Thermal Pulse weapons use Thermal Compulsators to build up a charge that is released when the weapon is fired. They do not need any ammunition other than a power source (an internal electron matrix usually does the job) but their ROF (Rate Of Fire) is markedly slow and the barrels are prone to overheating during rapid fire.
To compensate for this the Thermal Pulse Rifle (TPR) has three barrels stacked in a tri-angular formation with shots being fired in sequence one barrel at a time. This results in an improved ROF but allows time for cooling of the barrels assisted by the integrated internal cooling system and heat-dumps.
TPR range is considerably lower than most other types of modern rifles with a maximum effective range around 400 meters and a practical combat range of around 190meters.
TP weapons have a devastating effect on flammable materials such as woodland, jungle, plastics, flesh and other combustible materials. They are, however, defeated by heat-resistant materials such as composite armours especially those which utilise carbon-nanotubules in their construction, ceramic armours and even more so by those with thermo-dumping systems, all of which can shed off the severe heat relatively quickly.
TPR weapons are often used to flush out targets by incinerating local cover and are much feared in close combat situations – they are in restricted use throughout the TechnosphereAll the Habitats contained within the system of 'Governance Of Technology' laws. and under GOT control – some few make their way to outside sources but their durability is low due to the high TQ required for their maintenance.
Nonetheless they are much favoured by criminal organisations and as first-use throwaway weapons by any armed forces that can lay their hands on them and keep them activated.