28 October 2014

FWS Topics: Tales of the BLADE RUNNER Blaster!

A few months, FWS finally discussed, in massive depth, my favorite science fiction weapon: The Rep-Dect 2019 Blaster from 1982's masterwork Blade Runner. Prior to the article being written, an FWS reader from Israel, Yoel, asked me if he could write his own technical write-up on the PKD M2019, and I decided that would make for neat blogpost here on FWS: the tales of the Blade Runner Blaster. Here is three different tales centered around this firearm from 2019: "Pfläger Katsumata series D Revolver" is by Yoel, "The Pflager-Katsumata Detective" by Jeff Barr-David, and lastly, "Perimeter" by me. Enjoy!

Pfläger Katsumata series D Revolver 
by Yoel

Pfläger Katsumata series D revolver is the products of the Pfläger Katsumata Corp. Establish in 2004 by two former Styer Arms Corp. Engineers Ryan Pfläger & Kenji Katsumata with the envision to create a new revolver that will incorporate the rapid fire and quick reload of a auto loader pistol with the reliability and stopping power of high power revolver .
The intended role of those revolvers was for a side arm for Replicants used in the corporate wars on the off-world colonies. It was only after the Replicants ban of 2011 and the establishment of rRplicants detective departments, aka Blade Runner, when the revolvers found their niche – in the hands of humans hunting down Replicants. Although the market of rep-detect is small the wide usage of the gun during the great "retiring raids" of the early years after the ban made the gun an iconic image in the general population both on earth and in the colonies network, surging the gun sales.

1. Gun structure

Note: all the directions mention (right/left, forward/rearward, clockwise/counter) are from the shooter POV.

The PKD is 5 shot revolver, 0.44 rifled barrel featuring a traditional DA trigger-hummer mechanism with electro-mechanic components for:

1. Faster reloading.

2. Softer, quicker trigger pull and more accurate firing.

3. Locking the firing mechanism against unauthorized use.

4. Login the firing history of the user.

There are three electro-mechanic components in the gun:

1. The pistol grip

Contain the DA trigger-hummer, electric battery, electrical solenoid (linear motor) as the hummer spring, micro processor and a receiving antenna.

2. Cylinder Axis
A rectangular box under the barrel and in front of the trigger guard contains electrical solenoid (linear motor) connected to the cylinder axis.

3. Cylinder ejector
A tube on top of the barrel with ejector lever curved around the right side of the cylinder.The tube contains electric motor for fast lever rotation.

Firing operation
Normally the gun is place in its holster with hummer un-cocked.
When the authorized user close his/her palm on the pistol grip the receiving antenna in the grip recognize radio signal from micro-transponder either as implant in the palm or special ring (jokily known in the Blade Runner circles as "retiring ring") then the hummer solenoid cock the hummer and the gun is ready to fire. If the gun didn’t recognize authorized user the hummer won't be cock and when the user pull the trigger and cock the hummer the solenoid will lock the hummer in rear position. Firing the gun perform similar to regular DA revolver with one difference, after every shot the hummer solenoid automatically cock the hummer for next shot. The gun have two triggers, the rear one operate the firing mechanism. This automatically cocking making the trigger pulls easier & quicker and make the firing more accurate.

Reloading operation
The gun most appreciated and famous feature is its quick reloading mechanism.When the user wants to reload the gun or change the ammo type he/she pull the front trigger.Upon trigger pull the cylinder axis move forward clearing the cylinder without support and the ejector lever rotate clockwise through the cylinder cover and push the cylinder left way outside the gun.When the ejecting ends the cylinder axis stays in forward position and the ejector lever is slightly locate in the cylinder empty space.Then the user push a fresh cylinder to the gun pushing the ejector lever back to original position and the cylinder axis automatically move rearward thru the cylinder, locking the cylinder in place. Now, like in the case of a regular revolver the user use is left thumb to tilt the cylinder to firing position.

Login System
The micro processor in the pistol grip log the gun firing, reloading, authorized use, unauthorized users attempt, dates etc.

