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Fallout 3

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Nice, but where's the trigger?

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Fallout 3 (2008)

Fallout 3 is a critically acclaimed multiple-award winning action RPG video game, set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of Washington, DC as well as chunks of nearby Virginia and Maryland. It is the third main installment of the Fallout series. Fallout 3 represents a major departure from the isometric, turn-based gameplay of previous installments, opting for a first or third-person perspective with real-time combat.

As per usual in the series, players control a customizable protagonist known as the Lone Wanderer, formerly a Vault Dweller of Vault 101, who ventures into the Capital Wasteland in search of their father, who has mysteriously left the Vault against the orders of Vault authorities. There you wander the wasteland, meeting a detachment of the Brotherhood of Steel, the remnants of the Enclave, an army of Super Mutants from a nearby Vault, the Galaxy News Radio station and its DJ Three Dog, and various other characters and locations. The game was released October 2008 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Upon release, the game recieved critical acclaim and features voice acting talent from famous actors such as Ron Perlman, Malcolm McDowell, and Liam Neeson.

A variety of DLC was released for Fallout 3, the first being Operation: Anchorage, a simulation of the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska during the Sino-American War. The second was The Pitt, in which the character explores the ruins of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where you find it filled with raiders enslaving people to work in the steel mills. The third DLC was Broken Steel, a continuation of the game's main story. The fourth DLC was Point Lookout, where the character travels to the ruins of the Point Lookout State Park, Maryland, turned into an irradiated swampland filled with inbred mutants and cults. The final DLC was Mothership Zeta, where the character is abducted by aliens and leads a fight between captured humans from various eras of history against their alien captors.

The following weapons appear in the video game Fallout 3:


"N99 10mm Pistol"

One of the most common weapons in the game, the N99 is used by almost all factions. The weapon itself is largely based on a Desert Eagle, but with a bulked-up front end which has a metal canister-like tube underneath of which its purpose is unclear. A unique variant is carried by the Enclave's Colonel Augustus Autumn, and a silenced variant is used by Mr. Burke as well as being infrequently found across the DC area.

Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark I - .357 Magnum
The in-game model of the N99 10mm Pistol.
The silenced variant's model.
The Operation: Anchorage version, with a deeper blued finish and wooden grips.
The suppressed Operation: Anchorage version.
The Lone Wanderer holds his 10mm Pistol as he looks at the giant atom bomb in the center of Megaton.
The Lone Wanderer reloads his 10mm.
The Lone Wanderer wields a Silenced 10mm Pistol in the market of Rivet City.

Smith & Wesson 2nd Model

The ".32 Pistol" is modelled after the Smith & Wesson Model 2 Double Action, though the 2nd Model was only chambered in .38 S&W. The player character's Father (voiced by Liam Neeson) uses one, and has a number of them stashed at his hideout, and a unique variant is used by escaped slave Wild Bill in The Pitt; it is also frequently used by Raiders and other low-level characters. It is not a particularly useful weapon, as it deals a very low amount of damage and has a small 5-round cylinder.

Smith & Wesson 2nd Model - .38 S&W
The in-game model for the ".32 Pistol". Note the Smith & Wesson logo on the grip. The textures on the other side of the revolver are identical and as such, the left side of the grip contains a reversed S&W logo.
The Lone Wanderer eyes a destroyed bridge, Smith & Wesson 2nd Model in hand.
Later on in Megaton, he begins to reload the revolver...
...until it jams. All firearms in Fallout 3 tend to jam more and more as their condition worsens until they finally break.

Smith & Wesson Model 29

The Smith & Wesson Model 29 appears as the "Scoped .44 Magnum". As the name implies, it is fitted with an unremovable scope. An unscoped version is used by the "Mysterious Stranger", who briefly appears during combat through a Perk to finish off wounded enemies. Another unscoped version is used by Paulson from the Mothership Zeta DLC and can be obtained by killing Paulson and looting his dead body or by making him drop the gun through various means (it should be noted that Paulson is from the mid-19th century, making his use of a Model 29 anachronistic). This is the only way to acquire an unscoped Model 29 legitimately. Paulson's Revolver is also unique in that it fires a spread of 9 pellets, presumably meant to represent ratshot rounds. A more powerful unique variant called the "Blackhawk" can be obtained from Agatha, but the gun has no relation to the Ruger revolver of the same name; another unique variant, called "Callahan's Magnum" can be found inside the Pentagon depending on how the player completes "Who Dares Wins", the final quest of Broken Steel.

Smith & Wesson Model 29 - .44 Magnum
The in-game model of the S&W Model 29.
The scopeless version used by the Mysterious Stranger and Paulson.
The Lone Wanderer looks out at the Jefferson Memorial from Rivet City with his Scoped .44 Magnum.
The Lone Wanderer attempts to reload his .44...
...but instead, the weapon jams. This leaves the Wanderer questioning how he has bad enough luck to jam a revolver. The gun is "unjammed" by apparently spinning its cylinder.

Shansi Type 17

The "Chinese Pistol", as its name implies, is based on the Shansi Type 17, a Chinese copy of the Mauser C96 in .45 ACP. The Fallout 3 version, however, is chambered for 10mm. It is mostly used by raiders and Chinese Remnant Soldiers, as well as some simulated Chinese troops in the Operation Anchorage DLC. The reload animation always features ten rounds being loaded regardless of how many are left in the magazine, and the clip is incorrectly inserted along with the cartridges which visually appear to be some sort of bottlenecked caliber. Despite being chambered for the same cartridge as the N99, the Shansi deals a much lower amount of damage than the 10mm Pistol, on par with the BB gun; it is, however, twice as durable than the N99. A unique version, the Zhu-Rong v418 Chinese Pistol, can be found in the L.O.B. Enterprises building; this variant fires incendiary bullets that sets its targets on fire.

Shansi Type 17 - .45 ACP
The Shansi Type 17's in-game model. The markings on the weapon indicate that it was manufactured in the year 18 of the Republic of China calendar (1929) and are written in traditional Chinese; while somewhat confusing in the context of the game's lore, they are accurate to the real pistol.
The Lone Wanderer heads into the town of Springvale with a Chinese Pistol. Note the rather worrying lack of a firing pin.
As he leaves Megaton, he decides to reload his pistol...
...and clear a jam; this is apparently caused by the hammer spontaneously uncocking itself.

Submachine Guns

"10mm Submachine Gun"

The "10mm Submachine Gun" is the only SMG in the game. Its design essentially consists of the receiver of a Browning M2HB that has been reversed and made into a gun similar to the defunct Heckler & Koch SMG prototype, along with a pistol grip and trigger guard reminiscent of the Thompson line of submachine guns. A unique variant is used by fortune hunter Sydney and can be given to the player by choosing to side with her in the quest "Stealing Independence".

Browning M2HB - .50 BMG
Heckler & Koch SMG II - 9x19mm Parabellum
The model for the "10mm SMG". Note the odd fire selector markings and the underfolding stock, which is never used.
The Lone Wanderer ventures across the Wasteland with his trusty 10mm SMG.
The Lone Wanderer reloads his 10mm SMG. The textured cartridge in the magazine appears to resemble a .44 Magnum round.
Having wandered into the Metro of DC, the Lone Wanderer uses his submachine gun correctly and removes a Ghoul's head from existence.


