The Medicine Stick is a variant of the brush gun. It has an increased ammunition capacity, a less obstructive rear sight, and is also much cleaner in appearance. It also features a unique stock with a symbol similar in appearance to a Native American medicine wheel attached to its side. Compared to the standard brush gun, the Medicine Stick has slightly higher damage and rate of fire.
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.
Medicine sticks are also called "spirit sticks" by some Native American tribes. Spirit sticks are used for rituals relating to the spirit world, and are often decorated with beads and feathers from spirit animals (such as the eagle or the bear). The weapon's name implies that it can take away "bad spirits" and send them back to the spirit world.
pcxbox360 When firing from long ranges, it appears that the sights aren't completely aligned, meaning you'll have to aim slightly to the left of an enemy for a direct hit.[verified]
xbox360 Sometimes, the lever may remain downward after running while reloading. This is purely aesthetic, however; it will return to its original position when you stop moving or holster the weapon.[verified]
xbox360 While reloading in third-person view, you may not see the usual lever action after reloading.[verified]
ps3 If you look at the opposite side of the stock when holstered, the feather will have disappeared. This is most evident when wearing heavy/medium armor such as power armor or NCR Ranger patrol armor.[verified]
ps3xbox360 As with the regular brush gun, the Medicine Stick may glitch in V.A.T.S. mode, causing the cocking handle to become stuck in the downward position. The player will not fire any rounds, and will stay in the glitched state until killed. This may require a reload of a previous save.[verified]
pcxbox360 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]
pcxbox360 Like all round by round reloading weapons in the game, if the player switches ammo types quick enough, the animation to load a single round is played but have a full magazine.[verified]