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In addition to the other excellent points: Bulk. For example, vehicle crew don't usually carry rifles, they carry pistols (or perhaps carbines, as a compromise between range/damage and encumbrance). The cabin of an aircraft or the driving compartment of a tank just doesn't have room for a rifle. Overdamage. For example, spaceship crew might carry only ...


In addition to what others have said: Rifles tend to want two uninjured hands and arms to use. Depending on the tech level and situation, there may be more pistols available which have more shots or higher RoF than a rifle in the same situation (legal or military issue, etc). e.g. Two flintlock pistols gives you two shots versus one for musket. Revolvers ...

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