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Plasma gun

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Imperial Diagram of a Plasma Gun[11]

Plasma gun is a generic term for a two-handed, rifle-like, plasma based weapon used by the forces of the Imperium as well as Chaos in a support role.


An uncommon weapon, even in the ranks of the Imperial Guard or Adeptus Astartes, most extant plasma guns are hundreds if not thousands of years old. As a testament to their design, they remain as deadly today as the day of their fabrication.[23c].

Aesthetically they appear to be stubby and rather clunky, with a ribbed back and flared cooling vents along the front. Hydrogen flasks stick out of the butt and bottom of the weapon.[7] These flasks generally contain enough fuel for at least 10 shots before needing to be replaced.[6] An alternative to using plasma flasks, it can use a backpack with a feed line.[20]

Plasma guns can generally be fired in two modes: standard mode (the normal and safest), or a higher-powered blast with a longer range and higher temperature. The latter requiring a short time to replenish the plasma back to firing levels.[29a]

The weapon fires a highly energized ball of hydrogen-based plasma.[1b] Plasma guns, like most plasma weaponry, work by energizing (heating) liquid hydrogen fuel into plasma that is held in the weapon by powerful magnetic containment fields. When fired, the fields dilate open and the plasma is ejected via a linear electromagnetic accelerator in a bolt of superheated matter akin to a solar flare in appearance and temperature.[29a] Emergency cooling ducts and exhaust vents periodically expel excess heat from the gun.[11]

The weapon is useful against both heavily armoured infantry and light armoured vehicles. In combat, a plasma gun is capable of heavily damaging Tau Battlesuits, Tyranid assault organisms, Ork Meganobs, APCs, and light tanks[11]


A Plasma Gun overheating[23b]

Generally, Imperial models are prone to overheating with continual firing and can cause severe injury or death to the user should they experience such a meltdown. When the weapon reaches critical temperatures, it will release a cloud of super-heated vapour.[11] Imperial Guardsmen consider it a dubious honor to be chosen as a squad's plasma gunner for this exact reason.[2] Astartes push the limits of their own resilience by using hydrogen in a "higher quantum state" than standard Imperial patterns.[29a]

In the event of overheating, the weapon is likely to survive, though the wielder is often less fortunate.[23c] Space Marines are at least afforded a degree of protection against these catastrophic overheats because of their power armour, the ceramite plates and hard seals usually limiting the damage to their surroundings. Even so, an overheat can still kill or maim a Space Marine, especially if the exhaust vents clog or the coils crack from the intense heat. For less protected soldiers, like Imperial Guardsmen, overheating plasma guns are almost always fatal. In rare cases, plasma guns are even capable of detonating if they get too hot. This may occur as a result of excessive firing, but can also be the result of a flaw during manufacture. Should the casing crack or the magnetic containment fail, the firer will have only a fraction of a second before the gun turns into a ball of blazing energy in his hands, consuming itself with the heat of a star and vaporizing everything with reach.[11]

In addition to the dangers of an overheat, plasma guns are difficult to reload. Only with the requisite prayers should the hydrogen flasks be screwed into place, their unstable ammunition all too prone to spilling or fouling the plasma intakes. An incorrectly attached flask can cause the weapon to explode the first time it is fired, as an empty or partially filled magnetic chamber creates inescapable pressure that will tear the gun apart in addition to its user. Removing a flask is also dangerous, as even a small amount of plasma leaking out of a broken seal or an incorrectly closed valve can burn away a hand or cost the shooter several fingers. For these reasons, plasma guns are slow and difficult to load or unload on the battlefield, a task often best left to a Techmarine or Tech-Priest and long hours of binary prayer. In combat, a Space Marine can rely on a plasma gun for a dozen or so consecutive shots before the flask starts to run dry, and he runs the risk of triggering a catastrophic overheat.[11]

Imperial Plasma Gun Patterns

Ragefire Pattern

Ragefire Pattern Plasma Gun[29b]

The most common model of this uncommon technology, Ragefire pattern plasma guns are often deployed by the Adeptus Astartes in situations where raw takedown power is required against highly resistant or armoured enemies.[29b]

