From DoomWiki.org

"Pistol" redirects here. For the Hacx weapon, see Pistol (Hacx).
The pistol in the initial view on entering MAP01: Entryway.
This article is about the weapon in the classic Doom series. For other versions of this weapon, see:

The pistol is the player's default weapon, and fires bullets. Each player enters the game with a pistol, fifty bullets, and their fists, with the pistol selected as the active weapon. None of the monsters carry a pistol, though the trooper appears to be armed with a rifle that fires pistol bullets.

"Pistol is your standard military-issued weapon. It will stay with you, so don't forget about it if things get rough."

Combat characteristics[edit]

The pistol from Doom 64, at the start of MAP01: Staging Area.

The pistol fires individual bullets, each inflicting 5-15 points of damage. If the player holds the fire button down, the marine fires the pistol repeatedly. As with the chaingun, the initial shot accurately strikes the object in the centre of the screen, but if the trigger is held down, subsequent shots have a dispersal (standard deviation around 2°, to a maximum of ±5.5°).

Tactical analysis[edit]

The pistol is a weak weapon, doing damage at a rate barely 10% greater than the fists and generally should not be used if any better weapon is available. However, if the player is low on shotgun shells and does not have the chaingun in his possession, the pistol can be used to take down individual or small groups of zombies or imps and save shells for pinkies or stronger enemies that may be encountered later. Owing to its perfect accuracy when fired once, the pistol is also a dependable weapon for killing low-tier monsters over long distances prior to finding the chaingun. This situation is most commonly suffered at the first levels of an episode or megawad especially on Ultra-Violence difficulty when the player is looking desperately for the shotgun, but still has to face great quantities of monsters.

The pistol is capable of 100% accurate fire if the player carefully taps the fire button slightly after the first shot rather than hold it down. It is also the most economical way to shoot hitscan-activated switches, because unlike the chaingun, the pistol only fires one bullet per cycle rather than two (however when playing the original executable, the player may have to use the super shotgun as it is the only weapon with vertical spread to hit switches that may be on a higher level than the one the player is currently on).


The pistol off-hand sprite can be seen in the HUD for the Super Nintendo port when the weapon is selected.
The manual's pickup image of the pistol.
  • The images for the pistol in Doom were most likely created from the Beretta 92FS pistol, which was the standard service pistol of the U.S. military.
  • Because neither players nor monsters can drop a pistol, it is the only weapon (apart from the fists) that does not have a "pickup" sprite. An icon for the pistol can be seen in the Doom Collector's Edition and Final Doom instruction manuals, but this graphic does not appear in the game.
    • The only official off-hand sprite of the pistol can only be seen in the Doom Classic Unity ports of Doom and Doom II, though an earlier sprite created by Sculptured Software also occurs in the Super Nintendo port.
  • The Doom 64 pistol has a new look. The gun is narrower, and looks more like a Desert Eagle. Despite the Desert Eagle firing magnum caliber rounds, the bullets are not any more powerful than they were in DOS Doom, but nonetheless, the gun itself fires a bit faster.
  • In the PlayStation and Sega Saturn ports, it has a different firing sound. Also, in the Saturn port, it fires much faster than in other ports.


Damage done by a single bullet
Shots needed to kill1,2 Mean Standard
Min Max
Barrel 2.30 0.50 2 4
Zombieman 2.30 0.50 2 4
Shotgun guy 3.24 0.72 2 5
Wolfenstein SS 5.17 0.88 4 8
Imp 6.11 0.90 4 9
Heavy weapon dude 7.09 1.01 5 10
Lost soul 9.98 1.19 7 14
Commander Keen 9.98 1.19 7 14
Demon 14.80 1.40 11 20
Spectre 14.80 1.40 11 20
Romero's head3 24.40 1.44 20 28
Revenant 29.23 1.43 25 32
Cacodemon 39.02 1.98 35 44
Pain elemental 39.02 1.98 35 44
Hell knight 48.61 2.36 42 55
Arachnotron 48.61 2.36 42 55
Mancubus 58.31 2.61 51 63
Arch-vile 68.05 3.10 62 75
Baron of Hell 97.09 4.37 87 106
Spiderdemon 290.61 12.57 265 313
Cyberdemon 387.37 16.72 355 414

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. The target must be close enough to compensate for the weapon's recoil.
  3. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

See also[edit]