Alloy Cannon (Project).png

Alloy Cannon is a research project in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

In-Game Description[]


The density of the alien alloys we've been studying has precluded their use as ammunition; all of our experiments have resulted in the destruction of the weapon itself during firing tests, as the alloys tear the barrel apart. However, we've devised a way to break the alloys into micro-shards, and using the magnetic containment field derived from the alien plasma weapons should allow for their safe discharge.

Project Report[]

Codename: Avocet

The alien alloys have proven to be extremely difficult to forge and manipulate for use in our theoretical designs. Machining the alloy was an arduous process, leaving us with limited options as to what it could be used for. Although we considered the alien alloy's density a benefit, one that made it ideal for use as an advanced form of projectile ammunition, the material proved to be so dense that it ate directly into the weapon's barrel, making it useless after a single firing.

After a number of failed attempts, we finally managed to develop a barrel sleeve made from the alloys, which has so far survived several hundred test firings during our experiments. With the 'Alloy Cannon', as we've been calling it, now operational, we've had ample time to study the effects of its design. Although similar to a traditional shotgun configuration, because of its specialized ammunition, the alloy cannon is substantially more powerful, and deadly.

Testing on targets made up of a modified ballistic gel proved pointless, as the targets were completely penetrated by the alloy munitions, despite an average thickness of roughly two meters. Needless to say, this weapon will have a similar effect on any hostile targets our troops might encounter.

Project Requirements[]

PrerequisitesPlasma Rifle or Heavy Plasma
Research Point Cost: 300 Points
Project Cost: 5 Elerium, 25 Alloys, 40 Weapon Fragments

Items Unlocked[]


  • As can be inferred from the project report, the research team first attempted to use alien alloys to make standard bullets but simply couldn't forge them, thus resulting in projectiles with poor external ballistic properties. This would explain why, despite having access to advanced magnetic containment technology, the research team didn't attempt using the Gauss Gun concept, which excludes any contact with the barrel. Then, this inability of shaping a suitable bullet, the unusual density of the alloys, and poor magnetic properties (given the weight of a bullet) would explain the problems in internal ballistics and why a steel barrel is torn apart in but a few shots, even that of a Gauss Gun. Finally, the team managed to 1/ Break down an alloy chunk into rough, lighter needles, 2/ Jacket the barrel with an internal alloy sleeve (even a crude, thin plate folded to form a cylinder, because regularity is not needed for a Gauss gun's barrel) that can endure occasional contact with same material needles, and 3/ Use the plasma technology (magnetic confinement and acceleration), to build what could have been named a Gauss shotgun, indeed. However, notwithstanding the poor external ballistic properties of non-profiled bullets, the team could have designed a short range, powerful single projectile cannon, though, either a fire powder or a Gauss gun, by using the concept of discarding sabot and composite ammunition (with a rough core in alloys).
  • Curiously, the alien alloys are described as being ideal for use in ammunition due to their extreme density, even though the alloys are elsewhere stated to have very low density.