Left 4 Dead Wiki

"Gonna go all akimbo and shit!"
"Going with the double pistol, heck yeah."

The P220 Pistol is the backup weapon of the Survivors in Left 4 Dead 2, replacing the M1911 Pistol from Left 4 Dead. It is one of the weapons they can use when knocked down, although with a slower rate of fire, greatly decreased accuracy and slower reload time. The Pistol is one of the only weapons that has infinite ammunition. However, it is still limited to a magazine capacity of 15 rounds. The P220 pistol's damage fall off is it loses 25% damage per 500 Hammer units. It has a max range of 2500 Hammer units.

Even though they are meant as emergency weapons, Pistols make great secondary weapons, or even primary weapons for Grenade Launcher or shotgun users. They pack a punch larger than that of the M16 Assault Rifle, but smaller than the Combat Rifle, and possess better accuracy than most of the Tier 1 weapons. Pistols 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 P220 Pistol is used by Coach, Ellis, Francis and Zoey (as well as Louis in the Xbox 360 version of Left 4 Dead 2).


Ellis with dual pistols

The Glock 26

If a second Pistol is found, it will be a semi-automatic Glock 26 and the two pistols together can be dual-wielded. Second Pistols are placed periodically by the Director but can also be picked up when dropped by a teammate who has taken a Magnum or melee weapon. Dual pistols double the player's available pistol ammo capacity to 30 rounds and increases the maximum rate of fire from 300 to 600 RPM, increasing the rate at which the pistols can be fired significantly.

When dual-wielding two Pistols, the accuracy of each decreases, recoil increases, and reload time increases slightly. When dual-wielded, like the M1911 Pistol, the left-hand Pistol has no light. These Pistols are the only weapons in the game that can be dual-wielded.

Unlike the M1911 Pistol, it's possible to revert to a single Pistol by taking a Magnum or a melee weapon and then take the Pistol back. If you pick up a weapon that replaces the pistols, this will cause both to drop.


  • The single Pistol is rarely worthwhile unless you're determined to use a shotgun in the early game or are confident enough in your abilities and the Director to give you a second one en route. Once doubled, the Pistols become a viable weapon for a shotgun user to traverse the field with (due to limited ranges of shotguns can handle), switching to the shotgun when targets begin to close in.
    • Alternatively, they can also be used with the Survivor who carries a Hunting Rifle or Sniper Rifle due to low rate of fire and its inaccuracy while moving.
  • Crouching when firing the Pistol greatly enhances the accuracy, even if one fires this weapon at maximum rate of fire at long ranges.
  • The Pistol isn't a great fallback weapon when you're empty and surrounded, so it's always better to be leading with the pistol and falling back on primary to conserve ammo, due to having unlimited ammo (especially if the primary weapon has low reserve ammo, such as the Assault Rifle).
    • However, the dual pistols are more effective than the Magnum in tight quarters against many Common Infected due to its larger magazine size and high rate of fire. On Normal difficulty, the Pistol can kill more Common Infected before reloading.
  • The Pistols are relatively ineffective against most Special Infected due to their relatively low damage output (unless the user is firing the Pistols as fast as possible). The extra time necessary to kill Special Infected with the Pistols can cost teammates valuable time and heath.
    • Pistols can, however, help you save your teammates quicker if your primary weapon needs to be reloaded.
  • These pistols rely on rapid, constant, and accurate semi-automatic fire, so fatigue or stress can quickly sneak up on an inexperienced user and cause them to be ineffective down the stretch. As the Director ramps up the intensity through the middle levels, the Pistols also begin to do less and less against increasing Tanks, Chargers, and large swarms of Hordes, making them desirable in the early game but less viable later on. On higher difficulties, the damage from the Pistols becomes negligible and usage is really only seen among dedicated head-shotters that can compensate for the lack of power. Oftentimes, they're usually replaced by either melee weapons or the Magnum pistol by most human players.

Pros and Cons[]


  • Can be dual-wielded for increased firepower and magazine size.
  • When dual-wielded, inflicts higher damage per second than the Magnum (providing the Pistols are fired as fast as possible).
  • Conserves primary ammo in low-threat environments.
  • Has a high rate of fire, firing as fast as a player can pull the trigger (up to 5 shots per second, 10 if dual wielding).
  • Has a magazine of 15, 30 if dual-wielded, and has infinite ammo.
    • When dual-wielded, deals significantly more damage per clip than the Magnum, making it more likely that you can kill Special Infected or clear out large hordes before you have to reload.
  • Has a notably fast reload when not dual-wielded.
  • Deals relatively little friendly fire damage.
  • When dual-wielded, it can kill most Special Infected quickly.
  • Particularly handy for people who can easily attain headshots against Common Infected, as the large ammo pool can allow them to easily thin down incoming Hordes with accurate shots before needing to reload.
  • Has much better accuracy than shotguns, making it a good choice as a sidearm for when you need to shoot distant targets.
  • Even when only single-wielding, has a much better damage per second than the Steyr Scout and the AWP (assuming all weapons are fired as fast as possible). When dual-wielding, has a better damage per second than the H&K MP5 and the non-silenced Submachine Gun when the pistols are fired as fast as possible.


