Bolt weapons are sophisticated weapons that fire self-propelled explosive ammunition in the form of small missiles called bolts. Bolt pistols and boltguns are manufactured in the factories of the hive city, but the fine engineering tolerances and quality materials required means few if any are made in the Underhive. For the same reason bolt weapons are hard to maintain, spares are rare, and ammunition is expensive. Furthermore, ammunition made in the Underhive is often unreliable. On the whole this is a weapon best suited to the technically sophisticated armies of Space Marines for which it was designed.
Despite its drawbacks the bolt pistol is still a highly favoured weapon. It may not always work, but when it does the results are usually impressive. For one thing, it makes a lot of noise and creates a great deal of obvious damage. More deadly and far more obvious than an autopistol or laspistol, it makes the ideal side-arm for a gang leader keen to impress his rivals.
The boltgun or bolter is the standard armament of the Imperium’s finest fighting forces the Space Marines. It is a weapon made in limited quantities and to the highest standards using the most costly materials. Boltguns require constant attention and regular expert maintenance if they are to work properly.
Bolt weapons fire a self-propelled armourpenetrating mass-reactive explosive missile called a bolt. Even bolts are expensive to make and cannot be easily fabricated in the undercity. Overall, boltguns are rare, expensive and prone to going wrong. However, they are very effective indeed.
Despite their drawbacks boltguns are still highly favoured weapons. They make a great deal of noise and cause immense damage to any target they hit. They are prestige weapons carried by gang leaders and other fighters who are wealthy and don’t mind advertising the fact. A fighter with a bolter means business.
All bolt weapons are highly advanced and technically sophisticated, and the heavy version is the most effective and most complex weapon of its type. They are extremely bulky and are often known as the ‘back breaker’ by those who carry them. Like all bolters it is noisy and the shells explode when they hit their target causing great devastation.
Only very experienced and relatively wealthy fighters can afford to own and use a heavy bolter. The constant and demanding maintenance routine also makes it an unwise choice for a novice. For those who know what they’re doing it is a prestigious weapon carried by the most dangerous of fighters.