The Pistol is a weapon present in all Grand Theft Auto games, being the most basic firearm in the series.
The Pistol is mainly used at the start of the game as the first weapon the player obtains, or later when the player has run out of ammunition for other firearms. It is a reliable backup weapon, but not one that should be used as a primary, as it is outclassed by many other weapons in damage, fire rate, and overall effectiveness.
The pistol frequently varies in design throughout the series, taking the form of many popular handguns.
In GTA 1 and GTA London, the Pistol closely resembles the AMT Automag II by the HUD image, although the GTA 1 Icon resembles the Soviet Tokarev TT-33. In GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas, the pistol resembles a Colt M1911. The Pistol's magazine capacity ranges from 12 rounds (in III) to 17 rounds (Vice City onwards). All of this is despite the fact that the Colt M1911 isn't commonly chambered in 9mm and, even if it was, it still possesses a single-stack magazine design, therefore making it impossible to fit more than 7 rounds in the magazine without redesigning the weapon or using an extended magazine that extends beyond the bottom of the grip. However, the Browning Hi-Power is chambered in 9mm and holds 13 rounds, thus making it plausible that the GTA III version of the Pistol is modelled after the Hi-Power, but making it impossible in Vice City Stories. In the introduction cutscene of San Andreas, where all three members of C.R.A.S.H. arrest Carl Johnson, Jimmy Hernandez and Eddie Pulaski are holding Glock 17 Pistols, instead of the normal Colt M1911 Pistols like the ones in gameplay. Given the fact that the in-game Pistol's magazine capacity (17 rounds) is incorrect for a Colt M1911 but correct for a Glock 17, and the fact that the Glock really is a 9mm Pistol, it may be that the developers originally intended the player to use the model seen in the cutscenes, but this feature was left out for some reason. The Glock 17 can be used in-game by switching and swapping the M1911 pistol's model/texture with that of the Glock's.
In GTA Liberty City Stories, the Pistol resembles the Glock 17, being one of the most accurately depicted Pistols in a GTA game. In GTA Vice City Stories, the Pistol resembles a Beretta 92. In reality, the Beretta can carry only 15 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, making it impossible to carry 17 bullets as shown in game, since the magazine size is normal.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, the Pistol is an incorrectly modeled Glock 17. "22" is inscribed on the slide, albeit innaccurately. It is unknown what version of the Glock Rockstar intended for this Pistol, as the in-game model has the exterior of a Glock 22, but has the caliber, magazine capacity and traits of a Glock 17. The sights on the model are also incorrect; the gun's front sight is a duplicate of the twin-post rear sight.
In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the Pistol's HUD icon and artwork including the weapon suggests that it is designed as a Browning Hi-Power Practical.
In Grand Theft Auto V, judging by it's HUD icon, it seems to be based on a Berreta 92, similarly to the Vice City Stories version.
In its original form in Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2, the pistol is one of the least effective firearms, firing only one bullet every second or so, at a rate slower than a machine gun.
From Grand Theft Auto III onwards, the 9mm Pistol is given generally poor stopping power, average accuracy, and a fairly short range. In GTA San Andreas the weapon is significantly more effective than it's previous iterations, having higher range, damage, and accuracy. Coupled with a one shot headshot capability, it is much more effective as a weapon.
In GTA IV, the Pistol performs well. Unlike previous GTA games, in which the Pistol is soon usurped by other weapons, the Pistol in GTA IV can be used effectively throughout the entire game. By using cover strategically, being patient, and making your shots count, it is possible to complete most missions in GTA IV and its episodes with just a Pistol. It can be fired from cars, and its availability, ammo capacity, and higher fire rate make it more desirable for drive-bys and chases than the Combat Pistol. However, submachine guns are always a better option than pistols if available, mainly because of their fully automatic capability, fire rate, and in some cases, higher damage.
The pistol also returns in Grand Theft Auto V, this time with a magazine capable of carrying 12 bullets, according to the HUD.
This Pistol can be purchased at every gun store across Liberty City, as well as found in various locations listed below, LCPD Police Officers carry this Pistol as their standard service weapon and therefore the player can easily gain control of one if they haven't yet unlocked any gun stores or are in need of more ammunition.
- GTA III
- Red Light District, Portland Island - Available to buy from Ammu-Nation for $250 after completion of Pump-Action Pimp ($4,000).
- Callahan Point, Portland Island - On the north ledge of the large building next to and south of the Callahan Bridge.
