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Missing Links: Filling In The Gaps In Slug-Thrower Evolution

Author's Note: The rules presented here are also compatible with MegaTraveller and Striker, and may be compatible with Marc Miller's Traveller (T4).

Author's Note: An edited-down version of this article originally appeared in Challenge 64 and 66.

The firearms lists in MegaTraveller and Striker show a distinct evolution of the basic service rifle by Tech Level, from the TL5 bolt-action rifle through the TL6 semi-auto rifle to the TL7 assault rifle to the TL10 ACR and TL12 gauss rifle. Pistols also show a clear evolutionary path from the TL4 revolver through the TL6 autopistol and the TL10 snub pistols to the TL13 gauss pistol; so do grenade launchers, from the original TL7 "blooper" through the various tech levels of RAM grenades.

However, the evolution of other types of smallarms is spotty at best. For example, autofire support weapons are represented by the TL6 automatic rifle and various machineguns and the TL10 VRF Gaussgun (which is more akin to a high-rate-of-fire autocannon than a machinegun). Other types of weapons are known only from single examples, with no data about any precursors or descendants, such as the TL6 submachinegun, shotgun, and heavy machinegun and the TL8 Light Assault Gun.

Also, the introduction of Battle Dress at TL13 allows individuals to carry heavier loads, including weapons able to penetrate other suits of Battle Dress. Under the existing firearms lists, only expensive High Energy Weapons (PGMP- and FGMP-series) are available for issue to such troops.

Another under-represented type is that of civilian firearms with no exact military or paramilitary equivalent. Inexpensive light firearms (equivalent to the .22) are widely used for general recreational shooting ("plinking") or small-game "pot hunting"; light "camp carbines" using common pistol ammunition serve as general-purpose firearms for backpackers, "ranch rifles" for rural homesteads, or for small-game hunting. These civilian-only weapons are often found on higher law-level worlds which creatively interpret Law Level 3 (banning "weapons of a strictly military nature") to include civilian firearms which are based on, converted from, or resemble military designs.

The following weapons provide the "missing links" in the evolution of slugthrowers up through TL13, allowing a natural upgrade of military small arms from TLs 6 through 13 and an additional selection of civilian firearms to "beat the Law Level". Each firearm is described and quantified for Classic Traveller, MegaTraveller, D20 Traveller, and Striker.

Note: These weapons were originally designed & statted up under Striker; the Megatrav conversions are very solid, the T20 conversions pretty solid, and the CT ones somewhat iffy.

Individual Weapons

5mm Light Autopistol:

A very light civilian autopistol chambered for a minimal-power practice round; primarily for recreational shooting ("plinking") and hunting very small game. Based on a typical .22 autopistol, such as the Browning Buckmark.

9mm Magnum Autopistol:

A heavy autopistol chambered for the more powerful 9mm round used in the Magnum Revolver. Also known as an "AutoMag", it is primarily a police sidearm intended to penetrate ballistic cloth armor. Based on the IMI "Desert Eagle" pistol.

10mm Snubmachinegun:

A submachinegun companion to the combat snub pistol, combining automatic fire with the versatility and non-lethal (tranq) capability of the snub pistol. Replaces the SMG at TL10; often used as a "heavy weapon" by shipboard security and a "bailout" personal defense weapon by vehicle crews.

A pistol-styled SMG, the SnMG may mount a silencer and can "tank up" from twenty-round snub pistol magazines as well as its own forty-round magazines; both the ammunition and magazines are interchangeable with those of the combat snub pistol. In all other ways, the SnMG is functionally identical with the TL6 SMG.

5mm "Plinker" Light Rifle:

Very light civilian rifle for recreational shooting and very small game. The basic version is TL6, and is based on a typical .22 rifle such as the Ruger 10-22.

5mm Light Automatic Rifle:

A higher-tech (TL8) version of the "plinker", incorporating a special high-capacity, helical-feed magazine fitted into the top of the weapon. This rifle is based on the Calico M-100 .22 carbine.

Where law level allows light assault weapons, a selective-fire model can be obtained which fires a ten-round burst for each pull of the trigger; these light automatic rifles are often used by TL8 and 9 urban police and shipboard security forces in place of the later Snubmachinegun.

9mm Camp Carbine:

Light civilian carbine chambered for the 9mm autopistol round; intended as a backpacker's camp gun. Uses standard autopistol magazines. Based on the Marlin Camp Carbine.

9mm Magnum Carbine:

Slightly heavier version of the Camp Carbine using Magnum ammunition in Magnum autopistol magazines.

10mm Snub Carbine:

Higher-tech version of the Camp Carbine; uses the auto snub pistol (or Snubmachinegun) magazines. A common civilian rifle at TL10 and above.

13mm Antitank Rifle:

The TL6 predecessor of the TL8 Light Assault Gun, the antitank rifle fires the same ammunition as the TL6 heavy machinegun. Its primary use was as a support weapon (fired from its integral bipod) against lightly-armored vehicles or as a heavy sniper rifle; in civilian hands, made a good (if heavy) big-game rifle.

Light Assault Gun-10:

Progressive improvement of the TL8 Light Assault Gun, incorporating the electronic sights and stabilization systems of the ACR and gauss rifle. Replaces the LAG at TLs 10; also a good big-game rifle in civilian hands.

Gauss Light Assault Gun-13:

An enlarged Gauss rifle intended to be carried by troops in Battle Dress, with twice the muzzle velocity and four times the weight. Primarily used at TL13-14 as an inexpensive rifle for Battle Dress; also used by non-powered troops as a replacement for the LAG-10.

Crew-served Weapons

15mm Heavy Machinegun/Advanced Heavy Machinegun (AHMG):

A TL9, 15mm improvement of the TL6, 13mm heavy machinegun. The AHMG is a lower-priced, shorter-range alternative to light autocannon for ground and pintle mounts. The weapon fires in ten-shot bursts, like other machineguns. A dual-feed system allows the weapon to switch between belts of slug and discarding-sabot ammunition; the switchover takes one MegaTraveller combat round.

The AHMG replaces the TL6 HMG at TL9-10 and is often used as an individual weapon (assault rifle-style) by mercenaries who have acquired Battle Dress but not the accompanying (and expensive) high-energy weapons.

7mm or 9mm Light Machinegun-10/Advanced Light Machinegun (ALMG):

An improved, TL10 light machinegun intended as a squad-level support weapon for ACR-armed troops; the weapon is chambered for ACR ammunition, and incorporates the ACR's sighting and stabilization systems. Though primarily used from its bipod, the ALMG may also be tripod or pintle-mounted. Replaces previous light machineguns at TL10.

The ALMG may "tank up" from the equivalent-caliber ACR magazine; in this case it fires as the equivalent ACR.

7mm or 9mm Gatling-10/Advanced Gatling (AGAT):

TL10, six-barreled heavy machineguns with the same improvements over the original TL6/TL7 Gatlings as the ALMG and AMMG; again, primarily a vehicle-mounted weapon. Replaces earlier Gatlings at TL10; sometimes used by Battle Dress-wearing mercenaries in much the same way as the 15mm AHMG.

4mm Gauss Light Machinegun:

A squad-level support weapon replacing earlier light machineguns for gauss rifle-equipped troops; also used as a vehicle-mounted gaussgun where the VRF Gaussgun proves too heavy. Based on a heavied-up gauss rifle, the Gauss LMG incorporates a bipod and pintle socket, and mounts a 200-round drum magazine with high-powered integral batteries for slightly-increased range and penetration. Like other machineguns, the weapon fires in ten-shot bursts.

Similar to the ALMG, the Gauss LMG may "tank up" from a gauss rifle magazine; in this case, it fires as a gauss rifle.

Light Rapid Fire (LRF) Gauss Gun:

A much lighter TL13 version of the VRF Gaussgun, the LRF Gaussgun replaces earlier heavy machineguns, complementing the heavier VRF Gaussgun. The LRF Gaussgun fires the same ammunition with the same range and penetration as the VRF, but has a much lower rate of fire (equivalent to a Gauss LMG) and feeds from 200-round drum magazines instead of from a hopper. The weapon is intended to be used in a tripod, pintle, or light remote mountinstead of the turret required for a VRF Gaussgun. Up to five magazines can be stacked together end-to-end, feeding from one to the next as if they were a single oversized magazine. The weapon fires in ten-shot bursts, like a Gauss LMG.

Grav-assist Harness (as used with LRF Gauss Gun):

At TL14, an LRF Gaussgun can be fitted with a grav-assist harness similar to those used by the PGMP-14 and FGMP-15 and carried by Battle Dress as a "light" support weapon. The grav-assist harness incorporates a minimum-sized Low power L-Grav module (100kg maximum thrust) and enough batteries for 24 hours duration. When activated, the grav module cuts the apparent weight of the weapon and its magazine by 90%, to approximately 8 kilograms.

Tables for use with Classic Traveller Books 1 & 4:

CT Armor Matrix
WeaponNothingJackMeshClothReflecAblatCombat/Battle
Lt Revolver/Autopistol00-2-40-2-8
Magnum Revolver/Autopistol+1+1+1-3+1+1-4
Snubmachinegun/HE+6+6>/td>0-3+6+3-7
Snubmachinegun/HEAP+6+6+2-1+6+5-2
Snubmachinegun/Tranq+5+5-3-6+3-1no
Light Rifle00-2-40-2-8
Light Auto Rifle+3+30-2+30-6
Camp Carbineas carbine
Magnum Carbine+2+20-3+20-4
Snub Carbine/HE+2+20-3+20-8
Snub Carbine/HEAP+2+2+2-1+2+1-3
Snub Carbine/Tranq+1+1-3-6+1-4no
Antitank Rifleas LAG/DS
LAG-10/DS+3+3+3+2+3+3+1
LAG-10/HE+3+3+1-1+3+1-4
LAG-10/Flechetteas LAG/flechette
Gauss LAG+4/+7+4/+7+3/+6+2/+4+4/+7+3/+7+1/+3
Heavy Machinegun+5+5+5+3+5+4+1
AHMG/Slugas heavy machinegun
AHMG/DS+5+5+5+4+5+5+3
ALMG/DS+7+7+30+7+60
ALMG/HE+6+6+2-1+6+5-2
AGAT/DS+7+7+5+2+7+7+1
AGAT/HE+7+7+4+1+7+6-1
Gauss LMG+7+7+6+4+7+7+1
LRF Gauss Gun+7+7+7+6+7+7+4
CT Range Matrix
WeaponCloseShortMediumLongVery LongWound Inflicted
(Light Revolver)+2+1-6nono2D
Light Autopistol+2+2-5nono2D
(Magnum Revolver)as revolver3D
Magnum Autopistolas auto pistol
Snubmachinegun/HEno+3-1-7no5D
Snubmachinegun/HEAP-4+3-1-7no5D
Snubmachinegun/Tranq-4+3-1-7novariable
Light Rifle-3+2-1-4no2D
Light Auto Rifle-3+1+1-2no2D
Camp Carbineas carbine
Magnum Carbine-4+1-2-3-43D
Snub Carbine/HEno+1-4-6no4D
Snub Carbine/HEAP-4+1-4-6no4D
Snub Carbine/Tranq-4+1-4-6novariable
Antitank Rifleas LAG/DS4D
LAG-10/DS-80+2+2-15D
LAG-10/HE-4+1+10-14D
LAG-10/Flechette-4+1+3+302D
Gauss LAG-8/-80/0+1/+3+2/+40/+16D
Heavy Machinegunnono+3+3+14D
AHMG/Slugnono+4+3+15D
AHMG/DSnono+4+4+26D
ALMG/DSno-6+4+3+23D
ALMG/HEno-6+3+2+14D
AGAT/DSnono+8+5+23D
AGAT/HEnono+7+4+14D
Gauss LMGno-5+4+3+24D
LRF Gauss Gunnono+4+4+28D

Tables for use with MegaTraveller:

MT Table I: Personal Slug Throwers
WeaponAmmo NotesRdsPen/AttenDmgMax RangeAutofire TargetsSignatureRecoil
Light Autopistol-120/-3Medium-LowLow
Magnum Autopistol-83/23Long-MedMed/R
Snubmachinegun (10mm)HE401/-4Long2HiMed/R
HEAP6/-4
tranq1/-1
gas-1
Light "Plinker" Rifle-101/23Long-LowLow/R
Light Automatic Rifle-1001/23Long3MedLow/R
Camp Carbine-152/23VLong-MedLow/R
Magnum Camp Carbine-83/23VLong-MedMed/R
Snub Carbine (10mm)HE201/-4Long-MedLow/R
HEAP6/-4
tranq1/-1
gas-1
Antitank Rifle-56/33VLong-HiHi
Light Assault Gun-10HE104/-4VLong-MedHi
KEAP10/34VLong
flech3/32Long
Gauss Light Assault Gun-13-4014/46Dist3LowMed

The Light Autopistol, Magnum Autopistol, and Snubmachinegun all use Handgun skill and difficulty. The Light Rifles, Camp Carbines, Snub Carbine, and Antitank Rifle use Rifle skill and difficulty; the Light Assault Guns use Rifle skill and difficulty and are gyrostabilized.

MT Table II: Crew-served Slug Throwers
WeaponAmmo NotesRdsPen/AttenDmgMax RangeAutofire TargetsSignatureRecoil
Heavy Machinegun-9-1009/34VLong2HiHi
(15mm)DS12/34
Light Machinegun-10-1003/33VLong2HiMed
(7mm)DS4/33
tranq2/-1
Light Machinegun-10-1004/33VLong2HiMed
(9mm)DS6/33
HE3/34
tranq2/-1
7mm Gatling Gun-10-50003/33VLong3Med/R*Hi
DS4/33
tranq2/-1
9mm Gatling Gun-10-50004/33VLong2Med/R*Hi
DS6/33
HE3/34
tranq2/-1
Gauss LMG (4mm)-2008/43Distant3Low/R*Low
tranq2/-1
LRF Gauss Gun (4mm)-20021/410VDist2LowMed

All these crew-served weapons have difficulty as Rifle; all except the Heavy Machinegun-9 are gyro-stabilized.

Tables for use with Striker:

Striker Table IIIa: Individual Weapons - Slug Throwers
TLWeaponMagazineEffectiveLongExtremeTargets
65mm Light Autopistol12C(0)1(0)5(0)1
65mm Light Rifle105(0)10(0)15(0)1
69mm Camp Carbine155(1)10(0)20(0)1
613mm Antitank Rifle535(6)70(5)100(3)1
79mm Magnum Autopistol81(3)4(1)9(0)1
79mm Magnum Carbine810(3)20(1)30(0)1
85mm Light Auto Rifle1005(0)+310(0)+215(0)+12
1010mm Snubmachinegun40 HE2(1)+44(1)+38(1)+12
40 HEAP2(6)+44(6)+38(6)+12
1010mm Snub Carbine20 HE10(1)20(1)30(1)1
20 HEAP10(6)20(6)30(6)1
1020mm LAG-1010 HE20(4)40(4)60(4)1
10 KEAP25(10)50(8)75(6)1
10 flech10(3)+220(2)+1-1
134mm Gauss LAG4060(14)+3120(14)+2180(7)+11/2

The Antitank Rifle and LAG-10 are high-recoil weapons; the LAG's HE round has a burst size of zero and a fragmentation penetration of 1. The Gauss LAG is not a high-recoil weapon.

Striker Table IIIb:
TLWeaponAmmunitionWeightPrice
65mm Light Autopistol-500/100150/5
65mm Light Rifle-2500/100150/5
613mm Antitank Rifle-7500/5001000/15
79mm Magnum Autopistol-1000/400400/15
79mm Camp Carbine-3000/250350/10
79mm Magnum Carbine-3500/400500/15
85mm Light Auto Rifle-2500/500300/50
1010mm SnubmachinegunHE, HEAP2000/250350/60
1010mm Snub CarbineHE, HEAP3000/100400/30
1020mm LAG-10HE, KEAP4500/10001200/40
flech /1000 /80
134mm Gauss LAG-14000/15006000/150
Striker Table IVa: Crew-served Weapons - Slug Throwers
TLWeapon>ShotsEffectiveLongExtremeTargets
915mm AHMG100slugs50(9)+3100(6)+2150(3)+14
100DS75(12)+3150(6)+2-
107mm ALMG100slugs35(3)+470(2)+3100(1)+22
100DS50(4)+4100(3)+3-
107mm AGAT5000slugs40(3)+880(2)+6120(1)+316
5000DS60(4)+8120(3)+6-
109mm ALMG100slugs35(4)+470(3)+3100(2)+22
100DS50(6)+4100(3)+3-
100HE35(3)+470(3)+3100(3)+2
109mm AGAT5000slugs40(4)+880(3)+6120(2)+316
5000DS60(6)+8120(3)+6-
5000HE40(3)+880(3)+6120(3)+3
124mm Gauss LMG20075(8)+5150(4)+4-8
13LRF Gauss Gun200150(21)+4300(19)+3450(17)+18

