3025 Rifleman.jpg
Production information
Manufacturer Colonial Tractors,[1]
Kallon Industries,
Red Devil Industries,
Trellshire Heavy Industries
Production Year 2770[2][3]
Model RFL-3N[3]
Class Heavy[3]
Cost 4,860,000 C-bills
Technical specifications
Mass 60[3] tons
Chassis Kallon Type IV[3]
Armor Kallon Royalstar[3]
Engine Pitban 240[3]
Communications System Garret T11-A[3]
Targeting Tracking System Garret D2j[3]
Speed 64[3] km/h
BV (1.0) 797[4]
BV (2.0) 1,039[3][5]


The definitive anti-aircraft 'Mech, the Rifleman was first fielded in 2505, making it among the first 'Mechs ever built. Designed as a medium fire-support platform, the Rifleman was plagued with a variety of problems since its debut and was ill-suited as a front-line combatant. However, its combination of long-ranged weaponry, including rapid-fire autocannons, and its excellent targeting and tracking system ensured it would remain a viable battlefield unit through half a millennium of combat.[3][6]

Kallon Industries built the first RFL-1N Rifleman for the Star League Defense Force, but chronic overheating problems forced a return to the drawing boards, with an improved RFL-2N introduced fifty years later.[7] Kallon's engineers still believed the 'Mech suffered too much from overheating, and tried to fix the problem with the definitive RFL-3N by replacing some of its heat-intensive energy weapons with autocannons.[3][6] Although a marked improvement, the engineers were still not satisfied with the end result and tried to produce a 'Mech which would address the issues of heat management, protection and endurance which continued to plague the Rifleman. Their response, the JagerMech, featured several improvements over the older 'Mech but did not wholly replace it, instead complimenting it whenever the two served in the same unit together.[8]

With the collapse of the Star League and start of the Succession Wars, the Rifleman was scattered amongst the militaries of the Successor States. House Davion fielded the largest concentration of Riflemen and used them to good effect in their battles with House Kurita. Unfortunately, combat losses increasingly forced many Riflemen to be deployed directly on the front-lines, where their deficiencies in close combat against similar-mass 'Mechs was apparent.[3][6] After the recovery of the Helm Memory Core, rediscovered lostech was used in an attempt to improve upon the venerable Rifleman, with manufactures deploying a number of new variants around the time of the Clan Invasion.[9]

By the time of the FedCom Civil War, new prototypes of Rifleman variants were still being worked on, but the aging 'Mech had since acquired a poor reputation due to its weak protection and bad heat management. The 'Mech experienced something of a revival though when Kallon's factory on the moon Talon was subjected to a blockade by the 7th FedCom RCT, disrupting production of the newer JMS-7 JagerMech. The company brought up their experimental RFL-8D Rifleman to full-scale production as just a temporary measure, but the improved 'Mech wound up being fielded by both Loyalist and Allied forces during the civil war. Additional variants were introduced since then, with both the Free Worlds League and Word of Blake making use of advanced Riflemen during the Jihad.[10]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

The Rifleman's focus on fire-support and anti-aircraft work dictated a heavy load of long-range weapons to the exclusion of everything else. It carried a particularly heavy battery of two Magna Mk. III Large Lasers paired with two Imperator-A medium autocannons, one of each mounted in each arm. Two Magna Mk. II Medium Lasers were split between the side torsos to provide backup. One ton of autocannon ammunition was carried in the center torso, enough for short, sharp engagements but not enough for extended periods of combat. The 'Mech's ten heat sinks were grossly inadequate for constant fire, but in an anti-aircraft role, the Rifleman was expected to have time to dissipate heat while the target aircraft turned for its next pass.[3][6][10]

The Rifleman suffered from a miserly amount of armoring - just seven and a half tons total - with its rear torso particularly thin. It also lacked hand or lower-arm actuators, hampering it in a melee confrontation, and was not particularly fast, with a cruising speed of 43.2 km/h. When operating in its intended role of providing overwatch for other 'Mechs, these deficiencies were not terribly noticeable, and it could still overpower lighter opponents by dint of its size. They did mean that only as a last resort would a commander commit her Riflemen in a head-on confrontation with heavy enemy forces.[3][6]

An exceptional piece of electronics, the Garret D2j targeting-tracking system allowed the Rifleman to maintain an accurate lock on swift-moving aerial targets and achieve excellent accuracy. The Garret T11-A was equally impressive as a communications system, although its distinctive wing-shaped design tended to draw the enemy's attention...and their fire.[3][6]


