I am trying to set up a gun bunny with a variety of high-end, high-powered rifles, but our campaign starting finances and karma maxes are pretty low key. My goal is to have at least one solid "wow" rifle, but the more the merrier.

I understand Shadowrun has licenses and restrictions and so on, but would like to be able to use the gun bunny's favorite toys more than once, instead of discarding them in a dumpster or getting arrested after every mission for illegal possession.

I need advice on structuring qualities, skills, license fees and on where to find them. I would be happy if I could at least start with 3 firearms. I am not attempting to acquire explosives, grenades, rocket launchers, or energy weapons.

I'm hoping there's some singular cheap quality or high level skill that does this, but I doubt it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2017 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please clarify: Do you want a) cheap firepower that is decent and possibly licenseable or b) military expensive firepower that is way illegal but the best available? Also, what is the availability Max imum and how much money you left over for these guns? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 1, 2017 at 21:23

2 Answers 2


Other systems may favor building characters that work great after a few more adventures, but Shadowrun is a system where you build your character to work right now. You will never again have as much funds and as much karma, especially since at character generation, cost of skills is linear, it later gets more expensive with each level. So basic chargen rule for Shadowrun is: get it now and max it out.

There is one way to build your gunslinger: pick the gun you want. Seriously, just pick one. Then look at the Availability rating. If it's higher than allowed (12 normally) then take the positive quality Restricted Gear (Run&Gun, 10 Karma) to make it work anyway. As a gunslinger has no magic requirements, so you should have enough money to easily buy it, no matter what it costs. Don't forget smartgun and if it's an automatic weapon, addons for recoil compensation. But if you want something that splatters people, it won't have automatic fire anyway.

Then, if your pick wasn't an assault cannon, buy APDS ammunition. A ton of it. It's dirt cheap and hands down the best way to kill.

You probably cannot licence the gun. If it's cool, you cannot. So you need to decide on a way to pass regular checkpoints. Either use a regular, non-cool gun. Sporting rifle, pistol etc. But you didn't want to play that character, so you need a way to be able to hide your gun. So invest heavily (that means the max of 5-6 points at character generation) in

  • agility
  • the skill required for the weapon (rifles? heavy weapons?)
  • a skill required for hiding the weapon and yourself (infiltration, impersonation maybe?, maybe sleight-of-hand, ask your GM, there are no hard and fast rules)

Then, find something that works as a backup for when you have to go legal or when you have to go against your personal gun. For example: You have Pistols 6 for your favorite bad-ass revolver? Pack a harmless taser for fancier places. You have long arms 6 for your sniper? Pack a shotgun in case somebody gets up close. Don't be a one-trick-pony. Building a character around a weapon is easy. Making that character work in the 95% of other situations is more difficult.

That's it. Blast away.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ succinct and true. Sadly, because Restricted Gear is 10 and we were issued 13 max positive quality karma, i will probably have to abandon it. At least someone can make use of this research. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tristian
    Aug 3, 2017 at 8:12

TL;DR: You don't acquire weapons and licenses via skills in Chargen.

Ok, let's take a look on the info we have. Gunbunny wants:

  • Rifle types (So Sniper & Shotgun classes)
  • cheap
  • best not low quality
  • means to increase quality
  • possibly the licenses
  • All useable with one singular skill

We don't know the exact money or availability limit, but we can check out the arsenal what is relatively available at all (9), licenseable (R) and not overly expensive (3000$ or less), as that is often to be considered street level, at least around my circles.

This rules out the prime sniper rifles like the Barret Model 122 - it is a 20F weapon for close to 40000$ and thus out of reach of a starting runner anyway, because normally an Availability of 12 is top at the start. This means, we have to cut down our expectations some. After going through the Core rules, the Run & Gun and the Gun H(e)aven 3, the following guns presented itself to me as fitting the definitions above - all of them are used with the rifles skill.

