The C-14 Impaler gauss rifle is a terran standard issue marine weapon of the Confederate and Dominion Marine Corps. It is very common in the Koprulu sector. It utilizes gauss-assisted technology to accelerate ferromagnetic projectiles at hypersonic speed through a process of magnetic induction.
In use by 2478, the C-14 usually fires hypersonic 8 mm armor-piercing metal "spikes" which can penetrate up to two inches of steel plating. The rounds themselves are encased in steel. While the rifle is gauss-assisted, it still utilizes traditional means to firing projectiles such as gunpowder, which is known to cause issues with the rifle with the ammunition becomes wet.
The Impaler is fully automatic with a fire rate of 30 rounds per second, although fully automatic fire is discouraged under most circumstances. A capacitor system is used to fire the weapon in short bursts, conserving ammunition and minimizing power requirements. Due to this, the C-14 rifle has high recoil; CMC armor is designed to suppress this. The armor can also supplement the rifle's power supply.
The C-14 has been used as automatic base defense weapon, mounted on a tower.
The C-14 is capable of firing a wide variety of ammunition:
- Armor piercing: Used against heavily armored targets.
- Depleted uranium: Encompass U-238 shells/spikes. The most popular variant among marines given that they extend the rifle's range up to 25%.
- Hollow point spread: Flatten and expand on impact for maximum wounding efficiency. Custom made by Ardo Melnikov.
- Incendiary: Used against structures.
- Steel tipped: Used to maim rather than kill an enemy.
This variant was as used as far back as 2495 and remains the core variant. Its frame allows some customization, allowing the user to install a retractable bayonet, laser sights, or an underbarrel grenade launcher (this last customization is forbidden under Dominion Marine Corps regulations). It also features a torch function and can be used in conjunction with a M98 ballistic alloy combat shield. It carries at least 500 rounds per magazine.
This variant of the C-14 was in use in the Great War. Although bulky, it features a far more streamlined design than later versions and CMC armor is not required to operate it. The rifle features two grips; a smaller one, used by unarmored shooters, requires the user to use both hands to keep the barrel steady. The other, larger grip is used by CMC armored soldiers, who are able to operate it with just one hand, at the expense of accuracy.
The rifle has an LED (light-emitting diode) magazine capacity indicator, showing how much ammunition remains in its magazine (hundreds of rounds).
- The ammunition counter on the second variant is similar to the counter on the pulse rifle from Aliens.
- It appears that the original C-14 was originally intended to remain in use for StarCraft: Ghost, as early screenshots depict.
- As promotion for the midnight launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Fantastic Arts created real-world C-14 rifles for cosplay, along with CMC armor for the wielders.
- The C-14 is priced at 175,000 credits each, while each individual round comes in at 300 credits. One could ultimately spend 9,000 credits per second on the rifle, given its rate of fire.