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    Weapon FAQ by jimmythesnowman

    Version: 1.00 | Updated: 08/25/12 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    [1] [Introduction]
    This is a guide to weapons in Fallout: New Vegas. It's that simple. Although
    a weapons guide already exists, if you read through it you'll quickly
    discover that it's not a weapons guide per se, but a weapons optomization
    guide; it's a great read if you're in the late stages of the game and looking
    to maxamize your damage output, but not so much if you're interested in
    the basics, how they work, the progression, so on and so forth. While I'll
    leave the "find the best setup" to the other guide (and it is very detailed
    in that regard), this guide is meant to fill the gap in your knowledge
    between Varmint Rifles and Little Tots. All additional DLC weapons will also
    be covered. I'll try and be quick about it.
    [2] [Version history]
    [1.00]  8/25/12 First version, complete. Took much longer then I thought it
    [3] [Table of Contents]
    [1] Introduction
    [2] Version history
    [3] Table of Contents
    [4] Basics
        [4.1]  Controls
        [4.2]  Weapons categories
        [4.3]  Skills and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats
        [4.4]  Ammunition
        [4.5]  Crafting
        [4.6]  Condition
        [4.7]  VATS and crippling
        [4.8]  Armor and perks
        [4.9]  Weapon mods and special characteristics
        [4.10] Sneak attacks and criticals
        [4.11] Merchants
    [5] Guns
        [5.1] Cowboy guns
        [5.2] Semi-automatic rifles
        [5.3] Handguns
        [5.4] SMGs
        [5.5] Shotguns
        [5.6] Automatic weapons
    [6] Energy weapons
        [6.1] Laser
        [6.2] Plasma
        [6.3] Self-charging
        [6.4] Flame
        [6.5] Other
    [7] Explosives
        [7.1] Grenades
        [7.2] Improvised explosives
        [7.3] Proximity mines
        [7.4] Improvised mines
        [7.5] Arc launchers
        [7.6] Self-propelled launchers
    [8] Melee
        [7.1] Bladed
        [7.2] Blunt
    [9] Unarmed
    [10] Contact info
    [11] Copyright
    [4] [Basics]
    [4.1] [Controls]
    Fallout: New Vegas is a first-person shooter, and follows the fairly standard
    first-person shooter configuration. A major part of the game is its use of an
    inventory screen, your so-christened "Pip Boy"; press Tab at any time to
    freeze the game and bring up this screen, which, among other functions,
    allows you to select, drop, repair, and mod your weapons on the titular
    "Weapons" tab of the "Items" screen, and select your ammo type on the "Ammo"
    tab of the same screen. This RPG-like inventory approach differs from the way
    other FPS games organize their weapons, which is mostly through hotkeys bound
    to specific weapons. On the other hand, Fallout: New Vegas does not limit the
    number of weapons you can carry, and the number of different weapons, not to
    mention apparel, food, medical supplies, so on and so forth, can and does get
    rediculous, especially since many useful items (and especially ammo) have no
    weight. Nonetheless we are willing to suspend our disbelief in our
    character's mastry of weight compression and hammerspace because it makes the
    game more fun.
    Past that, controls are fairly simple, and once you have your gun out, follow
    the model set by the genre. Move your mouse or control stick around to move
    your trigger cursor around. WASD or your other control stick controls
    movement. To aim down your sights, hold down the right mouse button; to fire,
    press the left mouse button. To fire as fast as the weapon allows, hold down
    the mouse or controller button. Press the reload button or key (R by default
    on PC) to, well, reload.
    Having two-handed weapons on the ready will slow you down. To holster your
    weapon and move at maximum speed, (as well as avoid spooking the occassional
    nervous NPC) hold down the reload key (R is the default on PC); note that
    this action differs from reloading, where you merely press it.
    A couple of notes on magazines. Weapons with partial magazines, like the
    many single shell reload semi-autos, can all be partially reloaded; to stop
    the reload and start firing, hold down the fire button. Once you start
    reloading a weapon, you are usually locked into the animation, so have to
    sit through it; thankfully none of the weapons in the game have too long of a
    reload time, as your character seems to come with COD's Sleigh of Hand by
    default. Weapons can be fully reloaded by switching to them on the Pip Boy,
    strangly, but bringing up and bringing down the screen, and then the weapon
    also takes time - just, usually, less of it.
    [4.2] [Weapon categories]
    Weapons in New Vegas are divided into a few classes, each of which is
    modified by a skill, and, indirectly, a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stat (to be explained
    in more detail in the next section).
    Ranged Weapons - the reliable choice
    - Guns
      If it fires lead, it's a gun. It's that simple. This is the class that all
      the pistols, rifles, submachine guns, carbines, machine guns, and miniguns
      fall under.
    - Energy Weapons
      These are more exotic weapons that fire either lasers or beams of plasma;
      a few flame-based projectile weapons, namely the Flamers and Incinerators,
      fall under this classification as well. Energy weapons are definetly cooler
      than guns, and have fewer ammunition types, but on the flip side, are
      harder to find and maintain, and don't really sport any clear advantage
      over a conventional Winchester. Definetly keep some Weapon Repair Kits in
      stock - these can be hard to maintain.
    Explosives - the wildcard
    - Explosives
      This classification consists of thrown explosives like dynamite and pulse
      grenades, proximity mines like satchel charges and plasma mines, and
      anything that launches stuff that goes boom - grenades, missiles, tactical
      nuclear warheads...explosives pack by far the most punch of the three
      ranged classes, but are very prone to self-harm (especially on the higher
      level weapons), and are the most expensive in terms of ammo and upkeep.
      Still, the toughest of battles are made much easier if you can blow them
    Melee - for kung fu fighting
    - Melee Weapons
      Anything that you bash others with that isn't just an extension of your
      fists. Ranges from pool cues to chainsaws to gladiuses to super sledges. It
      also controls thrown melee weapons, like throwing spears, hatchets, and
      anti-grav throwing axes.
    - Unarmed
      Initially your bare fists, later supplemented by various gaunlets. While it
      may seem pointless to get into a fistfight when you can stick a sword in
      them, they're actually quite balanced - unarmed specialists have a number
      of bonuses and a viable weapons closet to rely on in a fight.
    It's a good idea (and more fun) to rely on two weapon skills, not just one,
    so long as they don't conflict. Guns and Energy Weapons (ranged) and Melee
    and Unarmed (melee) can both be relied on in a fight. Explosives are more of
    a wild card, but immensely useful in a large number of situations, will save
    you a long-winded battle, and tantamount to essential against certain
    heavily armored creatures (Deathclaws, anyone?). So you can pair Guns and
    Explosives or Energy Weapons and Unarmed, but Guns and Energy Weapons and
    Melee Weapons and Unarmed would be very counter-productive: why focus on two
    skills that do the same thing? Pick any two that don't conflict and you'll
    go far.
    [4.3] [Skills and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats]
    The strength of your attacks is modified directly by your weapon skill and
    indirectly by your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, both of which are initially set up
    in the Doc's office at the beggining of the game. S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats modify
    skills associated with them by immediatly raising it by two points, and you
    are given a choice as to how to distribute your skill points at the beginning
    of the game. Unless you understand the system very well, you should just put
    a few points where you find them appealing and leave it at that.
    The stats are:
    Strength - Modifies melee weapons skill. A prerequisite strength is required
               for certain weapons; without it, you'll fire much less accuratly
               and swing much more slowly. There are a number of ways to
               permanently raise your strength-strength implants, a few articles
               of clothing, a perk that reduces all weapons requirements by two,
               and a few opportunities to raise a stat for free-but in general,
               you should not go below the default on strength, or it will bite
               you later on.
    Perception - Modifies explosives and energy weapons, as well as the radius
               at which you will be able to detect nearby enemies.
    Endurance  - Modifies unarmed and hit points.
    Charisma - Isn't combat important.
    Intelligence - Modifies repair and skill points per level.
    Agility  - Modifies reloading and drawing/holstering speed, action points, 
               sneaking and guns.
    Luck     - Modifies all skills just a little, as well as critical hit chance.
    A prequisite skill is also required (often on top of strength) to use certain
    weapons effectively. The combat-important skills are Explosives, Melee,
    Unarmed, Guns, and Energy Weapons. In addition there are a few skills that
    will prove mighty useful support skills to combat:
    - Repair allows you to more easily and effectively repair weapon and armor
    condition. It's a massive hassle-saver, as without it you'll have to either
    scoure the Majove for certain weapons, make a money racket and spend it all
    repairing your arms and armor, or settle for second-grade equipment. Arguably
    essential for any character. Repair skill is also used in breaking down
    ammunition and crafting your own, which is extremely useful for guns users,
    and for crafting special
    - Science is similar to Repair in that part of its function is that its
    allows you to recycle energy weapon cartriges at a workbench.
    - Sneak allows you to more easily avoid detection, making setting traps
    easier and allowing for bonus damage sneak attacks more often.
    - A high Barter skill is helpful because you're probably going to have to buy
    ammo and weapon mods at intervals, and it can be a real pain on the bank.
    Besides, it's always good to pay less and earn more.
    [4.4] [Ammunition and crafting]
    Guns, energy weapons, and explosives all use ammunition. Gun ammo is the most
    commonplace of the three, but also the most varied, and thus you'll find a
    lot of ammo you can't immediately use on the weapons you have on you.
    .22LR        - Used exclusively by the silenced .22 pistol, rare.
    .223         - Alternate to the 5.56, rare.
    .308         - Mid-high-hunting and sniping gauge round, fairly common.
    .357         - Mid-range round, common.
    .38          - .357 alternate, rare.
    .44          - Higher-guage round, fairly common.
    .45 cal      - Higher-guage round, Honest Hearts add-on.
    .45-70 Gov't - High-end round, rare.
    .50 cal      - Highest-end round, very rare.
    20 guage     - Lower-level shotgun shell, common.
    12 guage     - Higher-level shotgun shell, rare.
    5mm          - Low-high LMG round, rare but in large numbers.
    5.56mm       - Low-end round, very common.
    9mm          - Low-end SMG/Pistol round, very common.
    10mm         - Mid-level SMG/Pistol round, common.
    12.7mm       - High-level SMG round, rare.
    Nails        - Nail Gun round, Lonesome Road add-on, rare but easily made.
    BB           - Not really for fighting, very rare.
    Energy ammo is comparitively limited in type, but also less common in number.
    Alien ammo   - Absolute limited in number.
    ECP          - High-range electic charge ammo, fairly rare.
    EC           - Low-range electric charge ammo, very common.
    Flamer       - Mid-range flame weapon ammo, fairly rare.
    MF           - Found on weapons, recharges over time and cannot be found.
    MC           - Mid-to-high-range plasmatic charge ammo, fairly common.
    Explosive ammunition is the rarest of all, which is fitting of the weapon
    class's high-damage, low-use profile.
    25mm grenade - Low-high grenade machinegun round, fairly rare.
    40mm grenade - High-end grenade rifle round, rare.
    Rocket       - Lonesome Road add-on, fairly weak rapid-fire explosive, rare
                   outside of the Divide.
    Missile      - High-end single-fire explosive, very rare.
    Mini nuke    - Highest damage single-fire nuclear warhead, extremely rare.
    In addition there are a number of modified ammunition types. These are
    ammunition with special properties differing from the normal rounds used by
    the weapon, and can be both positive and negative (but usually positive).
    Specialized rounds are rarely found in containers, but are often stocked by
    merchants (albiet at lower numbers) and can be made by hand if your repair
    skill is high enough and you have the materials (but not all types can be
    crafted). They CANNOT be broken down for crafting (more details in the next
    To equip a new ammo type, scroll over to ammo and select which type you want.
    If the weapon is already out you'll have to reload, so try to avoid switching
    ammo types in the middle of a fight. This can be circumvented by selecting
    another weapon and then the ammo: the weapon will drawn loaded and ready to
    fire regardless of what it was last using.
    For now, a list of ammo modifications; not all work for all rounds. For the
    complete list see http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Ammunition and
    http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas_crafting (for craftable
    Guns have the lot (again)
    - AP: Armor piercing rounds do slightly less damage, but punch through much
      harder armor by ignoring part of the target's damage threshold. Effective
      against heavily armored targets. Can be bought, but not crafted.
    - HP: Hollow point rounds do slightly more damage, but as a consequence of
      their lighter construction are more easily blunted by armor. Ideal against
      lightly armored targets. Can be bought, but not crafted.
    - Hand load: Hand loaded cartriges deal much more damage, but are costlier to
      produce and put more of a strain on the weapon's condition because of their
      high-powered loads. Can be both crafted (with Hand Loader perk) and bought.
    - Special: Special rounds are weaker rounds modified to work in a certain
      weapon, generally differing in case length. For instance, the .357 rifles
      can also fire weaker .38 rounds. They are easier to procure, however. Can
      be purchased, but not crafted.
    - +P: Pressurized rounds that work like weaker hand load rounds: more damage,
      higher maintanance. Can be purchased, but not crafted.
    - Surplus: Similar to special rounds, these are poorer-quality rounds, but
      actually deal more damage then regular rounds, at the cost of higher
      maintanance on the part of poorer construction. Can be purchased.
    - Incendiary: .50 MG only, these rounds set the targets on fire for
      additional damage. Can only be bought.
    - Explosive: .50 MG only, these rounds essentially function like
      high-velocity 40mm grenades, exploding upon hitting the target for very
      high damage. Can only be bought, quite rare.
    - Match: Higher damage and an even smaller spread. Better version of the hand
      load, does not cause addition wear, can be crafted with the Hand Loader
    - JHP: Junior version of the Hp round: weaker DT multiplier and a slightly
      weaker strength. Ideal for medium-armor targets. Can be crafted with Hand
    - Magnum: Shotguns only, higher damage and a bit of armor penetration but
      also higher maintanance. Can be bought or crafted.
    - Coin Shot: Shotguns only, identical and slightly superior to magnum ammo
      with a twist: instead of using shotgun pellets, this round uses Legion
      coins. Humerously, these can sometimes then be, ah, pulled...out of the
      victim afterwards and made into more coin shot rounds, or used in their
      proper currently value. Can be crafted or bought.
    - Bean bag: Shotguns only, cause fatigue damage and stun the target. Stops
      a target in its tracks, to be best by more convetional ammo. Doesn't do
      much damage otherwise. Can be bought.
    - Slug: Shotguns only, trades buck shots for slugs, which are single solid
      shots that have much less of a spread. This is a good thing when facing a
      solitary opponent, bad when facing a mob.
    - Buck: Shotguns only, higher damage and harder to produce.
    - Buck magnum: Shotguns only, higher quality magnum rounds.
    - Dragons breath: Shotguns only, incindirery effect.
    - Flechette: Shotguns only, higher armor penetration at the cost of damage.
    - Pulse slug: Shotguns only, damage bonus versus robots. All the above can be
    Energy weapons:
    - Bulk: Weaker and causes less weapons degredation. Can only be bought.
    - Overcharged: Stronger with some armor piercing, but causes weapon to
      deteriorate quicker. (1.5 times normal wear) Can be bought or made.
    - Max charge: Even stronger, significant armor piercing, but causes weapon
      to deteriorate very quickly. (2.5 times normal wear) Can be bought or made.
