The standard issue XCom pistol is a high powered semi-automatic with a 12 round capacity.
Source: Enemy Unknown Ufopaedia
(h x w)
|2 x 1|
(h x w)
|1 × 1|
|Damage||26 Armour Piercing|
The standard issue X-COM Pistol is a one-handed handgun that is light, compact and has a rapid single-shot attack. It features a 12-round magazine. It is the cheapest weapon in the arsenal and also does the lowest damage - though each round is nearly as powerful as a Rifle round.
The Pistol lacks the aimed-shot accuracy and auto-fire mode of the Rifle, but compliments it with its excellent snapshots. Pistol snapshots have the same accuracy but costs less time units to fire, allowing more rounds to be fired per turn. The lower cost also improves the chances of getting an attack of opportunity.
The poor accuracy/time trade off for the aimed-shot does not make the Pistol especially suited to sniping. To its credit, the pistol's aimed mode is very fast and can be fired three times per turn, allowing volume to compensate for accuracy.
The pistol's biggest draw, beyond its rapid fire, would be its small size and one-handed grip. The size allows it to be carried in the hip pockets as a spare sidearm. The one-handed grip allows the Pistol's wielder to hold an item in their other hand without suffering an accuracy penalty.
Despite being the weakest weapon that X-COM can use, it is a fairly competent weapon and many of the enemies that are encountered early in the war can be felled with a few well placed pistol rounds. Though very quickly replaced by other weapons, the Pistol remains useful throughout the campaign as a training weapon for training Reactions as well as Firing Accuracy.
Soldiers that require high mobility (scouts), soldiers that require the use of the other hand (grenadiers, medics, etc) and heavy weapon operators will find the Pistol and the other pistol sized weapons to be invaluable sidearms to carry. Just be aware that enemies with high armour such as terror units and Mutons are very resistant to the standard Pistol's armour piercing rounds.
Due to its simplicity (and cheapness) the Pistol is a remarkably good training weapon. It takes effort to improve any combat skill, and the ordinary pistol certainly encourages a soldier to put in a lot of effort! The speed of the snapshots allow the trainees to react faster than with other weapons, and even though it may not be a very effective weapon against strong enemies, the experience is invaluable.
When facing psionic enemies, the Pistol and Rifle are great weapons to use in combination with Personal Armour or Power Suits. They are generally strong enough to deal damage to Sectoids and even Ethereals to a lesser extent. However they do little damage to Personal Armour and cannot do any damage to Power Suits. Therefore soldiers under alien control will not be able to harm other soldiers. Be mindful that the Cyberdisc and Sectopod have heavy external armour, and will require about 50 to 60 shots to die from a Pistol each (tested). For them, consider alternative weaponry.
The following lists how many times a soldier can fire the gun by shot type continuously in any given round and the remaining percentage of any left over TUs that cannot be spent as a shot.
- Aimed: 3 Shots, 10% Remaining TUs
- Snap: 5 Shots, 10% Remaining TUs
- Note: A soldier with 54, 55, 60, 61, 66 or 72 TU will be able to fire 6 snapshots in a turn, due to truncation of TU costs.
General pistol warning
Pistol-class weapons are prioritized so that they will always be the last weapons to be selected by your soldiers. This only applies to Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense.
The Collectors Edition introduces a bug where occasionally only one person in the squad will arm a pistol and fill all available slots with clips.