In the years preceding the cataclysm Gauss technology had advanced to become commonplace both in civil and military theaters to varying degrees. Rail guns were common military equipment, mass driver cannons were making their debut into various military organizations around the world, and even classics such as cannons were being renovated through the use of Gauss coils to accelerate conventionally fired shells. By the time of the apocalypse the United States and a handful of other nations had deployed large scale Gauss weapons, but infantry level weapons of the type never quite made it off of the drawing board; It was not until the Kingdom of Desert Star began to apply this ancient technology amidst their state owned industry that small scale Gauss weapons saw the light of day. While documents from the Golden Age referred to them as Gauss cannons - R.A.D.S. technicians referred to them as rapid fire field cannons since the design notes indicated that optimal performance could be achieved by firing dual shell bursts, thus the nickname eventually became the official designation for the type.
Even still, as a prototype technology, it was not yet ready to apply. Several prototypes were produced through the Kingdom's earlier years with mixed results. The first successful rapid fire field cannon was the RFFC-12, it was overweight, did comparable damage to a conventional rail gun, and had a tendency to overheat, thus it was produced in very limited numbers and eventually was scrapped in favor of more efficient designs. The first successful squad support rapid fire field cannon was the RFFC-17. While still a bulky design it inflicted a significant amount of damage and had a range comparable to standard issue energy rifles throughout North America. Almost immediately after production began, the N.O.M.A.D. Military of Desert Star adopted the weapon as the standard squad support weapon. Given its weight and recoil, typically this squad support weapon was issued to cyborgs, juicers or those with enough strength to handle these remarkable weapons. It remained exclusively a weapon for the N.O.M.A.D. Military until the RFFC-19 was unveiled and gradually began to phase the type out of service.
By the time the RFFC-19 had appeared, the Kingdom of Desert Star had opened its gates to outsiders, following the liberation of Desert Star by the Tamiya Elite, and R.A.D.S. was making great strides towards establishing itself as a commercial manufacturer of arms, armor, and military vehicles. However, Gauss weapons, rail guns aside, had not appeared anywhere on the market to this point and there was a great deal of debate as to whether the RFFC-17 (Or ANY rapid fire field cannons, for that matter!) should be marketed by R.A.D.S. or if they should simply be stockpiled for emergency use. It was the founding of New Haven that tipped the scales when Tamiya Nyan asked of Queen Shaquela to participate in the evaluation of a future squad support weapon for the newly established domestic military.
The RFFC-17 won the evaluation over several competing designs and was designated the R.A.D.S. Type 84 Light Gauss Cannon by New Haven's military. Soon after the initial procurement of 150 weapons, a contract to license produce the weapon in New Haven was acquired while accepting that they were not to market them for profit. Note that Republican Industries of New Haven effected several modifications to the type during their 14 year production contract. Case in point, the third illustration is an example of a licensed produced R.A.D.S. Type 84 Light Gauss Cannon. Later modifications altered the appearance and performance to such a degree that it was classified as the R.A.D.S./Republican Industries Type 84/86 Light Gauss Cannon. Meanwhile, R.A.D.S. began to market the type themselves throughout the Colorado Baronies and the Pecos region. Later a sizable number of RFFC-17s were sold to Tolkeen both before and during the war. It remains a popular weapon among mercenaries and military units throughout North America.Weight: 98 Lbs; Ammo drums weigh an additional 15 Lb., while a portable nuclear power pack weighs 52 Lb.