    - Optomized: Requires Viligant Recycler; a slightly stronger version of the
      overcharged cell that does normal wear and tear on the weapon, but is more
      expensive to make.
    Finally, explosives; only rocket rounds can be crafted:
    - HE: High explosive rounds that do more impact damage and have a larger
      blast radius. Also twice as expensive.
    - HV: Round travels 3.33 times as fast.
    - Hive: Splits into nine small MIRV-type warheads in flight.
    - Incendiary: Less damage and a smaller blast radius, but the target bursts
      into flames, dealing more damage over the next few seconds.
    - Pulse: Deals very little damage to regular targets, but more than double
      against robots, and a slight bonus against power armor.
    - Plasma: More damage over a smaller blast radius, making for better rounds
      when targeting single enemies.
    - Timed: Five second fuse allows richocheting and complex trajectories.
    - Mini-nuke, low yield: Less damage, but longer ballistic trajectory.
    - Mini-nuke, big kid: More damage, lessened ballistic trajectory. Nearly
      impossible to avoid damaging self.
    - Mini-nuke, tiny tot: Splits into nine MIRV-like subnukes.
    - Mini-nuke, timed: Can be richochetted off of walls and such.
    [4.5] [Crafting]
    Some of these ammunition types can be crafted at an ammunition bench (using
    Repair to make Explosives and Gun ammo) or workbench (using Science to make
    Energy Weapons ammo). These are special objects scattered across the
    wasteland; if you ever need one quickly, Goodsprings, or, even better, The
    Sink in Big Mountain both have them in a quickly accessible location.
    Crafting gun ammunition requires a certain minimum Repair skill, exactly how
    much varies based on the ammunition involved; generally, lower-grade rounds
    take less skill to craft, while upper-grade ones like the .50 MG require 75
    or more point investments. Each piece of brass consists of four ingredients:
    a Case or Hull (specific to that round), Pistol or Rifle powder, one of a
    variety of primer types, and the all-important lead.
    For a complete list of recipes, see
    All of the components can be retrieved by breaking down rounds at the
    ammunition bench, but because the powder and primer change between rounds,
    direct conversion can be difficult. In addition, note that breaking down a
    round does not retrieve 100% of its contents, so converting ammo is not
    absolutely efficient.
    Cases and hulls can be recovered from fired ammunition; with the Hand Loader
    perk, the rate these can be recovered doubles (as well as giving you access
    to Hand Loader recipes), so if you plan on making your own rounds you'll
    want that perk. They can also be obtained when breaking the round down.
    Powder can be retrieved from broken down rounds, and since there are only two
    types (Pistol for low-powered rounds, Rifle for high) and it comes out at a
    1:1 rate, it's not that difficult to get powder.
    Lead is the reason that ammunition can't be converted 1:1, because breaking
    down a round doesn't give you all of its lead. Higher rounds and better
    rounds require more lead. Lead can be easily broken down from scrap metal at
    a 1:100 rate, so if you do a little bit of exploring, the Majove will provide
    you plenty.
    Finally, there's the primer. Primer is by far the most varied ammunition
    component, and it's a pain in the ass to get the right primer.. However,
    you'll find it at intervals, it can be sold by merchants, and it can
    sometimes be found on enemy corpses.
    Rounds that can be directly converted are the following:
    .308 <--> 45-70 Gov't
    .357 <--> 5mm (hand load only) <--> 9mm
    44 magnum <--> .45 <--> 10mm <--> 12.7mm
    5.56 <--> 5mm
    12 ga. <--> 20 ga.
    [Energy weapons]
    Energy weapons have a simpler repertoire. At workbenches you can recycle
    spent rounds to recover their residual energy, which means that as long as
    you have the Science for it, you gain a fifth shot out of every four energy
    pack you find. With the Vigilant Recycler perk you are even more efficient.
    Every ammunition type has three special types: overcharged, max, and
    optomized (the last requires Viligant Recycler, so get it!), which convert
    several energy packs into a smaller number of more powerful ones. The
    different ammunition types can also be converted to and from one another if
    you have the skill and are planning to rely on a single ammunition category,
    or have a lot of spares of a type.
    You can craft rockets, regular, high explosive, and incindiary, using cherry
    bombs, conductors, and .50 MG primer; these recipes require high Science
    knowledge. With the Mad Bomber perk, you also gain access to a small number
    of unique thrown explosive and mine recipes, all of which require otherwise
    junk components, and all of which require Science skill. The most useful of
    the Mad Bomber weapons is the MFC grenade, which only requires a number of
    MFC cells; if you're not using Energy weapons and haven't sold them all
    already, you can use the recipe to create a large number of what is
    effectively plasma grenades at no real cost to you. There are also a few
    proximity mine recipes available without the Mad Bomber perk, such as the
    Bottlecap Mine.
    [Melee and unarmed]
    Certain melee and unarmed weapons can be crafted from junk components using
    the Repair skill. The selection is somewhat limited, but if you keep your
    eye out for the weapon components and have a high enough repair skill, you
    can use this to either convert junk into valuable weapons, or help maintain
    your own if you don't go for Jury Rigging.
    If you're high in Survival skill, you can turn collected plants into posions
    at campfires. These can be used to ramp up weapons damage on melee weapons,
    but is honestly neither reliable nor particularly useful in the long run.
    [4.6] [Condition]
    The Fallout series has a unique indicator to match its post-apocalyptic feel:
    weapons condition. Also applying to armor, condition is the state of your
    weapon, and mirrors maintanace requirements in real life. As you ratchet away
    hot lead, blow up bridges, or bloody your machette, your barrel will degrade,
    your tube deform, and your blade grind away.
    Every time you use a weapon, it takes a bit of a condition hit. Every weapon
    has a certain amount of HP, which controls how much abuse it can take along
    the way. Very reliable weapons will require less repairs than very fragile
    ones, and vice versa. A weapon is basically fine up to 75%, at which point
    the damage it deals begins to deteriorate. In addition, the gun will
    occassionally jam when firing or reloading, necessitating a trigger reset or
    a magazine adjustment, which eats up time in the heat of battle. Weapons that
    hit zero hp break completely, and cannot be used at all until they are
    You can actually target enemy weapons in combat, and enemies will
    occassionally hit yours. This will deteriorate their condition. If a weapon
    is at low enough condition and you have a strong enough weapon and a good
    enough shot, you can target the enemy's weapon and break it, forcing them to
    draw their secondary or, failing that, fight unarmed. This is very useful
    against brutes wielding low condition heavy weapons.
    You can buffer the condition of your weapons by repairing it with spare parts
    from another copy of it. For instance, if you have a 10mm submachine gun and
    pick up another one off an enemy corpse, you can use the second copy to
    repair your own. There are also a few NPCs that can repair weapons for you,
    but doing so will cost you caps. The amount of benefit you gain from
    repairing a weapon with another weapon depends on the broken-apart weapon's
    condition, and you'll only get 100% return once you cap out your Repair
    This works fine for common weapons, but what if you want to use something a
    bit more exotic? You won't find many copies to conduct repairs with, and
    because of their exotic nature they'll cost too much to regulary repair by
    pay. That's where arguably the most useful perk in the game steps in: Jury
    Rigging. Jury Rigging allows you to repair any weapon with a roughly similar
    weapon. You can now fix up your Nail Gun with 9mm strewn across the
    wasteland, or patch up your Multiplas rifle with much more common Plasma
    Rifles. For unarmed and melee weapons the benefit is even larger: ALL unarmed
    and melee weapons can repair others of their type, leading to such ludicrous
    solutions as repairing a chainsaw with spare parts from a Pool Cue; never
    mind that they have nothing at all in common, it somehow works nonetheless!
    You can see the repair categories here: fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Jury_Rigging.
    Details on repairing will be listed in the individual weapon list.
    Note that the value of a weapon is dependant upon its condition. With Jury
    Rigging and melee/unarmed weapons, a quick way to make money is to find
    expensive high-end weapons and repair them with stuff you find along the way,
    generating cash out of super sledges and...pool cues...
    There are also Weapon Repair Kits, which can be found in small numbers,
    bought, or crafted. These can repair any weapon 25% a punch, making them
    useful for weapons that are difficult to repair: those in their own
    categories mainly, the high-rollers like the Holorifle, the Grenade
    Machinegun, or the Minigun.
    [4.7] [VATS and crippling]
    VATS is a Fallout signature and takes a bit of getting used to. Basically
    it's a high accuracy mode where you have a certain chance to strike a
    specific part of an enemy body, dependant on distance, the weapon, and a ton
    of multipliers. The number of times you can hit an enemy is dependant upon
    the number of Action Points you currently have (based on your Agility) and
    the AP cost of the weapon itself.
    VATS is terrifically useful once you get the hang of it. First, a bit of a
    discussion on crippling: each time you hit a body sector, that body sector
    takes damage. Deal enough damage to a body sector and the creature will be
    temporarily stunned, as well as weaker in that limb (you can be crippled
    too). Cripple the legs and they will move slower, and aim for the head to
    do bonus damage. Aim for their weapon to destroy it and knock it out of their
    What VATS basically allows you to do is to reliably open engagements by
    aiming for specific parts of their body. This makes it much easier to, for
    instance, cripple a Deathclaw so that it can't run at you at 20 miles an
    hour. In addition VATS conserves ammo by making sure every possible shot
    hits. Note that you can still be hit while firing in VATS, but time does move
    slower. Also note that at extended range you're better off aiming manually;
    VATS targets each body sector seperately, so you'll have a lower chance to
    hit than normal.
    Close-range weapons deal double damage in VATS, and not only that but they
    can (one you hit 50 in their skill) perform special strikes that deal even
    more damage; this offsets the fact that you're close enough to get hit
    yourself during the manuveer. Note: these strikes can be performed out of
    VATS as well.
    [4.8] [Armor and perks]
    Armor in Fallout: New Vegas is a technically detailed subject; if you want to
    see the math behind it, see fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Armor. Basically, every
    time damage is dealt it is checked against the creature's DT and the armor
    rating of whatever it's wearing. If their DT is high enough and the round's
    damage low enough, armor can almost completely negate damage; even if it
    isn't enough, it will at least reduce the amount of damage taken (at the cost
    of condition, or not if it's innate DT). Heavily-armored enemies will require
    heavier rounds, or armor-piercing rounds, to be dealt with effectively.
    As for perks. There's a lot of them, most are combat-related, and they can
    allow you to adapt a character of any sort: a sneaky striker, a VATS master,
    an all-around tough guy, so on and so forth. To see the full list, see the
    wiki article: http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas_perks.
    [4.9] [Weapon mods and special characteristics]
    Weapon mods are just that, weapons modifications. They make the weapon better
    by adding certain nuts and bolts and glossy pieces to it. Not all weapons
    have mods - in fact, most don't - but those that do benefit from them quite
    highly. Modded weapons gain a + after their name; for instance, Sniper Rifle
    becomes Sniper Rifle+.
    The list: http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas_weapon_mods. They
    will be discussed in detail in the weapons list section.
    In addition certain weapons have special characteristics. They might deal
    more damage to certain limbs, light the target on fire, scare abominations,
    have a higher crit chance, a higher crit bonus, so on and so forth.
    [4.10] [Sneak attacks and criticals]
    When you crouch you will get an indicator telling opponents' state. If it
    says Hidden, then either no one's nearby, or they don't know you're there;
    Caution means at least one knows something's up (but not necessarily all of
    them); and Danger means they're all actively targeting you.
    Sneak attacks can be performed while you are hidden. A successful strike will
    deal a garunteed critical against the target. The exact multiplier varies,
    but with sneaky weapons like Christine's COS Sniper Rifle, you will more
    often then not kill enemies in a single shot, or leave them so weakened the
    follow-up will kill them. Note that firing unsilenced weapons will almost
    always reveal your position (except at long range), but silenced weapons are
    fine. Having a high Sneak skill helps a lot towards getting close enough for
    a sneak critical, but it's next to impossible with melee weapons.
    Criticals are the basis of sneak attacks, but can also occur on their own in
    regular combat. Critical hits do much more damage, the amount dependant on
    the weapon, and the chance of their occuring is based on your character's
    Luck stat, the weapon itself, and any modifiers (1st Recon Beret, Finesse,
    True Police Stories, etc.). Criticals can be a real life savers in certain
    [4.11] [Merchants]
    General Stores, travelling merchants, and the occassional location NPC are
    all merchants that sell goods. The biggest part of their goods are weapons
    and ammunition, and although buying weapons from the them is prohibitively
    expensive, they are an important source of ammunition. They can supplement
    the ammo you find along the way, or start you off.
    In addition merchants are the only place to get weapon modifications.
    Different merchants stock different mods, and they don't always have them,
    so if you have your eye on one in particular you should check with those
    that stock it every once in the while and hopefully it'll appear.
    A few merchants in particular are worth mentioning:
    The Van Graafs in Freeside are the only merchant that regularly stocks a
    large number of energy weapons, being an energy weapon specialist.
    The Gun Runners outside of Las Vegas have a large, varied stock, always
    carry a large number of weapons mods, stock a number of unique weapons,
    and are the most reliable vendor for Gun Runner's Arsenal goods.
    The Quartermaster in the depths of the Hoover Dam carries ammunition in the
    hundreds or even thousands, up to a quarter of a million caps worth, so visit
    him if you need to stock up on ammo.
    Alternatively, there is a weapons dealer in the supply shed at the very back
    of Camp MacCarren. Note that both these venders are NCR-aligned, and both are
    a pain to get to, located at the back of sprawling army bases.
    There are a number of good guns merchants hanging around Highway Post 188.
    [4.12] Unique weapons
    Most of the weapons in the game also have a unique named variant, sometimes
    two. These are one-off weapons that can only be found once, generally as the
    prized loot at the end of a difficult area. They are always better versions
    of their base weapons, usually have more damage, a better sight, a different
    look, and so forth. Unique weapons will be listed after their generic
    counterparts on the listing. Note that unique weapons cannot equip weapon
    mods, so in cases where a gun has a number of good weapons mods, it may
    actually be debatable which is better.
    [5] [Guns]
    The following section details the guns available in the game, arranged
    by type. I'm not going to include the exact numbers because they're better
    catalouged elsewhere: see
    http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout:_New_Vegas_weapons for nice tables
    showing exactly how everything stacks up.
    [5.1] [Cowboy Rifles]
    This is an ad-hoc classification for a clear lineation of durable bolt or
    lever action two-handed rifles with small tubular magazines - the kind of
    faux-Winchesters a cowboy would use. These guns are very reliable, don't
    weigh much, work well in V.A.T.S., and deal good damage. They can repair one
    another with Jury Rigging.
    These guns are all affected by the Cowboy perk, giving them a further 25%
    damage bonus, but requiring that your character be a Guns+Melee specialist
    (or otherwise are willing to invest points in Melee).
    Varmint Rifle (5.56mm bolt-action rifle)
    The very first weapon that you get your hands on is a low-condition Varmint
    Rifle fit for nothing but shooting Sasperilla  Bottles on a fence. The
    Varmint Rifle is pretty much the weakest weapon in the game, period, shooting
    a low-powered round at a low velocity and a low rate of fire. You should
    exchange it up sooner rather than later.
    Weapon mods:
    Night scope - Adds a 2.86x magnification night scope.
