This is a list of my observations on Fallout weapons, and where they were drawn from in real life. If you actually read the whole thing and enjoy it, send me a message. If you can't finish it, I'm not surprised. A note on why I made this list at the bottom.
.223: First impression- Bladerunner. This is already stated here at the vault in the article, and is quite obvious. Purported to be a .223 rifle cut down and modified into a pistol; as is very common with AR-15 derivatives, both custom and factory designs, however there is no real life weapon period, especially a .223/5.56 rifle that fits the description and the .223 pistol is the Bladerunner pistol's exact twin.
9mm Mauser: The name spells it out. Specifically the C96, inspiration for the Star Wars blaster pistols.
10mm Pistol: Credited to Colt, and given the SigSauer-esque model number 6520, It's a pretty straight forward large caliber, large frame automatic, with a twist: it has a revolver chamber. Very similar to the weapon used by the protagonist of Frank Miller's Hard Boiled. No real world corollary, it seems like a 1911/revolver hybrid. Looks similar to the Red Faction 10mmm Pistol, Red Faction debuting 4 years after Fallout. In the later games this similarity increases.
14mm Pistol: Seems to be aesthetically influenced by the Bladerunner pistol, as well as generic 'futuristic' handgun styling. No real world corollary, and indeed 14mm(what would be 0.55 in calibers, or inches) is a ludicrous bore for a handgun. The question must be asked, in the tiny Ar-7 style detachable box magazine how 6 of these behemoth rounds would fit, unless they were very short and underpowered.
Desert Eagle .44: Another weapon exactly as it is in our world. A few tidbits: designed by the U.S. company Magnum Research, most all models have been manufactured under Israeli Military Industries(IMI). New weapons from the factory come in pairs, with barrels, magazines and a tool to switch the same guns from .357 mag to .44 mag to .50 Action Express and back again. In real life, there are many more individual desert eagles 'created' from the parts of the original sets as they are split up and circulated. In the fallout world, any surviving examples would be assembled from parts and as such might be found in all three calibers, if they existed. Would be interesting that all 3 could realistically repair each other, unlike other same gun/different bore weapons, which do not have such interchangeability. The ability to switch one out to a more plentiful ammo would be an interesting feature for Bethesda to consider in the future.
10mm: This is a Fallout-unique weapon, although it's design is conventional and mainstream. This seems to be the same weapon throughout the series, albeit given a face lift by Bethesda. Again, Red Faction seems to have stolen this one; however the RF SMG is modeled more like RW examples, namely the MP5k. IMHO, they straight jacked it.
Ak-112 Assault Rifle: While named as a (presumably) Soviet kalashnikov, this weapons looks more like a prototype M14/FAL/L1A1. While it matches none exactly, it definitely evokes the styling of .30 caliber battle rifles, not 5.56 assault rifles, much less a kalashnikov. Nonetheless, it fits the bill of an automatic military rifle.
Colt Rangemaster Hunting Rifle: Looks like a modern carbine with shotgun styling. Looks unlike anything used for hunting, but is semi-auto and is what a 'hunting' rifle would be, functionally. 5.56 is a light caliber for hunting, but not unheard of.
Red Ryder BB Gun: Exactly what it says. The Fallout 3 unique variant Black Bart's Bane is a nostalgic stab back to A Christmas Story.
Sniper Rifle: Just like the real world, but unique. Features 'futuro' design elements in construction, but otherwise run-of-the-mill.
Shotgun & Sawed-Off: Nothing different from RL.
Combat Shotgun: Shotguns have been used by armies since they were created. This incarnation, however has more in common with a bullpup rifle, a .308 chambered one, judging by the straight-walled magazine, than any shotgun. Also seems to have been looted and stolen by Red Faction as well, as their Ultor Assault Rifle. Bastards!
Minigun: This is a true minigun, in form, multiple barrels and large. Being man-portable and in 5mm it has more in common with General Electric's 5.56 Microgun concept weapon, but draws its looks from the real-world General Electric vehicle mounted Minigun (in 7.62) or even the original, the General Electric aircraft Vulcan cannon.
Rockwell BigBazooka: Influenced by the M20 SuperBazooka, in name and form, this is pretty straightforward. Rockwell International in the RW was highly influential in military design, but more for aircraft, electronics and integrated systems than infantry weapons. Not a stretch to imagine the Cold War defense contractor designing anti-armor weapons.
