EM-33 plasma pistol, Broken Bow

A Starfleet EM pistol

IKS Rotarran emitting an EM pulse

IKS Rotarran emitting an EM pulse

An EM (or electromagnetic) weapon was a type of weapon which operated on the principle of electromagnetism.

The EM-33 pistol was the standard issue EM side arm used by Earth's Starfleet officers and Earth Cargo Service personnel during the mid-22nd century. By 2151, the EM weapons fell out of use aboard Starfleet vessels in favor of the phase weapons. A disadvantage of EM weapons was the need to compensate for particle drift. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Fortunate Son", "Sleeping Dogs")

Based on the special effects in "Broken Bow", the ammunition fired by the EM pistol appeared to be plasma bullets, as they were identified in ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem"

Electromagnetic pulses had tactical applications as well. They could be used to disable weapons, disrupt detection grids, jam communications, and trigger destructive solar plasma ejections. (VOY: "Warhead", "Warlord"; DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels", "Shadows and Symbols")

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