    Silencer - Silenced the weapon.
    Extended mags - +3 rounds to a mag.
    Ratslayer (Unique Varmint Rifle)
    As you may notice, the three weapons mods on the Varmint Rifle basically
    turns the weapon into a poor man's sniper rifle. The Ratslayer takes this
    approach to its logical conclusion. Found amongst rats (what else) in Broc
    Flower Cave, this weapon sports a black matte finish, a lighter weight,
    higher damage, a much higher (and much more sniper-like) critical multiplier,
    and all three weapon mods pre-installed. If you want to build a sneaky
    character early on and are willing to contest with a swarm of giant rats,
    this is the perfect weapon to get you started.
    Cowboy Repeater (.357 lever-action rifle)
    The second step-up from the Varmint Rifle (the first is the semi-auto Battle
    Rifle, described in the next section), this is a solid weapon that can be
    relied on for dealing damage well into the meat of the game. The peep sight
    is very obstructive, however.
    Weapon mods:
    Maple stock - decreases weight by 1.5.
    Long tube - +4 ammunition capacity.
    Custom action - increases rate of fire by 20%. 
    La Longue Carabine (unique Cowboy Repeater)
    This is the unique, sniper-like version of the weapon that is carried by
    Corporal Sterling, and is not directly available to the player (you'll
    probably have to kill him for it if you really want it). It's the personal
    weapon of one of the troops in the NCR's "finest sniper platoon", and as such
    it comes with a scope, the extended mags modification, and a tighter shot
    Hunting Rifle (.308 bolt-action rifle)
    Don't be fooled by the smaller round size: it compensates in velocity. This
    weapon is basically a weaker, scopeless sniper rifle, and fires the standard
    .308 sniper round. It has a bonus critical chance and bonus critical damage
    (also like the sniper rifles). Although it might look like you should pass
    on this as soon as you get a real sniper rifle, it does comparable damage and
    has some unique weapon mods that make it an interesting sniper rifle
    alternative once fully upgraded; namely, it trades in a silencer for
    generally higher stats, and tacks on a scope.
    Weapon mods:
    Custom action - increases rate of fire by 33.3%.
    Extended mag - +5 rounds per magazine.
    Scope - adds long-range optic scope with 3.5x magnification. 
    Paciencia (unique Hunting Rifle)
    Added by the Gun Runner's Arsenal pack, this weapon has a tiny three-round
    magazine and can't equip any mods, but compensates in two ways. First, the
    iron sight has 3.5x magnification by default (somehow). Second, it's got a
    truly rediculous crit multiplier that does 110 damage on a successful
    critical, which is the same amount of damage as a .50 ANTI-MATERIAL rifle. If
    you want a really, really powerful sniper rifle to open engagements with and
    don't care for a silencer, then this is the weapon for you.
    Trail Carbine (.44 magnum lever-action rifle)
    The Trail Carbine is the next step up the ladder. Not much else to say: solid
    weapon, great damage, good V.A.T.S. potential. Basically a straight upgrade
    over the cowboy repeater, and it does more damage than the Hunting Rifle
    outside of criticals.
    Weapon mods:
    Scope - adds a 20x40 medium-range scope with 2.6x magnification.
    Brush Gun (.45-70 Gov't lever-action rifle)
    This is the best rifle of this lineation, being the highest level and doing
    the most damage, but it also uses the rarest round, the sparse .45-70 Gov't.
    However the round can be straight converted from far more common .308 rounds
    at a workbench, and by the time you get access to this weapon you likely
    already have access to Quartermaster Bardon (or Coreales) and their
    rediculous ammunition numbers, as well as the caps to buy the rounds. The
    sight is terrible however; this is improved upon by its unique version.
    Weapon mods:
    Forged receiver: increases weapon condition by 50%. 
    Medicine Stick (unique Brush Gun)
    The unique version of the Brush Gun is only sold by the Vendertron at Gun
    Runners HQ, provided you have the Gun Runners pack installed. It's basically
    an upgraded Brush Gun with a cleaner appearance and a dreamcatcher attached
    to the butt, featuing a slightly higher rate of fire, damage, and magazine
    size. It's very expensive however, requiring about 12k caps to purchase, even
    with maximum Barter skill, but is well worth the investment if you like these
    types of guns. If you are particularly ravenous, you can murder the Gun
    Runners guards stationed outside the nearby factory: doing so will not stop
    you from buying anything after the fighting is done, and the weapons and
    armor you can loot off of them can help offset the price if you're low on
    [5.2] [Semi-auto rifles]
    Semi-automatic rifles come in two flavors. They either fire weaker rounds
    than the Winchester-style weapons above, but at a faster rate and a much
    larger magazine, or they are scoped and fire comparable rounds in sniper
    rifle capacities. Some of the weapons blur this line. Note: the anti-material
    rifle is tacked onto this group because it's a very modern weapon and has a
    similar purpose, even if it is bolt-action. It's also in the same repair
    Service Rifle (5.56mm semi-auto rifle)
    This is the weapon carried by most NCR footmen, even on higher levels. It's
    basically an improved Varmint Rifle, doing slightly more damage with a 20
    round magazine and semi-automatic fire rate. Very common and fairly durable,
    but also very weak.
    Weapon mods:
    Upgraded springs - +30% rate of fire.
    Forged receiver - +50% condition. 
    Survivalist's Rifle (unique Service Rifle)
    This is a pretty unique weapon and the best loot you get from the Honest
    Hearts DLC. The Survivalist's Rifle is an upscaled Service Rifle with a very
    long history, one you can read up on from its former wielder's terminal
    entries. It's heavily beat up, with a weathered, name-engraved stock and a
    front sight that's bent off-center, requiring that you aim off the tip of the
    right stock. Despite its shortcomings, the Survivalist's Rifle is a very
    versatile weapon. It fires 12.7mm rounds instead of the 5.56mm rounds of the
    Service Rifle, so the damage upgrade is huge; when combined with its rapid
    rate of fire and quite tight bullet spread, the Survivalist's Rifle sports
    the highest DPS of any rifle in this category while also serving reasonably
    well in a longer range capacity. Its greatest drawback is its use of 12.7mm
    ammo, but that can be circumvented by stocking up off of the Hoover Dam or
    Camp McClarren merchants. Easily a contender for best general-purpose weapon,
    and it has a great fire sound to boot.
    Sniper Rifle (.308 scoped semi-auto rifle)
    Exactly what it reads on the tin. This weapon is great for long-range
    encounters, boasting a very tight bullet spread that is extremely helpful
    when performing the titular sniping, and a default 3.5x scope that allows you
    to take accurate shots are extreme ranges. In addition, one of its mods
    silences the weapon, further adding to its stealthiness. Although it only
    deals moderate damage, its high critical multiplier will make sneak attacks
    lethal, or at least crippling, against all but the toughest of opponents.
    It is not, however, very durable.
    Weapon mods:
    Suppressor - reduces weapon noise.
    Carbon fiber parts - reduces weight by 5. 
    Gobi Campaign scout rifle (unique Sniper Rifle)
    This unique rifle can be found at the Sniper's Lookout, behind a Very Hard
    lock. It has a lower weight, lower action point cost, larger magazine,
    buffered damage, and because of a self-contained repair kits degrades MUCH
    slower. Its primary drawback over the regular sniper rifle is that it lacks
    a suppressor; nonetheless it is a very powerful weapon, and if you don't care
    for a silencer, it was a great engagement-opener in the vanilla game. With
    the additions from the expansion packs, however, it's recieved some stiff
    competition, particularly the next weapon on this list...
    Christine's COS silencer rifle (unique Sniper Rifle)
    This weapon, found outside a ghoul-infested camp in Big Mountain as part of
    the Old World Blues Expansion, is a straight improvement over the regular
    sniper rifle and usually superior to the Gobi. This weapon features the
    highest damage per-shot of any weapon using the .308 round, as well as
    slightly increased durability, decreased weight, a higher critical bonus,
    and, critically, a suppressor pre-installed. Altogethor this makes the Gobi
    look very shaky, as it is not a good idea to carry around two sniper rifles,
    and why take an unsilenced one when you can have a silenced one that does
    more damage to boot?
    Marksman Carbine (5.56mm scoped semi-auto rifle)
    It's the return of the 5.56mm! The round is still pretty terrible, but when
    placed in a high-powered and well-maintained carbine instead of a scrapped-
    togethor service rifle, it understandably does much, much more damage. This
    is one of the most versatile weapons in the game. Need to lay down a lot of
    damage quickly? Open up. Need to take down an enemy from range? Take
    advantage of this weapon's scope and low spread to pick them off in a few
    practiced shots. The one situation where this medium-powered weapon stumbles
    is against heavy armor, in which case you should either swap to armor-
    piercing rounds, or, even better, grab a cowboy rifle and load up V.A.T.S.
    A large part of its versatility is actually in its round, of which you can
    easily buy hundreds of specialized calibers - armor piercing, hallow point,
    whatever is needed for the situation.
    All-American (unique Marksman Carbine)
    Found in Vault 34, this is a straight upgrade of the carbine, sporting a
    higher damage, rate of fire, magazine size, and optic zoom, as well as a camo
    varnish finish. One of the, if not the, most versatile weapons in the game,
    it is in direct competition with the Survivalist's Rifle in terms of best-in-
    class; while the Survalist features higher damage, the American benefits from
    an actually usuable, magnified sight.
    Battle Rifle (.308 semi-auto rifle)
    Evocative of the M1 Garand, and performing like a higher-spread, lower-
    multiplier, semi-auto version of the hunting rifle, the battle rifle is
    another one of the guns added by the Gun Runners pack. It's better as a
    weapon, just not as a sniper varient. Compared to the Hunting Rifle, it has
    a much higher ROF and DPS, but doesn't have the gun's unique attachment
    This Machine (unique Battle Rifle varient)
    Interestingly enough this weapon predates the Battle Rifle, appearing in the
    vanilla game where the base gun was added in an add-on. It's another stat
    booster type upgrade.
    Anti-material Rifle (.50 MG scoped semi-auto rifle)
    The anti-material rifle puts the POW in KA-POW. It's a large, slow-firing,
    bolt action monster that fires a unique, extremely high-powered .50 MG round.
    It helps that the .50 MG has special rounds that can either light the target
    on fire (effectively turning it into a high-velocity incindiary grenade) or
    explode (effectively turning it into a high-velocity 40mm grenade). It has
    a x3.5 scope and acts like a (if you haven't noticed yet) extremely powerful
    sniper rifle, dealing 110 damage on a critical hit - enough to smush all but
    the toughest of beasts. On the other hand it and the rounds it fires are
    extremely rare, it's not that durable, it's heavy, and it actually pushes
    you backwards when fired from the hip.
    Weapon mods (GRA version only):
    Custom bolt - Increases rate of fire by 20%.
    Suppressor - Reduces noise made by the weapon, but does not silence it.
    Carbon fiber parts - Reduces weight by 7.
    [5.3] [Handguns]
    Handguns are generally the weakest weapons to fire a round of their caliber,
    but do not slow you down while drawn, so can strafe backwards in combat more
    effectively. Revolvers are higher power, lower fire-speed pistols.
    Silenced .22 Pistol
    Terrifically weak, and pretty much pock-shots in regular combat, but it does
    have a silencer for your troubles, as well as a high critical hit multiplier.
    9mm Pistol
    The weakest one-handed weapon in the game. You're shot in the head by one at
    the very beginning of Fallout: New Vegas. It's entirely unremarkable except
    for being extremely plentiful and cheap (and its ammo being just as
    plentiful, and cheap).
    Weapon mods:
    Extended mags - +7 rounds per magazine.
    Scope - adds a 2x20mm short range scope with 1.6x magnification. 
    Maria (unique 9mm pistol)
    And this is the pistol that does the shooting. It's still very weak, but does
    boast increased stats, as well as a very intricate ivory and floral finish.
    10mm Pistol
    Exactly what it says on the tin: a more powerful version of the 9mm pistol
    that gets a stat kick from firing slightly stronger (and somewhat rarer)
    ammunition. It has some interesting mods, however, if you feel like one-
    handed sniping...
    Weapon mods:
    Extended mags - increases ammunition capacity (+4).
    Laser sight - decreases spread by 0.4, adds laser sight effect.
    Silencer - silences weapon. 
    Weathered 10mm pistol (unique 10mm pistol)
    Just a stronger 10mm pistol. Loses the weapon mods, but you start with it if
    you have the Classic Pack installed.
    5.56mm Pistol
    Added by the Gun Runner's Pack. Unremarkable.
    That Gun (unique 5.56mm Pistol)
    Decent sidearm and the only one-handed weapon capable of firing dedicated
    armor-piercing rounds outside of the Hand Loader sets and a couple of weak
    12.7mm Pistol
    Deals twice the damage of the 10mm! But still worse than, say, the 12.7mm
    Weapon mods:
    Silencer- silenced weapon.
    Li'l Devil (unique 12.7mm Pistol)
    General increases.
    .357 Magnum Revolver
    Just a hold-on until you can get your hands on a true Cowboy Repeater.
    Weapon mods:
    Long barrel - increases the weapon's damage by 3.
    Heavy duty cylinder - increases the weapon's durability by 50%. 
    Lucky (unique .357 Magnum Revolver)
    Found locked in a cabinet in the Bison Steve Hotel near the beginning of the
    game, it has some general increases but is far too hard to get to use
    Police Pistol (unique .357 Magnum Revolver varient)
    Added by the Dead Money pack, the Police Pistol is a shorter .357 that
    reloads faster thanks to a swing-out magazine, and features higher ROF and
    a better critical hit multipler. It's DLC-only and a staple of the Sierra.
    .44 Magnum Revolver
    Stronger then the .357 Magnum, and it comes with a Speed Loader. You're
    better off with a Trail Carbine, though.
    Heavy frame - +50% condition, and adds a matted stainless steel finish with a
    darker wooden grip.
    Scope - adds a close-to-mid range scope with 1.86x magnification. 
    Mysterious Magnum (unique .44 Magnum Revolver)
    Sports a faster firing rate and an interesting backstory, as well as a very
    unique feature: when drawn or holstered, it plays bits of guitar cowboy
    music. It's obsoleted by A Light Shining in Darkness, however.
    .45 Auto Pistol
    Added by the Honest Hearts add-on. Fairly generic.
    A Light Shining in Darkness (unique .45 Auto Pistol)
    This is the best handgun in the game, if not the coolest-looking one, and is
    given to you as Joshua Graham's unique weapon after completing the Honest
    Hearts DLC. It's the most powerful non-scoped (aka, not gimmicky) pistol, and
    has a higher fire-rate, larger magazine, faster reload, and (I think)
    slightly better spread than the Hunting Revolver on account of being a semi-
    auto. This is the best holdout weapon in the game for the casinos, and can
    clean off a guard in two shots, but will require a Sneak skill of 50 to carry
    Hunting Revolver (.45-70 Gov't Revolver)
    It fires .45-70 Gov't rounds, so it's very high powered, plus it has a scope!
    Of course that doesn't matter when there's a stronger and more accurate two-
    handed version called the Brush Gun. Still, the scope is interesting.
    Weapon mods (GRA version only):
    Match barrel - decreases the weapon's spread by 15%.
