After the unveiling of microfusion battery technology in 2066, Colt Arms decided to enter into the civilian energy weapons market. Partnering with Winchester Arms, which created the P94 Plasma Casters, David J Browning and Cameron Rockwell led research and development of a self defensive energy weapon with limited lethality that still invoked a nostalgic sense of cowboy justice, using the lower power civilian grade fusion cell as its backbone.
In 2072, Colt Arms Manufacturing introduced the Energy Model 2072 Electro-Pulse Peacekeeper. It's demand was limited in the mainstream civilian market due to its design, low charge fusion capacity, weight distribution, and cost associated with civilian fusion technology. Most were found in rural police districts, as opposed to the Glock 86 Plasma Defender, where most altercations required less deadly force to resolve. However, this put the model in competition with General Atomics’ Compliance Regulator line of AER-10s. Colt discontinued production in 2074.
A cult following arose after the weapon was discontinued, particularly among collectors and tinkerers. With access to military-grade fusion cells, the wattage output could be drastically increased to very effective, but lethal levels at the cost of capacitor overload and burn out. Recognizing this, Colt sold a limited run of high-energy capacitors to those that purchased the model and burnt them out due to modification.
With the success of this run of capacitors, the company had plans to manufacture and release a new line of Pulse Protector units in 2081 with a stun/kill capacitor setting. By 2077, several prototypes were sent to several test market stores and ranges. In October, these prototypes were demonstrated in space cowboy costumes to promote a new space western serial.
In the years following the Great War, little was seen of them except in the hands of few rural survivalists. After a time, these weapons were very rarely ever seen again. In the mid 2270s, East Coast Enclave forces gained access to the schematics for these firearms when they established safehouses in the New England Commonwealth, particularly in the Colt Manufacturing Plant and Headquarters in the ruins of Hartford, Connecticut.
A targeting laser and a series of magnetic coils inside the outer barrel housing convert and condense the energy from a fusion cell discharge into a bolt of condensed electrical energy similar to that of a plasma weapon. Removing the titanium outer casing to perform maintenance on the internal components is a simple matter and shares components with laser and plasma pistols, so it can be repaired with such.Visually, it functions like a break action gun. The trigger hangs under the capacitor while the fusion cell housing swings open from a hinge in front of it and ejects an empty cell. A second, spring powered hinge at the front of the gun lifts the entire barrel and cell assembly to expose the cell housing.
The second spring eject system makes the Winchester Pulse Rifle attachment functional in combat. One loads the pistol in through the bottom of the extended barrel casing and the stock attachment locks into the pistol grip through a skeletal handle. A cowboy-style lever connects to the front hinge and locks everything in place once pulled flush against the grip and will activate the front break-action cell ejection when levered forward like a lever-action rifle so it may be reloaded like a military gauss rifle. Using the rifle configuration powers a series of charging capacitors, which provides an increase in range and shots per cell at the cost of some damage per shot.
Damage output depends on the amount of charge in a particular fusion cell and what model is being used. The original civilian model, using civilian fusion cells, dealt less total lethal damage, aiming to incapacitate rather than kill a target and could be fired seven to ten times at a full charge. Military-grade fusion cells fired more devastating bolts of energy, but at the risk of burning out the capacitors and outright killing living targets.
This was true with the 2081 Model, but with less risk to overheating the new capacitor on the kill setting. With military-grade fusion cells, shots-per-cell tripled on the stun setting. Civilian cells on the kill setting fires a laughable two shots.
With adjustments and additional smaller parts, General Atomics AER emitter and stock modifications can be attached to the rifle and barrel.