The particle rifle was a type of standard-issue carbine directed energy particle weapon. In the 22nd century, particle rifles were used by Zobral's clan on the Torothan homeworld and by United Earth's Starfleet and MACO personnel.
Inside Zobral's dwelling in the Cygniai Expanse, there were numerous particle rifles in a weapons rack which was usually hidden out of sight behind a tapestry. During a bombardment of their settlement, members of Zobral's clan armed themselves with the rifles. (ENT episode: "Desert Crossing")
- These guns are not named on screen; their designation as "particle rifles" comes from the final draft script of "Desert Crossing". The terms "Zobral's dwelling", "weapons rack", and "tapestry" also come from that script.
A particle rifle used by Menos fired blue beams of energy. While his ship was parked on a moon of Pernaia Prime, Menos armed himself with a particle rifle aboard his vessel, while attempting to evade Captain Jonathan Archer, Sub-Commander T'Pol, and Ensign Travis Mayweather. Menos aimed the weapon at T'Pol, using it to hold her hostage. Then, in response to Archer and Mayweather firing phase pistols towards Menos, he first fired back with the rifle but then surrendered the weapon, leaving it on board the ship while he sneakily managed to exit the vehicle, though he was thereafter captured by the others. (ENT episode: "The Seventh")
- This weapon is not given a name on screen; its designation as a "particle rifle" comes from the final draft script of "The Seventh".
They are very similar in technology to the class-3 pulse rifles Starfleet Security uses. However these are designed to be able to operate in harsher conditions then their Starfleet counterparts. These weapons had a range of about 70 meters. (Star Trek: Enterprise)
The MACO particle rifle fired discharges of blue bolts of concentrated energy. The weapon could also be set to fire orange-red particle beams similar to those fired by a plasma rifle or a phase pistol. However, the beam came from the barrel underneath the main one. (ENT episode: "Chosen Realm")
While extremely powerful when set to kill, its stun setting appeared to be somewhat ineffective against species that were more physically resilient, such as enraged Vulcans, Xindi-Reptilians and the Augments. (ENT episodes: "Impulse", "Rajiin", "Borderland")
At their highest setting, MACO particle rifles were extremely powerful, capable of penetrating a humanoid target. In 2154, Captain Archer used a MACO particle rifle to kill the Augment Malik in this manner, using the rifle to literally bore a hole through Malik's torso. (ENT episode: "The Augments")
In a MACO weapons training simulation, a skilled user could score as many as fourteen hits in ten seconds with a particle rifle. In 2153, Corporal Amanda Cole held such a record at level four of the simulator, though she insisted she was just having a lucky day. (ENT episode: "Harbinger")
Particle rifles were in use as late as 2161, when a team of MACOs utilized the weapons during a mission to rescue Talla, the daughter of Shran and Jhamel, from a group of alien kidnappers on Rigel X. (ENT episode: "These Are the Voyages...")
The designation and type of the MACO rifle was never identified on screen. The rifle was called a "high-tech pulse rifle" in the final draft script of "The Xindi" and was again referred to as a "pulse rifle" in the final draft script of "Daedalus". However, the weapon was named as a "particle rifle" in the final draft script of "Anomaly" and is also called that in startrek.com. It was referred to as a type of pulse weapon in the final draft script of "Extinction" and was called a "phase rifle" in the first draft script of the ultimately aborted film Star Trek: The Beginning. The mirror universe version of the weapon was referred to as a "plasma rifle" and a "phase rifle" in the final draft script of "In a Mirror, Darkly". Based on effects, it appeared to be a rifle version of the MACO phase pistol and usually fired the same type of phase pulses. The MACO rifle was called an assault rifle, an assault carbine, a phase rifle and an energy rifle in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction.
Based on a scene in "In a Mirror Darkly", rotating the power level selector forward/away from the user appeared to increase the power level. There may also be a sniper variant of the rifle, though it is unclear whether or not the sniper version featured in "The Xindi" was a distinct weapon system or a standard MACO rifle with a retractable barrel or separate barrel attachment.
A short, tubular-shaped part of the rifle beneath the muzzle of the weapon is very similar to a set of three objects the MACOs carry in a specialized pouch/carrier on their utility belts, suggesting the ability for the weapon to be reloaded. The MACO phase-pistol and EM-33 pistol feature an identical object, also beneath the muzzle of the weapon, which may also be storage space for spare power cells for the rifle and pistol.
A weapon that Jonathan Archer uses to kill Malik in "The Augments" was scripted to be a plasma rifle. However, a particle rifle was clearly used instead, for the final version of the episode.
Rifles are used by MACO ground forces in Star Trek Online. In the game, that type of weapon is known as a type 3 compression phaser rifle.