Ballistic weapons, also called "kinetic weapons" or "slug-throwers", are solid-shot weapons that fire physical projectiles as opposed to energy-based ones. Despite being considered low-tech by many across the universe, they still see excessive use on many worlds where advanced technology is not readily available, such as on a recently-settled colony planet.
Ballistic weapons come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from pistols to rifles to enormous starship-mounted cannons. Their ease of manufacture makes it so that nearly anyone can get their hands on a ballistic weapon should they have the proper materials. This makes them popular with many criminal groups, who often lack the proper means to manufacture energy weapons.
Ballistic weapons also have a few advantages over their energy-based counterparts. They are often built tougher than energy weapons, allowing them to take much more punishment. They are also much easier to repair and maintain. However, the main drawback they have is ensuring that the user has access to a constant supply of ammunition. Unlike the rechargeable power cells seen in energy weapons, ballistic weapons can't just collect their bullets back after they get fired.
Types of Ballistic Weapons
The auto-rifle is perhaps the most common type of ballistic weapon seen throughout the universe. They are usually seen across low-tech worlds and in the hands of criminals and second-rate militaries. Despite this, their ability to put down a higher rate of fire than their energy-based counterparts and being able to use many different types of ammunition keeps them in service.
The auto-carbine is a smaller variant of the auto-rifle, often equipped with a folding stock. They are often used by scouting and special forces units, as the auto-carbine is far lighter and easier to aim than a regular auto-rifle.
Shotguns are close-range weapons that fire shells that burst into pellets over a wide area. This makes them excellent for use in tight, urban environments and in crowd-control situations.
A sniper rifle is a long-range, high-accuracy weapon designed to take out targets from a distance. Their heavy-caliber shots are capable of punching through thick armor or putting down the hardiest of foes with ease.
Auto-pistols are lightweight, fully-automatic sidearms that fire a spray of bullets at anything in front of them. Despite their high rate of fire, their low-caliber rounds are poor at dealing with armored foes.
Hand cannons are heavy-duty pistols that fire armor-piercing shots. The recoil produced by these weapons makes them rather unwieldy, but the sheer power they provide is often more than worth it for most wielders.
The heavy autogun is a large, high-caliber weapon used to provide sustained fire. Due to their weight, they cannot be carried into battle normally, instead being mounted on a tripod or on the pintle-mount of a vehicle. They also sometimes come in double-barreled or even triple-barreled versions.
The rotorgun is a multi-barreled weapon capable of laying down a punishing rate of fire. The weapon's ammunition is often carried in a backpack worn by the wielder, which connects to the gun itself via a belt.
Autocannons are large, powerful weapons that fire a hail of high-velocity shells. These versatile weapons see many uses on the battlefield, often in anti-infantry or anti-air roles. They are the primary armament of many light combat vehicles across the universe.
Heavy cannons are powerful, vehicle-mounted weapons designed to destroy other armored targets. They are capable of firing a wide variety of shells, such as incendiary, EMP, or armor-piercing shells.
Artillery guns are siege weapons designed to destroy targets from extremely long ranges. They are usually kept far behind the frontlines so they can unleash powerful bombardments while also being safe from most forms of counterattack.
Starship cannons are the largest type of ballistic weapon in the Universe. These weapons are capable of hurling thousands of tons of explosive shells across space or burying a planet in ordinance.
Notable Users of Ballistic Weapons