The Pistol is Duke's trademark, and (arguably) his weakest weapon. Duke has used this weapon in almost each game since Duke Nukem 3D. It is usually accurate and shoots fast, but is not automatic and needs to be frequently reloaded with its low magazines. The Pistol has several variations in Duke Nukem games, like the Desert Eagle or the M1911 and became one of Duke's most symbolic guns.

Duke Nukem 3D Edit

The Pistol is a dark grey handgun, mostly resembling a Glock 17. It is invariably the first weapon the player will use/find in each game.

The Pistol has a high rate of fire, but each of its magazines only hold 12 rounds, meaning it needs to be reloaded, which takes time. It also has a high accuracy and can be used to shoot switch buttons in the game.

Even though they do not use Pistols, Assault Troopers and Assault Captains will occasionally drop ammo for the Pistol when they are killed. They are known to be 9mm PAK.

Tips and tricks Edit

  • Duke starts with 48 bullets, the same as a new picked-up pistol (Not a magazine).
  • The Pistol is very accurate, which makes it perfect for shooting buttons at a distance, as well as firing at enemies from a long distance when Duke does not wish to expend rare ammunition of other guns.
  • If you want to shoot an enemy in front of you without hurting the other ones, the Shrinker proves best, but the Pistol is a good secondary option for this.
  • As the first weapon that Duke will have, due to lots of ammo being available and Duke likely preferring to use stronger weapons, the Pistol will almost always have lots of ammo, in case it is ever needed as a backup.
  • Due to the availability of ammo, and Duke almost always having the Pistol, if the Duke comes across a situation in which he overmatches his opponent heavily, and is confident that he can avoid being damaged (either through cover, or a large distance between Duke and the enemy to dodge their fire), or if the enemy is Frozen or does not see Duke, it could be a useful tactic to use up ammunition for the Pistol so that you might conserve other ammo for when it is needed
  • The Pistol reloads when the ammo count is a multiple of 12. Individual magazine ammo counts do not exist, so it is not possible to be carrying around multiple magazines with a couple of rounds in each of them. Any magazines not in the Pistol will have 12 rounds in them.
  • If you know Duke only has a couple of rounds left before he needs to reload the Pistol, it may be wise to waste them before going into battle, so that he won't be forced to reload (which takes valuable time) almost as soon as Duke encounters an enemy.

Trivia Edit

  • Strangely, the Pistol maximum ammunition amount (200) is not a multiple of each magazine amount (12). In Duke Nukem 64, it has been changed to 192. The DN64 pistol can also use more powerful Dum Dum rounds.
  • The game has an unused ammo for Pistol (48/AMMOLOTS) which adds 48 of ammo to the player. The same quote as the ammo magazine is used. There is no present graphic image for the tile.
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, the pistol resembles a Glock 17. In Duke Nukem 64, it resembles a Colt 1911 pistol. In Time to Kill and Manhattan Project, the pistol is a golden Desert Eagle. A possibility is that Duke's pistol is actually a Hi-Point C9 9mm firearm.
  • Some of Duke's pistols have a pistol laser mount for better accuracy/or used as crosshair in the games.
  • In Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach the Pistol is replaced with a water pistol.

Gallery Edit


The LameDuke pistol is surprisingly similar to the final game. The only real difference between it and the final pistol is that the LameDuke version has a laser sight on it that points to a target. This was probably removed when the crosshair was added, as a laser sight on it does the same thing as a crosshair does.

Duke Nukem ForeverEdit

The M1911 Pistol is a Colt pistol modified to include Duke’s symbol on the grip. It is the first mandatory weapon picked up. It packs the most punch when aiming for the head, inflicting quadruple the damage. It also has the fastest Melee attack in the game, about twice as fast as any other weapon.

The first one found in the game is the only gold-plated one. All M1911s obtained later from EDF soldiers and Pigcops are the original dull black finish.

Development Edit

Both the 1998 and 2001 trailers for DNF show different designs for the Pistol/M1911. The 1998 trailer shows a futuristic, round design that has a scope attached to it to act as more of a 'Sniper pistol'. The scope could actually be used to zoom in, as seen in the trailer.

