Starfleet Personal Weapons
For more information, see Phaser (Memory Alpha)
Phasers are the most common and standard directed energy weapon in the arsenal of Starfleet and several other powers. Most phasers are classified as particle weapons and fire nadion particle beams. Based on the intensity and field of the beam as well as a variety of adjustments, a wide variety of effects can be achieved.
Classification: Hand Phasers
Type I "Cricket" Phaser
For more information, see Type I Phaser (Memory Alpha)
A Type I Phaser is the smallest, most basic weapon carried by Starfleet and other Federation personnel. Type I phasers are typically carried when it would be inappropriate to carry a larger weapon, such as on diplomatic missions or "undercover" work.
The Type I has eight adjustable settings ranging from stun to heat through disruption to disintegration. Twenty-fourth century Type I phasers are fired by a trigger on the top surface of the unit. They can be programmed to fire automatically at set intervals.
Type II Hand Phaser
For more information, see Type II Phaser (Memory Alpha)
A Type II Phaser is the typical hand-held, directed-energy weapon used by Starfleet and Federation personnel during the twenty-third, twenty-fourth, and twenty-ninth centuries. More powerful and generally larger in size than the Type I phaser, Type II phasers are kept aboard Starfleet and Federation starships, starbases, space stations, and planetary facilities.
By the 2360s, the Type II phaser had evolved past the pistol-like configuration, becoming a sleek, silver-colored device with a handle flowing into the form of a muzzle cowling and emitter. With two small buttons for beam width and intensity control and a large one to fire the device, the phaser type-2 of this period featured a large, illuminated power level readout. The phaser of this time retained the functionality of the previous designs, but increased the power and versatility. Like their predecessors, these units could be adjusted for use as cutting tools or power sources. They could also be set to overload, becoming a powerful explosive device.
Classification: Phaser Rifles
Type III Phaser Rifle
For more information, see Type III Phaser (Memory Alpha)
A Type III Phaser is the rifle variation of the standard hand-held, directed-energy weapon used by Starfleet and Federation personnel during the twenty-third and twenty-fourth centuries. More powerful and generally larger in size than either the Type I or Type II phasers, Type III phasers are kept aboard Starfleet and Federation starships, starbases, space stations, and planetary facilities.
Twenty-fourth century phaser rifles have sixteen power settings, fully-autonomous recharge capability, multiple-target acquisition, and gyro-stabilization. By the 2360s, versions of the Type III phaser rifle could be modified with the use of a tracking light mounted on the central body as well as a shoulder strap designed for ease of carrying. A phaser rifle could be set to fire an expanding energy pulse which could be set low enough to avoid damaging equipment, but high enough to affect changelings.
More advanced phaser rifles capable of firing pulse bursts as well as the standard beam were used in the 2370s. These rifles had a pistol grip in back and either an "under-barrel grip" or a second vertical grip underneath the barrel (similar to conventional firearms of times past), and were capable of being modified with various types of scope, barrel and power cell.
Compression Phaser Rifle
For more information, see Compression Phaser Rifle (Memory Alpha)
Compression Phaser Rifles are one of the most powerful personnel-carried weapons in the Starfleet arsenal and an alternative to the Type III phaser rifles used by Starfleet and Federation personnel during the twenty-third and twenty-fourth centuries. These powerful weapons are assigned to starships that could possibly see intense close-quarters or surface combat. Twenty-fourth century compression phaser rifles have multiple power settings, fully-autonomous recharge capability, multiple-target acquisition, and gyro-stabilization. A compression phaser rifle set to wide beam can fire over a large area potentially taking out a large group of individuals in one shot.
PR-90 Phaser Rifle
PR-90 Pulse-Phaser Rifles are one of the most powerful personnel-carried weapons in the Starfleet arsenal and are an alternative to the Type III phaser rifle or standard compression rifles. These powerful weapons are assigned to starships and installations which could possibly see intense close-quarters or surface combat because of their multiple power settings, fully-autonomous recharge capability, multiple-target acquisition, and gyro-stabilization. They fire energy pulses of a similar but more powerful type to the standard phaser rifle in a tight beam and are powered by Sarium Krellide power cells. The PR-90 is capable of reproducing the normal settings of the standard compression rifle and can be set to single-fire, burst-fire, or continuous-fire modes.
Development of the PR-90 began shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between the Federation and the Dominion in 2373 as Starfleet personnel found it increasingly difficult to wield the larger, more cumbersome Type III phaser rifles while engaged in close-quarters combat situations. Starfleet engineers soon went about developing a new type of weapon that would have the same capabilities and firepower of the Type III rifle, yet with reduced size to allow for better mobility and handling. The design was first introduced to field operations in late-2375 as the PR-90. While this proved too late for widespread use against Dominion forces, the PR-90 went on to distinguish itself as a valuable tool in situations where the typical Type II was simply not sufficient.
Engineers revisited the design in the mid-2380s to reassess its performance capabilities in light of increasing hostilities with the nearby Elyshan Empire as well as growing unrest within the Romulan Star Empire. Upgrades to power distribution technology, weapon discharge settings, and physical design resulted in deployment of the PR-90 Mark II for field use in 2388.