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The RCW without (top) and with the recycler (bottom)
The unique feature of this laser assault rifle that not only gives the weapon its name, but also its unique look and high rate of fire for a laser rifle is the addition of a "drum". This drum contains a bank of 6 capacitors in a circle formation centered around a electron charge pack that charges them, as each capacitor is fired off in succession producing a single laser beam, it is allowed time to recharge up to full capacity while the following capacitors discharge in rotation.
This addition operates under the same basic principle that multi barreled ballistic weapons (such as the minigun) do, with having multiple capacitors like the minigun has multiple barrels, it breaks the rate of fire limitations imposed by having a single capacitor. It should also be noted that the laser RCW uses a larger type of ammunition than the rest of the rifles, which is primarily used by weapons in the heavy category.
With adequate energy weapons skill and Strength, this weapon exhibits amazing accuracy due to a low weapons spread, making it useful for taking down enemies at almost any range. Being a direct energy weapon it has no recoil allowing for continuous accurate fire. However, using it extensively on full-auto requires large amounts of ammunition. A partial solution to this problem is to apply the laser RCW modification, which recycles every fourth discharge. It also has the lowest critical chance of any energy weapon in the entire game.
Using true iron sights can become difficult with this weapon as the bright flash and pulse emitted when this weapon fires can easily obscure the tiny field of vision that the iron sights allow. This effect is especially pronounced in low light conditions.
- Laser RCW Recycler - recycles and replenishes 1 in 4 shots.
- One can be stolen from the Silver Rush in Freeside.
- Can be found on one of the corpses by the locked door in the lobby of REPCONN headquarters.
- Fiends occasionally carry them, more often around Vault 3.
- Brotherhood of Steel scribes often carry them, as well as Elder McNamara.
- Sometimes carried by Greasy Johnny.
- Can be found on Bright Brotherhood members.
- The maximum attainable critical hit chance with this weapon (in V.A.T.S.) is 26%.
Behind the scenes
- According to the filename for the icon, the Laser RCW was originally going to be called the Laser PDW (personal defense weapon).
- A post by Josh Sawyer on the official Bethesda forums
- In-game model of the laser RCW in Fallout: New Vegas.