The Laspistol is the pistol-sized variant of the Lasgun used by the Imperial Guard. It was primarily made as a sidearm for officers, as well as what few assault troops are present in the Guard. A laspistol can be made in many different ways, ranging from your standard factory-produced pistol for average squad sergeants to artisan-crafted pistols for for Rogue Traders or Imperial Governors that are just as much pieces of art as functional weapons.
Virtually all Imperial Guard officers (aside from Commissars, who generally prefer Bolt Pistols) and combat personnel, will be armed with this pistol (unless they can get access to shinier bits like plasma or bolt pistols) since it's fuckeasy to make, maintain, use, and die with. Especially the latter. The laspistol lacks the range of the lasgun but when in range it has the same effect as the lasgun. Basically,
if because the lasgun is a flash light, the laspistol is a pocket light.
Of course, real Imperial Guard assault troops, like Krieg combat engineers, prefer shotguns to laspistols, because they hold no illusions about their close combat capabilities, and because a boomstick is a fucking manly weapon, approved by Colonel "I kick Chaos Terminators in the balls for fun" Straken. It also suggests that they've seen Aliens, which as well as helping to cement the look of the Imperial Guard, demonstrated that shotguns are an excellent choice for purging the foul xenos at close quarters.
Of course, like the lasgun, a laspistol is generally described as being quite capable of shooting through a modern-day concrete wall, penetrating a civilian car's body in one shot, and dealing a similar amount of damage to a modern day high-caliber revolver/pistol or an SMG burst. At least it has the same stats as the Autopistol and Stub-pistol which are essentially the same as today's micro-Uzi (or equivalent) and Desert Eagle (or other heavy caliber pistol) IN SPACE. This might be why flak armor is sometimes said to be able to take a hit from these.
While shots from the laspistol are less likely to kill than shots from a bolt pistol, Commissar Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM, argues that the saving grace of the laspistol is one of reliable ammunition, since a laspistol power pack can be recharged by anything (batteries, solar panels, or even just chucking it in a firepit if the AdMech aren't around to whine at you, though you do have to take care of the machine spirit if you want to do the fire charge with regularity) while the bolt pistol needs physical ammunition to feed it, and a Commissar can only carry so much (even with Jurgen and endless pouches could only carry a few magazines). Cain also says that part of the appeal of bolt pistols is because they're big, loud, and make a statement. Ironically, Amberley Vail also notes this is also the reason why so many Orks are attracted to bolt pistols over laspistols, although Vail warns telling a commissar that to their face would probably get you a demonstration on how dangerous a bolt pistol is.
So remember, the pistol is actually quite powerful by our standards and the 'one-size-fits-all' battery pack is a logistical miracle. It's just that it's in a setting where the standards are guns loaded with miniature rockets for ammunition, lightweight guns that fire super-heated bolts of energy capable of penetrating heavy armor as if it were wet tissue paper, guns capable of disintegrating anything that they're fired at, literally recoilless guns that are capable of sending out a flurry of jagged disks capable of severing limbs, some biomechanical abomination 'shooting' living ammo that wants to eat you or somewhere along those lines, it looks pretty weak in comparison.
Of course, all of this depends on who's writing the fluff - different authors portray weapons differently.
Rare and incredibly powerful versions of the run-of-the-mill Laspistols, these weapons date back to the times of The Dark Age of Technology. Overall they have superior range, can spew out more shots than a common pistol, and in general are far more efficient. An Archeotech Laspitol's penetrating power also isn't something to scoff at, as it can turn Chaos Space Marines into Swiss Cheese, making it one step from turning into a pistol-sized Lascannon. As one can deduce, these firearms are insanely rare in the current day Imperium and having one is considered a mark of high status.
Back in the good old days of the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. Just about everyone with a enough high rank had this fucking things. When they say the Imperium is in a state of decline, its not a joke. Not even Cawl has bothered to fix that.
- Commissar - The famous users of the
laspistolBolt pistol, which they use to motivate their troops.
- Lasgun - Laspistol's mommy.
- Multilaser- Laspistol's big bro.