    6-shot cylinder - increases the gun's capacity by 1. 
    Ranger Sequoia (rare Hunting Revolver varient)
    Scopeless and more lavish Hunting Revolver issued to high-ranking Rangers.
    Does more damage and doesn't have the slightly rediculous scope, as well as
    looking cooler. Still outclassed, though.
    BB Gun
    Didn't know where to stick this, so I'll stick it here. Yes it's a gimmick,
    no, for the love of god, don't ever use it.
    Abilene Kid LE BB gun (unique BB Gun)
    Gimmicks ahoy!
    [5.4] [Submachine guns]
    These are small, portable weapons firing small-caliber ammunition that spit
    out hot lead. They eat ammo and suck againt anything with any real DT,
    however. Keeping SMGs stocked is next to impossible, but they have great
    damage potential for such an early weapon. SMGs are in direct competition
    with shotguns.
    9mm SMG
    The weakest SMG, this weapon benefits from using a very common ammunition
    grade but is still only useful at the beginning of the game. After you've
    started to get better weapons, you should probably empty its magazines on
    your next encounter and discard it.
    Vance's 9mm SMG (unique 9mm SMG)
    Vance's weapon is first mentioned by a nameplate in the Vikki & Vance Museum
    in Primm, but the actual weapon is notably gone from its display case. You
    find it much, much later in the hands of some wannabee crime dou up north of
    New Vegas, by which point you have much bigger fish to fry than a 9mm SMG.
    Which is sad, because if there was some way to get the gun earlier in the
    game it would be very useful, as it sports more damage, higher durability,
    better V.A.T.S. firing, and, critically, double the magazine size of a
    typical 9 millimeter.
    10mm SMG
    A step up from the 9mm: just as the 10mm pistol is to the 9, the 10mm SMG is
    to the 9mm. It's a damage grade higher but will mostly be used concurrently,
    until you get your hands on better arms. The 10mm rounds have the advantage
    of being easy to convert to .308 ones, though.
    Sleepytyme (unique 10mm SMG)
    Sold by the Gun Runners, this gun should probably be sold by the Holdout guy
    on the strip itself instead. It's a more powerful, silenced 10mm varient,
    mostly useful for one thing by the time you get to it, and that is quietly
    cleaning off guards in the casino, a role in which it accels, being the only
    automatic and only silenced holdout weapon in the game. Otherwise, it's very
    12.7mm SMG
    A high-level SMG firing larger caliber bullets. 12.7mm ammo is fairly rare,
    though, so it's not much more appealing then its weaker cousins were before.
    Only the GRA version takes mods; this is the only SMG that can be voluntarily
    silenced. It features an unusual top-stacked magazine.
    Weapon mods:
    Laser sight - decreases spread by 0.4 from 2 to 1.6.
    Stacked magazine - increases ammunition capacity by 6 rounds from 21 to 27.
    Suppressor - silences the weapon. 
    Silenced .22mm SMG
    A terrifically weak and also very rare weapon, appearing only in a handful of
    places. If you really want a silenced SMG, get a 12.7mm SMG+ or Sleepytyme,
    this gun is not what you want.
    Weapon mods:
    Expanded drums - +60 ammunition capacity.
    .45 Auto SMG
    If you like SMGs, this is one of the two that is actually worth carrying. The
    .45 Auto is added to the game by the Honest Hearts DLC, and is clearly an old
    pre-war design, looted from the armies of old, much like its copatriot the
    .45 Pistol (which is just a M1911 in disguise). It's basically a Thompson
    submachine gun, and a good competitor with the Riot Shotgun, with the
    advantage of doing 26 damage per shot (and thus being decent at piercing
    armor) and having a bit of range to it. Ammo is a problem, however, unless
    you buy it by the pound.
    .45 Auto submachine gun drums - increases ammunition capacity from 30 to 50.
    .45 Auto submachine gun compensator - reduces weapons spread from 2.3 to 1.8.
    H&H Tools Nail Gun
    This is the other, ah, "SMG" worth keeping, and the easier to maintain of the
    two. It also comes from a DLC, this time from Lonesome Road. This weapon is
    completely silent, has an enormous magazine, and deals double damage to limbs
    (you know, because it's a nail gun). It empties its magazine very quickly,
    but lacks significant armor penetration, as each shot does just 9 damage.
    Still, it's a worthy competitor for best close-range weapon, as it has one
    further advantage: the scrap metal commonly found across the wastes can be
    quickly and easily converted into nails for further firing. It's not at all
    durable, however, so if you want to use this gun you need Jury Rigging, which
    allows it to repair with all the cheap, throwaway 9s and 10s tossed around
    the Majove.
    [5.5] [Shotguns]
    These weapons rip apart anything that doesn't have the DT to resist at close
    range. They suck against armored targets, however. Compared to SMGs, they
    generally do more damage up front, but are more easily nullified by any armor
    at all. You should probably pick one or other and stick to it: you don't
    really need two close-range weapons. The two shotgun gauges, 20 and 12 Guage,
    can directly be converted from and to one another, with 12 Gauge being the
    superior round.
    Caravan Shotgun
    The first shotgun you encounter, and also the weakest. This is a common, 20
    Guage, two-shot over-under weapon, and not remarkable in any way.
    Sturdy Caravan Shotgun (unique Caravan Shotgun)
    You get this as part of the Caravan Pack. It does slightly more damage and
    has no Guns skill requirement (the Caravan requires 25 skill), but is still
    pretty unremarkable.
    Single Shotgun
    A single-shot shotgun. The reload is quick, but that doesn't change the fact
    that you have to, well, reload, after every shot. It compensates by having
    the tightest spread and highest damage of the 20 gauge weapons, but is
    otherwise not recommended.
    Lever-action Shotgun
    This is the best 20 guage shotgun, doing only slightly less damage at a
    slightly worse spread than the single shotgun, but doing so out of an
    actual magazine. Not much else to say.
    Sawed-off Shotgun
    This weapon does the most up-front damage of any shotgun by firing two
    barrels at once, and it has a fairly fast reload to boot. Its big
    disadvantage is its range - it doesn't have one. If it's not point-blank,
    don't expect anything to happen. It also has the highest pellet damage (and
    thus armor penetration) of the shotties, defeated only by the Riot Shotgun.
    Big Boomer (unique Sawed-off Shotgun)
    This weapon is carried by Old Laby Gibson at the Gibson Scrap Yard. It has
    slightly better stats then the Sawed-off and is available fairly early in the
    game. You can get it off of her with no bloodshed through a glitch: punch
    her, draw your weapon, and then holster it. She will draw her weapon, maybe
    fire at you a couple of times, then drop it on the floor so she can sit down
    again, and you can make off with the gun.
    Hunting Shotgun
    This is a heavy duty pump-action 12 guage shotgun meant for hunting wild
    game, now repurposed to mutated insects, failed genetic experiments, and the
    occassional marauder. Although outclassed by the Riot Shotgun, the Hunting
    Rifle is a great mid-late game weapon that is terrifically accurate; with the
    choke attachment, it becomes the only shotgun you can bother firing at ranges
    greater than five meters.
    Weapon mods:
    Long tube - +3 magazine size (5 shells to 8).
    Choke: - reduces spread by 40% (from 1.5 to 0.9). 
    Dinner Bell (unique Hunting Shotgun)
    This shotgun is given as a reward by Red Lucy at The Thorn for collecting a
    variety of mutated insect and abomination eggs. It's an absolute pain in the
    ass to get however, since the quests are extremely long and requires you to
    (probably) fight Deathclaw Mothers for her eggs by the end of it. Still, if
    you're willing to tackle it, this gun has buffed damage over the Hunting
    Shotgun as well as even further decreased spread, making it the most accurate
    shotgun in the game, and well worth firing at range. This is one of the two
    best shotguns in the game, the other being the Riot Shotgun, below. It also
    has a nice camo pattern.
    Riot Shotgun
    While being very accurate is all fine and dandy, no other shotgun can lay
    claim to the Riot Shotgun's rate of fire, damage per second, large magazines,
    and quick reloads. This is the only combat shotgun in the game, and features
    a twelve round rotating drum, a high rate of fire and damage, and the most
    damage per pellet of all the guns. It's the strongest shotgun overall, but
    not the most accurate, so if you like pockshots over a distance, you should
    take the Dinner Bell instead.
    [5.6] [Automatic weapons]
    The badest of the bad weapons don't follow the semi-automatic quota: they can
    spit out hot lead just fine with the trigger all the way down. Note: this is
    a bit of a mothball category, and includes what I would also call "Big Guns".
    Automatic Rifle
    This is the most damaging gun available during Dead Money. It's not that
    great, really. It uses .308 rounds, so it shared with your sniper rifles; it
    has a fairly low rate of fire and a terrible spread; and, finally, it has a
    low durability. I don't recommend it.
    Weapon mods:
    Automatic rifle upgraded internals - increases rate of fire by 10%. 
    Light Machine Gun
    This weapon is not bad, not bad at all. The LMG fires 5.56 rounds with pretty
    good damage at a brisk pace, and comes with a large 80 round magazine. It has
    a moderate spread and can chamber all of the 5.56 ammo varieties, giving it
    good armor piercing ability on a dime as well. The one bad thing about the
    LMG is that it weighs 15 pounds, and gets in the way of the Marksman Carbine,
    which is more useful: it weighs less, does more damage, has a scope, and
    reloads quick, and the times when you actually need full-auto fire are not
    that common. For that reason I recommend the K9000 instead.
    Drum magazine - increases the magazine size to 110 rounds.
    Bozar (unique Light Machine Gun)
    It's interesting that "the ultimate refinement of the sniper's art" is a
    light machine gun, but hey, if that's what it is, that's what it is.
    Apparently this weapon is the result of a communication error between the
    development team (who wanted a sniper rifle) and the art team (who heard
    "scoped automatic rifle"), and the mistake was kept for all to see. That
    being said, the Bozar is basically a smaller-magazine, more accurate LMG with
    a scope, a sort of mishmash of sniper and heavy support weapon. To be honest
    I perfer FIDO, which is all the same things but does much more damage per
    bullet, if not per second, and which you don't have to buy off a vendor.
    K9000 Cyberdog Gun
    Added by Old World Blues, this gun is without a doubt the wierdest one in the
    game. It's a gun, and a dog, in one! No, seriously. It has flapping ears, a
    dog-esque design, a brain case, ruffs and whines when drawn and holstered,
    and when pointed in the general direction of enemies will sniff out and mark
    them for you to see, even if you don't have the Perception to notice them
    otherwise; it even sniffs out Stealth Boy users! As a gun, this is a great
    mid-game weapon, dealing death at a brisk clip with .357 ammo and a
    reciprocating barrel. It also has a fairly large 50 round magazine. Note that
    you can only acquire two of these guns in the game, and that in the late game
    it's outclassed by the minigun (being more comparable to an LMG). It also
    features a powerful scope!
    Weapon mods:
    K9000 mod - Mentat chow - Increases rate of fire by 40%
    K9000 mod - Resla Roil - Increases weapon DAM by 2. 
    FIDO (unique K9000 Cyberdog Gun)
    FIDO is the upgraded version of the K9000, using .44 ammunition instead of
    .357 and thus experiencing a damage boost, as well as having a bulldog
    styling instead of the K9000's Golden Retriever. Wether you perfer FIDO or a
    K9000 Cyberdog Gun+ is up to you; while the K9000 is statistically slightly
    superior, it also costs a lot of caps to buy the upgrades, while the FIDO
    upgrade is free. And, truthfully, I perfer FIDO's visual design over the
    K9000. You get two anyway (one at the beginning of the add-on, another on a
    Master Trauma Harness later in the DLC), so you can have one of both anyway.
    Shoulder-mounted Machine Gun
    The best 10mm gun in the game, and to be frank the only good 10mm gun in the
    game (Sleepytyme has its uses, but they're limited). It's a slower-firing
    minigun fired from the shoulder (for some reason) and is a good, if oddball,
    weapon, performing similarly to the K9000 and FIDO. It is very difficult to
    maintain, however, being in its own little category; you're going to want
    either ED-E, or Weapon Repair Kits, or both for regular use.
    Mechanical upgrade - Increases weapon condition by 25%.
    Recoil compensator - Reduces spread by 0.2.
    Extended magazine - increases maximum ammunition capacity by 15. 
    Ah yes, the minigun. Can't have a post-apocalyptic shooter game without one!
    The minigun fires the commonplace 5mm rounds at a frightening pace, doing
    terrific carnage to anything in the way of its bullets. The 5mm rounds
    actually have an armor-piercing effect, standard, increasing this gun's
    utility, and this ability can be exponentiated further by using armor
    piercing rounds. It is fragile and difficult to repair, however, so you're
    going to want ED-E, Raul, or Weapon Repair Kits on this one.
    CZ57 Avenger (unique Minigun)
    The unique next-gen minigun (or at least, next-gen when the world ended),
    this weapon is a step up from the default minigun. Found at the far eastern
    edge of the map in the Devil's Throat, the gun is actually fairly easy to
    retrieve, lying besides a dead prospector in an irradiated crater; just bring
    a few grenades or explosives to deal with the Evolved Centaurs crawling about
    inside, and you should be fine. The Avenger combines greater durability, more
    damage, and a higher rate of fire into the greatest Damage Per Second of any
    gun in the game, period, and it just about halves the weapon spread as well,
    making the gun useful at longer ranges. Its one drawback is that it has half
    the magazine size, but by the time you've emptied four seconds of rounds,
    whatever you were firing at is most likely dead. This is pretty much the only
    way to deal with Deathclaws in a guns-only manner.
    [6] [Energy weapons]
    [6.1] [Laser]
    Laser weapons are generally weaker then the other weapon classes, but make up
    for it by being more accurate, as fast as a bullet, and generally firing at
    a faster rate of fire, making them most useful against enemies that are
    numerous but don't have a particularly high DT.
    Laser Pistol
    The weakest energy weapon, the laser pistol does very little damage but has a
    large magazine and fires it off quite rapidly. It's comparable to the 9mm
    SMG, and should be swiftly replaced once you get past the beginning stages of
    the game. It does not have iron sights. Only the GRA version can accept
    weapons mods, so you probably won't ever mod it, unless you're shooting for
    the weapon mods achievement.
    Weapon mods:
    Combat sights - adds iron sights to the weapon.
    Focus optics - increases damage +3.
    Pistol recycler - replenishes ammunition (1/4 shots). 
    Missing Laser Pistol (unique Laser Pistol)
    This is a unique Laser Pistol that you have to find as part of an unmarked
    Brotherhood of Steel quest. Its only differenciation from a normal Laser
    Pistol is that it does slightly lower damage, has iron sights, and can't use
    anything but base ammunition, so change this in in a jiffy, as it's not a
    useful weapon.
    Compliance Regulator (unique Laser Pistol)
    Found in the trap-filled hole that is Fallen Rock Cave in the Honest Hearts
    add-on, the Compliance Regulator is a unique Laser Pistol that fires blue
    lasers instead of the typical red, and has a more detailed decal. It's a
    useful weapon even in the end stages of the game because of its critical hit
    effect, which paralyzes the target for ten seconds. This makes it far and
    away the best way to deal with high-end enemies like Deathclaws with energy
    weapons: hit them with the Regulator, and then let loose with a high-damage
    weapon using your ten-second window.
    Pew-Pew (unique Laser Pistol)
    The Pew-Pew is a slapped-togethor laser pistol that you recieve from the
    mannequin in the Sunset Saspirilla factory upon collecting fifty bottle caps.
    It fires orange lasers and has a dramaticly increased muzzle flare, but this
    comes with the biggest damage bonus of any weapon in the game. The Pew-Pew is
    hands-down the strongest energy weapon in the game, and the reason you would
    bother collecting the caps for Festus in the first place. On the other hand
    each shot uses up a whole five energy shots, so you won't be using it long:
    it goes through ammo like nothing else.
    Laser RCW
    A sort of Thompson submachine gun: with lasers! The RCW is a big improvement
    over the bullet submachine guns becuase of the properties of a laser: it's
    much more accurate, has no recoil, and still deals a lot of damage. However,
    it still goes through ammunition quickly, and firing the weapon obscures the
    sights and makes it more difficult to aim. This is a great energy weapon to
    keep on hand for medium to close range encounters, and can chip at longer-
    range enemies; just don't ask it to penetrate armor.
    Weapon mods:
    Laser RCW Recycler - recycles and replenishes 1 in 4 shots. 
    Laser Rifle
    The laser rifle is a rifle: with lasers! The weapon is a mid-game staple,
    being strong, accurate and not an ammo hog. It gains a lot from its weapon
    mods, so it's highly recommended you mod this weapon as much as possible if
    you plan on relying on it.
    Weapon mods:
    Focus optics - Adds +3 damage
    Scope - Adds a long range scope with 3.5x magnification
    Beam splitter - Causes to fire two grouped beams per shot, with greater total
    power than a single beam.
    Van Graff Laser Rifle (unique Laser Rifle)
    You get this weapon while assigned to guard duty at the Van Graff front gate.
    It's a weaker laser rifle in every way, but requires no skill to use, which
    is its real purpose. By the time you get to Vegas you'll probably have a real
    Laser Rifle on you (if not, you can buy or steal one inside), and you can
    just use that during the quest. So this weapon is kind of useless.
    AER14 Prototype (unique Laser Rifle)
    This weapon has an across-the-board stat increase over the Laser Rifle, but
    uses double the ammunition. It's an advanced version that fires green lasers.
    If you can field the extra ammuntion, it's a straight upgrade over the laser
    rifle, even the modded version.
    Tri-Beam Laser Rifle
    The Tri-Beam Laser Rifle is just that: a sawed-off laser rifle that fires
    three beams instead of one (or two modded). The damage bonus is offset by the
    beams' inaccuracy and by its greater use of ammunition. This is basically an
    energy weapon shotgun, and should be treated accordingly. Only the GRA
    version supports attachments, but with all mods attached is an enormous
    improvement that can be fielded right up to the end of the game, solving its
    ammunition and condition problems and buffing its damage.
    Weapon mods:
    Focus optics - increases damage by 3 per beam.
    Heavy duty capacitor - increases weapon condition by 200%.
    Hi-capacity terminal - increases ammunition capacity by 24. 
    Gatling Laser
    The Energy Weapon answer to the minigun, the Gatling Laser fires off low-
    power lasers at an incredible rate, emptying 240 canisters in just 8 seconds.
    When loaded down with max charge ammunition, this is the best energy weapon
    there is, and can be effectively combined with the Compliance Regulator to
    easily kill of even Deathclaws.
    Sprtel-Wood 9700 (unique Gatling Laser)
    Just as the Gatling Laser is the energy Minigun, the Sprtel-Wood is the
    Gatling Laser CZ Avenger. Much like the minigun it features a smaller
    magazine, but benefits from higher damage, a lower weight, and a tighter
    [6.2] [Plasma]
    Plasma weapons are generally more damaging then lasers, but their projectiles
    require movement prediction at range (in most cases), and their ammunition is
    somewhat rarer (to offset the higher damage).
    Plasma Pistol
    The Plasma Pistol does double the damage of a Laser Pistol, but also uses up
    double its ammunition type (two per shot) and requires you to lead the
    target. Still, it's a good sidearm, as far as that goes. Never been a fan of
    one-handed weapons. If you like it, you should get the GRA version and
    upgrade it, because the mods add a lot to this gun.
    Weapon mods:
    Hi-energy ionizer - Increases damage by 7.
    Magnetic accelerator - Increases projectile speed x2.
    Recycler - Replenishes ammunition (1/4 shots). 
    Plasma Defender
    The Plasma Defender is comparable to the Plasma Pistol. It does twice the
    damage because of a slightly higher damage and a significantly higher rate of
    fire, but is less accurate and less durable. Only the GRA version can accept
    Weapon mods:
    Scope - adds a scope for increased zoom.
    Sheath stabilizer - decreases spread by 0.2.
    High-capacity terminal - increases ammunition capacity by 32 rounds. 
    Plasma Rifle
    Gah! This weapon is a huge step down from where it was in Fallout 3. It uses
    twice as much ammunition and does much less damage per second thanks to a
    slower rate of fire. No good, no good at all! NOnetheless it is the weapon
    you will come to rely on for the middle part of the game, until you can get
    your hands on better equipment.
    Weapon mods:
    Mag. accelerator - increase the speed of the plasma bolt by 200%. 
    Van Graff Plasma Rifle (unique Plasma Rifle)
    This is the second choice of arms given to you by the Van Graffs for guarding
    their entrance. Like the Laser Rifle, it's a weaker version that won't take
    attachments, and like the Laser Rifle, will be taken from you afterwards.
    Q-35 Matter Accelerator (unique Plasma Rifle)
    MUCH better version of the Plasma Rifle, if you like energy weapons you
    should gun for the REPCONN headquarters just so you can pick this great
    weapon up early on. It uses half the ammunition, fires twice as fast, deals
    more critical damage, and despite a slightly reduced damage, has a higher DPS
    thanks to its fire rate. It is also extremely durable, a rarity for these
    kinds of weapons, in addition to being easy to repair, making it a worthwhile
    rush target once you can buy a few pulse grenades to deal with the robots.
    Multiplas Rifle
    Ugh. A great weapon for sure, shooting a triple plasma spray with very little
    spread, but ruined by its atrociosly low weapons health. You'll get all of
    seven magazines or so out of it before it starts to lose damage. It may do
    more than twice as much damage as the Plasma Rifle, but this is one weapon I
    can't recommend: the upkeep is just too damn high.
    Introduced by the Old World Blues add on, the LAER is a mish-mash of other
    energy weapon parts that comes togethor into a great weapon. It's on par with
    the Plasma Caster and deals good damage, but has fairly low item HP, a low
    critical hit multiplier, and a bad spread, so if you're sneaking about turn
    elsewhere. The mods make it even more useful however, and a LAER+ should be
    one of your end-game weapons.
    Weapon mods:
    Auxiliary recharger chip -Recycles one round per four shot.
    Prismatic lens -Splits the beam into three beams increasing total damage by
    Elijah's Advanced LAER (unique LAER)
    First of all, there are actually two of these weapons that can be acquirred
    at different locations. Second, I would actually advise against relying on
    this weapon, the reason being that, despite its higher DPS, this weapon
    suffers from extremely low item HP, half that of the already fairly fragile
    LAER. Thus the LAER is a more stable and dependable choice. Note that this is
    the only unique weapon that can accept weapon mods, taking the same ones as
    the standard LAER.
    Weapon mods:
    Auxiliary recharger chip -Recycles one round per four shot.
    Prismatic lens -Splits the beam into three beams increasing total damage by
    Plasma Caster
    Basically a big, heavy duty plasma rifle, this is the end-game general energy
    weapon of choice. Especially with the mod attached, this weapon acts like a
    Plasma Rifle on Turbo. It is not at all durable, however, so if you want to
    use this weapon extensively, bring lots of weapon repair kits.
    The Smithy Special (unique Plasma Caster)
    Introduced by the Gun Runners Arsenal pack, this unique Plasma Caster solves
    some of the weapon's problems but introduces new ones. It's almost three
    times as durable as its base weapon, so is easier to maintain, and spits
    out shots more than twice as fast for increased DPS. However, this comes at
    the cost of a lower critical hit multiplier and nearly double the weapons
    spread, necessitating that this weapon be used close close range encounters
    whenever possible. It's a better V.A.T.S. weapon, but if you want a reliable
    combat plasma main you're better off with a Plasma Caster+ and/or LAER. It's
    sold by the Van Graffs.
    Telsa Cannon
    The Telsa Cannon is the Energy Weapon answer to the Missile Launcher...sort
    of. It's comparable to a cross between the Red Glare and the Missile
    Launcher, firing four shots of heavy-duty plasma from a shoulder-mounted
    platform that does additional electrical damage after it hits the target.
    The Telsa Cannon is difficult to repair however, being as rare as it is,
    unless you have Honest Hearts installed and have finished the add-on; if you
    have, then one will respawn in the Abandoned BoS Bunker every once in a
    while, necessitating a trek but making repairing much easier.
    Telsa-Beaton Prototype (unique Telsa Cannon)
    This unique weapon can be found at the Crashed Vertibird, making it quite
    difficult to acquire as the site is guarded by a number of high-level
    security robots. The weapon is the prototype version of the Telsa Cannon and
    fires orange shots instead of blue, as well as being more makeshift in
    appearance. It has significantly higher damage and DPS, as well as a boosted
    post-hit electrical damage effect, more critical damage, and an even better
    weapons spread, but is half as durable - making it difficult to use
    practically unless you use the Honest Hearts trick I pointed out above.
    Elijah's jury-rigged Tesla cannon (unique Telsa Cannon)
    An intermediate version that lies between the Telsa Cannon and the Beaton
    Prototype, this Old World Blues weapon (found at Elijah's Watch) deals more
    damage than the Telsa Cannon and less than the Prototype, has a higher rate
    of fire and larger magazine, and lies between the two in terms of durability
    whist also being the priciest version. Which of the three you perfer is up to
    you, but in my opinion this one staddles the line between damage and
    durability the best. It also helps that it's absolutely pinpoint accurate (no
    weapons spread at all).
    Gauss Rifle
    The Gauss Rifle is the energy weapon equivalent of the anti-material rifle,
    and, although more fragile, is actually superior: it has less spread, higher
    damage, more critical damage, a lower weight, and uses common ammunition
    (albiet in multiples of five). This is the energy weapon category's best
    sniper rifle.
    YCS/186 (unique Gauss Rifle)
    This weapon can be found east of Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch, on a high-end
    hostile mercenary. It can do upwards of 200 critical damage with the right
    perks, and features four more coils on its barrel and a slightly heavier
    weight. Thankfully, it's also less of an ammo hog, using four cells to a shot
    instead of five. This weapon CANNOT be acquirred if you pick the Wild
    Wasteland perk, as it is replaced with the weapon below.
    Alien Blaster
    An Easter Egg weapon that can only be acquirred of an alien captain while
    Wild Wasteland is on, this is the strongest weapon in the game, be all and
    end all, because it is always garunteed a critical hit. On the other hand,
    only 140 to 250 shots can be recovered onsite, and none can be made or found
    elsewhere, so this is a limited-opportunity weapon. You will probably want to
    snipe the alien captain or otherwise blow him up with a launcher because this
    weapon will melt you down into spare parts real quick if you engage him in
    direct combat. This and the Holy Frag Grenades are the best thing you get out
    of the Wild Wasteland, and if you get this you cannot acquire the YCS/186
    mentioned above, so there IS a trade-off.
    [6.3] [Self-charging]
    These weapons are unique in that they recharge themselves over time, a
    function given to them by the MF Breeder cells that power them. They are most
    useful for conserving ammo when engaging weak enemies; you wouldn't want to
    waste Multiplas shots on a common Bark Scorpion, would you? They have long
    recharge times however, so you should fire your shots then swap to something
    else if you need to finish the job.
    Recharger Rifle
    The first iteration of the design, the recharger rifle deals terrible damage
    at a terrible rate of fire and is prohibitively heavy, like a laser pistol
    that can only shoot once a second and weights twice as much. Not at all
    recommended: if you're that desperate, run the merchant curcuit and buy the
    ammo you need.
    Recharger Pistol
    The Recharger pistol is an upgraded version of the rifle, doing more damage
    more rapidly and weighing less to boot. It's still only useful for dealing
    with weak enemies you don't want to waste ammo on, but it's definetly a major
    step up from the recharger rifle, and useful as a utility to the very end.
    Weapon mods:
    Laser RCW Recycler - recycles and replenishes 1 in 4 shots. 
    MF Hyperbreeder Alpha (unique Recharger Pistol)
    Added on by the Gun Runner's Pack, this is a major boost over the Recharger
    Pistol, featuring more damage, less weight, automatic fire, and half the
    recharge time. It's sold by Cliff Boscoe in Novac, so can be acquirred quite
    early if you have the caps, and can be a staple of your energy armament.
    [6.4] [Flame]
    These are flame-based weapons that fall under the purview of Energy Weapons.
    If you like these weapons, you definetly want to get Pyromaniac, as it gives
    them an enormous damage boost, but requires you significantly level
    Explosives, which makes sense, as this category straddles the boundary
    between the two. Long story short: if you want to use these weapons
    effectively, follow a Energy Weapons+Explosives combat tree.
    Mid-range weapon that is basically a flamethrower, making it extremely
    effective against numerous low-DT enemies. Point, shoot, and move backwards,
    and they will go down. Its only competition in the close-range energy weapon
    category is the Laser RCW, and this weapon outclasses the laser if you get
    your hands on the Pyromaniac perk.
    Weapon mods:
    Expanded tank - increases fuel capacity by 60.
    Cleansing Flame (unique Flamer)
    Sold by the Van Graffs, this unique Gun Runners weapon is an improved Flamer
    that deals more damage per shot (but not per pellet) over a longer range.
    The burn effect actually scales with the player's level, which is an
    interesting feature that keeps the weapon useful until the end of the game
    when you take Pyromaniac.
    Flare Gun
    Added by Lonesome Road, this is a unique weapon that does a little bit of
    burn damage, but is more significant in that it frightens abominations,
    causing them to flee. This characteristic makes it immensely useful against
    Deathclaws; when they get too close, fire off a shot, and they will run the
    other direction, leaving you free to peck at their health as you wish. This
    is even better then the best pre-DLC way to deal with Deathclaws with Energy
    Weapons, which relied on sneak stunning them with the Compliance Regulator.
    It is difficult to keep multiple Deathclaws back, however, as it does have
    some reload time to it.
    An early heavy weapon that fires "bolts" of fire in an arc over a distance,
    the Incinerator is the longer-range cousin of the Flamer, with a not-point-
    blank range but decreased damage. It's outclassed by the Heavy Incinerator
    later on (obviously).
    Heavy Incinerator
    Exactly what is says on the tin, a heavier Incinerator. Aimed right, this
    weapon can be used to lob artillery at enemies at extended ranges. It is
    essentially the energy weapon answer to the grenade machinegun, with a longer
    reach and a 24 round magazine, making it shockingly useful against foes like
    [6.5] Other
    This is the mothball category for weapons that don't fit into any of the
    above classifications, including pulse, sonic, and lightning weapons.
