Sure! The "bullet" that is chambers is a specially designed energy cell that discharges all of its contents into the weapon to fire a single high powered blast. Compared to its in-story counterparts it does this safely as most other directed energy weaponry tends to explode if you try that.
They're safe to handle by hand. I originally wanted to do the casing where the back half was ceramic and the front/red part was transparent and you could see the inner workings. But my polycount was getting unreasonably high so I toned it down a bit. The energy discharge is sphere shaped similar to a plasma weapon in halo. I'm hoping to design four major types of weapons. Plasma like this, conventional, laser beam, and a mass driver type weapon.
There are several ways to do the hand drawn toon shaded look. The one that looks the nicest is to use the contours features in Mental Ray and use toon shaders then put them all together in photoshop. There is a really good tutorial by Christoph Desse on how to do it. I'll see if I can get the link and post it for you