One thing to bear in mind is that the hand-weapon used by the assassin
in the B5 pilot was the equivilent of a derringer; it wasn't made for such
consistent use. It has a longer recharge period than, say, a full-fledged
hand-held PPG or a rifle version. One thing we're trying to get into is
the reality of how beam weapons would operate. They would chew through a
lot of energy, very fast, and need large energy supplies; the smaller the
gun, the longer the power build. What we've instituted with our regular
weaponry is to include energy pods in the same basic holster as the guns.
So you have a hand-held PPG with energy pod in place, looking more or less
like a regular gun (in silhouette, anyway, meaning that it's hand held),
with an additional pod at the ready for when that one runs out. You run
out, pop the pod, slap in another, and you're ready to go. The rifle
versions have larger pods which can fire even more quickly, and can go
longer without recharging.
Though it's TV, we're trying to hew at least to some degree to what
seems reasonable; guns shouldn't have an infinite firing capability, there
is no such thing as an infinite power source that can fit into a small
space, like a gun.
We've also redesigned the actual burst of the gun to make it look
faster, and deadlier, than before.