Fragmentation Grenade: Same as our world. This version seems influenced by the M67 U.S. Model. An appropriate corollary for the Cold War influences of Fallout.
44. Magnum Revolver: Same to you. No surprises. Looks like a Smith & Wesson Model 29.
M3A1 "Grease Gun": The canon description is pretty much what happened in real life. The M3 was developed in secret as the 'guide lamp' as a cover name. It was supposed to be the easiest, simplest and cheapest SMG to make, to lower the cost and increase output over the Thompson and others. The British sten, German MP40(over the MP38), and Soviet PPS are all examples of this wartime expedited design theory. After WWII the U.S. had a sickeningly wide array of diverse weapons in use, all for different purposes that overlapped. Ammunition diversity was a logistics nightmare. The M3, along with almost every US infantry weapon, was phased out in favor of a 'one-weapon-fits-all' plan, the result of which was the failed M14. Thus, as in Fallout, they were found piled to the ceiling in National Guard armories and anywhere the 'old stuff' was stored. M3s had a unique design, including many threaded pipe-like parts. The massive stick magazine was a source of many thumb cramps as feeding one round after another as the spring compressed led to the last few rounds loaded requiring significant force.
Tommy Gun: Ah, the Chicago Typewriter. The Fallout 2 version is the original 1928 Auto-Ordinance model, but with the carbine length barrel. The F2 variant also has what looks like a 75 or 100 round drum, although operates with a 50 round capacity. The difference being only the diameter of the drum, so a very forgivable mistake.
H&K P90c: The P90 was revolutionary. Just not as much as was thought when it debuted. Of course, it was in games from day one, being featured prominently in Goldeneye007 as the RCP90. The fallout version is pretty straightforward and faithful.
H&K G11: Just as in real life, except apparently in the Fallout Universe, H&K was able to prevent the exposed powder blocks of the caseless ammunition from overheating and going off when in a hot chamber. Such 'cook-off' problems plagued the G11 in our universe, and prevented it from being adopted or mass produced. Is there a reason it's considered an SMG here?
FN FAL: Like many weapons in Fallout, the FN FAL features wood furniture instead of polymer; the 'retro' part of retro-futurism... very very little is made of plastic. The FAL is one of the greatest weapons of the 20th century, indeed one of the most successful full bore battle rifles. Like all battle rifles, however, it was absolutely uncontrollable on full auto- the good people of the Pre-War era in Fallout must have foreseen this as the F2 version of the FAL has a burst mode instead of full automatic. However the HPFA version stands alone as an interesting oddity. The merits of firing off a full magazine with one trigger pull are dubious; the only real life firearms to do this are broken and dangerously out of fix.
XL70E3: based obviously on the real XL70, prototype of the SA80 British assault rifle. The F2 version is very faithful, but adds a few aesthetic graces from the EM-2, a 50's era ahead-of-its-time British prototype rifle, very similar to the XL70. The real world EM-2 has very sci-fi futuristic styling; I think it would have been much more appropriate for the Fallout world than the SA80; looking futuristic, being an advanced design of the cold war, and very 50's.
Note on the 'Pipe-Rifle'... if the barrel is a pipe, why is it a rifle? Very very few, if any pipes are suitable for barrels. Try it. What you will be building is suicide pipe bomb, not a ranged weapons. Weaken the walls by 'rifling' it, and it becomes more likely to explode. How one would ad-hoc add rifling to a pipe is beyond me, but is the resourcefulness of the post-Holocaust wastelander. I guess necessity being the mother of invention....
H&K CAWS: Same as real life. Like many other weapons featured in the Black Isle games, IMHO I don't feel it's appropriate 'feel' wise. Such a specific design doesn't fit in an altered timeline, so many decades away from where Fallout and the RW split(just after WWII).
Pancor Jackhammer: Again, same as real life. While very modern like the CAWS, I do feel the jackhammer fits into the fallout world. The drum magazine, timeless odd styling and unique look allow much more suspension of disbelief than the CAWS.
BOZAR: More like Bozo. Although I like how it exemplifies the need to alter existing hardware in a world without new manufacture capability. .50 cal Barret long range rifles altered to be .223 cal section support weapons. The merits of what is essentially the world's least ergonomic 5.56 assault rifle, that dumps an entire 30rnd magazine in two trigger pulls is less than dubious. Then again, it seems to get the job done.
