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EM-33 Plasma Pistol.
Lets start at the beginning.
 

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Plasma-based hand weapon in use by Earth's Starfleet in the mid-22nd century until its replacement by the Phase Pistol. Also used by civilian starship crewmen for personal defense. The designation "EM-33" comes from the episode "Fight or Flight" where Ensign Hoshi Sato says she's been trained on EM sidearms; Archer then tells her the Phase Pistol handles "pretty much like an EM-33." Craig Binkley, Enterprise's Prop Master, recently revealed in an interview that, when designing the prop, for sizing purposes they studied the Israeli "Desert Eagle"


The Phase Pistol
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Hand-held weapon based on new technology, first used in the field on Starfleet's deep-space explorer vessel, the Enterprise NX-01. The Phase Pistol's particle beam could be configured to induce either unconsciousness or death in the target individual.

Power came from a replaceable cell located under a flip-up cover at the front of the weapon.


A new technical development in this era, and presumably a fore-runner of the Phaser. While not contradicting Worf's statement about the development of phasers in the 22nd century, it does go against the appearance of lasers in "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" - unless those weren't lasers, but just called that.
The circumstances under which they're brought into service in the Enterprise pilot "Broken Bow" are interesting. They're obviously brought on board prior to the ship's departure, perhaps in the cases which Lt. Malcolm Reed (the Armoury Officer) and helmsman Ensign Travis Mayweather are seen unloading from the transporter. However they're not issued until the very end, when Captain Archer and Chief Engineer Commander Tucker carry them when infiltrating a Suliban space station. Why weren't they given them for the expedition to Rigel? Presumably the plasma pistols they carried on that occasion were judged ineffective when pitted against Suliban phasers. . .

The two settings, "stun" and "kill," are both a nod to the famous settings of the Original Series phasers (regardless of the fact they actually had much more than two) and an indication of how experimental this technology is. Whereas Starfleet personnel could previously only hope that their aim might make the plasma bolts they were firing non-lethal, we now see a step in the direction of the benevolent Federation; providing, as Reed points out, they don't confuse the settings! However, in the episode "Terra Nova" Archer is seen to configure the weapon to produce a beam capable of slicing through solid rock, and in"Civilization" to produce a heat ray. The cutting-beam has cropped again in "Future Tense," "North Star" and "CS-12."

In "Sleeping Dogs" we get to see the replacement of the power cell: it's a grey block about the size of a large battery, which lights up red once inserted.

In "Regeneration" the problem of Borg adaptation to phase beams is (rather simply) solved by Lt. Reed increasing the output to 10 megajoules. Scott Anderson of Star Wars tech versus Star Trek tech website www.st-v-sw.net has some problems with this: "Where were the freqencies, modulations, nutations, EM bands, and all the other technobabble phaser fixes used to allow the later crews to kill a Borg or two before adaptation ensued? That was when it occurred to me that the phase pistol might not take kindly to being juiced up to that extent. . . might make the pistol's signature sloppy. I can't really think of a decent analogy for the idea . . . the best I've come up with would be something along the lines of electricity. Electrical appliances operate along set voltage . . . around these parts, 110-120. But, if you just dump raw juice into the line (say, lightning strike) and don't "clean it up" first, bad things happen. Now, just imagine the reverse . . . dumping too much juice into the phase pistol's systems might go slightly beyond its ability to clean up, producing a frequency/modulation/nutation/band (FMNB) spread. Yeah, okay, the analogy sucks. Well, the concept may not be perfect, but it is not without support. As Reed and an armory officer conduct tests of the juiced-up phase pistol, we get this image on Reed's monitor. The red-shaded output is 9 megajoules, with the other colors representing lower settings. Note the different graph shapes at the different settings. I'm not sure which of the FMNB group this would represent, but it's almost certainly one of them." It's been further hypothesized that later Starfleet weaponry tends more toward control and finesse, making this kind of modification impossible. In one DS9 episode Major Kira contrasts Federation phaser rifles as having less power, but more features, than their Cardassian equivalents.

It's long been rumored that the Art Asylum's Phase Pistol toyhas been used as a prop on the show, and in "United" we finally get a close look at one! It is, of course, Reed's pistol that he overloads (another feature of Trek Phasers, seen here for the first time) to create a makeshift bomb. (Art Asylum have discontinued this range, so pick one up if you can; Master Replicas' TOS Phaser sold out before I got one, and I'm still kicking myself. . . )

The prop was designed by Craig Binkley and Jim Martin, presumably with some input from Art Department head Herman Zimmerman. The 'hero' or 'real' versions (as opposed to the wood or rubber stunt versions) cost about $2,500 each. The holsters are leather over vacu-formed plastic, with metal disks fitted allowing it to attach to a magnetized strip in the Starfleet uniforms (allegedly!).

 

 

 
 

 

The Cage Laser.

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Standard issue personal weapon on the USS Enterprise up to about 2265.

As with the Mark-1 variant, there are at least two rotating wheels on the barrel, controlling beam power and intensity. The forward one appears to rotate the whole muzzle assembly, giving a choice of three barrels - the longest one (chosen by rotating in an anti-clockwise direction as you hold it) seems to be the highest power. Fires a red-orange beam.

Notes

Seen in the Original Series' second pilot "Where No Man has Gone Before" and the first-season episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"

This is the second of two variants of this weapon seen: in "The Cage" the stock above the gun ends in a smooth tapered curve with no sign of the rearward assembly pictured above. The purpose of these added components can only be speculated at; perhaps this was the first true hand phaser, built around a laser-pistol chassis? Certainly this weapon has the ability to disintegrate matter, not a function one associates with lasers.

The laser pistol was seen in use in "The Cage" (and "The Menagerie"), but it can also be seen as part of the away team's arsenal in "Where No Man Has Gone Before." However, the phaser rifle was also used in that episode, suggesting that phaser technology had already been introduced but had not yet replaced the older laser weapons.

In "Obsession", it was stated that James T. Kirk was manning the phaser station aboard the USS Farragut in 2257, suggesting that ship-mounted phaser banks were in use at least by that time, although handheld laser pistols would continue to be used.

Since the Earth Starfleet of the 22nd century utilized plasma weapons and phase weapons, it seems odd that they would use a more primitive weapon like a laser. One explanation could be that the 23rd century term "laser" might mean something more complicated than the lasers we know of today. It's also possible that this could be the shortened colloquial use of a more complicated technological name, such as "phase laser" or "multiphasic laser," and these laser weapons represented a midpoint between the earlier phase pistol and the phaser.

This weapon was manufactured by Wah Chang's shop in 1964 for the original pilot production. Close examination reveals the controls on the side are painted typewriter keys. The weapon was slightly modified for it's later appearance.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
     

 

                    

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