Assault Rifle
Weapon Stats
First Found on MedSci Deck (armory)
Requirements Strength: 2
Standard Weapons: 6
Researchable No
Maintenance 4
Modification 2 (1st) / 4 (2nd)
Repairing 4
Ammunition Standard Bullets
Armor-Piercing Bullets
Anti-Personnel Bullets
Magazine Size 36
Attack Type 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.


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

Ammunition Types

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

Damage Table

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

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.


  • Upgrade 1 - Reduces reload time by 2/3 and increases damage by 10%.
  • Upgrade 2 - Increases clip size from 36 to 72 and increases damage to a total of 25%.


Technically the first one is found in MedSci Deck's armory, however that is locked with a code you shouldn't know by then ; ) Next one can be found in Hydroponics Deck Sector A on the floor beside a dead body and the next after that in 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 on the MedSci Deck is unbreakable and has reduced kickback. It will still decay, but never jam regardless of its condition.[1]
    • Alas, this seems to be partly fixed in the newest 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 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, a side effect of this will be no gun in the game breaking or degrading at all. 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! :)

See Also