Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

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Gelgoog Jager
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Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:00 am

Recent discussions about the caliber of some weapons has left me wondering about the timing and order in which they were introduced.

I was particularly interested in finding out that the MMP-80 do seems to have a higher caliber than the 120mm Zaku machine gun. Until now I always considered that the 90mm MG was a weapon only useful against heavy armored MS (Gundams, Guncannons, etc.), while the 120mm MG was more useful for anything else (most MS, ships, vehicles, etc.) due to its larger caliber and ammo capacity, therefore thinking that they simply had different uses.

But if the 90mm MG is actually more powerful in every sense, then the natural assumption would be that it wasn't meant to complement the original 120mm MG, but rather replace it altogetther.

I'm hoping that maybe Mark and/or any anyone else who do might have such information can please share with us.

That being said, I do want to also provide something to the thread, so I searched and found this chinese site that seems to have posted information from the U.C. Arms Gallery about the Zaku machine gun:

http://www.sosg.net/simple/t341973.html

Using goggle translate I saw this short flowchart of the development of Zeon's MS machine guns:

100mm (UC0074)

│ Development ↓
ZMP-47D 105mm (UC0075) ─ → ZMP-47D 120mm (UC0079)

│ Production (frantic wolf Note: doubtful)

ZMC38 Ⅲ M120A1 120mm (UC0077) (frantic wolf Note: Image is characterized by elastic plate centered)

├ local war with → M120AS 120mm (UC0079)
Development ├ ─ ─ → MMP-78 120mm (UC0079)
Development ├ ─ ─ → MMP-80 90mm (UC0079)
└ ─ ─ ─ ─ → ZMP-50D 120mm (UC0079) (frantic wolf Note: Image is characterized by elastic plate-right)
└ ─ strengthen → ZMP-50D 120mm (UC0079) Heavyweight Mobile Suit Type (frantic wolf Note: no map, suspected to be used Zaku machine Dom [x])

Among other things, it mentions a 120mm version of the Zaku I's ZMP-47D machine gun, the rare M120AS machine gun of the Zaku Desert Type and the modified ZMP-50D mean to be used by MS with larger manipulators (such as early Dom-types).

And if I read correctly, it would seem that machine guns with the ZMP prefix, such as ZMP-50D were designed by Zeonic, while machine guns with the MMP prefix, such as the MMP-78, were designed by MIP.

Also, it has this comparison pic for the frame of different models of the Zaku machine guns:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v287/ ... 803450.jpg

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by toysdream » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:11 am

I don't know if there's really a logic to the redundant model numbers - seems like more of the usual confusion, just as with the model numbers of the Zaku's reactor.

Anyways, the notion that the Zaku I's original machine gun was 105mm goes back to Gundam Century. The MG kit manuals listed it as 120mm instead; according to the MG kits, the Zaku I was originally equipped with the ZMP-47D/120mm, then switched to the ZMP-50B/120mm (which looks identical to the Zaku II's standard weapon). The version used by the Zaku II is the ZMP-50D/120mm, and according to the Char's Rick Dom kit manual, there's a version with an enlarged grip for the Dom's big hands which is labeled as the MMP-78/WG/120mm. (Which does support the notion that the different designations are for different manufacturers.)

The Mobile Suit Museum catalog, meanwhile, identified the Zaku II's weapon as the ZMC38III. (The accompanying text says it has a rate of fire of 280 rounds/minute, and an effective surface range of 4200m.) And the MSV and MSV-R series gave us M120AS for the Zaku Desert Type, and M120AC for the bayonet-equipped version. It looks like the "UC Arms Gallery" candy toys tried to hedge their bets by listing the standard Zaku II gun as both the ZMC38III and the M-120A1, with bonus hyphen. :-)

As for the MMP-80: Based on the model sheet artwork and the dimensions of the magazine, it seems like the rounds for this weapon are a bit shorter than those of the regular Zaku machine gun - about 500mm, versus 600mm for the previous version. So if the bullets really are higher-caliber than the previous version - which is still just my own pet theory, not the official consensus! - then they'd be proportionally shorter, which means lower muzzle velocity, range, and penetrating power. So this wouldn't be a completely superior weapon, but rather one specialized for close range and rapid fire, much like a submachine gun compared to an assault rifle.

-- Mark

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:43 am

MSV-R certainly brings some interesting weapons:

-MS-05Q: ZMP-50B? (looks like a 120mm with a small guard).
-MS-06A: ZMP-47D (120mm?), single round initial Zaku bazooka with no catridge and a single exhaust port, and Zaku Bazooka with square block catridge and a single exhaust port.
-MS-06D: M120AS with long barrel.
-MS-06G: MMP-78 with a ¿barrel jacket? (MSV-R manga calls it like that).
-MS-06S: M120AC with heat bayonet and two types of double Zaku Bazooka, one being the one I mentioned above from the MS-06A, the other one ahving a unique sight right above the grip, and both types having a single exhaust port.
-MS-06V-8: 2x 105mm ZMP-50D? (the weapon is listed as a 105mm weapon, but the reference image and weapon shape matches those of a 120mm Zaku Machine Gun)

The highlights include the weapon of the MS-05Q, which could be the infamous ZMP-50B, the different Zaku bazookas, and the MS-06V-8's profile which might be hinting that a version of the 120mm Zaku Machine Gun can also use 105mm rounds. In turn, this makes me wonder if the ZMP-47D stored in the back of a MS-06A in the photo from its respective volume could be a ZMP-47D loaded with 120mm rounds (since it's being used by a Zaku II)?

As a side note, the MSV-R manga makes a quick mention of the MS-06C, once again calling it a nuclear equipped unit, but interestingly, giving it a spikeless shoulder armor like the MS-06A's with the most common 280mm Zaku bazooka (4 exhaust ports, no catridge) as its main weapon.

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Nebfer » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:39 am

Humm interesting using crappy translation to get a rough idea of what they are saying in the above links

Theirs a few references to AP, HE, HEAT and APDS ammo, with some mention of long and short bombs (assuming pore translations of ammo)
The link where Jager got the chart is it self a linked to another page where a "frantic wolf" posted said info (if your wondering what that means, it's just some of the original posters notes) but the that site mentions with the low quality translation that some 10,000 guns where made

Link to that site with crappy translation (better than nothing I suppose).

It also mentions the ammo load is 145 rounds (or something like that)...

Though from what I can gleam it seems typical load out was AP (as in WW2 era ammo) and HE rounds where common as armor penetration was lower priority and HE power was more needed (after all it was expected to use vs fighters and ships), after MS started showing up more more interest on AP performance was needed so they went with a smaller more advanced round with a higher velocity? Though their is some mention of lower MV due to recoil?

The 90mm is stated to have the same hitting power as the 120mm in part due to a more advanced tech that miniaturized the ammo, it was intended to replace the other but never did due to the end of the war?

Theirs a few references to a 332 as well...

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by toysdream » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:20 pm

The figure of 332 rounds apparently comes from a 1984 issue of Comic Bombom magazine. Presumably this is the source for the Zaku machine gun specs listed in the 2011 Gundam calendar, which are as follows...
M-120A1 120mm machine gun
Overall length: 10.83m
Gross weight: 5.8t (fully loaded)
Total ammunition: 332 rounds (standard)
This figure is also mentioned in the Japanese Wikipedia page, although it doesn't provide sources for most of its numbers. (Then again, the Gundam Officials encyclopedia didn't include any sourcing info, so why should fan writers bother?)

That's still not the high end of estimates, though. The kit manual for ZZ's Desert Zaku says it carries 800 rounds!

-- Mark

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:19 pm

Nebfer wrote:Humm interesting using crappy translation to get a rough idea of what they are saying in the above links

Theirs a few references to AP, HE, HEAT and APDS ammo, with some mention of long and short bombs (assuming pore translations of ammo)
The link where Jager got the chart is it self a linked to another page where a "frantic wolf" posted said info (if your wondering what that means, it's just some of the original posters notes) but the that site mentions with the low quality translation that some 10,000 guns where made

Link to that site with crappy translation (better than nothing I suppose).

It also mentions the ammo load is 145 rounds (or something like that)...

Though from what I can gleam it seems typical load out was AP (as in WW2 era ammo) and HE rounds where common as armor penetration was lower priority and HE power was more needed (after all it was expected to use vs fighters and ships), after MS started showing up more more interest on AP performance was needed so they went with a smaller more advanced round with a higher velocity? Though their is some mention of lower MV due to recoil?

The 90mm is stated to have the same hitting power as the 120mm in part due to a more advanced tech that miniaturized the ammo, it was intended to replace the other but never did due to the end of the war?

Theirs a few references to a 332 as well...
Thanks for the link Nebfer!

