In use by 2478, the C-14 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.
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 should not be confused with the AGR-14 rifle. Both are referred to as "assault rifles" but the latter may be a scaled down version of the former.
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.
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. 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).