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A Starfleet laser pistol c.2254

A laser pistol or hand laser was an early type of hand-held Phaser technology commonly used in the early half of the 23rd century. They were a successor of the phase pistol and preceded the Type-2 phaser.


Early hand lasers were in use by as early as 2045 on Earth. (TOS novel: Strangers from the Sky)

By 2169, laser pistols replaced phase pistols as the main sidearm in Starfleet. Starfleet-issue laser pistols used phased technology combined with Andorian laser technology.[citation needed]

By 2233, the laser pistol design resembled later hand phaser designs, but by 2245, laser pistols were re-designed. This design was phased out by 2266 when the phaser pistol replaced all laser weapons.[citation needed]

The Orion D'Jinnea owned a hand laser in 2218, and they were used by Federation Starfleet by at least 2248. (ST novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire)

Starfleet continued to issue laser pistols until at least 2265. As of 2266 they had been phased out in favor of the Type-2 phaser. (TOS episodes: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "The Man Trap")

Starfleet-type laser pistols continued to be used to arm some civilian operations later into the 2260s, such as the expeditions to M-113 and Exo III. (TOS episodes: "The Man Trap", "What Are Little Girls Made Of?")

Hand lasers could also be utilized as emergency engineering tools. (SCE eBook: Foundations, Book Three)


Starfleet issue laser pistols in the 2250s featured a grip and twist function to change the setting, they fired blue or magenta beams (presumably at different settings). (EV comics: "Flesh of My Flesh", "The Fallen")

Settings on the pistols included force-chamber overload and wide-beam firing. (TOS episode: "The Cage"; EV comic: "Cloak and Dagger")



The laser pistol was the first hand held weapon in Star Trek production history, however in-universe, following Star Trek: Enterprise's introduction of phase pistols, they might be seen as a step back in technology from the obviously named forerunner of hand phasers. However, laser pistols have also been shown used alongside phaser rifles in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and several Star Trek: Early Voyages comics suggesting they are perhaps an intermediate step used until phaser technology was available in a more compact form.

The name is also problematic as lasers compared to the phased energy of both phase pistols and phasers would be a step back, this would probably suggest that Laser pistols are not lasers under our current definition of the term, or that Laser pistols are not lasers at all and just named such as slang or maybe an acronym.


laser technology
tools navigational laserlaser drilllaser-lathelaser torch
weapons laser cannonlaser pistollaser rifle
Federation Starfleet hand-held weapons
Directed energy weapons type-1 phaser/hand phaser Sestra phaser IAtalskes phaser IIISestra phaser IBmark V personal phaser Seal of the Federation Starfleet
type-2 phaser/phaser pistol Sestra phaser IIAtalskes phaser IVSestra phaser IIBmark VI battle phaserphaser (Kelvin timeline)
type-3 phaser/phaser rifle phaser rifle (23rd century)mark VII phaser rifletype III phaser riflecompression phaser rifleenhanced compression riflephaser rifle (Kelvin timeline)
miscellaneous assault rifleinfinity modulatorisomagnetic disintegratorlaser pistollaser rifleneural disruptorphase pistolsniper rifle
Projectile weapons compound grenade launcherphoton burstquantum burstTR-116TR-120


External links