Since this is obviously a hot subject, I made a topic for it.
Will the UE's Railguns beat the GTVA's Beams? Let's break down the facts and Physics.
They have Nasty AAA, as well as Slashes and Those beastly LGreens/LVas that pierce the hull. This can vaporise crew in the beam's line of fire. Problem is that they are slow, and, unless you use a LGreen/LVas, you only get a small area damage. Of course, that doesn't matter in FS2 where you hit. You could Subach the tip of a wing, and the whole ship will go KABOOM eventually.. Anyway,
Slower, as they are projectiles, but have a large area damage from the explosion. They can fire rapidly, and can thus cover more area. Less of a potential for AAA, as I am seeing more of 'Upgraded Flak' cannons to swat away bombs. Also can be a longer range, provided you aim it right.
So, Beams and Rails are looking pretty even.