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For an overview of sniper rifle models in the Fallout series of games, see sniper rifle.

The sniper rifle is a weapon in Fallout 3.


This section is transcluded from Sniper rifle. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.

This sniper rifle is an older model of the famed DKS-501. Chambered for .308 ammunition, it's also extremely fragile and requires regular repair and maintenance to keep it in working condition.


The sniper rifle is the top-tier long-range weapon. It has a scope and deals much more damage than the hunting rifle, but has a very rare ammunition type and is a very fragile gun.

The sniper rifle has very noticeable sway to it when manually aimed. The sway can be reduced with either a higher skill level in Small Guns, or by entering sneak mode. At 100 points in Small Guns, the scope has no sway at all. However, a crippled arm will result in severe sway while using the scope, regardless of Small Guns skill level.

Even without Bloody Mess, 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.

A sound strategy to use with the sniper rifle is to be very stealthy and to have good knowledge of the area you are in. You will want to find a vantage point in which enemies either cannot reach or will take them a long time to reach you, usually some place high.

Manual aim is usually more accurate (especially at greater distances), but V.A.T.S. should not be overlooked. A head shot in V.A.T.S. that would normally take about a quarter of a high level enemy's health will, if unnoticed, instantly kill them, and for low level enemies, they will usually be very easily killed in just one head shot in any state. Be aware that your Small Guns skill should be max, and your rifle should be in good condition.


The sniper rifle can fire a total of about 83 rounds, the equivalent of 17 reloads, from full condition before breaking. Heavy use of this weapon will require merchant repairs due to the relative scarcity of spares.

Related perksEdit


  • Victory rifle - While identical in strength to the sniper rifle, the Victory rifle has an additional 200 item HP, and knocks down targets with critical hits. However, it pays for this ability with a reduced critical chance of 3.
  • Reservist's rifle - Also identical to the sniper rifle in strength, the Reservist's rifle uses less AP to fire, but only holds 3 rounds in a magazine. It also fires slightly faster, and has slightly less recoil when using the scope.
  • Sim version Gametitle-FO3 OA - A sniper rifle with very high durability which can be obtained through a glitch with the Operation: Anchorage add-on. See Operation: Anchorage glitches for details.


Icon melee- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)Icon sequence- Attacks in V.A.T.S.
Icon gun- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)Icon action- Action point cost
Icon damage- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Icon dap- Damage per action point
Icon dps- Damage per secondIcon spread- Weapon spread
Icon explosion- Area of effect damageAssault carbine extended magazines- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)
Icon effect- Effect damage & durationIcon repair- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)
Icon bonus effect- Bonus effectsIcon weight- Weight
Icon attack- Attacks per secondIcon merchant- Value in caps
Icon chance- Critical chance % multiplierIcon ratio- Value to weight ratio
Icon critical damage- Critical damageIcon ability- Skill required
Icon crit effect- Critical effect damage & durationIcon fist- Strength required
Icon plus- With all mods attached
Icon gunIcon damageIcon dpsIcon attackIcon chanceIcon critical damageIcon crit effectIcon actionIcon dapIcon spreadAssault carbine extended magazinesIcon repairIcon weightIcon merchantIcon ratio
Sniper rifle 40
Reservist's rifle 40
Victory rifle 40



  • PCIcon pc Playstation 3Icon ps3 Xbox 360Icon xbox360 Outside V.A.T.S., with 100 Small Guns, the weapon can shoot as far as the game will draw non-player characters (playing at high resolutions will greatly improve non-player character visibility). However, the point of impact is higher than where the center of the scope is aimed. After the fire button is pressed, the scope aim will very rapidly jump up and shift slightly to the right almost at the same time the shot is actually fired. See the images below to determine how to compensate for this. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360 Sometimes after fast traveling, only the lower sections of the rifle and the first lens of the scope will be visible. The top half and the rest of the scope will be invisible. [verified]
    • To fix this, un-equip then re-equip the weapon.




The first two images above, taken from the southwest guard platform at Fort Bannister, will be a 1-shot kill. The color of the first shot has been inverted to improve clarity. The third picture shows how much aim compensation is needed for a head shot at very long ranges. It can be noted that the point of impact is always at the same length up along the vertical crosshair line above the center of the scope and slightly to the right.