The standard energy sidearm of the United States Armed Forces, the AEP7 replaced the AEP5 model. Boasting redesigned internal components, including a new photonic focusing chamber and completely redesigned focusing crystal pattern, the AEP7 offers a respectable damage output, excellent accuracy at range, and generous battery size. By taking advantage of new manufacturing techniques developed shortly before the Great War, it also boasted reduced weight and bulk compared to previous models.
It's entirely likely that if wartime logistic troubles did not delay development and deployment, the AEP7 and its superior version, the AEP9, would have entirely superseded the N99 10mm pistol as the standard sidearm of the U.S. military. As it stands, the Great War prevented it from being widely deployed, despite a large number of units being produced. Repair and calibration are generally recommended whenever a functional laser pistol is found.
Protectron's Gaze is a unique variant of the AEP7 laser pistol. It is essentially a mini laser shotgun which fires a fairly tight spread of five laser beams while expending only one energy cell. This makes it analogous to the Metal Blaster, a laser shotgun which can be obtained in The Pitt.
It has a slightly slower rate of fire and a significantly smaller magazine (20 as opposed to 30) than the standard laser pistol. Protectron's Gaze can fire a total of 520 shots, or 26 full cells, before breaking.
It is awarded after handing the AntAgonizer's armor to the Mechanist. The Mechanist states that the weapon is crafted from the parts of his loyal robot assistant that was killed by the AntAgonizer, the event that inspired him to become a superhero. The weapon cannot be obtained by killing him.
The spread remains consistently tight when firing outside of V.A.T.S. mode; however, when firing within V.A.T.S. mode, a registered "miss" will make the spread much wider than it is outside of V.A.T.S. mode (though some beams may still connect with the target, doing slight damage). For this reason, this weapon is often more effectively used outside of V.A.T.S. mode.
The base damage is split between each of the beams, and each beam can cause a separate critical hit doing extra damage per beam. Furthermore, a sneak attack critical will affect all beams as they are all afforded the critical damage bonus up to +120; consequently, this weapon can be as powerful as the alien blaster. This weapon is very effective when combined with perks like Better Criticals, and a high Energy Weapons skill.
Although the Mechanist gives you this weapon, you will not be able to obtain it by killing him, since it's a quest reward.
When targeting armed opponents outside of V.A.T.S., stray beams may disarm them.
↑ 1.01.1Citadel terminals. Terminal, AEP7 Laser Pistol: "The AEP7 Laser Pistol was put into service to replace the AEP5, a model which was notorious for its problems with overheating. The AEP7 features a new design in the photonic focusing chamber as well as an entirely redesigned focusing crystal pattern. The bulk and weight have both been reduced over previous models and it was likely that within the new few development cycles, the successor to the AEP7 would replace the n99 10mm as the standard issue sidearm for all forces.
The AEP7 took advantage of new manufacturing techniques developed shortly before the Great War. Although many were produced, most did not make it into field service because of logistics problems concerning their deployment during active wartime.
The AEP7 can be a rare find in the Capital Wasteland, and any models that are produced should be returned to the Citadel for repair and recalibrating before field deployment."