Small Arms

The following is the copied(and slightly edited) version of the small arms page of the old BSP wiki:

Small Arms


Small arms are weapons that an individual can carry and use. Before the Destruction, firearms manufacturers (the big three being Amherst and Dunst, HDS Firearms, and United Barclay) operated in a sophisticated market populated by hundreds on thousands of models. While most of these weapons were lost after the Destruction, many found its way into the Fleet through shadowy underground elements and, most notably, the military.

The Colonial Navy and Marine Corps, while being separate branches of the military, draw weapons from a common pool decided by government leadership. These standardized weapons are, by far, the most numerous of the Fleet. When a small arm is adopted for military use, it is stripped of its civilian name and assigned a designation composed of a category prefix and a model number. Other weapons are simply identified by a model number and usually a colloquial name.

While the Colonial military in Battlestar Galactica has not shown consistent use of any weapon, most of the weapons found on screen are real. Taking this cue, the weapons in Battlestar Pacifica are straightforward adaptations of modern weapons. This is not an exhaustive list.

Hand guns

A hand gun, or pistol, is a small arm designed with one grip and intended to be fired with one hand. It may be chambered for cartridges of any diameter, but generally of low length. Most pistols are semi-automatic, which fires one bullet per trigger pull. Some are automatic, which can continuously fire bullets with only one trigger pull. Double-action pistols do not require a preparatory action before a firing sequence (cocking the gun), and single-action pistols do.

CP M45

CP M45, with factory-installed ERL
The M45 (formally Colonial Pistol, Caliber 11.43 mm, M45) is an eight-shot revolver designed by weapons company Amherst and Dunst (the civilian version is known as the A&D R11). It is also known as the Colonial Clamshell for it's unique hinge-loading mechanism: the rotary chamber is accessed by opening the frame and handle. The M45 was formerly the standard-issue pistol for the Colonial Navy and Marine Corps, but has since been replaced by the M57 and M58, semi-automatic and automatic models with larger magazine capacities and automatic ejectors.

The M45 is reliable, durable, and most notably powerful, thanks to its long 11.43 x 32 mm cartridge. In exchange, the weapon is considered almost too large, bulky, and heavy to qualify as a sidearm. Compared to modern models, the M45 takes considerably longer to reload, because the shooter must manually remove the bullet casings after firing. It is permanently equipped with an explosive round launcher (ERL), and its sight rail accepts other accessories.

Despite its bulk, the weapon is a favorite of a number of military personal, and the transition from from the M45 was a slow one. A sizable contingent of military personnel have opted to hold off on exchanging their side-arms for the more modern replacements, swearing by the bulky M45's reliability.

CP M57

CP M57, with ERL
The M57 (formally Colonial Pistol, Caliber 5.7 mm, M57) is a semi-automatic hand gun designed for use as a personal side arm by weapons company Amherst and Dunst. It is the standard-issue pistol for the Colonial Navy and Marine Corps. The M57 is chambered for the 5.7 x 28 mm cartridge (5.7 mm in diameter, 28 mm in length), producing a trade-off between lethality and versatility: it's light, weighing about 600 grams unaccessorized, small, less than 200 millimeters in length, and sports three-dot adjustable sights and an enlarged trigger guard to facilitate gloved use. It has exceptionally low recoil and is effective up to 50 meters.
The M57's power lies in the accessory slide under the barrel that can accepts a range of attachments. These include a laser aiming module (LAM), tactical flashlight, and explosive round launcher (ERL). The ERL is the preferred attachment of choice, because the 5.7 mm cartridge has proven ineffective against Centurion variants with heavier armor.

SF variant
The SF model (for Special Forces) has integrated night sights, a conventional trigger guard, and a threaded barrel for the attachment of a silencer. It is modified for double-action, which allows the gun to be cocked and fired in one trigger pull.

IGI variant
The IGI model (for Individual Government Issue) is a civilian version of the M57 used extensively by Colonial police forces. Although it has only superficial changes from the base model, stipulations in the original government contract necessitated the creation of a new variant. The IGI has a conventional trigger guard, a larger checkered grip pattern, and a more prominent safety selector. It typically has the seal of the Colonial government on the right side of the grip.

FA variant
The FA model (for Full Auto) has automatic fire capability, which adds about fifty grams to the weapon. It is otherwise identical to the base model. The M57 FA did not sell well because its small size made it exceptionally unwieldy and inaccurate in sustained fire, but those who purchased it had no trouble trading the fifty grams for an extra firing option. The military obtained a limited number of M57 FAs, where it drew a small following among Colonial officers.