  • Can require up to 4 body shots to take down Common Infected on harder difficulties.
  • Inflicts very low damage on the Witch and some other Special Infected, such as the Charger.
  • Much less effective than the Magnum when incapacitated (due to massive accuracy decrease and slowed firing speed).
  • Melee weapons are often superior to the Pistols at close range.
  • Has a longer reload time if there are less than 2 rounds in the pistol(s), especially when dual wielded.
  • Has a relatively high recoil, even at medium range, though not as high as the Magnum.

Behind the scenes[]

Originally, the P220 pistol had the same firing and reload animations as the M1911 Pistol. Early videos display this.


The SIG Sauer P220

The Glock 26

  • The P220 Pistol is modeled after the SIG Sauer P220.
    • When a survivor dual wields pistols, the survivor will have a Glock 26 on the left hand and a SIG Sauer P220 on the right hand.
  • Upon picking up a melee weapon, Survivors drop their Pistol (if they are dual-wielding, they will drop both Pistols). However, when they are incapacitated, they still pull out a Pistol, and once revived, the Pistol is gone and the melee weapon is still in the secondary slot. While illogical, Valve has stated that this was done for gameplay reasons, as an incapacitated Survivor without any sort of firepower would be too easy to kill.
  • Despite being a sidearm, the Steam statistics will count the P220 Pistols as Tier 1 firearms if the player manages to kill more with them than any other Tier 1 weapons.
  • The P220 Pistol actually does not look at all like the real life SIG Sauer P220 that it claims to be, but it appears to be a composite of SIG Sauer pistols. It has the slide and barrel from a P228 mounted on a P220 frame, with an adjustable rear sight. It also seems to have the safety mechanism from the SAO version of the P220, and it has a custom two-tone finish.
  • The Glock is based on a composite blend of Glock pistols. The shape of the fore-end of the slide is the shape of some of the subcompact models such as the Glock 26, while the dimensions of the Glock itself have the slide length of a standard frame like a Glock 17 but the grip seems stunted and off a slightly smaller compact model like a Glock 19.
  • Since the left-hand Pistol does not have a flashlight, the Glock is the only shooting weapon to not have a flashlight.
  • Strangely, if you pick up a P220 Pistol that another Survivor drops when they pick up a melee weapon or a Magnum, it changes to a Glock. In addition, if you pick up a Glock when you have a melee weapon or Magnum, it changes to a P220.
  • When a Survivor using a melee weapon is downed and pulls out a Pistol, once they are revived, the Pistol quite simply disappears. It is not in the holster, nor present anywhere else on their person.
  • Also, it's worth noting that, unlike Left 4 Dead, dead Survivors will not drop their second pistol after death. Even more odd is fact that if the Survivor is defibrillated, after revival they have only one Pistol instead of both.
  • When using Dual Pistols, the sounds of the two sidearms are swapped—The P220 gets the Glock's firing sound, while the Glock gets the firing sound used by the P220.
  • The P220 reuses Left 4 Dead's pistol HUD icons, regardless of its different appearance.
  • In Realism Mode, using a P220 on a Common Infected can cause body deformation. This may be because in real life, a pistol can blast holes in its target.
    • Of note is that the intro for Left 4 Dead shows Zoey shooting a Common Infected's head off with her Pistol which cannot be done otherwise, unless a Common using any of the first game's models, whether Realism or not, receives a bullet to the head.
  • Reloading from empty will be slightly longer than if reloading with ammo remaining in the magazine. If dual-wielding pistols and at least 2 bullets remain unfired, the reload time will be much faster than a dry reload.
    • Even if you fire only one bullet from one of the pistols, the user will always reload both pistols.
  • If you shoot all but one round when dual-wielding the Pistols, and you switch to your primary weapon and back to Pistols, after you cock the guns, the P220 will cock itself back because it has no rounds left.
  • Even though the P220 appears to be equipped with a laser sight (just below the flashlight), it is never actually used in-game.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the P220 and Magnum Pistol are the only weapons in the game with an "empty reload animation", which means the reload is slightly longer if reloading from an empty magazine.
  • Along with the Magnum Pistol, the P220 Pistol has the fewest animations out of any weapon in the game. They lacked walking animations prior to the Last Stand update in September 2020, as well as no world model animation for the "empty reload" stated above.
  • While incapacitated, if you hold the melee key while shooting, your gunshots make no noise and the pistol(s) do(es) double damage. This is a bug which has yet to be fixed.
    • This also works for the M1911 Pistol in the Xbox 360 version of Left 4 Dead.
  • In the beta version of Left 4 Dead 2, the P220 had a lighter color scheme. It also reused the same reloading animation as Left 4 Dead's M1911s.
  • When firing with two pistols with sv_infinite_ammo enabled, one pistol will play the recoil animation while the other one will have a muzzle flash. Which pistol does the animation depends on the last pistol that was fired before infinite ammo was enabled.


External Links[]

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 / Scar invert.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)