  • RFL-1N 
    The first production version of the Rifleman weighed fifty tons and used primitive technology. Each arm carried a single large laser and medium laser. It was protected by eleven and a half tons of Primitive Armor and used a Primitive Engine to reach a top speed of 64km/h. Though it served in the Reunification War, this version of the Rifleman was usually used by militia and second line forces thereafter.[7] BV (2.0) = 931[7]
  • RFL-2N 
    Introduced in 2556, this version replaced the primitive components with standard armor and engine. The freed space and weight allowed engineers to fit in sixteen heat sinks. The large lasers were removed from the arms and replaced by PPCs, while two more medium lasers were added, one in each side torso. Production of this model continued until the RFL-3N was introduced.[7] BV (2.0) = 1,093[11]
  • RFL-3C 
    The second of two variants designed by Hanse Davion and debuting in 3026, the 3C removes the large lasers and autocannon/5s in order to mount a pair of Autocannon/10s in their place and add an extra ton of armor. Two tons of ammunition for the larger autocannons were carried in the right torso.[12] BV (1.0) = 860,[13] BV (2.0) = 1,066[14]
  • RFL-3Cr 
    This field refit was introduced during the Jihad in 3071. It carries the Autocannon/10s of the RFL-3C, but uses an XL Gyro to provide room for a pair of Medium Lasers. Heavy Ferro-Fibrous armor increases the amount of protection. BV (2.0) = 1,129[15]
  • RFL-3N (C) 
    A Clan-tech retrofit of the standard Rifleman, the Rifleman C was used by Clan Jade Falcon second-line garrison forces during the invasion. This field modification removed all Inner Sphere weaponry, without altering any structural components of the original RFL-3N, and instead carried two Clan-tech Large Pulse Lasers and LB 5-X ACs split between the arms.[16] BV (2.0) = 1,335[17]
  • RFL-4D 
    The 4D was the first of two variants designed by Hanse Davion; introduced in 3021, it was intended to compete with the heavier Warhammer. It replaced the autocannon/5s with PPCs and removed the medium lasers, using the freed-up weight to mount an five extra heat sinks. In spite of the extra heat sinks, this model suffered from significant overheat problems.[18] BV (1.0) = 869,[13] BV (2.0) = 1,173[19]
  • RFL-5D 
    A recovered-technology version of the RFL-4D, the 5D was introduced in 3050 for the Federated Commonwealth. Based on the earlier 4D, it replaces the PPCs with ER PPC models and restores the original model's medium lasers to the side torsos. A 240-rated XL engine was used to free up weight for the mounting of seventeen double heat sinks and an increase in armor protection to nine tons. Production of this model was taken up by Kallon Industries on Talon, Trellshire Industires on Twycross and Red Devil Industries on Pandora.[9][20] BV (1.0) = 1,115,[13] BV (2.0) = 1,395[21]
  • RFL-5M 
    The 5M is another product of the Gray Death Memory Core technology boon, built by Kallon Industries at Thermopolis for the Free Worlds League. Introduced in 3049, it retained the same energy weapons as the original 3N but replaced the standard autocannons with Imperator Ultra models; though the ammunition load remained a single ton, it was moved to the right torso and protected by CASE. Twelve double heat sinks were mounted and another ton of Kallon Royalstar armor was carried. The free weight for all these changes was created by the use of an Hermes 240 XL Engine. One thing which wasn't replace however were the Garret comms and targeting systems.[9][22] BV (1.0) = 1,062,[4] BV (2.0) = 1,227[23]
  • RFL-6D 
    This production model of the 6X introduced in 3069 replaces the Small Lasers with a head-mounted C3 Slave to aid it in targeting. It leaves everything else except for the autocannon intact. They are replaced with a pair of Mydron Snakekiller Light Autocannon/5s in each arm. Each arm is fed by three-ton ammunition bins, each of which are protected by CASE. The large ammunition bins allow a variety of ammunition types to used.[24][25] BV (2.0) = 1,274[26]
  • RFL-6X 
    Besides the 8D model the 6X was another experimental design by Kallon's Talon plant, intended as a fast-response anti-aircraft 'Mech and introduced in 3063. Its top speed was increased to 87 km/h through the use of a larger XL engine and its chassis replaced in favor of an Endo Steel model. It carried dual LB 10-X autocannons with four tons of ammunition, paired with ER Medium, and ER Small Lasers.[10][27] BV (1.0) = 1,275,[13] BV (2.0) = 1,464[28]
  • RFL-8D 
    The definitive "Project Phoenix" model, the 8D is intended as more of a line unit. It mounts two Mydron Model RC Rotary Autocannon/5s with six tons of ammunition split between the arms, a pair of Bright-Blossom ER Medium Lasers also mounted in either arm, eleven double heat sinks and twelve tons of Kallon Royalstar armor, the heaviest of any known Rifleman variant. Until the arrival of the 7X, it was also the only known Rifleman variant to mount jump jets, with two in either leg for a total jumping distance of 120 meters. To carry all this additional weight, the 8D uses a Kallon Type XV Endo Steel chassis and Hermes 240 XL engine, although it still mounts the same excellent Garret electronics.[33][34][32] BV (1.0) = 1,664,[13] BV (2.0) = 1,777[35]