CP M58

CP M58, unaccessorized

The M58 (formally Colonial Pistol, Caliber 11.43 mm, M58) is an automatic pistol designed by defense contractor HDS Firearms. Compared to the M57, the M58 is heavier, weighing about 1.3 kg unaccessorized, longer, approximately 245 mm in length, and is chambered for the more powerful 11.43 x 23 mm cartridge. It was adopted almost a decade ago at the request of the Colonial Marine Corps as an authorized alternative to the M57, which had drawn ire from certain members of the military leadership who believed that the M57 was underpowered and under performing. Whether these allegations are true or not, the M58 is a powerful, albeit comparatively inelegant, weapon.

Like the M57, the M58 has three-dot adjustable sights, an enlarged trigger, an accessory rail under the barrel, and a maximum range of 50 meters. However, the M58 comes standard with a threaded barrel, has ambidextrous safeties, and enjoys good stopping power regardless of the type of bullet fired.

Because the M58 is an automatic pistol, its magazines typically hold seventeen or nineteen rounds instead of the usual twelve. These rounds may be fired in semi-, three round burst, or full auto modes. When fired in full auto, the M58 is a formidable weapon, able to match the rate of fire of some assault rifles. Its accuracy, however, decreases sharply. When loaded with armor piercing rounds, the M58 is generally effective against Centurions, although explosive rounds are preferred where available.

Patriot variant
The Patriot model is a semi-automatic only version of the M58. It was intended for the civilian market, and it had to be stripped down to comply with gun control laws. Beyond this major change, the M58 Patriot has a conventional trigger guard, eliminates threading in the barrel, and does not come standard with an accessory rail.

Tactical variant
The Tactical model provides more user options and increased complexity. It is dual single action/double action, allowing the user to cock the gun and fire in two motions or one. It has an overbarrel rail for the attachment of additional accessories (designed with a pistol scope in mind), improved fabrication materials for a lower rate of jamming, an ambidextrous safety, and higher and more precise iron sights. The M58 Tactical, in conjunction with the M57 SF, are preferred weapons by the special operations community.

Sumachine Guns

A submachine gun, or SMG, is an automatic weapon that fires pistol cartridges. It is generally intended to be fired with two hands. If a SMG is designed to be fired with one hand, it may also be called a machine pistol. Submachine guns are ideal for close quarters combat (environments like ship corridors and urban cities) because of its small size. However, they have difficulty with armored targets.


CPDW M90, unaccessorized

The M90 (formally Colonial Personal Defense Weapon, Caliber 5.7 mm, M90) is a submachine gun designed by arms company Amherst and Dunst. It is officially classified as a personal defense weapon, which is smaller than an assault rifle, but with better range and armor penetrating abilities than a pistol. Colloquially, it is known as a submachine gun.

The M90 is chambered for the same cartridge as the M57 (5.7 x 28 mm), which appealed to a fiscally-strapped military looking to avoid paying for new caliber ammunition. It features an innovative loading configuration that places the magazine parallel to and above the barrel with the rounds perpendicular to the barrel. This presents the entire length of the weapon to be available to fit ammunition, which allows for a large fifty-round magazine. Accessory rails flank the barrel on either side. It is approximately 2.7 kg in weight, unaccessorized, and 500 mm in length.

The M90 can fire in semi-, three round burst, or full auto modes at a maximum effective range of 200 meters. Despite its very fast rate of fire (900 rounds per minute), the M90 shoots low caliber pistol ammunition. It has difficulty stopping armored targets and suffers from the same performance issue against heavy-armor Centurion variants as the M57.

Freeman PDW-I

Freeman PDW-I, unaccessorized
The Freeman PDW-I is a submachine gun designed by Freeman Limited. It was created to compete in the Colonial military's open contest for a personal defense weapon. Although Freeman lost to Amherst and Dunst's prototype (which would ultimately become the M90), it produced a valuable weapon in the form of the PDW-I.

The PDW-I was designed with a mechanical enemy in mind and marketed as the weapon of choice for what Freeman Limited believed was an inevitable Second Cylon War. It was chambered to fire custom-made 4.6 x 30 mm armor piercing cartridges, fully jacketed, with hardened steel (or, in exotic versions, depleted uranium) tips. Although the cartridge has a small caliber, smaller than the M90, its special construction allows for far greater stopping power.

Ironically, the design paradigm that makes the PDW-I highly sought after in AD times was the very feature that the Colonial military cited decades ago in its rejection of the original prototype. The PDW-I was also expensive to manufacture, due in part to its reliance on ammunition that Freeman Limited itself patented. The government was wary of committing to a monopolized weapon system.

