[Top 10] Red Dead Online Best Weapons (And How To Get Them)

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Prepping an Ambush

Which weapons do you need to dominate the West?

Red Dead Online is a wild world with so much to do. Whether you are robbing, arresting, or hunting, ultimately you will end up in a fight and you will need some weapons to stay alive. The weapons in RDO are pretty well balanced so ultimately the “best” weapon will be the one that meshes with your play style. Nevertheless, there are certain characteristics that each weapon class provides, and usually, there is one weapon that really excels in these characteristics. Here are the top 10 weapons in RDO, why they are awesome, and how to get them.     


10. Varmint Rifle (Varmint Rifle, Unique Weapon Class)

When folks talk about “best weapons” we want to think about overwhelming, not underwhelming, fire-power. The varmint rifle is underwhelming firepower, but it serves an exceptional purpose. Hunting and collecting “perfect pelts” is a major component of RDO and the varmint rifle’s weak shot is needed to preserve the pelts of small critters.  It used to be a beast in PvP because of its rate of fire and accuracy, however, it has since been nerfed.     

Varmint Rifle’s Stats

  • Capacity:14 rounds
  • Damage: Just under 2/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just over 2.5/4
  • Accuracy: 3/4 
  • Range: Just under 2.5/4 
  • Reload Speed: Just over 2.5/4 

What makes the Varmint Rifle awesome 

  • It has an exceptional rate of fire, good accuracy, and high capacity
  • It is the only weapon that won’t ruin the pelt of medium to small animals (rabbits, raccoons, badgers… etc)
  • Used to be devastating in PvP and is still lethal for those that can hit headshots   

How to get the Varmint Rifle

  • Unlocks at rank 8
  • Costs $72 or 3 Gold Bars

9. Carcano Rifle (Rifle Class)

Pushing the envelope of technology in the Wild West, the Carcano Rifle is a scoped, bolt-action rifle. Though it is not as powerful as its single-shot competitor, the Rolling Block Rifle, it has the added benefit of being able to send more shots a long way downrange. The Springfield Rifle can perform the hunting tasks that might be expected of the Rolling Block, which makes the Carcano the most useful option of the scoped guns in the rifle class. Using appropriate ammo will make the Carcano strong enough to hunt large game.  

Carcano Rifle’s Stats: 

  • Capacity: 6
  • Damage: 3/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just over 1.5/4
  • Accuracy: Just under 3.5/4
  • Range: Just under 3.5/4
  • Reload Speed: Just under 3/4

  What makes the Carcano Rifle awesome

  • High damage, accuracy, and range as well as repeat fire action
  • Versatile: good for hunting and PvP play

How to get the Carcano Rifle

  • Unlocks at rank 50
  • Costs $456 or 19 Gold Bars

8. Springfield Rifle (Rifle Class)

The Springfield Rifle is a single-shot, breech-loading version of a Civil War-era rifled-musket.  In short, it packs a blast.  Despite being single-shot, this gun is great because it is very accurate and powerful. It is more reliable than its counterpart, the Bolt-Action Rifle, for bringing down big game. It ca also be used without a scope so it can take advantage of the game’s aim-lock feature in a way that scoped sniper-rifles (particularly the Rolling Block Rifle) cannot.   

Springfield Rifle’s Stats 

  • Capacity: 1
  • Damage: Just over 3/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just over 1/4
  • Accuracy: Just over 3/4
  • Range: 3/4
  • Reload Speed: Just under 2/4

What makes the Springfield Rifle awesome

  • Superior accuracy and damage with quick aim and aim-lock
  • A great option for hunting big game 
  • Relatively quick rate of fire for a single-shot gun
  • Makes the Rolling Block Rifle redundant 

How to get the Springfield Rifle 

  • Unlocks at rank 38
  • Costs $156 or 7 Gold Bars

7. Pump-Action Shotgun (Shotgun Class) 

Sometimes the wolves or bandits close in on you and you have to blast your way out at close range. In those scenarios, you need a shotgun. Shotguns, repeaters, pistols, and revolvers receive a lot of attention for their capability in PvP and their usefulness is really open to preference. Nevertheless, the pump-action shotty has balanced stats and will knock out a menacing cow-poke in one or two shots.  

Pump-Action Shotgun’s Stats 

  • Capacity: 5
  • Damage: Just under 2.5/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just under 2/4
  • Accuracy: 1.5/4
  • Range: Just under 1.5/4
  • Reload Speed: Just under 2.5/4

Why the Pump-Action Shotgun is awesome

  • It frequently kills in one shot at close range but has more capacity than the two barreled options
  • It is available really early in your character progression 

How to get the Pump-Action Shotgun

  • Unlocks at rank 5
  • Costs $266.40 or 11 Gold Bars

6. Repeating Shotgun (Shotgun Class)


The repeating shotgun is quite similar to its pump-action counterpart except it has some minor differences in stats that give it the edge. It can kill in one shot so the extra shell it carries can equal one more kill than the pump-action.  Furthermore, it has a slightly higher rate of fire for when things get really desperate.

