M6D/SOCOM 'HIMAG' HANDGUN
"The M6D 'Asskicker', I call it. Whoever's bright idea it was to design this thing, they were probably crazy as [CENSORED] and twice as lethal....my kinda badass!"
-Unknown non-commisioned officer, after expending all sidearm ammunition to survive a heavily armed Covenant assault.
The M6D/SOCOM, also known as the "M6D/S", and informally known as the "HiMag" (for High Magnum), is a semi-automatic pistol used by the United Nations Space Command, and is a variant of the M6D magnum sidearm. It takes the SAP HE ammunition and basic firing function and design of the M6D handgun and combines it with all the features found in the M6C/SOCOM Magnum handgun, creating a rather overpowered and devestating weapon that fits (heavily) in the palm of your hand. Used rarely by the UNSC military in favor of lighter sidearms, several soldiers have found themselves spared the fate of their comrades by resorting to this weapon when all others have used up their ammunition against Covenant shields. This weapon is ideal for SPARTANs whose strength makes the weapon feel normal in their hands.
Model: Misriah Armory M6D/SOCOM 'HiMag' Sidearm
Skill: Firearms: Handguns/Pistols
Rate of Fire: Semiautomatic (1)
Fire Control: +2
-Weapon: 1790 cR
-Magazine: 50 cR
Availability: 3, X
Range: 1-15/30/60 (4x zoom, see below)
-Melee: Str+2 Physical (Blunt)
-RATE OF FIRE: This weapon can fire consecutive rounds quickly in succession. When using "Multiple Actions" to fire several shots in one combat round, instead of -1D per extra action, it is instead like reversing the rules for Fire-Linking (see Star Wars RPG Revised Rulebook). The first extra shot is -1D, and every extra shot past that is -1 pip (with every -3 pips being -1D).
-HUD: When using a Heads Up Display (HUD) or Command Neural Interface (CNI) to work with this weapon's electronics suite, the user gains a +1 to their skill when using the weapon. This stacks with any other bonuses, such as modifications to the weapon to increase Fire Control, other equipment, etc. These also display various information on the weapon, such as ammo count, targeting reticule, overheating and other general relevant information.
-SMART-LINK SCOPE (4x): This weapon has a smart-link scope built into its frame. It requires the use of a Heads Up Display (HUD) or Command Neural Interface (CNI) to use it. This scope (which can look like a small camera built into the frame, or can be built into a scope mounted on the body) allows the user to see at FOUR TIMES the listed range above, provided they spend an action to use the zoom function. If they want to zoom and fire the weapon, these count as two actions, and the attack will be at -1D. If the GM requires the user to Search for their target before firing, and they are still doing two actions, then the Search skill roll will also be -1D. The scope can also be used by those with a HUD/CNI to look around corners with the weapon while the user stays safely behind the corner.
-VS ENERGY SHIELDS: UNLIKE other UNSC Firearms, the M6D handgun uses explosive rounds that make it well-suited to being used against Covenant Energy Shields. It receives NO PENALTIES when used against such shields.
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The function of this weapon is simple enough to explain. It's a M6D Magnum Sidearm upgraded with all the features that made the M6C/SOCOM so deadly at further ranges. This combination has created perhaps the most lethal handgun ever to be used in the UNSC's current arsenal of firearms.
The standard M6D had already been given a KFA-2 2x optical, smart-linked scope, which made it rather deadly against Covenant forces when they encountered soldiers with this weapon. This could be that the Covenant's experience with such small firearms had made them somewhat arrogant, as the soldiers using small firearms usually did so after expending their heavier weapons, and these did nothing against their common energy shields. The M6D made them rethink this as the sidearm could punch through their shields with its high-explosive .50 caliber magnum rounds. The only way the Covenant could ever tell the difference between the M6D and other M6 sidearm models was its chrome colored finish, though it was rare for Covenant soldiers to have the experience to recognize the weapon for what it was: either the Covenant soldier would die when they got to close to the weapon, or the human would die from extensive energy weapons fire and the Covenant wouldn't notice the difference. On the occasions where this was not so, many human soldiers survived by relying on the M6D, which had the punch to penetrate Covenant personal energy shields, and the range with the smart-link scope to keep them at a safe distance from advancing Covenant troops.
This is also why the M6J Carbine became increasingly popular with the UNSC Army. Unfortunately, the M6J was never in high enough supply, and it was also built as a semi-automatic, fooling troops to consider it more useful as a fill-in Designated Marksman Rifle than an assault rifle. But even in this role, the M6J did not quite work well, as it still lacked the range of other marksman rifles. It's best feature was being able to deliver the notorious rounds of an M6D at better range than the regular handgun could. This left the M6J at odds, and the UNSC military instead relied more heavily on other weapons, such as more common and useful M6 model sidearms, assault rifles, SMGs, DMRs and Battle Rifles. The standard M6D sidearm itself was more rare than the M6C and other models because of the explosive ammunition it was well known for using. The M6D was a standard issue for special operations such as the mission for the Pillar of Autumn in 2552 because it was imperative that these missions succeeded, therefor the crew of these operations were given the best equipment and weapons possible and plenty of ammunition to keep working and fighting efficiently.
The UNSC and Misriah Armory finally sat down and decided to see what they could do to make a more effective weapon system than the M6D Magnum. The result was rather simple. The M6C/SOCOM was already seeing quick wide-spread use with the ODST "Helljumpers" and other special operations, due to its several improvements from the standard M6C model. The M6C/SOCOM's effective range made it deadly when a good headshot presented itself and it was used in the right skilled hands. The SOCOM variant had the highest range and accuracy of any previous M6 model, with an extended barrel, a more powerful smart-link scope, the VnSLS/V 6E which doubled the range found in the M6D (4X!), as well as sound suppressors and a muzzle brake. All in all this allowed ODSTs in stealth operations to engage and eliminate targets at safe ranges very accurately while incurring little recoil due to the suppressor and muzzle brake.
All of this was worked into the M6D/SOCOM model. The result is a personal weapon that is lighter than any assault rifle, SMG or carbine, can be used in one hand (though most handguns are best used with both hands to hold it steady), and delivers highly damaging .50 caliber high-explosive rounds that tear through Covenant shields, all of this at very good range and the weapon can link with a UNSC soldier's HUD/CNI.
The M6D/SOCOM has been affectionately dubbed the "HiMag", or "High Magnum", as it is more powerful than most high-powered handguns used by the UNSC military, and could possibly count as a step above the magnum designation which was meant to name a handgun as more powerful than standard sidearms. This M6D/SOCOM obviously goes well past this, and the standard M6D was already a step in this direction, as its explosive rounds have always been more impressive than normal .50 caliber magnum rounds.