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Red Dead Online | 25 Best Weapons (& How to Get Them)

Red Dead Redemption II is built around collecting. You’re always collecting, whether it’s resources, gear, or weapons. Much like Rockstar’s other open-world title, GTA V, there are honestly so many weapons to unlock, it can be incredibly overwhelming. And unlike GTA Online, the weapons in Red Dead Online are so oddly similar that it makes it even more difficult to decide which ones to run with.

So, what are Red Dead Online’s best weapons? Let’s run through your options and find out.

Red Dead Online Best Weapons — Top 25 Ranked Worst to Best

While Red Dead Online has seen plenty of updates since its launch, not much has changed in terms of which weapons are best. Thankfully, that means once you snag the options on this list, you shouldn’t have to worry about that top-tier weapon becoming obsolete. That being said, Red Dead is all about choice and you may find that you like running weapons lower on this list. 

That’s perfectly fine! Whatever weapons you end up deciding to run, hopefully, this list helps give you plenty of options. Here are our picks for the top 25 weapons in Red Dead Online.

25. Fire Bottle 

Fire Bottle 
Image: Rockstar Games

Considered to be a Throwing Knife variant, the Fire Bottle is similar to GTA V’s Molatave Cocktails and serves as your grenade in the Old West. It’s not very accurate and has limited range, but is your best way to kickstart a fire. Try to leverage it for crowd control and be ready to finish off enemies with another weapon.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 24
  • Purchase from a Fence for $0.75

24. Cattleman Revolver

Cattleman Revolver
Image: Rockstar Games

The Cattleman Revolver was a relatively weak weapon in the original Red Dead. However, just like Bungie revamps vanilla weapons in Destiny 2 to kick them up a notch, the same has happened here. It’s one of your best early in-game options in terms of power, but does require practice to aim quickly and accurately.

How to Unlock

  • Purchase for $50

23. Stone Hatchet

Stone Hatchet
Image: Rockstar Games

The Stone Hatchet is a funny weapon. The journey to get it is interesting and tied to actually completing objectives. However, once you’ve unlocked it, you have to find it to use it at the Native Burial site near Owanjila. Sure, it’s useful as a long and short-range weapon, but the roundabout way to keep it is a bit frustrating.

How to Unlock

  • Kill or kidnap Maude’s five bounty targets
  • Find and kill 25 enemies with the Stone Hatchet

22. Evans Repeater

Evans Repeater
Image: Rockstar Games

This is another weapon that you can technically get right from the start. It’s incredibly expensive, but doable if you can rack up enough cash. The benefit is that you’ll have a powerful and accurate weapon with a deep clip at your disposal. It’s a well-rounded option that can help you avoid reloading in a firefight.

How to Unlock

  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Catalogue for $300

21. Machete

Image: Rockstar Games

The Machete is a fairly standard weapon that makes quick work of enemies if you’re able to continuously slash up close. Unfortunately, it takes so long to unlock that it’s simply not worth using except as a backup weapon at that point. If you like laying out damage up close, go for it, but you likely have other weapons worth using instead

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 32
  • Purchase from any Fence for $40

20. Double Barreled Shotgun

Double Barreled Shotgun
Image: Rockstar Games

The Double Barreled Shotgun is not the best option long-term, but it is useful early on. While it’s a bit expensive, it does provide enough short to mid-range power to be worth investing in. Unfortunately, just about any other shotgun will easily replace it, so be prepared to switch as soon as you’re able. 

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 30
  • Purchase for $185

19. Sawed-Off Shotgun

Sawed-Off Shotgun
Image: Rockstar Games

There’s nothing quite like laying enemies out with a Sawed-Off Shotgun. Add in the different ammo options like incendiary ammo, and you have yourself a high-profile mid- to long-range weapon. Additionally, if you want to try running a dual wield build, you can always top off a Firearm or other longer-range weapons build with the one-two combo of your shotgun. 

