A Hellgun, also called a Hot-shot Lasgun, is a pattern of Imperial Lasgun that possesses a more advanced and powerful laser generation system intended to provide more potent laser fire on-target. This makes the Hellgun superior in both range and power output compared to the standard-issue Lasgun. However, the higher power output requires superior quality power cells or the use of a separate backpack power supply, and the more complex inner workings of the weapon require more time and resources to manufacture than the standard Lasgun. This makes it more costly to field and so it is not generally issued to the average soldier of most Astra Militarum regiments. However, Tempestus Scions and other Storm Trooper equivalents, including Cadian Kasrkin and Astra Militarum Grenadiers, are always equipped with a Hellgun as a standard weapon to take full advantage of their superior training and weapons expertise.
Imperial Guard Storm Troopers normally wear a large backpack which contains the separate power source required to provide the increased damage output for both Hellpistols and Hellguns. Like the standard Lasgun, the Hellgun can operate in either a semi-automatic mode, where it fires one shot per trigger pull, or as a fully automatic weapon in which it unleashes a continuous stream of laser fire for as long as the weapon's trigger is depressed. The Hellgun shares the same technology used in the Hellpistol. The standard pattern of Hellgun currently used in the Imperial Guard is the Hellgun Mark II, which is gyro-stabilised and requires the use of the backpack-mounted power source to be effective.
All Storm Trooper units issued these weapons are also regularly supplied with a large amount of replacement parts, as the weapon is so powerful that its components often burn out under the stress of its use. Among their other skills, Storm Troopers are trained to repair and maintain all of their weapons and are even capable of building their arms from scratch if the requisite components are made available. Hellguns are considered the property of the Departmento Munitorum, which rarely entrusts them to any Imperial Guard units that are not designated as elite Storm Troopers.
Hellguns require multiple advanced components in their construction, including reinforced alloy barrels to withstand the greater heat produced during firing, thermal cooling cells to prevent the weapons from overheating, and gyro-stabilised power packs. As such, only a small number of Forge Worlds in the Imperium possess the technological know-how or requisite materiel to produce these potent weapons.
Known Hellgun Patterns
- D'laku Crusade-Pattern Hellgun - Dating back to the Skitarii cohorts that joined in the Angevin Crusade to conquer the Calixis Sector, this pattern of high-power, rapid discharge las-weapon remains unchanged as the standard armament of the elite Skitarii Secutor squads. As well as delivering a larger charge, hellgun blasts are more focused than those of a lasgun and capable of easily punching through light armour, inflicting distinctive “through-and-through” burn wounds on their victims. These matte-black weapons receive energy from a power capacitor usually attached to the backpack of the Secutor’s carapace armour, but can use standard lasgun power packs if needed, although they will only get twelve shots from a pack before exhausting it.
- Lucius Pattern Type XIV (Heavy) Lasgun - The Lucius Pattern Type XIV Heavy Lasgun is a variant of the Hot-shot Lasgun that constitutes the standard armament for the Grenadier Squads of the Death Korps of Krieg. The Type XIV is a compromise between power and durability and requires far more maintenance than the average Lasgun to be kept in prime condition -- which has lead the weapon to gain a reputation for being unreliable in the field. Operating in the 28 megathule range, the Type XIV however packs a solid punch and its heavy powerpack -- worn on the trooper’s back -- can safely provide up to 200 shots depending on the weapon's condition and setting. The powerpack includes a quick recharge generator which is put under much stress, especially during automatic fire, which can cause the weapon's barrel to become marred or the gun's rate of fire to drop if not properly taken care of. To regulate the excessive heat developed when firing -- which has earned the weapon its surname of "Hotshot" Lasgun -- the Type XIV includes a bulky barrel-cooling shroud, the heat exchanger within making the barrel ice cold to the touch when not firing and thus require the trooper to wear gloves as not to injure himself. Yet the Lasgun is prone to overheating under continuous fire, a fact even the refrigeration system cannot prevent. As such, the weapon is also equipped with a safety that can cut off power until the barrel-temperature falls again within safe limits. The Type XIV also includes a sophisticated advance sight, incorporating an 4x magnification to further increase the weapon's precision, and a low-light infra-scope for nighttime-operations. As with other Hellguns, the Type XIV's main drawbacks are its power couplings, which tend to quickly wear out, thus making its shots' strength vary if not carefully maintained.
- Ryza Pattern Hot-shot Lasgun - Manufactured in the finest incantoriums that the Forge World of Ryza can provide, this Lasgun does not use a clip-like power pack as with those of the Imperial Guard, but instead a hyper-yield power array worn as a backpack rig. By adjusting this rig, the Hot-shot Lasgun can be calibrated to emit bursts of such penetrative power they can punch straight through ceramite. At its maximum capacity, the Lasgun operates in the sixty megathule range and holds enough potential energy that it is warm to the touch. This is the Hot-shot Lasgun preferred for use by the Tempestus Scions regiments of the Militarum Tempestus.
- Ciaphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium (Omnibus Novel) by Sandy Mitchell, pg. 212
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 46
- Codex: Militarum Tempestus (6th Edition), pg. 8, "Tools of the Tempestus"
- Dark Heresy: Ascension, pg. 138
- Dark Heresy: The Inquisitor's Handbook (RPG), pg. 172
- Imperial Armour: Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks, Part One, pp. 68, 88
- Imperial Munitorum Manual (Background Book) by Graham McNeill, pg. 64
- Only War: Core Rulebook, pg. 176
- Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 119
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (4th Edition), pg. 35
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (4th Edition), pp. 9-10
- Death or Glory (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell