Heckler & Koch Meteor Railgun (Mutants in Orbit):

This railgun was specifically made for use in space. Railguns are very powerful weapons, and are more difficult to defend against than pure energy weapons, but in space they have a large disadvantage due to the recoil that they produce. A combatant must be secured to a large object, or have special software that allows his suits thrusters to compensate for the recoil.

Securing oneself is not always possible, and the thrusters in a suit are usually not powerful enough to compensate immediately for the recoil of a large railgun, resulting in a "rocking" effect when the weapon is fired. Needless to say, this is hardly conductive to better accuracy.

The Meteor railgun bypasses these disadvantages through its design: It looks a lot like a Bazooka, and is in fact held like one too. At the back of the railgun is a small but powerful high-impulse thruster, mounted on a powered movable base. Every time that the gun fires the thruster immediately counters the recoil it generates. Since the weapons firing rate and the thruster have been carefully balanced, there is none of the rocking effect normally encountered when the thrusters of a suit compensate for recoil. In addition to the thruster the railgun is equipped with its own laser targeting system, microchips, and a datalink to the users suit. The user can select several modes of fire: Normal, Planet, and Deadeye.

When fired in normal mode the gun simply counters recoil and holds the gun steady.

When fired in Planet mode the gun compensates recoil as if in a 1 G gravity field and atmosphere.

When fired in Deadeye mode the gun uses its laser targeting and the datalink to the wearers suit (more specifically its radar) to identify a targets size and distance. According to this the gun swivels the thruster to disperse the burst it fires into a shotgun-like pattern for maximum hit probability for a target that size and at that range. The drawback is that the damage done is less, because of the dispersal of the burst.

The first unit to be supplied with the gun was the detachment of SAS personnel who served aboard the De Ruyter class Destroyer. Overall consensus was that the guns were "Capable of hitting a soda can in a different la grange point". The soldiers were less pleased with the guns handling in a atmosphere, saying that "the thruster made enough noise to waken the dead".

This Railgun was the standard weapon for all of the Space Predator power armors on board of the De Ruyter.

The railgun fires 2 millimeter darts of depleted Uranium at a huge speed but moderate rate, so each burst lasts nearly a second. For normal use the ammo is supplied by a drum wich is bolted to the powered armor of the user. Reaction mass for the thruster is supplied by the same drum, and through the same chute through which the darts are supplied. Each drum holds enough ammo and reaction mass for 40 bursts. Power is supplied by the users powered armor.

In a emergency the gun can be fed by a clip, which holds power, ammo and reaction mass for 4 bursts.

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Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa)

Copyright © 1998, Mischa. All rights reserved.