Particle beam rifle
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Particle beam rifles (or simply beam rifles) are a type of sniper rifle system employed by the Covenant empire and its remnants. They fire an ionized particle beam at extremely high velocity, capable of dealing damage comparable to the SRS99 series rifles employed by humanity. Within the type-classification schema for Covenant materiel catalogued by the Office of Naval Intelligence, particle beam rifles are designated as Special Application Sniper Rifles (SASRs). Within Covenant design pattern nomenclature, they refer to the various patterns of beam rifles as Long Rifles.
Beam rifles are massive weapons, measuring over a metre and a half in length. They operate by accelerating ionised hydrogen particles down a narrow path at immense velocities, allowing them to penetrate most infantry armour and energy shielding with ease.
Beam rifles are commonly employed by Sangheili, Jiralhanae and especially Kig-Yar Snipers. At the outbreak of the Human-Covenant War, the Covenant did not effectively employ these tools, but lessons learned from observing human snipers placed a higher priority on the weapons seeing production and use.
Particle beam rifles are a technology of Sangheili origin - having emerged in the species' spacefaring history prior to the Covenant and eventually used alongside other Covenant-developed sniper weapon systems like the M'tara-pattern focus rifle and Elutuzem-pattern stalker rifle in service. The focus rifle is a weapon in the same lineage as particle beam rifles, though operates on an inherently different operating mechanism more akin to that of a focus cannon, firing streams of superheated plasma reversed engineered from Forerunner weaponry. The focus rifle's smart-link firmware is based on that of the particle beam rifle.
The sea-hunter guilds on the colony world of Feldokra maintain beam rifles as part of their hunting traditions. However, it was not until the Human-Covenant War that encounters with United Nations Space Command snipers informed the Covenant of how effective marksmen could be incorporated into a tactical doctrine. Accordingly, particle beam rifles were selected by the empire's ecclesiarchy as the most effective option available to emulate Misriah Armory's SRS99 rifle series.
As the war dragged on, particle beams found themselves in the hands of Sangheili and Kig-Yar Snipers - becoming a favoured tool of the secretive Jha'kaar. This led to older Sangheili designs being refurbished for use while the Assembly Forges on High Charity were instructed to prioritise the construction of new beam rifles for the war effort. Accordingly, when the city fell in 2552, the production of beam rifles slowed (though did not stop). In the post-war era, organisations such as the Merchants of Qikost and foundries on Sanghelios, Hesduros, Eayn and other worlds continue to produce them.
The Covenant does not distinguish the various Particle Beam Rifle patterns from each other (at least, not to the obsessive level that the Office of Naval Intelligence tracks every refinement), and simply groups them together based on core components and intended use. Whatever their casing style and aesthetics, all are charged particle beam cannons of prodigious power – capable of killing shielded infantry in one or two shots, depending on accuracy.
- Sulok-pattern beam rifle: Type-classified by ONI in 2550, this weapon was crafted according to the traditions of the Feldokran sea-hunter guilds, and came to prominence during the Covenant war.
- Zubo-pattern beam rifle: Type-classified by ONI in 2527, the Zubo-pattern is an ancient Sangheili design revived during the war and heavily employed by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant in its aftermath.
- Wukrshuz-pattern particle rifle: An experimental San'Shyuum design.
- M'tara-pattern focus rifle: while not a particle beam rifle in operation, the M'tara is descended from the same line of weapons - firing beams of superheated plasma as opposed to ionised hydrogen.
The T-50α beam rifle.
The T-50δ beam rifle.
The Sword of the Faithful, a customised Zubo-pattern beam rifle.
Krith's Left Hand, a customised Zubo-pattern beam rifle.
- Halo Waypoint, Beam Rifle (Retrieved on Apr 13, 2016) [archive]
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 293
- Halo Waypoint, Focus Rifle (Retrieved on May 14, 2021) [archive]
- Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - High Value Histories (Retrieved on Sep 8, 2022) [archive]
- Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: T-50α beam rifle
- Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: T-50δ beam rifle
- Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: Sword of the Faithful
- Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: Krith's Left Hand
- Halo Waypoint, Cannon Fodder: Digsite Dissection (Retrieved on Jul 28, 2023) [archive]