S&W.  Manual safety or not; internal lock or not; magazine disconnect or not... and people discovering they didn't like said feature as much in real life as they thought they would.

With Glock your only options are generational.

08 December 2014

Things That Don't Work

Attempting to hold up my end of the conversation with Willard after just an hour of sleep and half a pot of coffee.

Also, the thin skim of a nation's history you need to make to have a gaming world hold up to players who've never bothered to go that far does not make one even remotely knowledgable.

Even if I feel rested and alert, the back of my head knows the front is on mush.

Beanstalk On Mars!

Wanderers - a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.

Thanks APOD!

05 December 2014


Tam notices that these launches were supposed to be as routine as backing out the family car...

They sure could have been.

Just in case anyone doesn't know.

The space program was in direct competition with LBJ's Great Society for funding.  There was a constant hue and cry that continues to this very day about how much money we're wasting on space and how it could be better spent right here on Earth.

It's one of the first examples of me noticing the media can manipulate things.

We plopped two dudes on the moon in 1969.  Ten months later not one of the three (yes just three) national television networks bothered to air the launch of the THIRD mission to the moon or cut into normal programming for a live broadcast from space.  Ironically that mission was Apollo 13; which got lots and lots of coverage.

Two successful all up flights and the media of the day decided it wasn't worth covering anymore!

There was nothing routine about a Saturn V launch.  First, they were damn near hand built with a bewildering array of variations and revisions.  Some were official changes, some were from the people building them figuring out a better way to assemble something and just implementing it.  Read this about the F-1 engine and pay attention to what they say about how the engine they have doesn't match the blueprints.  Every launch was different, yet eerily similar.  I wonder how many small mistakes were made because CSM-103 was different from CSM-108.

It also bears mentioning just how marginal the entire Apollo stack was.  It could do the job with almost no room to spare.  Those changes I mentioned to the vehicle?  Apollo 11 couldn't have carried the lunar rover and made it back.

On our evolution to becoming Pierson's Puppeteers we're going to insist on wider margins for our manned craft.  Challenger and Columbia underscoring the demand.  It's an awkward place to be.  Aviation is a dangerous place to learn on the job, but sometimes there's no other classroom.

I notice the freak-outs associated with V-22A crashes and compare them to the numbers who died learning helicopter.  Or how many who died just learning winged flight?  Every venture into the unknown is literally filled with unknowns.  Sometimes you find them the hard way.

Apollo 1 did.  Soyuz 1 did.  56-6672 did.  Soyuz 11 did.  Challenger did.  Columbia did.  Spaceship Two did.

There.  Will.  Be.  More.

We.  Should.  Keep.  Going.

.40 Anomaly

Should you find yourself playing in one of my worlds in GURPS want to use a .40 S&W pistol...

Take the published Damage, reduce it by 2 and increase the Rcl by 1.

Thus 2d+2 pi+ becomes 2d pi+ and 2d+1 pi+ becomes 2d-1 pi+... and so on.

For SMGs and pistol caliber carbines, only reduce the damage.

I think this accurately portrays the real world damage relative to 9x19mm and .45 ACP.

To the contingent that thinks that because .40 is a more modern round than those and deserves to do more damage, the modernity is reflected in the weight and number of shots.  Glock is a good place to see it.  A Glock 21 gets 13+1 shots of .45 and weighs 2.4 lb. loaded magazines are 0.8 lb.  A Glock 22 gets 15+1 shots of .40, weighs 2.1 lb. with magazines which are 0.7 lb.

I am tempted to say where the stats are derived from a 9mm gun, increase ST by one as well.  The only gun in High Tech 4e that's .40 S&W as the main table entry is a Kahr K40 and it's ST is 8, same as a Glock 17.  All of the other pistols stats are based on the stats from the 9mm parent gun.


Well worth a half hour of your time!

Armee Universal Gewher

I kind of have a soft spot for bullpup rifles, even if I don't think they're all that great.

The Steyr AUG was swoopy and cool when I was playing Twilight 2000.  I've several character sheets with an L85A1 on them too.

But the AUG marks a bit of funny for me.

There's a bit in the film Jackie Brown where Samuel L Jackson's character is going on about this gun or that on a video and he mentions the Steyr; along the lines that if someone would put it in a movie, they'd sell like gangbusters!

This makes me giggle because: Look at how many times it's been in a movie!  The AUG is no stranger to film!  The earliest appearance I can remember is the Arnie action movie Commando.  I've seen it off and on in lots of other movies too.

Perhaps the reason that it wasn't selling like gangbusters has a lot more to do with the legal climate?

.50 Cal Bottle Opener

The Lovely Harvey bought me a bottle opener made out of a .50 BMG round.

Marv expressed enough interest in it that she bought him one too.

Except...  The vendor she bought mine from was out.  So I found her a link to a different vendor.

It arrived today.  It's a bottle opener made from a .50 round alright.  12.7x108mm instead of 12.7x99mm...

Russian brass!

Kind of neat, actually.

04 December 2014

Been Said Before

The most popular rifle in the US is the AR or some variation thereof.