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 19
  • Purchase from a Fence or Catalogue for $111

18. Dynamite

Image: Rockstar Games

Dynamite serves as your high-tier explosive and does far more damage than the Fire Bottle with its initial blast radius. Unfortunately, it’s just as difficult to aim quickly as other throwable items in the game, but the range is incredibly forgiving. Keep a stick or two on you to quickly dispatch groups of enemies or as a last resort in a gunfight.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 16
  • Purchase from a Fence for $1.00

17. LeMat Revolver

LeMat Revolver
Image: Rockstar Games

The LeMat Revolver is an equally useful weapon for long-, mid-, and short-range combat. With a deep magazine, you can fire almost ten shots without having to reload and even engage in a second barrel that houses shotgun shells. This makes it incredibly versatile, while not truly allowing the revolver to specialize in a specific area of combat. Jack of all trades, master of none.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 1
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Catalogue for $317

16. Litchfield Repeater

Litchfield Repeater
Image: Rockstar Games

The Litchfield Repeater is truly a balancing act. It’s incredibly powerful but lacks a large magazine, meaning that it’s designed to be shot with extreme accuracy. Luckily, it also means that you can lay down massive damage without having to land headshots or critical hits. It may be the best repeater in the game, although it lacks well-balanced stats in favor of greater power.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 18
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Catalogue for $348

15. Bolt Action Rifle

Bolt Action Rifle
Image: Rockstar Games

The Bolt Action Rifle is not your friend for outright gunfights. However, it’s incredibly useful when taking on enemies from long range and can easily make short work of most combatants. It’s worth keeping in your inventory if you want to pick off enemies before entering into a large-scale fight.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 7
  • Purchase from a Fence for $216

14. Ancient Tomahawk

Ancient Tomahawk
Image: Rockstar Games

The Ancient Tomahawk is a one-shot machine if used correctly. Unfortunately, they’re strangely difficult to aim and use consistently, but they’re weirdly inexpensive to checkout. On top of that, originally it can only be found around the map rather than being unlocked. So, it really depends if you care about the chance to one-shot folks or want something more consistent.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve rank 36
  • Purchase from a Fence for $5.50

13. Rolling Block Rifle

Rolling Block Rifle
Image: Rockstar Games

The Rolling Block Rifle is a spendy purchase but worth the cost if you’re a fan of more traditional weapon styles. It’s meant to be a long-range weapon, mainly a sniper or scout rifle of sorts, meaning that it’s best used from a distance and really lacks any benefits up close. 

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 13
  • Purchase from a Fence for $411

12. Repeating Shotgun

Repeating Shotgun
Image: Rockstar Games

The Repeating Shotgun truly makes the most out of speed and power. With a decent clip size, this weapon is perfect for players looking for a bit more forgiveness when firing off shotgun shells. This is only compounded by how strangely accurate this weapon is, making it far more deadly from mid-range than it maybe should be.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 11
  • Purchase from a Fence for $434

11. Navy Revolver

Navy Revolver
Image: Rockstar Games

Strangely enough, if you play GTA Online and have your Rockstar accounts connected you can complete a mission there to unlock it in RDR2 Online. Owning the Navy Revolver is well worth it, however, you decide to acquire it. It’s a slower weapon designed for high accuracy and dealing large amounts of damage. Try to focus on landing killing blows before you run through the clip with this one.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 1
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith for $275

10. Carcano Rifle

Carcano Rifle
Image: Rockstar Games

Unlocking the Carcano Rifle can take a while and it costs a pretty penny to boot. The only benefit of this is that this rifle almost acts as a natural next step in your shooting ability. It doesn’t have much by way of aim assist or other perks. Instead, it rewards you for being accurate with your own abilities from long-range.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 50
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Fence for $456

