Are the Slugthrowers, in The Star Wars Universe, basically modern guns or are they more advanced?

2 Answers 2


Actually, Star Wars slughthrowers are slightly less effective than modern guns, although they function on the same principles.

According to Wookieepedia:

Slugthrowers were weapons that used an explosive chemical to launch a solid projectile (a "slug") at a high velocity.


A typical slughthrower pistol had an effective range of around 60 meters1, while on a rifle this was extended to 300 meters2. Sniper rifles had been known to pick off enemies from over a mile3 in the hands of skilled snipers and marksmen.

That's essentially how modern guns work. The "explosive chemical" is what we call gunpowder, and the "slug" is the bullet.

So they use the same technology, but I called them less effective; why? It mostly comes down to range, which is the only comparative factor we really have.

What exactly constitutes a "typical" modern gun is a matter for some debate, but for my purposes military service guns do a fair job.


The current service pistol of the US army (unless they've changed it, and I can't find an authoritative source telling me they have) is the Beretta M9, which has a maximum effective range of 50 meters4 according to the non-official Army Study Guide. Beretta's own website says that:

[T]his pistol is capable of firing 10-shot groups of 3 inches or less at a distance of 50 meters (approximately 55 yards) with consistency and reliability.

Which sounds impressive to me. However, SSumner assures me in comments that the M9 is actually a pretty wimpy weapon. Doing more research (Hi CSIS, didn't see you there) suggests that 50 meters is about average range for most non-military pistol shooters, with most kinds of pistols. However, I read some anecdotes from people who claim to get an effective range of closer to 150 meters with the FN Five-seven.

The world record for pistol shooting was recently set by Jerry Miculek: 1000 meters5 with a specially-designed 9mm. The theoretical maximum range exceeds this, but those are obviously not combat velocities, nor are they particularly accurate at that range.

The longest confirmed pistol kill I can find reference to is the 1994 Fairchild Air Force Base shooting, where the shooter was killed from about 70 yards6 away.

So slugthrower pistols a'int got nothing on 21st-century gun-tech.


The current service rifle of the US army is the M4 carbine. According to the Army Study Guide, the M4 has a maximum effective range of 600 meters7 for area targets, and 500 meters8 for point targets.

We've already beaten out the Star Wars universe, before even getting into the records. Fortunately it's hard to find records for rifle shots without turning up sniper records, so let's cap it there.

Sniper Rifles

To compare sniper rifles, I'm going to do something different: I'm going to look at the longest kills. According to this handy Wikipedia list, the top ten longest confirmed sniper kills are all over a mile. In fact the 11th longest, which misses the mile mark by just 222 yards9, is from 1874. So we were close to reaching Star Wars-level slugthrower sniper distances before the telephone was invented.

The only place Star Wars slugthrowers might beat out our guns is in firing rate, but the Wookieepedia article isn't specific enough to give an accurate comparison; it just says that some are single-shot (we got rid of those a long time ago), and they go up to thousands of rounds per minute. Meanwhile, the Guiness World Record for highest rate of fire for a machine gun in service is 6000 rounds per minute.

Although the technology is similar, it seems as though our guns are more advanced than theirs. Either that, or our shooters are better.

1 66 yards, if you're into that sort of thing.

2 328 yards.

3 1.6 kilometers.

4 55 yards.

5 1094 yards, or 0.6 miles

6 64 meters.

7 655 yards.

8 547 yards.

9 203 meters.

  • And the Beretta M9 is a pretty mediocre pistol overall, too
    – The Fallen
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 0:12
  • @SSumner Is it? I really have no basis for comparison. I figure if it's good enough for the best-funded army on Earth... Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 0:14
  • @JasonBaker have you never heard the military proverb: Always keep in mind that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 0:56
  • @Zoredache I've heard similar sayings, but never in relation to the military. I'm from Canada, guys; our entire Navy is like one dude in a rowboat Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 1:14
  • @JasonBaker - yeah, compared to a nicer FN, Sig, HK, Glock, or Springfield (esp one in a better caliber than 9mm), it sucks royally
    – The Fallen
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 2:31

This question is a little short and sweet and I'm not sure I completely understand it but...

"Slugthrowers. I hate 'em. But they're easy to maintain. Day or two in the jungle and your blaster'll never fire again. A good slug rifle, keep 'em wiped and oiled, they last forever. The guerrillas have pretty good luck with them, even though they take a lot of practice—slugs are ballistic, y'know? You have to plot the trajectory in your head. Shee, gimme a blaster anytime."

―Phloremirlla Tenk]

Slugthrowers were weapons that used an explosive chemical to launch a solid projectile (a "slug") at a high velocity. Blasters were fashioned in style and function after these more primitive weapons.

In other words, they are primitive weapons compare to a good old Blaster.

  • Im really glad about the spelling correction but please dont mess with the way i do my answers... i like to personnalize my things with a little last sentence... thanks again
    – Rocket
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 0:11
  • I'm pretty sure such personalizations are against SE style rules. "Thanks" at the end of the question 100% certainly is. Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 3:52
  • not sure where to find your statement there scifi.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask but what do i know... your the one with 139K rep ;)
    – Rocket
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 4:14
  • 1
    found it. scifi.stackexchange.com/help/behavior. "Do not use signature, taglines, or greetings. Every post you make is already “signed” with your standard user card, which links directly back to your user page. If you use an additional signature or tagline, it will be removed to reduce noise in the questions and answers. " Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 4:53
  • ok yes dont sign the question... this does not mean saying things like "Thanks" or "any help is appreciated"... It mean dont "sign" your question... like this... -Rocket
    – Rocket
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 5:04

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