But it's not new that military style rifles being popular among the general populace is a new thing.

Bolt action rifles weren't developed for snuffing hoof-rats then later applied to snuffing ourselves.

They started life as a way to raise the rate of fire of an infantry platoon.  As was adding a magazine to them.

That scoped Remington, Ruger, Savage or Winchester shares a lot of DNA with guns that fought in both world wars and lots of others between and after.

The War Is Over...

The cats have won.

Quest For The Holy Grail

Willard is now in possession of BOTH boxes of .300 Savage.

He as also stated he is not honoring the tradition of firing one round and passing the box on to the next .300 Savage owner.

03 December 2014

Expanding On It A Bit

Adding in some other rounds for comparison, like .357 Magnum from a full length barrel...


Round -      Dmg -    Ball, min - avg - max; HP, min - avg - max.
.25 ACP - 1d pi-;          0, 1, 3                     --             0, 2, 5.
.32 ACP    2d-1 pi-;      0, 3, 5                     --             0, 5, 10
.380 ACP  2d-1 pi;        1, 6, 11                   --            0, 9, 15
.380 ACP 2d pi;            2, 7, 12                   --            1, 9, 16
.38 Spcl 2d-1 pi;            1, 6, 11                   --            0, 9, 15
.38 Spcl 2d pi;               2, 7, 12                   --            1, 9, 16
9x19mm 2d+1 pi;          3, 8, 13                   --            3, 10, 18
9x19mm 2d+2 pi;          4, 9, 14                   --            4, 12, 19
.357 Mag 2d+2 pi;         4, 9, 14                   --            4, 12, 19
.357 Mag 3d pi;             3, 10, 18                 --            3, 13, 25
.357 SIG 3d-1 pi;           2, 9, 17                   --            1, 12, 24
.38 Super 3d-1 pi;          2, 9, 17                   --            1, 12, 24
.40 S&W 2d+2 pi+;       6, 13, 21                 --            6, 16, 26
10mm ACP 3d-1 pi+;    3, 13, 25                 --            2, 18, 34
.44 Magnum 3d+2 pi+;  7, 18, 30                 --            8, 22, 38
.45 GAP 2d pi+;            3, 10, 18                  --            2, 12, 22
.45 ACP 2d pi+;            3, 10, 18                  --            2, 12, 22

Oh, and why is a pistol something you use to get to your rifle?

5.45x39mm 4d+2 pi;     6, 16, 26                  --            7, 22, 37      (AK-74)
5.56x45mm 4d pi;         4, 14, 24                  --            4, 19, 34      (11.5")
5.56x45mm 4d+2 pi;     6, 16, 26                  --            7, 22, 37      (14.5" or 16")
5.56x45mm 5d pi;         5, 17, 30                  --            6, 24, 43      (20")
.30 Carbine 4d+1 pi;     5, 22, 25                  --            6, 21, 36
7.62x39mm 5d+1 pi;     6, 18, 31                  --            7, 25, 45      (AKM)
.30-30 6d pi;                  6, 21, 36                  --            7, 30, 52
7.62x54mmR 7d pi;      7, 24, 42                   --            9, 34, 61      (Mosin 91/30)
7.62x51mm 7d pi;         7, 24, 42                   --            9, 34, 61
.30-06 7d+1 pi;              8, 25, 43                  --           10, 36, 63

Notice how the average damage for even a short barreled 5.56 gun is almost the same as the maximum damage for most any pistol?

02 December 2014

Time Delay

Because of the time delays involved, space traffic control (STC) for Starport types A and B cannot give direct commands most of the time; but there needs to be a means to get everyone on the same page to lessen the chances of collisions.

This is complicated by the fact that jump drives will insert traffic that literally wasn't there a second ago.

For initial guidance from the jump in points there are beacons transmitting generic instructions to get the ships on the proper vectors to get them into predictable lanes.  Ships that aren't doing this in a timely manner will attract the attention of STC and other authorities, deviate too much and you might get shot!

Essential to STC is all traffic make noise!  Ships are equipped with transponders that make it a lot simpler for the controllers to identify and locate them.  Serious fines are levied for a non-functional transponder, regardless of the reason.

The pattern of traffic is kind of a double helix so that outgoing and incoming ships don't conflict.  One spirals out one spirals in slightly off plane from each other.

As ships get closer to the destination world, more direct control is asserted to the incoming ship via direct communication.

No matter what, though, the individual ships are responsible for avoiding collisions and following instructions from STC.

Starport type C will only have very local control due to the much smaller volume of traffic they experience and will focus mainly on keeping the orbits around the destination world deconflicted.

Types D, E and X typically don't have any space control with type D having what we'd recognize as AIR traffic control over the down-port itself.

A note on transponders:  They can disabled with the flick of a switch from the bridge.  There are many legitimate reasons for shutting one off, like not providing a source of radiation for a seeker head to track in on.  The heavy fines are to ensure that captains have a good reason for shutting them off.

A ship not squawking its transponder should be as communicative and cooperative as it can be with the Navy and local patrol ships.  You're a valuable training tool now, and you get to pick the training scenario!  Intercept to render aid or a shoot-x; your choice!