LSW: Essentially the L86, the Light Support Weapon of the SA80 family, thus related to the XL70E3. With a much longer barrel and a burst of 10 rounds.
M60: Same as RL. Interesting, the F2 version is styled like a cross between the MG-42 machine gun and FG-42 paratrooper battle rifle of the WWII Wehrmacht. Both weapons were 'cross-combined' after the war to create the M60, so if this was intentional on the part of Black Isle, then a giant gold star for them.
Vindicator & Avenger miniguns: The General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger is the 30mm anti tank cannon in the nose of the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The A-10 is more built around the GAU-8 than the weapon is installed in the nose; indeed it would take a 25 story tall super mutant to hand wield a RW GAU-8. The German Vindicator? Nice addition to the game, however man-portable rotary barrel weapons are the antithesis of German small arm design. Not to mention Germans along with Russians, are more likely to employ the Gast principle in weapon design(essentially two normal automatics that load each other instead of one loading itself, resulting in phenomenal increase in fire rate) than rotating gatling barrels. In fact, I'd like to see the Gast principle in a future fallout weapon, it's virtually unheard of in the West, but was the norm for Cold War Soviet bomber aircraft defensive weapons. The Gast design offers exponentially higher rates of fire than a normal gas operated rifle or machine gun, but without the extremely high weight and large size of a rotary barrel weapon, thus making it perfect for man-portable individual 'heavy' weapons than rotating barrels, which work miracles when installed on vehicles but are almost useless as a primary infantry weapon.
As all Tactics firearms are real world weapons, there is no need to draw comparisons.
Pistols: Chinese: It's obviously a Mauser C96, but that doesn't really make it 'German.' The C96 WAS manufactured in China back when it was a new design; being prior to the quantum-time split between Fallout and the RW, this would have happened (presumably) in both timelines. It makes sense as a Chinese weapon in both worlds, simple, cheap, it works; uses light steel and wood.... why it would be in service by 2077 is beyond anyone's guess, but I think it's obvious by now in the Fallout world, Asian armies work like they do in our world: the top priority is number of soldiers, not what they are equipped with. I haven't played Op Anchorage yet, but 'human wave attacks,' what the Chinese call the 'short attack' and the Japanese call a 'Banzai Charge' would, in my mind have definitely been in the Chinese playbook, in the real conflict (Anchorage) if not in General Chase's lunacy of a 'simulation.' As for the Zhu-rong v418? I don't know what to say. Incendiary ammunition doesn't set the entire target on fire, but wtf it's so damn cool you can't question it! Very useful for gas leak areas anyway...
.32: .32????? .32 Rimfire??!?! I don't understand why the much more logical choice of .38 wasn't thought of; it would make more sense if .38 special to also be used in the hunting rifle.. more on that later. An Iver Johnson 'Safety Automatic.' Safety for the 'unique' internal safety, automatic because it would automatically eject loaded (empty) casings when opened, facilitating reloading. The Fallout model has changed the owl face grip design to look like the Smith and Wesson seal. It could be a very similar S&W piece or in fallout, maybe both. Apparently a pistol, pin and wheel identical for the FO3 weapon was the gun used by Leon F. Czolgosz to assassinate President McKinley in 1901, and another Iver model in .22 was used to kill Bobby Kennedy. So a pistol, dangerous to people wearing only clothing, but why a pistol in such a light chambering for the heavy targets of the wastes? Why .32? Well, the in-game damage of the .32 is quite accurate; that is, next to useless. I guess one rationale would be that civil weapons firing such a low power round wouldn't knock themselves to pieces as much as larger bores. That makes sense. The only other civilian pistol in fallout 3 is the .44 Magnum, a S&W, the K/L medium frame sizes, I think. Smith and Wesson has made and sold more handguns in the U.S. than almost anyone else; something the RW and Fallout would have in common. The 'olde' S&W products, to some the 'good' ones, are the ones in Fallout. all these weapons were made to survive, well, even a nuclear Armageddon. I think it would be categorically odd to NOT find S&W revolvers in the Fallout world. Plentiful, tough... the perfect two attributes to thrive in the fallout world. The top break design of S&W was used in their model 3, aka 'Russian' or 'Schofield,' and has been in many designs of theirs since.
