History has become a steady source of content for the gaming industry. While fantasy driven worlds and far off galaxies still hold a lot of weight in the community, game franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, and Call of Duty all draw inspiration from or context from our world’s historical events to drive their plots home. From traveling through Ancient Greece and Rome to the horrors of World War II and alternate realities where pop culture stopped evolving but technology didn’t, leading to an all-out atomic war, history is one of the biggest sources for creative inspiration in regards to the video game industry.
One game that captured the hearts of many in the last decade was Red Dead Redemption. The game followed John Marston, a former outlaw turned rancher who was forced by the federal government to hunt down his former outlaw compatriots. Exploring the Old West and seeing the end of the cowboy era was fascinating to live through. Now in recent weeks the highly anticipated sequel/prequel Red Dead Redemption 2 promises to further bring players into the era before cowboys fell. Exploring the gang Marston ran with before he left with his wife, you play as a new hero and must navigate the rough terrain of the Old West.
In order to survive in this wilderness, you’ll need a vast array of weaponry. You’ll be facing not only wild animals, but the ruthless outlaws and lawmen of the west as well. So take a deep dive with us into the most powerful weapons in Red Dead Redemption 2.
25 Schofield Revolver
Out of the three revolvers available within the game, Red Dead Redemption 2’s best revolver has to be the Schofield Revolver.
You can purchase it for $84, but if you are looking to save some money, there is a nefarious way of grabbing it.
In the town of Valentine, peer through the back window of the Doctor’s shop and sneak inside. There you can force the doctor to take you to the back room. There you will take out everyone inside and loot the box sitting on the table in the room. You can customize this weapon and if you buy a second one you can dual wield the weapon early in the game.
24 Broken Pirate Sword
It would appear that you can be a bit of a buccaneer in this old west game. A very old and rare pirate cutlass with a long snapped blade and decorative golden hand guard can be found within the game map. The ancient relic of a weapon can be found lodged deep inside an abandoned boat that ran adrift in the swamplands surrounding Saint Denis. It has quite a long range in comparison to other melee weapons and manages to be a powerful weapon despite its age.
23 Calloway’s Revolver
Found on the last gunslinger in the duel side quest storyline, the revolver belonged to Jim “Boy” Calloway.
After he angrily shoots Slim Grant, the sheriff residing in the north where Calloway is staying, he gets into a scuffle with Arthur which leads to his demise.
Located on a boat near Saint Denis, the revolver has the words Canis Cane Edit engraved on it, which is a fun Easter egg for fans of the Bully franchise which is Latin for “dog eat dog”.
22 Rare Shotgun
If you are looking for close quarters power, then this weapon is for you. A powerful shotgun, this weapon is unique as it takes a bit of exploration to find. It is owned by a hermit who lives in a cave in the North-West. Travel to the North-West of Big Valley, and you will find the hermit living inside of a cave. Defeat the hermit and you’ll gain this powerful shotgun that is perfect for close quarters firearm combat.
21 Midnight’s Pistol
This weapon is unique as it involves completing the Gunslinger side quests. These side quests take you away from the main plot of the game, but boy do they provide some of the best weapons in the game. One of the quests involves hunting down a shootist named Billy Midnight. If you end him, you’ll grab his powerful Mauser pistol, with gold engravings and great accuracy and fire rate. While the damage is average, the weapon is powerful to have early on in the game.
20 Rare Double-Barreled Shotgun
This next weapon packs quite a punch.
Complete with a faded brass tarnish and intricate carvings, the rare double-barreled shotgun is a powerful weapon to have in your arsenal.
Previously owned by a lonely woodsman living in solitude in Roanoke Ridge, this weapon was cherished deeply by the previous wielder. Able to carry two rounds of ammo at a time, the weapon can fire regular buckshot, incendiary buckshot, slug, and explosive slug shotgun rounds.
