In this edition of “Weapons,” we will have to break order a bit. You see, issue #3 should be the M4A1, but it’s gosh darned impossible to acquire at the moment. So, we skip ahead to the next weapon, and it so happens to be the very first weapon added to the game: the Magnum!
Joining the original trio during a v0.30 update, it brought with it the .357 Magnum ammunition and the very first taste of a wide variety of weapons yet to come. Let’s take a closer look at DayZ’s iconic revolver and its role within the firearms ecosystem.
Colt Python .357
What we know as simply the “Magnum” is really the Colt Python double-action revolver. The real article is chambered in .357 just like its video game counterpart, and is lauded for its accuracy and smooth, satisfying operation.
Introduced in 1955, the Python is far too new to be associated with images of the Wild West, and in fact features several design elements that make it better than the pistols toted by old gunslingers. Such features include: “precision adjustable sights, a smooth trigger, solid construction, and extra metal,” according to Wikipedia. Perhaps more distinctively, it sports a solid underlug for stability and a ventilated rib on the top side of the barrel.
One major feature that separates it from its forebears is the tight cylinder action, in which the cylinder stays locked in place for the duration of the hammer strike. Along with a design that utilizes a tight gap between the cylinder and the forcing cone, these modern elements greatly aid both accuracy and velocity for the round being fired.
The Magnum’s real-life counterpart is able to be fitted with a number of different barrels and other attachments to suit different roles. The version we see in-game is representative of the most popular model utilizing a 6-inch (15cm) barrel, but the Python is also available with 2.5-inch (6.4cm), 3-inch (7.6cm), 4-inch (10cm), and 8-inch (20cm) barrels. For a time, Colt offered a “Python Hunter” model which featured a 2X Leupold scope fixed with Redfield mounts, meant to be used as a hunting weapon.
Picture by CalGuns.net user “beetle.”
Image of Colt Python Hunter model with scope can be seen here: http://www.rockislandauction.com/photos/57/p_standard/OPD252-G-F1-H.jpg
Despite having no ties to the old West, the Magnum at least looks the part. Just as having six shots ready to fire made you dangerous back then, having six .357 Magnum rounds in-hand makes you a threat in Chernarus just the same.
Given how common this firearm is and the relative ease of finding ammo to feed it, its very likely you’ll see it used in a robbery or to murder fresh spawns in cold blood. There’s something about a mask and a powerful handgun that compels people to act in despicable ways…
Great as it may be, you’re not likely to find too many people packing a Magnum as their primary firearm. It’s simply too limited in range to serve as an all-purpose weapon unless we are given the option to fix some rudimentary optics to it (such as the Pistol Scope from the LongHorn). Instead, most will keep it strapped to their chest or tucked away in a backpack.
This gun is best utilized as a powerful “plan B.” When your primary needs reloaded but you need to keep on fighting, or when your primary is ill-suited to close-range duty, it’s time to reach for the Magnum so you can continue the battle. In that way, it is best suited as a companion to a dedicated, scoped weapon like the Blaze 95 or one of the bolt-action rifles.
Walk the Walk
If nothing else, the Magnum is an intimidating piece of metal. Simply having one holstered on your chest is a way of broadcasting the message, “Don’t mess with me.” If that doesn’t get your point across, your finger on the trigger with your enemies looking down the barrel just might.
This gun is a deterrent as much as it is a weapon, and that’s a very good thing, but more importantly it has the bite to back up its bark.
As the only revolver in the game, this .357 has some unique traits. Unlike the other handguns which utilize either external magazines or internal magazines (with a clip for quick reloading), the Magnum will accept six rounds in its cylinder and can be reloaded more quickly by using its own particular speedloader.
Having the ability to hold several rounds with no additional items necessary gives the Magnum an advantage over most of the other handguns in the game. The only other pistol able to hold as much or more rounds is the Red 9, which fires the significantly less powerful 9mm ammunition.
One Eye Open, Finger on the Trigger
Want to take a rest, but aren’t sure you’ll be safe while you relax? The Magnum is the perfect weapon to keep in-hand while you sit for a while. It’s ready to fire at a moment’s notice, and would-be attackers will think twice about picking a fight with someone toting this pistol.
Not to mention, you just look pretty awesome sitting with a Magnum. It’s the ultimate bad guy weapon.
As the only pistol — and one of only a few weapons period — that fires the powerful .357 round, you should accept no substitutes. It packs the punch of a primary weapon in a much smaller package, one that even the venerable .45’s have a tough time competing with.
It may not have any attachments, but don’t underestimate the usefulness of this beastly handgun. Through sheer force, it will make you reassess your priorities in a sidearm.