|This article, XH-98 Combat Rifle, was written by ClydeE247. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This article, XH-98 Combat Rifle, is currently under active construction.|
During the post-war crisis, amidst the ruins of the glassed Misriah HQ on Mars, lay prototypes for numerous weapons and the design blueprints for the XH-55 Rifle. This rifle was designed to serve humanity in a post-apocalyptic situation, after the eventual glassing of Earth.
Designed by ORION II's Aggressive Task Force (Division ONE), by Jack Rosevelt, Adam Breton and Alicia Ackerson during 2551, the rifle would not go into production until the year 2598.
The first prototypes were used during Division TWO's last stand on the surface of Mars, outside the Misriah Complex. When all UNSC Forces besides the ORION II Forces were eliminated, the XH Rifle was field tested for its true purpose - a post-apocalyptic weapon capable of being reliable after all facilities and UNSC Bases were destroyed. The XH was the first rifle in a long period of time to use the 5.56mm round.
Devastatingly effective in the last moments of the ORION II Soldiers, the men and women were able to hold off numerous waves of Covenant Forces until being overrun by a Sangheili Special Operations Unit led by the ruthless Khotta 'Moramee, a field Marshall that had killed several SPARTAN Personnel along with those under his command. Khotta 'Moramee was responsible for the deaths of more SPARTAN Personnel than any other Sangheili warrior, as he had led the final assault on the SPARTAN-II Red Team was rumored to have been killed by a 5.56mm round fired by Jack Rosevelt.
The XH Prototype is a modular system, though coming in two variants, one modular, and a standard issue variant with a single attatchment rail and an undebarrel projectile weapon capable of launching either 30mm HE Grenades or holding a specially designed flashlight. The recovery of the designs by ORION-AFO Squadron, SPEC06 led to a radical change in weaponry for the ORION Supersoldiers serving in the year 2587. The standard issue M6J, a semi-automatic carbine that fired the .50AE/L (The lightest rifle ever utilized by the UNSC because of its skeletal design) round was replaced by the XH-52 Rifle in its respective year. Initial reception was extremely negative, stating that the M6J was a more effective long range rifle, and that the change to the 5.56mm round was unecessary.
The XH-98 was tested in the same facility the original design was recovered from (clearly rebuilt), and was redesigned by Cmdr. Jack Rosevelt, Devi Agu and Enrica Ackerson. The XH-98 design had sucessfully answered most of the issues with the earlier design, including the reliability issues, ambidextrous complaints and the problem with the propietary 3-D Holographic Sight.
Critical Reception for the '98 Rifle was extremely positive, increasing the potency of the rifles advantages while simultaneously ridding itself of its many disadvantages.
The early XH-55, a prototype designed by both Misriah engineers and ORION-II Alpha Company soldiers, the rifle was meant to replace the MA5 series. The Rifle performed well in tests, and was slated to go in production on January 31st, 2555. It was the first weapon since the 23rd century to use a 5.56mm round, which was considered underpowered at the time. With technological advances and improvements to recoil reduction, the XH-55 produced little recoil. The lack of recoil and smaller round made the rifle considerably more effective and accurate than the current MA series. A 5.56 round production plant was founded on Luna, but was consequently shut down due to the Battle of Misriah. At the time, the XH-55 Prototypes were the most accurate assault rifles when fired in full-auto.
The XH-98 Rifle was released in 2598, was the most advanced combat rifle in its time, succeeding the MA series in accuracy and undercutting its ammunition cost. Though rejected by the UNSC due to concerns in efficency and ammunition availiability, it was adopted by ORION due to its roots, lethality and accuracy. In its time it was still lethal, and very accurate even when its propietary sound suppressor was added. The weapon was susceptable to jamming when insufficiently maintained, which was not a problem for ORION`s stealth operations, where dirt and dust would not be a large concern in comparison to the UNSC Army`s constant direct combat situations. The bolt location was moved from the center of the weapon, behind and below the ammo counter and rail integration system to the more conventional location, on the side of the weapon. The weapon was extremely efficient in the peak of the rebellion, allowing O2ALPHA Soldiers to efficiently eliminate strategic targets.
During the beginning of the Exile war, when the congress between the UNSC and Precursor(?) Exiles broke down and the fighting began, the ORION II`s roles widened, now O2 soldiers were charged with both assassination and constant direct combat. When the ORION-II Program graduated its final class of 200 soldiers, the XH-98`s issues became more and more prominent. O2`s direct combat role caused significant jamming problems as dirt was now a prominent factor in O2Delta`s Operations.
This led to the short lived reignition of the C6 Carbine, an updated M6J, which suffered not from efficiency issues, but from its actual combat capabilities.
The XH-98 Development Team recieved an ultimatum from ORION, their main consumers, to address these issues and create the rifle to be more efficient in the field of direct combat, and including a Cartridge Interchange system, allowing the easy changing of calibers. Many of the combat rifles also had two barrels, one 5.56x55 capable barrel, and another for the common 7.62x52mm round.