"Chinese Assault Rifle"

The more powerful of the two assault rifles, the "Chinese Assault Rifle" is clearly meant to evoke the AK family of weapons. In the game, it was designed and manufactured by Chinese industrial conglomerate Norinco for the People's Liberation Army during the Resource Wars. It uses a fictional receiver similar in layout to the AK, but also combines design traits from other weapons such as the handguard, barrel assembly and rear sight like ones used on the RPD, with the gas piston and the barrel simply turned upside down, along with a stock from the AS Val. The rifle in game is chambered for 5.56x45mm rounds, but the magazine it uses is curved like one that loads 7.62x39mm cartridges; the world model for 5.56mm ammo pickups is depicted as a Chinese Assault Rifle's magazine. The Xuanlong Assault Rifle, a unique version that deals more damage and has a 36-round magazine, can be acquired after completing the unmarked quest "Jiggs' Loot".

RPD - 7.62x39mm
AS Val - 9x39mm
The in-game model of the Chinese Assault Rifle.
The Operation: Anchorage version of the rifle.
The Lone Wanderer overlooks the town of Megaton while wielding a Chinese Assault Rifle.
The Lone Wanderer reloads his Chinese Assault Rifle. Note the two-position "safe-fire" fire selector and the partially-obscured markings that read "T 93 sh" on the first line and "79496" on the second.

Heckler & Koch G3

An early Heckler & Koch G3 appears as the "R91 Assault Rifle", but chambers 5.56mm NATO rounds, like the HK33; the number in the name obviously references the HK91. A different version, the "Infiltrator" and its unique version, the "Perforator", can be found in The Pitt. There are several notable cosmetic differences between the standard R91 and the Infiltrator: the weapon is now black, stockless, silenced, and equipped with a scope along with an extended magazine; despite this, it has an ammo capacity of 24 rounds, the same as the basic R91. The R91 can be found on most mid level enemies, specifically Talon Company mercenaries as well as simulated US Army troops during the Anchorage simulation.

Heckler & Koch G3 - 7.62x51mm NATO
The in-game model for the R91. Note the slight curve to the magazine, similar to those used by the CETME Rifles. The trigger group has also been compressed vertically, presumably to reuse animations for other weapons.
The R91 used in the Operation: Anchorage DLC, which has a slightly green tint.
The Infiltrator variant of the G3 from The Pitt.
The Lone Wanderer prepares to enter the urban ruins of DC, Assault Rifle in hand.
Later, while fighting some raiders, he reloads his Assault Rifle near a ruined highway overpass. Note the selector set to semi-auto.
The R91 on the Lone Wanderer's back in the original trailer.

"Hunting Rifle"

The "Hunting Rifle" appears to be a Mauser type bolt-action rifle, and resembles the Winchester Model 70 series. Bizarrely, it uses the same .32 caliber pistol rounds that the Smith & Wesson .32 revolver uses, though the rounds seen in the magazine and the cases ejected appear to be .308 rounds. This weapon is often the very first rifle type firearm the Lone Wanderer can acquire after leaving Vault 101 for the first time (not counting the BB gun, which is technically not a firearm). This weapon is very accurate, and has the best zoom aside from the scoped weapons. While the standard Hunting Rifle has spread, unlike the Sniper Rifle (and the Hunting Rifle's unique variant Ol' Painless), it's still accurate enough for mid-range sniping, but a very high skill level is needed for sniping outside of VATS range.

Winchester Model 70 - .30-06
The model of the Hunting Rifle.
The Lone Wanderer enters Megaton with a Hunting Rifle.
The Lone Wanderer reloads the Hunting Rifle. Note the textured cartridge on the magazine which is definitely not .32 S&W.

"Sniper Rifle"

The "Sniper Rifle" appears to be based on the "DKS-501" from the previous games. It is the only weapon chambered for .308 caliber and is semi-auto. There are two unique versions of the rifle: the Reservist's Rifle, and the Victory Rifle. The Reservist's Rifle uses less AP in V.A.T.S. but only holds 3 rounds in a magazine, while the Victory Rifle can knock down opponents on critical hits and is much more durable at the cost of less frequent crits. The Sniper Rifle is the top-tier long-range weapon when it comes down to a marksman role. It has a scope and deals much more damage than the Hunting Rifle, but has a very rare ammo type and is a very fragile gun, requiring constant repairs to be made by the player. The Sniper Rifle has very noticeable sway to it when manually aimed but it can be reduced with either a higher level in the "Small Guns" skill or when in sneak mode. At 100 points in Small Guns, the scope has no sway at all, though even at 100 points in said skill, having either of your arms crippled will result in severe swaying while using the scope.

