Welcome to the first episode of Crossover Armories. In this series, we’ll be taking a look at weapons from across the universes, and seeing which one is the best of the bunch. Today, we’ll be comparing the E-11 blaster rifle from Star Wars, and the MA5 assault rifle from Halo. In order to do that though, we need to take a look at their stats first. So, let’s begin:
Weapon 1: E-11
The E-11 is the standard weapon of the Imperial Stormtrooper. No one knows exactly how many were made by BlasTech Industries’. However, it’s safe to say that it’s a lot.
The E-11 is based off of the frame from a Sterling Mark 4 submachine gun. Hence, it has about the same size and weight as one. It measures 68.6 cm (27 in) with the stock extended, and 48.1 cm (18.9 in) with the stock folded; making it a fairly compact weapon. It also only weighs 2.7 kg (6 lb), making it a light one as well. Like the submachine gun it’s based off of, it’s a perfect weapon for close quarters, like the insides of a battlestation.
The E-11 has an effective range of 100 meters (109 yards), and a maximum range of 300 meters (328 yards); giving it about the same range as the submachine gun it’s based off of. It normally feeds from 100-200-round detachable power cells (read: magazine) from the left-hand side of the weapon. However, there exists plasma cartridges for the weapon that gives it a 500-round capacity. That’s machine gun levels of ammo capacity right there.
The E-11 has a scope for making precision shots, but it can also fire in full-auto mode for close-in fighting. It has three power levels: lethal, stun, and sting; making it a good police weapon too. Also for capturing prisoners, as Leia found out.
The E-11 also comes in several variants. A lot of them are incremental upgrades to it. However, there’s also a sniper rifle variant, and a double-barreled variant. It really speaks to how flexible the original blaster rifle was.
Weapon 2: MA5
For our other contestant, we have the MA5 series of assault rifles manufactured by Misriah Armory of the United Nations Space Command from the Halo universe.
The MA5’s size varies depending on model. The latest MA5D model measures 100 cm (39.4 in) long, 7.6 cm (3 in) wide, and 27 cm (10.6 in) tall; making it comparable in size to a modern M16 rifle. With a much longer barrel due to the bullpup design to boot. At 4.1 kg when loaded though, it’s definitely heavier.
The MA5 fires 7.62x51mm rounds. While dimensionally similar to the modern 7.62x51mm NATO rounds, they’re likely far more powerful to deal with 26th century body armor. The MA5 normally feeds from 32 to 36-round detachable box magazines, but 54-round extended magazines do exist. It’s likely used for turning the MA5 into a impromptu squad automatic weapon, like the RPK.
The MA5’s rate of fire is funny. In-universe it can fire at 750-900 RPM, but only 650 RPM in-game. It has an effective range of 300 meters (328 yards), but this seems really short for a weapon chambered in 7.62x51mm. I’d expect the effective range to be at least twice that, given that the M1903 Springfield has the same 24-in barrel length.
The MA5, as of the D variant, is highly customizable. It can attach a wide variety of equipment to it such as different sights, scopes, underbarrel attachments (including grenade launchers and shotguns), and barrel attachments. There are also a number of variants. Most of them are incremental upgrades, but one is a short-barreled carbine meant for special forces use.
Which is Better?
Honestly, this is a tough call. The E-11 and MA5 vary wildly in capabilities, despite them being the standard weapon of their respective militaries. We’ll have to evaluate them based on situation and environment.
As a police weapon, the E-11 is unquestionably better. The stun and sting modes let it handle riots while causing minimal injuries. The massive magazines don’t hurt either. A single Stormtrooper with an E-11 could put down an entire mob with only minimal injuries and deaths. It’s a lot better than a riot baton, that’s for certain.
As a purely military weapon though, the MA5 seems to be the better weapon. The MA5 has a much longer range and accuracy while still being very much lethal. The wide variety of customization options also gives it much better tactical flexibility to deal with many different situations. It’s like a Swiss Army knife, but in gun form.
In close quarters though, I’d give the victory to the E-11. The small size combined with the massive magazine and high destructive power of the blaster bolts makes it a perfect weapon to use inside buildings, or starships. In fact, I’d say it’s an even better weapon for UNSC Marines to use in ships than their MA5s.
In an open field battle or planetside though, the MA5 is the clear victor. Again, the much longer range and accuracy caused by the long barrel makes it perfect for such battles. I would not be surprised at all if UNSC Marines frequently used the MA5 as a sniper rifle or designated marksman rifle. Who needs the M395 DMR when the MA5 would work nearly as well?
Even for hunting, I’d give the round to the MA5. The E-11’s lack of range makes it much less useful for long-range shots against wild animals. Also, blaster bolts tend to leave the meat a bit of a mess. No one wants to come home with a half-charred carcass to cook.
The E-11 blaster rifle and MA5 assault rifle are two very different weapons. One weapon will outperform the other in certain situations and environments. As a result, neither one is truly better than the other overall. I’d call the match a draw in this case.