September 5, 2015

MERRY GO ROUND TURRET: LOW TECH DEFENSIVE SNIPER POSITION

Here's a novel idea - take a child's merry-go-round and turn it into a rotating manned turret.  If society collapses and you need to defend your position, this might be a great idea.  High tech, expensive weapons and defenses are often the best, but preppers know that in a post-collapse scenario, low tech, reliable weapons and defenses are often the better choice.

Start with something like this...


Then cut off most or all of the railings.  (They may act as support if you choose to add a roof)  You may need to lay down armored plating on the bottom of it, depending on if you expect projectiles to come up at you.  In these illustrations, I have the merry go round elevated on a platform, but you could have it at ground level.


You'll need a way to spin the turret, so I figure the best way to do that is to cut some holes in the bottom.  One hole would be toward the front and you could use your hand to spin.  The other would be toward the rear, so you could use your feet to turn it.  The shooter could remain in a prone position the whole time, while he spins the turret to the desired position.  You wouldn't necessarily have to have anything special below.  A flat surface with grip would work, but it would be better to have something more substantial, since it will require a bit of force to get the thing moving.  So, I would recommend either a railing all the way around for hands to grip and turn, or corrugated grooves deep enough for toes to dig in and turn the turret.  If the thing ends up being too heavy and too difficult for the shooter to rotate easily, you could have two people working as a team.  Of course, it also wouldn't be too difficult to motorize the thing and rotate it with a switch.


Now for the armor.  Here are some thoughts.  Sandbags are pretty basic...


An optimum design might be something like this...


If the metal plating can be shaped into a circle, you could completely surround it like this...


Will it need a protected roof?  If attackers might have the high ground above the turret, then yes.  Otherwise, there are limited threats from above in a post-collapse world.  Some bad guys will have molotov cocktails.  Some guys will have pipe bombs.  Some guys will have grenades.  Some will have arrows, but who could be accurate enough to hit you with such an arch?  Most will just have guns though.  So, it's your call if you want to add protection above.  It will make it heavier and more expensive.  If you add protection from above, it might look something like this from behind...


With a design like that, you'll have something that looks like the turret from the USS Monitor from the Civil War (just a lot smaller, and a gun instead of a couple canons).


Another option would be to put bulletproof glass on the front end.  If you can afford it, this will give much better visibility.


If you find that the turret is too heavy, you can try alternative designs to cut down the weight, like this one that will use less armored plating...


Or this one with a concrete wall.  I suppose concrete might weigh less, right?  (Actually, it wouldn't need to be a ring wall.  It could just be a rectangle, which will weigh less.)


Where do you locate these turrets?  Different approaches will work depending on your unique setup.  If you have a camp with 4 sides, 4 turrets with one on each corner would be wonderful...


2 turrets on opposing corners should theoretically still be able to cover the entire surrounding area...


With the turrets in positions at the outside of your camp/compound/dwelling, you have to decide if you want the turrets be able to face inward.  There are pros and cons for either choice.  I'm leaning toward not allowing them to face inward.  Rigging that should be a simple welding operation.

If there is an elevated position in your survival location, such as a sundeck, a 2 story building, or a tower, you can have one central turret.  It's a perfect sniper perch where he can remain protected and shoot in all 360 degrees.




Who will the turrets be best suited for?  I have no military experience or tactical training, but I'm thinking it will be best for snipers.  It gives them the perfect opportunity to remain in the prone position and rotate for accurate aiming in any direction, all while remaining protected.  I think it would also be good for machine gunners if you have any, since their protection is vital.  Another option might be if you're in a worst case scenario;  you're under attack and you are low on men and you need women and teenagers to take up arms.  You might want to put your teenager in the turret, because they'll be better protected, while you take up another position.

I think it wouldn't be ideal if you are under attack from multiple attackers, the attackers are in close range, they are approaching fast, or you don't have a good rifle or machine gun.  The limits of the turret are that it spins slowly and has limited visibility.  A person leaning over some sandbags or breastworks has much more freedom of movement to engage more attackers more quickly, so I imagine, most fighters would want to take up normal bunker fighting positions like this...


Should the turret be camouflaged?  If you are trying to keep your entire survival location hidden, then by all means, camouflage it.  If you are not trying to keep your location hidden, you may or may not want to camouflage it.  If it is camouflaged, it may prevent attackers from coming up with a plan to deal with the turrets.  If it is not camouflaged, it may deter attackers altogether, so it's your choice.  However, once fighting begins, I'm thinking it is best for it to not be camouflaged.  If the attackers see a huge turret swing around, they will be fearful.  They will think you are more capable than they expected you to be--than they expected anyone to be in a post-collapse world.

Do you have any suggestions, thoughts for improvement, or critiques of this idea?  I would love for the military guys to chime in.