Even without the Bloody Mess perk, Sniper Rifles can result in some fantastically gory kills, usually with the enemy's skull exploding. Weaker enemies frequently have several limbs blown off or are even reduced to mulch by a single shot.

The in-game model for the "Sniper Rifle".
Up high on an overpass, the Lone Wanderer looks out at the Capital Wasteland with a Sniper Rifle.
After leaving his highway perch, the Lone Wanderer reloads his Sniper Rifle.
Sighting up a distant Enclave soldier with the scope. Despite the crosshair not being centered on the head, this will result in a headshot; this is because the gun fires slightly high and to the right.

Henry 1860

A rare iron-framed Henry 1860 appears in Point Lookout, chambered for 10mm and called the "Lever-Action Rifle". The rifle is fitted with a wooden handguard, similar to that on the Henry's successor, the Winchester Model 1866. It is used by a variety of the inhabitants of Point Lookout. A unique version of the rifle, named the "Backwater Rifle", which has a very high critical hit chance and can be found in a Chinese Intelligence Bunker if the player completes the quest "The Velvet Curtain". Strangely, despite chambering 10mm, the Lever-Action Rifle only holds 10 rounds in its tube.

In the base game, the Henry also appears as "Lincoln's Repeater", a one-of-a-kind rifle based on the real Henry 1860 that was presented to Abraham Lincoln in 1860. This variant is brass-framed and has the same engraving as on the real rifle. It is also chambered in .44 Magnum instead of .44 rimfire, presumably for gameplay purposes; however, in the game files, there exist assets for a ".44 caliber center fire" round, which was meant to be used in Lincoln's Repeater. Its description as centerfire rounds however still makes it an incorrect chambering; this possibly resulted from the fact that .44-40 WCF is a common chambering for modern Henry replicas. Lincoln's Repeater is a very high-powered rifle, dealing 25 more damage than the Hunting Rifle, and 10 more damage than the Sniper Rifle. While it lacks a scope, it remains highly accurate at long range as it has a spread factor of 0. It also has 3 times the ammo capacity of either of the other two rifles. Rather strangely, Lincoln's Repeater can only be repaired with Hunting Rifles, though this feature was likely implemented for gameplay reasons as the repeater is the only Henry rifle in the game. However, the 10mm version from the Point Lookout DLC cannot be used to repair Lincoln's Repeater. Interestingly, a cut HUD icon features Lincoln's Repeater with an appearance more close to its real world inspiration, as no handguard is present on the rifle, along with the follower tab being positioned at the rear of the magazine tube. Likely an oversight, the Henry's hammer flicks backwards when the rifle is fired as if it was a double action hammer.

Both versions of the Henry are quite fragile guns; the Lever-Action Rifle will break after 250 shots, and Lincoln's Repeater breaks after 400. The Backwater Rifle is the most durable at being capable of firing 519 shots before breaking.

New Original Henry Iron Frame - .44-40 WCF
The model for the "Lever-Action Rifle". Note that the follower tab has been moved to the front of the handguard, although it is never used when reloading.
The Lone Wanderer using a Lever-Action Rifle on one of Point Lookout's more hostile inhabitants.
Henry 1860 - .44 rimfire
The model for "Lincoln's Repeater".
The Lone Wanderer, clad in Brotherhood Outcast Power Armor, takes on a super mutant with an old age rifle. Note the .223 caliber casing incorrectly ejected by the repeater.

