The XM225 "StarFang" was a prototype Pre-War plasma rifle.
The XM225 was the result of works produced jointly by West-Tek and Hi-Power Energy Solutions International. In 2065, the U.S. government issued a set of constraints for an improved, automatic plasma rifle to serve in the stead of the comparatively more fragile and unreliable M25 plasma rifle that was already in limited service. West-Tek and HPES worked jointly using HPES' compact energy sources, most notably MicroFusion cells and compact Fission batteries.
The general frame was based upon the AER7 laser rifle, to give the rifle a sturdier and more resistant body. By 2066, a basic energy framework was devised to allow greater amounts of ammunition per microfusion cell. A single microfusion cell could power the first XM225 for fifty rounds. The cost came in the form of a fourth the overall power per shot. It would take five years of work to perfect the balance between power and ammunition. In the mean time, a new limiter module was devised to allow for automatic fire. Unlike the module of the M25, which made it so that the rifle could not be made to project a stream of plasma which may damage the superconductor component, the new module simply gave a smaller pause in between shots.
By 2067, the XM225 was in its final alpha-prototype phases, including fine-tuning and perfecting. The rifle had already gone into limited service in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces by 2070, and initial reports in most urban environments were promising, with less than a 5% failure rate. However, in harsher extremes the rifle was proven to be only slightly more durable than its predecessor, with a similar failure rate of 60% (as opposed to its predecessor's 67% failure rate). With improvements from 2070 onwards few and far between, the project was canceled in 2075.
The XM225 was only in service with the U.S. military in a menagerie of its branches and subdivisions, and at that only between 2069 and 2075. It gained the nickname 'StarFang' from its users, who thought the rifle resembled the titular weapon of a science fiction television program that had aired between 2054 and 2062, The StarFang.
The rifle saw its most glorious moments in urban combat, particularly during the Anchorage Reclamation campaign. Though with reduced punch per bolt, a single plasma bolt from the XM225 still proved lethal at close to medium range, and the rate of fire and automatic firemode gave its wielder the advantage in close quarters combat compared to most conventional firearms. However, in harsher environs such as mainland China the rifle's components were often compromised by water damage, heat damage, or mud.