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Jun Nagase

Weapons - The Mark 3 SAW

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The Morita Mark III Squad Automatic Weapon

The Morita Mk3 SAW is a Squad Automatic Weapon designed to replace the Morita Mk2 SAW, boasting similar characteristics to the Morita Mk1 while allowing for more compact ammunition and better sustained fire at a higher rate of fire. It features picatinny rails all along the side of the rifle along with an integrated bipod. The magnetic acceleration feature of the Mk3 SAW allows it to put a lot of lead downrange while maintaining a low and manageable recoil, allowing for accurate sustained full-auto fire at arachnid-sized targets at ranges where recoil would dissuade the Mk1 from full-auto.

Future variants are planned with options for optics and a potential integrated suppressor or an adapter to allow for suppressors.

 

 

Ammunition

The Morita Mark III SAW uses a special Caseless 5x30mm Steel - Tungsten Carbide alloy core with Lead filler round, named AP-F for Armor Piercing - Fragmentation, and is fired via an electric pulse.

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The round is designed to have favorable penetration characteristics for a smaller round while retaining shrapnels post penetration. It is designed so the round will penetrate an arachnid's chitin, upon which the Tungsten Carbide core will likely break apart along the middle, shattering the lead casing around the core and causing shrapnel to disperse inside the target. This will also occur when penetrating armor and if striking bone thicker than 6mm. If striking flesh deeper than 7cm, testing has shown that some lead may fragment, though less so than if the core breaks.

With the added velocity of the Mk3 SAW's magnetic accelerator rails, the 5x30mm AP-F round has damage characteristics similar to that of the common .308 NATO used in the Morita Mark 1 when used within it's effective range.

 

Its caseless nature allows the Mk3 SAW to fit up to 200 rounds of 5x30mm AP-F ammunition, divided up into 25 tubes of 8 rounds each inside the cylindrical magazine which is loaded into the SAW's chamber via a high-speed injection rod which pushes the prepared round into the chamber upon firing, operated by the rotation of the magazine as the weapon fires.

 

Action

The Morita Mark 3 SAW uses a rotating-bolt electronic pulse system that ignites a relatively small amount of gunpowder stored at the base of the 5x30mm caseless ammunition, which is then further accelerated by the magnetic accelerator rails stored along the barrel of the weapon.

 

Magazine

The magazine, powered by the battery stored in the Mk3 SAW, will begin rotating upon firing which will feed the rounds into the chamber located at the front end of the magazine itself, centerline with the barrel. The center core of the magazine in where the round is fired from does not rotate with the rest of the magazine.

So far, no instances of failures to feed have been recorded, however it is theoretically possible that a worn action could cause the round to get caught between the rotating magazine and the chamber, jamming the magazine in place and potentially damaging it beyond further field-use. If this failure is suspected, it would be evident from a simple inspection of the magazine, looking down the front of it into the chamber.

 

How to use

Safety

The primary safety of the Morita Mk3 SAW is the on/off switch of the battery, located on the right-hand side of the stock, represented by a small flick switch. Flicking this switch to 'on' will enable the battery to feed electricity into the magnetic rails and the magazine, effectively making the weapon live.

A further safety exists in the shape of a small push button on the left-hand side of the stock which functions as the chambering button. In order for a round to be chambered and the weapon be ready for use, pressing this button is necessary. However, once fired, the weapon will automatically chamber a new round if a new magazine is inserted. It will continue to do this until the power button is switched to 'off', in which case it will reset.

A secondary safety exists in the form of a traditional flick-on selector safety that prevents the trigger from being pulled, intended as a more temporary safety for when the rifle needs to be safe, but still quick to switch into live mode.

 

Firemode

Switching firemodes is fairly straight forward. On the front of the trigger guard exists a pair of buttons, these function as the fire selector switches. A simple flick with an index finger can quickly change the firemode, or switch on the secondary safety as labeled on the switches.

 

Reloading

Reloading the Mk3 SAW is fairly simple. Under the trigger exists a small button; holding in this button will allow the operator to pull back on the cylinder magazine about 1cm which will unlock it and allow the magazine to be removed out either side of the weapon. Then, a fresh magazine can be reinserted through either side and can be confirmed to be in place when it 'clicks' into position.

A skilled operator can pull back and push out the magazine in one motion, allowing for swift reloads.

 

Barrel changes are not necessary on the Mk3 SAW as it features a heavy barrel for a relatively small round and a small amount of heat being exerted when fired. Should a barrel need changing, it is done purely by armourers and cannot be done in the field.

 

Adoption

The Morita Mark III SAW was designed to improve on the SAW concept, specifically to replace the Morita Mark II SAW and improve performance on all fronts. In order to do this, the Morita company looked to newer technologies, specifically magnetically accelerated ammunition. After some testing, they settled on a 5x30mm caseless round with a Steel - Tungsten Carbide alloy core with a lead casing meant to shrapnel post-penetration. Testing revealed that this round had performance that, under most circumstances, resulted in damage similar to that of the common .308 NATO round used by the Morita Mark 1 variants with exponentially reduced effectiveness at ranges beyond 800m.

The magazine design was initially going to be similar to that of the Mk2 SAW, with a box magazine with belts inside. However, they wanted a system that allowed them to save space and did not require any type of belts to feed. After several iterations, they finally settled on an electric cylindrical magazine with a series of 25 tubes, each of which stores 8 rounds which feed down into the center of the magazine where the firing chamber itself resides. Powered by the same battery that powers the magnetic accelerator rails in the fore of the weapon, the magazine's rotation feeds the rounds into the chamber and electronically ignite the small charge in the caseless round, propelling it into the barrel where the magnetic accelerator rails will further accelerate the round to achieve the final muzzle velocity of between 980m/s - 1040m/s.

Initially, the Morita company attempted to make a shortened version of the Mk3 SAW without suffering too severe performance drops, however no variant so far has proven worth consideration.

The Morita Mark III SAW was initially adopted by Alpha Company of the 112th Mobile Infantry Battalion, then later by other companies and battalions.

 

 

Specifications

Action: Electric-pulse operated, rotating bolt.
Weight: 10.63 Kilograms (23.43 Pounds) fully loaded.
Length: 1130mm (44.48 Inches)
Barrel Length: 762mm (30.0 Inches)
Cartridge: 30grain 5x30mm Caseless AP-F primary, mag. accelerated.
Feed System: 200 round standard cylinder magazine primary.

Accuracy: 1 MOA @ 500m.
Muzzle Velocity: 1020 m/s, quickly drops with range.
Effective Range: ~800 meters.

 

 

 

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