Truisms, of course, but still true nonetheless. As I was washing dishes this morning, I remembered a study, not sure why, about the older 55gr 5.56x45mm M193 cartridges, showing that the jacketed lead rounds actually overpenetrated less in common household structures. Fairly sure I read it at the Box O’ Truth, though other studies have shown similar results. The high energy rifle rounds tend to destroy themselves on hitting just about anything, while pistol rounds tend to keep coherent, if deformed. But a pistol bullet is a squat beast anyway, and you can only deform it so much.
Naturally, my thoughts turned to GURPS, and I thought “what would a sidearm that qualified as an offensive weapon look like?” Stats-wise.
Well, you’re really talking something with a Bulk like a pistol, -2 or so. Accuracy like a rifle or carbine: Acc 4 or Acc 5. And of course the ever-popular damage, and in this case, I think you’d really want about 6d to 8d in GURPS terms, because those give you an ability to drop dead an unarmored foe of HP from 10-12.
But at the Incapacitation Station we also decided that instant death is overkill, and 4d is probably enough to do the job, especially for a low Rcl weapon that might achieve 2-3 hits.
But to really qualify, you want that big damage, and that says Ultra-Tech.What qualifies?
- The Heavy Laser Pistol (UT, p. 115) gets it done. Acc 6, 4d (2), Rcl 1. That’s TL10. Same thing with the TL11 Rainbow Laser Pistol variants (p. 117).
- The TL11 and TL12 big brothers of even those, the heavy X-Ray lasers and grasers work too, same reasons, higher armor divisors, staggeringly high range. All Acc 6.
- The Heavy Blaster pistol works, but is a bit high in bulk, low in Acc.
- The pulsar pistol (UT, p. 124) is sweet. 6d(3), Acc 5, Bulk -2, Rcl 1. That works.
- The TL11^ plasma pistol delivers the goods
- An odd choice, but effective, seems like the Force Pistol
- You can’t go wrong with a disintegrator pistol. 36d(infinity) and Acc 6 means not even having to apologize to vapor.
The Ultra-Tech guns in the book aren’t terribly impressive. None of them make the list in any form.
While you can certainly find a sidearm that is as powerful as a current-day rifle if you look into the futuristic beam weapons in the Ultra-Tech book, you will, of course find even more accurate and powerful weapons in the longarm variety. Still, unless armor is very common, comfortable, and appropriate to the sensibilities of whatever society we’re dealing with, the above weapons will serve well as things that blur the distinction between a defensie weapon (a pistol) and an offensive one (a rifle).