The Molina Model 135 is a rather unassuming firearm. Originally designed as a simple and inexpensive lever-action rifle intended for hunting small to medium sized game the Molina would later come into its' own as a weapon of warfare.
During the early years of of the Skryke War Araean soldiers found themselves hampered by the then current service rifle, the Richeleau Model 10. The R10 was a robust and accurate weapon but it's weight and length proved to be a hindrance in dense brush or at close range. Araean soldiers found themselves in need of a lighter, shorter and faster operating weapon in order to successfully engage their agile skryke opponents. One of the weapons used to fill this niche was the Molina 135. The first Molinas to be used in combat against the skrykes were part of a wave of civilian sporting guns either privately purchased by Araean military personnel or sent to them by their families and surreptitiously smuggled to the frontlines. Though at the time it was technically against regulations for deployed soldiers to be in possession of or use non-issued weapons, NCOs and officers usually opted to "look the other way" or gave their tacit approval for the practice given that it increased their troops' survivability and combat effectiveness. In addition to permitting the use of non-issue weapons, many NCOs and company-level officers in the field actively engaged in the practice as well. The use of civilian firearms was never approved by the Araean army command, however there are no known instances of soldiers being formally disciplined for it either. A variety of commercial rifle designs could be seen in the hands of Araean soldiers and shotguns also enjoyed a large following, but the Molina 135 was one of the most popular options.
Though by this point the shortened R10/2 "bush" rifle was being issued as a replacement for its' unwieldy full sized predecessor, the Molina remained a prized weapon amongst Araean infantry personnel. In addition to the Molina's reduced length and weight and faster operation vs the bolt action R10, the .260 cartridge generated less felt recoil while still proving sufficiently lethal to the gracile skrykes . Privately owned Molinas could often be seen sporting a variety of jury rigged modifications and "improvements" (some of dubious utility).
As the war went on, Araean Army high command eventually recognized the weapon's usefulness on an official level and contracted Shasta based weapons maker Elango Munitionworks to manufacture a special run of Molinas for military use. It wasn't until the advent of reliable autoloading rifles like the KG-35 later in the war that the Molina began to fade in popularity, even then, some examples were used right up until the conclusion of organized hostilities.
The weapon itself is still manufactured and is a popular hunting and general-purpose rifle. Wartime Molinas, especially those with military contract manufacturer's codes are sought after collector's items among Araean firearm aficionados.