Originally Posted by SmootheOperator
so you are saying that energy based projectiles such as a blaster bolt, a beam of energy, with no physical presence, only as a beam of energy, with no affect by wind, ballistics and physical drag, travel slower than a bullet?
A bullet is a physical piece of material, it is affected by gravity to a huge degree, it is affected by every possible environmental variable that exists, from, wind, to humidity, to temperature of the air around it, to the density of the air around it. a bullet is also wieghed down by the fact that it is a physical piece of matter. It can only go so fast before the stress on the projectile become so great, that it rips itself apart.
A bullet is not faster than an energy based projectile. Furthermore, as a piece of material, not energy, it is possible for a force user to stop, deflect, or destroy a bullet mid flight using the force alone.
The thing is, Star Wars blasters don't
work like a real-world energy weapon would. Like it or not (and in many cases I don't), what you see in the films supersedes any other source canon-wise, and blaster bolts can be seen to move quite slowly. Gravity and other factors do limit the range and speed of projectile weapons, however our current firearms don't even approach what would be possible with SW technology in those regards, and within effective range, tech like auto-compensating sights would render differences moot. As well as what I listed above, they have the tech to eliminate muzzle flash and almost all noise, which coupled with the lack of any visible bolt, would give the user a huge advantage in a firefight, as the enemy would have a much harder time locating the shooter.
Even our comparatively primitive modern firearms outstrip the capabilities of Star Wars blasters. I've already addressed rate of fire and the speed of the projectile, so let's look at maximum effective range, the one advantage a blaster might have. Some of the Star Wars weapons only have data saying 'range', so I'm going to be charitable and assume this is maximum effective range, not maximum range. I've attempted to compare weapons that fill the same roles, for fairness' sake.
E-11 and A280 Blaster Rifles: 300m -- M4 Carbine 500-600m (it's lighter too!)
E-Web Heavy Repeating Blaster: 500m -- M2 Browning Machine Gun 2000m
X-45 Sniper Rifle (only SW sniper I could find w/ range info) 500m -- M24 variant (not even close to our longest-range sniper, but I wanted to be fair, as for all I know, the X-45 might be a mediocre rifle) 1500m
As for Force-users, they make up a tiny percentage of people in the galaxy, and even if they could stop or deflect a bullet, it would be no less effective than a blaster bolt. Even so, even more powerful Force-users have been taken by surprise by blasters, and a far faster, stealthier weapon like a projectile weapon would make surprising them much easier. The depiction of Force-based telekinesis in Star Wars has been wildly inconsistent, but a non-surprised Jedi could likely stop a bullet (if he reacted in time). It would take quite a powerful Jedi to stop multiple bullets in quick succession, however. Seeing as Jedi sense danger in a vague fashion (not a full rundown of the opponent's armament), and have been trained to instinctively block ranged attacks with a lightsaber, it's quite probable that they'd only realize the nature of the projectile too late to stop it with the Force, and would melt one bullet just to be hit by the second (If one had plenty of money, a cortosis bullet shorting out the lightsaber for a follow-up killshot would simplify things further). The greater range of projectile weapons would also make it much harder for a force-user to get within striking distance before the shooter escapes or gets a solid hit.
Now excuse me, I have to lift weights, run 5 miles and watch some sports in order to balance out the nerd points I racked up with that post.
Edit: I realize that there are projectile weapons in Star Wars, however they seem to be used only by very specialized groups (The Verpine stuff from the RC books, and various, more primitive ones in Shatterpoint). I just don't see why they aren't just as common, if not more so, than blasters. (Understandable in the films because of the lack of space-opera feel, but less so in the generally more grounded EU)