"Gauss Rifle"

Added in the Operation: Anchorage DLC, the "Gauss Rifle" is the Energy Weapons alternative to the Sniper Rifle. It is heavily based on the Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle, which includes the gun's rear and receiver area. The weapon draws power from microfusion cells (a miniature fusion reactor used as an energy weapon ammo type) in order to magnetise and accelerate its chambered ferromagnetic slugs, which are located in the magazine on the right side (itself seemingly based on the Lahti's own magazine); despite the obviously finite capacity of a box magazine, it is never reloaded. This was done to make use of ammunition already existing in the base game instead of introducing a seperate ammo type. It is not exactly clear if the Gauss Rifle actually has a rifled barrel as its name implies, with fired rounds being depicted as finned cartridges. Stats wise, the Gauss Rifle functions as a single-shot weapon with the cell powering it being replaced each time it is fired. Scoring a critical hit on a target will knock them down. During the Anchorage Reclamation simulation, the Gauss Rifle can be given to the player while stocking up on equipment and it may be used until the end of the simulation. Outside of the Anchorage simulation, only one Gauss Rifle can be obtained by the player character, as a possible reward to the DLC's questline. Due to its unique nature, it can only be repaired by merchants, potentially making it an expensive weapon to regularly use.

Lahti L-39 - 20x138mm B
The in-game model for the "Gauss Rifle".
The Gauss Rifle equipped in first person view.
Removing the spent microfusion cell.
Placing in a new cell
A "jam" occurs, which is resolved by rotating back the gun's Lahti-style cranking handle. However, a bug renders the crank fixed in one place and the player's hand pulls a non-existent handle. This was corrected in Fallout: New Vegas.
A slow-motion angle of a slug fired by the Gauss Rifle.
The Gauss Rifle is also seen prominently in this Chinese propaganda poster, which reads "Long Live the People's Liberation Army". This may imply that this model of Gauss Rifle is of Chinese origin or was used in service by the People's Liberation Army. However, none are used by Chinese soldiers in the Anchorage Simulation.

Daisy Red Ryder

Called the "BB Gun" in-game, the Red Ryder is the first weapon received by the Lone Wanderer, given by James (Liam Neeson) during the quest "Growing Up Fast", as well as a rare few places in the Wasteland. It has the highest capacity of any Small Gun in the game and has decent accuracy, but also deals an incredibly low amount of damage, and as such has little use outside of being a gimmick weapon.

Daisy Red Ryder BB gun
The in-game model for the BB Gun.
A young Lone Wanderer uses their new birthday present on a makeshift gun range in Vault 101. Note the placement of the player's hands, blocking the sights. This is because the Lone Wanderer (and everyone else in Fallout 3) has mastered the art of squinting at the space just to the left of their rifle to aim.


Sawed-off Double Barrel Shotgun

A Sawed-off Double Barrel Shotgun appears as the "Sawed-Off Shotgun". The shotgun deals high damage but cannot score critical hits on targets and has a very wide spread. A unique version named the Kneecapper is carried by Ronald Laren; this variant deals far more damage but is also less durable.

Stevens 311R (sawed-off) - 12 gauge
The in-game model for the Sawed-Off Shotgun.
The Lone Wanderer stares off at the Capital Wasteland while wielding a Sawed-Off Shotgun.

Double Barreled Shotgun

A non-sawn-off version of the double barreled shotgun appears in the Point Lookout DLC, which fires both barrels at once (ouch).

Stevens 311A - 12 gauge
The Double-Barreled Shotgun in all its makeshift glory.

"Combat Shotgun"

This fictional semi-automatic shotgun has an overall appearance of the PPSh-41 submachine gun, from the fire selector switch located inside the trigger guard, the barrel's protruding muzzle-brake, the drum magazine, and even the sights. Smiling Jack in Evergreen Mills carries "The Terrible Shotgun", a unique variation that deals more damage. The shotgun's buttstock appears to have been reused for the DLC "Double-Barrel Shotgun". Combat Shotguns can also be found set up traps triggered by pressure plates or tripwires; when disarmed, which requires a Repair skill of at least 45, the player will be given a poor-condition Combat Shotgun, four shells, and ten microfusion cells.

