P-90

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FN P90

Summary

The P-90 is a an submachine gun used by SGC personnel, manufactured by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium. It is designed to put the power of an assault rifle in a pistol sized weapon, suitable for close quarters encounters. It is a fully ambidextrous weapon, in a bullpup configuration, which means the action and magazine are behind the trigger. This gives a longer barrel for the weapon without substantially increasing the weapon size. It is a favored weapon of the SGC, carried commonly by the SG teams in the field, and is also used by the Atlantis team in the Pegasus Galaxy. It was first seen in 4.08 "The First Ones", when O'Neill requested them for the mission to rescue Daniel Jackson. Up to that point, the MP5 was usually used by Stargate teams.

No specific reason for the switch from the MP5 to the P-90 was ever given, but it can be assumed O'Neill requested them because he felt they would be more effective.

Technical Details

The MP5 and P-90 weigh the same, and the MP5 ammunition is slightly larger (9 mm compared to 5.7 mm) but the P-90 does have advantages in size, magazine capacity, rounds per minute, and recoil. In addition, maintenance of the gun does not require a complete disassembly. Simply removing the magazine gives access to the entire firing mechanism. The armor piercing rounds are smaller than most submachine guns, and there is some controversy whether or not the P-90 is an improvement.

The P-90 is classified as a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) and was created as a result of NATO's request for a new weapon capable of being carried by tank or aircraft crew, or even a cook, and which had the capability of penetrating ballistic armor. Personal Defense Weapons are designed to bridge the gap between assault rifles and pistols, being more powerful than the pistol, yet lighter than a rifle.

Stargate References

The SG teams have been shown to use the standard P-90 variant, only adding small flashlights and laser scopes to them. Along with the Tokr'a, the SGC developed a special attachment for the weapon which counteracted the life energy of Anubis's Kull Warriors, but that attachment isn't used by all SG teams. The SGC, however, did arm the Rebel Jaffa with P-90s with the Anti-Warrior attachments so that they could defend Dakara after the defeat of the System Lords. (7.16 "Death Knell", 7.22 "Lost City Part 2", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2")

Team members have shown remarkable prowess in using P-90s, especially in engagements against the Goa'uld, where the body armor used against them is mostly ceremonial. The P-90s possess a firepower advantage over staff weapons, and the weapon is more accurate in the hands of a seasoned soldier. As O'Neill lectured to a group of Rebel Jaffa, "This [a staff weapon] is a weapon of terror. It is made to intimidate the enemy. This [a P-90] is a weapon of war. It is made to kill your enemy." Indeed, the staff weapon is a vastly inferior weapon compared to the P-90, being surpassed in all measures except that the staff weapon does not require reloading. (4.08 "The First Ones", 4.22 "Exodus Part 1", 5.18 "The Warrior")

P-90s, like most Earth weaponry, have also shown to be effective against Replicator blocks, more so than energy weaponry. Zat guns are almost completely ineffective, resulting in a minor pushing backwards of the Replicator. Automatic weapons did the most damage, completely splattering the Replicator blocks. Shotguns, such as the SPAS-12, an Italian manufactured shotgun carried by military forces and the SGC, also were very effective. However, the Replicators soon learned to resist this damage, rapidly reforming after the attacks. Eventually, the human form Replicators were completely immune to projectile weapons. (3.22 "Nemesis Part 1", 4.01 "Small Victories Part 2", 6.12 "Unnatural Selection")

Priors of the Ori have also been shown to possess the ability to stop bullets fired from the P-90, despite the muzzle velocity of these weapons being over 2300 meters per second, and that the gunman was no more than ten feet from the Prior before firing. (9.05 "The Powers that Be")

P-90s have also been the subject of several humorous moments in the SGC and SG-1. O'Neill drilled Jonas Quinn in assembling and loading the P-90 at length, until Jonas, blistered and tired, pitifully protested. O'Neill is also very proud of this weapon, bragging to Russian Colonel Zukhov about its heft and power. There is a possibility he was just ripping on the Russians to exercise his frustration at the Russians' inviting themselves through the 'gate. (5.08 "The Tomb", 6.12 "Unnatural Selection")

More recently, however, the SGC has been seen using MP7 weapons. They are often regarded as more of a machine pistol than a true submachine gun, as these weapons are much smaller than the P-90 (half as heavy as well). However, their magazines are smaller, and the ammunition they shoot is much smaller (4mm) which results in less stopping power. It doesn't seem to be too terrible a problem, as four members armed with MP7s held off an advance of Jaffa for several minutes in a Ha'tak vessel. (9.16 "Off the Grid")

Episodes

Gallery

P-90s were first used on an S&R mission (4.08 "The First Ones")
Jack fires effectively, even after being zatted (4.22 "Exodus Part 1")
Jack loads a P-90 from a case of four (5.01 "Enemies Part 2")
Daniel fires P-90 at Replicators (5.01 "Enemies Part 2")
Burrock uses confiscated P-90 to kill an Unas (5.07 "Beast of Burden")
Carter demonstrates power and accuracy of a P-90 for Rebel Jaffa (5.18 "The Warrior")
Jack cleans and reassembles a P-90 (5.22 "Revelations")
Jack drills Jonas on the loading/reloading of a P-90 (6.12 "Unnatural Selection")
Jack fires his P-90 during an ambush (6.18 "Forsaken")
Jack defends Abydos (6.22 "Full Circle")
Carter uses the red laser sight to open Ra's storage room on Abydos (6.22 "Full Circle")
Jack takes a P-90 to the jungles of Central America (7.12 "Evolution Part 2")
Daniel uses the Kull Warrior nullifier attachment (8.12 "Prometheus Unbound")
Free Jaffa (right) uses P-90 against Prior of the Ori on Kallana (9.06 "Beachhead")
Teal'c uses ambidextrous features of the P-90 by toting two of them (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")

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Original article written for Solutions by Jordan Kreiger
--DeeKayP 13:31, 4 April 2006 (PDT)