The 2001 trailer shows the Pistol as a gold Desert Eagle. Marketing material from that period also show Duke wielding a Desert Eagle. This pistol also appeared in a promo picture released for the current version of DNF in 2007. While it was removed in favor of the M1911, the Desert Eagle can be found wielded by the statue the Pigcops are toppling in the 2011 reveal trailer.

In the DNF Balls of Steel edition art book, there are several pages describing the history of Duke's pistol to the current format. The developer's write that originally the gun was designed to have a scope and be very high-tech looking, but was later altered into a golden desert eagle that was kept for a large amount of time, before being swapped out to a M1911. Images on the page show they played with several scoped gun designs, including a revolver of unknown make, M1911, and a Desert Eagle. On a separate page the writer mentions that they wanted the gun to be so accurate to a real gun that George Broussard brought a real M1911 into the office to assist in making the in-game model look and sound like the real thing. (an action that proved frightening when a co-worker picked it up and started playing around with it).

The DNF Pistol went through various incarnations while the game was created:

  • 1997-1998 High-tech modified Glock 17, 3D Realms wanted to keep a part of the original Duke Nukem 3D style.
  • 1999-2008 Golden Desert Eagle.
  • 2008-2011 Colt 1911 (Note: In the 2008 and 2009 version, it still used the Desert Eagle sounds)


  • The M1911 first appeared in the N64 port of Duke 3D, and that the one in DNF shares the same initial ammo count as well (64).
  • There is an Achievement/Trophy for carrying the first one throughout the entire game without dropping or losing it.


See Also Edit

Duke Nukem 3D
Episodes L.A. Meltdown | Lunar Apocalypse | Shrapnel City
Plutonium PAK: The Birth
Anniversary Edition: Alien World Order
Items Access Card | Holoduke | Jetpack | Night Vision Goggles | Portable Medkit
Protective Boots | Scuba Gear | Steroids
Health: Small Medkit | Large Medkit | Atomic Health | Armor
Scrapped: Space Suit | Shield
Weapons Mighty Foot | Pistol | Shotgun | Chaingun Cannon | RPG | Pipe Bomb | Shrinker
Microwave Expander | Devastator | Laser Tripbomb | Freezethrower | Incinerator
Scrapped: Flamethrower | Laser Chainsaw | Sonic Resonator | Tazer | Plasma Cannon
Enemies Common enemies: Assault Captain | Assault Commander | Enforcer | Assault Trooper | Battlelord Sentry | Octabrain | Pig Cop | Protozoid Slimer | Recon Patrol Vehicle | Sentry Drone | Shark | Turret
Plutonium PAK: Pig Cop Tank | Protector Drone
Anniversary Edition: Firefly Trooper | Cycloid Sentry | Overlord Sentry
Bosses: Battlelord | Overlord | Cycloid Emperor
Plutonium PAK: Alien Queen
Anniversary Edition: Cycloid Incinerator
Scrapped: Organic Turret | Snake Head | Bat | Captain | Drone | Drone 2 | Mandroid
| Trooper | Turret | Alien Queen Sentry
Expansion packs
and add-ons
Duke Assault | Duke Nukem 3D Level Design Handbook (CD levels) | Duke Caribbean: Life's A Beach | Duke: Nuclear Winter | Duke It Out In D.C.
Duke Xtreme | Duke!ZONE | Duke!Zone 150 | Duke!ZONE II | Plutonium PAK | Duke Nukem's Penthouse Paradise | Unofficial expansion packs
Fan community User maps | Mods & Total Conversions | Level editing (index) | Speedruns
Source ports | High Resolution Pack
Other Difficulty | Hazards | Multiplayer | Cheat codes | Easter eggs
Quotes | Music | Duke Nukem
Build engine | Game bugs | Unused data | LameDuke
Episodes Mrr Caliber | Mission Cockroach | Suck Hole | Hard Landing
Items Holoduke | Jetpack | Oxygen Tank | Shield | Steroids
Health: Soda Can | Six-pack
Weapons Tazer | Pistol | Plasma Cannon | Pipe Bomb | RPG | Sonic Resonator
Enemies Bat | Captain | Drone | Drone 2 | Mandroid
Jellyfish | Protozoid Slimer | Shark | Trooper | Turret
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