The Automatic Rifle is a powerful support weapon firing .308 Rounds. The weapon holds 20 rounds in a box magazine, has a higher base damage per shot than any other fully-automatic projectile weapon and a comparatively high Critical Chance.
Although it is a rifle with a very long barrel and high-powered rifle ammunition, it suffers from poor spread when compared to bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles, having the highest spread of any fully-automatic weapon in the game. Even when upgraded, it has the lowest fire rate of any automatic weapon, and its low durability means it will degrade rapidly with frequent use and require regular maintenance. The Automatic Rifle fires two round bursts with each separate attack in V.A.T.S. at the cost of 35 Action Points.
The Automatic Rifle can fire a total of about 995 standard rounds, the equivalent of 50 reloads, from full condition before breaking.
Villa Police Station - one can be found to the left of the main entrance through the locked contraband storeroom door, along with boxes of .308 Rounds. The contraband room cannot be picked and can be only accessed via a computer terminal on a desk next to the door with a Scienceskill of 75 required.
Salida del Sol South - one in a gun cabinet on the ground floor of a building south of the building with the upturned pool table. Another can be found east of the Salida Switching Station, on a second-floor balcony next to a beeping radio.
As this is an automatic weapon, its attack speed is not affected by perks that increase the Courier's attack speed, such as Ain't Like That Now.
In its Pip-Boy icon, the Automatic Rifle is shown with the bipod unfolded. In-game, the player character cannot unfold the bipod.
It has one of the game's longest weapon barrels, almost hitting the ground at times in a similar way to the Anti-Materiel Rifle.
Behind the scenes
Joshua Sawyer stated that the rifle is "based on the M1918 but with modifications to the grip and other parts."[Dev 1]
↑Question: "Is the Automatic Rifle from the Dead Money add-on based off of the M1917 Browning machine gun?" Sawyer: "No, it's based off of the M1918 but with modifications to the grip and other parts." JESawyer on Formspring (Archived)