"So you got yourself a bloody Tinker's plasma pistol?  Ha!  Go on, heft that mother with your good hand!  Yeah, see ...?  Heavy, ain't it?  Too heavy to be no pistol, boy.   The M20's more like a bulky carbine for us humans, it takes two hands to hold that fat little pig down tight when she starts to snort off and buck up and if you're not wearing your gloves when you grip the front you can expect blisters a many from the flash output.  It may be a bloody plasma machine pistol for the Tinkers ... The sods carry two of them, they bloody do, and they use them one handed to spray anything that moves and even some things that don't move no more.  Damn Tinkers kill you twice now these days. I seen a Tinker burn a hole in a man clean through where he stood then burn another hole in him when he was already done dead and smoking on the ground.  Guess its just their way of making sure you're dead.  I say balls on that.  I do the same to them because if you don't make sure that a Tinker is down and that it's going to stay down then it will get back up when you least expect it.  Out in the field you can't afford any surprises like a Tinker coming back online, standing up behind you and coming after you all over again, not when you thought you'd done gone and killed it all right proper and the like.  So, go on!  Puts an extra bolt or two into the damn Tinker and make sure that you blow the head and its CPU to superheated metal fog when you do otherwise that cold metal hand on your shoulder might be one o' the last things you ever feel in this here jolly old life.  Take my word for it, son.  I seen a Tinker not killed right proper like come back up and pull my mate's head clean off his shoulders fore he even had time to scream ...  You just go on and practice with that M20 for a while and you get real good at using it because it's a damn sure bet that the Tinkers know how to use them.  Hell, they designed the damn things in the first place which is how we kind of went about and got our hands on these.  Guess there's some good to the Tinker's after all.  At least they're kind enough to let us steal the type of weapons that we can use to put them down and put them down good."

- Sgt. Rand McDougal




M20-A Series Weapon System Specifications


Automated Manufactory, Block A5, Sector 4

Also available in template form at any Series III or higher construction facility


03:02:2010 to 07:04:2029 A.D. 


Personal, fully portable very high energy weapon system


Enduralloy components mated to carbon fiber and poly fiber carrier, misc. high density plastics and spun-blown metals with integrated superconducting filaments.


Level IV magnetic field containment of refined hydrogen fuel excited with thermal rapid pulse chemical high energy laser ignition system.  Caseless fuel / power integration.


10mm / 5mm magnetically stabilized and insulated smoothbore


4.75kg, unloaded.
Loaded power clip containing enough fuel and battery energy for 250 plasma pulses weighs 2.0kg
Total loaded weapon weight: 4.75kg



Length overall, 0.70 meters (705mm)


M35 Integrated Fuel Power (IFP) type stacked array containing enough refined hydrogen core fuel and battery power to initiate and produce 100 plasma pulses.  Later capacity increased to 150 shots with introduction of M38 high capacity power clip.


100 pulse capable refined hydrogen fuel cell combined with coaxial high density Type IV crystal storage array.  Later models are fed by 150 pulse capable fuel cell combo.


60 pulses per minute sustained given cooling cycle and single rate of fire.  Unit capable of select fire in three round bursts or full automatic fire.  Cyclic rate of fire on full auto is 180 pulses per minute.  Onboard diagnostic and safety interface systems prevent weapon overheating by locking out firing system if core temp rises beyond acceptable levels.


0.25 Mj phased plasma bolt, flow wash temp at +4500 degrees


Staged hand-off coils accelerate bolt to a velocity of 9000 meters per second (9.0kps).


1200 meters (bolt integrity destabilizes and cohesion factor approaches .85% dispersal).  Bolt reaches maximum range in 0.13 seconds.


600 meters (at this point bolt begins to lose cohesion, dispersal factor starts to rise).  Bolt reaches effective range in 0.06 seconds.


Contact hit produces 5 mm diameter entry point forming destructive tunneling of target material through kinetic energy and super thermal contact.  Upon negative penetration or contact with a superior surface, bolt will destabilize into high speed thermal tributary fragments with a one meter lethal splash radius.  Laser excited, magnetically accelerated 5mm x 250mm pre-emptive phased conversion thermal bolt will penetrate 3.25cm of case hardened steel up to effective range with loss of overall penetration commensurate with range after that.  Immediate transfer of thermo-kinetic energy to soft target tissues and standing fluids rated at greater than 95% with high speed liquid to vapor thermal expansion.  High duration of residual thermal effects noted in hard surfaces struck by plasma fire.  Explosive displacement of up to one cubic meter of material may result from bolt impact with material having trapped water or water vapor inside (porous rock, concrete, masonry, etc.) with lethal spall out to one point five meters from point of explosive decoupling of material cohesive structure.