    Euclid's C-Finder
    This is a unique weapon is that it's not truly a weapon, but like the
    Detonator is used to trigger a weapon. Only usable once a day, outdoors, the
    Euclid's C-Finder allows you to call down a shot from ARCHIMEDES II, provided
    you locked in that option when you were busy fixing up the Helios I power
    station. ARCHIMEDES II calls in a giant laser beam from the sky that takes
    a few seconds to calibrate but, once it does, fries anything in the target
    area to a crisp, doing damage comparable to a Fat Man explosion. You don't
    *really* need it, but since reputation can always be won in other ways, it's
    a shame you don't find this gun, in the hands of a kid using it as a toy,
    until you get to the outskirts of Vegas, by which time Helios I will have
    long passed.
    Pulse Gun
    Only a single Pulse Gun can be found in the game, so it's a fairly unique
    weapon. It can only be found in a security chest in Vault 34, with a bit of a
    backstory  as to how it got there. The Pulse Gun fires EMP burst that do
    catastrophic damage against robots, 250 per pulse. It takes a little bit of
    time to build up the shot, but that doesn't matter in the face of its
    immense damage. It retains its usefulness against Power Armor, dealing an
    additional 110 points of damage. Vault 34 is the toughest vault in the game,
    but if you're prepared to face a challenge in retrieving it, this weapon is
    immensely useful for the Old World Blues. Note: extensive use requires Jury
    Rigging, because the weapon is only compatible with the Euclid C-Finder
    Sonic Emitter
    The Sonic Emitter is a unique weapon given to you at the beginning of Old
    World Blues. It does decent damage against robots in addition to its
    practical use disabling force fields, just not nearly as much as the
    monstrous Pulse Gun, as well as applying a secondary effect that depends on
    the weapon's calibration. All in all this is a great weapon for the DLC, but
    can be safely put aside once you've left Big Mountain - robots simply aren't
    that common, and the Pulse Gun is better the few times you do encounter them
    Arc Welder
    The Arc Welder, added by Lonesome Road, is a Flamer - with electricity! It
    does less damage than the Flamer and doesn't have a unique level-scaling
    varient, so it's not as good as what it's based on for conventional fighting;
    nor is it given any benefit by Pyromaniac. However, it deals double damage
    against robots, so it's a worthwhile weapon to carry when dealing with lots
    of them, primarily in Old World Blues. Overall though it's mostly useless -
    you've probably finished Old World Blues by the time you enter The Divide,
    as the leveling is easier in the former than the latter. It does look cool
    The Holorifle is a unique weapon given to you by Elijah at the beginning of
    Dead Money. Although it's in poor condition (like, well, pretty much
    everything in the DLC), it becomes your best possible armanent once you get
    your hands on the MFC cell, Weapon Kit, and Holorifle Upgrade vendor
    holodisks. The holorifle fires a unique hologram-based projectile that dodges
    the Sierra Madre's classification of "weapon" through sheer
    unconventionality. The holorifle is one of the best energy weapons in the
    game once you get it upgraded: it's powerful and acccurate, uses up
    ammunition in sane quantities, is extremely durable for an energy weapon, and
    causes both knockback and light-based burn damage upon impact. Its one
    drawback is that it's impossible to repair, as it is in its own category and
    you only ever get one; you're going to want to keep a few Weapon Repair kits
    around for maintaince. Still, overall this is one of the best weapons in the
    game, and the best thing you get out of Dead Money.
    [7] [Explosives]
    [7.1] [Grenades]
    Thrown explosives are the first you have access to, and the most common; the
    trick is getting close enough to throw them, since they're not that useful
    when enemies are barelling right at you. If you like these weapons, get the
    Heave Ho! perk, and Mad Bomber later on. Nuka Chemist is also useful.
    You first get the opportunity to chuck dynamite during your fight to defend
    GoodspringS, but you must have invested some points in Explosives first to
    convince Easy Pete that you're good for it. You will most differently get
    your hands on a lot when you get to Primm. This is the first explosive weapon
    and also the weakest, but very helpful when dealing with Powder Gangers,
    considering that they're better equipped than you are at the start. You
    actually have to light it instead of pulling a pin, so it has a long arming
    Long-Fuse Dynamite
    This is just Dynamite with a longer fuse. It does the same amount of damage,
    so it's not really that remarkable, and pretty much inferior since that just
    gives your targets more time to move away.
    Frag Grenade
    The staple. Extremely powerful at the beginning and a major step up from
    Dynamite, and still useful by the time you get to the end - just less so.
    Plasma Grenade
    A step up from Frag Grenades, these grenades have a more interesting plasma
    burst effect upon explosion, and a are a grade up in damage.
    Pulse Grenade
    These grenades are next-to-useless against regular foes, but deal an extra
    200 damage to robots (and an extra 100 or so to Power Armor users). If you're
    not wearing power armor yourself, this makes them the only grenades that are
    safe to toss near you, as they will do minimal damage to you - just a lot to
    the robot. Most useful against missile-toting security bots, especially in
    parts of The Divide and much of Big Mountain. Outside of these two DLCs, not
    so much.
    Incindiary Grenade
    Incindiary Grenades don't deal much damage, but fireball and set their target
    alight. They'll do a lot of damage over time to a target, but are less useful
    when you want something dead NOW.
    Flash Bang
    Flashbangs are a Lonesome Road add-on and fairly unique in that they deal
    little direct damage. They actually have three effects: reducing the target's
    Gun skill by 50 (and making them much less effective in combat, provided they
    have a gun); doing a large amount of Fatigue damage (thus slowing the target
    down); and causing mutated creatures to Frenzy about 25% of the time. They
    are useful to open an engagement and make sure a target stays in place for
    the oncoming barrage, but have a very large blast radius, and are easy to
    get caught in yourself if not careful.
    Holy Frag Grenade
    A reference to the all-mighty Monty Python skit, the Holy Frag Grenades are
    a Wild Wasteland stand-in that is basically a frag grenade with a cross spray
    painted on the side. Funny. What's not funny is their damage, which can put
    deathclaws to sleep in a single blow; although your number is limited, each
    nuke-like explosion will deal a staggering 800 damage, enough to clean off
    all but a very small number of enemies in the game with a single blow.
    [7.2] [Improvised explosives]
    These grenades usually cannot be found "in the wild", but can be crafted,
    provided you have the skill, or are unique to DLCs. They are as the title
    says - impovisized - and generally deal lessened damage, but can be crafted.
    Fire Bomb
    Basically a Moltov cocktail: if you don't know what that is, it's a fuel-
    soaked towel set into an explosive-filled bottle that is lit and thrown when
    you want to make a problem go away. It's weak and has a small blast radius,
    so it's not that useful; basically a junior Incindiary Grenade.
    MFC Grenade
    The MFC grenade is a microfusion cell strapped to a trigger. It's the main
    reason the Mad Bomber perk is so useful; if you're not an Energy Weapon user
    you will have tons and tons of microfusion cells on you, and since that's the
    only crafting recipe ingredient, you can in turn churn out tons and tons of
    what are effectively weak plasma grenades. If you like chucking explosives at
    problems until they go away, this is the weapon that makes it worthwhile.
    Tin Grenade
    Requires Mad Bomber and Gun Runner's Arsenal. This is some pistol powder in
    a tin can strapped togethor by...duct tape. It outperforms the MFC grenade in
    terms of damage by a sizable margin.
    Nuke Cola Quartz in a tin can with some wiring attached to it. Because it
    uses Quartz, which is very rare, there is a finite number of nuka-grenades
    that can be crafted. Nonetheless, if you like thrown explosives, you should
    invest in Nuka Chemist as well as Mad Bomber, as the two togethor will allow
    you to craft a much larger number of these enhanced explosives, which, upon
    detonation, deal additional radiation damage. Require Gun Runner's Arsenal.
    [7.3] [Proximity mines]
    Extremely useful for preparing an area to deal with a very large number of
    enemies, or a single (or better yet a number of) very powerful one. Proximity
    mines are the best defense against the hated Deathclaws; if they don't kill
    them outright, they cripple their legs and greatly decrease their speed,
    allowing you to fill their face with lead far more easily. Some notes:
    1. Proximity mines cannot be triggered by the player.
    2. There is a delay between detection and detonation.
    3. They are armed as soon as they hit the ground.
    4. They can hit the player if an enemy triggers on near them.
    5. They can be defused and picked up if not triggered.
    6. They have a very high chance to cripple enemy legs.
    7. Things that fly - ae. Mister Gutsy, Cazadores, etc. - will never trigger
    8. They will explode or shot or caught in explosions.
    9. They will explode in your hands if shot by an enemy. Obviously very
    Frag Mine
    The first mine you get is the frag mine. Although it's the least damaging of
    the mines, stacking them with other mines, or in larger numbers in general,
    keeps them useful to the very end. A couple is usually enough to cripple any
    enemy's limbs.
    Plasma Mine
    The next step up from frag mines, plasma mines do more damage and usually
    cripple enemy legs: although it's still better to set two when dealing with
    Deathclaws, just to be sure.
    Pulse Mine
    If you're setting a trap meant for a robot, this is the best bet. Since
    robots are fairly rare however, and many are Mister Gutsies that fly right
    over mines, these are not terrifically useful, nor valuable to boot.
    Satchel Charge
    Terrifically powerful and an enourmous pain in the ass in The Divide. Satchel
    Charges not only deal very high damage but also have a rediculously short
    fuse time, exploding within milliseconds of detection; they're so quick, they
    often go off before you can defuse even if you run right at them. ED-E can
    make a set of them for you daily if you find the right disk and pass a high
    level Explosives check.
    Demolition Charge
    Sierra Madre only. Frag mines in both look and feel, they're meant for
    construction but deal only a single point of additional damage over frag
    mines. This is at the cost of three times the weight: each charge weighs in
    at a hefty 1.5 pounds. Still, you gotta use what you got...
    C-4 Plastic Explosive
    C-4 is unique in that it's not proximity-triggered, instead requiring a
    separate Detonator, a unique weapon weighing in at .5 pounds whose only
    purpose is to blow C-4. These charges are incredibly destructive and have
    the largest blast radius of all of the mines, as well as having a habit of
    flinging enemies far, far, FAR away. I made the mistake of blowing up the
    irradiated Legion marked man boss after finishing Lonesome Road with a couple
    of blocks of C4, his body flew clear over the crater in a most spectacular
    fashion, preventing me from looting his unique armor. It's also the most
    expensive: each block, which weights but .5 pounds, is worth 1000 caps! This
    gives it the highest weight to value ratio of any weapon, and possibly of any
    thing, in the game. You do NOT have to be in direct visual contact to
    [7.4] [Improvised mines]
    As with grenades, there are crafty mines available to the player.
    Bottlecap Mine
    A combination of a lunchbox, some explosive components, and bottlecaps.
    Despite a longer drop and trigger time, this mine lies between the plasma
    mine and the satchel charge in terms of damage, making it very worthwhile to
    keep an eye out for its components. A more efficient recipe is available once
    you take Mad Bomber.
    Gas Mine
    A gas tank attached to a trigger that explodes and lights a fire when
    triggered. This is the only parallel in the game to the incindiary grenade,
    but is fairly lackluster. Dead Money only. A staple of those damnable Ghost
    MFC Cluster
    An interesting grenade, basically six MFC grenades (thus, easy to manufacture
    with Mad Bomber, and another reason to get that perk) tied togethor. They're
    thrown independantly and go quite far, and when recovered become six seperate
    MFC grenades. This weapon has a much longer throw distance then typical mines
    so it can be considered a low-distance proximity...grenade...thing. Very
    useful on slopes, for instance. It does require some duct tape and
    electronics in its construction, though. Does a poor job against DT, however,
    given the seperate nature of the explosions.
    Time Bomb
    Unorthodox bit of work, this weapon automatically detonates 15 seconds after
    placement. Most useful for...well...not really that useful, to be terribly
    honest. If you want a delayed explosion, why not just use C-4? It's stronger
    and more FUN! anyway.
    Fat Mine
    The most powerful placed explosive of all, the Fat Man is a Mini Nuke jury
    rigged into a mine. Though the number you can make is finite (GRA variants
    are not accepted), its explosive damage and radius is unparalleled. Just
    don't stand near it when it goes, or you'll turn into atomic dust too.
    [7.5] [Arc launchers]
    These weapons fire their explosives in an arc. Be they grenades or tactical
    nuclear warheads, they deal the most damage at close range. Consequentially
    they are the most dangerous to the player, and almost necessitate Hit the
    Deck for the damage reduction.
    Grenade Rifle
    Launches 40mm grenades in a somewhat respectable arc. The Grenade Rifle is
    a break-action gun and a fairly light one at that, but difficult to acquire
    in the early game, when it is useful. Later supplanted by more powerful
    weapons. One can be found in a house in Nipton, but it's in terrible
    Weapon mods:
    Grenade rifle long barrel - Doubles effective range by doubling shot
    Mercenary's Grenade Rifle (unique Grenade Rifle)
    Far and away the most useful of the pre-order bonuses, you'll find yourself
    relying on this weapon whenever you get into tight spots early in the game.
    It's especially useful when attempting a level 10 or thereabouts clearing of
    the Deathclaw breeding ground that is the Sloan Quarry; cripple their legs,
    and then you can chip away at their health from range until they die.
    Thump-Thump (unique Grenade Rifle)
    Found in the Nellis Air Force Base, hidden away in a hanger on a dead Boomer.
    Pretty much useless because if you're high enough level to not only get to
    the far northeast corner of the map and survive their artillery barrage,
    you're high enough level to have access to better weaponry.
    Great Bear Grenade Rifle (unique Grenade Rifle)
    Found on the Long 15 if you nuke the NCR at the end of Lonesome Road. Given
    what kind of a level you have to be at to finish Lonesome Road, this is
    little more than a novelty.
    Red Victory Grenade Rifle (unique Grenade Rifle)
    The Legion counterpart to the Great Bear. Boy they sure like giving us
    useless Grenade Rifle varients huh?
    Grenade Launcher
    A step up from the Grenade Rifle, although the names should be reversed in my
    opinion. Pump-action breach-loading grenade cannon that has a four-shot
    magazine and good damage potential, but is very heavy and has a long reload.
    25mm Grenade Rifle APW
    This guns fires lower-caliber grenade rounds, but has a larger magazine,
    weighs less, and supports a number of enhancements. Can only be bought off of
    merchants if you have Gun Runners installed.
    Weapon mods:
    Expanded drum - Increases ammunition capacity by 2.
    Long barrel - Increases projectile velocity by 100%.
    Upgraded internals - Increases rate of fire by 25%. 
    Grenade Machinegun
    Now THIS is where the action is at. The Grenade Machinegun is a large, heavy
    weapon with a large magazine that rapid-fires 25mm grenades a short distance
    aways. It also has an attached computer screen with some BASH scripts on it.
    But the weapon that takes the cake is...
    Weapon mods:
    High-speed kit - +50% rate of fire. 
