Full Item Description
At the core of it, the EAR-5 (the acronym standing for Explosive Antimatter Railturret) is no different than any other normal gauss weapon built for starship warfare; comprised of an ammunition storage, a loading mechanism, and an extended barrel lined with the electromagnets used to propel the ammunition at a significant fraction of lightspeed at the intended target.
Where it differs from ‘normal’ gauss weaponry is that the EAR-5 loads bolts comprised of antimatter iron; with no macroscale difference in response to electromagnetic fields, the weapon loads and fires just as smoothly as a gauss weapon designed to fire regular-matter rounds. Only the magnetic reinforcement and support fields of the containment and loader give away that this weapon carries much more dangerous ammunition.
Designed by the engineers of Gauss Firearms, the EAR line of railguns was born when a former demolitions expert, recently hired by the company, complained that while the rounds fired by the weaponry had plenty of power in terms of penetration, they were distinctly lacking in other aspects. When one of his fellow engineers pointed out the difficulties of loading an explosive payload in a railturret due to the sudden and violent acceleration, the demolitionist simply smiled.
"So make the entire payload explosive. Anti-iron still behave like normal iron in a magnetic field, right?"
The first four models were attempts to ensure the storage and loader mechanisms were capable of handling the violence of shipboard conditions during a fight; the last thing needed was the antimatter rounds being jostled into contact with the normal matter of the ship.
The fifth model appears to have worked out these issues, although the careful handling of the rounds means the weapon fires at only half the rate of a normal ship-mounted railturret.
The acronym, however, has led to a number of stress-induced jokes in the battlefield, most commonly, "Lemme give you an EARfull!"
-The EAR-5 fires at 1/2 the rate of a normal railturret due to the careful loading procedure.
-The antimatter rounds are designed to maximize contact with the target hull, and are somewhat broader than conventional penetrator rounds.
-The antimatter payload restricts use of the EAR-5 to vacuum combat.