  • Sniper: Pioneer 60 - 500$, Acc 5, 10P, AP-1, Single Shot, AVA 2R (Run & Gun p.39)
  • Sporting Rifle: Marlin 346SS - 1000$, Acc 4, 13P, AP-1, Single Shot, Ava 6R (Gun H(e)aven 3 p.25)
  • Sporting Rifle: M1 Garand - 1100$, Acc 5, 12p, AP-1, Semi Automatic, Ava 3R (Gun H(e)aven 3 p.27)
  • Sporting Rifle: Marlin 3041 BL- 1100$, Acc 5, 10p, AP-3, Semi Automatic, Ava 5R (Gun H(e)aven 3 p.29)
  • Sniper: Ruger 100 - 1300$, Acc 6, 11P, AP-3, Semi Automatic, Ava 4R (Core p.428)
  • Sporting Rifle: Marlin X71 - 1500$, Acc 5, 12P, AP-4, Single Shot, Ava 6R (Core p.428)
  • Sporting Rifle: Springfield M1A - 1700$, Acc 6, 12P, AP -1, Semi Automatic, Ava 6R (Gun H(e)aven p26)
  • Sporting Rifle: Winchester 2024 - 1800$, Acc 6, 12P, AP -, Semi Automatic, Ava 4R (Gun H(e)aven p.24)
  • Sniper: Remington 950 - 2100$, Acc 7, 12P, AP-4, Single Shot, Ava 4R (Core p.428)
  • Special1: Parashield Dart Rifle - 1200$, Acc 6, SPEC, AP -, Semi Automatic, Ava 6R (Core p.429)
  • Shotgun: Defiance T-250 - 450$, Acc 4, 10P, AP-1, Single Shot/Semi Automatic, Ava 4R (Core p.429)
  • Shotgun: Krime Boss - 600$, Acc 3, 13p, AP-1, Semi Automatic, Ava 11R (Gun H(e)aven 3 p.17
  • Shotgun: PJSS Model 55 - 1000$, Acc 6, 11P, AP-1, Single Shot, Ava 9R (Core p.429)
  • Shotgun: Remington 990 - 950$, Acc 4, 11P, AP-1, Semi Automatic, Ava 6R (Rund & Gun p.42)
  • Shotgun: Franchi SPAS-24 - 1050$, Acc 4(6), 12P, AP-1, Semi Automatic/Burst, Ava 12F (Run & Gun p.41)For this price I made an exception on the availability
  • Shotgun: Winchester Model 2054 - 900$, Acc 4(5), 11P, AP-1, Semi Automatic, Ava 6R (Gun H(e)aven 3 p.20)
  • Shotgun: Winchester Model 2066 - 1000$, Acc 4, 11P, AP-1, Single Shot, Ava 4R (Gun H(e)aven 3 p.19)
  • Shotgun: Winchester Model 201 - 1300$, Acc 8, 11P, AP-1, Semi Automatic, Ava 8R (Gun H(e)aven 3 p.18)

So, we have some things to choose from... Here's some words on each of them:!

"Snipers" aka Hunting/Sporting Rifles

All these contenders are chosen to be licenseable as either hunting or sporting equipment. This means, you likely just need one license, if you want to license them: Hunting can encompass a lot of the shotguns down there, while sporting rifles have the chance to have more AP... and Gun Heaven delivers most of them.

Better choose a type of ammo that destroys itself on impact though: Hollow Point (4F) is a good example, but you better hide it well. You get it on the black market. Gel (2R) also doesn't catch a rifling that could be identifiable, as the bullet is squishy. It also is your goto for nonlethal, so pack a bit of it.

Pioneer 60 - - It's cheap, it's available, it's decently accurate with a starting char and packs a punch. For 500 bucks it is almost a disposable weapon... but surely not the prime example in the collection. It could benefit from a scope, but it has no slide to mount it easily.

Marlin 346SS - - A sporting rifle. Not the best sniper, but it is decent in price/effect.

M1 Garand - - Want a real vintage classic? Here you go. Not too expensive but very reliable.

Marlin 3041 BL - - A decent contestor that comes with a scope. It exchanges damage with breaking armor.

Ruger 100/101 - - Mediocre price, but it packs more punch and is still very available. Good for something sold as a hunting rifle - decent low budget sniper. Packs a scope and shock pad already, and is well accurate for a beginning sniper.

Marlin X71 - - Decent price, very devastating on armor, adjusted for extreme environment and with a nice scope, this might be a contender for the crown jewel.

