Archive:Halo Waypoint/2009 to 2014/Universe/Weapons
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
The term “Assault Rifle” is colloquially used throughout the UNSC Armed Forces to describe an array of Individual Combat Weapon Systems with the model prefix “MA.” It is the most commonly associated sidearm of the Army, Navy, and Marines; it is instantly recognizable due to its accentuated and bulky shroud, its practical but heavy design, and its overall efficiency across a wide spectrum of combat scenarios.
The MA series of rifles are typically air-cooled, gas-operated and utilize a rotating bolt. They are easy to clean, easy to use, and can survive harsh environmental conditions. They can carry a variety of ammunition types and magazine sizes, though the most recent iterations—like the Marines’ MA5C and the Army’s MA37—carry between thirty-two (32) and sixty (60) rounds per magazine. Assault Rifles traditionally use the standard 7.62mm round, which can be fired at a full range of settings, the most common of which is fully-automatic.
As of 2552, the most popular Assault Rifles currently in use are as follows:
- MA2B – Used sparsely across the UNSC Special Forces with .390 caliber ammunition.
- MA3A – Currently out of production, but still heavily used in the black market and by terrorist organizations.
- MA37 – Consistently in production since 2437, and still heavily favored by the UNSC Army.
- MA5B – Used effectively at short-range by the UNSC Marine Corps and Navy at 60 rounds per magazine.
- MA5C – Used effectively at short-to-mid-range by the UNSC Marine Corps and Navy with 32 rounds per magazine.
- MA5K – A cut-down, carbine variant with a 30 round magazine size, used almost exclusively during Special Forces operations.
The MA line of assault rifle remains one of the most dominant weapon series throughout human-controlled space, involved in nearly every military activity from the early 30’s to the Fall of 2552, during the final battles of the Human-Covenant War. Regardless of the persistence of newer weapon models, the MA line is fully expected to continue its military service in some shape or form for decades to come.
The sidearms which fall into the M6 PDWS series represent, without a doubt, the most prominent handguns among all of the UNSC’s Armed Forces, local law enforcement, and even human criminals. Developed and produced by Misriah Armory, the M6 series is a recoil-operated, magazine-fed selection of sidearms with an incredibly large array of variants and customizations, all of which are officially issued in three different finishes: hard chrome, black polymer, and electroless nickel.
Among the many variants in production, the following are the most common:
- M6A – Standard issue/black polymer finish
- M6B – “Officer's model”—issued with smart-linked scope [KFA-2]/hard chrome finish
- M6C – “Up-sized,” standard issue/black polymer finish
- M6C/SOCOM – Accurized—issued with smart-linked scope [VnSLS/V 6E]/black polymer finish
- M6D – ”Up-sized,” ”Officer's model”—issued with smart-linked scope [KFA-2]/hard chrome finish
- M6E – Standard issue/electroless nickel finish
- M6F – “Officer's model”—issued with smart-linked scope [KFA-2]/electroless nickel finish
- M6G – “Up-sized,” standard issue/electroless nickel finish
- M6H – “Up-sized,” ”Officer's model”—issued with smart-linked scope [KFA-2]/electroless nickel finish
- M6I – Select-fire variant; detachable shoulder-stock/black polymer finish
- M6J/C – Carbine variant; 355mm barrel, detachable shoulder-stock/electroless nickel finish
- M6K – Police "undercover" variant; 6 round magazine capacity/black polymer finish
Their cartridges typically run the range of 12.7 x 40mm SAP-HE (Semi-Armor Piercing, High Explosive) ammunition, making them incredibly effective in the field, despite being somewhat bulky in design. Several variants are also issued with the KFA-2 smart-linked scope which allows the user to have data transferred directly to their armor’s heads-up display. For decades, the M6 series has remained at the forefront of the UNSC’s armament, a powerful and effective tool against all manner of infantry—alien or domestic—something which will likely remain unchanged in the years to come.
Largely unchanged for centuries, the M9 HE-DP Antipersonnel Grenade is the standard fragmentary explosive used by all branches of the UNSC. Its vaguely spherical design, its digital timer fuse and its magnetic latching transportability have all contributed to the prominence of its use in the field.
In addition to its other attributes, the M9 is yet another example of UNSC matériel enhanced and up-sized for use by augmented soldiers, namely the SPARTAN-II and classified SPARTAN-III personnel. While standard infantry uses a variant roughly 9.4 centimeters (3.7 inches) in diameter, Spartans have been known to use grenades at up to 21.1 centimeters (8.3 inches), which contain significantly more filler thereby creating a larger area of effect.
