For the Pistol in BioShock and BioShock 2 Multiplayer, see Pistol (Rapture).
BSI Weapons 3
The BROADSIDER: Columbia's favorite! It's easy to find ammunition for this popular, quick-firing pistol.
Fink Manufacturing advertisement

The Broadsider, usually referred to simply as the Pistol, is a handgun featured in BioShock Infinite. It is the first firearm acquired by Booker DeWitt, and is very common early in the game.


The Pistol is a very common weapon early on, acquired almost immediately after the Sky-Hook at the beginning of the game. It can be found on most armed Columbia Police officers, eventually being used with the Machine Gun by standard enemies. It is also used frequently by Columbian citizens, such as those encountered in Shantytown, as well as occasionally being used by the Vox Populi. It is one of the more versatile weapons, with single shots serving to be remarkably accurate, while its potentially high rate of fire allows it to be useful in close quarters. It has a reasonably large magazine of 12 rounds, which can be upgraded to 18 rounds, which accompanies its fast reload time, making the Broadsider capable of firing with little delay if needed. It also has a relatively large ammunition reserve of nine standard magazines, which is also uniquely upgradable, giving the Broadsider a remarkable amount of cheap and common ammunition even later in the game. The Broadsider also has an almost immediate draw speed, making it a very effective backup weapon which can be drawn immediately in emergencies. It also boasts a huge critical damage bonus, capable of killing many standard enemies in one headshot early in the game, allowing the player to dispatch enemies quickly while conserving ammunition.

However, the Pistol's largest drawback is its relatively low damage, requiring quite a few more shots to take down enemies than many other weapons in the game, often becoming overshadowed by the Machine Gun in terms of versatility for fighting standard enemies. Indeed, the Pistol loses effectiveness against enemies such as Crows and Motorized Patriots for its low damage, and is generally less effective than the Shotgun and Carbine, at short and long range respectively. Furthermore, the weapon itself is relatively rare later in the game, which means that it is difficult to continue using the Pistol throughout the game as other weapons are picked up and used in specific situations. As such, the Pistol is typically used more often at the beginning of the game.

If the player downloaded the Season Pass and acquires the damage upgrade, everything is possible, including killing Handymen on anywhere else (also in 1999 Mode).

The Pistol can hold up to 12 rounds in a magazine, plus 108 rounds in reserve.

BSI Weapons 3


  • Common early on
  • Quick rate of fire
  • Fast reload time
  • Ammunition common
  • Huge amount of critical damage
  • Quick Handed decreases reload time further


  • Low damage (unless Season Pass is downloaded)
  • Becomes rare in later levels
  • Easily surpassed by other weapons such as the Hand Cannon




Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The Broadsider is based on the real life Mauser C96 semi-automatic pistol, but it loads from a box magazine, a feature included on the M712 "Schnellfeuer" variant, which appeared in 1932. The C96 or Pistol is also known for its famous use by German Soldiers during the First and Second World Wars.
  • "Acta Non Verba", Latin for "Deeds, not Words" in enscribed on the side of the weapon.
  • The player technically receives their first Broadsider at the very start of the game, given to Booker in a wooden case, but it's dropped when the rocket to Columbia lifts off, so the player isn't actually able to use it until later.
  • In the 2011 VGA demo, a gold-plated variant is found in Major's Notions, Sundries and Novelties among other gold-plated novelties, which explains its own distinctive hue. If the player purchased the Season Pass DLC, the pistol will have a similar gold-plated texture as well as a damage upgrade. Also, if the player fully upgraded a pistol, the pistol will also have a gold-plated texture.
  • If you go into ironsights with the pistol, it is very noticeable that the reverse side of the magazine ejector lever is transparent. It is most likely that the reverse side of the lever does not exist at all as part of the 3D model. This is often done to reduce the poly-count of a 3D asset in development.
  • It is unknown how or why Booker has a Columbian Broadsider in his office (visible in his dream-world, when Elizabeth brings him back to the past, and in the post-credits scene). It is possible it is there to represent a normal Mauser C96 despite the fact that the dream-world is supposed to take place in 1893, three years before the Mauser C96 was for sale.
  • It is unknown how Booker starts with a maximum amount of pistol ammunition.
    • Booker did, however, have a Broadsider initially. His character model also has him wearing a holster with magazine pouches, which could account for his having any ammo at all. 
  • The achievement/trophy A Real Pistol requires 25 kills with the Pistol to unlock.
  • Early in development, a pistol looking very much like the Parabellum P’08, better known as the “Luger”, was considered alongside the C/96 Mauser as the pistol to be used by Columbia forces and the main character.
  • Early Concept art for the Broadsider shows a Vox variant which included a module to increase damage, a flash suppressor or muzzle break and a small scope, making it a precise and powerful long-range weapon. Like the other custom Vox weapons, parts were painted red and pieces of red cloth were attached to the weapon.


  1. Detailed list of weapon and boss hp and damage stats from Gamespot