- "They have two settings: stun and kill. It would be best not to confuse them."
- — Malcolm Reed, 2151
The phase pistol was a type of phase-modulated energy weapon, a personnel sidearm characterized by a focused energy discharge in the form of a steady stream or a phase pulse. It was introduced in 2151 for use by Starfleet personnel as a replacement to the EM-33 pistol. MACO utilized a different model of phase pistol. (ENT episodes: "Broken Bow", "United")
- In ultimately unused dialogue from the first draft script of Shadows of P'Jem (written while the episode had the working title "Untitled Andorians Return"), this type of weapon was defined as a "phased-energy pistol" and a "defensive weapon."
Starfleet phase pistolEdit
Although phase pistols handled similarly to an EM-33, they were different in that they did not require the user to compensate for particle drift, but to instead point straight at the target. (ENT episodes: "Fight or Flight", "Sleeping Dogs")
The effects of a phase pistol hit also differed from those experienced with other weapons of that era. 22nd century Suliban and Coridan weapons inflicted identifiable wounds, tearing through clothing and into the victim's flesh. (ENT episode: "Shadows of P'Jem")
The phase pistol, however, was capable of having an effect more comparable to an electric shock, capable of causing severe injury without breaking, burning or otherwise damaging the skin. Along with the beam, a pulse would surge through it, causing more damage. (ENT episode: "Broken Bow")
Crewmembers from Enterprise NX-01 first used phase pistols in April of 2151, when Captain Jonathan Archer infiltrated a Suliban helix. Aboard the helix, Archer was able to stun a Suliban soldier before having his own phase-pistol turned against him by Silik. Due to bizarre temporal effects within the helix's temporal chamber, however, Archer was able to literally dodge the phase-pistol beam and escaped relatively unharmed, while the beam's presence in the chamber caused a large shock wave to surge through it, as Silik had said it to be unwise to use the weapon in that room. (ENT episode: "Broken Bow")
MACO phase pistolEdit
MACOs used their own model of phase pistols as their primary sidearm as well. The pistols were similar in appearance to the EM-33 pistols and were designed to fire blue phase pulses, essentially bolts of energy, instead of beams like those fired by their Starfleet counterparts. The pistols were also equipped with both "stun" and "kill" settings.
In 2154, Talas was shot with a MACO phase pistol set to kill. Although she was only grazed, she, being an Andorian, was especially susceptible to phase-pulse infection, and subsequently died of her injuries. (ENT episodes: "Babel One", "United")