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Title

Umbrella Magnum Revolver Development Story

The Umbrella Magnum Revolver Development Story (アンブレラ・マグナムリボルバー開発ストーリー) is a text provided with the release of the "Umbrella Magnum Revolver" airsoft gun inspired by the magnum in biohazard 0. The settings of the text were provided by CAPCOM Japan, while the gun itself was manufactured by Tanaka Works.

Project Umbrella Translation

UMBRELLA MAGNUM REVOLVER
DEVELOPMENT STORY

THE DEMAND OF AN ANTI-B.O.W. WEAPON

 The pharmaceutical company "Umbrella" is known as a multinational enterprise boasting global-scale shares. It is a company which handles a great variety of products, but aside from daily necessities like supplements and advanced medical equipment, generally unknown "black products" also existed. As represented by the "T-Virus", biological weapons were seen to raise vast profits and "B.O.W. = Bio Organic Weapons" were developed.
 But this development was accompanied by many sacrifices. This was because a developmental B.O.W. can become uncontrollable during field tests killing and wounding R&D team researchers, and accidents damaging precious experiment equipment were frequent. So within Umbrella a professional special operations unit was founded, a biohazard countermeasure force (U.B.C.S. = Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service) that suppressed out of control B.O.W.s. Before long, the damage caused by out of control B.O.W. accidents decreased in their activity, but the sacrifices of U.B.C.S. members were serious. In a certain case, there was also an instance in which the B.O.W. "Tyrant" went out of control during an experiment and the U.B.C.S. squad that lucked out on its suppression was annihilated. The main cause was because their weapons were conventional models used in military and law-enforcement organizations. After all, even though military assault rifles are antipersonnel, it is difficult to kill a B.O.W. with much higher vitality and athletic capabilities than a human. Therefore, the development of weapons for exclusive anti-B.O.W. use was greatly desired.

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MAGNUMS

 The Umbrella Corporation has its own weapons development section for the sake of the company's security departments (including the U.B.C.S.), so it's not an overstatement to even call it a paramilitary organization. Although customization of conventional firearms and weapons was its main function, it also undertook research and development of anti-B.O.W. weaponry. Then they observed the existence of the "magnum revolver." According to past combat data, magnum revolvers were amid the most effective against B.O.W.s.
 As for the reasons, the huge stopping power of magnum cartridges will be mentioned first. A case was reported in which even the B.O.W. "Hunter", with phenomenal athletic ability and durability high enough so it couldn't be easily defeated by normal handguns and assault rifles, was reported to be killed in one shot with magnum handguns. Although the 5.56mm×45 cartridge used in the U.S. Armed Forces' M16 / M4 series assault rifles also adopted by the U.B.C.S. had superior penetration, it didn't damage a B.O.W. much. No matter how many small holes are made, a B.O.W. cannot be defeated.
 In addition, magnum handguns are superior in terms of reliability and mobility. Although high-caliber rifles and shotguns (using slug ammunition) were superior in stopping power, they were detrimental to movement in small spaces like laboratories since the size of the gun's main frame was bigger. What's more, a quick-moving B.O.W. is a bigger opponent than a human. It's also said that the favorable magnum handguns could even be called "small cannons. "
 By the way, there are two types of magnum handguns; revolver types and automatic types. Although autos are excellent in regards to the number of cartridges and quick-fire ability, revolvers excel in operability and reliability. That is why a "magnum revolver" was chosen.

THE ARRIVAL OF THE UMBRELLA MAGNUM REVOLVER

Various kinds of revolvers using .357 or .44 caliber magnum bullets have been released by firearm manufacturers. Most magnum revolvers were developed for the purpose of competitions and hunting large beasts rather than military or police use, and were ideal for the base of an anti-B.O.W. weapon. Therefore, Umbrella Corp.'s weapons development section developed a gun exclusively for anti-B.O.W. use based on a commercial revolver that uses .44 caliber magnum bullets. The "Umbrella Magnum Revolver." This gun adopted the opinions of some employees with actual combat experience with B.O.W.s, including U.B.C.S. members, and the specifications of each part were decided. We will first look at its features.

・Barrel (6in. / 8in.)
In order to improve reliability as a weapon, a uniquely designed reinforcement bull barrel was adopted. It has a ventilated rib to prevent the barrel overheating from continuous shooting and the top of the barrel is made of a useful anti-reflection satin process in case of sighting. In addition, the bull barrel serves a role as a weight to improve the balance of the gun itself coupled with a magnaport on the tip that softens the strong reaction and recoil of the barrel caused by .44 Magnum bullets. A six inch barrel was initially adopted and a high eight inch model was developed with higher muzzle velocity at the request of some members.

