Slugthrowers utilizing magnetic fields to accelerate ferrous projectiles
The ultimate development of the slugthrower, the gauss rifle generates an electromagnetic field along the length of the barrel which accelerates a 4mm, 4 gram needle bullet to velocities of 1500 metres/second. The round itself consists of a dense armour piercing core surrounded by a softer metal covering, ending in a hollow point, giving the round both high stopping power and a good armour piercing capability. Flight along the barrel is nearly frictionless, with spin stabilisation imparted through magnetic bias.
A 40-round magazine is inserted behind the pistol grip, and each pull of the trigger fires one, four or ten rounds. The fire setting may be changed at the end of each combat round.
Standard equipment on the gauss rifle includes a battlefield sight (incorporating both I and PIR, visual magnification and a laser rangefinder which may also be used as a target painting device), a RAM grenade adapter, gyrostabilisation and a sling. Reloading by replacement of an empty magazine or RAM takes one combat round, during which the character is considered to be evading. Power is provided by a disposable power pack included in each magazine.
The gauss rifle first appears at TL 12, and next evolves significantly at TL 14; accelerator designs improve to the point where the round travels significantly faster. This changes again at TL15, producing a lighter weapon.