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"I just can't bring myself to use it on a living creature. You don't seem to have trouble killing things."
Black Mesa Scientist[src]

The Gluon Gun, or Quantum Destabilizer, is an experimental weapon featured in Half-Life. It fires a devastating laser capable of disintegrating organic matter.


The Gluon Gun was discovered by Gordon Freeman at the Black Mesa Research Facility's Lambda Complex, where it was developed. Unwilling to use it on living creatures, the designer of the gun deems Gordon less hesitant to kill and gives the gun to him.

  • When used, the Gluon Gun drains its ammo and fires a brief beam that does the listed damage. When held down it continually attacks with some recoil and twisting at short range.


  • Gluon Gun's DPS is devastating, though its ammo is extremely rare. It should be used against more formidable foes such as the Gargantua and Alien Grunt, both of which conventional weaponry are ineffective against. The beam ignores their armor and does rapid damage, easily killing them.


  • In multiplayer matches played with older games, the Gluon Gun is generally a poor weapon of choice for several reasons:
    • Latency issues cause the beam to lag - Players may have to hold down the attack button for a time before the beam actually fires.
    • Also, the beam has a tendency to lag behind players it is pursuing.
    • The beam has a small splash radius with reduced damage. This allows it to technically penetrate walls, ceilings, and floors.
    • At long ranges, its beam is more controllable compared to when demolishing close targets.
    • The Gluon Gun drains ammo at half the normal rate compared to HL.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The Gluon Gun was originally to have two fire modes: A wide beam and a thin beam. These would be toggled between by turning the handle 90 degrees. While this feature was cut, the model still possesses the animations for moving the handle, now played the gun stops firing. There are also unused damage settings for both beams in the game configuration files.


  • The weapon is sometimes called the "Egon gun," as many of the game files refer to it as such. It bears a strong similarity to the Proton Packs used by characters from the 1984 film Ghostbusters. Egon Spengler supposedly developed this weapon, hence the name used within the game files.
  • Pressing the secondary attack key causes the viewmodel to play an idle animation once, then freeze. Releasing the key will stop the animation and return to normal. However, in Half-Life: Opposing Force (if obtained in multiplayer or via cheats) and in Half-Life: Source, pressing the secondary attack key will simply cause it to fire normally.
    • Pressing the reload key will also causes the viewmodel to play an idle animation for 0.15 seconds, as this weapon doesn't need to be reloaded.
  • The design of the Gluon Gun has a slight resemblance to the design of a prototype ASHPD as seen on a poster in the old Aperture Science facilities.
  • The name Gluon Gun comes from namesake gluon particles.
    • Gluons are particles that mediate the strong nuclear force that holds atomic nuclei together. Whether the Gluon Gun actually fires streams of gluons or instead interferes with the gluons already present in an object is unclear, but in either case, the weapon interferes with the fundamental interactions of matter, disrupting them, causing organic matter to shatter when shot.
    • It is extremely ironic that Gluon Gun does not possess the ability to interact with inorganic matter, though this can also be explained with gameplay balance, as it would become far too easy if one could just drill their way out of Black Mesa with a Gluon Beam.


List of appearances[]