Type-53 plasma caster
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
The Type-53 Plasma Bolt Launcher (T-53 PBL), more commonly known as the plasma caster, is a versatile munitions launcher designed for use in infantry and shock trooper roles. Manufactured by the Merchants of Qikost, the purpose of the plasma caster is to weaken enemy lines and entrenched positions, especially those augmented by stationary weapons. Gaining popularity during the Blooding Years, the plasma caster was used by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant.
The Type-53 Plasma Bolt Launcher bears a resemblance in shape and overall functionality to the Type-50 concussion rifle, also manufactured by the Merchants of Qikost. However, the plasma caster is considered to be an elegant refinement and diversification of the concussion rifle. The plasma caster is designed with an extended, pronounced stock, a low-set magazine that allows easy access, and an accentuated muzzle which remains closed unless the weapon's operator charges the chambered round, upon which the barrel splays open before launching the charged bolt. After firing a charged bolt, the plasma caster enters an automatic cool-down mode for several seconds.
The plasma caster can fire up to five explosive plasma rounds in quick succession, or fire a single charged round at a greater distance which adheres to a surface it lands upon for 1.1 seconds before detonating, releasing additional explosives to pepper the immediate area. Charged rounds have excellent tracking properties against vehicles, although this effect is very minimal against enemy infantry and charged rounds can be evaded easily by Banshees and Phaetons. The weapon's relatively clean area of effect allows it to be used surgically in the hands of a proficient user, though at range its slower projectile velocity requires more skill to wield effectively.
Under the Merchants of Qikost, the plasma caster has undergone few changes since its inception. However, Sangheili clans have occasionally introduced ad hoc modifications to improve in-field functionality.
Earlier iterations of the plasma caster had been produced by the Covenant for nearly a century. However, the weapon was not encountered by United Nations Space Command forces until 2553, a year after the Covenant's dissolution in the Human-Covenant War. The plasma caster has since gained popularity among the Sangheili during the Blooding Years, a civil war that spread throughout most of Sanghelios and other Sangheili colonies after the Covenant War. The plasma caster is commonly used by forces of Jul 'Mdama's reformed Covenant and the Banished.
The weapon's forward body and un-charged firing mode are similar to the Concussion Rifle, though the latter's ammunition detonates on impact rather than a timer.
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