N99 10mm: Well, well. What is it? A 1911? A Mk23/USP? It doesn't matter. The 10mm stands alone and speaks for itself. The military and police application makes sense, and would explain how common it still is. It's a pretty straight forward workhorse, a large frame automatic in a man-stopping caliber. With the 1911 and the flood of John Browning copies occurring before divergence, there was always going to be a pistol of this configuration in common usage. It also looks almost identical to the Red Faction pistol, but screw Ultor. The first fallout predates Red Faction, and is the quasi-canon direct relative of this pistol. The open frame block construction, especially of the slide, makes me think the same company/designer is responsible for both the 10mm SMG and 10mm Pistol, but who knows?
.44 Magnum Scoped/Blackhawk: Briefly touched on this above. S&W has been so influential on American history and gun culture they are almost inseparable. Does the actual S&W company exist in Fallout? A moot point, in my mind. Their guns exist, and should. Between the 30s and the 70s of the 20th century, a time period roughly shared by both RW and the pre-war Fallout universes, was the heyday for S&W. Their medium/large frame revolvers, such as the .44 Magnum in fallout, were made by the hundreds of thousands, and made tough. They work well, never die, and were hugely popular. Again, a Fallout world without S&W revolvers just doesn't make sense. The only thing left to ask has to do with punks and luck. The Blackhawk, by Ruger, is based off of the Colt New Army and not the S&W Model 49 as the Fallout unique weapon is. However, the southwest flavor of the name Blackhawk fits revolvers well and is most appropriate. To those not knowledgeable in firearms the two would be too similar to require a separate design; it works well as a 'unique .44' Ruger offered this weapon in .44 Magnum as well.
10mm: Already covered above, but the new Bethesda re-model is very good looking. No real life corollary that I know of, but pretty conventional otherwise. Military weapons are always equipped with stocks, for good reason... maybe they were made of a weak polymer and broke? You would think any form of shoulder stock, even a crappy mac-10 style wire one would cut down the ridiculous spread of these weapons. The position of the disassembly thumbscrew on the back is very odd... and problematic, in real life, I would think- brush up against a brick wall, and suddenly your automatic firespitter is a pile of springs and parts all over your boots. Ah well, it stays locked and requires a 'special tool' to unscrew, doesn't it? (wink,wink)
Hunting Rifle: Nothing special, here. Pretty much out of Cabela's catalog. The chambering in .32 rimfire revolver ammo makes no sense whatsoever- but hey. I would suggest .308 instead, and a slight damage increase. .308 is a common and sufficient hunting rifle round. While bolt action rifles come in everything from .22 Long Rifle to .50 BMG, few of the unique and rare calibers would survive long after the Great War, only the most common would be found by 2077.
Lever Action: Only in point lookout addon. Other than being chambered in 10mm, pretty normal. Lever action rifles, other than collector pieces and replicas, haven't been seriously manufactured since the 20s and 30s; the Winchester 1873 was only produced until 1919. The 10mm round, assuming it is 10mm Auto(a conclusion supported by the other weapons that use this round), was designed in our world in 1984 and has only come into common usage since. As such, a rifle from 1919 firing ammo not designed until 1984 makes no sense. The .32 or maybe the .44 Magnum would be much more suitable.
Lincoln's Repeater: This weapon is both laughable and awesome. With the tophat and honest abe facial hair, much shenanigans are sure to be had(haven't tried this myself yet) On the one hand, .44 Magnum is not by any means an appropriate round for an Abraham Lincoln era winchester rifle, but .44-40 Winchester would be. The addition of one more ammo type just for this weapon and maybe the Blackhawk revolver would be inexcusable for game inventory purposes, so it makes perfect sense to chamber it in the already common OTHER .44 round, and call it good enough.
Sniper Rifle(Victory&Reservist): Just a cut-and-dry late 20th century military high power sniper rifle. Obviously related to Fallout 1/2 Sniper rifle. This weapon has clean good looks, a powerful round, and great accuracy. But if it can handle .308 rounds without exploding, why does it fall apart like it's made of paper-mache? So you can't use it too much? Ok.
