There are a variety of weapons featured in Red Dead Redemption. They are essential to survival, as well as an integral part of everyday life in the American West. The player is able to use a range of weapons ranging from Civil War era manually operated weapons all the way to the cutting edge, fully automatic weapons of the time.
The player can carry every weapon that is acquired in inventory, but only eight are active for selection at once. Each weapon occupies a slot on the weapon inventory wheel. The player can switch between guns of the same slot. Only one handgun and one long gun (the Sawed-off Shotgun counts as a long gun) are visible on the character at any one time. When dueling or in certain cutscenes, Marston will use whichever pistol or revolver is currently equipped. The weapon inventory wheel menu sorts weapons (clockwise, from the top) by:
- Revolvers and Pistols
- Hunting Knife (replaced by Torch in Undead Nightmare)
- Shotguns (and Blunderbuss in Undead Nightmare)
- Scoped Rifles (and Explosive Rifle added by Liars and Cheats DLC)
- Rifles and Repeaters
- Thrown Weapons (and Tomahawk by Legends and Killers DLC, along with the Undead Bait, Boom Bait, and Holy Water added in Undead Nightmare)
Marston can also buy a Bandolier to hold twice as much ammunition for repeaters and rifles, as well as adding to his appearance (though it is not visible if wearing certain outfits). The bandolier has rifle rounds on it, pistol rounds are attached to the belt.
Ammunition for the weapons of Red Dead Redemption are split into seven distinct categories and two special categories exclusive to the Undead Nightmare DLC. Each type of ammunition is used in all of the weapons within that category (though, in reality, very few of the equivalent real-world firearms within a given class would be able to interchangeably use ammunition at the time of Red Dead Redemption).
- Revolver Ammo
- Pistol Ammo
- Repeater Ammo
- Rifle Ammo
- Shotgun Ammo
- Sniper Rifle Ammo
- Explosive Rounds (added by Liars and Cheats)
- Blunderbuss Ammo (exclusive to Undead Nightmare)
- Phosphorus Coating (exclusive to Undead Nightmare)
In Single Player, ammunition can be obtained from the dropped guns of enemies. Dropped guns shine to indicate that they can be walked over and collected for ammo. Ammunition can also be looted from the body of a killed enemy or be taken automatically after hogtying an enemy. Chests found throughout the world may also contain varying quantities of ammo along with other loot (such as money) as well as killed enemies.
One of the easiest ways to obtain ammunition is from a Safehouse; each bedroom (except rented ones) contains a chest with a quantity of ammunition, but types and amounts are determined randomly (the amount of money in them is determined randomly as well). The Improved Campsite has the same function, but instead the ammo goes into the satchel without player action. To maximize the amount of ammunition the player obtains from the Safehouse chests and the Improved Campsite, it is best to complete Rank 5 of the Sharpshooter Challenges.
In Multiplayer, boxes can be found on the map (both in Free Roam and in Game Modes) which contain ammunition for all weapons (except for the Explosive Rifle). Ammo can also be obtained in the same manner in Single Player by walking over the guns of killed enemies.
Ammunition can also be purchased from Gunsmiths which are located in certain towns. The price of ammunition depends on the map location, type of ammunition, and the number of boxes purchased.
All of the firearms featured in Red Dead Redemption are modeled after real world weapons. Weapon details are simplified, however. For example, all revolvers use Revolver Ammo - there is no distinction between different calibers. In the charts below, links are provided to the closest approximations of the real world inspiration for each in-game firearm.
Pistols and RevolversEdit
Rifles and RepeatersEdit
Scoped Rifles are located at the bottom-right of weapon selection menu.
|Rolling Block Rifle||Remington Rolling Block Rifle|
|Carcano Rifle*||Carcano Model 91/38 Short Rifle|
|Explosive Rifle||Mauser Model 1918 Anti-Tank Rifle|
Shotguns are located at the right of weapon selection menu.
|Double-barreled Shotgun||Colt Model 1878 Hammer Shotgun|
|Sawed-off Shotgun||Colt Model 1883 Hammerless Shotgun|
|Pump-action Shotgun||Winchester Model 1897 Shotgun|
|Semi-auto Shotgun*||Browning Auto-5 Shotgun|
* Indicates rare weapon needed for the Exquisite Taste achievement/trophy.
Top Left of weapon selection menu.
In addition to firearms, the player can obtain various thrown weapons:
- Fire Bottle
- Throwing Knives
- Tomahawk (added by Legends and Killers)
- Holy Water (exclusive to Undead Nightmare)
- Undead Bait (exclusive to Undead Nightmare)
- Boom Bait (exclusive to Undead Nightmare)
These weapons are stationary and cannot be directly moved by the player from the location of deployment:
Other than the above, there are other types of weapons and equipment the player can select from the weapon wheel.
The following weapons are added by DLCs. The Tomahawk and Explosive Rifle are added to single player, multiplayer, and Undead Nightmare while the remaining weapons are available within Undead Nightmare only.
- Main article: Weapons in Redemption/stats
PVP Weapon LocationsEdit
- Main article: Weapon Locations in PVP
Each map location and game mode in multiplayer provides a different set of weapons to players. See the main article for details.
- Main article: Multiplayer Challenges/Weapon Challenges
When using most guns, aiming needs to be precise. Sometimes this may be tricky but there are some ways that may improve your accuracy and precision. First of all, by taking advantage of the aim assist in the game, it's easy to take out multiple enemies in seconds. When the enemy is near the center of your screen, holding down the aim button will lock on to the enemy, depending on how close they are; this snap provides good accuracy. To better utilize the aim assist, after firing multiple shots or killing an enemy, briefly stop aiming and aim again quickly to lock on to the next enemy. However, this still may take a long time to kill the enemy. After having mastered the technique, practice aiming up slightly after locking on until successfully obtaining a perfect headshot. However, you may not need to use this technique depending on the weapon being used.
Experienced players often utilise a technique of rolling, then locking onto an enemy, tapping the thumbstick up and then immediately firing, as a way of simultaneously dodging fire and also pulling off a headshot. This technique is difficult to master, as it requires precise knowledge of how far to tap the thumbstick for the headshot. This technique is best used with a rifle or revolver from medium to close range. It also can be used for long ranges, as experienced players can use a Henry Repeater or a Bolt Action Rifle and get a headshot from more than 100 yards away.
Remember that players using Dead Eye can always outshoot you if you let them, so aiming for the head is the best option. If they do use Dead Eye, find some cover and shoot them when they reload. Use shotguns only at very close range and pistols at no further than mid-range. Repeaters are accurate at most ranges, although sniper rifles are better if the target is very far away.
- The Throwing Knife And Knife are the only weapons not appearing in Undead Nightmare due to the torch replacing the Knife but the Throwing Knife for an unknown reason.
- In the image below it shows John Marston buying a Mauser Pistol from the Gunsmith in Armadillo (1 out of 6) although it can only be bought at the gunsmith in Blackwater.
There are a number of achievements/trophies related to the use and ownership of weapons. Unlike the challenges listed above, these achievements are not limited to Multiplayer sessions and can be unlocked during the Singleplayer campaign.
Purchase a rare weapon from a gunsmith.
Get 250 headshots in any game mode.
Kill 500 enemies with any pistol or revolver in any game mode.
Kill 500 enemies with any rifle, repeater, or shotgun in any game mode.
Kill 500 enemies with a mounted weapon in any game mode.
Get a headshot while in Expert Mode in Singleplayer.