    Mercy (unique Grenade Machinegun)
    A unique Grenade Machinegun that has the highest damage potential (if not
    DPS) in the game. Mercy can be found in Dead Wind Cavern, a Deathclaw
    infested cave with a combination of tight enclosed spaces and high-level
    deathclaws (including a Mother and a unique Legendary Deathclaw in the final
    room) that makes it THE most dangerous location in the game, sans Courier's
    Mile; if that doesn't tell you loads about this weapon's power, then nothing
    will. Mercy fires 40mm grenades instead of 25mm ones, and gets a large step-
    up in damage because of it. It's a pain in the ass to repair and maintain
    though, since it and the grenade machinegun are in their own little category;
    this is one weapon you definetly want to keep Weapon Repair Kits around for.
    Note: as a demonstration of its pure power, this is the only weapon that can
    clear out the Hoover Dam Visitor Center, including three NCR Heavy Troopers,
    with a single magazine. Even the mightly CZ Avenger loaded with armor-
    piercing rounds, which has the highest DPS of any weapon, has to reload
    before it can finish the job. I highly recommend you get this weapon before
    you attempt the Courier's Mile, as it makes dealing with multiples of
    Deathclaws a cinch.
    Fat Man
    A little catapult that launches a little nuke that causes a BIG explosion.
    The Fat Man has the greatest damage per shot of any weapon in New Vegas,
    period, and is the king of explosive weapons. It's incredibly rare, and the
    only reliable place to find one is either Highway 188 or the Gun Runners,
    and it can pretty much OHKO anything in the game. The problem is not blowing
    up alongside the target. It's also terrifically heavy. Note that there is a
    very limited pool of Mini Nukes in the base game, and that only the unique
    version and the GRA version can equip the Mini Nuke varients introduced by
    Gun Runner's Arsenal, which can be bought ad infinitum from merchants.
    Weapon mods:
    Fat Man Little Boy kit - Decreases weight by half (from 30 lbs. to 15 lbs.). 
    Esther (unique Fat Man)
    A unique Fat Man introduced by the Gun Runner's Arsenal that deals far more
    contact damage while looking cooler, being more durable, and protecting the
    user more readily from the effects of their munitions (+10 DT and +25 Rad
    resist). It does weigh more, though, and cannot be cut down with the mod, so
    carrying this weapon requires you to dedicate a LOT of space, and possibly
    even a perk (Strong Back adds +50 carry weight, for instance), given you'll
    be getting this later in the game. Speaking of which, it's suprisingly easy
    to acquire relatively early, as it's sold by a vendor and not in some well-
    protected hellhole like Mercy is.
    [7.6] [Self-propelled launchers]
    These weapons feature self-propelling explosives and are thus the most
    accurate weapons in the game; if you can work out the time delay, not hard
    with weapons of explosive radii, then they can be used to decimate foes from
    much farther than even sniper rifles dare try. Note: past a certain radius
    from the player enemies will not spawn or not be visible, but that radius is
    about five seconds of missile fly time from the player, so yeah, range.
    Red Glare
    A unique rocket launcher with an American red-white-blue themed decal and
    thirteen shots to a magazine (get the reference?), introduced by Lonesome
    Road. It looks cool, does decent damage, is fully automatic, has a scope, and
    has some great upgrades which give it not only the highest zoom rate in the
    game but a rediculous rate of fire and rocket speed. Although cool and
    everything, it straddles a position between the Grenade Machinegun and the
    Missile Launcher and is frankly outclassed for both. While its high rocket
    speed and long-distance sight allow it to strike enemies from afar, you're
    better off shooting a slower-moving but much more damaging missile instead of
    a rocket barrage; on the inverse, when you're in close with an enemy, the
    higher damage output of a Grenade Machinegun defeats the Red Glare's smaller
    magazine and weaker damage regardless of the fire rate mod. It can actually
    get pretty frustrating when you shoot at a heavily-armored foe with a Red
    Glare and it fails to even pierce their DT, let alone substantially damage
    them; just shoot a missile at that point and be done with it. I treat it like
    a particularly fancy rifle.
    Weapon mods:
    Aalpha strike - +200% rocket speed
    Auto launcher - +25% fire rate
    Far sighting - Increase zoom to x4.35. 
    Missile Launcher
    The Missile Launcher is the long-range counterpart to the Grenade Machinegun.
    It deals the most damage possible at extended range, and since missiles don't
    significantly deviate from where the crosshairs are, will do so at ranges the
    sniper rifle (lacking an explosive radius) can't even hope to reach, provided
    you do a bit of movement prediction. It does great damage, more then enough
    to blast common enemies aside, and will cripple just about anything no matter
    how strong, finding particular usefulness and blasting apart Deathclaws and
    Legion hit squads. With the weapon mod attached, it's pinpoint accurate.
    Guidance system - reduces weapons spread to just 0.05.
    Annabelle (unique Missile Launcher)
    Annabelle is to the Missile Launcher what Mercy is to the Grenade Machinegun.
    Found on a Super Mutant up on Black Mountain, it comes with the guidance
    system pre-attached, as well as a bit of history, a lower AP cost, a lighter
    weight, and a lower Strength requirement. Togethor these are the most
    versatile explosive weapons in the game, and can tear anything to shreads.
    It's not the most powerful of the explosives - that's Esther - but if you
    don't want to pay the 40 pound usage cost, this 15 pound lightweight  (well,
    relatively) beauty is the best there is.
    [8] Melee Weapons
    [8.1] Bladed
    Cut, cut, cut! Gehenna, the Protonic Inversal Axe, the Thermic Lance, and the
    Katana are the most useful weapons in this category.
    Awarded the dubious honor of "weakest bladed weapon", the Cleaver does a
    measly seven damage. Think of it this way: each strike is a less than a
    bullet in a 9 mm! It does do bonus damage to limbs.
    Chopper (unique Cleaver)
    A rusted old cleaver found at Wolfhorn Ranch. Sports litterally double the
    damage of the Cleaver. Still sucks like a child on a lolipop, though. This
    weapon is most relevant for having once belonged to Ulysses, as it can be
    found on what was once his property.
    Straight Razor
    I lied, this is even weaker. They're hard to tell apart! Sorry guys!
    Figaro (unique Straight Razor)
    A unique Straight Razor held by Sergio, the King's obviously gay hair
    Found all over the place, to the point of being weak clutter.
    A small knife. You know what that means.
    Common melee weapon of the Legion, carried by their line soldiers and the
    counterpart to the combat knife. Basically a rotor blade - on a stick! Bonus
    versus limbs.
    Broad Machette (unique Machette)
    Unique Machette given to you if you have the Courier's Stash. It does more
    damage is halfway decent to start you off, or at the very least, better than
    the weak-as-kittens razor the Doc hands you.
    Liberator (unique Machette)
    Does triple the damage per second and is the next step up the Machette line,
    this is a very decent early weapon you gain access to if you join the Legion
    and assist Dead Sea at Camp Nelson.
    Machette Gladius
    The final weapon the Machette tree, it's carried by higher levels (including
    assassins) and is a great medium range weapon, helped along by the fact that
    it's on the hands of the assassination squads Ceaser sends after you.
    Combat Knife
    A rusted combat knife, and the NCR's answer to the Machette.
    Chance's Knife (unique Combat Knife)
    This knife features prominently in All Roads, a graphic novel based on the
    Fallout series. It's actually deceptively weak; it does double the damage of
    the Combat Knife, and with all speed modifiers, can reach the damage output
    of Oh Baby!, making it a very interesting choice. It's also very easy to
    acquire, being located in a grave near the Goodsprings Cemetary, though you
    will have to fight Cazadores to get to it.
    Still fairly weak, but now we're moving up in bottom-level damage.
    Fire Axe
    A heavier hatchet that does a very respectable 87 points of damage a second.
    Knock-Knock (unique Fire Axe)
    Knock-Knock is a great weapon and one of the best weapons that can be
    acquirred early. It's located in the basement of the fire station in Camp
    Searchlight. You need to either kill Logan or complete his quest to get the
    key to the fire station, and it's heavily irradiated, but if you know where
    to look and have a few RadAways, you can grab it and be out in a jiffy. It
    deals very respectable damage and has a fairly unique special attack to boot,
    so it's well worth the effort. However, you're going too have to invest in
    Melee significantly if you want to use it early, as it requires 75 melee
    Cosmic Knife
    Weak Dead Money weapon, supposedly ludicrously sharp though.
    Cosmic Knife, Clean
    A bit stronger, but still very weak.
    Cosmic Knife, Superheated
    A bit stronger, but still fairly weak.
    Knife Spear
    Carried by most ghost people in Dead Money. Only thing in the DLC that
    doesn't need ammo, but it's not that good a weapon.
    Knife Spear, Clean
    An improved Knife Spear, but it's still weak.
    Bowie Knife
    Found in The Divide, this is a heavily improved combat knife. It does
    excellent damage, but is overruled by its even better unique version
    Blood-Nap (unique Bowie Knife)
    A unique weapon found in the Courier's Mile, arguably the most difficult area
    in the game, this weapon doesn't do much damage per swing, giving it
    difficulties piercing armor, and also has half the weapons reach. On the
    other hand, it swings extremely quickly, giving it a great overall DPS, and
    provides multiple bonuses for a stealthy character: bonus critical chance,
    bonus critical damage, and +10 to the Sneak skill while drawn. It's obviously
    geared towards close-range assassinations, and should be used as such; it
    suffers against high DT enemies, however.
    The Katana is a Gun Runner weapon. While it does not have the highest damage
    of weapons, it's an end-class weapon because it can swing three times a
    second, making it the best melee weapon in the game for clearing out weak to
    moderately powerful opponents. With all mods attached, it lies just under
    Knock-Knock on the damage scale, but has additional critical hit multipliers
    on top of that.
    Weapon mods:
    Authentic blade - Increases damage by 5.
    Protective sheath - Increases condition by 50%.
    Balanced grip - Increases attack speed by 20%.
    Bumper Sword
    A moderately powerful weapon fashioned from scrapped vehicle parts, it serves
    as the template for two of the most powerful melee weapons in the game, but
    is otherwise unremarkable.
    Blade of the East (unique Bumper Sword)
    This is a modified, high-powered Bumper Sword that deals not only outright
    damage but 2 points of bleed damage a second as well, for when an enemy runs
    away from you. However you only get one at the very end of the game, at the
    Second Battle of Hoover Dam, so alas you will get next to no use out of it.
    It's not the strongest of weapons, regardless.
    Blade of the West (unique Bumper Sword)
    A cleaner Bumper Sword held by former legionaries, now Marked Men, in The
    Divide, as part of the Lonesome Road DLC. It has the highest damage per
    second of any bladed weapon, at 128 damage per second, making it undisputably
    best-of-class. of the bladed melee weapons.
    Proton Axe
    Added by the Old World Blues DLC, the Proton Axe is a very useful weapon. It
    does high damage, just over 95 DPS, and has an unusually low skill
    requirement of only 55, making it usable by players who might not be able to
    use its only slightly stronger cousins. Additionally it does almost 100 more
    points of damage a second to robots, allowing it to rip through the DLC's
    resident robots and redoubling its usefulness.
    Protonic Inversal Axe
    The Protonic Inversal Axe is a better version of the Proton Axe, dealing
    eight more damage per strike in base damage, which translates into a meteoric
    (for the paltry 55 melee skill required) 110 DPS. It is edged out later on,
    but remains useful as a backup for fighting robots, against which it does
    just under 200 damage per second!
    The Ripper is the weakest of the three weapons in the game that ignore DT,
    and can be found on thugs fairly commonly once you reach a high enough level.
    It's a sort of one-handed chainsaw-based weapon that makes a great mid-range
    anti-armor melee weapon. Only the GRA version accepts mods.
    Weapon mods:
    Heavy duty chain - Increases weapon condition by 50%.
    Carbide teeth - Increases damage by 10. 
    The Chainsaw is one of three weapons in the game that ignore DT, and the
    middle of the three. It has a DPS of 80, nothing to sneeze at but not exactly
    the strongest of all, but cuts through armor like butter - literally. With
    the damage weapon mod it can very nearly approximate the Thermic Lance in
    damage whilst being significantly lighter, but between the caps investment
    necessary and the chainsaw's slightly inferior stats, its nonetheless second-
    Chainsaw alloy frame - Decreases weight by 8.
    Chainsaw carbide teeth - Increases damage by 15.
    Chainsaw heavy duty chain - Increases condition by 50%.
    Thermic Lance
    The Thermic Lance is the strongest of the three armor-piercing weapons, and
    arguably the best melee weapon in the game, because not only does it do a
    butt-load of damage (100 DPS) and ignore armor, but it's very durable, takes
    half as much durability damage when hit by an enemy, and has a chance to
    perform a critical hit five times a second, which can lead to some very
    heavy critical stacking with a high Luck stat. An excellent general purpose
    melee weapon and one of the best in the game, a worthy armanent and easy to
    maintain if you have Jury Rigging (and you should).
    The Shishkebab is a flaming sword that appears to run off a fuel cell on the
    player's back (but doesn't actually use any fuel). It has the highest DPS of
    any melee weapon in the game with the right perks; it does a base damage of
    92 per second, plus it does burn damage, and because it's flame-based it's
    affected by the Pyromaniac perk, which further buffs the damage by 50%.
    Although it doesn't pierce armor the way the Thermic Lance does and isn't as
    durable, it makes up for it with its pure damage, and should be one of your
    end-game melee weapons for sure (note: Jury Rigging pretty much required).
    Gehenna (unique Shishkebab)
    This is a unique Shishkebab added by the Gun Runners Pack, sold by
    Vendortron. It looks more weathered, does even more damage (116 + 5 burn DPS,
    well past the Thermic Lance), and is still effected by Pyromaniac, which
    brings the damage to up to truly earth shattering amounts, in an easy to
    maintain package.
    Side note: whenever I think of this weapon I think of the crazy demoness from
    the manhwa Aflame Inferno. Which makes using it all the more fun.
    [8.2] Blunt
    Bash, bash, bash! The best weapon here is Oh Baby! To be honest none of the
    others are even that interesting.
    Rolling Pin
    On come on a Rolling Pin? I'd rather have a knife then.
    It's a useful tool for digging out graves, for combat, not so much.
    Police Baton
    Meant as a non-lethal alternative to shooting people. Still pretty non-lethal
    I'll tell you that.
    Pool Cue
    If I hadn't played Fallout I would have never thought a pool cue would find
    use as a something to bash people with. But it is, and does it terribly. Most
    common amongst the thugs living in Freeside.
    Cattle Prod
    An interesting weapon that does next to no damage, but does do significant
    (50 points) of fatigue damage. This means you can poke people a couple of
    times with this, move a ways away, and then hit them with a real weapon until
    their sluggish souls depart. Still little more then a novelty, however. It
    also has an obscenely high melee skill requirement of 75.
    Tire Iron
    Tightening bolts on peoples heads since 2027! This is the best of the
    terrible melee weapons, but that's not much of a distinction.
    War Club
    Despite appearances, this weapon actually does decent mid-range damage.
    9 Iron
    Fore! No really, the most impressive thing about this weak golf club is its
    special attack's ability to knock people down, so you can prolong your
    bashing uninterupted.
    Nephi's Golf Driver (unique 9 Iron)
    This unique weapon is much more serious than the silly golf club. It does
    about double as much damage, just over 67 DPS, which a lot for a weapon with
    a skill requirement of just 25, as well as still allowing you to use the golf
    club's unique and wonderful special attack. However, the conditions you find
    it in are less than ideal; by the time you both reach Nephi and have the
    resources to kill him, you'll have moved past this weapon's caliber, so the
    only real reason to keep it is to use it in the A Slave Obeys challenge,
    which requires a golf club anyway.