R91 Assault Rifle: This is a CETME rifle, a very successful and mass produced Cold War Spanish weapon very similar to the H&K G3, Fabrique National Fusil Automatique Leger(FN FAL) and L1A1, at least externally. Like the other 3 weapons, its parentage is deeply rooted in the WWII Third Reich's Storm Rifle weapon programs, like the StG 44 and StG 45(M). In developing automatic rifles during WWII, there were divergent approaches. Some designers kept their countries' infantry rifle caliber, despite the uncontrollable power of such rounds when fired from an automatic. These designs went on to become the 'battle rifle,' what is basically an assault rifle that fires full size rifle ammo. Other designers cut the back half of the regular rifle ammo off, dropping the recoil and thus improving accuracy and control. The StG 44, StG 45,M1 carbine and AK-47 Are examples of these. Ultimately, 'hacked-off' service rifle rounds(shortened in length in design) and the weapons that used them were found to not be desirable designs, behaving like suped-up submachine guns with too many drawbacks. Thus these designs focused on scaling down full rifle cartridges to an appropriate size, case and projectile both. These 'intermediate' cartridges and their full-auto or burst weapons came to be known as 'assault rifles.' The CETME, of which the R91 is externally based, is an example of the problems of automatic military rifles, and the solutions tried to make them work. The original CETME rifle fired an otherwise standard 7.62 NATO cartridge, with less power and a much lighter projectile. This was not ideal, and ultimately The Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales research group created a new CETME rifle to fire the 5.56mm Belgian/US round. This CETME L is essentially the Real World R91, except that the R91 has the dimensions and looks of the original 7.62 CETME. The CETME rifle was a research weapon, using only cutting edge ideas and research. All tradition and nostalgia was thrown out. As such, it, like its similar brethren of the time were a summation of the lessons of WWII. Thus, the perfect model for a post-WWII cold war assault rifle, and perfectly fits in the fallout world as the R91. I like that the M16/AR15 Has not made nary an appearance in the Fallout world, I like that separation in the timeline. New Vegas breaks that tradition, but alas, at least the R91 is the period U.S. Military weapon, and I like that it is not the worn out tired M16 that has been forced to trudge through too many fictional series.
Chinese Assault Rifle: It's an AK, right? Yes-kinda. The Fallout Chinese Assault rifle is closest to the RW Israeli Galil, which is itself a direct kalashnikov relative, prized for their reliability and ruggedness, but chambered in the more advanced and Israel-ally used NATO 5.56. The Chinese AR is also chambered in 5.56, ostensibly because Chinese troops, third-columnist cells buried inside the U.S. Mainland, and other insurgents, would be able to use the American 5.56 round, plentiful both in civil stocks and on fallen U.S. personnel, used in the US R91. I like this, as not only is RW history full of examples of weapons being re-bored or redesigned to new rounds for the purposes of rebels, rift factions, and behind-lines operative cells, but there have been numerous assault rifles designed in the latter quarter of the 20th century to use either the enemy's ammo, both, or be switched from one to the other. The Czech Cz 805 and the FN SCAR-H have both been designed with multi-caliber capability in mind. Apparently, the use of 'battlefield pickups' of ammo off of fallen enemies didn't escape the minds of gun designers in Fallout either. The Galil, being a modernized, advanced, 21st century relevant kalashnikov, makes it a perfect weapon for the 'New Chinese Army.' At some point during the course of the resource wars, before the invasion of Anchorage, it makes sense the PRC would update their ancient Type 56(AK47)rifles to a modern design. Hence, something like a Galil.
Combat Shotgun: The 'new' combat shotgun after Bethesda's reboot is actually- and 'old' one! I like this, as the CAWS, SPAS-12, and other models of the Black Isle productions, while nailing the futuristic part on the head, miss the boat on the retro part, so much as to throw off suspension of disbelief. Unlike the CETME of Spain being 'ported' as the Stent Security R91, and the 'Chinese' Galil, the combat shotguns of Fallout 1/2 were real life guns, down to the manufacturer and model number, of Real World designs from the late 20th century. That kind of crossover bothers me. So much took a different course in the Fallout timeline, that although weapons would of developed to look, function and fulfill roles in much the same way as our world, there is very low odds they should develop EXACTLY the same. So, enough rant. This combat shotgun fits much better, but it's 'unique' status doesn't fool me. It's obviously the WWII Soviet PPsh-41 submachine gun magically re-invented as a shotgun. Clever, though, and it looks good. The only critique I have of this delicious slice of iron is that the revolver magazine, and hence where the rounds are fired, is like 4 inches from the muzzle brake. What is the point of the rest of the barrel? Why so long a weapon, and so short of a barrel? In real life, you'd throw pellets about 30 feet like that, along with half the powder. Pointless. A word of advice, Bethesda: you shoulda scooted that mother all the back to the trigger guard. It would make more sense for weapon balance too; the way it is, with a fully loaded magazine, you wouldn't so much swing the weapon to aim it as swing yourself around the back of it, trying to not let the ponderous weight of the drum up front rip the weapon from your hands, or drag it down to aim at the floor. Can you imagine trying to hold it steady?
