The Predator Pistol is a handheld Predator weapon that shoots heated plasma, similar to the shoulder cannon. It is rarely seen in the movies and mostly shows up in the Predator games, where it also includes an electric charge. In addition to the plasma shooter, different handheld Predator guns exist, that shoot spears, bolts, and even nets. Sometimes the Predators even use human pistols as a last resort or claim them as trophies. Here is an overview of all Predator pistols and handheld guns throughout the Predator franchise.
The Plasma Pistol, also referred to as the Plasma Handgun, made its sole appearance in the movie Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, where it was wielded by the renowned Wolf Predator. Initially, Wolf relied on a dual shoulder cannon setup, but later he combined the two cannons into a powerful plasma pistol, with the second caster serving as the handle. This modified pistol fired slower yet highly destructive blasts, capable of completely vaporizing opponents. Eventually, the pistol fell into human hands, who utilized it against Xenomorphs and managed to escape from the Gunnison city nuclear detonation in a helicopter. Ultimately, the pistol found its way to the possession of an enigmatic individual named Yutani, hinting at a potential merger between Weyland-Yutani and the utilization of Predator technology for the company's interests.
The plasma pistol is a prominent feature in most Alien vs. Predator video games, although its functionality differs slightly from Wolf's version. This weapon fires an electric charge that incapacitates and eliminates enemies effectively. It proves particularly effective against Aliens, causing them to freeze without releasing their acidic blood. The pistol does not possess its own ammunition but instead draws power from the same source as the shoulder cannon. Another distinction from the Plasma Handgun is that the blasts do not travel in a straight line but rather arch downward, demanding more skill for precise shooting. In conjunction with the shoulder cannon, this plasma-based weapon is considered dishonorable to use in one-on-one battles against the Alien Queen.
The Yautja Burner, a military-style weapon utilized by the Predators, solely exists within the Predator expanded universe. Resembling a human machine pistol, it unleashes rapid bursts of plasma and requires a two-handed operation. Unlike the Yautja shoulder cannon, it does not draw power from it, allowing both weapons to be discharged simultaneously. The Yautja burners are predominantly employed against Xenomorphs during missions involving the capture of Alien Queens. Predators would form a defensive circle, backs to each other, rapidly unleashing volleys from their burners and shoulder cannons upon the incoming waves of Aliens. Machiko Noguchi, a human who became a Predator ally, gained fame for her skilled use of the burner during such hunts.
The speargun made its first appearance in Predator 2, as part of the City Hunter's vast arsenal. The weapon wasn't really shown, only the two-headed spear tip was visible as it flew through the air and pulverized the head of a Jamaican gang member. The speargun was truly revealed in the Alien vs. Predator games, where it resembled an exotic sniper rifle, held by two hands. The speargun variant later seen in the Predator: Concrete Jungle game resembled a pistol, held by one hand and much smaller in size. This powerful gun has its own limited ammo and could easily dissect enemies by pinning their limbs to the wall.
Introduced in Prey as part of the new Predator weaponry, the bolt gun can be viewed as a variant of the spear gun, but it acts more as a precursor to the shoulder cannon. The bolt gun is wielded with one hand, akin to a pistol, and can be loaded with multiple spear-shaped metal bolts, distinct from the u-shaped ones employed by the City Hunter later on. The Feral Predator favors this weapon and benefits from the laser sight integrated into its unique bone helmet, aiding in target acquisition as it relentlessly pursues its prey. However, the laser sight ultimately becomes the downfall of the Feral Predator, as a misfire leads to a self-inflicted shot to the head, triggering a trap set by Naru.
The Predator netgun, another pistol-like weapon from the extensive Yautja arsenal, was utilized by the City Hunter Predator. This bronze-colored firearm fires a metallic web that ensnares the target, pinning them to a wall and immobilizing them. The netgun is holstered on the left leg, resembling a pistol, and operates within a medium range, albeit closer than the shoulder cannon's range. Despite the Predator's cloaking field, which extends a certain distance from the body, the outstretched netgun becomes visible upon firing. The City Hunter's netgun is only used to fire a single shot in a specific encounter and presumably requires some time to reload.
1715 Raphael Adolini Pistol
In addition to using their own high-tech pistols, the Predators sometimes collect human pistols as trophies. This was the case with the Raphael Adolini 1715 pistol seen at the end of Predator 2, where the Elder Greyback Predator gave the pistol to Lieutenant Harrigan as a sign of respect for killing the City Hunter in a fair fight. The pistol has a contradictory backstory, explained both in the Predator: 1718 comic and the new Prey movie. In the comic, a pirate captain named Raphael Adolini uses the pistol to fend off a mutinous crew with the help of the young Greyback Predator (nicknamed the Golden Angel). In Prey, the pistol belongs to a French trapper named Raphael Adolini and ends up in the hands of a Native American named Naru. It is not clear how Greyback acquires it, but this might be explained in the sequel - Prey 2.
In Batman versus Predator III: Blood Ties, a Young Blood Yautja shoots Batman's butler, Alfred, in the shoulder with an old pistol. While not as ancient as the flintlock pistol seen in Predator 2, this firearm remains functional. Contrary to expectations, the weapon is not a trophy belonging to the Predator but was actually taken from Batman's trophy room, which houses various displays of antiquated weapons. Robin intervenes, kicking the pistol from the Young Blood's hand, resulting in a standoff that concludes without a clear victor. The young Predator then departs Gotham City alongside their father.
In summary, the Predator franchise features a range of handheld pistols used by the Yautja warriors. These include the devastating Plasma Pistol wielded by Wolf Predator, the immobilizing netgun, the speargun capable of impaling enemies, the bolt gun as a precursor to the shoulder cannon, and the Yautja Burner for rapid plasma bursts. Predators also collect human pistols as trophies, or use them as a last resort in the heat of battle. These pistols contribute to the diverse arsenal of the Yautja species.