Springfield M1A - - You don't need a full-blown sniper rifle, if you can have the Springfield. Nice price, good punch and well accurate, huge magazine (20!) and a hefty fine scope, this one is clearly the most top-notch machine we have in this collection. If you have the funds, this one can be one of your crown jewels.

Winchester Model 2024 - - Want the famous lever Winchester? Here it is! It brings a scope, nice accuracy, good damage, nice magazine of 7... Just a bit pricy for a street runner.

Remington 950 - - The more pricy hunting rifle choice, with a smaller magazine in comparison to the Ruger, but more punch. Shoots slower also, and doesn't bring a scope or shock pad. Still, if you need the damage and are good enough to make the extra accuracy count, THIS can be your crown jewel. It can't take a bipod or under-barrel accessory though.

Parashield Dart Rifle - - Not the cheapest and packing only injector dart ammo, this rifle-like weapon is your goto for nonlethal. Or to give somebody a golden shot full of H.


The benefit of shotguns is their ammo: loading them with either buckshot or massive slugs could be "regular", but some GMs count buckshot as flechette: ask yours. Both bullet types can't be identified onto a gun afterwards because both deform extensively after the shot - and shotguns don't have a rifling to begin with! Also nice is gel.

Defiance T-250 - - Your good old gas-operated shotgun with a pump-action backup. You can shorten it if you need to make it concealable, and it is cheap. Have a long and a short if you can spare the 1000 bucks for both. And you can license them as hunting weaponry. Not the most accurate though.

Krime Boss - - Need something to pack a lot of ammo? This is your goto! It is cheap, it has the largest capacity available on a non-forbidden shotgun, and it can be licensed. It is RARE though, so if you license it, you will get almost instantly recognized if you use it. But if you are a troll, the adjustment is free.

PJSS Model 55 - - Two-barreled shotgun with a huge punch, a hunting weapon, and it can be shot as a short, 2-ammo burst. A bit pricey, but it is a weapon of style and it is accurate in contrast to most rifles.

Remington 990 - - A bit less pricy than the PJSS, it is again a hunting shotgun. Pump action, and it has a slide to mount a scope for some better accuracy.

Franci SPAS-24 - - Just included for the price, this assault shotgun can't be licensed. It is a killer, it can shoot fast, but you can't license it - but if you live under the radar, you don't have to license your weapons. Better don't try with most. If you get this one, you get it out of the hiding spot when things go ugly. REALLY ugly.

Winchester Model 2054 - - Pump-action goodness in modern style, large ammo (7!), well available and comes with a laser sight and a retractable stock: this one is a nice backup weapon for a sniper.

Winchester Model 2066 - - The younger sister of the 201, a bit cheaper, not as accurate, but a real magazine - lever operated for extra style and reliability points.

Winchester Model 201 - - Ahhh, the good old Winchester. Not cheap, no fancy features, but the damned most accurate shotgun on the market and licenseable. The downside: just 2 shots, in 2 barrels.

1 - Ask your GM if this one counts as a rifle or an exotic weapon

Now, after looking at the street-level contenders for a Gunbunny's arsenal, let's look at how to make them better somewhat and what else we should consider.

Weapon Add-ons

Now, we have our weapons... What to add to them to increase efficiency? For each and every sniper/hunting/sporting rifle that doesn't come with one, get yourself a scope! It will make you much better at the ranges you want to fight with them.

Bipods can be a nice addition too, but it doesn't give a benefit unless you have means to shoot more than 2 bullets with most guns - up till then, shock pads are enough.

Laser sight for a cheap Accuracy +1 is a must if you can't afford Smart (external isn't too pricy though) - plus it can be back up the intimidation of your front guy.

Silencer (9f) is also a very nice addition, but you need to get it on the black market in game and hide it well.

Pack a few spare clips for those guns that use them (c), as Shadowrun doesn't support magazines other than internal ones (m)...


Licenses are a double edged sword: A license can make life easy when getting somewhere. But it means the state knows your gun, and you better not leave identifiable ammo or casings behind. And you need to tie a license to an ID. So better invest in a really good fake if you want to go the (partly) licensed way. Hunting license is by the way probably the most encompassing and best available - as you can justify a lot of the above weapons (save the SPAS) as hunting equipment. At least licenses are somewhat cheap...