Sawed-off: A double barrel shotgun that has been reduced by time and hacksaws to little more than pistol size. Significant ghetto-rigging and custom reinforcement from original.
Minigun: Oh, thank god, and bless you Bethesda. This is the CORRECT minigun for a person to carry, ludicrous scenes in movies not withstanding(I'm talking to you, Predator!) The General Electric M134 Minigun weighs 70 ilbs.; 1500 rounds of 7.62 ammo weighs an additional 130 ilbs., which at 6,000 rpm you would burn through in 15 seconds. And you still don't have a power source, the M-134 would require a voracious supply of batteries. Kinda takes the portable out of man-portable, doesn't it? At these weights, it would still be a heavy weapon for super human behemoths, a sort of unlimited ammo assault rifle. Even the brutes would snap their backs trying to patrol with it. While a powerful mounted weapon, off of a vehicle a minigun is nothing more than a king kong sized paperweight. The M-134, as well as some Soviet rotaries were the model for the Fallout 1/2 minguns. In Fallout 3, Bethesda went with the much more realistic Microgun as a model. Time for some nomenclature, children. The GAU-8 Vulcan cannon was the original GUN('gun' being a military term for a projectile weapon fired by more than one person, and always mounted, never a personal weapon) and the M-134 was 'mini' for being a GAU-8 scaled down to 7.62mm. The military used both to great success, but home-products goliath General Electric, ever-inventive, wasn't done. In the 70s, GE designed the M214 Microgun, scaled down again this time to 5.56mm, for smaller applications than the ubiquitous 'mini,' and potentially to be man-portable. This would be the GE Six-Pak. At 85 ilbs. total including 1,000 rounds of ammo, this is still ginormous, but almost manageable. Still not intended as an individual's primary weapon, it's not the biggest stretch to think it could be used that way. While the Fallout 3 mini isn't the M214 exactly, it features 3 instead of 6 barrels that are much shorter. A man portable M214 SixPak-like system would have most likely exactly that configuration.
Fat Man: Obviously the Fat Man Pu239 implosion bomb of WWII fame would stand to influence Fallout 3 to a great extent. While no weapon exactly like the Fat Man rocket launcher has ever been created, in the late 50s the US did create a weapon very much like it, the M-28/M-29 "Davy Crockett" Consisting of a 122mm(M28) or 155mm(M29) recoiless anti-tank rifle, with a range of 1.25 or 2.5 miles, respectively. Firing a W-54, a unique special low yield compact nuclear warhead, the Davy Crockett was able to produce a detonation from 10 and 20 kilotons The W-54 Projectile of the Davy Crockett was termed M-388. The W-54 in other configurations was capable of detonations between 1 ton up to one kiloton. The Davy Crockett system was to be used if war broke out in Europe between the West and USSR, it was to be used as a last resort for victory, to exact devastating damage on enemy ground forces, and for area denial(The M388 upon detonation would create an instantly lethal dose of over 10,000 rem within 500 feet and a probably lethal dose out to a quarter mile. This was part of the intent, as the Davy Crockett launcher was far from accurate) Extremely small warheads such as these were extremely problematic, due to the unique and precise nature of nuclear detonations, they could either result in an exponentially higher yield than was unintended, as the amount of radioactive mass required to create a true nuclear detonation of this size was almost as much as in the designs of much 'larger' air dropped and missile weapons. They could also 'fizzle,' or fail to go critical, often creating large devastating explosions and lethal doses of radioactive and x-ray radiation, but at a much, much smaller yield than intended; the fizzle failures of larger warheads in testing often resulted in nuclear explosions much smaller than the explosives required to start it. The W-54 did not use explosive compression, but rather relied on impact to compress and kick start the reaction. The W-54 was also intended to be used in SADM backpack 'drop off' bombs by two men parachuting into the area of enemy bases and naval harbors, The AIM-26 "Falcon" air-to-air missile, and the AGM-62 "Walleye" air-to-ground missile. The W-54 up to today is thought to be the smallest possible nuclear warhead, yet the Mini Nuke of fallout is a bit smaller. The idea of nuclear field artillery was tested in 1949 with "Atomic Annie," A captured German K5 Railway Cannon and 15kt warhead. Larger artillery warheads were developed, as well as many other types of 'battlefield nukes' but the concept was eventually abandoned.
