ROBOTECH Technical Files
by Pieter Thomassen, with Peter Walker, Chris Meadows and Robert Morgenstern


RRG - Tiresia
SAL-9 Laser Pistol

REF Seal
SAL-9 Laser Pistol
ArmorWeapon Separator

Rand fires SAL-9
A Resistance fighter on Invid-occupied Earth snaps off a shot from his SAL-9 laser pistol.

Though the REF was happy with the Owens pistol and the Wolverine assault rifle as its primary small arms, a need was seen early in the Sentinels campaign for a wider variety of energy weapons for infantry use. Research had showed that the particle beam emission of the Owens could be partly or completely blocked by certain types of charged-particle force field. However, this type of field could easily be penetrated by a laser beam. Thus, the RRG began designing a series of laser weapons, aided by their access to the Robotech Masters' advanced technology while garrisoning on Tirol.

The SAL-9 was the first of the REF laser weapons to enter service, based upon a then-rare Tirolian design. Larger and bulkier than the Owens, it is able to match the Owens's 2kJ anti-personnel shot but has a larger capacity than the Owens's pistol magazine. Furthermore, the SAL-9 is capable of much greater accuracy than a particle beam weapon, due to the more coherent nature of the beam; it is not unusual to see a SAL-9 equipped with a sniper scope for making longer range shots. The SAL-9's magazines have the same capacity for field-expedient quick recharge as the Owens's.

Nevertheless, the SAL-9 never saw the same sort of widespread use as the Owens and Gallant H-90 ; the lack of a heavier anti-armor mode was considered a strike against it, as were its greater bulk, weight, and poor ergonomic shape. Even with these drawbacks, it is still possible the SAL-9 could have been more widely produced and issued if it had been needed; however, the REF never encountered any adversaries who used the type of force fields that would have made an alternative to the Owens necessary, and the subsequent FAL-2 laser submachine gun incorporated all the SAL-9's advantages and fewer of its disadvantages. Thus, the SAL-9's use was predominantly confined to special forces units with a need for an extremely accurate energy pistol. A few SAL-9s remain in service in that capacity to this day; however, the Owens and Gallant are considered more all-around capable weapons.

Although it was never manufactured on Earth, a number of SAL-9 pistols found their way into the hands of the anti-Invid Resistance from soldiers who returned with the Pioneer mission to fight the Robotech Masters, and from salvage from wrecked troop carriers of the 10th and 21st Mars Division deployments. The ruggedness, accuracy, and rechargeability of this gun, combined with its non-reliance on protoculture, made it a valued weapon to the freedom fighter who found it. It is possible that the SAL-9 saw more use by Resistance guerillas than it did in the REF military proper. Many of these weapons are still in civilian hands.

Go to REF Armor/Weapons Index.

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Content by Peter Walker and Pieter Thomassen, with Chris Meadows and Rob Morgenstern
HTML by Robert Morgenstern (
Copyright © 2006, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker