yeah, i made several guns take a lot of energy, like on the banshee the singularity accelerator drains all of your gun energy when you use it, same with the EMP gun (which goes on an Avenger) that thing on the lamprey is supposed to be a cap-ship gun of sorts. i stuck it in the lamprey spot cause the lampreys never struck me as all that fantastic. the when you shoot the double-helix ion cannon, it does look to you kinda like the regular ion cannon, a little longer maybe, but thats cause you're actually just at a bad angle to see it. i think beam weapons look all sorts o' nifty, so thats why there's like 3 of them. plus they're easy to make, you just increase the scale of the mat file. it should be the last FLOAT number in that gun slot in the IFF file. only problem is, like you said, sometimes you can't see it if the target is in closer to you than the beam is long. by the way, turn on your victim camera and use a beam weapon, it looks really cool to see the ship exploding with a beam going through it.