The standard issue weapon for Photos infantrymen, the Plasma Rifle is am efficient, reliable, and powerful weapon. With an effective range of 850 feet (259.08 metres), and dealing both kinetic and thermal damage, the Plasma Rifle is a weapon to be feared.
The weapon possesses a fairly interesting firing mechanism. Rather than use a container of easily-ionized gas as ammunition, the rifle instead uses average atmospheric gasses as it’s munitions. While these can normally prove to be difficult to ionize in a rifle scale, the Photos get around this by using a block of soft, conductive metal; usually aluminum. The firing mechanism will shave a minute amount of this off and shatter it into tiny fragments, usually only a fraction of a milimetre in size. These are then launched into the firing chamber, while a pair of oppositely-charged magnets spin around the ionization chamber. The rampantly alternating magnetic field tends to cause the fragments of conductive metal to superheat and give off a huge amount of energy, ionizing the gas contained in the chamber. The plasma bolt is then launched down the barrel by electromagnets much like a coilgun, to be expelled out the barrel and downrange. The block of metal used to ionize the gasses is good for around 1,000 shots in Oxygen-based atmospheres- others may need more or less conductive filaments to ionize properly.
While against unarmored or lightly armored targets a single shot can be fatal, the weapon can have a hard time piercing heavy armor, as armor can be designed to cope with the heat from the plasma impacts, and while the weapon does deliver notable kinetic impact, it is seldom more than an average modern bullet.
Like most Photos weapons, there is a targeting node in the weapon’s barrel that will sync with the HUD of Powered Armor and link to a dynamic crosshair, indicating just where the user’s shot will land and what discrepancy the projectile itself may be expected to have due to factors like wind and such.