OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: To create a versatile infantry weapon for the First Order Army
- Image Source
- Canon Link: N/A
- Permissions: N/A
- Primary Source: N/A
- Manufacturer: Oxidation Industries
- Affiliation: First Order
- Market Status: Open Market
- Model: MWS Mk1
- Modularity: Yes (See below)
- Production: Minor
- Material: Blaster/Slugthrower Components
- Classification: Infantry Rifle
- Size: Average
- Weight: Heavy
- Ammunition Type: Proprietary 6x45mm cartridges
- Ammunition Capacity: Average
- Effective Range: Average
- Rate of Fire: Low
- Damage Output: Very High
- Recoil: Average
- Extreme versatility
- Excellent stopping power and accuracy
- Rugged and reliable
- Jack Of All Trades- The MWS Mk1 is designed from the ground up to be infinitely configurable for a variety of roles. By swapping out the barrel and the bolt carrier, it can go from a blaster rifle (thanks to the proprietary tibanna cartridges provided by OxI) to slugthrower, with nearly infinite variations in between. It can serve as anything from a designated marksman rifle to a stealth carbine to a squad automatic weapon. Converting to the SAW role takes longer, but the included parts kit makes the job simple. The external shell that protects the inner workings from dirt and debris are also changeable, based on the needs of the mission.
- Stopping Power- Thanks to the proprietary tibanna cartridges, the MWS Mk1 boasts exceptional stopping power in blaster configuration, though somewhat less in slugthrower configuration thanks to the design limits of the helical magazine. Which is not to say that the slugs are less effective than others of their kind, just that they skew closer to average in terms of energy delivery.
- Accuracy- The cold hammer forged barrel is, by necessity, free floating within the external shell. This allows for excellent mechanical accuracy at just about any range it's capable of hitting. To further increase accuracy, the trigger group has finely machined to provide a crisp, light break in semi auto, and a longer, more deliberate pull for automatic fire.
- Rugged- Thanks to her simplified gas piston operating system, the MWS Mk1 is much more reliable under adverse conditions than the typical infantry blaster rifle. She has no internal electronics to be shorted out by ion blasts, and her adjustable gas system allows the user to keep her running even when filthy on the inside.
- Master Of None- Like most designs of its type, the MWS Mk1 will suffer in some roles compared to more specialized weapons. Compromises made in the design process to allow for versatility directly impact performance when it comes to things like rate of fire, cooling, and ballistics from shorter barrels.
- Handling- For her class, the MWS Mk1 is on the heavy side. What's more, her weight is oddly distributed. Not enough to make her unwieldy, but certainly enough to throw off someone used to a more conventional rifle. Her weight also makes her more difficult to handle on long marches, or in sustained combat.
- Small Magazines- Due to the design limitations imposed by the cartridge system, the MWS Mk1 holds far fewer shots per magazine than the typical infantry blaster rifle. Once again, her stats skew closer to average when in slugthrower configuration, but against blasters of a similar size and weight, she'll have to be reloaded more often.
- Depot Queen- In those rare occasions when she does break, the MWS Mk1 breaks hard. Anything that can't be fixed by remedial action, cleaning, or swapping out the barrel and bolt will require a trip to the unit armorer. Battlefield kludge jobs are extremely ill advised.
The Modular Weapons System Mk1 is the ultimate answer in versatility. One receiver can be anything from a repeating blaster to a suppressed carbine, all with a single armorer's tool.
At its heart is a short stroke gas piston operating system. Backpressure created by the firing process sends a blast of hot gas into the gas port, located on the barrel, which in turn drives a short stroke gas piston backwards. That smacks the bolt, which travels to the rear of the receiver. The recoil spring and buffer absorb the energy, and once its spent, launch the bolt back forwards into the chamber. When the bolt travels to the rear, the spent casing is ejected, and when it moves forward, a fresh one is stripped from the magazine and slapped into the chamber.
If the short stroke gas piston is the heart of the weapon, then its blood is the proprietary 6x45mm cartridge. Both blaster and slug cartridges share the same external dimensions. The difference is in the payload.
The blaster cartridges contain neither bullet nor propellent, and are capped with a plastoid dome that vaporizes when the weapon is fired. Each cartridge contains a measure of tibanna gas and a small capacitor that acts as a primer. When the "primer" is struck by the firing pin, a jolt of energy is sent through the tibanna gas, which energizes and produces the bolt. The barrel imparts stability and accuracy as the bolt travels through it. As the bolt passes down, the intense heat creates a pressure wave, which allows the bolt carrier group to cycle and the process to repeat. However, the pressure is far gentler than the pressures produced by the slug cartridge, so a lighter, more heat resistant bolt carrier group must be used in blaster mode. Since each cartridge contains and uses about five times more tibanna gas than is typical in a traditional blaster, the bolts are noticeably more powerful, taking on a bright cyan hue.
The slugthrower cartridges are functionally identical to standard slugthrower rounds, save that the bullets are designed to be far more accurate than the standard battle rifle round. The 6mm bullets have an excellent ballistic coefficient, giving them excellent accuracy even at the extreme edges of their effective range, and while their stopping power is middling, their ability to produce repeated hits makes up the difference.
Both projectiles are loaded from a helical magazine located at the bottom of the receiver. Each magazine holds twenty rounds. In order to prevent accidental crossloading, the feed ramps on both magazine types are designed to only allow their specific type of ammunition to pass. What's more, the feed ramps are color coded, making it extremely unlikely that mistakes will be made. To prevent cross loading with the wrong bolt carrier group installed, the spring pressures on the magazines are different. The lighter buffer springs integral to the blaster BCG don't have enough force to strip a slugthrower cartridge out of the magazine, and the lugs on the rifle BCG are slightly higher, causing them to scrape over blaster rounds rather than picking them up. In both cases, loading magazines is enough of a pain that the user will want to pay close attention to what they're doing. LEDs on the side indicate the number of rounds remaining. However, they may be switched off to reduce the light signature during combat.
To change configurations, the user simply uses the included armorer's tool to pop out the retention pins on the external shell, to access the receiver internals, slide the bolt carrier group out of its rails, and unscrew the barrel nut. Headspace and timing are set at the factory, so as long as the user is capable of lining up the appropriate lugs with their appropriate slots, it's not an issue. The armorer's tool has a built in torque wrench function, so all the user has to do is keep turning until the wrench beeps and they're good to go.
Standard rifleman kits include two bolt carriers and two standard length barrels, one for blaster configuration, and one for rifle. Automatic rifleman kits include the above, as well as a pair of heavy barrels, and a belt feeding mechanism that replaces the magazine. Installing the belt feeder is a significantly more labor intensive process. It's not difficult for anyone with a room temperature IQ, but it is time consuming. For distance work, there's a DMR kit, with longer, lighter slug barrel. The CQB kit comes with a pair of short bull barrels, one for each possible configuration. The commando kit comes with all of the above, plus an integrally suppressed slug barrel that uses gas diverters in the baffles to render the slug subsonic. Each kit also comes with an appropriate outer shell that allows the user to configure the external appearance to match the function of the job.
The endless versatility of the MWS Mk1 is its single greatest strength. It can be called to fill most roles on the battlefield, and in skilled hands, perform admirably in each of them. It might not be as effective as dedicated weapons in certain jobs, but it'll get the job done, and drastically simplify logistics in the process.