The Impaler is the apparent mainline weapon of the Shrike Collective's armed forces and is a commonly mentioned subject in the reports of raid survivors. This is likely because of the unusual nature of the Impaler as a hybrid of a melee and a ranged weapon. At range, the weapon is typically wielded as any ranged weapon would be (though the Shrike have a propensity to fire from the hip), but once a Shrike has closed into close quarters, the Impaler can be wielded as an extremely brutal sword-like weapon. While the close quarters component of the weapon seems to vary little between individual Impalers, the ranged component appears to be highly variably. Many after action reports describe Impalers firing a range of munitions; some fire standard, chemically propelled ballistic slugs, others fire fragmentation grenades, and some have been described as firing in a manner similar to a flamethrower, essentially turning the Impaler into a devastating close quarters only weapon.

For all its ferocity, the Impaler is a fairly crude weapon, and given the nature of the Shrike, it is often poorly maintained. Moreover, given it's size and weight, the melee component of the weapon is all but unwieldable to most other species, while the crude nature of Shrike ballistics means few non-Shrike could fire the ranged component without serious personal injury.