MK II Ragefire Pattern

MK II Ragefire Pattern Plasma Gun[9]

The MK II Ragefire Pattern is a pattern that was used by the Raptors Space Marine chapter during the Badab War.[9]

MK XII Ragefire Pattern

MK XII Ragefire Pattern Plasma Gun used by the Wolf Guard[12b]

The MK XII Ragefire is a common plasma gun pattern used by the Adeptus Astartes, with it being found in the armories of many chapters. It is capable of holding up to 100 shots before needing to reload, firing up to 16 shots before overheating, would refuse to fire once overheated (to prevent explosive weapon failure), and could be manually vented to release heat build up. When overcharged this pattern loses effective range and ammo efficiency, but the plasma bolt fired is hotter and causes a damaging explosion upon impacting the target.[3]

MK V Mars Pattern

MK V Mars Pattern[1b]

The MK V Mars Pattern plasma gun is used by the Dark Angels and Red Scorpions.[1b][5c]

MK I Apollo Pattern

MK I Apollo Pattern[16]

First adopted by the Blood Angels, the MK I Apollo Pattern Plasma Gun was created design by one of their lesser known Techpriests. The weapon gained popularity with other “fire based” chapters, like the Salamanders, when it was shown to have a “molten lava” like effect when fired on most worlds. While the blue-white coils burn hotter than standard blue plasma weapons, resulting in a longer damage over time effect, they are also prone to overheating faster.[16]

MK VI Sunwolf Pattern

MK VI Sunwolf Pattern.jpg[10]

Plasma Guns and the blazing bolts of energy they fire are very popular with the Space Wolves, who as mortals revered the sun just as much as the moon, and take any excuse to grant the foe the searing kiss of the Wolf's Eye.[10]

Ryza Thunderbolt Pattern

Ryza Thunderbolt Pattern[17b]

Used by the Legio Astartes during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.[17b]

M35 Magnacore Pattern

M35 Magnacore Pattern Plasma Gun with plasma flasks[6]

The M35 Magnacore Pattern is the standard issue plasma gun of the Cadian Shock Troops.[6]

M35 Magnacore Mk II Plasma Gun

M35 Magnacore Mk II Plasma Gun[43a]

Firing an energized ball of hydrogen-based plasma along a linear electromagnetic accelerator, plasma guns are deadly, if prone to dangerous overheating.[43b]

M35 Magnacore Mk III Plasma Gun

Similar to the Mk III Magnacore plasma gun.

MK I Accatran Pattern

Less commonly seen among the ranks of the Elysian Drop Troops, this pattern is used as the main weapon of a regiment's Veterans.[5]

MK II Accatran Pattern

MK II Accatran Pattern[12a]

The MK II Accatran Pattern is the standard plasma gun of the Elysian Drop Troops. It is an improvement over the MK I due to an attached carrying handle (which also houses the weapon's optic) and optional bipod. Two photonic hydrogen fuel cells screw in underneath the weapon.[12b]

MK IId Accatran Pattern

MK IId Accatran Pattern[18]

The MK IId Accatran Pattern Plasma Gun was special issued to and used by the Death Korps of Krieg's 134th Heavy Infantry Regiment's Thamyris Taskforce during the Necron invasion of the Orpheus Sector sometime before 998.M41.[18]

Mezoa Pattern Plasma Gun

Mezoa Pattern Plasma Gun[24]

This is a squad-support weapon intended for use by battlefleet armsmen, which has subsequently found extensive use in the private cadres of many Rogue Traders and with renegades and pirates wealthy or fortunate enough to acquire them.[24]

Nihilus Pattern Plasma Gun

Nihilus Pattern Plasma Gun[36]

The Nihilus Pattern Plasma Gun is used by House Van Saar of Necromunda.[36]

Asandre Pattern Plasma Gun

Following its acceptance of the Imperial Creed, the world of Asandre underwent a period of radical technological advancement as Jollus Marquette brought the planet into the fold of the Imperium of Man. With the help of adepts of the Mechanicus, Asandres already burgeoning industrial capacity was vastly improved and turned to manufacturing arms and military equipment. Among the weapons manufactured on Asandre are plasma guns modeled on the venerable Mezoa-pattern. Unfortunately, some defect in the plans and schematics provided by the Tech-Priests resulted in unforeseen fluctuations in the weapon's power output, resulting in somewhat irregular blasts. The defect has been noted by the adepts assigned to Asandre, but the manufactorums continue to produce these plasma guns nevertheless.[27]