Cylinder Types
All Earth-made cylinders are 5 shot 0.44'' caliber Magnum.

Type 1

Early model cylinder made from stainless steel with five 0.457'' thru holes for .44 Remington Magnum or .44 Special rounds. The cylinder is for repeated use and currently used for training & ranges.

Type 2

Disposable Type 1 cylinder made from high resistance polymer. Good for only a few ejecting-reloading cycles.

Type 3 series
A cylinder contains primers, gun powder and bullets supplied from Pfläger Katsumata Corp. factory as a single unit.The cylinder made from high resistance polymer for one time use. The series include various bullets types & gun powder quantities combination cylinders.

Type 3 Homemade
In some use in the illegal/unofficial market, basically a homemade cylinder similar to Type 3 made of metal.The cylinder is machined from a single block of metal and load/reload with primers, gun powder and bullets according to user needs

Type 4 series
A type 3 cylinder with chambers shape with segments of annulus (curved rectangular) as cross section rather than round hole. The enlarged chambers contained 27% more gun powder then the type 3 cylinder. The series include various bullets types & gun powder quantities combination cylinders.

Type 4 Homemade
Similar to Type 3 Homemade but with chambers of annulus segments cross section.

Bullet types
The PKD fire all the standard 0.44'' Magnum or Special bullets available in the market. Additional to the standard bullets are the fingerprint marking and the "Viper Eye bullet".

Fingerprint marking

Pfläger Katsumata Corp is offering the type 3 & 4 cylinders with "tagged" bullets. A small amount of rare metal is embedded in the cylinder's bullets.Every cylinder has a slightly different ratio combination define to this single cylinder and a specific number engraved on the cylinder. When rep-dec department buy those cylinders to arm their detectives the department register the numbers of the cylinders supplied to each detective. There three main reasons for tagging the bullet & department registering:

1. Collateral damage
Giving the high resemble of Replicants to humans and the dense urban environment where Rep-Decs operate there's a high probability that a human will be mistakenly been shot. Some rep-dec department oblige their detectives to carry & shot tagged bullets for identify the rep-dec responsible to any human mistakenly shoot.

2. Runway wounded Replican

Giving the toughness of the replicants there a chance that fatal wounded replicant could escape and "die" elsewhere. Since some rep-dec department paid their detectives on a "head base" there a necessity to attribution a replicant dead body to the detective who retried it.

3. Survivors Pension Claim

The hard reality of rep-dec life is that it's a risky job. Most rep-dec department offers a lucrative pension program that includes Survivors Pension for relatives. Such program payment is usually based upon the number of replicants the rep-dec retired. If the rep-dec shot and fatally wound the replicant but the replicant manage to kill the rep-dec the department cans attribution a replicant dead body to the dead detective who retried it.

Viper Eye bullet
The most popular bullet type among the rep-dec is the hollow point with its stopping power and the minimize risk of hurting bystanders. Therefore Pfläger Katsumata Corp offers among their type 4 cylinder the Viper Eye bullet.
This bullet compose of two parts: a more or less standard tungsten hollow point bullet with a thru-hole in it center and a thin metal disk place on the rear side of the bullet.When gun powder in the chamber ignite the pressure apply on the disk, pushing it with the bullet forward down the barrel, when the bullet with the disk leave the barrel and move toward the target the air movement thru the bullet "air inlet" decelerate the disk separate it from the bullet allowing the bullet continue with better aerodynamics properties.The Viper Eye bullet has a double effective range than standard hollow point bullet.