Checking some more info on the Zaku I machineguns, the site echoes the claim that a version of the ZMP-47D was upgraded to use 120mm ammo, but more importantly, it would seem to indicate that the main reason the wepaon was replaced by the traditional Zaku machinegun was because the lateral placement of the ammo drum caused problems while under the effect of gravity. There's a mention of some other operability problem which involved the removal of the ammo drum.

Also, a couple of notes on the non-machineguns froms this site:

The Magella Top Gun is referred to as the ZIM/M·T-K175C recoiless rifle, and the text seems to imply that despite the popualr belief, the weapon is not taken directly from a Magella Attack Tank. I assume the later could mean that the cannon has to be modified in order for it to have a MS size grip and catridge for ammo, among other changes, but it could also mean that this particualr model was built from scrath as a MS weapon.

I can't make much sense form the text of the ZUX-197 Jagdgewehr shotgun, but it seems to say something like the weapon was created early during the war for use against vechicles, but discontinued for some reason. Later durign the war the concept was given attention once more, which I suppsoe its related to the appearance of EF MS.

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:25 am

Gelgoog Jager wrote:The Magella Top Gun is referred to as the ZIM/M·T-K175C recoiless rifle, and the text seems to imply that despite the popualr belief, the weapon is not taken directly from a Magella Attack Tank. I assume the later could mean that the cannon has to be modified in order for it to have a MS size grip and catridge for ammo, among other changes, but it could also mean that this particualr model was built from scrath as a MS weapon.
It could also mean that the production lines dedicated to making Magellas were reconfigured to make the MS-weapon version of the weapon directly; rather than literally ripping the top off a Magella and fitting it with a trigger, the modification was made a bit further up the supply chain, though it's still something of a stop-gap measure where they're reusing pre-existing facilities as much as possible, rather than designing and producing a dedicated MS cannon.
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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Enileph » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:41 pm

Speaking of which I am looking for information of an ultra rare weapon for THE MSM-04 Acguy. Well, we know that the acguy series have hands that are modular, and thus can be swapped between models. And we know that there are many fun arm attachment designed, and one of them is even a giant fist/hand!

Here is the thing though. There used to be a handheld weapon designed for this giant hand. It is a giant ballistic gun, kind of look like a pistol-revolver type. I cannot remember clearly, but I sure I have seen it, and even owned a toy of it when I was young. Anyone find any information to confirm this?

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Juumanistra » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:35 pm

Oh, another Gundam stat block in need of math-fu'ing. Lets see what kind of absurdity can be had here!

Let's assume that the M120A1's "5.8t" weight is metric, so that we have a loaded mass of 5,800kg for a standard Zeek mecha autocannon. As the choice of a 120mm bore was likely born from the proliferation of the Rhinemetall 120mm/L44 tank gun, that seems as good a place as any to establish a baseline. Per the All-Mighty Wiki, the M256 gun system masses ~3,300kg: Lets assume that through the materials science of the World of Tomorrow, we can replace all of the structural steel with structural titanium, aluminum-scandium alloys, composites, or your choice of handwavium so that we get weight savings of ~40% over the primarily steel-based M256. Which leaves us at 2,000kg for the barrel and firing chamber. However, as the M120A1 is intended to be a rapid-fire system, there's going to be additional mass resulting from structural ruggedization: Lets peg it at 750kg, for a total of 2,750kg of mass allocated to the barrel and firing mechanism.

Beyond the barrel and firing mechanism, the next major mass consideration is the loading action. For the sake of simplicity, lets use the Meggitt Compact Autoloader for the M1 Abrams to establish a baseline: The Compact Autoloader masses 944 pounds for both the autoloading mechanism and the empty magazine. Crudely converted to metric, that comes to 450kg for the feeding mechanism on the M120A1, which at least passes the eyeball test. The only remaining sources of mass in the M120A1 are whatever recoil integral dampeners are present plus the mass of the rifle's furniture and optics. (Plus logical things that the Gundam writers have not thought of yet, such as barrel cooling a la AK-130 turret.) Because I like round numbers, lets assume robust integral recoil dampening and call it 700kg for the dampeners, furniture, optics, and Unknown Unknowns for an even system mass of 4,000kg.

So, with a weapon mass of 4,000kg unloaded, that leaves us with 1,800kg of ammo when it's loaded. In order to ascertain how much usable ammunition that equates to, we need to know the mass of an individual autocannon round used by the Principality of Zeon. If the M120A1 were intended purely as a direct-fire weapon, the proper analogue would the M829 APFSDS round fired by the M1 Abrams, which masses ~20kg. With 1,800kg of loaded ammunition mass, that would conveniently yield 90 rounds of ammunition in a load M120A1. If the M120A1 is intended more a dual-purpose weapon with both direct- and indirect-fire applications, the F-44 as fired by AK-130 is more appropriate, which has a mass of ~86kg. The same 1,800kg of ammunition would in that case yield 21 rounds.

