Plasma Sidearm

Full Designation

Green Industries PPW-X2, PPW-X3 (Pulsed Plasma Weapon models X2 & X3)

Description & Specifications

The PPW-X2 is an energy-firing sidearm with a pistol handgrip and barrel length of 10.6" (269mm), intended to be fired one-handed and worn holstered at the hip. Its bulk and 4lb (1.8kg) loaded weight mean that many users prefer to fire it with a second hand gripping beneath the barrel, even though the weapon has almost zero recoil.

The weapon fires a pulse of high-energy plasma, with a characteristic crimson colour and a distinctive "GZAP" sound. It fires a single shot with each pull of the trigger but will fire as fast as the trigger can be pulled. Range and accuracy are comparable with conventional automatic pistols, with a stopping power greater than all but the heaviest calibre conventional handguns, and a greater penetration against bulletproof armour.

The weapon is fed by a cylindrical power cell which clips into place flush with and parallel to the bottom of the barrel. A single power cell is good for 20 shots before becoming depleted. Changing cells is as simple as thumbing the eject lever and clipping a new cylinder into place. Cells can only be recharged at a specialist facility. It is believed that DICE agent Huey once managed to explosively discharge a full power cell with devastating effect, but Green Industries' legal department denies that this could have been done, as safety features make it impossible.

The model X3 is a smaller weapon with a 6" (152mm) barrel and weighing 2lb 8oz (1.2kg), designed for carrying in a shoulder holster. It has similar accuracy and stopping power as the X2, and the main practical difference is a smaller power cell that gives only 10 shots from a single charge.


Green Industries began work on man-portable plasma weapons in 1980. By 1982, they had a working model, the assault-rifle-sized PPW-X1, which they hoped to sell to the United States army. The Pentagon rejected the weapon for numerous reasons, including unit price and difficulty in deploying the recharging infrastructure, but some interest was expressed by the newly formed Department of Intelligence and Counter Espionage (DICE). The weapon's armour penetration ability is what particularly interested DICE, as they were consistently finding themselves facing terrorist groups using high-tech armour that could withstand conventional handguns.

After field trials, DICE requested changes to the design, primarily a reduction in size to allow it to be carried holstered and concealed if necessary. The result was the X2, produced in 1983, with the smaller X3 the following year. The X1 never went into full-scale production. DICE began replacing conventional sidearms with a mixture of both models in 1984 and had fully adopted the weapon by mid-1985. DICE continued to use the weapon until 1993.

Over the years, several weapons found their way into the hands of criminal organisations such as the Anarchists, though these groups more often used similar weapons designed and built in illegal weapons factories. Some of these pre-date the Green Industries PPW, and Green certainly would have known of their existence and may have had models to examine prior to producing their own X1 prototype.

In 1993, the Event which stripped the world of superpowers also affected a lot of cutting-edge equipment, including the PPW. Every PPW in existence, and much of the factory machinery used to construct them, spontaneously ceased to operate. As of 2014, Green Industries has not been able to produce a practical plasma weapon design to replace the PPW.