- The following article lists many of the real world weapons used as props in the series. For a more general article on the weapons technology of Battlestar Galactica see: Weapons in the Re-imagined Series. Consequently, for the small arms from the Original Series, see: Laser pistol.
Not much description has been given about the small arms that are used in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, but nearly all of the firearms that the Colonial forces carry are real weapons, either used without modifications or slightly changed to make them less recognizable.
The standard-issue Colonial sidearm (introduced in the Miniseries) is according to Ron Moore's commentary an exact replica of the (fictional) sidearm used in the movie Blade Runner (also starring Edward James Olmos) . The standard service handgun used by the Colonial forces appears to be a modernized version of the LeMat revolver of the US Civil War, with a revolver-like pistol grip and a large barrel beneath the primary barrel. From closer examination of the handgun, it appears that the handgun used in the Miniseries and Season 1 was built around a Smith & Wesson K-Frame or L-Frame revolver. This sidearm is nicknamed the "Colonial Clamshell" by a propmaster in David Eick's 18th video blog.
The Miniseries version had hardly any real functionality and was redesigned almost from scratch for Season 1 when scripts required more specific actions with the guns. After that it was redesigned again and, starting with the early second season, the original sidearms have been nearly completely replaced by the Fabrique Nationale Five-seveN, also dressed up with an underbarrel explosive launcher. This changeover allows for real semi-automatic fire and on-screen reloads (TRS: "Home, Part II"), and makes use of the existing stores of 5.7 x 28 mm (FN P-90) blank ammunition. The FN Five-seveN handgun (without the grenade launcher) has made an appearance in Caprica with Caprica City Spaceport police officers using their Five-seveNs against STO members in one episode.
The Stallion appears "Home, Part II". Based on the COP 357 Derringer , designed as a police off-duty/backup weapon, this four shot derringer fires .357 Magnum rounds. The name "Stallion" may be a production in-joke on the Marushin's model name, "COP 357", whose name is shared in part with the ubiquitous Colt .357 handgun. This pistol was also used in Blade Runner.
A very slightly disguised Czech CZ-52 service pistol is used by the Cylons on New Caprica. This is the gun that Doral shoots Caprica Six with and threatens Baltar with in "Precipice". It is also the same gun that Gaeta almost shoots Baltar with in "Exodus, Part II" and in turn almost shoots D'Anna. The gun was probably chosen for the futuristic "rocketeer" shape and because it is extremely inexpensive as a military surplus collectible. Interestingly this gun is very reliable, extremely accurate and is about as effective at penetrating armor as the FN Five SeveN, which costs about ten times as much.
One of the real firearms that was seen on a regular basis in Battlestar Galactica's first season is the Belgian Fabrique Nationale P90 submachine gun which is seen in the hands of the Marines aboard Galactica. The weapon is notable for its unusual 5.7x28 round, designed to pierce body armor. Its unusual magazine placement and design (resting on top with rounds perpendicular to the barrel) means each cartridge is rotated 90 degrees as it is fed.
The FN P90 submachine gun is featured extensively in both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis (which are also filmed in Vancouver alongside Battlestar Galactica). In Season 2, the P90 was replaced by a different weapon (see Rifles and Carbines).
Another real-life submachine guns that made an appearance is the German Heckler & Koch UMP. In the episode "Resistance", Samuel Anders is armed with one. It is also in use by Pegasus's Marines. Other weapons seen this episode are the Czech Vz 61 machine pistol, wielded akimbo by Starbuck, and the American Ruger MP9 being wielded by Helo when the two characters encounter Samuel Anders and his resistance fighters.
The Skorpion is also carried by Chief Tyrol during the Battle of New Caprica (TRS: "Exodus, Part II").
The Beretta Model 12 submachine gun is used by Anders's resistance fighters.
In "A Measure of Salvation", both Major Adama and Gunnery Sergeant Mathias are armed with Heckler & Koch MP7A1 Personal Defense Weapons, mounted with ELCAN C79 optical sights. The MP7A1 and C79 sight are further examples of weaponry and equipment seen in Stargate SG-1. Additionally, the fighters on the algae planet, including Adama and Anders, are equipped with the MP7 and sight combination (TRS: "Rapture").
The British-made Sterling L2A3 submachine gun was seen on numerous occasions througout Caprica with members of the Ha'la'tha using this firearm against a Cylon in one episode while STO members are seen armed with the Sterling SMG while guarding the Monad Church on Gemenon in another episode.
Another real firearm seen in the first season is the American Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun, specifically a 12-gauge bullpup variant, seen in the episode "Bastille Day" in the hands of the prisoners on Astral Queen after they overwhelm the guards and take control of the ship. None of the bullpup variants are available anymore as of 2006.
The Protecta/Striker shotgun is used in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I", "Part II" and "Home", although it appears as a grenade launcher. This is the weapon with the drum magazine which Boomer uses to save Apollo's life on Kobol. It is frequently featured in many Hollywood movies due to its distinctive appearance.
