|This is an overview article which contains background information and cross-game comparisons. For game-specific information and stats, see the articles linked on the right.|
Gauss rifles are hand-held weapons utilizing electromagnetic coils to propel metal slugs at extremely high velocities.
The Gauss rifle, also called a coil gun, is a device used to propel a ferromagnetic projectile by accelerating them through a process of magnet induction, known as asynchronous linear induction, to reach violently piercing speeds. The Gauss rifle (and Gauss gun) are named after German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, who formulated mathematical descriptions of the magnetic effect demonstrated by magnetic accelerators.
 M72 Gauss rifle
The M72 rifle is of German design. It uses an electromagnetic field to propel rounds at tremendous speed... and pierce almost any obstacle. Its range, accuracy, and stopping power are almost unparalleled.
 Scoped Gauss rifle
The scoped Gauss rifle is an advanced sniper rifle used during the invasion of Alaska. Unlike the M72 Gauss rifle, which uses 2mm EC magazines containing both batteries and ammunition, this gun requires the user to load in the microfusion cells needed to energizes and magnetize each pre-loaded standard round contained in the magazine attached to the side of the weapon. Each round produces a small "explosion" on impact, dealing minor splash damage and blow back the enemy for a short period.
 Enhanced Gauss rifle
|The following is based on Fallout Extreme and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
An enhanced version of the M72 model.
 Beta Gauss rifle
|The following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
The Beta Gauss rifle is a beta version of the Scoped Gauss rifle that uses the model of a laser rifle and features a five round magazine. It only does about 25% of the damage of the final version, but has a 100% knock-down chance. It is only obtainable through console commands.
- Gauss rifle construction utilizes both normal projectile that is ballistically accelerated (as in guns skill), but the acceleration is performed by terms of strong magnetic fields (thus energy skill). This may have lead to confusion and change of properties and requirements seen through the Fallout series.
- ↑ In-game description of the Gauss rifle in Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics. 
- ↑ Emil Pagliarulo in the Bethesda Game Studios forum  - "The gun energizes and magnetizes a standard projectile round; those are already pre-loaded into the weapon, and are in that giant clip attached to the side of the weapon. The player loads in the Micro Fusion Cells needed to energize/magnetize each round. We did it this way because we knew we wanted to have an Energy Weapon equivalent of the sniper rifle..."