Repeating Shotgun Stats 

  • Capacity: 6
  • Damage: Just under 2.5/4
  • Rate of Fire: 2/4
  • Accuracy: Just under 1.5/4
  • Range: Just under 1.5/4
  • Reload Speed: Just over 1.5/4

Why the Repeating Shotgun is awesome

  • It has the same damage but higher capacity and rate of fire than the pump-action
  • It's a lever-action shotgun, it looks badass

How to get the Repeating Shotgun

  • Unlocks at rank 11
  • Costs $434 or 18 Gold Bars

5. Bow and Arrows 

Technology can be fun but sometimes the older methods are better. The bow is the most versatile weapon in the game. It is the only weapon platform that can deliver projectiles that poison, burn, or detonate the target. For hunting, it is a necessity. Using the right arrow can yield perfect pelts from every type of animal, from the smallest to the largest, with the exception of the small to medium-sized animals that require the varmint rifle. It is also a viable choice in PvP.  

Bow Stats 

  • Capacity: 1
  • Damage: Just over 3/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just over 1/4 
  • Accuracy: Just over 3/4
  • Range: Just over 1.5/4
  • Reload Speed: Just over 1.5/4

Why the Bow is awesome

  • The base arrow does a lot of damage and specially crafted arrows can be devastating
  • It is absolutely required if you are an avid hunter 

How to get the Bow

  • Unlocks at rank 10
  • Costs $124 or 5 Gold Bars

4. Sawed-Off Shotgun (Shotgun Class)

We have seen several shotguns already, and they all offer more or less the same thing: devastating firepower. However, the sawed-off shotgun is a sidearm so it can be carried along with two full-sized weapons. This is an overlooked quality considering that the ideal hunting loadout is a varmint rifle and bow (you can get perfect pelts from every type of animal between both), but what happens if you get jumped by a predator or bandit? The sawed-off with slugs can get you out of a pinch in a jiffy.  

Sawed-Off Shotgun’s Stats 

  • Capacity: 2
  • Damage: Just over 2.5/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just under 2.5/4 
  • Accuracy: 1/4
  • Range: Just over 1/4
  • Reload Speed: 2/4

Why the Sawed-Off Shotgun is awesome

  • Large gun damage in a small sidearm package
  • Can quickly cull even large animals with slugs
  • A competitive sidearm choice in PvP 

How to get the Sawed-Off Shotgun 

  • Unlocks at rank 19
  • Costs $111 or 5 Gold Bars

3. Evans Repeater (Repeater Class)

The trusty six-shooter might be the icon of the Wild West but it is rarely seen without a lever-action rifle nearby. Though they can be used for hunting intermediate game like deer, the repeater is a mainstay of PvP in RDO. The Evans Repeater is one of the top options. It has the lowest damage of any repeater but that is not the stat that matters. It really shines in accuracy, rate of fire, and capacity which, coupled with the games locking aim mechanic, makes it ideal for quickly snapping head-shots.  

Evans Repeater’s Stats: 

  • Capacity: 26
  • Damage: 2/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just under 2.5/4 
  • Accuracy: 3/4
  • Range: Just over 2.5/4
  • Reload Speed: Just under 2.5/4

Why the Evans Repeater is awesome

  • It is a fast-firing, accurate weapon that lets the player choose between volume of fire and accuracy 
  • Excessively high ammo capacity
  • Headshots kill, so what it lacks in damage can be made up for in going for quick headshots during PvP fights

How to get the Evans Repeater

  • Unlocks at rank 1
  • Costs $300 or 12 Gold Bars

2. Semi Automatic Pistol (Pistol Class)

This semi automatic pistol is a fast-firing monster. Do not let its low damage fool you. The stats that pistols excel in are rate of fire and reload speed, and this gun tops the charts in both. Like repeaters, this gun can be used to quickly tag opponents in the head, or you can empty its magazine at lightning speed with quick-draw fire. This semi automatic pistol owns it niche.  

Semi Automatic Pistol’s Stats 

  • Capacity: 8
  • Damage: Just over 1/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just under 3.5/4
  • Accuracy: Just over 2.5/4
  • Range: 2/4
  • Reload Speed: Just over 3/4

Why the Semi Automatic Pistol is awesome

  • Insane rate of fire and reload, it gets the lead out 
  • The only stats that its counterpart, the Mauser, has it beat in are damage and capacity but these are minimal gains at the expense of superior rate of fire

How to get the Semi Automatic Pistol 

  • Unlocks at rank 22
  • Costs $537 or 22 Gold Bars

1. LeMat Revolver (Revolver Class)

A Western game has to have six-shooters… except this is a nine-shooter and it mated with a shotgun.  While pistols excel in rate of fire and reload speed the revolver is the sidearm that makes use of damage and accuracy. The LeMat features high damage among the revolvers and consistent accuracy. However, its nine-shot capacity and affixed shotgun give it that extra something that blows away the competition. Oh, and you can buy it as soon as you can afford it; it unlocks at rank 1. 

LeMat Revolver’s Stats 

  • Capacity: 9
  • Damage:2/4
  • Rate of Fire: Just under 2.5/4 
  • Accuracy: Just under 3/4
  • Range: 2/4
  • Reload Speed: Just over 2/4

Why the LeMat is awesome

  • Its basic stats are solid for a revolver
  • On top of the expected stats, it has 3 extra shots and a shotgun attached to it

How to get the LeMat

  • Unlocks at rank 1
  • Costs $317 or 13 Gold Bars

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A science-fiction connoisseur and history junky, I enjoy exploring the nuanced plots, stunning worlds, and fascinating lore provided by the most engrossing games out there.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Battlefield V, Rainbow Six Siege, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDO), Remnant: From the Ashes
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