For what it's worth, I'm more partial to the latter, as the HEDP applications of such are rather more impressive than those of a purely direct-fire system. Either way, it's a rather far cry from the 332 rounds claimed. And just further proof that Gundam's writers have no sense of scale.

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:55 pm

Let me do a quick translation.
First, lets give some brief description of the 3 gun types.
ZMP-50D and M120(A1) both are manufactured as the standard firearms of the Zeonic company's 05~06 types, meaning its the earliest MS firearms we first known as the Zaku machine gun.

We will first use the basic settings to distinguish them.

ZMP-50 is a standard MS firearm, using the standard 120mm calibre ammo, magazine drum can hold 100 rounds, with various different ammo types like AP(Armour Piecing), HE(High Explosives), HEAT(High Explosives Anti Tank), etc. Since it was originally developed as a space use MS firearm, its muzzle velocity is slow, and generally speaking it's AP (ammo) is not very effective. the ZMP-50D is the improved version developed for ground combat environment.

M120 has a lower quantity, and uses 120mm [censored word] type short bullet, magazine holds 332 rounds vertically. Speculated to be a sub machine gun developed for strafing against soft targets. Believed to be issued after groud operations. Usually it is used for suppressing soft targets like vehicles and infantry with its higher rate of fire and number of rounds than the ZMP-50. A1 and AS represents (this type).

MMP-78 is uniting the early MIP manufactured MS handheld firearms, generally can be separated into early, middle and late periods. The middle period models are used when the intel of Federation Forces will be fielding MS, so the late period models are improved for (MS)to MS combat. Also uses 120mm calibre ammo, drum can hold 70~100 rounds (estimate)

And then its the shape.

ZMP-50's magazine is different from the later two types, its ammo feed is slightly to the right, so the drum's centre line is not aligned with the gun's centre line.

M120 and MMP-78 early & middle model have little exterior difference, and can only be distinguished by the magazine.
The ammo feed of MMP-78 is in the front, for using rounds with a larger charge, and thus the protective cover of the barrel is thicker. Some say that this is the difference in the manufacture standard of MIP and Zeonic. about the [censored word] front handle, MIP uses a horizontal handle with non-slip patterns, and Zeonic's M120 uses a tight grip or just a plain straight pole.

The easiest to distinguish is the late model of the MMP-78, this model added a rise at the end of the magazine drum, forming a simple mechanic aim, changed to a navy type extendable stock and added a grenade launcher. Also, depending on the (MS) to MS combat needs, it can use more powerful rounds for added armour piecing strength.

Finally, I will have to say this from outside of the plot and settings.

The above comparison is just telling everyone the 3 main types exist for the Zaku Machine gun from an in-universe angle, and the simple difference. However, it is not for telling which unit is using what gun in which scene of which show. We all know that (different) Gundam anime are made in different times, and each having a different style, and there are old and new settings, the so called current settings are largely for fixing problems created by the animation.

From the settings timeline, the 3 types of guns appeared as follows: ZMP-50 -> M120 -> MMP-78.
But the real situation is, all guns in 0079(MSG) are M120, all guns in 0083 are MMP-78 and ZMP-50D's settings did not appear until 08MS team. And the early and middle period type MMP-78 which is shaped lilke the M120 is a retcon remedy that is given after the detailed settings of the M120A1. Since sub machine guns like the M120 cannot be used against armoured targets, and it is not reasonable for the early shows to have that many M120, thus (we) have the MMP-78 early and middle models.

(red words)Therefore, I don't want this post to become the basics of people who show off themselves by watching frame by frame and make fun of newbies. (If you are) one of these kind of people, act with self caution.

Sources: <One Year War full history>, <MG manual(s)>, Encyclopedia, Wiki, Self knowledge and memory.
Don't think this part really helps.

The flowchart is from someone named Wonderful, and is his/her own intepretation of Dengeki Hobby.

