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For the Pistol in BioShock Infinite, see Pistol (Columbia).

The Pistol is a weapon that the player can use in BioShock and BioShock 2 Multiplayer. Pistols have a good rate of fire, good range and accuracy, and deal a moderate amount of damage.


Main article: BioShock

The Pistol is the first ranged weapon obtained in BioShock. This weapon can be first obtained in Welcome to Rapture. The damage and clip size can be upgraded at a Power to the People station, making the Pistol a far more effective weapon. Headshots with the Pistol will inflict 400% damage against Splicers.

Power to the People Upgrades[]

  • 300% Magazine Size Increase
  • 25% Damage Increase

Ammunition Types - Pistol[]

  • Standard Pistol Rounds - standard ammunition for the Pistol, inflict a moderate amount of (piercing) damage.
  • Armor-Piercing Pistol Rounds - rare ammunition for the Pistol, inflict a high amount of (piercing) damage against Security Devices and Big Daddies.
  • Antipersonnel Pistol Rounds - rare and inventable ammunition for the Pistol, inflict a high amount of (piercing) damage against Splicers.


  • With the ability to aim down the iron sights, this weapon is efficient for sniping before acquiring the Crossbow.
  • Despite its ability to aim down sights, firing from the hip is arguably more accurate, with very tight crosshairs and the added benefit of no idle sway.
  • On lower difficulties, a well-placed headshot will kill any Splicer in one shot in the earlier levels of the game, even with standard ammunition equipped. Thus, it is possible for a skilled player to save up their special ammo for later. Even on higher difficulties, a headshot with a pistol is one of the most damaging attacks and can help quickly deal with enemies before more powerful weapons are located.
  • Likewise, the damage upgrade will extend the period where the player can one-shot a Splicer with standard ammo. It also makes it easier to bodyshot an enemy to death.
  • Armor-Piercing Rounds are effective against machinery and Big Daddies. This makes the Pistol a good weapon when disposing of Security Bots and Security Cameras, as well as being a weapon of choice if the player wishes to provoke a Bouncer into entering a fight or a trap, though slightly less effective than the Machine Gun considering they are rare and not inventable.
  • Antipersonnel rounds are much more effective at dispatching Splicers, who get more and more durable towards the end of the game. As these rounds benefit from headshots and are inventable, consider choosing them as your main ammunition for the pistol, as long as one has sufficient components needed to craft them.
  • The ammo extension upgrade makes this weapon spammable. If the player isn't particularly good at aiming, or simply low on other forms of ammo, the commonness of Pistol ammo makes it possible to simply fire away at an enemy until they die. Be careful when spamming, though, as the maximum rare and inventable ammo the player can hold will be housed in a single clip, and the standard ammo in two.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Electro Bolt will stun the enemy in place, making it easier for the player to score a headshot.
  • Winter Blast will freeze the enemy in place for even longer as well as make them more vulnerable to damage, but if killed their corpse will shatter, leaving no loot.
  • Insect Swarm leaves splicers unable to retaliate, allowing the player to try for a headshot

Recommended Tonics[]

Help Caption[]

Press _ to fire.

Base ammo: .38 caliber rounds --
Moderate amount of piercing

Advanced ammo: .38 caliber
armor-piercing rounds -- Moderate
amount of armor-piercing damage.

Inventable ammo: .38 caliber
antipersonnel rounds -- Moderate
amount of antipersonnel damage.



  •  Icon pc.png Icon xbox.png If the player has the Damage Increase upgrade and the Natural Camouflage Tonic, the camouflage's transparent effect will not be applied to the red cylinder and its metal mount. The player's hand and the rest of the weapon will fade when the player stands still, but the damage upgrade will not. (Discovered on a Pistol with the Damage Increase and Clip Size Increase upgrades).

BioShock 2 Multiplayer[]

Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer

The Pistol returns as a usable weapon in multiplayer, and is unlocked right from the start. It is listed as an accurate and moderately damaging weapon, good for mid-range combat.

Multiplayer Upgrades[]

  • Automatic Firing Mode: Unlocked at Rank 5. Allows the Pistol to fire on full-auto, but reduces its maximum fire rate.
  • Damage Upgrade: Unlocked at Rank 27. Increases the Pistol's damage output at the expense of fire rate.


  • If the player is trying to figure out their fighting style in the multiplayer, the Pistol's versatility makes it an ideal choice.
  • The Pistol's high accuracy allows the player to reliably score headshots as well as snipe.
  • This weapon is capable of killing any enemy in four shots, regardless of range.
  • The Pistol's high damage output makes it a reliable backup weapon, as it can easily finish off an injured enemy in a couple of shots.
  • The Pistol's Automatic Firing Mode isn't particularly useful, as tapping the fire button will allow the user to imitate the enhancement's effects without decreasing the weapon's fire rate.
  • The Pistol's Damage Upgrade allows the user to snipe much more effectively, killing enemies in three shots (two, if both of them are headshots). On the other hand, the weapon's effectiveness in direct combat is severely decreased, and the penalty for missing becomes much larger. As such, it's only recommended for very accurate players.
  • The Pistol's Extended Clip, on the other hand, increases its effectiveness in direct combat. Not only is the penalty for missing reduced, but it'll allow the player to kill two enemies in a single clip and still have a bullet to spare.

