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The Radium Rifle irradiates bullets as they are fired, causing ballistic damage, with an extra kick of radiation damage that is deadly to humans.”— Loading screen hint
The radium rifle is a pre-War carbine that has been modified to deal radiation damage.
Its regular wooden and steel rifle components have been upgraded with all manner of wiring and circuitry, among them what looks like two sets of gamma rounds on the barrel in front of the ejection port. A crudely made dish fashioned from wire and tin foil surrounds the muzzle on long barreled variants. This component is somewhat reminiscent of the gamma gun and most likely the source of the radium rifle's radiation damage. With the ported variant of the long barrel, looking at the weapon from the front shows the dish's foil parts forming the well-known radiation warning symbol with the barrel representing the center point.
It utilizes a gas-delayed blowback design, where the bolt is never locked, and is pushed rearwards by the expanding propellant gases, which are vented from the barrel into a cylinder that delays the opening of the bolt.
The radium rifle's upgrade options are largely identical to those of the Commonwealth's combat rifle, with the notable difference of requiring much higher levels of the Gun Nut and Science! perks. Its considerable radiation damage per shot, coupled with its very high rate of fire whilst using a variant of the automatic receiver (on par with a minigun's), make it much more dangerous to regenerating enemies like Legendaries, but especially to the Sole Survivor. People without good radiation resistance will succumb to rad poisoning very quickly when under fire from even one radium rifle.
Some things should be kept in mind when utilizing the radium rifle: it has very obstructive iron sights (even with the glow sights mod) that are made even more difficult and confusing to use thanks to the large number of components attached to the weapon, though reflex sights remedy this problem to a large degree. Automatic variants have horrendously potent and very unpredictable recoil, which restricts the weapon to very close range combat unless considerable resources are spent on mods to counter its vicious recoil (in which case the weapon's effective range improves considerably). In addition, the weapon suffers from a very slow reload speed for a magazine fed weapon, which is only somewhat mitigated by quick mag modifications.
- A unique version of the radium rifle, the Kiloton Radium rifle, can be obtained from Kane in the Nucleus.
- Another unique version is Radical Conversion, which is awarded to the player character upon completing the quest, Ablutions.
- Frequently carried by Children of Atom on the Island, especially by Zealots in and around the Nucleus.
- Several rifles can be found lying around in Children of Atom territory.
- Can be purchased from weapon vendors across the Island.
- One can be found in the cabin at Kawaketak Station.
Behind the scenes
Radium is a chemical element well known for being highly radioactive.
ps4 The fire rate for the powerful automatic receiver will sometimes read as 300, and sometimes as 90. It is unknown what causes or remedies this for now, but has been noted by various players. [verification overdue]