At first, it does. I think it gets a lot better as you upgrade it, though. As it stands, James will likely lose the rifle for a cutter, line gun, or contact beam. Any sort of cutting tool is better than a piercing tool like the pulse rifle.
I'm still trying to get my thoughts together. Bear with me. Feel free to set up Richard or Robert for becoming more insane by making James look stupid again. XD That's always fun and gives me a bit more to work with.