Missile Launcher: No real life match here, but the F3 missile launcher fits the bill of any modern anti tank rocket, both in form and function.
Frag Grenade: Couldn't find an exact RW match, but pretty standard, save for the expensive to manufacture and overly complicated top-and-bottom cone and fragmentation belt.
Frag Mine: Pretty much a WWII German Teller mine. Why they give 3-5 beeps warning is besides me, so you don't get killed off immediately, I guess.
.357 Magnum: Colt Single Action Army revolver. In .357 because Obsidian says so. Used by Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear series, among hundreds more real life and fictional users.
.44 Magnum: Same as before, but looks more 'Dirty Harry' this time around. S&W Model 29.
12.7mm: Ok, WTF. Back in Fallout 1/2 This was one of the kooky weapons that were just eye-rolled over and enjoyed for their oddness. After Fallout 3, why is this weirdo being brought back? Ok, so it's not in the same pulled-it-out-of-our-ass ludicrous 14mm elephant round. It's now chambered in a ludicrous .50 cal elephant round. Is this .50 BMG, or .50 AE? Either way, the same question arises: WHERE THE F*** DO 7(count them,S-E-V-E-N)ROUNDS OF EITHER TYPE FIT IN THIS THING? If you want 7 rounds of .50 AE, could we not resurrect the realistic Desert Eagle? Oh well, it does at least look cool.
9mm: Oh, another 9mm pistol.... ....no doubt just one more Beretta 92F clone in a sea of them, littering the landscape of games and movies like so many old plastic bottles.... Oh wait! Hold the phone! It's actually an interesting, GOOD gun in 9mm, one you don't see too, well, EVER. John Browning's Hi-Power! Well, hello, beautiful! This gun wasn't used to great effect by Allied operatives who weren't doing anything secret in WWII, and who actually didn't exist, and weren't ever there, if you know what I mean. A classic weapon, glad to see it.
Hunting Revolver/Ranger Sequoia: Oh, christ. Not now. After having so many awesome old weapons throughout the series chambered in a completely wrong modern caliber, NOW they have the gall to add .45-70??!??!?? Jesus.....grrrrrr. Well, at least there's an excellent revolver to use it- looks like a Magnum Research BFR but if it's ok with you, I'm going to pretend it's a Walker Colt.
Silenced .22: Yup, sho'nuff is. A Gemtech OASIS, to be precise.
That Gun: Oh, yeah- .....'that' gun. Deckard's blaster, lost in both time, place, and storyline, apparently, then retrofitted to be an antique lead-slinger, is back again. Not that I mind.
9mm: The M3 Grease gun, reincarnated yet again. This time shrunk down and in handy-dandy 9mm parabellum.
12.7mm: No, no, and no. Recockulous.
Silenced .22: The American 180! Haven't seen you in fiction EVER. This bad boy can shred, even though it's a .22. The American-180 was created in the 1970s for law enforcement(namely tactical, i.e. SWAT) and prison officers. It's ferocious rate of fire, and the shredded mauling effect it had on it's targets had an effect on criminals the larger, 'macho' weapons never did. Came with a factory-option lead-battery targeting laser, the first ever. Was never designed with an integral suppressor, like this one, but theoretically could have the barrel modified to accept a threaded add-on suppressor.
Assault Carbine: GDMIT!!! I was really enjoying a game WITHOUT any M16s. Oh well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.
Service Rifle: This is actually NOT an M16 per se; it's actually most like an AR-10 prototype with wood furniture, it exemplifies the numerous prototypes and concepts Eugene Stoner created at Armalite leading up to the AR-15/M-16(not A1).
Brush Gun/Trail Gun: A Marlin Model 336.
Cowboy Repeater: Marlin 1893, this one in the right caliber. 10mm, really, Bethesda?
Hunting Rifle: Apparently the pre-war western united states insisted on hunting with useful rounds, or maybe it was the notorious Washington D.C. gun laws. Or maybe it was Bethesda. I'm not sure.
Marksman Carbine: An Ar-15. Although the back half of the upper receiver looks like a H&K 426 replacement upper. By the way I didn't know Magpul existed in the Fallout universe. *cough,cough*
This Machine: Of course, none other than 'The Machine' that saw the US to victory in WWII, the M1 Garand.