A short-barreled pump action shotgun (which closely resembles the Ithaca Model 37 pump-action shotgun) with forward pistol grip is used by the bartender in the deleted flashback scenes in "Scattered".
Rifles and Carbines
The British L85/SA80 bullpup assault rifle is carried by a Colonial military honor guard at Zak Adama's funeral in "Act of Contrition". The L85/SA80 is the current, standard-issue infantry rifle of the British armed forces and has been in British military service since 1985.
The SA80s in "Act of Contrition" appear to be without the standard, British Army issue SUSAT telescopic sight, and the iron foresight and rear-sight/carry handle are not in use. In addition, the foregrip and lower half of the rifles were painted white to denote that the rifles were for ceremonial purposes (it was later revealed that the ceremonial SA80s used in "Act of Contrition" were airsoft replicas) In "Resistance" and "The Farm", the resistance fighters on Caprica are armed with SA80s alongside other firearms, thus giving the impression that the SA80 was the standard issue infantry rifle of the Colonial armed forces . The SA80s used by the resistance fighters in these two episodes appear to have SUSAT sights fitted on the rifles. An SA80 can be seen briefly in the hands of a Caprica City Police officer in Rebirth. Since an SA80 was seen in the hands of Carpica City Police officers in Rebirth, there is a good possibility that the SA80s were used by the pre-Cylon War Caprica armed forces and police.
The Italian Beretta Cx4 Storm carbine is one of the main small arms the Colonial military uses in the Re-imagined Battlestar Galactica with Starbuck using a Cx4 to shoot at Tom Zarek on Astral Queen (TRS: "Bastille Day"). In "Fragged", Gaius Baltar, Chief Tyrol, the others stranded on Kobol, and various Colonial Marines throughout the series are armed with them as well. (It is probable that the Cx4 has replaced the P-90 as the standard Colonial longarm in the series's production, most likely due to the P-90s already being well known through their extensive use on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis). The Cx4s that are seen in Battlestar Galactica are fitted with specially-made accessories which go the length of the exposed barrel. Aside from this, the carbines are fitted with real-life tactical lights and AimPoint Red-Dot scopes.
Besides automatic and semi-automatic rifles, one of the resistance fighters on Caprica in the episode "Resistance" is armed with a bolt-action rifle. From the look of its action, the rifle appears to be an American Remington Model 700 fitted with a Choate Ultimate Sniper/Target tactical rifle stock and a third-party telescopic sight. It is possible that the bolt-action rifle is a standard-issue Colonial military sniper rifle (possibly Colonial Marine Corps issue) since Anders and his resistance fighters raided Colonial military armories on Caprica for firearms, ammunition and other weapons to fight the Cylons.
In the episodes "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part I" and "Part II", Starbuck is using a Heckler & Koch G36K while at the same time, a member of the resistance is using a Kalashnikov-type rifle. The G36 is, in its standard version, the service rifle of the German and Spanish armed forces. The Kalashnikov-type rifle that is seen in the hands of Anders' resistance fighters on Caprica in "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II" and in a few episodes of Season 3 in the hands of the New Caprica Resistance fighters is a Chinese-made, NORINCO Type 84S rifle chambered in 5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington.
In the Miniseries, the Colonial security personnel on Galactica are armed with a bullpup assault rifle. It bears a resemblance to a short-barreled FAMAS with a Picatinny rail mount. This rifle was actually designed by Masamune Shirow for the Dominion: Conflict comic series, and is known as the Seburo MN-23.
The weapon possessed by Leoben Conoy at Ragnar Station is a fictional variant of the AR-15, known as the Close Quarters Battle Weapon Type Zero, aka the "Raisen". It is a model gun designed by Poseidon Industries of Japan (see link).
Besides the military-issue rifles and carbines that have been seen in Season 2, civilian rifles have made an appearance. One example can be seen in "Resistance", when one of Anders' resistance fighters is armed with a semi-automatic, civilian hunting rifle fitted with a telescopic sight. From the look of the rifle, it appears that the rifle is a Remington Model 7400 semi-automatic hunting rifle that had part of the rearsight removed in order for the telescopic sight to be fitted. This rifle may have come from either the hunters or survivalists that were picked up by the resistance after the Cylon attack.
To date, machine guns have not been seen or used on a large scale during the series, but there have been a number of machine guns, especially in "Razor". One such machine gun is the Daewoo K3 light machine gun, which is used by Kendra Shaw while raiding a Cylon basestar in "Razor". Another one is the American-made M60 general purpose machine gun with the Cylon War-era Centurions using what appear to be modified M60 machine guns. A ammo belt for a machine gun can be seen breifly in The Oath. An enormous amount of Machine Guns can be seen used by the Colonial Marines, and by both Rebel and Loyal Centurions including Cylon War Era models in Daybreak, Part II. The machine guns used by the Colonial Marines during the assault on The Colony were American-made M60E3 general purpose machine guns while a number of Cylon Centurions were armed with the modified M60s.