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Instellarms PW-S34 “Crowdpleaser”

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of Freelance Traveller.

PW-S 34: (Mongoose Traveller)
TL11, Ranged Pistol skill, Dmg: 3d6+2, Auto: No, Recoil: 1, Mass: 1.3kg
Magazine: 6, Cost: 600 Cr, Ammo Cost: 50 Cr
Personal: -1, Close: +1 (max range Close)

A large, difficult to conceal pistol, the Instellarms PW-S34 “Crowdpleaser” has become popular among civil enforcers and military police, especially those on riot control duties, because of its unique design.

Built to address the specific concerns of over-penetration and stray rounds in an urban environment, the Crowdpleaser fires a shot type shell loaded with pellets of a compressed, highly volatile compound. Though potentially lethal at short ranges, the pellets will dissipate harmlessly within 10 meters of the muzzle of the pistol. This limited range allows the weapon to be deployed in situations where bystanders behind the target might be endangered. It has also been considered for use by some planetary customs officials, as the weapon’s shot is unlikely to damage sensitive controls or equipment. Of course, because of this weapon’s unique characteristics, it is intended to be deployed as a secondary weapon, not as the primary weapon for a peace officer.

Physically, the weapon has a very large frame for a pistol, a wide bore, short barrel (16 mm), and a 6-round box magazine just forward of the pistol grip (the box magazine is too large for a hand grip usable by most humans, and the barrel length is largely inconsequential for such a short range weapon. The recoil for this weapon is impressive, as is the report and muzzle flash—the disorienting effects of the report and flash can be almost as disabling as the impact from the pellets at ranges under 5m. A standard two-handed firing stance is recommended.

Because of the composition of the propellant and pellets, atmospheric differences from Imperial Standard gas mix (75% N2, 20% O2) or pressures significantly different than 1 atm may cause changes in this weapon’s performance. This weapon is not usable in vacuum.