・Frame / Cylinder
A reinforced frame was developed in reference to the S&W N-Frame which .44 Magnums can fire. It's a design that predicts the usage of planned stronger cartridges developed in the future. The cylinder was enhanced as-well and supports various special use ammunition.

・Grip
An orthodox slim and easy to grasp wooden grip was adopted with an emphasis on operability. The design calculated a favorable balance between the frame and barrel and became a shape that achieved the most balance. Anti-slip checkering was performed and a medallion of Umbrella Corp.'s trademark was inserted.

OPERABILITY AND AMMUNITION USAGE

 Although more powerful magnum cartridges existed such as the .500 S&W and .454 Casull, the more common .44 Magnum was best considering affordability (procurement-related = easy acquisition). The .44 Magnum cartridge's moderate penetration and exceptional stopping power had sufficient power for anti-B.O.W. use. Additionally, various special-use .44 caliber ammunition are also under development. That includes something that acts instantly on the genes of a B.O.W. itself and breaks it down.
 In addition, since not just sufficiently trained members but also emergency use for insufficiently trained researchers were envisioned, operability was one of the items thought most important. After all, a .44 Magnum's recoil is strong and most magnum revolvers aren't even able to be given to inexperienced individuals. Therefore the above-mentioned barrel and grip were adopted to make the design as ergonomic as possible, improve accuracy and tone down recoil. Operability became higher as a result and even beginners would be able to shoot it somehow, and it's easier to deal with a quick-moving B.O.W.

REPUTATION AS AN ANTI-B.O.W. WEAPON

 The "Umbrella Magnum Revolver" was adopted through a number of evaluation tests and deployment began with high-priority posts such as the U.B.C.S. and B.O.W. research facilities, and it received high praise from cases of actual use. However, stronger B.O.W.s are under development within the company and possibilities even this gun can't handle may appear in the future. Therefore, further improvements (including the development of the 8 in. model and special use ammunition mentioned above) and development of new weapons will also be necessary. Thus, the "spear and shield" relationship that could be called the fate of weapons development will forever continue.

Original Japanese Transcript

対B.O.W.兵器の要求

 世界的な規模のシェアを誇る多国籍企業として知られる製薬会社「アンブレラ」。サプリメントのような日用品から高度な医療機器に至るまで、多種多様な製品を扱う同社だが、一般には知られていない「闇の製品」も存在した。それが、「T-ウィルス」に代表されるように、莫大な利益を上げると目されていた生物兵器(biological weapon)であり、その発展形である「B.O.W.=Bio Organic Weapon(生体兵器)」だ。
 だが、その開発には多くの犠牲を伴っていた。開発中のB.O.W.が、フィールドテストの際に制御不能になり、研究開発チームの研究者を殺傷したり、貴重な実験機材に損害を与える事故が頻発したためだ。そのため、アンブレラでは、バイオハザード対策部隊(U.B.C.S.=Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service)、すなわち暴走したB.O.W.を鎮圧する、専門の特殊部隊を創設した。やがて、彼らの活躍でB.O.W.暴走事故による被害は減少していくが、U.B.C.S.隊員の犠牲も深刻なものだった。あるケースでは、B.O.W.「タイラント」が実験中に暴走、鎮圧に当たったU.B.C.S.の 1個分隊が全滅するという事件もあった。そのおもな原因は、彼らの武器が軍や警察で使用されている在来型であったためだ。たとえ軍用のアサルトライフルといえども所詮は対人用であり、人間に比べはるかに高い生命力と運動能力を持つB.O.W.を倒すのは困難だった。そのために、対B.O.W.専用の兵器の開発が強く望まれたのである。

マグナムの有用性

 アンブレラ社は、準軍事組織といっても過言ではないほど膨張した同社の保安部門(U.B.C.S.も含む)のために、独自の兵器開発部門を有している。既存の銃器や兵器のカスタマイズが主な仕事だったが、対B.O.W.用兵器の研究・開発も担っていた。そして、彼らが注目したのが「マグナムリボルバー」の存在である。過去の戦闘データによると、銃器の中ではマグナムリボルバーがB.O.W.に対して最も有効だったのだ。
 その理由としては、まずマグナムカートリッジによる、大きなストッピングパワーが挙げられるだろう。通常のハンドガンやアサルトライフルでは、何発撃ってもなかなか倒せないほど耐久力が高く、また驚異的な運動能力をもったB.O.W.「ハンター」も、マグナムハンドガンでは1発で仕留めた、というケースも報告されている。それに比べ、U.B.C.S.も採用していた米軍のアサルトライフルM16/M4シリーズが使用する5.56mm×45弾は貫通力に優れているものの、B.O.W.に対するダメージはさほど大きくない。いくら小さな穴を開けたところで、B.O.W.は倒せないのだ。
 また、機動力や信頼性の点でもマグナムハンドガンは優れている。大口径の対物ライフルやショットガン(スラッグ弾使用)もストッピングパワーに優れてはいるが、銃本体のサイズが大きくなってしまうため、研究所などの狭い場所では取り回しに不利だ。ましてや、人間などよりもはるかに動きの素早い B.O.W.が相手である。「小さな大砲」とでもいうべき、マグナムハンドガンが有利なのも頷ける話だ。 
 さて、マグナムハンドガンには、リボルバータイプとオートマチックタイプの2種類がある。装弾数や速射性の点ではオートが優れているものの、操作性や信頼性の点ではリボルバーの方が勝っている。それゆえ、「マグナムリボルバー」に白羽の矢が立った、というわけだ。