You Weren't There Man

Reading this post...

I am reminded of a day at the Union where Mikhail and I were playing GURPS and getting a little too much into character.  It was a mercenary campaign and we were playing out the hiring process waiting for FuzzyGeff to finish with Bear's World.

We were confronted by a well meaning gentleman who told us, "Bullshit, you were never in Vietnam!"

Mike and I looked at each other, blinked twice, looked back at him and Mike (master of comebacks) brandishes his character sheet and says, "I was so in Vietnam, see that?" pointing at his quirks, "-1 Vietnam Vet!  I'll bet YOU don't even have a character sheet!"

01 December 2014

One Shot Stops

...And GURPS.

Common self defense ammo...  Let's go from small to big.

.25 ACP.  The smallest unless we count .22 LR, but there's not near so many actual concealable guns for the rimfire as .25.

.25 ACP pulls 1d pi-.  Center mass hits are body hits, so that's 1-6 raw damage, so 1-6 damage to penetrate then divide damage by 2 (round down min 1), so 1-3 points of damage vs the average of 10 HP.  Not even a major wound!

Changing to hollowpoints bumps the pi- to pi; but adds a 0.5 armor divisor.  That also makes normal clothing be DR 1.  That gives us 0-5 for reals now!  Now we have a chance to get a major wound.

On average vs the body: .25 ACP ball does 1 point and hollow point does 2.

.32 ACP is next.  2d-1 pi-.  1-11 raw damage.  1-11 penetrate then is divided in two for 0-5.  HP negates the pi- for pi and there's the DR 1 for normal clothes: 0-10 penetrate.

On average vs the body: .32 ACP ball does 3 points and hollow point does 5.

.380 will depend on the barrel length.  Short barrels like a SIG P238 get 2d-1 pi and longer barrels like a Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless get 2d pi.

Short barrels get 1-11 that penetrate and stay 1-11!  While HP gets bumped from pi to pi+, the 0.5 armor divisor still lurks in the shadows (0-15 can penetrate).

On average a short barrel .380 ACP gets 6 points and HP gets 7.  An aside here, the similarity in damage between ball and HP was actually noted in a recent ballistics gel test of .380 rounds!  Go GURPS!

Long barrel .380's get 2-12 with ball (1-16 with HP).  pi+ with HP and the divisor.

On average that gets us 7 for ball and 9 for HP.

.38 Special from a snubby is 2d-1 pi and gets the exact same effects as a short barreled .380.

.357 Magnum from that snubber or 9x19mm from a full sized automatic is 2d+2 pi.  Ball 4-14 and HP 4-19!

Averages 9 for ball and 12 for HP.

Smaller 9mm's only get 2d+1 pi.  3-13 damage that averages to 8 for ball and 2-18 that averages 10 for hollow point.

Unorthodox rounds like .357 SIG and .38 Super get 3d-1 pi.  2-17 damage; averaging 9 for ball and 1-24 averaging. 12 for HP.

.40 S&W is an anomaly in GURPS.  2d+2 pi+.  Like all pi+ rounds damage that penetrates does 1.5x as much damage.  So it's 4-14 raw damage for ball that becomes 6-21 in tissue.  The hollow point bumps the damage to pi++ though, still with that damned armor divisor for 6-26.

Average damages will be 13 for ball and 16 for hollow points.

The beloved .45 ACP is a "mere" 2d pi+ for ball.  2-12 that becomes 3-18.  Averaged out, it's 10 for ball and 2-22 averages to 12 for HP.

Now that we've done all that math!

5 points of damage is a major wound on a typical ST 10 10 hit point person.  That means they're likely stunned and knocked down because they only have about a 50% chance of avoiding it with such a non-PC HT score.  Plus, any bullet that manages to do more than 10 means another HT roll to avoid being knocked unconscious.

While the benefit of the hollow points seem marginal on average, they can make the difference in whether the target keeps fighting next turn.


Round -      Dmg - Ball, min - avg - max; HP, min - avg - max.
.25 ACP - 1d pi-;       0, 1, 3                     --             0, 2, 5.
.32 ACP    2d-1 pi-;   0, 3, 5                     --             0, 5, 10
.380 ACP  2d-1 pi;     1, 6, 11                   --            0, 9, 15
.380 ACP 2d pi;         2, 7, 12                   --            1, 9, 16
.38 Spcl 2d-1 pi;         1, 6, 11                   --            0, 9, 15
9x19mm 2d+1 pi;       3, 8, 13                   --            3, 10, 18
9x19mm 2d+2 pi;       4, 9, 14                   --            4, 12, 19
.357 Mag 2d+2 pi;      4, 9, 14                   --            4, 12, 19
.357 SIG 3d-1 pi;        2, 9, 17                   --            1, 12, 24
.38 Super 3d-1 pi;       2, 9, 17                   --            1, 12, 24
.40 S&W 2d+2 pi+;    6, 13, 21                 --            6, 16, 26
.45 ACP 2d pi+;         3, 10, 18                  --            2, 12, 22