A semi-automatic medium power rifle, this rifle is chambered in the common 5.56mm cartridge and has a magazine capacity of 20 rounds. The rifle is simple yet well made, and since it requires limited gun skills to use accurately, it makes a very reliable weapon often used by New California Republictroopers.
As of patch 188.8.131.522, the weapon fires at a much greater rate with increased accuracy. This makes it a much more viable weapon for low level players with its high DPS. Likewise, this also means NCR troopers are far more effective in combat, with a squad able to project a greater amount of firepower.
The service rifle can be modified with a forged receiver to increase durability and an upgraded spring to increase the rate of fire. Two other modifications that were cut from the game, a bayonet and a reflex sight, were to be available but were left as unfinished models before the release.
The service rifle can fire a total of about 1995 standard rounds, the equivalent of 100 reloads, from full condition before breaking. When modified with the forged receiver, it can fire a total of about 2995 standard rounds, the equivalent of 150 reloads, from full condition before breaking.
This rifle, along with two ammunition boxes can be found in a small, unmarked coyote den west of Primm (exact location would be further on west from the drive-in cinema and playground, just south of the Canyon Wreckage spot on the map) guarded by at least 2 coyotes.
Many rifles can be found on the corpses of NCR personnel and scattered on the ground on the remains of the Long 15 if it is targeted by the nuclear warheads that can be launched during The End. Lonesome Road
xbox360 Sometimes in V.A.T.S., the service rifle will disappear from the PCs hands; the animation will continue, however, which will waste ammunition, and do no damage to the enemy. The gun will reappear when the V.A.T.S. animation ends. This glitch may happen outside V.A.T.S. as well, when crouching, but can be fixed by simply standing up. [verified]
xbox360 When completing the aid for Camp Guardian a loop can be created through dialog with Private Halford to obtain 1 service rifle, 15 armor piercing 5.56mm rounds and 32 5.56mm rounds by going through the top dialog options repeatedly. [verified]
pc When upgraded with both the Upgraded Springs and the Forged Receiver, shooting with surplus ammunition makes the Condition jump to 100% before it starts to decline. The condition drops to a certain point around the 75% mark on the scale and then jumps to 100% Condition making 5.56mm Surplus Ammunition much more valuable as a repair exploit. The process is repeatable. [verified]