Personal firearms are a common sight on Infinitas, thanks to the unsettled nature of much of the landscape and the high crime rates in certain areas, as well as libertarian social policies. Over 65% of the island's current population report having carried a firearm on their person for extended periods at some point, although at any given point generally only 30% of the populace are carrying.
Firearms are useful for a variety of purposes other than combat, including sustenance, signaling, and even fire making, and no adventurer's gear is complete without one. This page will serve as the roleplayer's guide to the forms of gunpowder weaponry a character might carry and how they might be operated, obtained and used.
Infinitas' "native" firearms tech is roughly TL5. World war one era bolt action rifles, revolvers and break-open shotguns are the order of the day. Weaponry ranges from what you might see in the Wild West right up to weaponry you'd see in World War 1 or World War 2. Repeating or rapid fire weaponry is rare, thanks to Infinitas' lack of infrastructure making it hard to produce high quality gunpowder.
Gunpowder - and thus, gunpowder weaponry - comes in two types, black powder and smokeless powder.
Black powder is a low explosive mixture of charcoal, saltpeter and (optionally) sulfur. One of the first explosive substances discovered by man, when contained in an enclosure, the pressure from it's burning generates enough energy to send projectiles catapaulting towards targets at dizzying speed. Black powder weaponry produces a distinctive, noxious cloud of smoke on firing.
Black powder is massively cheaper than smokeless powder, and black powder cartridges can often be made of paper, further saving money on an island where metals like copper, steel and brass are more expensive than usual. Because of this, black powder is common for training purposes, and for civilian usage. Since most people have to shoot large amounts of ammo per year to stay in practice, most gun owners own at least one firearm capable of running off black powder.
Smokeless powder is an advanced chemical manufactured through a combination of cellulose and certain types of industrial acids. It's made in small batches by the island's chemists. It works like black powder, save it burns much cleaner, allowing weapons with more moving parts to use it, which allows for weapons with higher rates of fire. It generates very little smoke, hence the name.
Smokeless powder, because of it's higher energy and cleaner burning, is used in higher tech firearms such as bolt action rifles and semi-automatic pistols. If the weapon is designed for it, lower tech weapons can also make use of smokeless as well - many designs on Infinitas are "hybrids", designed to be able to take ammunition loaded with either smokeless or black powder without any difficulty.
Smokeless powder is difficult to manufacture on Infinitas in the cleaner quantities required for repeating modern firearms like assault rifles and automatic shotguns to function reliably. Most smokeless powder on the island is of poor quality, and will quickly jam up the works of most higher-tech offworld guns, unfortunately limiting the use of such weapons to the wealthy (who can pay for high quality ammunition) or those that don't mind a gun that malfunctions constantly, which can be an annoyance at best and a lethal problem at worst.
Virtually any style is available, usually patterned after those in the real world, but the more common ones are six shot .357 magnum or .38 special revolvers, in a "traditional" style, or a "modern" one. If you're unsure as to what type, you can't go wrong with a .357 magnum traditional revolver, those being the most common.
Semi-automatic firearms, or "autoloaders", are more modern weapons that fire one shot per pull of the trigger and usually hold far more rounds than a revolver does. They are common on Infinitas, but usually they are either in the employ of wealthy owners, sold, or only fired occasionally. This is because keeping one in maintenance and supplied with good quality ammo is expensive, and one in good condition can sell for quite a bit of money! Generally if a character has one of these, they came in from offworld with it.