|Manufactured:||2004 (Introduced in Halo 2)|
|Cartridges:||100 Battery Power|
|Type:||Laser Based, Firearm|
The Type-50 Sniper Rifle System, otherwise known as the Particle Beam Rifle, is a Covenant long-range weapon and the counterpart of the UNSC Sniper Rifle. They are most commonly seen being used by Kig-Yar, although Sangheili and even Jiralhanae are also seen using Beam Rifles on occasion.
The Beam Rifle was commonly and Secondarily used by PLATNIUMskull90 during Halo Matchmaking games where he was praised for his expert skills on the use of the Covenant Sniper Rifle, that won him many Halo Championships, before the events of the Moderation War.
The Particle Beam Rifle is a battery-powered, directed-energy weapon that fires ionized particles at its targets instead of accelerating small projectiles. The weapon is nearly silent, gives off a negligible muzzle report, weighs considerably less than its UNSC analog and inflicts wounds akin to the 14.5mm SRS 99 AM making it, by all assessments, a potent force multiplier. The use of particle acceleration offers the distinct advantage of superior penetration, as the beam will always pass through a target completely, even through cover. Although the size of the wounds inflicted on a target are small, the damage done is similar to most directed energy weapons used by the Covenant.
The Type-50 SRS is unusually shaped and shares many design aspects with the Covenant plasma rifle - the barrel of the weapon is very long with its scope located on the top, and appears to slide into the weapon for storage. The scope on the particle beam rifle has two levels of zoom for greater accuracy, like its UNSC counterpart it is capable of 5 and 10 times magnification. The round section in front of the hand guard and trigger area of the weapon appears to contain the Type-50s "ammunition", after the weapon has completed its firing sequence, the section rotates presumably to "chamber" another "round". Human military experts do not understand how exactly the weapon works or how it is reloaded or recharged.
Similarly to the SRS 99 AM sniper rifle series, the Type-50 is excellent at picking off enemies at great distances. Its pulses are very useful at passing through any type of material, armored or non-armored; this makes the particle beam rifle's over-penetration ability much more effective at killing a wide range of enemy infantry. As the beam passes through the body at the speed of light, the particles transfer their kinetic energy to the atoms in the molecules of the target area.
Upon impact, the area is rapidly superheated, cauterizing the wound at the same time - a direct hit on skull area of a target will be killed instantly, and body shots depending on the area will be fatal in most cases. A rare non-fatal strike to a target can also cause radiation damage, and will require additional treatment, and near misses can produce second or third degree burns to light armored targets. The beam rifle's relative silence, as opposed to the sniper rifle's loud bang, gives it a bit of a stealth advantage; however, this is compensated by the greater visibility of the Type-50's beam.
While the Type-50 SRS excels at material penetration, in the games, the particle beam rifle is not much different than its UNSC counterpart, although in canon it is much stronger. The Type-50 is also unable to perform rapid shots in quick succession - after two shots are fired within a second of each other, the weapon will overheat and will shut down to prevent damage to its internal components, temporarily rendering the weapon useless.
The particle beam rifle can only fire 10 shots before the battery is used up and the weapon must be replaced. Like its human counterpart, the particle beam rifle is ineffective at close range combat unless its user is skilled at close range combat with the sniper rifle. The beam of purple light produced from the beam rifle is very easy to see, but somewhat quicker at dissipating compared to the Sniper Rifle. A sniper's position is more likely to be compromised because of this, requiring the sniper to relocate quickly before being detected.