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For other uses, see Z-6.

"Wow. We really did say no prisoners, didn't we, sir?"

The Z-6 rotary blaster cannon was a powerful rotating blaster cannon chaingun developed by Merr-Sonn Munitions and used during the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War.

Description[edit | edit source]

"A big gun doesn't make a big man."

An ARC trooper with a Z-6 on Hypori

The Z-6 rotary blaster cannon was a heavy weapon that fired a massive spray of blaster bolts at a target. It was similar to a heavy repeating blaster, except it was light enough to be operated by a single heavy weapon specialist without a tripod. The Z-6 was large and unwieldy and required training to use effectively.[1]

Working around a basic limitation in capabilities inherent in typical man-portable blaster weapons, the Z-6 incorporated a rotary assembly of six barrels, each with its own actuating chamber, wrapped around a coolant-lined core. The galven circuitry used in the blaster meant that the Z-6 had both a high cyclic discharge rate and good cooling, allowing for a tremendous sustained rate of fire (up to roughly 166 discrete full-powered shots per second).

Despite its impressive firepower, the weapon had several notable limitations, specifically the high rate of energy pack consumption, significant weight, and powerful recoil. The weapon is thus considered a special-issue arm deployed in specific situations, rather than a general purpose weapon. Efforts by Merr-Sonn to counteract its limitations were not completely successful, and variants that addressed those issues tended to end up being trade-offs.

Clone trooper Hevy used the Z-6 during his training as well as on the Rishi moon outpost. When approaching the command center, the gun had jammed on him.

The rotary blaster cannon required a power pack to operate; after 200 shots, the power pack must be replaced. This weapon could also be attached to a power generator for longer use. It weighed 16 kg and cost 5,500 credits, but its sale was restricted for military use only.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

"Okay clankers...suck laser!"
Jek to Battle droids during the Mission to Rugosa — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Coming to prominence at the dawn of the Clone Wars, the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon was popular among the clone troopers of the Galactic Republic because it allowed the wielder to cover a greater fire arc with a single burst.[1]

A member of the Muunilinst 10 operated a Z-6 cannon during the mission to rescue a Jedi from General Grievous on Hypori during the Clone Wars, as the weapon was usually issued to ARC heavy gunners. Jek brought his Z-6 to the Battle of Rugosa.[2] During a counter-terrorism operation, Corr wielded a Z-6 to great effect. At least one more was wielded during the Separatist invasion of Coruscant in 19 BBY in order to defend Sector Four against masses of battle droids. Furthermore, a member of the Black Ops task force used one to destroy landspeeders on Coruscant. During the Kamino Uprising, many ARC Troopers wielded it against the Empire.[3] A clone rookie named Hevy used a Z-6 as his weapon of choice.

A Rebel trooper using a Z-6

The Z-6 was also used heavily by elite soldiers of Jedi General Rahm Kota's Militia. Master Kota, who was distrustful of the Clone Army during the Clone Wars, chose to make use of his own specially trained militia. Many of these elite soldiers would effectively utilize the Z-6 repeating blaster in many of their raids after the Great Jedi Purge, including the Battle of the TIE Fighter Construction Facility above Nar Shaddaa.[4]

The Rebel Alliance also made use of Z-6 rotary blasters.[5]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Concept art for the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon

The Z-6 is essentially a blaster equivalent of real-world miniguns found aboard combat helicopters. They use multi-barrelled assemblies to achieve incredible rates of fire, sometimes up to 10,000 rounds-per-minute. The notion of a soldier-carried minigun was popularized in the film Predator, which inspired numerous other movies and video games featuring burly soldiers hefting along "chainguns." In reality, the recoil, weight and ammunition consumption of such weapons make it impossible to be carried by a soldier.[6]

Karen Traviss first named this weapon.[7]

In Star Wars: Battlefront II, there is a variant called a "Chaingun" used by the clone commander class, but it is a shoulder-mounted weapon instead. In the book The Clone Wars: Grievous Attacks!, the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon was incorrectly called a quad cannon. In the game Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes, the Z-6 rotary blaster cannon was also incorrectly called a minigun. In LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, the Z-6 rotary cannon is referred to as the chaingun.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Commander Cody using a Z-6

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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