In first-person shooters, it’s dangerous to go out of safe zones with just a pistol in hand. With much less range, damage, and rate of fire compared to more powerful guns, having nothing but a handgun can leave you feeling quite vulnerable. This very much rings true in Escape from Tarkov as well. But for certain reasons, people still do pistol runs.

Let’s explore why you should do it, what pistols you should use, and how you can pull it off.

Running and Gunning

Pistol runs wouldn’t have become popular if they didn’t serve a purpose other than bragging rights. Except in Escape from Tarkov, however, they do, and that is for those who do it to have more inventory space. That means more room for loots, especially quality weapons. It’s definitely risky, but it’s worth the extra haul. Plus, if you’re the type that loves a good challenge, then the pistol run itself would already be the reward for you and the loots are just extra.

The Right Sidearm

In pistol runs, it’s not enough that you’re brave and skilled; you also need to have quality hardware. There are a lot of handguns to choose from, all of which are deadly in the right hands, but some models are just better than others. The best example is the SR1MP Gyurza, which has the highest damage and penetration for pistols. It can also be modified with silencers, sights, and laser pointers. A good alternative to this is the Glock, which is just as customizable, plus it has a rather high magazine capacity.

If you’re not feeling the other two, the TT is also a trusty weapon. If you’re planning to bring this one, make sure you carry around two full mags and about 20 to 30 loose bullets. With such a hefty amount of ammo, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll run out.

Other than thosetwo are models such as P226R, and MP-443 Grach. They’re all solid handguns that perform slightly better than the others, so it’s recommended that you bring them to your pistol run.

Compensating for Firepower

Something that’s also worth noting is that even if you use one of the “superior” handguns, the difference is going to be marginal so don’t even think about trying to go toe-to-toe with your enemies. For a successful pistol run, you’ll need to employ a few strategies, and none of which involves going out with guns a-blazing.

First, you need to keep safe. That means you should stay in the shadows, getting yourself as much cover as possible. Should the need to fight arise before you get a decent shot or have no plans to, aim at your enemies’ legs. Four to five shots and they’ll be done in for sure.

On top of being stealthy, you’ll also need to be early when it comes to securing positions. And when you get to a sweet spot, make sure that you can truly go unnoticed. When enemies come close, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to stay hidden or take them out.

Also, aside from pistols and magazines, you will need to bring other Escape from Tarkov items such as 1 bandage and 1 grenade. It’s easy to bleed out when you engage in a firefight, especially in one where it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to take out the enemy with a single shot. As for the grenade, it’s a good deterrence, plus it doesn’t give away your location as much as guns do.

It’s an understatement to say that wielding nothing but a pistol is an uphill battle. But if you’re up to the thrill and the rewards, you’re definitely going to enjoy this self-imposed handicap. And the best part? You get three perks–new gear, character growth, and player skills.