The M6D Pistol is an 'up-sized' UNSC handgun issued to Navy officers. This model has been upscaled for use by SPARTAN-IIs in MJOLNIR armor. Even though the Spartan issue pistols are larger than the standard-issue variants (~117%) they can still share magazines. The M6D is an automatic, recoil-operated, magazine-fed, large-bore handgun that is controllable even during rapid fire, although at the cost of accuracy. It is most likely striker-fired, due to there being no visible external hammer. It fires M225 SAP-HE (Semi-Armor Piercing, High Explosive) rounds from a 12-round magazine. Operators can achieve an effective rate of fire of 3.5 rounds/sec or 210 rounds/min. The weapon is very accurate out to its maximum effective range. This accuracy allows incredibly precise target engagement at long range. This, combined with its decent damage against Energy Shields, makes it a viable option when faced with shielded opponents, such as Elites. It is, however, even more effective against unshielded infantry targets, being able to kill most targets in one shot to the head or two to three shots to the body.
The M6D is capable of both semi-automatic and automatic fire.
For the semi-automatic feature - this principle of weapon operations means that the weapon will cock itself after every shot due to recoil and will continue to do so with every trigger pull until the magazine is empty. The M6D also uses the short recoil principle; it uses the force of the recoil to allow ejection of the spent casing, chamber another cartridge, and re-cock the weapon so that it may be fired again. Before the first round can be fired, a round must be chambered. This is done by inserting a loaded magazine into the grip of the weapon and then by pulling the slide back completely and letting it slingshot forward, which takes a round from the top of the magazine and carries it into the chamber. To reload, the empty magazine must be removed with the magazine release button located on the grip and a fresh magazine inserted. Once the fresh magazine is inserted, the slide is allowed to return to its normal position by the operator. There is no need to re-cock the weapon. Cocking is only necessary when chambering the first round when bringing the weapon out of "safe" mode - safety on, uncocked, unloaded.
The M6D is a very basic pistol compared to most 26th century technology. It is a large handgun, having an overall length of 26.7 cm and possesses a rifled barrel, improving accuracy by spinning the bullet. It is issued in a hard chrome finish color and operates like most contemporary pistols. It has rear sights but it does not have a forward sight blade, which is replaced by the smart-link scope. It features a KFA-2 x2 optical, smart-linked scope. This scope links directly to a user's heads-up display or a Marine eye piece. It also has a large grip guard, which helps prevent the user from dropping it and a chrome barrel which helps prevent corrosion.
The M6D uses 12.7×40mm M225 SAPHE (Semi Armor Piercing High Explosive) magnum loads. These rounds have a jacket of copper or cupro-nickel around the projectile while the projectile itself is hollow and filled with an explosive compound and a delayed-detonation impact fuse. When the round impacts a target, the jacket will initially help the projectile maintain its shape, allowing it to travel into the target before detonating almost immediately after impact, causing massive tissue damage and system shock. Semi-armor piercing rounds are more effective against infantry targets as compared to armor piercing rounds due to the massive KE dump and catastrophic system damage caused by internally-fracturing rounds, and have the added bonus of posing less risk to friendlies and noncombatants in the vicinity of the target. The explosive properties of the rounds also render them decently effective against personal shielding systems and are capable of damaging lightly-armored vehicles.
The M6D PDWS is one of the UNSC's most trusted combat pistols. It is very accurate (equal to many battle rifles and designated marksman rifles without the size), allowing for successful engagement at any range below 122.7 meters. In addition, unlike many pistols which suffer from a small ammunition reserve, the M6D has an extended magazine with 12 rounds, more than enough to put down practically any target the user might face.
Although the pistol can hit a target at long ranges, it cannot hit, let alone kill an enemy at a distance greater than 122.7 meters. The reload is also surprisingly long, and the melee attack leaves the user exposed as they flip the pistol back into firing position.
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