MK IV Clovis Pattern

Mk.IV Clovis Pattern Plasma Gun[37]

While the Clovis Munitorum is deservedly known for its shoddy and low-quality manufacturing, this gun represents a genuine attempt to imitate an ancient high-quality weapon using recently-sanctified designs discovered just decades earlier. The goal of manufacturing a more powerful plasma gun met with failure, however, given the near-impossible task of properly applying the underlying holy sciences involved; the Dark Age of Technology still remains a shadowy beacon over humanity which may never be grasped. The Mark IV pattern nevertheless became an accidental success of sorts, as its weaker collimation system produces smaller, more diffuse plasma spurts. Though it has lesser power than standard (and better manufactured) plasma weapons, the Mark IV allows the user to spray several blasts with one shot, providing effective suppressive fire against even heavily-entrenched enemies.[8]

Quinspirus Pattern

Quinspirus Pattern Plasma Gun[39]

The Quinspirus Pattern Plasma Gun is used by House Orlock of Necromunda[39]

Sequana Sub-Type

Sequana Plasma Gun[38]

Used by House Escher of Necromunda.[38]

Mars Pattern MK III Sunfury Assault Plasma Gun

A high-power weapon issued to Imperial Guard units facing heavily armoured foes. The Sunfury can spit out plasma bolts capable of destroying even light vehicles with ease, although its rate of fuel consumption is high. Its reputation grew in the Calixis Sector when it was used great effect during the Meritates Uprising along the Ixaniad border several hundred years ago against the augmetic reavers of the savage Meritech clans.[20]

Dekker Pattern Plasma Gun

A rare Baal-variant model. The Dekker Pattern Plasma Gun is a thickset, twin-core design. The weapon’s cowling is enameled in blood red, and dressed with a skull emblem in beaten gold. An example of this weapon is carried by Blood Angel Sergeant Rafen, which has etched below the skull emblem the name of a missing Blood Angel hero: Brother-Captain Aryon.[32]

Gantic Pattern Plasma Gun

The Gantic Pattern Plasma Gun is used by House Van Saar of Necromunda and named after a gang master who performed an exceptional service to them.[21]

Luther Pattern

Used by the Astra Militarum, Luther Pattern plasma weapons are known to leave the hands of long-time operators with distinctive scarring.[35]

Burning Sun

Burning Sun Plasma Gun[42]

A highly modifiable plasma gun pattern, popular amongst the gangers and hired guns of Necromunda. Associated with the ganger's of House Escher.[42]

Squat Plasma Gun Patterns

Etacarn Plasma Gun

Etacarn Pattern Plasma Gun[40]

The Etacarn Plasma Gun is a Leagues of Votann plasma weapon that has superior performance to its Imperial counterpart.[40]

Etacarn Plasma Beamer


Plasma Blaster

Plasma Blaster[20]

A unique variant crafted as a combi-weapon, it incorporates two plasma guns which, when fired together, give twice the effective damage, but also at a higher risk to the user. The guns share the same fuel canisters, lowering the weight of the weapon but keeping the number of shots it can fire to roughly the same as a regular plasma gun.[20]

Ryza Hellshot Plasma Blaster

Ryza Hellshot Pattern Plasma Blaster[17a]

The Ryza 'Hellshot' Pattern Plasma Blaster was available for personal requistion by Legio Astartes during the Great Crusade.[17a]

MK III Belisarius Pattern Plasma Incinerator

MK III Belisarius Pattern[18]
Main article: Plasma Incinerator

Developed by Magos Belisarius Cawl, it is a refinement of the older Plasma Gun design and the most advanced of its kind in the Imperial arsenal. The Plasma Incinerator fires a potent armour-melting blast with no risk of overload, though safety can not be assured when it is fired on an overloaded charge setting. The plasma incinerator comes in multiple variants of its own.[26]

