|For an overview of laser rifle models in the Fallout series of games, see Laser rifle.|
The laser musket is a homemade, nonstandard version of a laser rifle. It is the signature weapon of the Minutemen faction and several can be obtained from them. It appears to be meshed together from various mechanical and electronic parts strapped to a wooden rifle stock. The "barrel" consists of a standard laser rifle housing with two metal-ringed lenses atop a metal rod extending from the stock, through which the laser beam is presumably focused (although it can be fitted with a focusing array that looks the same as either the laser pistol or laser rifle). The beam itself is created inside a makeshift capacitor, which the player character charges via a hand-crank on the back. Every odd crank (one, three and five) causes the beam to visibly intensify, with the final charge creating a decent sized red luminescence. Like most laser weapons, it uses fusion cells as ammunition. However, its beam is very similar to that of the Gauss rifle, albeit red in color. Also like the Gauss rifle, it sounds like thunder when fired, with intensity that is amplified with every charge level. The effect of three or more cranks results in reducing the victim to ashes with red smoke.
What makes the laser musket unique from other laser weapons in the game is that even with ammo in the player character's inventory, it starts off "unloaded," and does not automatically reload after firing. The player character must manually load up each shot by pressing the "reload" key, causing the Sole Survivor to turn the hand-crank and charge the capacitor with one fusion cell. Each subsequent crank charges the capacitor even further with another fusion cell; in an unmodded state to a maximum of two, but mods can expand capacity up to six cranks of charge. Once loaded, the laser musket can be fired, consuming all the cells stored in one powerful shot. This ability to manually "charge up" each shot makes the laser musket a powerful first-tier weapon and especially versatile when taking on enemies of varying levels, using weaker shots on weaker targets and more powerful shots on more powerful targets.
Once fully upgraded, the laser musket becomes one of the best sniping weapons in the game, capable of taking out Legendary foes with one shot to the head when coupled with the sneak attack bonus.
The musket's major drawback is its potentially high ammo consumption and slow reload speed, given that the player character has to manually reload each and every shot (although the Sole Survivor does reload between shots in V.A.T.S., albeit with only one-crank shots regardless of how powerful the first initial shot was). On top of which, the weapon is not automatically loaded when using the quick select menu. While it can be modified with a splitter to play a "shotgun" role as a type of laser-blunderbuss to use in close quarters, it is highly impractical to use in this way due to the characteristics described above. For close combat needs, a laser rifle, Institute laser or a plasma rifle with an automatic barrel or splitter muzzle is far more practical due to their bigger clips and higher fire rates. On top of which, at over 15 pounds the laser musket is heavy for a laser weapon of its size (almost triple that of a standard laser rifle) and when fully modified it rivals an unmodified Gatling laser in terms of weight.
- Preston's laser musket - A non-playable laser musket used by Preston Garvey as his default weapon. It has a beam focuser and a scope installed. The weapon's stats are purely identical to the regular laser musket, with the sole exception that it uses the non-player version of fusion cells.
- Automatic laser musket - A laser musket with the Automatic legendary effect, turning it into a rapid-firing weapon, fired by cranking the capacitor like the original Gatling guns. It has a 20 round capacity and will crank the weapon several times to reload.
When firing the automatic laser musket, the user will take a moment to spool the weapon first while pointing upwards, like the minigun and Gatling laser needs a moment to spin up before firing. Switching to V.A.T.S. while already shooting or winding will reset the winding animation and thereby suffer the wind-up time to shoot. It is not as effective as most other automatic weapons as it's not readily available to shoot with the wind-up time and the low rate of fire with singular projectile makes it hard to hit targets. While it's mitigated by V.A.T.S. or sustained shooting, the beam splitter mod makes it easier to hit targets at a close range should one be fortunate enough to find one, as its multiple-projectiles compensates for the rate of fire by saturating an area at the cost of weaker individual projectiles.
It is not eligible for modding (except by an exploit while having another laser musket in the inventory, where the Sole Survivor enters a weapons bench after dropping the automatic variant on the ground, exits the weapons bench, picks up the automatic off the ground, and then enters the weapons bench again) and will only be able to have attachments via randomization as it is spawned. It is rarely dropped but is always awarded by Sturges after finishing the Nuclear Option quest for the Minutemen faction. It can also not be used by anyone other than the player character.
- Up to four inside the Castle armory. The ones found there are equipped with level-dependent modifications up to the best possible ones. There is always one on the table and up to three more on the shelf.
- Three next to the minuteman corpses in the Super Duper Mart in Lexington. These respawn, although the corpses do not.
- One in Concord, just outside the Museum of Freedom.
- One carried by the Preston Garvey impersonator who can be found during a random encounter.
- One in The Castle tunnels on a shelf.
- One can be found south of Gunners plaza in a small Minutemen outpost, on the roof next to a dead Minuteman.
- One is given to the Sole Survivor by Sturges if the Minutemen quest line is finished.
- Sold by Ronnie Shaw at the Castle after completing Old Guns.
- Often carried by the Commonwealth Minutemen, notably Preston Garvey.
The laser musket functions differently in Fallout gameplay than it does in concept art. According to concept art and the art book, the laser musket doesn't use ammo at all, with the hand crank generator powering the weapon.
Behind the scenes
The laser musket is a crank-powered energy weapon; the 2002 Walt Disney film Treasure Planet featured a weapon of the same name which used a similar system of powering the musket. However, in the film turning the crank constantly ensures a continuous beam with decreased potency.
- PC Xbox One Playstation 4 Equipping the "Automatic Laser Musket" will stop certain weapons from showing up in the weapon-bench menu. Unequipping it for any other kind of laser musket fixes this, and allows it to be modded. [verified]
- PC Xbox One When a companion is cranking this weapon, and they are knocked down when their health is low, and the player fast travels, the cranking sound will continue to play incessantly as if the companion was still cranking the gun, even after the weapon has been removed from their inventory. [verified]
- PC Playstation 4 When using the exploit to modify the automatic laser musket, if you replace the automatic mod for any of the other crank capacitors, you will lose the automatic modification permanently, and the laser musket will become a normal laser musket. [verified]
- To fix this, reload a previous save.
- Playstation 4 The wind up animation for the automatic variant can be skipped while in third person resulting in the weapon to be fired like any other automatic rifle. [verified]