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I feel like this is a question that should have a simple answer, but I have had a difficult time finding a clear answer one way or the other. Some sources seem to hint that you can brick a gun, like on p. 228 of the SR5 core rulebook:

The firing pin on an assault rifle might not work, but its bayonet works just fine for stabbing smug hackers.

But the closest DIRECT reference to hacking an opponent's gun seems to be hacking a smartgun system. On p. 233 of the SR5 core rulebook:

if your slaved smartgun is the target of a hacker’s Brute Force action....

So... can a decker acquire marks directly on an opponent's gun, and then do matrix damage enough to brick the gun? If so, then is this only possible if the gun has wireless on? Finally, if it IS possible to simply brick a gun and make it un-shootable... then why would anyone ever hack a peripheral (e.g. a smartgun system) when they can just brick the device?

Sorry if I'm nitpicking something that seems to be obvious. I just want to be clear as to whether this is or is not allowed, since bricking somebody's gun seems it would be a significant action in terms of the decker's relative power in combat.

EDIT: A follow-up question would be whether or not a decker can remotely fire an opponent's gun.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ to remotely FIRE an opponent's gun, it needs to be fireable wirelessly; aka it needs to be a smartgun (or mounted on a smart firing platform. As far as hacking peripherals, aside from the stated benefits of hacking a smartgun - bricking a gun is a very obvious Attack action, and the rest of the opposition will likely respond by turning off wireless. Hacking something like a safe target system and setting it to attack opponents and not your own teammates, or using a smartgun to drop a clip from an opponent's gun at just the right time. \$\endgroup\$ – gatherer818 Aug 22 '14 at 18:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you decide to split the question, feel free to use my answer on the new question, by the way. \$\endgroup\$ – gatherer818 Aug 22 '14 at 19:07
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Short answer: Yes, you can brick it. Your other question should go in another question :)

Now, the evidence. First! On page 228:

Each device in the Matrix has a Matrix Condition Monitor. This represents the device’s ability to handle damaging code designed to make the device do things it’s not supposed to do. As a device gets damaged, it overheats, suffers power spikes and dips, shorts out as components start failing, and eventually becomes damaged beyond functionality.

Along with:

A bricked device is damaged and useless until it is repaired (described in the next bit, Repairing Matrix Damage).

Is the gun wireless? Is the wireless on? Then it can be bricked. If it doesn't have wireless but a jack, then you can go with Mouhgouda's comment. How it is bricked is up to the GM.

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If I recall correctly, you need to have access to something to actually do something about it. If the gun is stealthed/no wireless you can't access it directly, which is why the dude in the following example targets the gun through the smartgun.

You could, however, plug a datajack directly into the opponent's gun. (that would be hilarious):

(On page 228)

Tesseract the decker is strolling down his favorite dark alley when he is accosted by a large and mean-looking ork. Being in no mood to trifle, Tesseract stares down the barrel of the ork’s gun and sees it in his AR display as a Rating 2 smartgun. With a mental command to his Hermes Chariot cyberdeck (he’s got a datajack and DNI, of course), he tosses a Data Spike at the weapon’s Matrix icon, first swapping his Firewall 5 with his Attack 2 as a Free Action. He rolls his Cybercombat + Logic (12 dice) against the ork’s Intuition + Firewall (a whopping 4 dice), getting 5 hits to the ork’s 1 (4 net hits). The base DV of the attack is 5 Matrix damage (since it’s an Attack 5 program), plus 4 for the net hits, for a total of 9 DV. The ork rolls the gun’s Device Rating + Firewall to resist the damage and comes up with nothing. This fills all 9 boxes of the gun’s Matrix Condition Monitor, bricking the weapon. The gun sparks, crackles, and smokes in the ork’s hand, which distracts him enough for Tesseract to draw his own f**k-off-sized pistol from his coat.

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