Consistent Damage Index of  135 / 6.8 representing at effective range the 5 mm x 250mm bolt will penetrate 135 cm of standard ballistic gelatin with a wound channel radiating out 6.8 cm from the point of impact narrowing from that radius in accordance with depth and tensile strength of target material as the bolt loses temperature and velocity.  This index rating does not take into account any standing liquids such as water or blood that may be encountered as such liquids will be instantaneously vaporized thus greatly increasing the wound channel radius through flash heating causing high velocity steam expansion and lethal bursting of soft tissues over a large volume of body area.


SKYNET had just began production of the T600 Terminator unit when it reached a critical decision junction. A soldier needed to be armed and SKYNET was logically wanting to equip its units with the best weapons it could design with the logic being to concentrate weapons research, development and design into high energy weapons that were extremely effective against organic targets.  The M-25A2 series weapon, dating back to the M-25 series weapon, had been surpassed now in research by newer, more powerful technology.  SKYNET's continued research into small displacement, fully portable plasma ejectors reached another level of achievement in 2010 A.D. with the introduction of a more compact yet more powerful weapon than the M-25A1/A2 series; the M20-A.  

The M20-A was a smaller version of the follow up M95A1, in essence, a sawed-off plasma rifle.  Some theorize that the M95A1 was produced first and the M20-A second while others speculate just the opposite.  In any case, the year 2010 A. D. saw the introduction to SKYNET forces of a superior plasma gun combo; a large, heavy duty pistol format plasma ejector and a much larger bull-pup configuration heavy duty plasma rifle.  "Pistol" may not exactly be the right word, though it was certainly used as such in the grip of the Endoskeleton based combat units, especially the later mission design specific Terminators, that the weapon was assigned to.  When a human tried to use the weapon, it became more of a carbine in format.

The design of the new series plasma weapons was such that the core configuration could be graduated in size either up or down the production scale.  A 30% smaller weapon was achieved by modeling the system in a smaller scale.   The traditional bullpup configuration was discarded and total weapon balance was moved forward in the design by repositioning the fuel / power cell forward of the pistol grip and firing actuator assembly.   The newly designated M20-A was intended to provide SKYNET mobile ground units with a lighter, more compact, rapid fatigue plasma generator capable of engaging any mobile target while at the same time being less costly in time and production materials than the larger M95A1 model.  SKYNET could produce three M20-A plasma guns for each M95A1 plasma gun that it produced, a considerable cost in time and materials to arm its mobile infantry units.  By 2012 A.D., endoskeletons carrying dual M20-A plasma guns became common sights in contested areas, coinciding with the across the board upgrade of most of SKYNET's front line combat units with the new series 3 model A44-X5 combat microprocessor and the Mod 5 sensor upgrades for which the M20-A was a perfect compliment.

The M20-A heavy snub-carbine plasma gun (human designation, also referred to colloquially among Resistance veterans as the "blunderbuss,"  source unknown.) and M20-A heavy plasma pistol (SKYNET designation) are the same weapon.  The bulk of the snub plasma projector was such that it was effectively a one handed weapon when employed by the current series of endoskeleton combat chassis and a two handed weapon when employed by human Resistance fighters.  A modified model 3A front EM suppressor assembly provided protection from plasma flash / thermal wash flashback during prolonged firing.  With a 50% smaller plasma generator system, a substantial weight and space savings was noticed at an equally substantial loss to overall range.  The M20-A also became the mainstay of installation support and security units, where a heavier more intense plasma discharge might not be advantageous to surrounding capital or critical priority equipment as it didn't have the punch of the larger M95A1 series weapon.

The M20-A was designed for select fire, from single pulse, to three round pulses, to full automatic though the limited cooling of the weapon made full automatic fire something of a risk during prolonged bursts.  The Series 2 power / fuel cell gave 100 pulses before being exhausted.  The Series 3 power / fuel cell of the M20-A2 weapon class increased this capacity through containment management to 150 pulses between replacement.  Refueling was accomplished either by replacing the entire power cell.  SKYNET's facilities had plenty of recharging racks and were often full of power cartridges. 

Since its introduction in 2010 A.D., the M20-A heavy pistol has been adapted by many elements of the Resistance as a carbine or submachinegun-type weapon, especially among covert teams and those which the humans refer to as "SCI-TECH" and "TECH/COM"; technical commandos and highly intelligent raiders who often operate in restricted areas and environments where the power of a full size energy weapon is needed but the overall bulk of a full sized plasma projector would be detrimental to operating conditions and speed on the move.  Several factory lots of the weapon have also fallen into the hands of Human raiders and the M20-A is seeing wider dispersion among the Resistance as the older M-25 becomes harder to find or field.   In three instances, ELINT forces have recovered weapons which not only appear to have been adapted to a human built reinforced stock, but also two which were mounted with the primitive optical enhancement sights using salvaged parts from several Endoskeleton models and mounted with crude mounts thus proving that the humans are readily adapting captured technology to their needs, a fact that greatly disturbed SKYNET.  Other later examples included swivel point attachments for over and under combat slings, clip-on magazine stacking, auxiliary infra-red and / or high intensity white light devices and what appeared to be a bolt on collapsible / adjustable stock for use by humans in improving long distance accuracy.