The AEP7 laser pistol was put into service to replace the AEP5 model. With a generous battery size, tight shot grouping at range, resilience to extended use, and fairly decent damage output, it is a very good choice for a sidearm and is used extensively in this role by the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave in the Capital Wasteland.
As the successor to the AEP5, it boasted a redesigned focusing crystal pattern, an improved photonic focusing chamber, and selectable laser focus, wavelength, pulse energy and repetition rate. In addition, it was lighter and less bulky than its predecessor and was perceived as a step toward replacing the N99 10mm pistol with a laser weapon as the standard issue sidearm for military forces.
The AEP7 was produced in large numbers, thanks to newly developed manufacturing technologies in the United States, although logistics and supply issues in pre-War USA, caused by its prolonged war with China, prevented its wide-scale deployment.
The laser pistol returns as the entry level energy pistol in Fallout: New Vegas. The laser pistol is one of the weakest energy pistols, but is also the most common. Unlike the majority of the weapons in New Vegas, the laser pistol does not have a "true iron sights" function.
Like other energy weapons, the laser pistol has a multiplier on critical chance, making Critical Hits more frequent with this weapon over most others. Critical hits that are fatal reduce enemies to piles of steaming ash. This process does not damage any equipment or items the victim was holding or wearing prior to their death.
By nature of firing a beam projectile, its shots will instantly hit, negating any need to lead the shot. Additionally, the laser pistol's beam will ignite any gas leak traps that it passes through.
A laser pistol can be repaired by copies of itself and its variants or any one handed energy weapon with the Jury Rigging perk.
Goodsprings Cave - two laser pistols can be usually found in the coyote-infested cave, respectively on the corpse of a Bright Follower and one of the dead settlers laying inside, along with some energy cells.
Hidden Valley bunker - on the first floor, if you go to the resting quarters across from the shooting range, there will be several footlockers filled with laser pistols. 10 or more can be found, though all must be stolen.