A Brief History
Pulse rifle and pulse pistol are often used to mean a raygun.
The terms refer to various science fiction weapons:
- M41A “Pulse Rifle”, an assault rifle in the motion picture Aliens that uses 10 mm caseless ammunition and is fitted with a pump-action grenade launcher. In the film’s original script, however, it was described as a plasma weapon.1 This weapon, slightly modified, was also used in the Archer episode “Space Race” from Season 3.
- Phased plasma rifle as described by Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s character in The Terminator.
- The pulse rifle and pulse pistol are the primary weapons used by the United Earth Oceans Organization and others on the television series seaQuest DSV.2
- Pulse rifles and “pulsers” are the standard-issue weapons in the Honorverse, although they fire an explosive dart via a gravitic coilgun rather than a pulse of plasma.
- The Combine Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifle (O.S.I.P.R) is an heavy assault rifle-esque directed-energy weapon using “Pulse shots” as ammunition in the game Half-Life 2 and its sequels.
- The Adept pulse rifle from the D.A.S.H. Project universe is a combined plasma/kinetic weapon that electromagnetically energizes and accelerates charged projectiles (commonly referred to by soldiers as brights) that deliver an intense electrical charge and explosion to the target.
- In the fictional Warhammer 40,000 universe, the pulse rifle, carbine, and pistol are standard infantry weapons for the Tau race.3
- The pulse rifle and pulse pistol are the primary weapons used by the Peacekeepers and others on the television show Farscape.
- The pulse rifle is a weapon in the Blade Runner video game.
- Pulse rifle is a weapon used by the geth in the Mass Effect series; it is a further (and exotic) development of “mass accelerator” weapons used by other races.
- The M16 Mk. II Pulse Rifle is used by both the Global Defence Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod’s Light Infantry in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun.
- In the EA game Dead Space the “SWS-Motorized Pulse Rifle” is a military-grade (the only true weapon in the whole game) rifle with high ammo capacity (up to 175 rounds per magazine) and a high rate of fire, but inferior at dismemberment – the crucial in-game tactical tool. It is a kinetic weapon, and in Dead Space 2, it has a grenade launcher mode.
- In the Unreal universe, the Pulse Gun, later known as the Link Gun, is a plasma rifle of unknown origin that shoots plasma blasts, and also features a secondary firing mode, releasing a steady arc of plasma, similar to those released inside a Plasma Ball, but green in color, taking twice the ammunition per second, and inflicting half the damage.
- Also in the Battlefield 2 mod “AIX2” the pulse rifle is an Easter egg weapon that you find in the map “damocles”; it fires bullets and has a semi-auto shotgun attached.
- In the free-to-play PC game Loadout, Pulse is one of the 4 basic gun chassis. In this game, however, the pulse shots are not energy-based by default, and instead resemble small spiked cannonballs that travel slower than standard bullets.
- In the game Destiny, pulse rifle is one of the primary weapons used on a character.
- In the game Overwatch, The Player Character Tracer fires Dual 20-Round Pulse Pistols.
- Also in the game Overwatch, The Player Character Soldier 76 fires a 25-Round Pulse Rifle.
- In the Fallout Series there have been many versions of Pulse Weaponry, from Pulse Grenades in every game, to the harder to find Pulse Guns and Pulse Rifles.
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