Technical Specifications: P-12 Pistol
CLASSIFIED LEVEL YELLOW
PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit
Technical Document, Delta Clearance
Filed: 20 March 2084
By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command
The alien attack on Mumbai made our situation painfully clear. Their technology is far more advanced than ours. The complete inability of Commonwealth troops to make a dent in the Mumbai offensive revealed critical weaknesses in current military training and equipment. They lost three battalions just bringing the aliens to a standstill without inflicting significant casualties. PHALANX has to overcome these odds, and to do that we need the very best human technology has to offer.
The Excalibur Program was created to find the most effective weapons on Earth by reviewing their manufacturing standards, durability, operational record, and their combat performance in the situations where we've managed to bring the aliens to battle.
With the return of armour to the battlefield, starting with steel helmets in World War 1 and fragmentation vests in Vietnam, pistols have had a harder and harder time keeping up. Due to their far lower muzzle velocity compared to longer-barreled and/or fully automatic weapons, they've had increasing trouble penetrating the new, ever-higher standards of human armour -- much less advanced alien composites. The very concept of the pistol in military use came under fire at one point in the 21st century, and was saved only by the advent of super-high-velocity powder.
Chief among the new generation of super-pistols is the Dolvich DV762 from Russia. It follows the design philosophy of its home country; rugged, reliable power without frills. Its design is extremely basic, and though the materials used in its construction are far stronger to cope with the new powder, the DV762's internals are no more advanced than any pistol of the late 20th century.
The DV762 does not compromise. It isn't a multi-function firearm. It's designed for only one thing: to punch through armour and kill the person inside. In order to do this, the DV fires the ancient 7.62mm Tokarev pistol round, either on semi-automatic or three-round burst mode, from a 12-round detachable box magazine. The Tokarev round is known for its excellent penetration, and it has been significantly upgraded on its return to military service. This pistol can shoot clean through the side of a modern ballistic helmet at ranges of up to 10 metres -- and then out the other side.
Unfortunately, in order to achieve penetration, the DV sacrifices stopping power. The 7.62mm round makes a very clean hole in the enemy, which is the problem; it's very reluctant to fragment or tumble, requiring a direct hit on a vital organ or major artery to incapacitate or kill an enemy.
For the purposes of the Excalibur program, we concluded that a guaranteed minor hit is better than one that may simply bounce off an alien's armour, especially as we have yet to gain a clear picture of how nasty alien armour can get. We need sidearms that we know will be effective in the crunch, and the DV762 is the best of them.
For PHALANX use, we have given this pistol the classification P-12.
The P-12 is primarily a backup weapon. It is a significant step up from the combat knife as a weapon of last resort, and it lets a soldier respond to new close-range threats if the primary weapon is rendered ineffective at such ranges or has run out of ammo.
Ambidextrous soldiers may even consider using two pistols at the same time, though this will negatively impact accuracy and reduce the soldier's already minimal effective range.
A single P-12 should rarely be considered as a primary weapon, as it is outclassed in this role by nearly every other weapon in our arsenal. Its advantages are the advantages of a sidearm -- small size and weight. Still, it may find a use as a primary weapon with field medics and technicians who do not have room for larger weapons.
Despite good penetration against organics, this weapon performs very poorly against robotic targets.