Pistols are not in an especially good place at the moment. They're weak, inaccurate, and have bad iron-sights. If you’re using a pistol during any stage other than the first five minutes of a game, the better option is probably hiding and avoiding combat altogether.
Choose whichever pistol matches ammo types with your other weapons to save inventory space and then hope you never have to shoot it. Beware the awful reload time on the R1895.
🌟 S686: The classic double-barrelled shotgun is probably the most effective tool for extreme close quarters. If you miss both shots you’re probably dead, but the two rounds are enough to finish off even the most heavily armored enemy and can be fired almost simultaneously. With the longest effective range of any shotgun (around 12m) and the fastest time to kill a fully armored enemy, the more modern shotguns pale in comparison.
S12K: The S12K is great if you’re worried about accuracy, with five rounds in a mag and a speedy rate of fire you can comfortably spam it at close ranges. You can't attach a choke, which means it’s less effective than other shotguns at anything beyond close range, while it does slightly less damage per shot. Uses assault rifle modifications (don’t even think about sticking a scope on it though).
S1897: The pump-action shotgun is, like all weapons of this class, incredibly powerful at close range (up-to around seven meters). However, the slow rate of fire can spell your doom if you miss even once, making it unforgiving.
Recommended shotgun mods:
Shotgun choke – gives the S686 or S1897 a much-needed boost to range, making them effective at picking off wounded enemies at distance, or throwing buckshot into cars full of enemies.
Extended mag – Makes room for a couple more cartridges in the S12K.
The frying pan the only melee option worth taking right now, primarily because it can save your ass.
M249: Another care package only weapon, the huge 100 round clip, strong damage and speedy rate of fire make this a potent tool for car destruction, while at mid-range it can tear exposed targets to pieces. The M249 is even surprisingly effective at long ranges, particularly if you go prone and deploy the tripod (this happens automatically). Try to fire it in bursts or you’ll quickly lose accuracy.
Crossbow: A weapon for people who want to share clips of themselves pulling off clutch shots. With damage second only to the AWM, the crossbow combines with poor range and a slow projectile travel time to give you a weapon that is extremely limited in usefulness, but extremely satisfying to kill with. The bolts fall to the ground quickly after a few dozen meters.
It is wonderfully stealthy, though. A quiver attachment slightly improves the dreadful reload time.
Tommy Gun: Something of a novelty weapon right now. The Tommy-gun is hard to control and doesn’t do much damage, but the fast-rate of fire and 100-round drum mag means it’s exceptional for shooting vehicles. The fact that it’s limited to care package drops means you’ll probably be quite angry if you risked everything for this underwhelming antique. If you have a Vector or UMP with all the mods they’re simply more reliable weapons for killing people quickly.