Rifle Duty

Bridging the gap between the categories of rifle and pistol, this week’s entry in the “Weapons” series is the only handgun in the game designed around doing long range shooting. The LongHorn is a weapon that does the job of a gun in a size category above it while remaining extremely portable and reliable.

Sneaking in with the 0.45 update, this pistol isn’t a favorite of everyone, but those in the know swear by it. Join me as I talk about the specifics of this odd-gun-out, and learn why some people fall in love with its charms and unique capabilities.

Thompson/Center Contender

What we know lovingly as the “LongHorn” is really the Thompson/Center Contender, more specifically the 2nd generation (“G2”) model. The Contender is a break-action, single-shot pistol famous for its versatile design that allows quick and easy swapping of the barrel and sights.By removing the fore-end of the gun and taking out a hinge pin, the barrel can be replaced, giving the user flexibility in barrel length and caliber.

Introduced in 1967 by the K.W. Thompson Tool Company and designed by Warren Center, the Contender is well liked for its accuracy and adaptability. The G2 model replaced the original in 1998, mostly making changes to the trigger group. The two models are able to share many if not most barrels between them, but their furniture is not compatible.

In real life, the this pistol is not offered from the factory in .308, and instead fires everything from .22 Long Rifle (like the Sporter) to .30-30 Winchester. It’s also available in differing barrel lengths in addition to the variety of calibers, and most barrels have pre-zeroed fixed iron sights or, in order to accommodate optics, no sights at all.

(Pictured: G1 Contender)


Image via iCollector.com.

Use Wisely

The LongHorn comes standard with a pistol scope, and this default configuration is the one best matched to its abilities. Everything about the gun is designed around delivering a single, powerful .308 round accurately over medium ranges, and deviating from that setup only serves to lessen its edge.

As such, short range combat is not an area where it excels. It may be a handgun, and can do okay at shooting targets in close quarters when patience is exercised, but its single shot design means that every shot has to count in such situations. Other pistols are more ideal for this type of fighting.

Make it Count

Much like the Izh-18, the LongHorn is not a weapon that will tolerate carelessness in its use. If you fail to hit your target on the first shot, you may not get another chance by the time your opponent reacts and you finish reloading. Fortunately, with such high accuracy and a powerful round, this is fairly easy to do.

Still, this gun is best utilized as part of a combination that includes a complimentary weapon with higher ammo capacity or, even better, automatic fire. In this way, each weapon serves its role to the best of its abilities and few compromises are needed.


With its default optics, the big pistol is an excellent alternative to binoculars when it comes to scouting an area. The pistol scope can’t match the binoculars on magnification, but it will allow you to keep a barrel pointed downrange as you observe which can be just as important.

Even members of a group who are not otherwise outfitted for long range fighting can quickly deploy to perform scout duty by keeping the relatively compact LongHorn stowed in their inventory. Utilizing this pistol can extend the effective operating range of a group without requiring its members to give up primary weapons which are more geared towards close range combat.

Low Maintenance

Since it is a single-shot design, the LongHorn doesn’t require you to run around looking for a magazine in order to use it. Simply chamber a bullet and you’re good to go. The hardest part can be finding the ammunition, but one box is enough to last most users for a while.

It doesn’t require a lot of attention or beg you to go looking for attachments either. The best one available comes with the gun, and the rest are easy to track down or make yourself. This is a no-frills weapon, asking little of you and delivering solid results.

Limited Options

Until the 0.57 update, the pistol scope was fixed to the LongHorn and unable to be swapped out. Now it can be detached, leaving an empty rail and iron sights which allow it to be used more like a normal handgun. It is also able to accept the Holosight optics intended for use with the Crossbow, though they are not ideal for this application and (as of 0.59) sometimes do not properly display their distance markers even with a battery attached and powered on.

The LongHorn is also able to use an improvised suppressor, which turns it into the ultimate disposable tool of assassination. In this way, it one-ups its bigger brother, the B95 Double Rifle.

Big Power, Little Gun

Originally chambered in the very similar 7.62x51mm, the LongHorn was switched over to .308 Winchester with the 0.55 update. This powerful civilian ammunition packs a huge punch in a very small weapon, and can do big damage to your opponents with minimal effort on your part.

The single shot design keeps you from burning through ammo too quickly, and the pistol’s excellent accuracy means that one shot is often enough to get the job done, particularly against non-human targets.

Shared by Tatanko on March 7, 2016

The thirteenth in a many-part series covering the different weapons found in DayZ Standalone.

Many thanks to official forum user SGTHornet for assisting with the album.