Splinter Weaponry are the primary weapon type used by Dark Eldar forces. They all operate around the same general mechanism as a Rail-Gun, splitting off shards of a Neurotoxin that has been solidified into a crystal up into thousands of tiny splinters and then launching them at incredible speeds towards an enemy.1
The common forms of Splinter weaponry found in the battlefield would be the Splinter Rifle, the Splinter Pistol, and the Splinter Cannon. Each of these are used in massive numbers by the average Kabal.
The most common Dark Eldar weapon in the armoury, the Splinter Rifle is used by nearly every citizen of Commorragh at some point in their lives. It's the standard weapon of choice for Kabalite Warriors. The weapon is light-weight and usually sports monomolecular blades for added functionality in melee combat. It features a medium sized ammunition crystal to reduce weight while still maintaining a decent amount of ammo before the user needs to reload.
The gun houses an ammunition disintegration generator to break up the crystal into shards, along with a cyclic ammunition feeder to house the shards before firing. Once fired, it routes the energy used to disintegrate the ammunition crystal through a magno-electric impulse chamber that accelerates the crystal to supersonic speeds, rocketing it towards its intended target.
The Splinter Pistol is the ranged weapon of choice for most the remainder of the Dark Eldar forces, finding frequent use in the ranks of Archons, Wyches, Reaver Jetbikers and most Sybarites and Dracons. Usually paired with a Monomolecular Knife or Claw and used as a pair for added effectiveness in assaults. The Splinter Pistol uses the same ammunition and firing mechanisms as the rifle, although compacted and therefore have shorter range, and with a smaller ammunition crystal to reduce the weight even further. Splinter Pistol crystals are therefore the most frequently impregnated with toxins, as they are the weapons that need the added effect most.
The Shardcarbine has an enlarged barrel able to launch even greater volley of toxic crystal-ammunition than normal Splinter Rifle without interrupting the shooter atall. This weapon has little bit shorter range than splinter rifle and is favoured by Scourges. Some Trueborns prefer this gun over others they would be able to possess.
The Splinter Cannon is the most lethal of the four, and much more expensive to produce, as it incorporates several additions to allow the user to fire this large, bulky weapon even while charging into assault.
The primary additions are a semi-liquid stabilization mechanism housed approximately in the center of the cannon, to provide a counterweight to the constantly fluctuating center of gravity on the weapon. Second, an auto-burst trigger will continue to fire splinters for four to five seconds after it has been pulled, in case the user loses his grip temporarily during the charge. Finally, and possibly most important, is the addition of magneto-impulse directional spines along the barrel, and a secondary power generator housed in the back of the cannon, to prevent stalling or improper functioning. These directional spines provide additional magnetic field stability, preventing the splinters from exiting the barrel traveling at an awkward angle or hitting the inside of the barrel and causing damage to the weapon.
The Splinter Cannon otherwise contains the same mechanism for loading and firing ammunition, and comes with a very large ammunition crystal to allow for extended use of the cannon regardless of its high rate of fire.