The number of targets is for a weapon fired from a tripod, vehicle, or other fixed mount. A carried weapon can engage only two targets.

Striker Table IVb:
TLWeaponAmmunitionSetupSignatureWeightPrice
915mm AHMGslugs4+225/154000/300
DS /450
107mm ALMGslugs, DS0+25/22500/100
107mm AGATslugs, DS4+580/10030000/100
109mm ALMGslugs0+26/2.53000/75
DS /125
HE /100
109mm AGATslugs0+5120/12535000/3750
DS /6250
HE /5000
124mm Gauss LMG-0+15/24500/200
13LRF Gauss Gun-4+250/2015000/2000
14(Grav Harness for LRF Gauss Gun)-1060000

Crew: All the above weapons have a crew of 2 if carried or towed, 1 if vehicle-mounted. All may be used as individual weapons by troops in Battle Dress except the LRF Gauss Gun, which requires a grav harness and is used as a light support weapon.

Type: The ALMG and the Gauss LMG are infantry weapons; the ALMG is a high-recoil infantry weapon; the AGAT and LRF Gauss Gun are light crew-served weapons.

Grav Harness for LRF Gauss Gun: With the grav harness, a loaded LRF Gauss Gun weighs in at about 80 kilos. When the gravitic field is on, the apparent weight is cut to 8 kilos. The harness has a duration of 24 hours continuous use and a maximum load compensation of 100 kilos, enough for an LRF Gauss Gun with two magazines.

Tables for use with D20 Traveller:

T20 Available Weapons
HandgunsCostTLWeightROFRangeDMG (crit)SizeRecoilRndsWtCost
(Light Revolver)Cr1006300g115m1d6 (x2)SmNo650gCr3
Light AutopistolCr1506500g120m1d6 (x2)SmNo12100gCr5
(Magnum Revolver)Cr30061200g130m1d12 (x2)SmYes!6120gCr8
Magnum AutopistolCr10007400g145m1d12 (x2)SmYes!8400gCr15
Rifles
Light "Plinker" RifleCr15062500g145m1d6 (x2)MedNo12100gCr5
Camp CarbineCr35073000g145m1d10 (x2)MedYes15250gCr10
Magnum Camp CarbineCr50073500g150m1d12 (x2)MedYes8400gCr15
Light Auto RifleCr30082500g1/1045m1d6 (x2)MedNo100500gCr50
Snub Carbine*Cr400103000g140m1d10 (x2)MedNo20250gCr30
Machine Guns
(HMG)Cr3000615kg0/1090m1d12+2 (x2)VLgYes!10010kgCr250
(Gatling MG)KCr15.57100kg0/10060m1d12 (x2)VLgYes!250062kgCr3000
AHMGCr4000925kg0/10120m2d12+2 (x2)VLgYes!10015kgCr450
SnubMG*Cr350102000g1/440m1d10 (x2)SmYes40500gCr60
ALMGCr3000106000g0/1075m1d12+2 (x2)LgYes1002500gCr125
AGATKCr3510120kg0/10075m1d12+2 (x2)VLgYes!5000125kgCr6250
Gauss LMGCr4500125000g0/1090m2d12 (x2)MedYes2002000gCr200
LRF Gauss GunKCr151350kg0/10180mas VRFGGVLgYes!20020kgCr2000
Support Weapons
13mm Anti-tank RifleCr100067.5kg175m1d12+2 (x2)LgYes!5500gCr15
LAG-10***Cr1200104500g1100m3d10 (x2)LgYes101000gCr40
Gauss LAGCr60001314kg1120m3d12 (x2)LgYes202000gCr200

All weapons in this table are of Type: Piercing

(): Not covered in article; from Striker & Megatraveller.