Anti-Material: One of the many .50 BMG Sniper rifles created since the 80's
Caravan Shotgun: Same as all the other double barrels in the fallout series, however this one is a rarely-seen-in-games over under.
Hunting Shotgun: Remington 870? Mossberg 500? Something like it, anyway. Standard pump-tube 12 gauge.
Lever-Action: It's a Winchester 1887, one that's survived apparently significant abuse, including a hacksaw.
Riot Shotgun: Seems like a combination of the Sidewinder and Striker. Could be a specific RW model, but I can't name it.
Single: What it says. Break open single barrel.
Light Machine Gun: It's a different take on a M249 LMG.
C757 Avenger: Damnit, I thought we had this talk! If we ignore it, maybe it will take the hint.
Grenade Launcher/Rifle/Merc's/Thump-Thump: The good ol' M79, aka 'Thumper' aka 'Blooper' aka 'Platoon Leader's Artillery.' This badass was the source of the M203. The Grenade Rifle is the most accurate to RL. Can't go wrong. Just don't aim to close.
Grenade Machine Gun: The XM307 Advanced Crew Served Weapon, a modern failed Mk. 19 replacement using the grenades from the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) US Army rifle program.
Note: I joined The Vault because I felt I could contribute; I'm sure there will be much for me to add in the future; sadly, the majority of what I had to contribute immediately is what I now know is banned- Real World weapon references that get people all up in a tizzy- this is hardly unique to The Vault, Fallout, or even wikis- anytime firearms are talked about there is a lot of people who think they know best and usually don't. Among true experts, being wrong is a learning opportunity and not a schoolyard fight, but such places are rare and usually gun-collector forums, I find. I'm not surprised to learn this, but I am saddened. So, not one to give up right away, I'm putting what I know here, where I can be both wrong and 'wrong' in others eyes, they can argue with me about it, and it won't start a donnybrook right in the middle of what is otherwise an impressive and admirable wiki. I'll also address now my thoughts on writing about the connections between a fictional world and the real; I don't think its derisive or caustic to address where in real life Fallout weapons draw their inspiration; in truth, the Fallout universe IS our own, just a split timeline of alternate history. It could be said writing about it is simply picking at the threads that the developers wove into the games, and that it is derivative. Considering Fallout is simply split in time from our world, and not a wholly unique universe, I find this to be quite untrue. Such is the nature of retro-futurism... it's a two fold amalgam of the past and future, the past and future of real life. As such, Fallout SHOULD have more in common with the real world than bizarre fiction in it; the only exceptions are, for example, where pop-science has changed. The attitudes, thinking, and philosophy of the 50's are the main bane of the Fallout world, as such what was 'true' then is true in Fallout. A good example is that radiation-induced mutations are of the scale variety, and not the reality of sloughing skin and deformed appendages, the reality of radiation exposure that has only become common knowledge since the passing of the age of 'Nuclear Optimism.' In the time that Fallout is drawn from, radiation gave you superpowers and made you glow- that was the conventional wisdom of the time of what WOULD happen, thus, in the Fallout world, it is what DID happen.
In terms of real-world guns to fallout guns, the connection between them is supportive, not derivative. The Fallout world is simply quantum-split from our own, so what guns existed before that split (just after WWII, I think) would be common to both worlds, and what happened afterward would be closely related, only 'different,' reflecting the altered course of events. As such I think it deepens the enjoyment of Fallout to compare how firearms, as well as all other technology, have so much in common despite how much else between the worlds is different.
I also believe, that unlike social attitudes, politics, and electronics, for example(development of electronics seemed to start much earlier in the fallout world, and as such take a very different course, making much more of the building blocks of computers, vacuum tubes and transistors, enough to approximate and exceed what the real world accomplished, only with what in the real world is much earlier technology.), firearms would have developed in much the same way in both worlds, this is a concept both Black Isle and Bethesda have both embraced, that all manner of guns developed the way they did out of purpose and necessity, which would be identically in common between universes. Add to it that war is a major theme of the fallout world, especially WWII and the Cold War, and that WWII shaped how weapons developed significantly into the Cold War, and how the Cold War shaped where it went from there. As such I find what 'real-world' weapons are related to their Fallout cousins is information that supports the story and timeline allure of the fallout world, rather than detracting from it as a 'game.'