    Nail Board
    A 2x4 with some nails through it. Response? "Meh."
    Baseball Bat
    The Baseball Bat is, to be frank, entirely unremarkable. The most interesting
    thing about it is that it accepts multiple weapon mods, but only if you get
    the Gun Runners Arsenal version, by which point you will have access to
    better weaponry. While it's not flat-out terrible, it just isn't impressive
    Weapon mods:
    Baseball bat nails - Increases damage by 6.
    Baseball bat cork core - Increases attack speed by 20%.
    Baseball bat maple body- Increases condition by 50%. 
    Dress Cane
    A cane whose primary use is by White Glove Society guards. How a cane edges
    out a bat in damage, I'll never know, but it does. It still sucks, and the
    White Glove security is easy to neutralize for it.
    Lead Pipe
    We all enjoy killing people with pieces of piping. It's a decent mid-low
    range weapon, but you should be setting your sights above bashing people in
    with a...lead...pipe.
    Humble Cudgel (Lead Pipe)
    The Humble Cudgel is, indeed, humble. Still, it does decent damage and if you
    arrived at Vegas early, you can seek this weapon out in the sewers under The
    Thorn to boost your damage output.
    Nuka Breaker
    Actually, screw that, this is better. This, a weathered Nuke Cola sign, has
    the same DPS but a higher damage, which translates into better armor
    penetration. It can be bought at Mick and Ralph's, so you don't have to crawl
    through a dusty old sewer, unless...well, you're poor, and you have to crawl
    through a dusty old sewer. It does bonus critical damage.
    Slow swinging and weak, which is strange, considering it's, well, a
    sledgehammer. Oh well, when the game tells you a lead pipe is better, a lead
    pipe is better.
    Old World Glory
    This is the best of weapons requiring only 50 melee skill, by a long mile,
    and if you somehow made it through The Divide without high enough equipment,
    this weapon may even be an upgrade. For most of us, however, it's little more
    than an aesthetic "also got" piece to be retrieved at the end of the DLC,
    because the stuff in it is far too mean to be impressed by an eagle on a
    X-2 Antenna
    As you might have noticed, the game doesn't really oblige us with too many
    mid-high range blunt melee weapons; those can all be found in the bladed
    category. Indeed, the only occupant of the category is this beauty. It does
    halfway decent damage in large chunks, and a heck of a lot more of it against
    robots. However, the Protonic Axe and Protonic Inversal Axes both do the
    same thing, have lower weapon skill requirements, higher base damage,
    higher damage against robots, and are easier to repair (this one REQUIRES
    Jury Rigging), so the most worthwhile thing about it is the novelty of
    swinging at people with a bit of metal and wiring you pulled off of the top
    of a satellite dish in a DLC.
    Super Sledge
    And so we jump right to the blunt trauma king, the "high tech" Super Sledge,
    aka the "real" Sledgehammer. It's an oversized hammer that kind of reminds
    me of the one in Skyrim. It deals mean damage in big chunks, but still
    can't match some of the higher-end bladed weapons in terms of pure damage,
    though it comes close.
    Oh, Baby! (unique Super Sledge)
    The Oh...ahem...is a unique Super Sledge found in a Nightstalker infested
    cave north of Johanasburg (or however it's spelled), where Marcus and the
    Super Mutant Colony resides. It is the be-all and end-all strongest blunt
    melee weapon in the game, and the second strongest melee weapon overall,
    after Pyromaniac Gehenna.
    [8.3] Thrown
    Throw, throw, throw! Very gimmicky, really, but having a few throwing spears
    early on can get you out of a sticky situation. Although the Protonic
    Inversal Throwing Axe is the best, it's also the rarest, and Throwing Spear,
    though common, is the staple.
    Throwing Knife
    Weak as kittens.
    Throwing Hatchet
    Barely better.
    Move along. Honest Hearts only.
    Throwing Spear
    The one throwing weapon of real note. It does 50 damage a spear and is
    extremely common, being carried by almost all Legionaries. The pack you get
    at the beginning of the game can really help out in a tough situation, but
    past the early game they turn into nothing more than another gimmick.
    Throwing Knife Spear
    A cosmic knife attached to a spear, Dead MOney only. It does significantly
    less damage than the Throwing Spear (42 vs. 50), but when you don't got much,
    you gotta use what you got.
    Protonic Throwing Axe
    Old World Blues only, this weapon does less damage than a throwing spear
    (still) but deals an addition 50 damage to robots. However, it's rare and
    fairly valuable, and more useful as a compact form of currency than as a
    serious weapon. Use bullets and turn this in for caps.
    Protonic Inversal Throwing Axe
    Even rarer than he Protonic Throwing Axe, this weapon does 20 more damage,
    puting it a grade ahead of the Throwing Spear (60 vs. 50), as well as doing
    the usual electrical damage against robots. Even rarer and even more
    expensive than the usual axe, making it even more lucrative to keep and sell.
    [9] Unarmed
    Although fairly gimmicky, unarmed is a fairly viable skill and weapons set if
    you find the right equipment and take the right perks.
    Boxing Gloves
    One damage a shot, but if you punch them enough they'll become unconcious
    from fatigue damage. Not recommended.
    Golden Gloves (unique Boxing Gloves)
    Found in a display case in the VIP Lounge of the Lucky 38. It does even more
    fatigue damage than the BOxing Gloves, but is still useless.
    Boxing Tape
    Oh come on, more? It does four times as much damage (a whole four per shot!)
    but less fatigue damage than the regular gloves.
    Brass Knuckles
    The weakest real unarmed weapon is the brass knuckles. As such it's entirely
    Bladed Gaunlet
    The next step up from Brass Knuckles. A bunch of crude blades strapped around
    a leather gaunlet; what's not to like?
    Cram Opener (unique Bladed Gaunlet)
    A unique weapon carried by Little Buster, a retiring bounty hunter in Camp
    MacCarren. By the time you get to him it's completely outclassed, so there's
    little to say.
    Scientist Glove
    A very weak glove worn by Big Mountain scientists before the Great War. It's
    not at all notable.
    Sterelizer Glove
    A semi-unique red version that does heat damage on a crit in addition to its
    weak normal damage.
    Corrosive Glove
    A semi-unique Scientist Glove that does acid damage in addition its weak
    normal damage on a crit.
    Dr. Mobius's Glove (unique Scientist Glove)
    A wacky weapon causes a heavy energy weapon and perception penalty to be
    applied to target on a hit. Critical hits deal both knockback and actually
    frenzy creatures and abominations; togethor this makes it semi-useful for
    crowd control and dealing with energy weapon-wielding foes, but...not really.
    Dr. Klein's Glove (unique Scientist Glove)
    The weaker counterpart to Dr. Mobius's Glove, this weapon has the same normal
    effect and a weaker crit effect, which reduces enemy Strength and DT by one.
    Saturnite Fist
    Now this is an interesting weapon. Added by the Old world Blues DLC, this
    weapon, actually the weakest Power Fist, has high damage relative to its low
    unarmed skill requirement of 45, and a decent, mid-range DPS. If you arrived
    at Big Mountain with some secondhard unarmed weapon, you'll find yourself
    replacing it with this in a heartbeat.
    Saturnite First Super-heated
    This is an improved golden-glow version of the Saturnite Fist that can be
    made with a regular Saturnite First through a process known only to the
    Toaster in the Sink, and only once you recover the right holotape. Recover
    that holotape and be quick about it, because this weapon, a straight upgrade
    over the regular fist, should serve you well up to the end, with a DPS over
    90 and additional heat damage on a critical hit. Combined with a low Unarmed
    cost of just 55, this makes for a great weapon staple that will power you
    through much of the game. None of the other weapons match it for a long time.
    Spiked Knuckles
    Brass Knuckles made of steel and with spikes on the guards, this weapon deals
    decent damage but isn't particularly impressive overall.
    Love and Hate (unique Spiked Knuckles)
    An amusing unique weapon that consists of painted spiked knuckles with the
    credos "love" and "hate" on the front, stained in blood. It's found on a
    Viper Gang leader in Bonnie Springs; although it's not a bad weapon, doing
    75 DPS, if you have the Old World Blues add-on the Saturnine First Super-
    heated just outclasses it.
    Yaoi Guai Gauntlet
    Honest Hearts only, this one has me scratching my head. It looks cool and
    takes a relatively high skill to use, yet does damage comparable Brass
    Knuckles. Regardless, avoid it.
    She's Embrace (unique Yaoi Guai Gaunlet)
    The reward for completing The Rite of Passage sidequest, this is a unique
    Yaoi Guai Gaunlet that has the stats that that weapon should have, at the
    minimum. It has a DPS of just 44, still less then the skill required to use
    Bear Trap First
    The Dead Money version of Honest Hearts's Yaoi Guai Gauntlet, although a bit
    more justified in the limited pool of stuff that you actually have. Getting
    through the DLC using unarmed attacks is extremely tough indeed.
    Weapon mods:
    Heavy duty springs - (+3 damage). 
    Power First
    The damage is pretty mediocre compared to the Saturnine Superheated, but if
    you get the Gun Runner's Arsenal version and slap on the attachments it does
    fairly decent damage. Still outclassed, however. Only the GRA version accepts
    Weapon mods:
    Chromed tubes - Increases condition by 100%.
    High capacity valves - Increases damage by 8.
    Ported chambers - Increases attack speed by 20%. 
    Greased Lightning (unique Power Fist)
    Now this is a worthy weapon. The Greased Lightning is what the Power Fist
    isn't - a good unarmed weapon. It's sold by Torres in Hidden Valley (and is
    thus readily accessible early on), and like the Superheated Saturnine Glove,
    deals enormous damage compared to its peers, clocking in at 96 DPS with an
    unarmed skill requirement of just 50. That's a 33% damage increase over a
    fully upgraded Power Fist+, for instance! It does this by increasing the
    swing rate by a large amount through the use of what is hinted to be a
    nuclear fission battery. The Saturnine First, Super-heated is still a
    slightly superior weapon in most cases, however, as Greased Lightning's
    higher damage is offset by the larger number of swings, which translates into
    a greater amount of damage negated by DT. Against unarmored enemies, however,
    it has a clear advantage.
    Salt-Upon-Wounds' Power First (unique Power Fist)
    The unique Power Fist wielded by Salt-Upon-Wounds and given to you upon
    completion of the Honest Hearts DLC. It does souped-up damage and deals
    additional posion damage after successful hits, but still simply can't match
    Greased Lightning's output, not by a mile.
    Mantis Gaunlet
    A unique-looking weapon fashioned from the forearm of a dead Giant Mantis,
    this weapon once again has a lower damage than Unarmed skill requirement,
    confusingly. It looks pretty badass, though.
    Embrace of the Mantis King!
    Added by the Gun Runner's Arsenal, this weapon is an improved Mantis Guanlet,
    dealing more damage over a greater range with a DPS of 65.7. It is sold at
    Mick and Ralph's and has a bonus critical multiplier on top of the regular
    gaunlet's bonus critical chance. Although the damage is fairly good, it's
    still not as good as the Saturnine Super-heated or Greased Lightning.
    Zap Glove
    The Zap Glove is a modified, electrified Ballistic Fist, and Unarmed Weapons'
    answer to Energy Weapons' Pulse Guns, Melees' Protonic Inversal Axes, and 
    Explosives' Pulse Grenades. In addition to dealing decent damage (but, again,
    not as much as the two mid-range kings), it does an addition 50 damage
    against robots, bringing the DPS to very nearly 110. It's also effective
    against Power Armor. This weapon is worth hanging on to for crippling any
    robots that cross your path. It is carried by the Brotherhood of Steel and
    sold by various merchants, but never found in the wild.
    Paladin Toaser (unique Zap Glove)
    Found near Black Mountain in Black Rock Cave, the Palidin Toaster is a unique
    version of the Zap Glove, guarded by Nightkin (pain in the ass to fight,
    unless you fixed Rhonda, in which case they will be friendly), that has its
    base damage souped up and its decor darkened. The Paladin Toaster is
    extremely powerful against robots and will deal nearly 120 DPS when punching
    Displacer Glove
    The Displacer Glove has the unique ability to push a target backwards,
    forcing them to come at you anew as you take another swing. The effectiveness
    of this differs: it works great against enemies like Ghouls or Spore
    Carriers, but is less useful for lunging enemies like Deathclaws or
    Cazadores, and frankly counter-productive against anything wielding a gun. It
    has a great DPS and should definetly be in your end-game arsenal.
    A unique Displacer Glove found on a dead Jackel member in Ruby Hill Mine,
    this powerful Displacer Glove has a boosted DPS that beats out even Greased
    Lightning and the Saturnine Fist Super-heated, as well as boasting the
    trademark knockback effect. This should be at the front of your end-game
    Ballistic Fist
    The Ballistic Fist is the offensive alternative to Pushy. Instead of pushing
    enemies away, the Ballistic Fist supplements damage with a wrist-mounted
    contact-triggered dougle-barrel shotgun. It has a slightly lower DPS, but
    does more damage per blow, so is better at negating heavy armor.
    Two-Step Goodbye (unique Ballistic Fist)
    The Two-Step Goodbye is a unique Ballistic Fist that actually deals lesser
    damage and has a reduced critical damage, but with a tradeoff: it has a high
    chance of scoring a critical hit, and if it does, the target will
    subsequently explode within two seconds of death, dealing great damage to
    any hostile nearby. It's a worthy offensive counterpart to Pushy when dealing
    with larger numbers, where the Fist of Rawr's slighly higher base damage is
    less important than the Two-Step Goodbye's splash damage.
    Fist of Rawr/Fist of North Rawr
    These two weapons are identical; which one you get depends on whether or not
    you enabled Wild Wasteland at the beginning of the game. The First of Rawr,
    a unique craftable weapon that can be made from a hand ripped off of the
    mini-boss Rawr in Lonesome Road, has an extremely high DPS of just under 98.
    This weapon benefits from an increased critical chance and critical damage
    boost, as well as dealing double damage to limbs, allowing it to cripple
    enemy arms and legs very easily.
    Industrial Hand
    This is an absolutely unique weapon found in four instances in The Divide
    that is the most damaging Unarmed weapon in the game, by a rather wide
    margin. The Industrial Hand works by circular sawing anyone that you're
    fighting, dealing continuous damage in a unique manner. Not only does it do
    a jaw-dropping 160 DPS, but it has the most item HP of any Unarmed weapon,
    taking almost 8000 uses before breaking, and to add frosting to the cake,
    it completely ignores DT! When you're not looking to cripple limbs and aren't
    invested in luck (and are thus using Rawr), this weapon matches Gehenna's
    damage output (best melee weapon), whilst also being more durable and
    ignoring all armor. Plus it only requires 75 Unarmed skill! For some reason.
    [10] [Contact info]
    You can e-mail me at a [underscore] bilogur [at] yahoo [dot] com. No spam,
    hate mail, yada yada. You know how it goes.
    [11] [Copyright]
    I was briefly tempted to copyleft it, but alas.
    This guide is (C) 2012 jimmythesnowman.  This may be not be reproduced under
    any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on
    any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written