Type-II Hand Phaser
(c. 2271)

Type-II Pistol Phaser


Newer, more compact version of the phaser pistol used in the 2260s. This model repeated the classic configuration of Phaser-I attached to the extra powerpack-bearing Phaser-II, but with a twist: the whole main body of the Phaser-II forward of the butt is the Phaser-1.

One unique feature of this model was its emission head, which actually provided 4 separate beams. The reason for this is lost in the mists of time, although it didn't appear to shorten the weapon's operational lifetime given it remained in service on Federation starships for at least 75 years.


Seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, in the TNG episodes "Too Short a Season" (as part of a wall display, for an alien race who'd once received illegal arms shipments from a Starfleet admiral), and issued to crew onboard the Enterprise-C (which went missing in 2344, 73 years - and two other phaser designs - after it was first carried on the E-nil) in "Yesterday's Enterprise."

One technical manual published in the 1980's (which called it a Type-IV) has always stated that, as with the classic version, this is actually a new Type-I (or as they put it, Type-III) in conjunction with a pistol-grip, and this has finally been confirmed by a recent Fact Files article. However, the process of fitting Type-I to Type-II was never shown onscreen.

While the phaser is worn in a standard sidearm configuration in TMP, in TWOK it's bizarrely upside-down in the holster on the field jacket, and in "Yesterday's Enterprise" it's worn in an awkward-looking cross-draw fashion:

Ron Daniels says about this model: "The ST3 phaser pistol is VERY comfortable in the hand and aims easier than the ST1/2 pistol. I own a Richard Coyle rep of the 3 and had owned a resin mold pull of the 1/2. . . I've got real firearms experience, the 3 is a much more comfortable and usable hand grip and balance than the 1/2. Aiming both weapons is a tad easier than aiming a conventional pistol because the majority of the weapon weight is above the palm where as conventional pistols are split up between nose heavy and palm heavy. The ST3 is actually better distributed weight-wise than the ST1/2." But also: "Here's also a little known fact for you; the 1/2 had a limited AI type brain which allowed the weapon to hone itself against your biological aim faults. The concept was fictionally dropped because the gun would occasionally aim at something almost totally different than what you wanted to shoot. This little touch of 'retcon' knowledge was used to explain why the beam shot from Shatner's pistol in ST2 to fry the worm crawling from Checkov's ear appeared to be at an angle inconsistent with his aim."

There are differences in the prop in its three significant appearances (we never get a good look at it in "Too Short A Season"). The TMP version was a light anthracite gray, and the buttons on top (on the hero versions at least) were a rainbow of colours (one of the props had an unsightly belt-clip soldered to the side; it saved Wardrobe from having to design a holster which matched those pastel pyjamas, I suppose). The TWOK version was of a similar colour but the buttons were all of a cream or orange colour. The "Yesterday's Enterprise" version was of a darker grey, and in fact was only similar to the movie prop in general shape - actual size and details (such as the trigger not moulded into the grip) differed slightly: this was apparently because when they decided to use this weapon as the issued sidearm on the Enterprise-C, the only ones they had to hand were some inaccurate fan-made recreations.

The question remains, though - why use this weapon at all? If they had just had the crew of the E-C carrying the "Dustbuster" phaser (or even the Assault Phaser) , no-one would have noticed - or cared! Instead we're now faced with a weapon that remains in service for nearly a century. There is precedent for such longevity - the Colt M1911A1, obviously, which was the standard US military issue sidearm for most of the 20th Century - but it opens up a real can of worms, especially given the appearance in between of the ST3 nand Assault phasers. Were all three in service simultaneously? If so, how did a Starfleet officer decide which weapon he'd need for whatever situation he expected to find himself in? I'll be looking into this issue further on the revamped pages for the other two movie phasers, which will be online soon.


Veronica guards her Closet






"Yesterday's Enterprise"

Old starship, very old uniform, even older weapon. . . positively antique chat-up lines!
Wall display in "Too Short a Season"
Slightly-obscured view of same!
Artist's ImpressionSchematic