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O'Brian uses the rifle introduced in The Next Generation, whereas Nog's rifle is a newer design introduced in First Contact. Not much is known about either one, but, the FC rifle is capable of firing compressed phaser pulses, which the TNG one can only do with some modifications. The FC version is presumably more powerful than the TNG one. The differences are probably analogues to the difference between an M-16 and an AR-15 assault rifle, both perform the same job well, and are often used side by side.

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