The Photos Plasma Carbine is a modified variant of the Plasma Rifle issued to Photos Lieutenant and above as an optional primary weapon. The main feature of the Carbine is a shortened barrel, with an attached grenade launcher (However, the grenade launcher functions more as an RPG, fitting the grenade with a small motor before firing it). The advantage of the shortened barrel is that the plasma bolt leaves the barrel quicker. While this reduces range and, to a lesser extent, accuracy, it allows almost a double cyclic speed, giving it a greater ability for suppression fire and frightening power if the user can fire accurately at full automatic. It is not issued to privates because of the well-known habit to spray and pray under duress, whereas it is believed that those who have at least made it to squad leader are hardened enough to keep their nerve in a bad situation.
The weapon’s history owes to the original Photos infantry battle rifle, the Plasma Pulser. This carbine fired in three round bursts; it held a high accuracy but the way the burst function was implemented required .75 second before it could fire again, inhibiting it’s ability to rapidly fire. The Carbine was originally developed from field modded Pulsers before R&D took notice and developed the Carbine as a dedicated weapon.
Up to it’s third generation, the Carbine was not capable of being equipped with a stock, further lending to it’s spray and pray reputation. However, the 3rd Generation rifle and carbine had both their attachment systems and stocks fully renovated. Grenade Launchers and other attachments became removable and replaceable, and the Carbine became capable of taking the same telescopic stock as the Rifle. This worked well, allowing the weapon to be shouldered and become much more accurate.
Other than the modified barrel, the internal workings of the carbine are the same as the rifle, save the cyclic rate being doubled.
Boy are you in trouble.