The Pflager-Katsumata Detective 
by Jeff Barr-David

The Pflager-Katsumata Detective is the compression-plasma blaster pistol issued to the "blade runner" replicant retirement officerson Earth. The plasma bolt magnetic containment is distance-fused to the range recorded via the combined laser-sight/range-finder pod on the rear-left of the receiver, above the loading port.
To load this blaster: the lever on the right-hand side of the pistol is raised and brought to the rear to unlock the access panel on the left-hand side to reveal the loading port, which accepts a combined exciter-fuel/power cartridge. Under Earth-like conditions: the power source without exciter-fuel will continue to generate sufficient plasma from the ambient atmosphere to continue functioning, but produce a slightly lower level of damage to the target. The exciter-fuel is only truly necessary in off-world operations under hard or near-vacuum conditions.
The technology used in this weapon was developed in the late 21st century from one used in construction/industrial cutting machines for severing and blowing holes through hard and tough materials. Originally developed as non-transfer arc plasma cutting in the mid 20th century, in the mid 21st century it was discovered (during the early commercial asteroid mining operations) that the plasma stream would tend to dissipate much more quickly in a vacuum than expected and made it less practicalthan previous terrestrial use should indicate. A method of magnetically compressing the plasma stream was developed by Katsumata Ltd especially for space-based mining and construction.This development coincidentally increased the cutting effectiveness under terrestrial atmospheric conditions.
The first use of magnetically compressed plasma as a weapon occurred in a revolt by workers at the fleet construction space-dock. Effectively the rebels turned portable cutting gear into primitive and bulky short-ranged compression-plasma blasters.The main problems for use a weapon were a lack of a sufficiently dense portable power unit and the need for an exciter gas to create plasma from, under vacuum conditions (both limitations required it work tethered to supply hoses).
The revolt was crushed when the newly developed Nexus 1 shock troops were used to raid the fusion plant and capture it during the combined forces assault operation. Over the next few decades, compression-plasma weaponry as we know it was developed from the primitive devices cobbled together by those rebels. The big breakthrough came in the last decade of the 21st century from a Katsumata Ltd technician named Victor Pflager, who developed the earliest version of a compact magnetic plasma compression-bubble generator.This made the first truly practical man-portable compression-plasma weapons possible. Katsumata Ltd has named the latest line of compact compression-plasma blasters the "Pflager-Katsumata" series, to honour the 50th anniversary of this invention.

