Laser Rifle vs Laser Pistol
Unlike the choice of Rifle vs Pistol, which is quite finely balanced, the choice of Laser Rifle vs Laser Pistol is more clear cut. Across the whole range of enemies, the Laser Rifle has 2-3 times the killing power of the Laser Pistol. Ammo and autofire is not a factor as both weapons have the same advantages there. Accuracy and armour penetration all favour the Laser Rifle. Hit rate / rate of fire favours the Laser Rifle in everything except Snap fire. Even in Snap fire, though the Laser Pistol has a 25% higher raw rate of fire, the Laser Rifle has a 30% higher overall hit rate.
This is a different picture from the Rifle vs Pistol debate where the Pistol actually has quite similar lethality and accuracy to the Rifle.
Consequently, reasons for favouring the Laser Pistol boil down to the basic arguments in favour of most pistol-type weapons:
- The weakness of the damage per shot is an advantage in terms of gaining experience
- The flexibility of a one-handed weapon allowing the use of other items in the other hand: grenades/explosives, scanners, medkits, stun rod, etc.
- More likelihood of getting off a shot (albeit inaccurate) when TUs are very short.