Tarkov has a lot of pistols to use: Which is your favorite?
They can be really fun
I’ve talked about pistols in the past, and how I wish they were both used more often as a true sidearm back-up role, and that their draw speeds were sped up. And while we did get the latter of those two (it’s situational but still in the game technically), I still find myself wondering what people’s general consensus is with sidearms in Tarkov and moreover, what their favorite pistol is in the game should they decide to use one. Luckily in 2022 we have a decent selection of sidearms in the game, and each feels pretty distinct from one another. Even pistols within the same caliber feel different enough to warrant a try and seeing if you like how they feel in your metaphorical hands. Overall, my main question is this: how often do you use sidearms, and if so, which one(s) do you gravitate towards?
Starting from the bottom we have pistols using 9x18, which are the PM, the PB, and the APB/APS pistols. These are generally not used by the majority from what I see out in the wild of Tarkov, because of their ammo and lack of modifications. Especially the PM; yes, there’s a variant with a threaded barrel, but do you really want to spend money on a suppressor for a pistol with only eight rounds and mostly bad ammo? I probably wouldn’t. But the APB/APS can be full-auto, which combined with the SP7 round, can be a good time and potentially lethal, but the large recoil even with the wire stock make them kind of impractical. These are best used when on a tight budget, or going for some zero to hero runs. Not ideal, but can be a good time.
Okay, I know this pistol technically isn’t good, but the TT is a guilty pleasure of mine. I’ve done some of my best work in Tarkov with this pistol. The ammos available suck, the irons are bad, and when paired with its suppressor you can’t see shit; it’s objectively a bad pistol. But I can’t stop using it. I love this thing. I’m probably crazy for liking it so much and should switch to something further in this video, but man, this gun just makes sense to me. When I’m down bad in Tarkov, this pistol always pulls me out. Whether it’s somehow landing a miraculously headshot on a kitted-up PMC, or allowing me to get a tough fetch quest done, the TT has cemented itself for me personally, as maybe my favorite pistol in the game. And the gold version of it, Reshala’s pistol, has an awesome little spin animation when you pull it out. How is that not sick? Either way, I love this pistol, but I do acknowledge how bad it is.
9mm has a bunch of options for sidearms; more than any other caliber in the game currently. And I won’t go over all of them because there are only minor differences between them, so I’ll grab some of my personal favorite. To me, the stand out 9mm pistols are the Glock 17, the P226, and the PL-15. The first two mainly because they have a ton of options for customization which is awesome. Different slides, grips, muzzle device, iron sights/small optics; these pistols are really for those who want to kind of swag out something as a sidearm and have it be a statement. And above all else, they feel the most consistent to use which is at the core of using any weapon, feeling the most comfortable when using it. The PL-15 is a more recent edition to Tarkov, and is supposed to be the Russian version of the Glock. And while it lacks a lot of the customization options, it’s on par or even arguably better than the Glock in terms of feel and recoil. It has taller iron sights and a suppressor and that’s about it. But you know, as nice as it is to trick out a sidearm, having something that isn’t as flashy but you know you can count on is just as cool. And the PL does this in spades.
The five-seven. You know it, you love it. It’s a fantastic pistol in every regard. If you’ve played Tarkov since its introduction back in .12 with the Reserve patch, you’ve held this pistol in your hand. Great iron sights, high mag capacity, and a decent selection of ammo to choose from. SS190 is the ammo if you just want to tap people in the head and face, but there are other options that provide different benefits. L191 is a cheaper option but still just as lethal, with the added benefit of being a tracer so you can actually see where your shots land. And the new favorite by many is SB193, which while it may not have the highest stats in terms do damage and penetration, it has the unique benefit of –24 recoil, which for the P90 is huge. Not as immediately impactful on the 5-7 but still a very welcome option if you want to go that route. It only has a suppressor and red dot option for customization, but at the very least it comes in both black and FDE variants; so, choose whichever you like more. The 5-7 has certainly left its mark on the game; a powerful pistol with a lot of ammo on tap to boot. I think most would agree it is the people’s champion when it comes to pistols in Tarkov, and for good reason. I still run it sometimes even just by itself to go all Splinter Cell and have some fun. It’s definitely one of the pistols in the game that can be deadly but itself, but is even better as a true sidearm.
There are a few options now in .45 ACP, but for me it boils down to either the M45A1 (Which is the more modular M1911), and the USP. I prefer the USP over the Mew Mew, because the recoil on the Mew is really high and takes me off target usually after the first or second shot. I like how it looks, and the 11-round mags are dope, but the USP again, feels more consistent. At least to me. Plus, that extra round in the USP’s magazine might make the difference, as ridiculous as that may sound. One other thing the USP has going for it, is the sheer number of different versions of the pistol in the game. There are I think, 5 versions of it across two different vendors. Which, if you’re somebody who believes in variety is the spice of life, this pistol fits the bill and then some for sure. Give it a try; .45 AP is very lethal and has risen through the ranks to be a very powerful and reliable round.
The revolvers are... well, to be honest, I think I’ve used them maybe once. But from what I usually see online they’re kind of a meme gun, which is okay. I just remember when they came out, cowboy hats were going for hundreds of thousands of rubles because everyone was trying to go all cowboy with the revolver shotgun and pistol. Again, a fantastic meme gun, but I haven’t used it enough to say if it’s really reliable. Let me know in the comments if you are an avid user of the Chippa and what you think.
And probably the pistol with the most potential, is the SR1MP, or the Shrimp to make it easier. This thing is a Makarov on steroids. It’s a beefy pistol with a beefy round. And with the hopefully soon to be introduction of the SR-2 Veresk, which shoots the same caliber of 9x21, I have a strong suspicion this pistol and the caliber is about to get a lot of play time. It’s really strong, but my issues with it personally, are the iron sights can be tough to use sometimes and land shots with a high degree of precision. Sure, the gun can be fixed with a red dot, but honestly it sits so high on the gun, that it feels worse than just trying to use the sights built in. If you’ve never given the Shrimp a try, I recommend that you do. 9x21 BT (or SP-13 as it was known previously and what I will always refer to it as), is a chonky round and will lay people out if you get the drop on them.
Overall, there are a plethora of options to run a pistol in Tarkov. Some are very viable as a trusty sidearm, and others not so much, but can still be enjoyable in different ways. I hope we get some more powerful options in the future. A Desert Eagle would be insane to run around with in Tarkov, or another, more powerful revolver. Either way, I am hopeful and excited to see more sidearms in the game, and to hopefully have them be refined a little bit more to becomes the best possible backup weapon you can bring into a raid with.
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