アンブレラ・マグナムリボルバーの登場

 .357や.44口径のマグナム弾を使用するリボルバーは、銃器メーカー各社によって、さまざまな種類が発売されている。マグナムリボルバーの多くは軍用や警察用というよりも、大型獣のハンティングや競技を目的として開発されており、対B.O.W.用兵器のベースとしてはうってつけだった。そこで、アンブレラ社の兵器開発部門では、.44マグナム弾を使用する市販のリボルバー(S&W M29)をベースに、対B.O.W.専用銃を開発した。それが『アンブレラ・マグナムリボルバー』である。この銃は、U.B.C.S.隊員など、B.O.W.との実戦経験を持つ何名かの社員の意見を採り入れ、各部の仕様が決定されていった。まずはその特徴を見ていこう。

・バレル(6インチ/8インチ)
兵器としての信頼性を高めるため、独自にデザインされた強化ブルバレルが採用された。連続射撃による銃身過熱を防ぐベンチレーテッドリブを持ち、バレル上面はサイティングの際に便利な反射防止の梨地加工がなされている。また、ブルバレルは銃自体のバランスを向上するウエイトの役割も果たしており、先端に開けられたマグナポートとも相まって、.44マグナム弾が生み出す強烈な反動と銃身の跳ね上がりを和らげている。当初は6インチバレルが採用されていたが、一部の隊員の要望で、より高初速で命中精度の高い8インチモデルも開発された。

・フレーム/シリンダー
.44マグナムが発射可能なS&WのNフレームを参考に、強化フレームを開発。将来的に開発される予定の強装弾の使用も想定した設計となっている。シリンダーも同様に強化されており、各種の特殊用途弾薬にも対応している。

・グリップ
操作性を重視して採用されたグリップはオーソドックスな木製で、握りやすいスリムなものだ。バレルやフレームとの兼ね合いを計算した設計で、最もバランスの取れた形状となっている。滑り止めのチェッカリング加工がされており、アンブレラ社のトレードマークのメダリオンがインサートされている。

使用弾薬と操作性

マグナム弾にはもっと強力な.454カスールや.500S&Wなども存在するが、アフォーダビリティ(調達性=入手のし易さ)などを考慮すると、より一般的な.44マグナム弾がベストとされた。ほどよい貫通力と強大なストッピングパワーを持つ.44マグナム弾は、対B.O.W.用には十分な威力を持っているのだ。また、.44口径のさまざまな特殊用途弾薬も開発中だ。その中には、B.O.W.の遺伝子そのものに瞬時に作用して機能停止させる、といったものも含まれている。
 また、十分な訓練を受けた隊員だけでなく、訓練が不十分で非力な研究者などの緊急使用も想定されていたために、操作性は最も重視された項目のひとつであった。なにしろ.44マグナムの反動は強烈で、たいていのマグナムリボルバーは、不慣れな者なら的に当てることすらできないからだ。そこで、極力人間工学的に配慮した設計となり、反動を和らげ命中精度を向上させるため、上記のバレルやグリップを採用。初心者でもどうにか撃てるようになり、結果的に操作性も高くなって、素早く動くB.O.W.にも対処しやすくなっている。

対B.O.W.兵器としての高い評価

 数々の評価試験を経て採用された『アンブレラ・マグナムリボルバー』は、U.B.C.S.やB.O.W.研究施設など優先順位の高い部署から配備が開始され、実際の使用例などからも高い評価を得ている。しかし、同社ではさらに強力なB.O.W.も開発中で、将来的にこの銃でも対処しきれない可能性が出ている。そのため更なる改良(上記の8インチモデルや特殊用途弾薬の開発も含め)や、新兵器の開発も必要となってくるだろう。かくして、兵器開発の宿命ともいえる「矛と盾」の関係は永遠に続いていくのである。