XH-98/A1/A2 Combat Rifles
With the introduction of a new threat came new situations, and with that came new problems. The XH Developers were called upon to address these issues, among them was the original designer of the XH-55 Combat Rifle, and renowned soldier, Lieutenant Commander Jack Rosevelt. Knowing the problems with the initial design of the XH Series, Rosevelt returned to assist in the development of the rifle, and the design was completed in time for O3Echo's training. With the reception of an O3ECHO Soldier who had been pulled away from the others, namely Jackson's God nephew, Clyde Jackson Andeisha, the new XH-98A1 was perfectly suited for ORION-3's roles.
Within 2 years of the war, the XH-98/A1 was quickly noticed by the rest of the UNSC and CMA, and requested a cheaper model to be designed, this time by Misriah, who in turn employed the developers to create a more cost-efficient, stripped down model known as the M1 Latchkey or the more widely used name, the XH-98/A2.
The XH-98/A2 "Latchkey" was a stripped down model, with all electronics, including the EUBGLM replaced with a standard grenade launcher and standard ruggedized ammunition measure and came standard with the 7.62x52mm Barrel and Bolt.
After the graduation of O3ECHO, in 2620, ORION Privately designed another rifle due to the upscaling of the war and requirement of more advanced weaponry, the answer to the requirement is the XH-98/A3 "Predator", named after the legendary ORION-II Team that first used the XH rifle in the fall of Misriah. The XH-98/A3 was the realization of Jack Rosevelt's vision for the Rifle.
The design for the XH-98/A3 scrapped all of the previous technologies, and created a completely new Rifle. While looking similar to the previous rifles in terms of silhouete, and features. It utilized two heavier barrels, using designs acquired from the old Misriah complex to increase accuracy, and to allow the weapon fire both 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds. The overall appearance was more skeletal than before, allowing for weight reductions and possible attatchment slots. The weapon now only featured the adaptive variant, utilizing 3 strategically placed RIS's and the now removable EUPLM. Among the default features of the weapon included, a target designator, a small, 2cR microphone, a 20cR camera feed, 3-D Ruggedized propietary shatterproof holographic sight, side-slot and cleaning rod, a redesigned, cheaper, more efficient recoil reduction system, and redesigned shell.
The interior components were redesigned, with lighter materials making the weapon lighter, the battery was easilly replaceable and the weapon could now function without it due to the iron sights and redesigned EUPLM
the XH-98 was significantly more advanced than any other rifle before it. Featuring a new launcher, the EUPLM, the rifle's propietary 3 dimensional targetting sight also contained a computer that calculated the arc of the projectile in the launcher.
The ammunition measurement unit was also replaced with a cheap, small touch-screen that used the 3d Holographic sight's computer for various functions such as marking airstrikes with the integrated target designator below the EUPLM.
(Section Under Construction)
XH-98: Bolt location moved from upper center of the rifle to the position of the M392's bold location.
XH-98: Controls imported from UNSC's MA5B rifles, while software from the newer sight is made compatible.\
XH-98: Material used to create rifle changed in favor of lighter materials such as Titanium-A
XH-98: Hollow stock replaced with skeletal Titanium-A stock.
XH-98A1: Improvements made to EUBGLM, accuracy and software upgraded (Software availiable for '98 targeting sights)
XH-98B: Magazines designated '98B utilize hollow point rounds and are longer (+12 Rounds/44)
XH-98BA1: Improvements to barrel interchange system, compatibility with 7.62mm rounds added via second barrel.
XH-98A2: Improvements to EUBGLM, reliability issues adressed, improvements to maintainance, extended, heavier barrel, air-cooling, and water-cooling system added.
XH-98BA2: XH-98BA1 with A2 improvements
XH-98A3: Improvements to cooling system, ammo counter ruggedized, sight ruggedized, internal data-chip added for photographs and video feed (added cost: 5cR). KFa/2x scope option added, side mounted rail integration system added (Optional). EUBGLM Improved, now able to fire 12 Gauge shotgun shells when special firing mechanism is added to EUBGLM. Bayonnet slot added. Civilian model now has a S-EUBGLM (fires only 20 gauge shells). Bolt materiels changed to Titanium-B for added reliability.
XH-98A3/C: Fires only 7.62mm rounds, barrel length reduced to that of a carbine. All attatchments removed, EUBGLM removed. Water-cooling system removed, target designation laser removed. Skeletal titanium stock added, electronics removed, ammo counter removed. Second Barrel removed, iron sights added. Codenamed: Bare bones. Sold to CMA Militia's, and trusted civilians. The XH-98A3/C is the variant that went into production as the UNSC's standard issue weapon for the Marine branches and Army branches.
XH-615: Released right before the UNSC Exile war, this skeletal, ultra-light semi-automatic variant was a short lived replacement to the M6J Carbine. Firing the M6J .50AE rounds, the intense recoil and generally short range of this weapon led to the introduction of the C6 rifle, an improved M6J incorporating some ideas from the XH-615 that was discontinued in 2618.