Left 4 Dead Wiki

"If it shoots bullets, I'll take it."
"Another pistol... Yeah, this'll work."

The M1911 Pistol is the backup weapon of the Survivors in Left 4 Dead. It is also the only weapon that they can use while incapacitated, although with a slower rate of fire and greatly decreased accuracy. Besides the Minigun, pistols are the only weapons that have infinite ammunition. However, they are still limited to a magazine capacity of 15 rounds.

Even though they are meant as emergency weapons, the Pistols make great secondaries, or even primaries for Hunting Rifle and Pump Shotgun/Auto Shotgun users because of their unlimited ammo, decent power, and above average accuracy.

Second pistols for dual-wielding will usually spawn on the first level of each campaign. This occurs most frequently on Easy and Normal. However, on Advanced and Expert, they are often not available during the first level.

The M1911 Pistol is succeeded by the P220 Pistol in Left 4 Dead 2.


Zoey dual-wielding Pistols

"Heh. Double my fun!"

Pistols can be dual-wielded once a second pistol has been found during gameplay. Second Pistols are placed by the Director and can also be picked up from fallen teammates.

Double pistols are intrinsically beneficial in many ways. Firstly they double the player's ammunition capacity to 30 rounds and rate of fire from 181 RPM to 362 RPM: useful features when mobbed by Infected and when presented by a mass target crammed into a choke point such as a window, passage or doorway. Secondly, the dual Pistols' volume of firepower is key to earning the "Akimbo Assassin" Achievement. Thirdly, an incapacitated player retains the two Pistols, making it easier to hold off the Infected until help arrives.

  • The only relatively minor drawback with dual Pistols is a slightly longer reloading time.
  • The dual-wielded, left-hand Pistol has no light.
  • It is impossible for a player to revert voluntarily to single Pistol mode once a second Pistol is picked up. A dead player previously equipped with dual Pistols is re-spawned with a single Pistol.


Louis wielding a Pistol

  • Crouching when firing a Pistol greatly enhances its accuracy at all ranges.
  • Dual-wielded Pistols are capable of a rate of fire on a par with that of an Assault Rifle: an invaluable asset when mobbed or presented with a mass target of Common Infected.
  • Pistols have excellent long range accuracy (when fired from a crouched position) and therefore complement short-ranged Pump Shotgun or Auto Shotgun.
  • When using the Hunting Rifle as a primary weapon, it is advantageous to switch to Pistols while running because the Hunting Rifle is quite inaccurate when firing on the move.
  • They are also a good complement for Assault Rifle users because of quite low ammo reserve for latter one and fact that Pistol causes slightly more damage than M16.
  • In certain situations (e.g. when mobbed), switching to Pistols is often a better option than spending time reloading a Primary Weapon.
  • If a distant teammate is disabled by a Hunter or a Smoker and the magazine of a player's Primary Weapon is empty, Pistol fire can often kill the Special Infected (thus affecting a rescue) faster than reloading the Primary Weapon.
  • Because Pistols have unlimited ammo, switching to them in low-threat environments conserves Primary Weapon ammo.
  • A Pistol's rate of fire is determined by the speed at which a player can operate the fire control button.
  • Pistols should be kept fully loaded at all times when not in use and reloaded immediately after even brief actions.
  • The amount of bullets required to kill the Infected increases as the difficulty scales up, so try to aim for the head if possible.


L4d akimbo assassin.jpg
Survive an entire campaign using only pistols.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Originally, the Pistols had limited ammo.[1] It appears that you were able to hold 240 maximum rounds in addition to the rounds loaded in them. This was scrapped and replaced with infinite ammo.
  • It also had a different reloading animation as well. When equipped with one pistol, after emptying or partially emptying its magazine, the player will always rack the slide. When picking up a second pistol, after emptying the magazines the same way, the slides would lock back requiring the slide releases to be actuated.
  • At one time, when dual-wielding Pistols, both Pistols had a flashlight on them. This can be seen on the Intro Scene, where both of Zoey's pistols have flashlights attached.


  • The Pistols' firing sound is a modified version of the P228 in Counter-Strike: Source. While their firing animations is a modified version of Dual Berettas.
  • The Pistol is based on the M1911A1. Indeed, on the left side of the slide the words "M1911A1 COLT .45" can be made out.
  • The Pistol is produced by the fictional company "Finleyville Armory". The name is derived from the Pennsylvania borough of Finleyville and may be meant to sound like Springfield Armory, a manufacturer of many popular M1911 models.
  • The M1911 is the only weapon from the first game that is not featured in the second game.
  • A single stack M1911 (which is what the in game model is based on) uses 7- or 8-round magazines, with some caliber-converted copies going up to 9. M1911s with higher capacities are built with wider frames to accommodate the increased width of double-stacked magazines.
  • The set-up of the M1911 in Left 4 Dead is somewhat odd: it uses stainless steel components and a fairly modern frame, with a beavertail grip safety, extended thumb safety, rounded hammer and integral rail, but has the old M1911A1 style sights. The original M1911A1 stock sights are much harder to use than modern three dot sights at night when most of the game takes place.
  • Although when wielding dual Pistols in-game the left-hand, the Pistol does not have a flashlight attached. In the opening cutscene, both of Zoey's pistols have flashlights attached.
  • If a Survivor dies, they drop a Pistol with a flashlight attached. If a Survivor only has a single Pistol and picks this up, the second Pistol still doesn't have a flashlight.
  • Reloading a single Pistol immediately prior to picking up a second one results in the otherwise-unused "empty" reload for the dual pistols being played when a second Pistol is picked up.
  • The Pistols, as well as the Submachine Gun, are the only firearms in the game that cannot sever limbs or explode Infected heads.
  • Even though the Pistol is (usually) incapable of doing so, during the opening scene in Left 4 Dead, Zoey shoots an Infected's head off while covering Francis and Bill from the fire escape.
  • The HUD icon does not show the flashlight attached to the gun.
  • Both Pistols have no firing pins, which are essential to their operation in real life.
  • The M1911 is a fairly common gun to find today, since it's common usage in the military for 74 years; civilians, police and military alike own and use them frequently and is still in mass production.
  • In real life, flashlights can't be attached to normal M1911 guns unless the frame was designed with an integrated picatinny or weaver style rail built into it.
  • The world model of the dual Pistols still exists in the left4dead2_dlc3 directory's game files, but missing its texture. The Pistol's viewmodel is in there too, but only the single one exists.
  • The world model of the Pistol shows the hammer in the resting, non-cocked position which would not allow the pistol to fire, while the player model shows it in cocked position, since the 1911A1 series is a single action only type of pistol, but the player always pulls back the hammer when taking them out.
  • When dual-wielding, even if you only used one bullet, you will still change both magazines when reloading.


Primary Weapons
Tier 1 Chrome invert.png Chrome Shotgun / Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun / MP5 Invert.png MP5 / Mac10 invert.png Silenced Submachine Gun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 Ak invert.png AK-47 / Icon weapon rifle desert inverted.png Combat Rifle / M16 invert.png M-16 Assault Rifle / SIG Invert.png SG 552 / Auto invert.png Auto Shotgun / Spas12 invert.png Combat Shotgun / AWSM Invert.png AWP / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle / Steyr Invert.png Scout / G3 invert.png Sniper Rifle
Special Tier Grenade launcher inverted.png Grenade Launcher / M60Icon.png M60 Machine Gun
Secondary Weapons
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png M1911 Pistol / Deagle invert.png Magnum Pistol / Pistol inverted.png P220 Pistol
Melee Weapons Bat invert.png Baseball Bat / Cricket invert.png Cricket Bat / Crowbar invert.png Crowbar / Axe invert.png Fireaxe / Pan invert.png Frying Pan / GolfClubIcon.png Golf Club / Guitar invert.png Guitar / Katana invert.png Katana / Knife Invert.png Knife / Machete invert.png Machete / Baton invert.png Nightstick / Icon pitchfork inverted.png Pitchfork / Icon shovel inverted.png Shovel
Special Tier Chainsaw invert.png Chainsaw
Other Weapons
Grenades Bile invert.png Bile Bomb / Molotov inverted.png Molotov Cocktail / Pipebomb invert.png Pipe Bomb
Upgrades L4D2 ammo explosive.png Explosive Ammunition / L4D2 ammo incendiary.png Incendiary Ammunition / Laser sight HUD invert.PNG Laser Sight
Fixed Weapons MMG Icon.png Heavy Machine Gun / Minigun icon.png Minigun
Usable Items Explosive Barrel HUD invert.png Explosive barrel / Fireworks icon.png Fireworks / Gas canister HUD invert.png Gas can / Oxytank icon.png Oxygen tank / Propane tank icon.png Propane tank
Special Items Cola.png Cola / Gnome icon.png Gnome Chompski
Featured in both games / L4D1-exclusive / L4D2-exclusive (Counter-Strike weapons / PC-exclusive)