The Precision Rail Rifle is the first available 'sniping' weapon in Alien Swarm. The Rail Rifle is unique in that it requires reloading in between every shot taken. In addition, the shots it fires pierce their targets, letting a marine be certain they will hit their mark regardless of how many bodies are in the way.
- Very high damage per shot
- Piercing rounds reduces the chances a target can hide
- Fire rate can be very high with good use of fast reloads
- Difficult to use due to manual shot loading
- Piercing rounds do not distinguish between friend or foe
The IAF issue Rail Rifle utilizes a hybrid firing system to achieve muzzle velocities of over 35km/sec. The armor piercing rounds are propelled both by an explosive charge and an electromagnetic force generated by twin rails inside the weapon. This weapon is not recommended for general purpose combat, but is designed for high damage strikes against a specific target.
- Of the two dedicated sniper weapons (the other being the AVK-36 Marksman Rifle), the Precision Rail Rifle is certainly the more difficult weapon to handle. The requirement that every shot has to be loaded individually is both a blessing and a curse. When used by someone who can time fast reloads with high certainty, this weapon can achieve a firing rate slightly higher than the AVK-36, thus providing a higher damage per second total as the Rail Rifle hits harder. However, if the shots cannot be reliably fast loaded, then the Rail Rifle is significantly weaker as the fire rate is essentially set to the reload speed, which gives it a base firing rate of 0.55/sec.
- Since the AVK-36 tends to be more reliable as the user's concentration isn't taxed by numerous fast reloads, the Rail Rifle is best used as a specialist weapon against very high value targets that must die quickly. When boosted using a X33 Damage Amplifier, a single shot is capable of killing most targets, and a second shot is rarely needed.
- The piercing rounds allows a marine to effectively ignore every Swarm between themselves and their target for the purposes of lining up the shot. So long as there is a clean line without any terrain obstacles, a marine can be confident that when they pull the trigger, their target will get slugged.
- In the same vein, aim far. All Swarm between the marine and his target will take damage as long as their cores are hit.
- The Precision Rail Rifle is best used by a marine with a Reload Speed Bonus, i.e. not Officers. Crash's bonus is the largest, cutting reload speed to a mere 1.1 seconds (This is .1 seconds faster than the AVK-36 and thus essentially has the same rate of fire even without fast reloading).