For other related uses, see Pistol (disambiguation).

The pistol is the player's default weapon, and fires bullets. Each player enters the game with a pistol, fifty bullets, and his fists, with the pistol selected as the active weapon. It uses the same ammunition as the chaingun. None of the monsters carry a pistol, though the trooper appears to be armed with a rifle that fires pistol bullets.

Combat Characteristics

The pistol fires individual bullets, each inflicting 5-15 points of damage. If the player holds the fire button down, the marine fires the pistol repeatedly. As with the chaingun, the initial shot accurately strikes the object in the center of the screen, but if the trigger is held down, subsequent shots have a dispersal (standard deviation around 2°, to a maximum of ±5.5°).

Tactical Analysis

The pistol is an extremely weak weapon, doing damage at the same rate of the fists and generally should not be used if any better weapon is available. However, if the player is low on shotgun shells and doesn't have the chaingun in his possession, the pistol can be used to take down individual or small groups of zombies or imps and save shells for stronger enemies that may be encountered later. This situation is most commonly suffered at the first levels of an episode or megawad especially on Ultra-Violence difficulty when the player is looking desperately for the shotgun, but still has to face great quantities of monsters.

Another practical use for the pistol is to knock back Lost Souls and interrupting their attacks. This is useful for when the player is fighting 1-3 lost souls, but any more than that should be handled by the chaingun.

The pistol is capable of 100% accurate fire if the player carefully taps the fire button slightly after the first shot rather than hold it down. It's also the most economical way to shoot hitscan-activated switches, because unlike the chaingun, the pistol only fires one bullet per cycle rather than two (however when playing the original executable, the player may have to use the Super Shotgun as it is the only weapon with vertical spread to hit switches that may be on a higher level than the one the player is currently on).


Pistol64 stagingarea

The pistol from Doom 64, at the start of MAP01: Staging Area

  • The images for the pistol in Doom were created from a toy replica of the Beretta 92FS, which was a water pistol that was painted black before being digitalized.
  • Because neither players nor monsters can drop a pistol, it is the only weapon (apart from the fists) that does not have a "pickup" sprite. An icon for the pistol can be seen in the Doom Collector's Edition and Final Doom instruction manuals, but this graphic does not appear in the game (Can be picked up when dropped in GZDoom).
  • The Doom 64 pistol has a new look. The gun is narrower, making it look more like a Desert Eagle. For all intents and purposes the player doesn't need to use the pistol in a combat setting, as a shotgun sits in the first room of MAP01: Staging Area not far from the starting area.
  • In the Saturn port, the pistol fires much faster than in other ports.
  • In the PlayStation and Saturn ports, it has a different firing sound.
  • Interestingly, the pistol (along with the fist) is used left-handed, while the shotgun, chainsaw and every other weapons are wielded right-handed.
  • As with most other firearms in the game, the pistol is never reloaded, theoretically making its clip capacity a whopping 200 bullets (400 with backpack).
  • In Brutal Doom, the pistol is replaced by a highly powerful assault rifle, the same used by troopers and the player in early alphas of Doom.
  • In Doom 1 and 2 iwad files there are 2 unused graphics for the pistol.
  • When picked, console shows "Picked up pistol.".

Data Statistics

#ID Sound Sprite Radius
Unknown DSPISTOL PISG (wielded)
PISF (firing)
PUFF (impact, miss)
BLUD (impact,)


Damage done by a single bullet

Shots needed to kill1 Mean Standard
Min Max
Barrel 2.30 0.50 2 4
Trooper 2.30 0.50 2 4
Sergeant 3.24 0.72 2 5
Wolfenstein SS 5.17 0.88 4 8
Imp 6.11 0.90 4 9
Chaingunner 7.09 1.01 5 10
Lost Soul 9.98 1.19 7 14
Commander Keen 9.98 1.19 7 14
Demon 14.80 1.40 11 20
Spectre 14.80 1.40 11 20
Boss Brain3 24.40 1.44 20 28
Revenant 29.23 1.43 25 32
Cacodemon 39.02 1.98 35 44
Pain Elemental 39.02 1.98 35 44
Hell Knight 48.61 2.36 42 55
Arachnotron 48.61 2.36 42 55
Mancubus 58.31 2.61 51 63
Arch-Vile 68.05 3.10 62 75
Baron of Hell 97.09 4.37 87 106
Spider Mastermind 290.61 12.57 265 313
Cyberdemon 387.37 16.72 355 415
  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. The target must be close enough to compensate for the weapon's recoil.
  3. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

Weapons from classic Doom games

Fist | ChainsawPistolShotgun | Super ShotgunChaingunRocket LauncherPlasma GunBFG9000

Italics = Introduced in Doom II