Pulse Rifle (D20 Modern Equipment)
From D&D Wiki
|Rate of Fire||S|
The pulse rifle uses an induction field to propel a particle, which reacts by breaking down to create a plasma pulse as it leaves the barrel. The Pulse Rifle works by electromagnetically accelerating a plasma shell down its barrel. In effect, it is a miniature mass accelerator. On firing, a ferromagnetic, solid slug is chambered from the magazine and turned into plasma by electromagnetic induction, as it would be relatively easy to alternate the coil current at frequencies sufficient enough to heat the coil to an extreme temperature while keeping it in the chamber. The solenoid is then charged fully, propelling the newly produced plasma out of the gun at an extreme velocity while keeping it cohesive.
Though this electromagnetic field continues to keep the plasma together until impact, residual plasma is expelled from the barrel to produce the weapon's considerable muzzle flash. Maintenance of the field is also aided by a bolt-like apparatus, which increases the field strength and therefore the range. The weight of the bolt also serves to dampen the recoil from firing. Without the electromagnetic field, the fired plasma would all dissipate at the barrel mouth, producing a weapon with a range of approximately twenty centimeters. As it is, residual energy and waste plasma, together with the heat produced by energizing the coil, necessitates two barrels to avoid overheating.
The power required to generate these immense electromagnetic fields comes from the secondary magazine which is effectively a very powerful and dense rechargeable battery in the weapon's stock. It is changed less frequently than the primary power pack and can be recharged from the firer's suit or combat armor. Vehicle-mounted Pulse Weapons are usually connected directly to a suitable power source, allowing higher rates of fire with sufficient heat dispersal and eliminating the secondary magazine.
Pulse Weapon rounds do a great deal of damage on impact, mostly due to the extreme thermal energy of the plasma mass and the speed with which the projectile impacts, which helps ensure that armored targets are more heavily damaged. The electromagnetic field that holds the charge together flattens on impact slightly before breaking, which causes the resulting impact to spread over a wider area than would otherwise be possible. The speed at which the plasma projectile is launched is so extreme, that in some cases, it has been known to "light the air on fire". Compared to other infantry weapons, the Pulse Rifle trades rate of fire for the damage it fires at a far slower rate but does significantly more damage and possesses a greater effective range. Pulse Rifles also have significant recoil, which requires that the user be stationary to fire most effectively. This, combined with the Pulse Rifle's long-range, means that Tau troops are best served by staying more or less stationary. Pulse Rifles still retain most of their effectiveness on the move nonetheless and can be utterly devastating weapons when used correctly.