Monday, February 24, 2014

Taxonomy: Sphinx

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Paradoxa
Order: Mutanid
Family: Chimidae
Genus: Sphinx
Sphinxes are creatures that exist in the old world, while the majority of Sphinxes are found around the Mediterranean from Greece to Egypt, there are species of this chimera found all around the world.
The sphinx belongs in the family Chimidae due to the seeming mixture of different creatures. Including but not limited to Human, lion, and eagle.

The key feature of this genus is the human like heads that they possess and their intelligence. Historical records back up modern accounts of the high intellectual capacity of these creatures. It has even been theorized that the only thing that prevented Sphinx from becoming the dominant creature on this planet was the mixture of their solitary natures and their lack of opposable digits.
A Sphinx depicted in Fernand Khnopff's The caress
In the most general terms the sphinx appears as a large lion (or other leonine) with the head or face of a human. Some have wings and are capable of gliding and limited aerial ability.
The Statue of the Great Sphinx in Giza is probably one of the most famous representations of the Androsphinx known.
While commonly used as a catchall the name Sphinx actually refers to the females of this genus. The title for males is Androsphinx. Editor’s Note: An Androsphinx will consider it the height of rudeness to refer to them in the feminine and will often warn those they engage in discourse. If their advice is ignored the Androsphinx will often eat the offender as a second warning.
The true origins of this genus are lost to history, what archaeological evidence is available, points to this creature developing south of the Fertile Crescent alongside humanity. DNA sequencing has revealed that the closest genetic relative seems to be the Ethiopian Lions. Unfortunately due to the tenuous relationship between human and Sphinx the majority of Sphinx residing in Ethiopia are hard to meet and very aggressive. Inquiries into their past has been met with riddles, aggression, or a refusal to answer.
The greatest concentration of sphinxes reside around the Aegean Sea in modern day Turkey and Greece. While there are several species of Sphinx in this area the most common by far is the Sphinx Ainigman or Riddle Sphinx. The most popularly known story of this species comes from its love of riddles as one particular creature haunted the outskirts of Thebes challenging prey to a riddle. While this species actually originated from modern day Ethiopia they found the climate of Greece much more pleasing and the majority of this species can be found there to this day.
The second widest spread species of Sphinx is the Sphinx Aves or flying Sphinx. This species is made up of those sphinxes with the capacity for limited flight. They are generally characterized by their large eagle like wings.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Legality of Hunters: Equipment Laws

A wide variety of equipment is also available and can be used during operations. Ranging from portable electronics to armor there are limitless possibilities to be added to one’s kit. A hunter might decide to make use of something such as a thermal sensor to detect exceptionally warm or cold blooded creatures, many wear bullet proof or stab proof vests to protect themselves from attack, and most teams will make use of cell phones and/or radio to communicate.

Holy Ammunition is creating a database for those who work to protect humanity from monsters independently and may not have access to the same depths of information as those with more resources at their disposal.

In this regards HA divides areas up by Category with 0 being the least restrictive and 5 being the most restrictive.

Equipment law will be listed slightly differently than other laws. Herein unless listed as more restricted all classes of equipment shall have be set as Category 1 by standard.

Category 0:

In these areas there are no limitations on that equipment type. Anyone can own and use it.

An example of this would be handheld radios in the United Kingdom. There is a small limitation when it comes to larger sets and certain rules associated with emergency channels, but they are so inconsequential as not to count.

Category 1:

There are very few rules in these areas. The majority of people can own and use these with few requirements.

Cell phones within Australia would qualify. They are easily available for purchase however you have to give proof of identity documents and have a credit history to be able to acquire even a pay as you go phone.

Category 2:

Equipment falling within this category can mean that either a law prevents certain people from owning an item or there are licensing requirements to their use.

Body Armor within the United States would qualify as Category 2 equipment. While a normal person can own and even wear Body Armor those, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony from wearing Bullet Proof Vests.

Category 3:

Items within category 3 are licensed or restricted from the general population or have use restrictions in place.

Within Canada, low powered radio equipment such as walkie-talkies and baby monitors are considered Category 1 items, however medium to high powered radio equipment such as long range and Ham radios are licensed and require permits to operate and only within certain ranges.

