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The use, care and general knowledge of small firearms - pistols, SMGs and rifles.— In-game description

Small Guns is a skill in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3 and Fallout Tactics. It was also going to appear as a weapon skill in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2, the equivalent of skills in other Fallout games

In Fallout: New Vegas, it was merged into a more general Guns skill with Big Guns, similar to the canceled Van Buren, which would have merged the skills into the Firearms skill.



Example: A starting Agility of 5.

Small Guns are the staple weapons of choice for the post apocalyptic nuclear war survivor. Although small guns lack the wide devastation possible with Big Guns and Energy Weapons, they are more than capable of holding their own in a fight. Small Guns, unlike Big Guns or Energy Weapons, can be quickly trained with books and is naturally high to begin with. Ammunition is also plentiful and can usually be bought or looted from containers and bodies.

The small guns character can easily exploit these advantages by building a gunfighter or sniper character. There are several perks available that augment this combat style, the most powerful being "Sniper."

Also, some of the most unique and powerful weapons (read: Red Ryder LE BB gun) are available for those who specialize in small guns.

Affected weapons

Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics

Example: A starting Agility of 5.

As with Fallout, Small Guns operates in much the same way in Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics.

Affected weapons

Fallout 2
Fallout Tactics

Fallout 3

"Because it's easier to have courage from a safe distance away."

Example: A starting Agility of 5 and Luck of 5.

In general, the Small Guns skill raises the Lone Wanderer's accuracy and/or damage with any weapon that is affected by the skill. The higher the Small Guns skill, the lower the projectile spread, and the more stable scoped weapons such as the sniper rifle or the scoped .44 Magnum will be when aiming through the scope. At 100 points, scoped-weapons have no sway at all; however, having either arm crippled will still result in a severe sway while using the scope.

On average, increasing Small Guns by 5 points will increase Small Gun weapon damage by ~3.5%. There is also a diminishing margin of return. In general, increasing Small Guns from 5 to 10 will increase weapon damage more than increasing it from 95 to 100.

Affected weapons

Perks that require Small Guns skill

Perk Required Level Additional Requirements
Concentrated Fire 60 18 Energy Weapons 60

Perks that improve V.A.T.S. accuracy:

  • Gunslinger improves V.A.T.S. accuracy for pistols (or similar one-handed weapons).
  • Commando improves V.A.T.S. accuracy for rifles (or similar two-handed weapons).
  • Sniper improves V.A.T.S. accuracy when targeting the head.
  • Wired Reflexes improves V.A.T.S. accuracy for all weapons by 10%.
  • Concentrated Fire increases V.A.T.S. accuracy against a body part by +5% each time it is targeted.

Perks that improve damage:

  • Black Widow improves damage by 10% vs. male humans/ghouls.
  • Lady Killer improves damage by 10% vs. female humans/ghouls.
  • Entomologist improves damage by 50% vs. insects.
  • Robotics Expert improves damage by 25% vs. robots.
  • Bloody Mess improves damage by 5% against all targets.
  • Finesse increases the chance of getting a critical hit by the equivalent of 5 points in Luck.
  • Better Criticals increases the damage of critical hits by 50%.
  • Survival Expert increases the chance of a critical hit by 1, 2 or 3%.
  • Ghoul Ecology improves damage by +5 against ghouls (bugged and affects all targets).
  • Superior Defender improves damage by +5 when standing still.

Consumables that improve damage:

Interactions that require Small Guns skill

  • An undisclosed amount is required to fix Pek's weapon in the unmarked quest The Lost Initiate - although the Repair skill and Gun Nut perk will also work.
  • Small Guns 50 is required to teach the citizens of Big Town how to use conventional firearms during the quest Big Trouble in Big Town. This is only one of several ways to complete this section, however.

Ways to increase Small Guns



Small Guns list

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2

FOBoS2Logo.pngThe following is based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 and is not canon.

Small Guns was going to appear as a weapon skill. It increases the base damage inflicted by small guns.[1] Assuming Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 would have used a points based system like its predecessor, it is able to be increased.

FOBoS2Logo.pngEnd of information based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2.