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How powerfull is a lasgun actually? In modern day terms as powerfull as an M-16 rifle? can it kill a cat in one shot even? or is it just a stupid laser that hurts people's eyes???
According to fluff, it is supposed to be like an Ak (can be beaten, wet, sandy etc.. and still will work, ie. dependable) but with the power of, say, idk, maybe .30 calibre?
It is supposed to be able to blow off the arm of an exposed human...
-The God of all Machines
dont forget, there are some patterns that can adjust the setting of the charge, ie high, medium, low. In the first Gaunts Ghosts, a Vitrian sets his lasgun at high (which uses up more power, hence less shots) to punch through a chaos space marines armor. Also, there are different types of lasguns...not all are of the same caliber.
As already mentioned, the accepted level of lasgun power is around the "seperate the unarmored arm from the rest of the body" levels of power. So considerably above contemporary levels of firepower.
When it comes down to the jokes about tanning guns, don't forget that realative to a lot of the things in the universe, lasguns arn't that crash-hot..
40k is also a D6 game, so smaller differences can't easily be introduced.
erm lets be clear, las guns dont blow anythign off, the absence of force or explosion on impact, or even impact its self, means no one gets thrown about by them, if you want to gage the power of a las bolt, you have to guage how much material it will burn through
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Since a laser is directed light, I see a lasgun's method of working to be heating a very small part of the target to several thousand degrees almost instantly, creating a shockwave on the target's surface that does the real damage. This mechanic would be devastating against unprotected organisms but would obviously not do much against reinforced metal.
This means a lasgun pulse would be maybe 0.1-0.5 megawatts, which implies one heck of a battery, but I don't think a kilowatt class laser would do more than cook your food.
It makes more sense to use an ion discharge than a light pulse but when the American military played around with it, they found it hard to direct a bolt of lightning. Maybe they solved the problem in the 41st millenium and called it a 'las'.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
Lasguns have reached the point where a single shot to the vitals is fatal for a human with no armour. In real life, a lasgun would burn a bullet sized hole straight through a person. There would be no blood and the victim would not get flung back.
The reason lasguns are bad in 40k is because relative to other technology they are pathetic. The reason the imperium uses them is because like AK's they are cheap, tough and can get the job done well in large numbers.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. And then, there are others...
To put it into perspective, an autogun, equivallent to any modern rifle, does the same base damage as a lasgun in both 40k and Inquisitor. However, a lasgun is more reliable, and carries more ammo.
And Ion weaponry has already been claimed by the Demiurg (and the Tau), so it's clear a lasgun is an actual laser.
On the science.. Suspend disbelief. This is 38-39k years in the future. Is a cheap, efficient laser weapon that much to ask?
However, does a laser specifically mean just light? If any form of electromagnetic energy is suitably focused, couldn't you produce a laser from it?
They're actually probably a lot more effective than modern day weapons, really. Better ammunition capacity, better rate of fire, easier to use, less recoil, less...whatsit...the beam doesn't curve, at all. So it's a straight-shot thing at the speed of light, meaning you don't have to track a target to any significant extent.
I discussed this on other boards, and someone pointed out (astutely) that laser weapons would have a reduced range or potency in conditions with lots of dust, gas or other obscuring materials in the air, as the beam would be "dampened" just as regular light is. Additionally, firing through glass would melt the glass, but cause the beam to widen out or something as a result of hitting a mirrored surface. The glass wouldn't shatter at all.
The hole would be larger than bullet sized, I think. Easily the width of a wrist; Eisenhorn loses his hand at the wrist to a stray lasgun bolt in one of Abnett's short stories. It's replaced, but important when gauging what a las shot can do. It can definitely kill in one hit. Just because it can't kill supersoldiers, space elves and daemons doesn't mean it won't do perfectly fine against Joe Cultist.
Also important is the uselessness of conventional armour against a laser weapon, so it can be assumed that 40k armour has some way of incorporating heat resistant material in a flak jacket - which, from the IG pictures, is a whole lot more armoured than modern-day flak jackets.
Also consider hellguns, which are super-powered lasguns, and apparently extremely deadly.
Cheredanine, this is science fantasy. We ignore the "science" part when describing what lasguns do to people in favour of the Cool Rule.
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Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
when in doubt, play Fire Warrior :yes: , gives a realistic view of what it does...