History of the X-Rifle

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:02 pm    Post subject: History of the X-Rifle Reply with quote

The X-Rifle was a revoltionary weapon for the Jihad, quickly becoming standard. It very quickly went from prototype form to full production and saw action in every major battle since its introduction.

The X-Rifle combines a plasma rifle and grenade launcher of conventional design. The plasma rifle is the revolutionary part. In essence it functions as a particle beam weapon, but by fusing hydrogen, it manages to achieve the same damage potential with a *FAR* lower energy input, making it practical to be used by conventional troops. Here is a rifle that is suitable against nearly every adversary that the Jihad troops would encounter.

The very short development time resulted in a few problems though, ones that were very signifigant. First, while the plasma section was very effective and capable of extremely high rates of fire, the rifle could not sustain such without damage to itself and the user. This is especially troubling as the individal "shots" were not enough to cause much damage; the standard mode of firing is a 10 round burst. So, to effectively do damage, this high rate of fire was necessecary. Secondly, the grenade launcher had many problems. Being switchable between pump action and blowback semi-automatic added a signifigant amount of weight and complexity, and had a reputation for questionable reliability like all other weapons of that type. The calibre choice was sensible in that 40mm grenades were easily available, but very poor in light of the size of the ammunition. An 8 round magazine (dividing the WEDJEE listed capacities by 10; 80 is patently absurd) as some of the grenades were loaded in added nearly 5 pounds to the weapon!

That brings us to the 3rd problem with the original WEDJEE X-Rifle; weight. Loaded but with no grenades, the X-Rifle comes to a total of 18 pounds, which is on the borderline of practical. With grenades, the total comes up to 23 pounds. The design is also rather cumbersome which makes it awkward to carry for long periods of time.

None of these problems are damning by any means, but are merely indicitive of a cutting edge design that hasn't had the bugs worked out. Which is exactly the case; the design was rushed into production for Operations Phoenix and Pacifica without time for testing and modification.

Enter the TRES Mk2 X-Rifle.

The Mk2 was developed after Pacifica by TRES, in light of the damage that had occured to WEDJEE during Phoenix. Externally, it looks nothing alike. Internally there are many similarities but also improvements.

First off, while retaining the basic action of the X-Rifle, the function was modified. The barrel is pre-cooled by the hydrogen fuel before it is fused, which keeps temperatures under control and adds more energy. The barrel is the same as the older X-Rifle, but runs the length of it in a bullpup configuration. The plasma core is expanded though. The reason for this is that the weapon now uses four times as much hydrogen per shot. While this limits rate of fire, the Mk2 is *FAR* more efficient, delivering as much damage per shot as the Mk1 did in a 10 round burst. This lower rate of fire can now be maintained indefinitely, as it allows the weapon to cool itself. Magazine capacity is cut down to 120 shots from 500, but total energy delivered to the target is vastly improved and high capacity magazines are in the works.

The second improvement is the grenade launcher, which uses a proprietary 25mm caliber to cut down signifigantly on bulk. Lethality is only slightly reduced, due to more advanced explosive geometry in the grenades. Further reducing bulk is the pump action mechanism and the 4-round magazine. Initial testing has shown this to be a substantial increase in reliability.

Finally, and most obviously is the change in packaging. Between that, the changes to the grenade launcher, and other refinements, weight has been cut to 14 pounds for a fully loaded weapon, and 16 with grenades. In addition, the bullpup configuration also makes a much more manuverable and balanced weapon; it is far easier to shoot and less tiring. Between all of these changes, the TRES devloped Mk2 X-Rifle has become the new standard and is licensed to other JAOs... not without some grumbling from WEDJEE.

There are rumored future developments to the X-Rifle family. One obvious one is a modification to the Mk2 rifle, removing the grenade launcher and cutting down the barrel to make an even more compact weapon. This variant is likely to be in development for TRES Omega squad's special operations requirements, and may exist in limited quantities.

A second revision takes this even farther, into pistol category. There are many problems so far in miniaturizing things sufficiently though, and after several accidents involving prototypes it is believed that development has ceased.

A third proposed revision is to change the rifle into a support weapon; possibly by utilizing a 3-barrel gatling type action to keep temperatures under control in conjunction with two of the extended magazines. This would end up as a weapon that would be more than a bit on the heavy side for unaugmented troops, but perfectly possible for powered exoskeletons or some of the less mundane soldiers. If it has progressed beyond design phase, it is not known.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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