The Expanse show features numerous weapons: ship-based, small-arms, and improvised. This page is dedicated to hand weapons including small-arms, and improvised weapons. Ship weapons are detailed separately in articles distinct and independent from this.
The TV show appears to use handguns derived from those available in the early contemporary 21st century. These have been dressed to look futuristic.
'Smart gun' hypothesis Edit
As portrayed by the TV show, it appears likely that 'smart guns' are the norm in the future although this is never explicitly stated. They are 'smart' in the sense that they will not allow an unauthorized user to fire them. The first clear example of this technology is demonstrated in the hand of the Protogen combatant that boarded Donnager during "CQB"(S01E04), the weapon in question would not fire in James Holden's hand. Sergeant Grimes enunciated the point in her sarcastic words, "You're welcome!"
- During the fight in the lobby of the Blue Falcon Hotel, Miller grabs a revolver out of the waistband of a member of the tac team sent to kill James Holden. Presumably, it is an 'old fashioned' revolver without smart gun functionality. After the fight, he then picks up one of the newer pistols used by the hit teams, compares it to his revolver, and keeps the revolver. Later Miller, with Holden in tow, ambushes a pair of CPM cops wearing helmets and body armor, and carrying assault rifles. Rather then take the assault rifles along with the armor and helmets, Miller and Holden keep using the pistols they have.
- In Caliban's War (episode), when Bobby got the drop on one of Jules-Pierre Mao's security personnel, she could not fire the weapon she took from his possession.
This is suggestive but not definitive evidence that, other than Miller's revolver, all the guns are smart guns and the CPM thug/cop weapons cannot be used by Holden and Miller. Holden bears one of the MCRN pistols that have been authorized from the Tachi and Miller using a 'dumb gun'.
This theory was possibly shot to death by Drummer at the end of "Pyre" (S02E08) when she takes the presumably Martian pistol from Alex's holster and uses it to shoot an OPA leader, Staz, and the rebellious bridge crewman, Edin, in the head. Alex's gun was again taken away, in the Season 3 episode "Reload", by rescued Martian marines who attempted to seize the ship with it. They also were able to obtain access to assault rifles in the armory, which were not loaded, but otherwise made a clicking sound like the firing pin was being engaged.
Counter-argument to ContradictionEdit
Upon further reflection, it's possible that smart weapons in the future merely need the authorized user to unlock them/take the safety off. So Alex's gun may have still been in the live fire setting when Drummer gets it, because Alex has not turned the safety back on after the initial entry into the Tycho command center. Furthermore, the smart gun protective features might incorporate a timeout where it remains active over a predetermined duration or it might incorporate a proximity feature.
- Ultimately, discussion of smart gun capabilities is not canon but speculation. It could also be such case as the writers created a continuity error originally intending to incorporate this functionality but neglecting it for any number of reasons. Given that smartgun technologies exist right now, it is highly likely that the technology would be even more developed in another couple hundred years. So the technology should be available to those who want it. This means that either most people prefer not to use this technology, or perhaps the writers just think it's more exciting, for dramatic purposes, to have lots of non-smart guns floating around.
Miller's revolver on Eros
While a cop on Eros working for CPM Miller carries a revolver unlike all the other Star Helix cops who use automatics. Also uses a undercylinder barrel like the Rhino, below).
Miller's revolver (Image 1)
Recovered from UN Black-ops "tac team", used to kill multiple hostiles, including Dresden, Filat Kothari, and multiple mercenaries on Eros. Based on the Chiappa Rhino 50DS (.357 magnum)
The 1st Gen "Martian Pistol" (images 2 and 3) Martian sidearm used by multiple characters, based on the WE X-series airsoft gun, which is in turn based on the Springfield XD-9 9mm.
Star Helix Pistol (images 4-5)
Sidearm used by multiple characters, based on the Glock 26
2nd Gen Martian Pistol (image 6)
Briefly seen in Season 2 episode 1 on MCRN Siriocco.
OPA SMG (image 7-8)
Seen in assault on Thoth Station, based on Kriss Vector (.45 ACP)
Star Helix Long Gun (image 9-10)
Heckler & Koch SL8-4 (5.56 NATO)
Umarex Walther Redhawk (Images 10 and 11)
Pulled by UN Tac-team operative.
Kriss Vector (Images 12 and 13)
SMG used by UN Tac-team operator. Extended magazine, removed buttstock.
APS UAR (Airsoft only) (Images 14-15)
Electronic rail-mounted sight. Helmet HUD integration?
PDC, Point Defense Cannon (Images 16-17)
Possibly based on GE M134 Minigun (Gatling Gun)
Gel Gun (Images 18-19)
GL-06 40mm Grenade Launcher