The PDW-I has low recoil and can fire with accuracy in semi-, three round burst, or full auto modes. It is effective up to 200 meters and comes with a full-length, top mounted accessory rail. It measures 340 mm in length with the buttstock retracted.

Assault rifles

An assault rifle, or carbine, is a small arm that fires ammunition intermediate in length between pistol and rifle cartridges, and is smaller than a rifle. An assault rifle is typically as effective against armor without having the strong recoil associated with a rifle, but it is not as accurate at long distances.

CR M115

CR M115, with DEFTS
The CR M115 (formally Colonial Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M115) is an assault rifle custom-designed for the Colonial military by arms company United Barclay. It was intended to be accurate, powerful, versatile, and mobile, qualities that proved to be impossible to all attain. The result was the jack-of-all-trades CR M115, a weapon that is useful in most roles but excels at none of them.

The M115 fires the 5.56 x 45 mm rifle cartridge, a compromise between weaker pistol rounds and stronger, purebred rifle rounds. The caliber has proven to be adequate, able to penetrate all forms of Centurion armor without forcing the user to bear excessive recoil commonly associated with full-sized rifle rounds. The long cartridge length allows the bullet to be fired at a high velocity, which means good stopping power and range.

The M115 can reach targets up to 400 meters away. It can fire in semi-, three round burst, and full auto modes, topping at a maximum rate of fire of 650 rounds per minute.

The M115 comes standard with an optical scope called DEFTS (Dual Environment and Function Telescopic Scope) that operates in all illumination conditions and combines conventional weapon sights with variable 4x zoom. In the hands of a qualified shooter, the DEFTS makes the M115 deadly accurate in ideal conditions, and it is one of the rifle's saving graces.

A rail above the barrel allows for mounting of tactical accessories. The most notable and important attachment is the underslung grenade launcher (UGL), a breech-loading indirect fire weapon that launches 40 x 46 mm grenades to an area target up to 350 meters away and a point target 150 meters away. It slides like a sheath through the front of the rifle with a hole for the barrel to protrude through. The grenade cartridges come in every imaginable model, including, but not limited to, high explosive, smoke, illumination, CS gas, buckshot, flares, and training.

Among the M115's drawbacks, weight is the most cited. With the UGL and DEFTS, a loaded M115 clocks in at a heavy 6.58 kg, almost as much as a machine gun. Its performance in extreme conditions is also questionable. Although the M115 was designed to be waterproof, field testing revealed unacceptably high rates of jamming after quenching with water. United Barclay was under contract with the Colonial military to upgrade the M115 into the M115A2 to eliminate this and other problems, efforts which have understandably stalled.

SDM variant
The SDM (for Squad Designated Marksman) incorporates a longer barrel and is chambered for the more powerful 7.62 x 51 mm rifle cartridge, extending its maximum effective range to over 500 meters. It is colloquially referred to as a DM rifle because it exists in the middle ground between an assault rifle and a dedicated sniper rifle. Taking features from both fields, the M115 SDM excels at neither, but is sometimes preferred for its cross-capability.


A rifle, or battle rifle, is a small arm that fires full-powered rifle ammunition. The Colonial military phased out rifles in favor of assault rifles as its mainline service weapon several decades ago, so this category is mostly limited to sniper rifles.

CR M18A3

CR M18A3, unaccessorized
The CR M18A3 (formally Colonial Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M18A3) is a sniper rifle of the Colonial military. It was designed nearly two decades ago by a now defunct firearms company, and its subsequent upgrades were performed by HDS Firearms, which picked up the patent. The M18 is the oldest platform still in service with the Colonial military, which speaks to the rifle's efficacy.

The M18A3 fires the powerful 7.62 x 51 mm rifle cartridge, weighs 7.5 kg, and is approximately 1200 millimeters long (more than half of which is taken up by the barrel). It is bolt action (single-fire) and is typically fed by a five-round box magazine. Depending on the type of ammunition fired, the rifle has a maximum range of almost 1000 meters. It can be outfitted with a variety of accessories, including scopes, tripods, and silencers, depending on the shooter's taste. The M18A3 has the reputation of being reliable, accurate, and deadly. It is generally effective against Centurions of all variants.

CR M120

CP M120, unaccessorized
The CR M120 (formally Colonial Rifle, Caliber 12.7 mm, M120) is a heavy sniper rifle of the Colonial military, and the only weapon platform designed by Freeman Limited to be officially adopted. It fires the extremely powerful 12.7 x 99 mm rifle round, weighs a hefty 13 kg, and is approximately 1500 mm long. The M120 is effective up to 1500 meters with an astounding record shot of 2500 meters. It can defeat Centurion armor with incredible ease. Like the M18A3, the M120 comes with various accessory attachment points.