The standard M9 fragmentation grenade is filled with approximately 190 grams (6.7 ounces) of ComL, a generally stable mixture which is extremely destructive when primed and detonated. When detonation does occur, the grenade’s steel casing, segmented into projectiles, is launched in predetermined directions and with expectedly efficient results. While the killing radius of the standard fragmentation grenade is roughly five meters (16 feet), anyone within 15 meters (49.2 feet) is susceptible to injury, or worse.
The M392 DMR, or Designated Marksman Rifle, is an air-cooled, gas-operated medium-to-long range rifle which fires 7.62 x 51mm FMJ-AP ammunition. Used predominantly by the UNSC Army, the DMR provides soldiers with a functionally reliable alternative to the dominant assault rifle and battle rifle series, with a clean and sturdy overall design and modular hardware components made to withstand a variety of battlefield conditions.
At 109 centimeters (42.9 inches) long, the DMR bears a standard bullpup design with a guarded pistol grip and an EVOS-D optical attachment allowing 3x magnification. It supports a 15-round magazine capacity with two modes of fire: automatic and semi-automatic and is typically fielded in areas where the more versatile but shorter-ranged MA37 or MA5C assault rifles are at a disadvantage.
For decades, the M392’s operation and use was widespread in the UNSC’s armed forces, but with the advent of the BR55 Battle Rifle, and more specifically the heavy barrel variant in 2548, it was quickly surpassed in production in nearly every branch. Nevertheless, the UNSC Army still relies heavily on the DMR, using it during conflicts late into the war, on planets such as New Jerusalem, Tribute, Reach, and eventually, Earth.
The M319 is a single-shot, break-action grenade launcher which fires a 40mm high-explosive, dual-purpose grenade. In standard firing mode, the grenade will detonate on contact with the target, creating a concussive impact which is almost always lethal. In its alternate firing mode, the grenade launches but its detonation contents remain inert until the user releases the trigger. This feature allows the weapon’s operator to fire and detonate the grenade strategically, through indirect fire, or simply remote discharge.
With its first line released in 2263 by Misriah Armory, the M319 Grenade Launcher still holds a surprising amount of sway within the UNSC Army. Historically, this has been attributed to its simple design and its resilience in the field, even in difficult environmental conditions.
Though it was wildly effective during the early years of the rebellion, its contemporary import was made even more evident during the battles against the Covenant. Despite the fact that the aliens’ higher-ranking units sport energy shielding, the M319 could be used with incredible results against the unshielded lower-ranked infantry such as Unggoy, Kig-yar, and even some Jiralhanae detachments. For these reasons, it is likely that this weapon will continue to be used by deployed UNSC Army troops.
One of a number of machine gun turrets employed by the UNSC, the M247H is an air-cooled, gas-operated, electrically-fired machine gun which is fed linkless 12.7mm HVE (High Velocity, Explosive) rounds. Due to its comparatively light weight and ease of transportability, the M247H is used at most UNSC base locations and high-priority sites.
In its default configuration, the machine gun is affixed to a turret base tripod, with a defensive plate shield and ammunition box residing at its center axis. The heavy barrel points forward while the weapon’s firing mechanism and trigger are located at the rear, allowing the gun to be maneuverable in 180 degrees by any qualified personnel. Though rare, some reports have indicated that soldiers have detached the M247H and fired it from the hip, using it to pursue enemies past the gun’s fixed range of fire. Such reports, however, remain unsubstantiated.
The weapon is primarily used to apply suppressing fire, point-to-point cover fire, and, predominantly, direct fire. While the M247H is the most ubiquitous of the UNSC’s contemporary machine gun turrets, the M247 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) and the AIE-486 HMG are both utilized with great frequency across most theaters of war.
Remaining mysterious even in post-war times is the Covenant’s Focus Rifle, or T-52 Special Applications Rifle. Developed in the cavernous war factories deep within High Charity, the Focus Rifle appears to be the product of reverse-engineered Forerunner technology and, more specifically, technology which is employed by Sentinel drones. While much of the Covenant’s arsenal originates from the knowledge gleaned from dormant Forerunner artifacts, the Focus Rifle is a repurposing of existing, active Forerunner machines—in this case, beam weapons, which were captured, disabled and reconstituted.
The T-52 SAR is 145.2 centimeters (57.2 inches) from end to end, its length consisting of an elongated firing channel, a centralized coil set, and an ergonomic—for Sangheili—grip within a exotic metal alloy stock. The optics system enhances visuals from 3.5x to 9.5x magnification, and is smart-linked by default to Sangheili battle harnesses and Kig-Yar marksman hardware. The rifle’s coil set gathers and primes the plasma energy before electromagnetically directing and accelerating it down the firing channel—a continuous beam of superheated plasma, strikingly reminiscent of the Sentinel Beam.