Category 4:

Category 4 equipment is generally reserved only for those who go through special licensing and equipment certification or has strenuous use restrictions placed upon it.

In Poland it is legal to own a Mobile Phone Jammer; however the use of it in public with special licensing and permission is illegal.

Category 5:

The highest category, this equipment is illegal to own and use. These items are generally reserved for the government only. Operatives are encouraged to use great discretion and forbearance before using any Category 5 equipment and even then only if absolutely necessary.

Wiretapping equipment in most countries is considered Category 5 equipment. Most governments reserve the right to spy on their and others citizens and take great umbrage at anyone else treading on their territory.

It is important to pay attention to the law when tracking your prey from one country to another. This is very true within the European Union which has very close borders and a hunter may have to cross through several countries while in pursuit. Night Vision devices, while considered a Category 1 device in many countries, within certain European Union countries, are a category 4 item. In Germany they are classified as a Category 5 item if they are attached to a firearm, but a Category 2 item if not.

In this way both what the item is and how it is used play a factor. Bullet Proof vests are legal to own in Australia which would nominally make them a Category 1 Item, however if you wear it and do not have a need and agreement from the police it is illegal, pushing the item up to a Category E charge, the same as having an illegal concealed weapon. This makes Bullet Proof Vests in Australia a Category 4 item.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Silver Ammunition Hardness

A very common trope in movies about werewolves and vampires is for an individual to grab a handy piece of jewelry or silverware and melt it down into a bullet mold. They then load the bullet and defeat the rampaging beast which is terrorizing them and their community. While this makes for an amusing piece of McGyvering it leads to the spreading of misinformation that may cost an individual their life in the real world.

The hardness of a regular bullet has a large range which helps determine its performance. When the pressure wave of the expanding gas hits the bullet it will obdurate, the official name for its expansion into the rifling grooves. If the bullet is too soft it will allow some of the gas to escape past it, reducing the energy imparted to the bullet. If the bullet is too hard it will fail to engage the rifling properly, this will also cause the gas to escape.

As the heated gas rushes past the bullet part of it will melt. The melted lead will be left on the barrel and lead to inaccuracy and partial blockage of future rounds. This is known as leading and is very detrimental to the weapon’s performance.

Pure lead has a hardness of 5 BHN (Brinell Hardness Numbers), original smoothbore and muzzle loading rifles were made with rounds anywhere from 5 to 10 BHN, handgun rounds may be anywhere from 10 to 18 BHN range, rifle rounds made from Linotype will generally be about 22 BHN. The hardest round used in rifles is 30 BHN.

There are two methods that may be used to determine the hardness needed for any bullet. They correlate to pressure and speed.

The ideal hardness for a round based off the pressure in pounds per square inch is:

While the maximum hardness a bullet should ever have for that pressure is determined as:
Max BHN=Pressure/1,422
This can be seen as the do not exceed number, it is the highest BHN a bullet can have and still properly obdurate.

The .45 ACP is rated to 21,000 PSI.
This means that the ideal BHN for the .45 ACP round is 11 while the do not exceed number is 15.
The 9mm parabellum has a max pressure of 37,500 psi this gives it a much wider BHN rating of 19.5-26 BHN

The Velocity rule is even simpler.
800-1000 fps 10-12 BHN
1000-1400 fps 12-16 BHN
1400-1700 fps 14-20 BHN
>1700 fps 20-30BHN

Using this chart a .45ACP will fall into the range of 850-1,250 fps based on the bullet weight (hollow point vs ball) and powder charge. Using this as reference this gives the BHN range of the .45ACP to be between ~10.5-14.5 BHN. This closely correlates to the Pressure rule and allows the loader to base the hardness off of the speed of the round for greatest effect.

The 9mm parabellum’s velocity falls into the range of 1,000-1,450 fps giving it a range of 12-16 BHN. This is obviously a much lower number than the pressure rating, but it is also the more accurate one and the range that a ammunition smith would ideally use.

If there is a disagreement between the pressure and fps chart the fps chart should take priority as it will be the more conservative estimate.
These numbers bring the issue with silver bullets to light. Silver is considerably harder than lead. Elemental Silver has a hardness of 24.5 BHN as opposed to lead’s 5 BHN. This makes it an option for most rifles and some handguns. Through the process of annealing the silver can be reduced to as low as 20.5 BHN. Unfortunately for the average movie hero/heroin, Elemental silver is too soft for the majority of uses such as eating utensils and jewelry. As a result other elements are added in to increase the hardness. Sterling silver can end up with hardness anywhere between 100 and 185 BHN. This means the minimum pressure that would be needed to force the bullet to obdurate can be anywhere between 142,200 to 263,070 psi. Even the highest rated +P rounds will only achieve 50-65,000 psi. This means that the absolute highest BHN a bullet can achieve and still obdurate is 45 BHN.

As a result any attempt to shoot a bullet such as this would result in the bullet either jamming in the gun or exiting with very little velocity. (Editor’s Note: In actuality the bullet will most likely hurtle out of the gun without any rifling benefit as silver has a much higher thermal expansion than lead so if you put a silver bullet into a normal bullet mold the bullet will be drastically undersized.)

For this purpose all bullets produced by HA use pure silver shot in anything but custom requested rounds (HA will produce up to 30BHN rounds by mixing precious copper with the holy silver).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Legality of Hunters: Weapons Laws

One joy that most hunters share is their love of their equipment, specifically their weapons. Each and every hunter has a preferred weapon or weapons that they use to vanquish the creatures which prey upon mankind. Some such as the Vampire hunters will stick with a small proven array of tools whereas the rapid response teams that the DPRCD, Department of Paranormal Research, Containment, and Destruction employs are trained in a wide variety of weapons; including standard weapons such as Shotguns and rifles, to the arcane fire casters, and other stranger weapons such as super soakers filled with Holy Acid (Editor’s Note: Works like holy water but on a wider variety of creatures).

Yet many areas do not differentiate between those hunters who protect humanity and the average citizen. For this reason it is important to pay attention to the limitations an area may impose upon weaponry and equipment. Holy Ammunition has created a 5 category system to define the laws of a location in regards to what weapons a hunter can carry.

Category 0:
A Category 0 area has no limitations to what can be used and carried. All manner of devices and weapons are allowed within the area, be it a pocket knife or a rocket propelled grenade.

As one can imagine these areas do not exist in the majority of the planet. There are only two places in the world that contain Category 0 areas, Africa and parts of South America. Somalia would count as a Category 0 area, despite having gun laws the enforcement is so minimal as to be non-existent.

Category 1:
Category 1 areas have few limitations on ownership however they do have some. In general weapons such as Rocket Propelled Grenades and other heavy ordnance are either banned, heavily restricted, or limited to authorized organizations only. Like Category 0 this designation is rarely used outside of South America and Africa, although some parts of Asia.

Category 2:
Category 2 cities, counties, states, and countries have further limitations on weapon ownership. In these places the purchase of automatic weapons is restricted or banned. Explosives are generally also banned or with extremely heavy restrictions as well. Regular firearms and weapons are either not regulated or have very limited regulations.

South Africa would qualify as a Category 2 location. While it has extensive firearms regulation these are able to be navigated with a modicum of effort allowing the ownership of just about any weapon.

Category 3:
Category 3 places further limitations on the ownership of firearms. It restricts them from many members of the public based on conditions or locations. High explosives and Automatic weapons are both illegal or require extensive contacts or work to acquire.

The United States is a Category 3 Country. While the federal laws qualify the country as a Category 2, once the state and local regulations are factored in it places the country at a solid Cat 3.

Category 4:
Category 4 regions have bans on most firearms. Ownership is generally limited to police and a privileged few.

North Korea would qualify as a Category 4 country as only the military or political elite are allowed to own weapons.

Category 5:
Category 5 sectors have the most restrictive personal weapon ownership of any areas. In these locations even basic personal defense tools such as knives are banned.

The United Kingdom is a Category 5 which functions closer to a Category 4. You have to show ID to purchase steak knives and the carrying of any type of weapon is banned. However due to the fact that their laws are impossible to enforce and the availability of these weapons it is functionally a Category 5.