I did some corrections. That forum seems to censor some instances of the word gun, but not always.
100mm (UC0074)

│ Development ↓
ZMP-47D 105mm (UC0075) ─ → ZMP-47D 120mm (UC0079)

│ Mass Production (frantic wolf Note: doubtful)

ZMC38 Ⅲ M120A1 120mm (UC0077) (frantic wolf Note: Image is characterized by magazine drum centered)

├ for specialized environment → M120AS 120mm (UC0079)
Development ├ ─ ─ → MMP-78 120mm (UC0079)
Development ├ ─ ─ → MMP-80 90mm (UC0079)
└ ─ ─ ─ ─ → ZMP-50D 120mm (UC0079) (frantic wolf Note: Image is characterized by magazine drum alignment towards right)
└ ─ strengthen → ZMP-50D 120mm (UC0079) Heavyweight Mobile Suit Type (frantic wolf Note: no image, suspected Zaku machine gun used by Dom)

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:48 pm

toysdream wrote:That's still not the high end of estimates, though. The kit manual for ZZ's Desert Zaku says it carries 800 rounds!

-- Mark
The profile of the MS-09G Dowadge says it four 60mm vulcans have 800 rounds per gun. Could the 800 rounds figures of the Desert Zaku have been meant for its vulcans rather than its machine gun?

Also, I noticed that although both machine guns are very similar, the Mahq profile of the OYW MS-06D says it is a 105mm caliber weapon, while the ZZ MS-06D profile says it is a 120mm caliber weapon. Visually, both weapons are almost identical, except for a slightly different grip design. Are these actually two different weapons?

This, along with what MythSearcher translated about the short bullets of the M120, and what's depicted in this image which shows a drum loaded with vertical rounds, makes me think that maybe some Zaku II machine guns, thought to be 120mm caliber weapons, were actually 105mm caliber weapons.

In either case, if there do are grounds for considering that a 120mm ammo drum can hold a 100 rounds horizontally, could it be possible for an ammo drum storing shorter vertical bullets to actually hold 332 rounds?

One more thing: what about the Hizack's machine gun? I have been meaning to ask if this weapon can use the same caliber catridges and ammo drums as some Zaku machine guns.

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by Nebfer » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:32 pm

Gelgoog Jager wrote:
toysdream wrote:That's still not the high end of estimates, though. The kit manual for ZZ's Desert Zaku says it carries 800 rounds!

-- Mark
The profile of the MS-09G Dowadge says it four 60mm vulcans have 800 rounds per gun. Could the 800 rounds figures of the Desert Zaku have been meant for its vulcans rather than its machine gun?

Also, I noticed that although both machine guns are very similar, the Mahq profile of the OYW MS-06D says it is a 105mm caliber weapon, while the ZZ MS-06D profile says it is a 120mm caliber weapon. Visually, both weapons are almost identical, except for a slightly different grip design. Are these actually two different weapons?

This, along with what MythSearcher translated about the short bullets of the M120, and what's depicted in this image which shows a drum loaded with vertical rounds, makes me think that maybe some Zaku II machine guns, thought to be 120mm caliber weapons, were actually 105mm caliber weapons.

In either case, if there do are grounds for considering that a 120mm ammo drum can hold a 100 rounds horizontally, could it be possible for an ammo drum storing shorter vertical bullets to actually hold 332 rounds?

One more thing: what about the Hizack's machine gun? I have been meaning to ask if this weapon can use the same caliber catridges and ammo drums as some Zaku machine guns.
Well from the other thread the Zaku IIs pan mag is at lest 2.4 meters in diameter and roughly .4 meters tall, that's an area of 4.5 meters squared (or ~1.8 cubic meters), a 130mm wide case for the ammo would result in an area of .013 square meters, so you could conceivably house 350ish rounds vertically, though likely a fair bit less due to ammo feed systems (likely closer to 200).
Though with a height of only 400-440mm the rounds would look rather dumpy, with short projectiles and short cases, though oddly the first EP of MSG seems to indicate this as shown here (provided from the other thread). Though later works seem to have gone with a longer case. However if we go with the image, the cases look to be at most twice as long as they are wide, if their 120mm then their 240mm tall, leaving us some ~140-180mm on top of that for the projectile (with a bit in the case), they'd look some what like the rounds in the pic in fact (interestingly the other ammo in the pic, are to long for the shown feed slots).

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Re: Zeon Handheld Weapon Development Timeline?

Post by yazi88 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:14 pm

While we're at it, is there any info on the development or even the difference of the Giant Bazooka 2 of the Rick Dom II from 0080/0083 compared to the original Giant Bazooka of the Rick Dom? I know the Kampfer also used the same Giant Bazooka 2.

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