Each type of item/activity permission requires a separate license. Things that require licenses include hunting (bow and rifle), possession of a firearm, concealed carry of a firearm (separate license), spellcasting, and any restricted gear or augmentations, etc.Core p.443

Skills & Attributes

Now, the list just needs one firearm skill: Rifles. Pack rifles and a good agility score - summing 9 to 12 - and you are well set for a start. Specialise in your chosen rifle type (Sniper, Sporting rifle or Shotgun) and you come to a pool of 11 to 14 before bonus like Smart. Smart gun or laser pointer can get out one or two more dice together with better accuracy (read up on your item of choice!). So your pool might be anywhere between 9 and 16 - the last though is a hardcore specialist.

And (looking down) you might want to put some points into Charisma and Negotiation, or buy a good gun dealer as a connection to acquire ammo and guns in game.

How to pack the bag?!

Now, how do we get the guns we chose?! This part depends on two things:

Are we BEFORE or AFTER chargen?

Before chargen, we just say "GM, I have some guns I want, what is the maximum availability and resources?" - everything that has a lower availability number than he said, you can buy, as long as you can stem the costs. It doesn't even matter if the gun is restricted or forbidden.

For some Karma spend on the Restricted GearRun & Gun trait, you even get get a higher availability, but you still need to pay up.

But what ever you want, as long as you pay up, you get it, no strings attatched. If you want it is licensed, if you want it is entirely out of the books of anyone.

After chargen one needs to contact somebody who sells the stuff... and here comes in the chapter "Buying Goods" in the core rulesCore p.416-418. If you have the license on a fake SIN already, you can go to a shop and try to order. They will check your ID, and if they don't find it fake, you pay the standard price and it will come delivered. All the guns above have prices below 10-grand, so at worst the standard delivery time is 2 days, for the sub-1000$ category even the next day.

However, you might want to buy off-market. Illegally. Then you roll dice! Negotiation + Charisma with Social limiter verses the availability... Oh, notice something? You will need to beat some pretty nice pools for some of the more exquisite ones, but for most guns on my list, the pools should be beatable with a good roll. Remember you can use Edge for more dice and you could throw money at the problem for extra dice (25% per extra die, up to 16 extra dice for 400% are possible2).

You might want a new ID with Licenses at some point... then you have to buy illegally, and IDs don't come cheap - 1000 per level plus License fee makes them quickly the single most expensive item on any street-level runner, and after the chrome the second most one for many StreetSams. Better get one good and some bad ones to burn during chargen.

Or... you contact a contact and he rolls for you - they get their contact rating as bonus to their social limit though, so that is very much advised. The benefit will come at a fee though.

Someone at the publisher should learn math: 400%/25%=16

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ much thanks for the list, although the list presents eloquently the problem with SR's classification system. I'm looking for something comparable to a .375 Snipetac, 408 cheytac, .50BMG, 14.5mm istiglal, or 20mm anzio. All of which I'd think would be "heavy" weapons, not deer rifles and shotguns. I'm thinking 5000-25000 ft lbs, not 2000-3000 like a .30 cal springfield. I want the gun to go "thump". \$\endgroup\$
    – Tristian
    Aug 1, 2017 at 20:58
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Tristian all of those are in the expensive snipers ... the MILITARY stuff. The 12F stuff. The stuff costing more than 10000$. The stuff you can't ever license... And that you rarely find on the street. The Question says pretty much "I have limited funds, I want the best firepower and lots of it", not "I have all the money, what AMRs are available". \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 1, 2017 at 21:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah...all those 'Big Sniper Rifles' are still Longarms. Heavy Weapons is for stuff like this: adragon202.no-ip.org/Shadowrun/images/thumb/3/38/… \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2017 at 21:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Tristian If you want an equivalent rifle to the .50BMG, have a look at the Barret Model 122. 20F Availability (cannot license, ever...near impossible to get in the first place), 38,500 nuyen. That is far out of a novice runner's reach...much less a sub-street-level runner. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2017 at 21:53

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