Barrage Plasma Gun

Barrage Plasma Guns are rare and venerated Plasma Weapons, jealously guarded by the Techmarines of the Jericho Reach Deathwatch, and issued only to the most honoured Space Marines. They are highly-tuned, rapid-fire weapons that can lay down incredible volumes of plasma energy. While their ability to fire in semi-automatic and automatic modes make them both versatile and deadly, they use an immense amount of energy and are more prone to overheating than a typical plasma weapon. Deathwatch Space Marines see this as a small price to pay for the ability to spray volleys of plasma energy into xenos enemies.[19]

Plasma Repeater

A double-barreled, fully automatic, short ranged, plasma weapon. Developed during the Age of Strife and sanctioned for use only by the Dark Angels during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.[25]

Phased Plasma Rifle

One of the more dangerous special issue weapons within the Crimson Guard, the Phased Plasma Rifle foes away with many of the drawbacks common to Imperial plasma weaponry, all but eliminating the need for recharging, and significantly reducing the excess heat that conventional plasma weapons tend to generate. This technology is guarded jealously, and since it was rediscovered the Tech-Priests of the Lathes have refused any attempts to adapt the technology for more general use. From their perspective, the Phased Plasma Rifle is a weapon of purity, and to change it in any way would defile the machine-spirits that drive each weapon. With the Adeptus Mechanicus' glacial opinion unlikely to change, this weapon will remain only within the hands of the Crimson Guard.[30]

Selvanus Pattern “Sentinel” Plasma Rifle

A Cerix Magnus design perfected by the dogmatic scrutiny of Selvanus Binary, the Sentinel pulse rilfe eliminates the usual drawbacks of plasma weaponry by changing the nature of the energy discharge, through smaller pulses rather than large bolts. This pattern also includes a higher rate of fire and a better targeting system. Designed in tandem with the Praetor Armour of the Ebon Guard, Askellian collectors go to great lengths to acquire one.[28]

Notable Plasma Guns


See also



Space Marine Standard Infantry Weapons
Melee Weapons Combat KnifeChainswordChainfistPower SwordPower AxePower MaulPower FistPower LanceThunder HammerLightning ClawsForce SwordForce AxeForce StaveRelic BladeCrozius ArcanumExecutioner Relic BladeOmnissian Power AxeServo-Arm
One-Handed Weapons Boltstorm GauntletFlamestorm GauntletBolt PistolHeavy Bolt PistolAbsolvor Bolt PistolPlasma PistolHand FlamerInferno PistolNeo-Volkite PistolGrav-PistolAssault BolterPlasma ExterminatorPlasma CutterReductor PistolWeb PistolGrapnel Launcher
Two-Handed Weapons BolterAuto Bolt RifleStalker BolterStorm BolterBolt CarbineMarksman Bolt CarbineInstigator Bolt CarbineOcculus Bolt CarbineHeavy Bolt RifleExecutor Bolt RifleHellstorm Bolt RiflePlasma GunPlasma IncineratorAssault Plasma IncineratorFlamerPyreblasterMeltagunMelta RifleGrav-GunAstartes ShotgunScout Sniper RifleBolt Sniper RifleLas-FusilCombi-WeaponWebberVengeance Grenade Launcher
Heavy Weapons Heavy BolterExecutor Heavy BolterHellstorm Heavy BolterHeavy Melta RifleMulti-MeltaHeavy FlamerPyrecannonLascannonAutocannonAccelerator AutocannonHeavy Plasma IncineratorPlasma CannonGrav-CannonMissile Launcher (Superfrag LauncherSuperkrak LauncherVengor Launcher) • Assault Cannon
Attachment Weapons Astartes Grenade LauncherWrist-Mounted Grenade LauncherFragstorm Grenade LauncherGrenade HarnessCastellan LauncherCyclone Missile Launcher
Shields Storm ShieldBoarding ShieldRelic Shield
Grenades/Explosives Frag grenadeKrak grenadeMelta bombHaywire MineShock GrenadeSmoke GrenadeAnti-Plant GrenadeRad GrenadeStasis GrenadeVortex Grenade

Imperial Guard Weaponry
Melee Weapons
One-Handed Weapons
Two-Handed Weapons
Heavy Weapons