Type-50 particle beam rifle
Beam Rifle redirects here. For the version introduced in Halo 4, see Type-27 beam rifle. For other uses of the term beam, see here.
The Type-50 Sniper Rifle System, otherwise known as the Particle Beam Rifle or simply Beam Rifle, is a Covenant long-range weapon and the counterpart of the UNSC SRS99 series sniper rifles. It is also the successor to the earlier Type-27 Special Application Sniper Rifle. The weapon has a variety of nicknames including PBR, PB and Covenant Sniper.
The Type-50 SRS is a battery-powered directed energy weapon that fires ionized particle beams. The battery for the weapon has enough charge to fire ten shots. The muzzle velocity of the weapon is 3657 m/s (12,000 f/s), with a maximum effective range of roughly 1,500m (4900 ft) When firing, the weapon has a near-silent and negligible muzzle signature, and inflicts wounds comparable to the 14.5×114mm round fired by the UNSC's SRS99 series of sniper rifles, capable of instantly killing a target. The beam rifle has a barrel length of 82.55 cm (32.5 in.) and an overall length of 160.4 cm (63.2 in.), weighing in at 18 kg (39.6 lbs).[note 3]
The Type-50 has little recoil when firing. The mechanism by which the beam rifle functions is unknown to the UNSC, but accounts for the weapon's drastically different properties. The scope of the beam rifle is capable of a 5x or 10x zoom, but has the potential to induce slight nausea in humans who try to use it. The round section in front of the hand guard and trigger area of the weapon appears to contain the Type-50's "ammunition"; after the weapon has completed its firing sequence, the section rotates presumably to "chamber" another "round".
The T50 was employed throughout the Human-Covenant War alongside its Type-27 brother, though the Covenant made little distinction between variants. They were typically primarily employed by Sangheili and Kig-Yar snipers, raiders and scout-executors. It was employed during the Harvest campaign, Battle for Arcadia and Battle of the Etran Harborage in 2531. However, the weapon would remain a rarer sight throughout the war and Covenant tactical doctrine did not typically make the full use of the capabilities of Beam Rifles. However, as the war with humanity continued, human snipers showed the Covenant how pinpoint, accurate firepower could lead armies into disarray. This prompted a change in the final few months of 2552, with the Beam Rifle becoming selected as the most tactically optimal and ecclesiarchy-blessed of the various Covenant analogues of the human SRS99 and put in an elevated production priority.
The UNSC were unaware of the Beam Rifle's new precedence within the Covenant doctrine, unknown as to whether the change was spurred by a new direction in doctrine or local unit organisation. The Fleet of Particular Justice's Kig-Yar snipers employed the Type-50 Alpha beam rifle during the Battle of Installation 04 in September 2552, while shortly later the Prophet of Truth deployed an elite team armed with the Type-50 Delta beam rifle to hunt down his enemies during the Great Schism in October 2552.
During the Battle for Earth, the Type-50 would be employed by Kig-Yar snipers operating in New Mombasa, particularly during the night-time. During the Second Battle of New Mombasa, Snipers would operate the T50 to great effect. During this battle, J-011-422 did not discard his point-defence gauntlet like most snipers did. By the time of the Battle of Voi and later Battle of Installation 00, Jiralhanae troops had replaced the Sangheili in operating the beam rifle. Following the end of the war and the loss of High Charity, beam rifle production slowed but did not stop. Though costly to create, manufactories on Sanghelios, Hesduros, Eayn, and other developed colonies continue to produce the weapon. The weapon is employed by several Covenant remnants, including Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group.
At some point, the weapon was one of many subjects of the UNSC report Machines, Materiel and Munitions from the Human-Covenant Conflict, 2525 - Present. By this time, the UNSC did not yet know of the weapon's maximum effective range (awaiting procurement of working examples for investigative purposes) and cartridge type (pending negotiations with the Swords of Sanghelios).
Similarly to the SRS 99 AM sniper rifle series, the Type-50 is excellent at picking off enemies at great distances. Its pulses are very useful at passing through any type of material, armored or non-armored; this makes the particle beam rifle's overpenetration ability much more effective at killing a wide range of enemy infantry. As the beam passes through the body at nearly the speed of light, the particles transfer their kinetic energy to the atoms in the molecules of the target area. Upon impact, the area is rapidly superheated, cauterizing the wound at the same time - a direct hit on skull area of a target will be killed instantly, and body shots depending on the area will be fatal in most cases. A rare non fatal strike to a target can also cause radiation damage, and will require additional treatment, and near misses can produce second or third degree burns to light armored targets. The beam rifle's relative silence, as opposed to the sniper rifle's loud bang, gives it a bit of a stealth advantage; however, this is compensated by the greater visibility of the Type-50's beam. In the context of the Halo games, the particle beam rifle's strength and lethality are weakened for the sake of gameplay.
While the Type-50 SRS excels at material penetration, in the games, the particle beam rifle does not have much difference than its UNSC counterpart, although in canon it is much stronger. The Type-50 is also unable to perform rapid shots in quick succession - after two shots are fired within a second of each other, the weapon will overheat and will shut down to prevent damage to its internal components, temporarily rendering the weapon useless. The particle beam rifle can only fire 18 shots before the battery is used up and the weapon must be replaced. Like its human counterpart, the particle beam rifle is ineffective at close range combat unless its user is skilled at close range combat with the sniper rifle. The beam of purple light produced from the beam rifle is very easy to see, but somewhat quicker at dissipating compared with the Sniper Rifle, as a sniper's position is more likely to be compromised because of this, requiring the sniper to relocate quickly before being detected.
Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3
Changes from Halo 3 to Halo 2: Anniversary
Changes from Halo 2: Anniversary to Halo 5: Guardians
Sources regarding the length of the Type-50 SASR are inconsistent. The Bungie.net page on the weapon and the Halo Encyclopedia 2009 edition both give a length for the weapon as 160.4cm (63.2 in), while the 2011 encyclopedia and Halo 3 in-game model both suggest 160.3cm (63.1 in). In-universe, it is likely that this simply implies two variants catalogued by the Covenant as the same weapon.
Furthermore, the details for the models of beam rifle found in Halo 2, Halo 2: Anniversary and Halo 5: Guardians are presently unknown. The Halo 3 Instruction Manual additionally describes the beam rifle as having an 18 shot capacity like that featured in Halo 2, when the weapon in-game in fact has a maximum capacity of 10.
Halo 5: Guardians REQ cards
List of appearances