Resident Evil 4 Best Handguns (All Handguns in The Game Ranked)

Resident Evil 4, Best Handgun
I shouldn't have chosen the water pistol.

Five whole handguns to pick from, but some are much better than others.

The trusty handgun. A staple of the Resident Evil series. In the earlier games they were the players only weapon for stretches of the game. Not in RE4. The shift to more action-oriented gameplay means there are tons of weapons to use for killing enemies. There are five Handguns alone to choose from.

But which handgun to use, I hear you ask. Well, join me as I rank the best handguns in Resident Evil 4.


5. Handgun


You start with this handgun and for the first two chapters it does the job. The villagers aren’t too durable, there’s just many of them. Headshot, kick, rinse and repeat. 

For the stronger enemies in the early parts of the game, you find the shotgun in the first village encounter and plenty of grenades after that. 

The exclusive upgrade for the Handgun increases the chance of critical headshots by five times. A critical headshot does not eliminate plagas appearing, but they will come out less. Also, the increased chance of critical headshots works on the plagas.

It costs 198 thousand pesetas to fully upgrade the Handgun. It’s the most unsteady out of all the handguns and even with the exclusive upgrade, it’s not recommended for anything tougher than the normal ganados.



  • Free – You start off with it
  • Usefulness – Good against the early enemies
  • Exclusive upgrade – 5x chance of a critical headshot



  • Weak – Low firepower
  • Uselessness – Better guns are quickly available


Handgun full details:


4. Punisher

Peashooter Plus.

Don’t be fooled by the marketing about this weapon. If you shoot all the fifteen blue medallions, not only do you get the Punisher for free, but you also get the exclusive upgrade as well. 

Which sounds good, right? A free weapon AND an upgrade that takes the weapon to the next level.

It is good… kind of.

It’s just not going to last you that long into the game. 

Normally, the Punisher can hit two enemies in a line, one shot will go through the first enemy and hit the one behind. With the exclusive upgrade, the gun will now hit up to five enemies in a row. It’s effective when fighting hordes of enemies, especially in the cabin fight with Luis.

However, it quickly gets outstripped by the Red9 and the Blacktail.  

The best strategy is to shoot all the medallions, then sell the Handgun and the Punisher to afford either of the better handguns.



  • Cost – Free and with the exclusive upgrade
  • Holepunch – Goes through up to five enemies
  • Crowd control – Effective against hordes



  • Weak – Low firepower despite its bullets going through multiple enemies
  • Uselessness – Better handguns available pretty quickly


Punisher full details:


3. Matilda

PewPewPew. Image from IGN.

This is a special handgun that is only available after you complete Professional mode. You would think with it being an unlockable weapon, it would be better than standard ones available, but it isn’t. 

The Matilda is a handgun with the ability to fire a burst of three bullets. What that means is that it wastes ammo. You can learn how to fire two bullets instead of three which does help, but why would you when the two handguns I am about to talk about are better in most categories?

Alternatively, you could use this as a TMP/Handgun hybrid replacement, but that’s a shout straight out of left field. 

The Matilda is a strange gun, especially for an unlockable. Its firepower is middle of the range, but it is the quickest firing and reloading of all the handguns. However, it’s the most expensive handgun to fully upgrade.

It’s a strange gun, maybe something to experiment with for experienced players and in the right hands, it can be useful.



  • Burst – Three bullets at a time
  • Speed – Fastest reloading and firing handgun
  • Curiosity – Sits in a weird place in the weaponry in RE4



  • Guzzler – Wastes ammo
  • Bulky – Takes up a lot of inventory space


Matilda full details:  


2. Red9

You're not from around here, are ya boy?

Time for the serious handguns. 

This antique looking shooter is the most powerful handgun in the game with a firepower of 5.0. Once you get the aim-steadying stock for the Red9, it becomes like a mini rifle. 

While the power and the aiming with the stock is of a high quality, the Red9 gets beaten by every handgun in the other categories. Add in some less-than-ideal recoil and the fact it takes up the largest inventory space out of all handguns except for the unlockable Matilda and it’s clear to see this is a flawed gun. 

It costs 335,000 pesetas to fully upgrade the Red9 including the stock and the firepower you get from that will make it useful even in the later stages of the game. Plus, if you playthrough for a second time on the same file, it makes the start of the game very easy.



  • Power – Strongest handgun of them all
  • Antique look – Swag
  • Cheap – 14k to buy



  • Snail’s pace – slowest reloading and firing
  • Got a kick – bad recoil
  • Bulky – takes up a lot of inventory space


Red9 full details:


1. Blacktail

Pew. PewPew. Pew. 

Sometimes you just need an all-rounder. 

The Blacktail has the second highest firepower of all handguns and has the steadiest handling. When fully upgraded it not only becomes the fastest firing handgun but also the third fastest reloading gun in the whole game.

It’s effective against hordes and singular enemies and remains useful at the end of the game. Pulling the trigger rapidly to pump a swarm of ganados full of bullets is incredibly satisfying.

It sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect.

The Blacktail is the most expensive handgun to fully upgrade (362,000 pesetas) and it’s not available until you get to the castle. Meaning you’re going to possibly struggle through some of the second chapter. Plus, you’re going to have to save a lot of pesetas which could be spent on other things. 



  • All-rounder – Good at most things
  • Speed – Third fastest firing gun in game
  • Aim straight – Steadiest handling of all handguns



  • Cost – most expensive handgun to upgrade
  • Latecomer – Available from Chapter 3-1


Blacktail full details:



Resident Evil 4 is a shake-up of the series. It’s a melding of the survival horror of the past and the action-oriented games of the future. So, it makes sense that the best two handguns feature one that has a retro look and one with a futuristic appearance. 

In summary, both the Red9 and Blacktail are worth the time and money to upgrade. Use the Handgun and the free Punisher to generate some extra money, and mess about with the Matilda.


You may also be interested in:

Best Shotguns in RE4  

Best Rifles in RE4

Best Magnums in RE4

Best Weapons in RE4



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A lowly tarnished with but a quill for a weapon, I have spun many a yarn and weaved tall tales.
Gamer Since: 1995
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