GF-1 "Tarantula" Assault Needler
The GF-1 "Tarantula" Assault Needler is a compact submachine gun designed by the Ghostleaf Foundation to fill an infantry suppression role. Like most Foundation products, the Assault Needler is most useful in a less-lethal capacity. The weapon fires dense streams of fine needles that lack much in the way of penetrative force, but which may serve as vehicles for injury- or even gas-based chemical agents (such as oleoresin capsicum) designed to dissuade opponents rather than kill them outright. When used without chemical agents, the hardened spines of specially-bred cacti are often used as a cheap and renewable source of ammunition in lieu of the standard hollow steel needles. The Tarantula is produced in both infantry (GF-1i) and crew-serviced/auto-armor (GF-1c) variants. It is notable that the Ghostleaf Foundation is not a supplier for any Assault Needler ammunition containing lethal toxins. The expensive nature of the weapon, coupled with a non-standard ammunition type and a tendency towards poor stopping power in its unmodified state, means that the Assault Needler sees only limited adoption outside of its native Petalcap Vale. On the other hand, due to the compactness of the ammunition and extremely low recoil, an Assault Needler may be used one-handed by both individual infantrymen and auto-armor operators. This fact makes the weapon ideal for pairing with a ballistic shield.
The "Tarantula" moniker assigned to the Assault Needler is derived from the ability of some tarantulas, namely the goliath birdeater found in some Verdial-held territories, to brush urticating bristles into the air to disable opponents.