9. Volcanic Pistol

Volcanic Pistol
Image: Rockstar Games

The Volcanic Pistol serves as the slightly better iteration of the Cattleman Revolver. It went through the same journey of being mediocre in the original Red Dead only to receive an overhaul in the sequel. This will be your manual fire version of an automatic pistol, giving you plenty of speed with a bit more accuracy to help land more consistent shots.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 21
  • Purchase from a Fence for $270

8. Bow 

Image: Rockstar Games

The Bow quickly becomes your best friend if you like to take on enemy encounters silently. You’ll never be breaking the bank to acquire ammo, the weapon itself is reasonably priced and you’ll unlock it early on. It’s useful for hunting and generally just makes you a silent killer that no one will see coming.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 10
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Catalogue for $124

7. Semi-Automatic Pistol

Semi-Automatic Pistol
Image: Rockstar Games

The Semi-Auto Pistol is spendy and available fairly early on. Honestly, it’s really worth saving up some cash to dump on it as early as possible. The firing speed on its own is incredibly quick and is only elevated by the rapid reload speed. Activate Dead Eye and you can expect to unleash more bullets than necessary before your enemies ever move.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 22
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Catalogue for $537

6. Varmint Rifle

Varmint Rifle
Image: Rockstar Games

If you’re a fan of hunting, you’ll want to grab the Varmint Rifle as soon as you can. It’s really cheap and helps make quick work of smaller animals. While it’s really meant for hunting, you can take out just about anything if you land a headshot. So, not quite the best weapon around but worth picking up to get a head start online.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 8
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Catalogue for $72

5. Lancaster Repeater

Lancaster Repeater
Image: Rockstar Games

The Lancaster Repeater is your jack-of-all-trades type of weapon. It lacks any of the drawbacks of more powerful or accurate weapons, providing a stable and reliable experience when firing. It can be purchased early on and isn’t too expensive, making it well worth stowing away as a backup weapon.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 12
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Catalogue for $243

4. Schofield Revolver

Red Dead Online Schofield Revolver
Image: Rockstar Games

The Schofield Revolver was the original go-to sidearm in Red Dead Online. While recent updates have brought in weapons with higher accuracy or damage, they still can’t beat how well-balanced this revolver is. Get it early and practice to make it a consistent part of your arsenal. 

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 9
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Fence for $192

3. Semi-Auto Shotgun

Semi-Auto Shotgun
Image: Rockstar Games

Just like the Semi-Automatic Pistol makes it easy to just keep firing with virtually no downtime, the Semi-Auto Shotgun does almost the same thing for larger slugs. It’s stupidly fast, hits incredibly hard up close, and has options for different ammo types. Unfortunately, it really lacks any range, so be sure you’re within striking distance before you waste ammo.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 42
  • Purchase from a Fence for $540

2. Mauser Pistol

Mauser Pistol
Image: Rockstar Games

The Mauser Pistol serves as the slightly better version of the Semi-Auto Pistol. It lacks the damage of most revolvers, but it reloads and fires at a much quicker rate. Add the fact that it’s wildly accurate for a rapid-fire weapon, and it almost makes the hefty price tag sting a little less.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 34
  • Purchase from a Fence for $600

1. Springfield Rifle

Springfield Rifle
Image: Rockstar Games

The Springfield Rifle serves as the best long-range weapon you can unlock mid-to-late game. It’s incredibly affordable and is much easier to use when moving as opposed to other long-range weapons. It’s hard to say if it’s truly the best weapon in Red Dead Online, but the time it takes to unlock, cost, and weapon stats sure make like it could be.

How to Unlock

  • Achieve Rank 38
  • Purchase from a Gunsmith or Catalogue for $156

Join the High Ground

We hope this guide on Red Dead Online’s best weapons is helping you make the most of your hard-earned (or robbed) cash. Be sure to let your posse know which weapons they should go for in Red Dead Online by sharing this article on your favorite social channels, and sign up for our newsletter for more on Red Dead and other Rockstar games.

Happy gaming!

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