Custom Variants[edit]

  • RFL-X3 Rifleman MUSE WIND 
    The Rifleman MUSE WIND was an experiment to combine Clan and Inner Sphere equipment in a production 'Mech. An Inner Sphere produced chassis, XL Engine, XL Gyro, double heat sinks, and Jump Jets form the core of the 'Mech. The Ferro-Fibrous armor that maximizes protection comes from the Clans, as does the weaponry: Each arm mounts a HAG/20 and the torso-mounted medium lasers are Clan Medium Pulse Lasers. The HAG ammo is protected by an Inner Sphere CASE system. BV (2.0) = 2,012[40]
  • RFL-3N-2 Rifleman II Kataga 
    This Rifleman II was used by Major General Carlos Kataga, the SLDF officer in charge of the New Dallas garrison before the Amaris Civil War.[41] It was broadly similar to the standard Rifleman II, but instead of having an LB-X autocannon and Large Pulse Laser in each arm, it traded these for a pair of Large Pulse Lasers in the left arm and a Gauss Rifle in the right arm. Four Jump Jets allowed it to cover 120 meters in a jump, and it was protected by fifteen tons of armor. BV (2.0) = 1,991[42]

Related BattleMechs[edit]

  • Rifleman IIC - One of the 'Mechs the SLDF took with them when they left the Inner Sphere was the Rifleman. The Clan variant is five tons heavier and mounts four Large Pulse Lasers, jump jets, and an active probe. BV (2.0) = 2,122
  • Rifleman III - A Rim Worlds Republican design, this was a prototype Assault BattleMech which was equipped with stealth system and Gauss Rifles. Only a single unit was produced, which was forgotten in course of time after the liberation of Terra.[45]

Notable Pilots[edit]

Design Quirks[edit]

The RFL-1N Rifleman variant is subject to the following Design Quirks:[7]

BattleMech Gallery[edit]


  1. Field Manual: 3145, p. 189, "Fronc Reaches"
  2. MUL online date for the Rifleman
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 Technical Readout: 3039, p. 293-294, "RFL-3N Rifleman"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Combat Operations, p. 121
  5. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 473
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Technical Readout: 3025, p. 82
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 4 p. 5, "RFL-1N Rifleman"
  8. Technical Readout: 3025, p. 88
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Technical Readout: 3050, p. 150
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, p. 38
  11. Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 4, p. 22
  12. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 134
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Combat Operations, p. 127
  14. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 472
  15. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 111
  16. The Battle for Twycross, pp. 46 & 48
  17. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 121
  18. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 136
  19. Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, p. 474
  20. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 137
  21. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 111
  22. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 138
  23. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 113
  24. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 139
  25. 25.0 25.1 Technical Readout: 3085, p. 250
  26. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 114
  27. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 140
  28. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 115
  29. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 141
  30. Combat Operations, p. 130
  31. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 116
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Technical Readout: 3085, p. 251
  33. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 142
  34. Technical Readout: Project Phoenix, p. 27
  35. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 118
  36. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 119
  37. Record Sheets: Phoenix Upgrades, p. 143
  38. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 120
  39. Record Sheets: 3085 Unabridged — Project Phoenix, p. 122
  40. Experimental Technical Readout: Davion, p. 5
  41. Historical Turning Points: New Dallas, p. 2
  42. Historical Turning Points: New Dallas, p. 18
  43. Technical Readout: 3075, p. 169
  44. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 30
  45. Experimental Technical Readout: Gunslingers - Basic Info on the Rifleman III.