When loading a saved ship, there doesn’t appear to be a check on the soft-points to see if a weapon is present. This allows a person to edit the ship save file to place as many weapons as wanted on any ship. These weapons mounted outside of hard points appear to function correctly, even in challenge mode.
I had originally noticed this in the previous version, when it was reordering modules on non-full ships during a save. Some of the weapons were being moved from hard points to soft points, letting me put new weapons in the now vacant hard point slots.