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I'll cover you from the ridge. Just make it quick. These boys should be put out of their misery, not plinked to death with some old varmint rifle.Ranger Milo

The varmint rifle is a weapon in Fallout: New Vegas.


Varmint rifle expanded

The varmint rifle is a low-powered hunting rifle, designed for hunting varmint and small game such as geckos. It utilizes a magazine-fed bolt-action system and is chambered for 5.56mm caliber rounds.

Although its damage and damage-per-second (DPS) are low, it can be very accurate at long ranges if used to manually target outside of V.A.T.S. With good Guns and Sneak skills, one-shot kills with Sneak Attack Critical headshots are possible against low level non-player characters. With the addition of the night scope and silencer modifications, its usefulness later in the game is extended.

The varmint rifle has one of the best scope modifications for low light vision. Though it doesn't always make the opponent light up, it does let the player character make out their details.


The varmint rifle can fire a total of about 595 standard rounds, the equivalent of 119 reloads, or 75 reloads when modified with extended magazines, from full condition before breaking.

Ammunition typeUnmodifiedW/ Extended mags
Standard, HP, AP & match59511959575
.223 caliber round74514974594



Ratslayer, a unique version found in broc flower cave with all the mods pre-attached. It boasts better damage, critical damage, critical chance, spread, rate of fire and lower Action Points for usage in V.A.T.S. and a synthetic black stock.


Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)Attacks in V.A.T.S.- Attacks in V.A.T.S.
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)Action point cost- Action point cost
Damage per attack (damage per projectile)- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per action point- Damage per action point
Damage per second- Damage per secondWeapon spread- Weapon spread
Area of effect damage- Area of effect damageMagazine capacity (shots per reload)- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)
Effect damage & duration- Effect damage & durationDurability (number of attacks before breaking)- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)
Bonus effects- Bonus effectsWeight- Weight
Attacks per second- Attacks per secondValue in caps- Value in caps
Critical chance % multiplier- Critical chance % multiplierValue to weight ratio- Value to weight ratio
Critical damage- Critical damageSkill required- Skill required
Critical effect damage & duration- Critical effect damage & durationStrength required- Strength required
With all mods attached- With all mods attached
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per secondAttacks per secondCritical Chance % multiplierCritical damageAction Point costDamage per action pointWeapon spreadMagazine capacity (shots per reload)Durability (number of attacks before breaking)WeightValue in capsValue to weight ratioSkill requiredStrength required
Varmint rifle 18
Varmint rifle With all weapon mods attached 18
Ratslayer 23



  • In first-person, when chambering a round the player character will bring their hand palm-up and grasp the bulb of the bolt handle within their fist. However, from third-person, they will seem to simply grab the bulb with their forefinger and thumb, palm-down.
  • Even though there is a thumbhole in the stock, it is unused by both NPCs and the player character.

Behind the scenes

The varmint rifle was intended to be chambered for .22LR rounds at some point during development. Among the indicators is the "Reduced Limb Damage" effect previously shown in the Pip-Boy for both the silenced .22 pistol and the silenced .22 SMG (prior to patch 1.3.0) being named "DummyNVVarmintRifle", as well as Dixon carrying a varmint rifle in his inventory along with 16 .22LR rounds, rather than 5.56mm rounds. The .22LR variant was so unpopular due to the low damage that its ammunition was changed to 5.56mm.[1] The magazine that the varmint rifle uses was actually meant to be a long, curved magazine that would hold a large number of .22 rounds, but because of the switch from .22LR to 5.56mm, it was changed into a small box magazine. Despite the change, however, the UV map for the magazine is still in the shape of the original magazine.


  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 After applying the silencer to an already scoped rifle, aiming towards the Freeside's north gate from next to the Mick & Ralph's crier causes the screen to completely glitch out; however it returns to normal after exiting zoomed mode or by looking away. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 While zooming in with the weapon holstered with the scope, a black line will run across the screen. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 While carrying multiple rifles, attempting to access them in the pip boy will show only one rifle. Dropping or otherwise removing the rifle from your inventory will cause the remaining rifles to be shown. The hidden rifles will also be at 100% condition no matter what condition they were previously at. This can make repairing a varmint rifle problematic. [verified]