19 Ancient Tomahawk
This next weapon takes a step back away from firearms and instead focuses on weapons that require a more close up and hands on approach. One of the more powerful melee weapons in the game has to be the Ancient Tomahawk. With a striped bound shaft and polished, razor sharp blade, the weapon was well maintained before being abandoned in an old wooden target overlooking the Calumet Ravine. The Calumet Ravine can be found in the wilds of the Grizzlies.
18 Antler Knife
Using the resources at hand can create some of the game’s most powerful weaponry, as seen in this weapon.
This next melee weapon is an incredibly rare knife.
Hand manufactured from the antler of a stag, a part of the blade seems to have snapped off near the crossguard. The weapon can be found near Hanging Dog Ranch in Big Valley, where a scene plays out of a massive fight between a large bear and a hunter. It would appear neither one of the fighters survived the encounter.
17 Civil War Knife
It would appear a survivor of the Civil War can be found within the game as well.
Actually, it’s more of a relic than a survivor, as a piece of weaponry from the war can be found.
An old Bowie knife with a solid blade, worn out wooden handle and a large D-shaped handguard for protection, this was most commonly used by Civil War soldiers. Now coated in rust, the weapon can be found in a storage room underneath the ruins of Fort Brennand in Roanoke Ridge, New Hanover. This little piece of history may just come in handle in battle.
16 Hewing Hatchet
This next weapon may appear to be worn out and used, but don’t let it fool you. This powerful melee weapon has a flat edge along one side of the blade that made it perfect for hewing, which makes it a powerful weapon in the hands of an expert fighter. Used to convert logs into lumber, this weapon can be found in a tree stump near Moonstone Pond in the Grizzlies, right next to what appears to be an abandoned shack. What makes this weapon so great also is that it’s a throwable melee weapon, perfect for surprise or silent takedowns.
15 Viking Hatchet
This next weapon is interesting as it appears to bring a bit of Norse mythology into this old west game.
Found at an old stone altar in the Roanoke Valley area of New Hanover lodged into a skull (very creepy), this weapon is bound in leather and has Nordic patterns carved into it as well.
Was this used in some sort of battle or ceremonial event by ancient Vikings? Who knows, but at least you can throw this weapon as well, making it a powerful and historic weapon to behold.
14 Double-Action Revolver
While the Schofield is the most powerful revolver, the Double-Action revolver is quickly becoming a fan favorite. With powerful rate of fire and reload speeds, the lack of damage or accuracy is made up for with customization options the other rare revolvers in the game (besides the Schofield and Cattleman revolvers) don’t have. While you can buy this at an gunsmith in the game, a rare and unique way of getting it for free would be for fans to play GTA Online and complete a treasure quest with the weapon as it’s prize.
13 The Bow
Although this weapon comes early on in the prologue of the game to help with hunting animals and survival skills, this simple weapon has some of the most powerful stealth ammo in the game.
This weapon isn’t only for catching dinner or creating items from skinned animals.
From regular and improved arrows to poison, fire and dynamite arrows, this can allow the player to stealth end a lot of enemies without raising alarms, or surprise a large group of enemies with one well placed dynamite arrow.
12 Litchfield Repeater
This next weapon is found during one of the game’s main quests, Goodbye Dear Friend, which involves one of Arthur and Dutch’s enemies set to be hung, and the mission to prevent this enemies gang from rescuing him. The .44 caliber rifle boasts a powerful rate of fire and the best damage rate of the repeaters, but does suffer from slow reload speeds and poor accuracy. It fires Regular, High Velocity, Split Point, Express, Explosive rounds in the game.
11 Rare Rolling Block Rifle
Similar to the regular Rolling Block Rifle, this rare weapon is found in the chapter 3 mission, Magicians for Sport.
It has the most powerful and extremely high powered damage output of any of the rifles in the game, although it’s balanced by a very slow reload and rate of fire speed.
However be sure to pick it up during this mission. If you don’t, the weapon will be lost to you for the entirety of the game.
