The Bolter, also called a Boltgun, and its variants are some of the most powerful hand-held weaponry in use by the military forces of the Imperium of Man. It is a powerful assault rifle that fires explosive kinetic rounds colloquially referred to as bolts. The Bolter is a weapon synonymous with the Adeptus Astartes, and rightly so. However, although the Space Marines are its primary user, the Bolter finds itself in use in military organisations throughout the Imperium. The weapon is fearsome, with explosive rounds capable of ripping through or blowing apart a foe. The Chaos Space Marines of the Traitor Legions were issued their Legions' Bolters before the Horus Heresy, and therefore, use generally older variants than the patterns available to present-day Loyalist Space Marines.
The Bolter is a mid-range anti-personnel weapon that lies between the lighter Bolt Pistol and the more effective Heavy Bolter. The standard pattern Bolter can easily be wielded by a Space Marine, but smaller pattern Bolters must be used by the Battle-Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas.
For both the Space Marines and the Sisters of Battle of the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas, the Bolter is viewed as a weapon intended by the Emperor of Mankind to bring his wrath to the enemies of Mankind. Every Astartes carries a Bolter lovingly handcrafted by the Artificers of his Chapter's Armoury or of one of the Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Worlds. At each point in its construction special rituals are observed by the Artificers or Tech-priests, and even an Astartes' daily maintenance of his weapon carries an air of religious devotion. The Bolters used by the Space Marines are known to be coded to Astartes genetic signatures so that they are only functional for members of the Adeptus Astartes.
The Bolter is a large, .998 calibre assault rifle. It has a much greater mass than most standard-issue rifles such as the Lasgun, although it is slightly shorter in length. Unlike most rifles, it lacks a stock, resulting in a grip much like a pistol's or a submachine gun's. A Space Marine's bulky Power Armour would make shouldering a stock an awkward experience, but Power Armour is most likely also able to compensate for vibrations and oscillation, making a stock redundant. Stocks are sometimes used, however, with an extended barrel and an M40 Targeter System to transform the Bolter into a sniping weapon system. These sniper Bolters, known as Stalker Pattern Bolters, are most often used with Stalker Silenced Shells.
Munición Bólter estándar
Bolter ammunition (a bolt) is primarily a solid slug. Conventional solid slugs utilise a propellant charge contained in a casing that, when ignited, forces the bullet out of the barrel. In contrast, a bolt is self-propelled; it features its own integrated solid propellant that propels the bolt at high speeds, essentially acting like a miniature rocket. The propellant itself is shaped to control the bolt's direction and speed; however, this method of rocket propulsion would normally warp the barrel due to gas pressure. The Bolter uses an ingenious method to prevent this.
As well as the rocket propellant, a tiny amount of conventional charge is also utilized. This charge is just strong enough to force the bolt out of the barrel and ignite the bolt's propellant. The rocket-propellant is carefully fused to ignite just after leaving the barrel, alleviating any possibility of pressure build-up. The bolt then accelerates away towards the target under its own power.
The standard Bolter ammunition is designed to penetrate the target and then detonate, causing immense damage to the target and leaving little opportunity for survival.
The Bolter is complex to produce and requires dedicated maintenance, which prevents it from being issued more widely throughout the Imperial Guard. Furthermore, the Space Marine warriors, or Astartes, are a breed of genetically-enhanced supersoldiers. The Chapters of the Astartes also wear massive suits of Power Armour that further enhance their control over the powerful recoil of the weapon, and aid the already prodigious skill of the individual warrior with autosense uplinks and suit-integrated targeting systems. The Bolter is simply far too heavy to be wielded effectively by the average human being or Imperial Guard soldier. The Bolter also is far more susceptible to being fouled by dirt and mishandling than the basic Lasgun issued to Imperial Guardsmen, requiring much more training to use than the Guard is ready to give the standard line trooper. The Bolter's need for physical ammunition demands far more logistical organisation than the standard Lasgun, and Astartes Chapters have been known to go through a small stockpile of rounds in a single campaign.
Over the millennia, the Bolter has been improved and changed many times. There have been hundreds of variants, but only a few have made any radical differences. All of these have the same basic features, but each have different additional features (depending on the weapon's pattern) to improve it. The current standard-issue Bolter for the Space Marines is the .998 caliber Godwyn pattern Bolter.
Astartes Umbra Pattern.
Godwyn Mark IIIa Pattern (older pattern of Bolter used by the Dark Angels Chapter)
Godwyn-Deaz Pattern (used by the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas)
Locke Pattern (variant of a pattern used by the Adeptus Arbites, now most common pattern of Bolter in use in the Koronus Expanse)
Perinetus Pattern "Solo" Mark II
Stalker Pattern (a standard Godwyn Pattern Bolter modified with an M40 Targeter System to also serve as a Sniper Rifle)
Umbra Ferrox Pattern
[En construcción, disculpen las molestias.]