Gun er­gonomics

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Workshops -

One of the many things I learned while work­ing in film over the years was the er­gonomics of weapon de­sign, be­cause we had to de­sign and build so many of them prac­ti­cally for the films I worked on. Some of the ba­sic rules for gun de­sign are il­lus­trated on this im­age and ex­plained be­low…

A stock considerations

The line of force from the bul­let fir­ing out of the bar­rel is trans­mit­ted through to the stock, en­abling the re­coil to be ab­sorbed while keep­ing the gun straight for fir­ing mul­ti­ple rounds. I see many gun de­signs where the stock is an­gled down well be­low the line or in other odd po­si­tions. Fir­ing the gun for real would cause it to fly right out of the user’s hands or hit them in the face!

b what’s your bul­let shap e?

Think about the bul­lets and how they fit into the mag­a­zine. Ba­nana mag­a­zines seen on AK-47s and on this ACR curve to the front be­cause the shape of the bul­let ta­pers to­ward the front. This forms an arc when stacked to­gether, so that the bul­let at the top of the arc will shoot straight out of the bar­rel.

C get a grip

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween the hand/ trig­ger and shoul­der shouldn’t be messed with. All fixed stock weapons will main­tain a sim­i­lar pro­por­tion: this gun has an ad­justable stock, but the range of vari­abil­ity still stays within a fixed pro­por­tion for hu­man use.

D eject, eject!

There has to be at least the length of the bul­let be­hind the shell ejec­tion port to al­low room for the mech­a­nism to fire the bul­let. This ap­plies to all tra­di­tional weapon con­fig­u­ra­tions, although newer sys­tems per­mit this space to be slightly shorter, as seen in the KRISS sub­ma­chine gun.

E take ac­count of de­sign tweaks

There are some ex­cep­tions to this straight line rule. Some vari­a­tions of the AK-47 have a stock that’s an­gled down be­low the line. But this gun also has a spe­cial muzzle break up at the front to coun­ter­act that as­pect of its de­sign. So if you change some­thing in your de­sign, in­tro­duce some­thing else to bal­ance it out.

F don’t break the laws of physics

Make sure there’s a clear line from where the shell ejec­tion port is to where the bul­let is fired out of. I of­ten see guns in games where a bul­let has to break the laws of physics, go out­side of the gun, or ro­tate 90 de­grees to travel from the mag­a­zine and out of the bar­rel. Even if the au­di­ence knows noth­ing about guns, they’ll re­alise some­thing’s off and it’ll take them out of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Fir­ing the gun for real would cause it to fly right out of the user’s hands or hit them in the face

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