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These boys should be put out of their misery, not plinked to death with some old varmint rifle.”— Ranger Milo, Fallout: New Vegas
The varmint rifle is a low powered bolt-action weapon usually used for getting rid of farmland pests and rodents (also known as varmints). The Courier receives a free one in a poor condition and with a good supply of ammunition during the tutorial quest Back in the Saddle with Sunny Smiles in Goodsprings. They are also common among low level Powder Gangers and Fiends, and are inexpensive to repair.
Although its damage and damage-per-second (DPS) are low, it can be very accurate at long ranges if you manually target outside of V.A.T.S. With good Guns and Sneak skill, one-shot kills with sneak attack critical head shots are possible against low level non-player characters. With the addition of the night scope and silencer modifications, its usefulness later game is further extended. A fully repaired varmint rifle can fire 597 standard rounds before breaking.
- Varmint rifle night scope, adds 2.86x magnification night vision scope.
- Varmint rifle silencer, silences the weapon.
- Varmint rifle extended mags, +3 rounds per magazine.
- Ratslayer, a unique version with all the mods pre-attached. It boasts better damage, critical damage, critical chance, spread, rate of fire and lower action points, and a synthetic black body.
|Name||Type||Dmg/shot||DPS||Att/sec||Crit mult||Crit dmg||Spread||AP cost||Ammo||Ammo cap||Weight||Item HP||Value||Stat Req.||Notes|
|Varmint rifle||Bolt-action rifle||18||21.9||1.2||x1||18||0.024||35||5.56mm round||5||5.5||120||75||Guns:0 Strength:3||-|
|Ratslayer||Bolt-action rifle||23||30||1.3||x5||23||0.02||33||5.56mm round||8||4.5||200||2000||Guns:0 Strength:3||Night-vision scoped; silenced|
- Cap counterfeiting shack - on the shelves opposite the entrance.
- Dixon carries one.
- Goodsprings - one is given to the player character by Sunny Smiles, during the quest Back in the Saddle.
- Lucky Jim mine - on the shelves in the corner.
- New California Republic Correctional Facility - located in the north-west watchtower.
- Powder gangers carry these.
- Primm - in the sheriffs office, behind the table in the corner opposite the bed with the corpses of Sheriff McBain and Mrs. McBain.
- Silver Peak Mine - located inside the shack on the shelves.
- Viper gunslingers will rarely carry one at lower levels.
- Vikki and Vance Casino, Primm - on top of the wall of safes in casino cashier's office.
- Wolfhorn ranch - on the shelves in the shack.
- Jackal gang members generally carry these.
- In first-person, when chambering a round the player character will bring their hand palm-up and grasp the bulb of the bolt 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 hole in the stock, it remains unused with the thumb on top.
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 shown in the Pip-Boy for both the silenced .22 pistol and the silenced .22 SMG being named DummyNVVarmintRifle, as well as Dixon carrying a varmint rifle in his inventory along with 16 .22LR rounds, rather than 5.56mm rounds. However the .22LR variant was so unpopular due to the low damage that its ammunition was changed to 5.56mm. Notably, the magazine that the varmint rifle uses was actually meant to be a banana mag that would hold a great number of .22 rounds, but because of the switch from .22LR to 5.56mm, it was changed into a regular small magazine. Despite the change, however, the UV map for the magazine is still in the shape of the original banana mag.
- 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. After applying the silencer to an already scoped rifle, aiming towards the
- 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.
- while zooming in with the weapon holstered with the scope, a black line will run across the screen.
- Joshua Sawyer on Formspring November 8, 2011: "It seems from leftover content that the Varmint rifle was originally intended to use .22 ammo (which makes more sense), but then switched over to 5.56. Do you know/remember why?
The .22LR variant did such pathetic damage that no one wanted to use it.
.223 Rem. is a popular varmint caliber. Making the Varmint Rifle use 5.56mm/.223 was mostly for convenience."