Release that Witch Chapter 1208
Chapter 1208: Van'er's Gun
The next day at noon, they went to the Second Mechanic Plant in the industrial zone with Jop.
After hearing the purpose of their trip, Jop's brother, Lafite, showed great interest in Van'er's proposal. He took Van'er's rifle and fiddled the weapon affectionately before he asked, "Are we really allowed to do this? I was a miner, and what I'm now doing is simply some manual labor like sharpening and slicing. If I screw it up..."
"Brother!" Jop stopped him indignantly.
"One or two shouldn't be a problem. Guns break easily after all since we use them a lot during the training," Van'er said. "However, if you break a lot, then it means that my method doesn't work. I won't blame you."
"I see," Lafite said while nodding in excitement. "Then leave it to me! I'll do my best, as machine tools in the plant aren't always available."
"Your brother seems to like flintlocks very much," Cat's Claw whispered to Jop.
"That's nothing unusual," Rodney rejoined. "Who doesn't like powerful weapons? We used to flail swords and spears. Now we fire cannons and guns."
Van'er also thought the same way. After witnessing the true power of the 12-pound field artillery, he gradually fell in love with weapons. Van'er opened the leather bag his friends brought with them, took out a disabled HMG and then handed a metal tube to Lafite. Van'er said, "Let's begin."
The barrel of the rifle was soon fixed to a drilling machine.
Lafite turned on the machine, aligned the drill with the mark on the barrel, and slowly moved the drill downwards. When the drill touched the barrel, the metal tube splintered into numerous tiny chips.
It was a new experience for Van'er. Although he knew that both the steam engine and the Longsong Cannons were made of metal ingots, it was his first time witnessing the actual production. He was amazed when seeing the robust iron gradually melt and dissolve into various shapes.
According to Lafite, the machine tools in the Second Mechanic Plant were all in their third generation powered by Dawn I. Compared to the old machine tools driven by steam engines, the new ones were much more steady and quiet. In addition, they could start working anytime. Some skillful workers could even carve intricate patterns on a tiny iron rod the size of a fingernail.
Yet Van'er did not require such exquisite skills. After reflecting upon his proposal for a night, he redrafted his plan. The principle was to use the least resources to attain his goal. The transformation of the gun should be simple and must not interfere with the daily operation of the plant. As such, he brought the air duct of Mark I, in a hope of simplifying the procedure and saving time.
With a sample air duct, they could then easily ignite gunpowder. The problem, nonetheless, was how to keep up a steady fire.
Van'er had developed a great interest in the HMGs used by the Gun Battalion a long time ago. During the war of the North Slope, he had played with those machine guns many times. One thing that Van'er was certain was that Mark I was much larger than rifles because it had a much more complicated recoil system. Further, the loading systems of the two weapons were also quite different. Machine guns required a cartridge, whereas rifles were only equipped with a clip. Therefore, it was impossible to copy the whole model.
Even if his method worked, Iron Axe and Brian would not allow the artillery to use heavy machine gun parts.
The best way to upgrade rifles was to just upgrade the barrel.
"That's pretty much it..." Lafite said as he cleansed the drill and compared the air duct and the rifle against the sunlight. "These two barrels should be about the same length once we cut off the excessive part."
"Don't connect them as yet," Van'er stopped Lafite as he produced a piece of paper from his pocket and spread it out. "I want you to help me to make this spare part as well."
There was a crude diagram on the paper. The part was in the shape of an arc, about one finger long and two fingers wide, with a groove in the middle.
"What's that?" the other officers asked curiously. "It doesn't look like a gun part."
Van'er was not sure if this part would really work. It was simply one of his wild ideas that had yet been verified. However, he must not retract, so he said, "Ahem... if everything goes well, I believe this new part will replace our hands."
Five days later, many soldiers from the Artillery Battalion gathered at the First Army's shooting range.
They had learned from their superiors that a new flintlock that would enable the artillery to keep up a steady fire was currently under test. Unlike all the other weapons widely used by the army, this weapon was invented by Commander Van'er instead of His Majesty. Many soldiers were intrigued by the news and came to see what this new weapon looked like during their break.
To their dismay, the weapon under test could indeed fire steadily, although it did, from time to time, got jammed. As long as the user continuously pulled the trigger, the gun could eject multiple bullets at a time.
Unlike the revolving rifles that could only fire five bullets, this upgraded one could fire 20, which would almost rival an HMG if multiple such upgraded guns fired at the same time.
"I can't believe that you really made it," Cat's Claw remarked impressively. "Now I know why Sir Iron Axe chose you to be the commander."
"His Majesty taught me all this. Doesn't he always say that we need to apply what we learn from books to actual work? I simply did what His Majesty told us to," Van'er said triumphantly. He had not expected that his plan would work so well. Within just five days, he had created a new weapon. Next, they would only need to make a few adjustments and the Artillery Battalion would be able to increase the power of their guns significantly at a minimal cost.
"Are you Commander Van'er?" someone asked suddenly.
"Yes, you are..." Van'er said as he turned around.
"I'm Danny, a member of the sniper team," the man said with a smile. "I saw a lot of people here, so I came to see what's going on. I'm on duty today... Can I try out your new weapon?"
"The sniper team?" Jop echoed, a little surprised, and then cast a glance at Van'er, "Chief — "
Van'er knew that every single member of the sniper team was an elite picked by Brian from the Gun Battalion. The sniper team made its fame through the battle against the church at the Coldwind Ridge. They received a medal from His Majesty for their outstanding performance. They were the best among the best and were also highly respected among the soldiers. If this new weapon caught the attention of the sniper team, wouldn't there be a possibility that the Artillery Battalion could finally overpower the Gun Battalion?
In response to Jop and Cat's Claw's eager look, Van'er replied with a faint smile, "Of course. Please go ahead."