PPSh-41 - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
The in-game model for the Combat Shotgun. Note how the drum is too far forward to have shells actually reach the gun's action. Also note how the bolt doesn't appear to have enough space to move backwards; this is because it operates with a blow-forward mechanism, introducing yet another question as to how it works internally.
The Lone Wanderer approaches the settlement of Rivet City with his Combat Shotgun.
Not knowing what lies within the flotsam aircraft carrier, he reloads his shotgun, ignoring the question of how exactly shells are supposed to go from the drum to the shotgun, given the lack of any opening in the magazine...
...which results in a jam; a nearly identical animation is used to cock the weapon at the end of the reload. The charging handle is pulled backwards in this animation, which doesn't exactly line up with its blow-forward operation.



The "Flamer" appears to be based on an M9 Flamethrower, but with the backpack of an M2 Flamethrower. One of the more common heavy weapons in the game, it has an extremely short range, not even shooting ten feet ahead. There are three unique variants of the Flamer, of which two only appear in Broken Steel. The first is the Burnmaster, which is simply a more powerful Flamer with less durability. The second, the Rapid-Torch Flamer, lacks the small delay the regular variant has when firing. The final variant, the Slo-Burn Flamer, is similar to the Rapid-Torch but deals more damage at the cost of using much more fuel.

M9A1-7 Flamethrower
M2A1-7 Flamethrower
The in-game model for the "Flamer"
The Lone Wanderer stands outside of Rivet City, armed with his Flamer.
Striking a pose, the Lone Wanderer shows off his Flamer.
The Lone Wanderer clears a jam in his Flamer. How does one "jam" a flamethrower, anyway?

"Frag Grenade"

The "Frag Grenade" bears a strong resemblance to the Danish M23 Haanbombe, but has a more conventional spoon-type primer instead of the M23's pressure switch, along with fragmentation grooves on the body (the M23 used a detachable sleeve in order to achieve fragmentation); despite this, the in-game grenade does not produce fragments. It is one of the most common explosive weapons, being found on characters ranging from Raiders to Super Mutants. Frag Grenades may also be found as "Grenade Bouquet" traps, consisting of three grenades hanging from a ceiling by a string, triggered by a tripwire or pressure plate; with an Explosives skill of over 30, the trap may be disarmed and the grenades added to the inventory.

M23 Haanbombe
The Frag Grenade model.

TM-46 Anti-Tank Mine

The "Frag Mine" is a recoloured and scaled-down TM-46 anti-tank mine, used as an anti-personnel weapon rather than anti-tank. Despite their name, they do note produce fragments when detonated, but only a rather small concussive blast. When a mine is approached, it will beep until it explodes; how long it takes depends on the player's Explosives skill, which also determines its detection proximity. Planted mines can be found in various locations, most notably in a location simply known as Minefield, which has around 60 planted in the area; they can be disarmed regardless of the Lone Wanderer's skill.

TM-46 anti-tank mine
The Frag Mine model. The handle is not used, and appears to be a relic of its anti-tank basis.

Unusable Weapons

Long Rifle

A Long Rifle is seen in the Capitol Building reliefs depicting historical events.

Kentucky Rifle - .36 caliber

M1903 Springfield

Although barely visible, the loader for the BB Gun has a sticker with a logo that features an M1903 Springfield.

Mark 1 M1903 Springfield - .30-06
The BB Gun's loader's raw texture. Note the grasping grooves in the stock, denoting the rifle as a Mark 1 model.

Ruger GP100

The Ruger GP100 appears on the "Guns and Bullets" skill book, which increases the player's Small Guns skill by one point. It is also clearly seen during loading sequences.

Stainless Ruger GP100 - .357 Magnum
The model of the Guns and Bullets magazine, with the GP100 on the cover.

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