Because of its bulk and power, the M120 is rarely used for anti-personnel purposes. Rather, its major application is explosive ordinance disposal (EOD).

Machine guns

A machine gun is an automatic small arm that fires rifle ammunition. It is typically mounted on some sort of support structure. Machine guns are ideal for suppressing bunched groups and defending static territory. They are illegal for civilian possession. Larger machine guns designed to be operated by a gun crew are not considered small arms.

CMG M116

CMG M116, with DEFTS
The CMG M116 (formally Colonial Machine Gun, Caliber 5.56 mm, M116) is a squad automatic weapon (SAW) of the Colonial military. It was designed by United Barclay Arms as extension of the M115 and proposed as part of the same warfare system. The M116 weighs approximately 6.8 kg, is 900 mm long (more than one-third of which is barrel length), and is effective to 600 meters for a point target, 800 meters for an area target, and 1000 meters for general suppression. Its rate of fire, and indeed most of its entire internal firing mechanism, is identical to the M115. The weapon is typically belt-fed its 5.56 x 45 mm rifle cartridges, although it may accept other feeds, such as an extended-capacity box magazine like the one pictured. It has a front-mounted bipod, buttstrap, and rear pistol grip that is used as a monopod. No attachment rails exist beside the piece used to secure the DEFTS.

The Marine Corps constructs its basic fighting unit, the squad, around the SAW. This fighting doctrine makes the machine gun a central element because it is essential to enemy suppression, which in turn allows easier maneuvering. Centurions, however, do not seem to react to suppressive fire. In this light, the value of the M116 rests only in its comparatively long effective range, not its psychological effects.



M3 DCK, with scabbard
The M3 DCK (for dual-purpose combat knife) is a field knife designed to function as a fighting knife and a bayonet. A vertical notch cut into the hilt allows it to slide and secure firmly over the muzzle of the M115, M116, and M101. When not fixed onto a weapon, the M3 DCK is secured in an accompanying scabbard. It has an ergonomic handle and blade that are corrosion-resistant and designed for operation in extreme environmental conditions. The knife is shaped to allow both stabbing and slashing.

Because of its acronym, the M3 DCK is colloquially referred to as the dick, which lends to humorous, if not officially frowned upon, comments such as "you have dirt on your dick" or "polish your dick."

CS M1011

CS M1011, unaccessorized
The CS M1011 (formally Colonial Shotgun, Caliber 18.53 mm, M1011) is a semi-automatic shotgun developed by arms company Remegio of Picon, nicknamed The Jackhammer due to its characteristic staccato report. It weighs 8.6 kg and is approximately 890 mm in length with the collapsible stock retracted. The M1011 features a multi-purpose accessory rail above the frame, and it comes standard with a ring aiming system. It is effective against soft targets up to 50 meters firing the military standard double-ought buckshot.

The M1011 (and combat shotguns in general) are only effective against armored targets when appreciably close. Therefore, its use in open environments is discouraged.


CRL M65 PAW, with rear-screwing rocket cartridge
The M65 PAW is a shoulder-fired recoilless rocket launcher designed internally by the Colonial Defense Research Agency and produced under exclusive contract by COAT Holdings. It was commissioned after open-market solicitations failed to yield promising prototypes, and it was the first and only weapon to be designed by a non-private entity. PAW stands for Portable Assault Weapon.

The PAW is not light. Weighing over 30 kg loaded, soldiers who carry it are usually armed with nothing more than a pistol. It is 76 cm long and extends to 140 cm to fire (the 64 cm long rocket is in a disposable cartridge that is screwed onto the back of the launcher). Aiming is facilitated by open iron sights with an additional hardpoint that accepts a scope for nighttime firing. The PAW has a 12-round 9 mm spotting gun mounted on the side. It fires tracer bullets that mimic the ballistics of the rocket, allowing the shooter to test his aim if necessary.

To fire the PAW, the rocket cartridge is armed and screwed into the back of the launcher, a step that is often completed before entering battle. The electrical system is pre-charged. The shooter then points at the target and repeatedly fires the spotting rifle until the tracer is on target (relying solely on the scope or sights if surprise is desired). Once on target, the shooter announces his intent to fire, clears the backblast area, and fires. Its maximum effective reach is 250 meters to a point target and 500 meters to an area target.

The high explosive multi-role (HEMR) rocket is effective against lightly armored targets, covering all models of Centurion and all personnel. The high explosive anti-armor (HEAA) rocket is effective against heavy armor; well-aimed shots can strike down hovering Raptors and Heavy Raiders. The Marine detachments don't have many HEMR and HEAA rockets, which makes the M65 a sparingly-used weapon.

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