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The radium rifle is a carbine with its regular wooden and steel rifle components have been upgraded with all manner of wiring and circuitry, among them what looks like two sets of gamma rounds on the barrel in front of the ejection port. A crudely made dish fashioned from wire and tin foil surrounds the muzzle on long barreled variants. This component is somewhat reminiscent of the gamma gun and is most likely the source of the radium rifle's radiation damage. With the ported variant of the long barrel, looking at the weapon from the front shows the dish's foil parts forming the well-known radiation warning symbol with the barrel representing the center point.
It utilizes a gas-delayed blowback design, where the bolt is never locked, and is pushed rearwards by the expanding propellant gases, which are vented from the barrel into a cylinder that delays the opening of the bolt.
The radium rifle is a pre-War carbine that has been modified to deal radiation damage.