The most powerful long-range fully-automatic weapon that can realistically be considered as manportable in TS is the 7.5mm Machine Gun. A number of different models are made by different companies but all use the same ammunition and have similar features. Although modular designs most components are not interchangeable between models from different companies.
7.5mm Machine Guns are belt-fed weapons that use polymer cased rounds joined by plastic links. This results in a considerable saving in ammunition weight compared to earlier machine guns. WPS is 0.024. Polymer-cased ammunition is somewhat more robust than caseless ammo and is not so vulnerable to corrosive atmospheres. The standard 7.5mm is a GPMG design that can be fired from a bipod, tripod, cybershell or vehicle mounting. Vehicle-mounted examples usually have an extra-heavy barrel (HT 4e p.85). Tripod mounted weapons may have either a standard or extra-heavy barrel and may have a spare barrel available. In bipod mode a spare barrel is seldom carried, the standard barrel having a number of design features to minimise overheating. An extra heavy MG barrel weighs 7.3lb and adds + 2.5lb to weapon weight. A standard GPMG barrel weights 4.8lb. A patrol barrel weighs 3.5lb and is classed as a Light MG barrel.
By 2100 the standard load for the 7.5mm is a mixed belt of APDS/API rounds. These can punch through tree trunks and chew through bricks or cybershells. Tracer ammunition is less commonly used due to the prevalence of HUD targeting systems. Tracer may be used from defensive positions as it provides an indication of the target’s location to other units. When used tracer ammunition will be dark-ignition or dim-tracer APDU/AP-T/API (HT 4e p.175). Gestalt ammunition in 7.5mm is relatively common. Triplex ammunition may be available for jungle fighting and other close range engagements. Triplex ammunition has the same performance in both the GPMG and Patrol-LMG. Supercavitating ammunition will be used on naval vessels and may be issued at locations where attack may come from the water. Supercavitating rounds are smart bullets that have 1/20 the gun’s Maximum and 1/2 Damage ranges underwater (50 times that of non-supercavitating bullets), and half the normal ranges in air since they are optimized for water. ×2 cost. (TS:UP p.121)
A common accessory for the 7.5mm MG is a “blast suppressor” (1.2lb, -3 to Hearing, -1 Bulk). This is a sound moderator that does not affect the round’s velocity. The enemy will know they are being fired upon but have more trouble establishing from where.
7.5mm MGs are usually platoon or company-level weapons but squads operating in environments where ranges are long often carry them. Defensive positions are usually reinforced with extra MGs. Many of the combat operations in 2100 take the form of small scale raids and it is possibly a raider may bring some 7.5mm as additional firepower. Larger fighters such as cybershells also favour the added punch of a 7.5mm.
The “Patrol LMG” has a number of modifications to make it more portable for sustained dismounted operations. The most noticeable of these is the shorter and lighter barrel. The modular design of the 7.5mm allows a standard model to be changed to a patrol model, or vice versa if you have the parts and time. Patrol LMGs are sometimes called “Spartan models”, partially because Spartan bioroids can use them like rifles.
Use Guns (LMG): (DX-4 or most other Guns at -2) to fire handheld or from a bipod or Gunner (Machine Gun): (DX-4 or other Gunner at -4) to shoot from a tripod or a vehicle mount.
At 30 yards or less Triplex ammunition follows the rules on p.B409 = Rof 16; (6d+1) x 4 Damage, 4 x target DR.