|Tech Base||Clan / Inner Sphere (IS)|
|Year Availability|| Clan = 2828
IS = 3040
|Year Introduced||Clan = 2828 CBR|
|Year Extinction||IS = 2865|
|Year Reintroduced||IS = 3040 FWL|
|Legality Rating||A - F|
|Tons|| Clan = 12
IS = 15
|Critical Slots|| Clan = 6
IS = 7 Proto = 8
|Ammo Per Ton||8|
|Ammo Cost (per ton)||20,000|
|BV (2.0)|| 320|
Introduced in 2590 by the Terran Hegemony, the Gauss Rifle utilizes a series of electromagnets to propel slugs of ferrous nickel-iron alloy at extremely high velocities, making it a devastating and lethal long-range weapon. Unlike most traditional ballistic weapons, the Gauss Rifle does not use combustible propellant, so its firing generates very little heat. However, the sheer mass and bulk of the weapon limits its applications.
Since the Gauss Rifle fires solid metal slugs, with neither propellant nor explosive, Gauss Rifle magazines are not susceptible to ammunition explosions. However, if the weapon itself is struck by enemy fire, the capacitors that power the electromagnets will release their stored energy, with an effect similar to an ammo explosion. (In game terms, a critical hit on a Gauss Rifle is equivalent to a 20-point ammo explosion.) Some 'Mechs employ CASE in the section containing the Gauss Rifle to protect internal components in the event the weapon explodes.
The Gauss Rifle was found on a number of heavier Star League Defense Force 'Mechs, but fell out of use in the Inner Sphere during the technological decline of the Succession Wars. It was revived following the discovery of the Helm Memory Core. The Clans never lost the technology, and continued to refine the Star League-era weapon. Although the Clan Gauss Rifle is similar in performance and operation to its Inner Sphere counterpart, it is 20% lighter and somewhat more compact.
Note: The original description of the Gauss Rifle that appeared in the first printing of Technical Readout: 2750 listed the ammunition load as 10 shots per ton. This figure was later amended to eight shots per ton.
The Gauss Rifle is manufactured on the following planets:
The Gauss Rifle has been used in various video games, each with their own stats for the weapon; below is a list of the games that use it along with a link to each version's stats:
- TechManual p. 289, "Heavy Weapons And Equipment - Table"
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 7, "Gauss Rifle"
- TechManual, p. 317, "Inner Sphere Weapons and Equipment BV Table"
- TechManual, p. 219, "Standard Gauss Rifle"
- BattleTech Master Rules, p 219, "Gauss Rifle"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 68, "WR-DG-02FC War Dog"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 76, "MR-V2 Cerberus"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 168, "SQS-TH-002 Sasquatch"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 38, "HUR-WO-R4L Huron Warrior"
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 90, "VTR-9K Victor"
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 108, "AS7-K Atlas"
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 30, "Regulator II Hover Tank"
- Technical Readout: Prototypes p. 132, "OSM-3 Orion"
- Technical Readout: 3145 Free Worlds League, p. 34-35, "CRN-7M Carronade"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 24, "BZK-F3 Hollander"
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 104, "BNC-5S Banshee"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 62, "FLC-8R Falconer"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 72, "GUN-1ERD Gunslinger"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 50, "TMP-3M Tempest"
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 284, "Marauder IIC 7"
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 140, "Carnivore"
- Technical Readout: 3085, p. 120, "Behemoth 2"