10 Semi-Automatic Pistol
A lot of weapons in this game are rare and need to be found through extensive searching or pursuing long side quests. This is not one such weapon. Although this weapon is fairly easy to purchase, it is one of the most powerful pistols you can own in the game. Able to take out a target in just two hits even from a long range, this weapon boasts the highest rate of fire weaponry in the entirety of the game.
9 Stone Hatchet
It’s time once again to find an old west weapon in modern day Los Santos. This is another powerful weapon that is earned inside of another Rockstar Studios game, Grand Theft Auto V: Online.
Within that game, players must complete five bounties for Maude before she gives you the coordinates to the location of the weapon.
However before you can unlock it in Red Dead Redemption 2, you will have to get 25 enemies taken out with the weapon in GTA V Online.
8 Volcanic Pistol
While many of the weapons on this list take time and patience to find, some of them are easily purchased once the game’s first mission ends. Available for purchase after the opening chapter Eastwood Bound, this powerful weapon boasts a truly mighty damage score. Although it lacks a strong reload speed or rate of fire speed, the weapon packs the punch of a sawed off shotgun or revolver, making it a handy pistol to have when in battle.
7 Bolt Action Rifle
Sometimes a player needs a weapon that will keep him or her at a distance and allow them to safely take out enemies.
That’s where this weapon comes into play.
This weapon is customizable, and puts out a heavy dose of damage per shot. It does have a slow rate of fire, but it is super accurate and is capable of being outfitted with a magnifying scope to create one of the most powerful sniper rifles in the game. You can grab this weapon during the chapter 3 mission Preaching and Forgiveness.
There are so many cool looking and rare melee weapons in this game that it can be difficult to find the one you want to carry into battle. Out of all the melee weapons, this one does the most damage. The classic machete puts out just a bit more damage than the other melee weapons before it, but unfortunately it isn’t available right away. You’ll have to progress through the game a bit, and keep checking in with Fences until the weapon becomes available for purchase.
5 Lancaster Repeater
Yet another one of the game’s most popular weapons is one that can be reached early on in the game.
One of the most handy and popularly used weapons in the game, the Lancaster Repeater has a huge 14-round magazine and matches a rifle’s range and accuracy pretty well, making the Carbine Repeater seem obsolete in comparison.
Used throughout most of the game, this weapon is given to players during the chapter 2 mission, A Pastoral Scene.
4 Granger’s Revolver
These gunslinger battles really are a great source of weaponry in the game. Another rare cattleman revolver, this weapon has a dark metal finish and custom engravings in the weapon as well. The gun was once owned by the gunslinger Emmet Granger, who can be taken out in a duel near the Flatneck Station. Much like the Flaco Revolver, the Granger Revolver can hold six rounds of ammo at a time, and fire regular, high velocity, split point, express, and explosive rounds.
3 Springfield Rifle
This is known to be the most powerful hunting rifle in the game. While you run the risk of damaging pelts with this weapon, the rifle actually allows players to take down large game such as bears. However be careful, as it has no magazine and is very slow to reload as a result. You’ll have to decide how important hunting is for you and if it’s worth the purchase, as it’s available from the start of the game at any gunsmith.
2 Flaco’s Revolver
It’s time to return to the ways of the gunslingers in this next mission to retrieve a powerful weapon.
Known to be a rare Cattleman Revolver and featuring delicate engravings and a carved ivory handle, this weapon is found after a duel with the gunslinger known as Flaco Hernandez.
Taken out at the duel at Cairn Lake, the weapon can hold up to six rounds at a time and fire regular, high velocity, split point, express, and explosive rounds, making it a truly powerful weapon.
1 Pump-Action Shotgun
This is the most powerful and steady shotgun in the game.
You are able to fire the gun at a steadier rate than the others, as well as a faster rate than the double-barreled shotgun.
It works great for in close combat scenarios and for when you are in need for a lot of firepower and damage in those situations. There are not other shotguns or weapons that can rival the weapon in close quarters combat.