Due to the gun's tubular magazine, it is reloaded by hand one bullet at a time, allowing the player to interrupt reloading mid-way. This allows the gun to be fired before reloading is complete.
High damage output, minimal spread, and a moderate firing rate make this gun a very powerful and accurate weapon. However, it uses .45-70 Gov't rounds, which are one of the rarest ammunition types in the game. In spite of this, the brush gun uses this ammunition quite efficiently: it has the highest Damage per shot of all the weapons that use this ammunition. Unfortunately the iron sights are large and obstructive, meaning that it is difficult to track fast moving enemies, like Cazadors. When loaded with .45-70 SWC (hand load) rounds, this can be a very effective weapon to use against high level opponents, such as deathclaws and super mutants.
Its damage is on par with that of the anti-materiel rifle loaded with armor piercing rounds and boasts almost three times the damage-per-second when used with the cowboyperk. It is also much easier to use as it does not feature a large scope and has a much faster re-chamber time. Despite the long reload, there is an exploit one can use: when reloading, double-tap the hot-key for changing ammunition types and the magazine should be completely reloaded.
The brush gun can fire a total of about 745 standard rounds, the equivalent of 125 reloads, from full condition before breaking. When modified with the forged receiver, it can fire a total of about 1120 standard rounds, the equivalent of 187 reloads.
Can also be found on Great Khans, specifically at Red Rock Canyon or sometimes in the Great Khan armory if you have a positive Reputation with the faction. Buying it in the armory is cheaper than anywhere else in the Mojave Wasteland.
Honest Hearts Brush guns are commonly found on White Legs warriors at higher levels (20-25+).
Although there is a butt-stock cartridge holder on the stock of the weapon, no bullets will be placed inside it, regardless of the player's ammunition count.
As long as the main storyline for the Honest Heartsadd-on has not been completed, the White Legs can provide an unlimited supply of brush guns to moderate level players. (Level 20-25+)
Even after completing the Old World Bluesadd-on, it is possible for players who are Level 40 or higher to loot an unlimited number of brush guns from lobotomites, as it is a fairly common lobotomite weapon.
pcxbox360 Sometimes when reloading the weapon in third person view, you may not see the usual lever action. [verified]
pcps3xbox360 Sometimes a serious bug will affect the weapon's shooting capabilities, making every bullet hit about 20 feet to the right of where you are aiming. Also this bug affects the iron sights, as you can not see them when you zoom in. [verified]
pcps3xbox360 When changing ammunition types this weapon could be caught in a reload loop, this is also common on the cowboy repeater and trail carbine, and also happens when you give this weapon to a companion. This can be fixed for the player character by changing the ammunition type again. [verified]
pcps3xbox360 As with all lever action weapons, a bug exists where if one changes ammunition types twice consecutively, the weapon returns to having a full magazine in the ammunition type that was selected. [verified]
ps3 When modding this weapon with the brush gun forged receiver, and repairing it with a Weapon Repair Kit to full condition, the condition will raise to 150%, instead of making it degrade at a slower rate. basically making it 100% for much longer (Fixed in 1.06). [verified]
xbox360 A brush gun with the forged receiver mod attached will actually degrade in condition when a weapon repair kit is used on it. [verified]
xbox360pc Sometimes the lever may remain downward if holstered immediately after firing. Simply drawing and holstering the weapon again will fix this. [verified]
xbox360 Reloading in third-person mode while moving even at a snail's pace will show the reload animation without cycling the lever once reloading is finished. This happens even if the reload was interrupted mid-way. Also, the lever will remain in a lowered position until you zoom in, put it away, etc. [verified]
ps3 Sometimes firing multiple shots in V.A.T.S. will cause the brush gun to rapidly fire all shots while still zoomed on the player, resulting in zero damage to the enemies. [verified]
ps3xbox360 In V.A.T.S. mode when firing multiple shots, the brush gun will randomly miss enemies with each shot even with multiple two-handed weapon perks, 100 to Guns skill, and aiming at the same body part. This is especially common when dealing with up-close enemies such as night stalkers, and cyberdogs. [verified]
xbox360 The reload animation of lever action weapons doesn't have a corresponding jam animation, so the weapon will not jam, even at near-breaking conditions. [verified]