"I've delayed posting this because, well, it's a bit long. But Ed has been kicking my ass to post it as I think he wants to use one in a piece fiction he's written - high praise indeed. I presented it this way as I thought that this was a more interesting way than just posting up stats, and it gives more of a feel for the design. I kind of imagined the FiREPower show as kind of a WoP mix of Top Gear and QVC... Enjoy!"
+++Attached -transcript from SIC's FiREPower [Mort Edition] 02/05/901SD
Mark: Welcome to the FiREPower Rifle special, here on SIC! Next tonight on FiREPower, we have something quite special for you, right Kris?
Krista: That's right Mark. We're going to start the show as we like to - a scoop on a brand new product - and here we are...
M: Whoa... I take it this is _not_ the latest offering from the CAF design team!
K: Err... not quite! This is the FEN 242 'HeadHunter', the latest product in FEN's growing precision rifle range.
M: It looks kinda familiar...
K: Sharp-eyed viewers may recognise the profile from a recent FiREPower Contract Circuit update. It's based on the customised development weapon used by the Contract Killer Ransom... this is pretty much his gun... he's had a _lot_ of input into the design.
M: Amazing... can I?
K: Sure! What do you think? First impressions?
M: Uh... it's long... and quite heavy... we're not talking 400 SureKill heavy, but it's no 30-30 either. But the weight distribution and balance - outstanding. Ergonomics and comfort are nice, even in this standing stance... and... hey! That's a really unusual loading mechanism there!
K: Let me give you an overview. What you have is essentially a mass-produced 'custom' firearm, much like the BLA 046M. It's a standard layout, with the receiver forward of the pistol grip. Ammunition caliber is 12.7mm, for versatility and stopping power. The barrel is what FEN call a Heavy Ceramic Rifle Barrel. It's a single high-density complex casting with integral rifling, all 90cm of it, and it retains that 30mm diameter all the way down it's length, breech to brake. This accounts for the best part of the 15kg mass of the weapon. It's built into a special frame which transmits the recoil in a direct line to the shoulder, which also helps to eliminate muzzle climb. Underneath, you have that long bar, where the sculpted weapon foregrip is located. In front of that, folding forward, the fully adjustable bipod is mounted on an adjustable tuning bar that damps off barrel vibration, which adds to the accuracy. Total weapon length without the optional Flash Suppressor is 148cm. Add that, and you're looking at the best part of 180cm.
M: This is getting a little heavy...
K: That's the problem with these larger rifles. Now, FEN have included - as standard - several ways of getting around this. There's a spike and plate that deploy from the base of the butt-stock - when the bipod is in place, you've effectively got a tripod mount. Also, there's an adjustable palm-rest on the base of the pistol grip. Both help minimise fatigue for the user. The pistol grip can be sculpted uniquely for it's owner, too... you can put it down now, Mark...
M: Oh - uh, thanks Kris! But c'mon, you haven't got to the interesting part... This weapon has a cylinder load! What is all that about? I've never seen that before. Is this just a fashion statement?
K: Well, if you think about it, there are some advantages to this system...
M: Such as?
K: OK, a cylinder is versatile. And once you take a look into the package designed by the FEN engineers, you'll wonder how you ever did without it.
M: Now, clearly having, what? Six shots on board is a definite bonus over the 30-30, how does this compare to a magazine or clip system - like on the 093 GAG for example?
K: That magazine... can you mix the load-out types?
M: Huh? You mean like HP and AP in the same clip? Sure you can!
K: But can you always get at the round type you need right away?
M: Sure, you can remove the... oh, I get it!
K: Exactly! To use your example, you've chambered HP, and the target you need to hit shows. In the brief window you have for your shot, you find they are maybe partially obscured, or wearing armour - you need to punch through that to complete your mission...
M: Uh huh! So I'd have to reload - clear the chambered round, maybe even switch magazines... by the time I've done that...
K: Your target is gone...
M: Clever, very clever.
K: That's not half of it. Did you see the raised part by the thumb area on the pistol grip - kind of like on a KilCopter flight stick?
K: Take a closer look. There's a thumbwheel there, like you can get on vid remotes - see it? You don't even have to manually spin the cylinder, an actuator system will advance the cylinder for you in either direction. You don't even have to break that perfect aim! The LCD indicator on the back of the weapon displays the chamber number, and the colour coded bar underneath lets you know the round type...
M: Outstanding! But how does the gun know which round is in which cylinder?
K: There's a microcamera mounted in the gun's casing, parallel with the barrel, in line with the bottom chamber of the cylinder. When loading is complete, and the cylinder returned to the firing position, the actuator rapidly cycles all chambers past the camera. It takes a picture of each round, compares it with the profiles in it's processor library, and marks the indicator accordingly. As all the round types have different head-on profiles, this is how it works. The simple microprocessor is a cast-in component, mounted in the stock. If you have a Scout Helmet, run a chippy lead into the port on the stock, and all this data is projected onto your Head Up Display. Alternatively, you can do it the old-fashioned way and just remember what you put in which hole.
M: This is...well... this is quite incredible.
K: There are a whole load of other neat features on the weapon... sling mounts, novaprene inserts in the grips that help prevent slip... adjustable trigger pull... fully adjustable stock to suit any height or build of shooter... sculpted cheekpiece... as well as a laser painter as standard, and a Hoya Optics 3000m Telescopic sight. It will be available in a variety of finishes, but we think the most popular will be the charcoal-grey and black scheme you see here. It's certainly the most tasteful.
M: Altogether an amazing package...
K: It's not perfect... this is a very high tolerance weapon down to the last component, and with the electromechanical systems on board, needs a fair amount of TLC. I guess that's why FEN give you this satin-finish aluminium-cased maintenance kit. It doesn't come with the famous FEN no-maintenance guarantee however, so if you're not experienced in looking after your weapons, or can't spend a lot of time on maintenance, this may not be the one for you. Also, those of you who need rapid weapon breakdown capability will not find it here. Finally, tests indicate that further Recoil Suppression is not compatible with the current barrel design, and this gun has quite a kick.
M: And the price? I guarantee that every scout on Mort is going to want one of these!
K: Hmm... FEN are being cagey about the price right now. We know it does include a fitting for the pistol grip, and also a lesson on how to make the most of the adjustable features of the weapon. With so much scope for adjustment, it's possible that an untrained user could really destroy the balance of the gun. Price is probably going to be about 1850c, but that hasn't discouraged pre-production orders, and right now there's a waiting list of about 3 weeks.
M: Understandable. We're going to take a break in a sec, but before we go, here's a quick look at the stats of what will no doubt be a very sought-after weapon. After the break on FiREPower, we get to take a look CAF's latest rifle offering - The EX-Eliminator!
K: ...I ...I can't wait.
M: Do you think they will let us keep this?
FEN 242 HeadHunter
Clip: 6 [cylinder]
RCL: 11 
Weight: 15.2kg loaded.
Standard features: Laser Painter, 3000m scope, Bipod, Recoil Suppression rating 2 [already factored], Maintenance Kit [as GA Weapon Maintenance kit] Ready to fit: Sound Suppressor, Flash Suppressor.
Other Game effects: Auto Load Selection [free action], High Maintenance Requirement [YLWoP rules apply] Cannot Be Broken Down, Cannot Fit Further Recoil Suppression.
Speed loaders available at 5c each.
Happy now Ed???