Complementary Weapons[]

  • The Shotgun's potency in close combat will cover the Pistol's weakness there. In addition, a single hit from the Shotgun followed by two Pistol shots will kill any enemy in less than a second, faster than with any other weapon (save for an Elephant Gun headshot).
  • The Crossbow's inability to kill enemies in a single headshot can be compensated for with a single hit from the Pistol.
  • The Elephant Gun is also very good at sniping, as well as mid-range combat. The Pistol will cover this weapon's difficulty of use, and can be used to "clean up" botched kill attempts.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Electro Bolt will temporarily lock the enemy in place, allowing for an easy headshot.
  • Incinerate! will drastically decrease the amount of bullets needed to kill an enemy, down to a mimimum of two.
  • Winter Blast will allow the player to kill the target in three shots (two, with the Damage Upgrade).
  • Houdini will allow the player to ambush enemies, securing an advantage against the target.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • Headhunter will decrease the number of bullets needed to kill an enemy with headshots, increasing the weapon's sniping effectiveness.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • After the capacity upgrade, it is visible that the primers on the rounds are already used even though they are about to be fired.
  • The pistol that Jack actually uses, the one found in the baby carriage, is extremely large, and is labeled "Revolver". Other pistols found in the game, labeled "Pistol" and dropped by enemies, are smaller. The "Revolver" is probably a Webley Mk VI, a service revolver used by the British Army and originally chambered for .455 caliber ammunition, while the "Pistols" appear to be Webley Mk IV, which are chambered for .38 caliber ammunition.[1] The game texts also refer to the gun as a .38. Jack's Pistol is larger to make sure that the player does not miss it. A second Pistol that is labeled Revolver can be found next to a corpse in the basement of the Little Sister Orphanage in the Apollo Square level of BioShock, and a third Revolver can be found next to a corpse propped against the wall near the entrance to the elevator near the Little Sister Orphanage in Apollo Square.
  • When Jack reloads the Pistol, he replaces the entire cylinder. This is rather unusual, the Webley Mk IV and Mark VI did not have this feature. Replacing the cylinder was more common on Cap and Ball revolvers (such as the Colt 1851 Navy[2]), where reloading took longer due to it loading separate gunpowder and bullets, not normal cartridges.
    • Certain version of the Webley series did however support moon clips for faster reloads.
    • The Harrington & Richardson 925 model did have this feature, carried over from its earlier evolution from a cap and ball pistol. It is possible the developers mixed the features of the two weapons.
  • The Pistol was originally supposed to be a lot less effective of a weapon than it is in current form. It had a very slow rate of fire because it was single action, as seen in the "Hunting the Big Daddy" video.[3]
  • The Pistol is a double-action revolver, yet the hammer is always cocked after each shot (something that isn't true for double or single action revolvers). This is likely a leftover from the single-action animation mentioned above, where Jack would manually cock the hammer after each shot before returning the weapon to its aiming position. This also explains Jack holding the Pistol in one hand, while the Multiplayer characters hold it in both. In BioShock Leadhead Splicers use the Pistol in a single-action manner, holding their left hand over the hammer and cocking it after each shot.
  • When Jack is done reloading, he flicks his wrist to connect the cylinder with the gun. Doing this in real life is not recommended, as it has a large chance of misaligning the cylinder as well as jerking the cartridges out of the barrel, and possibly injuring the user's wrist.
  • Like all other upgrades, the Pistol's upgrades are visibly cobbled from scrap metal, the most obvious being what looks like a fruit can as the outer casing of the capacity upgrade.
  • A fourth multiplayer upgrade can be seen in Deco Devolution, BioShock 2's official artbook, and looks like an Accuracy Increase upgrade with two lenses mounted on the Pistol's barrel. It is not explained why this upgrade was not retained for the game as all the others upgrades on the artbook are present in BioShock 2 Multiplayer.
  • In BioShock 2, the Splicers use the same revolver as they did in the original BioShock. However, the pistol cannot be looted by the player and is only useful as a projectile to throw with Telekinesis.
  • The clip size upgrade in BioShock would be rather odd in real life, as it would increase horizontal recoil (in this case, to the right) which would make it a lot less accurate. A better solution would have been to add an extension on the other side, as is the case with the Shotgun in BioShock 2.
  • If one were to enter the pause menu in the middle of the reload animation, they will see that the pistol's barrel is capable of flipping down at about a 100 degree angle as Jack to replaces the entire cylinder. This is unusual, seeing as the real Webleys can only break at angles of around 90 degrees.
    • Another way to study the reload animation (not only for the pistol, but any other weapon) in detail is to use the 'slomo' command, however this solution can only be utilized by PC players.
  • The Automatic firing upgrade for the pistol appears to be attached to the gun's frame, unlike the extended magazine upgrade, which, understandably, is replaced with each reload of the weapon
  • The pistol's damage upgrade thumbnail image is identical to that of the Tommy Gun's recoil decrease upgrade.
  • A pistol labeled as "Broken Pistol" can be found next to a Splicer who committed suicide with the said gun in Climate Control of Operations in Minerva's Den.


  1. Webley Mk IV revolver on Wikipedia
  2. Colt 1851 Navy Revolver on Wikipedia
  3. Hunting The Big Daddy video at