by William Bregnard

It was raining. Again. Caria simply ignored the falling water, and focused on her task-at-hand: the only spaceport here on Achird. The Eta Cassiopeiae star system was already settled by the Shimago Dominguez Corporate, but the Conglomerates Amalgamted Mining Corporation was also interested in Achird. War was the way that things were settled out here off-world, and Caria knew all too well she was the tool. Bought and paid for.
            Slowly moving through the untamed yellow plants of the alien jungle, the NEXUS-6 checked for any signs of laser traps and bouncing Bettys. She had come too far and risked too much to be killed like a sucker.
            Before her were the ugly pre-fab structures of the SDC spaceport, hacking out of the dense jungle, and appeared utilitarian like many of the human structures on the off-world colonies she had seen in her “career.” Her entire solo mission was high-risk, and her lifespan was ticking down. As her four year lifespan neared an end, the contacted human officers often put their “tickers” into the worst situations and missions. Caria had seen it, and she did not wish that for her fate. If she had to die on this fucking bush-world than she would die attempt to liberate herself.
            Before she made the move, Caria made one final check of her shoulder bag. Water. Ration-Packs. Photos. Her beloved photos of the Reps she served with. These were the only memorial of those that served in anonymity. But, no weapon besides her programmed training and enhanced reflexes. It would have to be enough. She waiting for her opportunity. Storming the perimeter of the corporate spaceport settlement in a one Replicant assault would be foolish and a one way ticket to biomechanical hell.
    When she sniffed the thick smoke spewing out of those fat yellowed paper Boyard cigarette she darkly grinned. Game time.
            He was alone. Stupid. Blindly puffing away, while looking at some electronic device. The Shimago Dominguez Corp. employee was completely blind and oblivious to her approach. Hanging carelessly on his hip was an .44 PK series “D” revolver. Her engineered face twisted. The Pfläger Katasumata was a tool of the oppressors. On Earth and some larger colonies, like Mars, the PK pistols were used by killer cops, the Blade Runners. Some of the private military contractors, like this bastard, wore it for its fearsome status as a skin-job killer. These weapons were designed to kill Replicants, and she was going to use it to get her custom designed ass off of Achird.
            She had done with move before, and it polished and smooth when she attacked the human. It was a blur of violent movement. One rock-hard punch into the kidneys crumbled the human followed by the left hand sweeping over the chest from behind, savagely grabbing and spinning the human directly in front of her. In his last hearbeat, he witnessed the well-designed female NEXUS-6, launching a brutal jab into his throat, crushing his Adam ’s apple. He fell to the wet ground, dead. She stripped him of his PK series D revolver, some speed-reloaders, and an ID. She was ready.
            Given how behind the Shimago Dominguez Corp lines she was, the spaceport security was light. That was good for her, bad for them. Using her enhanced speed, she bolted for the perimeter, PK-D tucked into her leg cargo pocket. She could not help her appearance in SDC camo BDUs, she only hoped that speed and luck would grant her access to a transport. She knew, as did all Replicants, that their luck was bad. Being born a slave with a four year lifespan proved that you drew the short end of life.
In one movement she swiped the ID, opening the gates, and Caria used the lethal mix of fear, adenine, and excitement to propel her through the pre-fab building to the landing pads.  So far, so good!
Then her hearts leapt out of her ample chest. Three humans emerged from a domed shaped building accompanied with a wash heavy food smells. They were caught completely off guard. Caria’s hand slipped to the revolver, but her programming told her to fake it before lethal action. Gunshots would attract attention. Unwanted attention.  
“Hey, baby!” One shouted.
“Never seen that piece of ass before!”
“Camo?! Why is she wearing camo?”
Caria slowed her full-tilt run, to a jog, and flashed a wide fake smile. She begged whatever god there was to allow her to get away with. She shook her ass and jogged down to the landing pad, all the while panicking on the inside. When the scent of heavy rocket fuel hit her enhanced nose, her spirit lifted. No alarms…yet.
There on one of the dozen or so pads, was an ugly, bulky transport tug, designed for ferrying supplies and unborn Reps on and off world. It was prefect. Gathered around the transport with the bold colorful SDC markings, was the ground crew, which could be Replicants, but she couldn’t take the chance. As she moved up the ramp into the belly of the metal beast, shouting erupted behind her, and the ground crew outfitted in dirty heavy suits and breathing masks, all gathered and pointed.
The time had come, and she pulled the PKD out and thumbed off the safety. Six rounds. She told herself, and took aim. Center mass
With both hands on the monster, she squeezed the rear-most trigger and unleased a .44 slug into the chest of the ground crew. The sound was like a sledgehammer on metal surface. Her only saving grace was that the piss of gunshot had been taken out of the report with the refueling pumps and cargo lifts.
The first slug found its target, and opened the chest of the suited figure. Before he fell, she pulled on the second figure. The impact spun the figure to the ramp, with a red mist filling the air. By the time, she took aim at the third figure, they were already running away. One .44 to the back halted their running, and they slide down the ramp, motionless. Blood decorated the ramp in a ghoulish display of the pistol’s power ahd her aim. Three used, three remaining, she reminded herself.
Not losing any more time before base security showed and retired her, Caria turned, and bursting into the tiny control deck of the tug. Heads snapped to the Replicant, heavy revolver in hand, with a very pleased facial expression. Caria pushed the hot barrel.44 revolver into the helmet of the nearest cargo pilot, and leaned in with a low, menacing voice. “Get me off this fucking rock. Now.”     


  1. The tech pieces, while enjoyable seem to have been either translated or written in a language other than the author's primary tongue. Also I do take issue with the concept of a 'tungsten hollow point', the principle of a hollow point is that it should expand and cause greater tissue damage when it hits the target. Tungsten is one of the hardest metals in the world and a bullet made from it, even a hollow point one would not expand.

    I would suggest as an alternative an explosive-cored round with a tungsten penetrator tip and a micro-delay fuse, or generic "armour piercing high explosive" round.