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Heavy bolter

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Bolt Weapons: Bolt pistols - Boltguns - Storm bolters - Heavy Bolters - Psycannons - Hurricane Bolters - Vulcan Mega-bolters - Other bolt weapons
Heavy Bolter[11]

General information

The Heavy Bolter (also known as Back Breaker[15]) is an enormous version of the Boltgun. Of much larger size and weight, the heavy bolter fires powerful armor-piercing fist-sized bolts at the enemy with a staggering rate of fire.[7][6]

The heavy bolter is generally used for anti-infantry or fire support roles, also known as the "Back Breaker" or the "Bruiser" by the crew who have to carry it because of its great weight - but also because of the heavy punishment it can deal out to the enemy.[1] It fires a round considerably larger than that of the standard bolter shell, with more propellant and longer range and higher stopping power, making it capable of destroying light vehicles.[5][8] Because of its high rate of fire, jamming is often a problem.[5] Like all bolt weapons, heavy bolters require regular maintenance and ancient litanies to appease their spirits.[5] It is seldom seen outside military organizations.[8]

The most modern version of the heavy bolter in wide spread use is the Astartes Mk Ivc. The weapon goes through rounds very quickly using either a disintegrating belt or 40-round high capacity box magazine.[4]

Imperial Bolter designs

Accatran Pattern

The Accatran pattern MkVd heavy bolter is used by the 99th Elysian Drop Troops Regiment. It features an integral bipod for sustained firing and a sight inside of the carrying handle. The ammunition used by this weapon is anti-vehicle: self-propelled, mass-reactive, high-explosive, and armour-piercing.[9]

Accatran pattern MkVd[9]

Astartes MK IVa

Astartes MK IVa[1]

Executor Heavy Bolter

The Executor Heavy Bolter is a pattern of heavy bolter used by Primaris Space Marine Heavy Intercessors.[20]

Jove Mk III

This shoulder-braced pattern is in use with the Adepta Sororitas.

Jove Mk III Heavy Bolter

Godwyn Pattern


Hellstorm Heavy Bolter

The Hellstorm Heavy Bolter is a pattern of heavy bolter used by Primaris Space Marine Heavy Intercessors.[20]

Infernus Heavy Bolter

The Infernus Heavy Bolter is a pattern of heavy bolter used by the Deathwatch. These weapons are mag-clamped with rare suspensor discs that reduce the weapon's weight considerably. It is also equipped with a Heavy Flamer.[16]

Infernus Heavy Bolter


The Maxima MkIV heavy bolter is used by the Space Marines, including the Mantis Warriors' Tactical Squads.[10]

Maxima MkIV[10]

Requiem Pattern

The MK IV Requiem Pattern Heavy Bolter generally sees more use in the hands of the Dark Angel chapter, their dedication to scripture and lore far surpassing most other chapters. The special incense burned in the censor has gained the nickname “Uzziel’s breath”, and is said to be calming and to sharpen focus. [14]

Requiem Pattern[14]



Sol Militaris Pattern

Shoulder-mounted; .75 cal, selective fire; suppression/anti-personnel. Issued to Legiones Astartes during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.[12a]


Voss-Incarnadine Pattern

Issued to Legiones Astartes during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.[12b]

Heresy-era Voss-Incarnadine Heavy Bolter

Massada Pattern 'Firefury'

Mounted on the Mark V Phobos Pattern Land Raiders.[17]

Assault Bolter

The Assault Bolter is a miniaturized version of the Heavy Bolter used by Primaris Space Marines.

More heavy bolter designs

Due to the fact that in most cases specific heavy bolter images are not labelled, unnamed designs are collected here, grouped by outward similarity.


Heavy Bolter Ammunition
Name Notes/Effects
Standard Bolts Standard bolts use the same outer casing, propellant base, main charge, mass reactive detonator cap, depleted deuterium core, and diamantine tip as Boltgun rounds, but with a larger calibre.[6]
Hellfire Rounds Replaces the core and tip of the standard bolt round with a vial of mutagenic acid, and thousands of needles that fire into the target's flesh on impact, pumping the acid into the target. Developed specially to combat Tyranids, Hellfire Rounds have equally devastating results on other organic targets.[1][2]
Shrapnel Bolts Bolts designed to form a blast of shrapnel. Used by the Iron Warriors during the Great Crusade.[18]
Assassin Bolts Hypersonic rounds used by the Minotaurs that replace the standard propellant with short-burn magna-fusion charges and the mass-reactive warhead (which would not endure the fusion discharge) with solid slugs. Due to their extreme speed and density, they are both highly destructive and extremely accurate.[19]