- "We always know when the Tusken Raiders are on a killing spree. We can hear their rifles cracking across the desert like lightning strikes."
- ―Huff Darklighter
The Tusken Cycler was the standard projectile weapon used by the Tusken Raiders of Tatooine in ranged combat. Varying in design, cycler rifles were often homemade creations or pieced together through scavenged starship wrecks, smelted metals, and other gathered refuse. A long range weapon, cycler rifles made use of a limited Magnetic pulse accelerator to propel solid ammunition through the rifle's long and sturdy barrel - giving the weapon impressive range and stopping power. Ammunition was mainly limited to generic slugthrower rounds, though in rare cases tribes acquired explosive slugs, which when fired were enveloped in an energy sheath. The weapon emitted a unique sound when fired, rather like a cross between a blaster and a musket.
The Tusken Raiders generally modified their rifles, as the basic variant lacked the targeting tools necessary to make the rifle an effective sniping weapon. The weapons were normally modified with improved firing chambers for larger and more powerful slugs or the addition of scopes for better sniping.
The rifles were similar to the Czerka produced 6-2Aug2 hunting rifle so it is possible that the raiders stole shipments of these weapons and modified them for their own use. The raiders liked nothing better than camping out near the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace track during a race and taking pot shots at the pods as they zoomed past. The number of racers lost in this way was a testament to Tusken accuracy.
Due to the length of the barrel, the Cycler had better accuracy than more contemporary blaster designs, with the very best models being able to hit human-sized targets from distances up to 200-1000 meters. The rate of fire was fairly slow, as many of the rifles used a bolt action mechanism. As a result, Tusken Cyclers were not used at short ranges where a fast rate of fire was necessary. Rather, they were used to pick off enemies at long range. The Raiders retained the gaffi stick for dealing with enemies in close combat.
Behind the scenes
The appearance and purpose of the weapon is based on the real world jezail, long barreled muskets used by Pashtun tribesmen against British colonial troops.
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