The factory issue Hemlok fires a three-round burst. While this can be a liability at short range, this tradeoff allowed the engineers at TW Ordnance to deliver a weapon with a good balance of long-range accuracy, damage, and fire rate.
The Hemlok BF-R is an effective mid-long range weapon, as its tight firing pattern and impressive damage make it capable of downing a Pilot in 4 shots or less if one is a headshot within its effective range. However, against highly mobile opponents, it is extremely difficult to land all the necessary hits against Pilots. Aggressive use of this weapon is ill advised, as it will be completely outclassed by most pilot weapons at close range due to its burst fire nature. Adopting a defensive play style, shooting from advantageous positions at both mid and long ranges, is key to your success with this weapon.
The Hemlok BF-R is unique as the only burst-fire weapon available. The weapon's three-round burst offers impressive damage output, taking down most threats with a single burst. This makes it a very effective weapon when engaging targets at long and intermediate ranges. However, the Hemlok is easily outclassed at close range by all of the automatic weapons. Tap fire as fast as possible to maintain a high rate of fire during close-quarter encounters.
When engaging Pilots with the Hemlok, keep your distance and do your best to avoid detection, preferably by equipping the Suppressor mod. Due to their quick movements, Pilots are difficult to track and hit. Fortunately the weapon can fire several bursts in quick succession, making it easier to score hits on fast-moving targets. If enemy Pilots close on you to short range, consider switching to your sidearm.
This is the ultimate minion-killing weapon, dropping most threats with a single burst. Hold back and engage minions at mid-range, where they pose minimal risk. This allows you to down entire squads of Grunts and Spectres without reloading. But while hunting minions, watch out for enemy Pilots trying to sneak up on you.
When carrying the Hemlok, stealth is key. Therefore consider opting for the Suppressor to keep you off the mini-map. If you're less concerned with stealth, the Starburst mod upgrades the weapon, allowing it to fire a five-round burst with each pull of the trigger. Five-round bursts deal much more damage, but also consume ammo at a quicker rate. Still, hitting a Pilot (or any target) with a five-round burst pretty much guarantees a kill. But you may need to engage targets at closer ranges to ensure all five rounds hit your target; recoil leads to a wider spread.
The Starburst mod for the Hemlock is best used for close quarters combat, as the rifle will become less accurate and will only have five burst in one mag. One burst from a starburst will instantly kill an enemy pilot at close range, so if you prefer to be more up close to your enemies, it is highly recommend that you use the star burst.
The Holographic Combat Optical Gunsight has an open sight picture, making it easier to acquire and track targets, particularly in the vertical. The gunsight is fixed at 1.85X magnification, and includes integrated ammunition readouts.
The Holosight’s optics are fixed at a 2.1X zoom factor. The sight picture is designed to induce a tighter visual perception, making it effective both at range and in close quarters. The Holosight is equipped with an integrated ammunition readout.
The AOG, or Advanced Optical Gunsight, is fixed at 2.4X magnification, and includes an integrated “current magazine capacity” readout with a backup numerical display. The AOG is ideal for combat at extended range.
The Hemlok BF-R is a controlled burst-fire heavy rifle. Its integrated CPU can fire controlled bursts from two, three, five or to a full magazine dump in one trigger pull. Its bulk has been wiehgted specifically for recoil compensation, as escaping gases port from the multiple vents located near the muzzle. With ideal stopping power and a high caliber round, the Hemlok is a worthy choice of elite Pilots of the Frontier.
The Hemlok BF-R most likely fires the same heavy 7.62-mm Round as the Spitfire LMG.
The version from Titanfall may also bear inspiration from the M41a1 pulse rifle and LMG from James Cameron's movies Aliens and Avatar, respectively, going by the shape of its barrel shroud and magwell. These elements were removed in Titanfall 2.
According to Titanfall 2 concept art, its burst mode is computer controlled, allowing it to fire in 2-round bursts, (a reference to the Russian AN94 rifle) more conventional 3 or 5 round bursts, or even dump the entire mag with one trigger pull.
The description for Titanfall's Hemlok states the manufacturer as a company called TW Ordnance. However, the one appearing in Titanfall 2, designated the M1A3, bears a Wonyeon Defense. It is possible that, given the massive differences between the two visually, the weapons appearing in Titanfall 1 and 2 are different weapons entirely and share only a name and function.
According to artist Robb Shoberg, the model that would become the X-55 Devotion was originally submitted as a redesigned Hemlok.