System Shock Wiki
System Shock Wiki
Assault Rifle
Weapon Data
First Found MedSci Deck (Armory)
Hydroponics Deck
Requirements Strength: 2
Standard Weapons: 6
Researchable No
Maintenance 4
Modification 2 (1st) / 4 (2nd)
Repairing 4
Ammunition Standard Bullets
Anti-Personnel Bullets
Armor-Piercing Bullets
Magazine Size 36 / 72
Attack Types Single Shot
Damage 10
Summon Code assault rifle
When the rail launcher rounds were spent, when the auto-mines were bypassed, when the neuron acceleration field was neutralized, the men still had their M-22's and their gunpowder. And, by God, they used them to good effect.

The M-22 Assault Rifle is a weapon that appears in System Shock 2.
It is the most powerful Standard Weapon in the game.


Well-loved by grunts everywhere, the M-22 Assault Rifle is a good entry into the world of automatic rifles. Rapid-fire keeps vulnerable enemies down and the single shot mode is good for accuracy. Armour penetration and damage potential are both moderate.

When used for heavy automatic fire, the aim point tends to wander. The design by committee nature of the unit however has led to some questions being asked regarding its reliability.


The Assault Rifle requires Standard Weapons skill level 6 and Strength stat level 2 to use. No research is required.

Ammunition Types

Standard Bullets icon transparent.png Standard Bullets - The most common type of bullets in the game which deal Standard damage.
Anti-Personnel Bullets icon transparent.png Anti-Personnel Bullets - Deal additional damage to partly and fully Annelid opponents.
Armor-Piercing Bullets icon transparent.png Armor-Piercing Bullets - Deal additional damage to partly and fully Mechanical opponents.

Damage Table

Mech Half-Mech Half-Annelid Annelid Final Boss
Standard x1 x1 x1 x1 x1
Anti-Personnel x0.5 x1 x4 x2 x0.75
Armor-Piercing x4 x2 x0.5 x0.5 x1.25

Firing Modes

  • NORM (Primary mode) - It fires a single shot when the trigger is pulled.
  • AUTO (Secondary mode) - It fires bullets continuously until the player stops pulling the trigger or the magazine runs out of ammunition.


  • Level 1 - Decreases reload time by 33% and increases damage to 110% of normal.
  • Level 2 - Increases clip size from 36 to 72 and increases damage to 125% of normal.


  • The first M-22 Assault Rifle is technically found in the MedSci Deck's Armory, however that room is locked with a code you shouldn't know by then ; )
  • Next ones are located on Hydroponics Deck in Sector A (on the floor beside a corpse) and after that, in the Operations Deck's Armory.


  • When using the right type of ammunition, this weapon can pin any enemy down within 5 shots, including Rumblers.
  • Although not as deadly single shot-wise as the Grenade Launcher, the Assault Rifle uses the most common types of ammunition in the game, making it one of the most practical ranged weapons.
  • Since the Assault Rifle uses the same ammo as the Pistol and is a far better weapon, you might as well drop the Pistol once you are able to use it. 
  • It is the most durable Standard Weapon in the game.
  • AUTO mode of this weapon drains ammo at an incredibly rapid rate. You should use it preferably when surrounded by multiple opponents, a situation which rarely occurs in the game. It could be also used to defeat a particularly difficult opponent.


  • The Assault Rifle located in the Armory of the MedSci Deck is unbreakable and has reduced kickback. It will degrade, but never jam, regardless of its condition.[1]
    • Alas, this seems to be partly changed in a newer version of the game (2.46). While that Assault Rifle has zero kickback in Normal setting and greatly reduced kickback in Auto, unfortunately it does jam after the gun degrades enough. An alternative (preferably after getting this very weapon, since there's also an unbreakable EMP Rifle nearby) is to create a file named user.cfg in the main game folder containing only "gun_degrade_rate 0" (without the quotation marks) and re-run the game. The gun will now be unbreakable and also stay at its current condition (6 when found). However, all guns in the game will behave the same way. Use that with care.
      • There's an even better, however a bit more difficult option to revert the changes done by the patch. One needs to find the appriopriate .mis.dml file (in this case, medsci2.mis.dml) located in the main System Shock 2 folder and edit it. Lines that are responsible for reverting gun unbreakability are found after a relevant comment (look for word "break" to find it) and need to be either deleted/cut out or preceded by "// " without the quotes, making them only a comment instead of a working command. That way all the changes are reverted. Voila, enjoy! :)


  • Its name during the production phase was M19 Assault Rifle.
  • Despite being called an assault rifle, it uses pistol cartridges which would technically make it a sub machine gun. Assault Rifles use intermediate cartridges.

See Also