The downside of the Focus Rifle is easily its energy expenditure, which is significantly higher than that of other Covenant weapons. While it can be recharged in the field, the time committed to such a task, and the frequency at which it is needed, tempers the T-52’s overall effectiveness to some degree. Still, in the hands of an experienced marksman, the Focus Rifle can deliver an incredible amount of damage to the most heavily shielded or armored opponent.
Engineered by the Merchants of Qikost, the Concussion Rifle’s overall design predates the Writ of Union and the formation of the Covenant, one of many examples of technology introduced into the alliance's armament by the Sangheili, by way of their pre-existing military dominance. Though its physical configuration has evolved since its first inception, its core purpose and functionality remains unchanged.
Unlike much of the Covenant weaponry, the T-50 uses magazine cells rather than a battery system, and thus requires the kind of reload usually experienced with traditional ballistic weaponry. In the case of the Concussion Rifle, the cell allows the semi-automatic firing of six bolts of explosive plasma. The energy and its delivery system are strikingly similar in design to that of the Covenant’s heavier mortar vehicles, though the aliens themselves are reticent to include the rifle in the same category.
The Concussion Rifle’s size and power dictate that it be used only by higher-ranking infantry and officers, namely Sangheili, and more specifically those with leadership roles within Zealot or Special Operation classes. For this reason, those who use the weapon are trained in specific battlefield tactics often associated with it.
The Plasma Grenade is easily the most recognizable of the Covenant’s antipersonnel grenades, fielded by just about every unit and always found in large numbers. Covenant records indicate that it has been in production, largely unchanged, for centuries and its functionality remains impressively effective.
The grenade’s design is relatively simple, though well beyond humanity’s existing technology. Upon priming the grenade, it is quickly engulfed in a white-blue flame as latent plasma forms around it. The grenade is then thrown at a target, typically one emitting a notable heat signature. When striking the target, the plasma bonds the grenade to the subject’s mass until it detonates.
The bonded explosion is lethal against unshielded infantry and, for the most part, against shielded infantry as well. When a single grenade detonates near others, the explosion can create a chain reaction from all of the grenades, generating a significantly larger killing radius. This raw, violent efficiency, married to the grenade’s unique abilities adhesive, make it an unparalleled munition for the Covenant frontlines.
Furthering the same technology incorporated into the Plasma Grenade, the Covenant’s Plasma Launcher is a shoulder-mounted munitions cannon which fires up to four bolts of latent plasma which actively and persistently track a target’s heat signature. Upon making contact, the bolts detonate with violently explosive and typically lethal results.
The T-52 Guided Munitions Launcher/Explosive is 108.8 centimeters (42.8 inches long), making it one of the larger infantry weapons employed by the Covenant. It is composed of a centralized, rotating launch chamber, a large, ablative shroud-wrapped barrel and a contoured mount for the operator’s shoulder. At the top of the launcher’s housing is an optics system which offers 2.5x zoom capability, smart-linked to the operator’s heads-up display.
The Plasma Launcher fires in two modes: the first and primary being burst, when the weapon is primed and propels four charged bolts at a subject in quick succession and the second being semi-automatic, where the operator carefully releases a single bolt, allowing the weapon to conserve ammunition, especially when engaged with numerous soft targets, like infantry. This versatility and the ammunition’s ability to actively track a target make it an indispensible part of the Covenant frontline.
The Plasma Cannon is a broad, rather open-ended colloquial designation for the Covenant’s Class-1 directed energy cannons, typically deployed as a stationary emplacement, within the heavy support role. The T-52 Directed Energy Support Weapon is the most updated variant of this weapon-type employed by the Covenant late in the war. Earlier, the leaner T-42 Plasma Cannon was frequently observed, its narrow, elongated shape vaguely resembling that of the T-51 Plasma Repeater.
Contemporarily, the T-52 Plasma Cannon is the most pervasive of Covenant stationary turrets, being deployed predominantly in areas where the T-26 Shade cannot be, or simply where swift, transportability takes precedence over heavier firepower. The weapon is composed of a large rear housing system, a coil set buried deep within its internal components and a circuit emitter at its nose, allowing the primed plasma to be fired at an extraordinarily fast muzzle velocity.
Plasma Cannons are often, though not always, manned by Unggoy, due to their ease of control and light energy shielding, which protect the diminutive aliens' comparatively slight size. Another attribute of the T-52 DESW is its modular, copper-colored cooling units which are the cannon’s primary maintenance need, something easily repaired and replaced by Unggoy units.
Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, the Covenant’s Type-33 Light Anti-Armor Weapon, frequently referred to as the “Fuel Rod Gun,” is a recoil-operated, shoulder-mounted, anti-personnel/anti-armor munitions launcher used by infantry and other groundside forces. The Covenant deploy a number of launchers in the field, but the Fuel Rod Gun is, without a doubt, the most commonly used, typically attributed to the fact that many Unggoy have been trained to operate it.
The T-31 Fuel Rod Gun is a rare breed in that, as with only a handful of other Covenant weapons, it uses ballistic rounds rather than directed energy or superheated plasma. These 38mm rounds, colloquially referred to as “fuel rods,” contain a stable, yet radioactive composition that is primed and synchronously launched down the weapon’s barrel. Once the rod leaves the weapon, it continues in a parabolic arc similar to that of a grenade launcher or other mass launching weapons, hitting targets accurately at up to 165 meters (541 feet), detonating upon impact.
While much of the Covenant matériel witnessed in battle is named and designated for the year it was first observed by the UNSC, there are several exceptions, the most notable of those is, in fact, the Fuel Rod Gun. The T-33 LAAW was believed to be first observed during the ground conflict on Harvest in early 2531, only to be properly catalogued by the Office of Naval Intelligence in 2533, over two full years later.
The close-combat weapon most frequently fielded by the Covenant is a single-handed, double-bladed energy weapon formally called the Type-1 Energy Weapon/Sword. The weapon is physically composed of a grooved hilt which generates, through a magnetic field, twin blades of superheated, shaped plasma. While the blades are not pure energy in the strictest sense, their overall effect is indistinguishable and just as terrifying.
The Energy Sword originates from an ancient Sangheili weapon referred to as a "curveblade," historically used for hunting and close-quarters combat. The sword was originally crafted from hardened resin found in trees which lined the coastal territories of Sanghelios, but as they began carefully exploring Forerunner technology, the weapon was refined over time, eventually taking its current state.
Interestingly, outside of the Covenant proper’s military training, the Sangheili have a rigid system of rules when it comes to sword-wielders in their culture. Only aristocratic nobles may choose to wield swords. By making that choice, however, they are no longer allowed to marry, though they may breed with any female they choose, whether married or unmarried. This ensures that the genetic material which result in sword-wielding traits are properly transmitted to each subsequent generation.
Unlike most species within the Covenant, the Jiralhanae were allowed to incorporate their own ordnance into the vast armament that the Sangheili had been honing for centuries. While it’s unknown how exactly this came about, it has become customary (though not exclusory)—since their induction—for Jiralhanae troops to primarily use Jiralhanae weapons, with several having even been enhanced through preexisting Covenant technology.
The Spike Rifle, or “Spiker” as it’s referred to in the field, is a Jiralhanae weapon which has seen relatively little iteration since its first design on Doisac. Engineered to fire superheated spikes at a low but effective muzzle velocity, it bears two large bayonets, attached to the barrel. The Spike Rifle is fully automatic and its magazines are typically capable of carrying 40 rounds, though there is evidence to suggest that this number is not standard across all versions of the weapon.
The Spike Rifle was engineered to be held in one hand by a standard Jiralhanae troop, but due to its intimidating size (81.3 cm/32.17 inches in length) and weight (7 kg/15.5 lbs.), most humans are forced to use two hands when firing it. Unlike other Covenant technology which directs high volumes of energy at a target with the specific intent to kill, the spikes and bayonets are intended to puncture and dismember their targets, engendering a significant psychological response from any group unfortunate enough to face them.
At the center of the Jiralhanae’s armament of brutal and horrific weaponry lies the Gravity Hammer, a two-meter-long device built for extremely close-range melee combat. In the Jiralhanae culture, it served dual purposes as a weapon as well as a defining ceremonial vestige of clan leadership, and is thus typically wielded by a chieftain or other high-ranking member. The hammer would be relinquished only when the leader was overthrown in combat, whereupon the winner would take the new leadership mantle along with the hammer.
The weapon’s design is simple and unsurprisingly violent: it is without a doubt a war hammer, its head composed of a heavy base on one end and a razor-sharp blade on the other. Both are extremely effective at either crushing or dismembering any unfortunate opponents who find themselves within range. Inside the head itself lies another component: a short-range gravity drive, which was integrated not long after the Jiralhanae’s conversion into the Covenant in 2492. This device can effectively displace gravity at the user’s discretion in targeted locations—though conventional manipulation of the weapon typically eliminates the need for such extraordinary use.
Not all Gravity Hammers function or look identical. Some have been aesthetically-tailored to the use of specific clans, families, or packs. For example, a hammer like the Fist of Rukt, which is one of the more infamous weapons of recent Jiralhanae heritage, carries its own customized design, as well as the legacy of the blood it’s spilled.