The DH-17 blaster pistol was a ranged weapon produced by BlasTech Industries and used primarily for shipboard combat.
The DH-17 was an example of a blaster pistol, and was a standard-issue military sidearm in the Planetary Security Forces, Imperial Navy, the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the New Republic Defense Fleet.
A medium-range combat weapon, the DH-17 had an optimum range of thirty meters, but its armor-piercing blaster bolts were still effective, though somewhat less accurate at up to four times that distance. A semiautomatic weapon, it could also be modified to fire in short bursts and had a low-power stun setting, capable of knocking a Human out for up to ten minutes. However, setting the weapon to full automatic fire drained the power pack in less than twenty seconds, and the wielder ran the risk of overheating the internal components and causing an explosive overload.
The DH-17's blaster gas chamber carried enough gas for five hundred shots, and a standard power pack supplied energy for one hundred shots. The energy pack could be replaced in about five seconds by a skilled soldier, and a generator could charge a drained pack in around fifteen minutes. The weapon was particularly popular among naval forces, being able to pierce most body armor without piercing the hull of the vessel.
During the final years of the Galactic Republic's Planetary Security Forces used the DH-17 blaster pistol as their main sidearm. After the Declaration of a New Order the DH-17 was sold to the black market which later became the bulk of the Rebel Alliance weaponry. Rebel troopers were commonly armed with DH-17 pistols due to their low price and their durable design, which meant they could be used effectively at Echo Base on the ice planet Hoth and on the Tantive IV. During the time of the Galactic Empire and the New Republic, it was illegal on many worlds for non-military personnel to carry blaster pistols, though DH-17s were widely available on the black market. The Imperial Royal Guard Kir Kanos was known to carry a DH-17 blaster, Lando Calrissian was also commonly seen with the DH-17, and a weapon of this type was also carried as a sidearm by Chak Fel on the mission to Outbound Flight in 22 ABY, suggesting that it continued to be used by the forces of the Empire of the Hand.
Behind the scenes
The DH-17 prop was made using the same Sterling L2A3 sub-machine gun used for the E-11, with a different barrel housing. The prop in A New Hope was not usable for actual firing and was primarily only a cast. In some scenes on the Death Star, such as the Detention Block scene, the officers carry DH-17 props until they begin to fire, where the weapons turn into E-11s. For The Empire Strikes Back the DH-17s were made off of real Sterlings and were usable props that could actually fire. Despite the prop upgrade, the weapon had very little overall screen time during the film.