Moon-darts are a family of weapons developed on the moon to provide a cheaper alternative to more sophisticated weapons such as lasers and micro-missiles. The moon-dart gun resembles a six to eight inch cylinder of between one and one and a half inches in diameter with either 19 or 37 openings in one end. Moon-dart guns are commonly referred to as “pepperpots”. Such a cylinder is both magazine and firing unit and is used by attaching it to an assembly with a grip, stock and sighting system. Rounds are fired electrically and the firing-units may be used on their own or in booby traps if a power source is available to fire them.
Guns (Pistol) (DX-4, or most other Guns at -2)
|Moon-Dart Pistol||3d (2) pi-||2||250/2,800||1.5/1||3||19(4)||6||-2||2||(1)|
|3d (2) pi-||2||250/2,800||2/1.5||3||37(4)||6||-2||2||(1)|
A seven-round cylinder, massing 0.4 lb, is sometimes encountered and is usually used on moon-dart pistols.
Guns (Rifle) (DX-4, or most other Guns at -2)
|Moon-Dart Rifle||3d (2) pi-||5||2,700/3,300||5.5/1||3||19(4)||6†||-4||2||(1)|
|3d (2) pi-||5||2,700/3,300||6/1.5||3||37(4)||6†||-4||2||(1)|
(1) Ranges given are for the weapon used in lunar surface conditions: a vacuum atmosphere and 0.17 G.
The moon-darts themselves resemble steel nails of about 3.5mm diameter. A polymer ring of about 5mm diameter provides obturation and engages the rifling to spin-stabilize the projectile. At the rear of the projectile is what appears to be an aluminium cartridge case. This contains a propellant derived from rocket fuel. The case protects the propellant from extremes of temperature and related effects. The propellant charge has aspects of both a rocket and a conventional gun. Most of the gases are vented against the breech face but some also fill the barrel space behind the obturation ring.
Pepperpots are not true recoilless weapons but their light projectiles keep recoil well within human tolerances, even at one-sixth lunar gravity. The projectile is launched at a velocity of 1,000 yards/second and in the vacuum and gravity of the lunar surface it will have lost little of this velocity on impact. The dart has very little stopping power but its high penetration makes it a deadly weapon against pressurized targets such as moon-suits. Under the weak lunar gravity the moon-dart follows a relatively flat trajectory to more than 2,700 yards. The curvature of the moon gives a surface line of sight of between 2,460 and 2,820 yards, so moon-darts are very effective weapons. Designed with simplicity in mind, moon-darts do not have warheads. Guidance systems would be extremely rare and likely to be custom-made. The extreme simplicity of a moon-dart would make guidance and course correction very difficult to incorporate.
Moon-darts are not designed to be fired in an atmosphere and consequently have a very poor aerodynamic shape. Treat range and ½ range in a normal Earth atmosphere as a thousand times actual distance. Under such conditions Acc=0 and shooting skill is at a penalty of at least -1.