- Near every hideout after collected 10 hidden packages.
- Behind the safehouse in Trenton near the staircase.
- GTA Vice City
- Vice Point - On the first floor of the main building under construction at Fairground Point (in Avery's Buliding).
- North Point Mall - Available to buy from Ammu-Nation from start of game ($100).
- Ocean Beach - On the patio between Pier 1 and Pier 2 for the parking garage at The Piers.
- Ocean Beach - Available to buy from Ammu-Nation from start of game ($100).
- GTA San Andreas
- Ganton, Los Santos - Corner of a wall in the northwest corner in Grove Street.
- Las Colinas, Los Santos - Beside a wall in an opening between two houses.
- Santa Maria Beach, Los Santos - Beside a lifeguard post.
- Pershing Square, Los Santos - Inside the Los Santos Police Headquarters.
- Dillimore, Red County - Inside the police station.
- Garcia, San Fierro - Near the southern end of a big block with lots of thin paths through it.
- Tierra Robada, Las Venturas - Under stone support beam for the railroad track.
- Roca Escalante, Las Venturas - Inside the police station, where some body armor, a shotgun and a nightstick also spawn. The player incurs an instant 2 star wanted level after picking up this pistol.
- Willowfield, Los Santos - In Emmet's after the mission "Nines and AKs".
- Flint Range, Flint County - Found inside Helena's barn in her farm as a reward for dating her.
- Available to buy from Ammu-Nation after completion of "Doberman" ($200).
- Receivable from most of the the gangsters in the Ballas, Vagos, Grove Street Families and other gangs, some prostitutes, drug dealers, most street criminals and some pedestrians.
- Receivable from all cops and even, but rarely, from soldiers depending on your wanted level.
- GTA Liberty City Stories
- Saint Mark's, Portland - Available at the safehouse upon collecting 10 hidden packages.
- Red Light District, Portland - Available to buy from the Ammu-Nation. ($240)
- GTA Vice City Stories
- Fort Baxter Air Base - Inside the barracks up to the mission "Conduct Unbecoming", the barracks are again available to enter during Over the Top and the pistol is still there.
- Vice Point - Spawns next to some stairs by the mall.
- Downtown - Next to a statue south of the dirt track.
- GTA IV
The Pistol can be purchased from the back-alley gun shops for $600, and each additional magazine is $35. It can also be purchased from Little Jacob for $420, with each additional magazine costing $25.
- Firefly Island - Can be found to the right of the Go-Kart wall mural to the right of Wappinger Ave.
- Hove Beach - Can be found atop the Perestroika club, on a walkway on the roof.
- Rotterdam Hill - Can be found across the street from Michelle's house in a gated lot, behind some dumpsters.
- East Hook - Can be found on the first-floor ledge of a cylindrical silo-type structure off Mohanet Ave. The player can easily reach it with a tall vehicle like a Cavalcade or an Ambulance.
- Willis - Can be found behind and to the left of the parking lot off Freetown Ave. This parking lot is also located to the left of the small parking space where you obtain Stevie's Comet during the mission No. 1.
- Broker Bridge - Can be found midway across the bridge, on the pedestrian walkway.
- Liberty - Can be found on a giant rock in the West River just east of Westdyke, Alderney. You can see the rock from the Hickey Bridge as well.
- Northern Gardens - Can be found in the womens bathroom of the Triangle Club. Note: this pistol should be attempted only as a last resort, because once picked up the player will receive a one star wanted level and the patrons and guards will begin shooting at the player.
- South Bohan - Can be found on the sixth floor of the apartment complex across the street from the South Bohan Safehouse.
- Northwood - Can be found on the edge of the roof of a gutted-out warehouse off of Vespucci Circus.
- Middle Park - Can be found on the island in the pond, next to a tree.
- The Meat Quarter - Can be found on the west side of the driving range of the Golden Pier Golf Club, next to a sand trap.
- Westdyke - Can be found on the roof of the abandonded casino featured in the mission Out of Commission.
- Westdyke - Can be found on the roof of the garden shed at the very back of a mansion on Owl Creek Ave. The mansion is the same one where the Turismo is parked for Stevie's car thefts.
- Berchem - Can be found in the alley behind the TW@ Internet Café, atop a small garage.
- GTA Chinatown Wars
- It can be purchased from the AmmuNation website for $200, or $100 with the discount acquired.
- Found in various red dumpsters throughout Liberty City.
Grand Theft Auto V
- Can be purchased at all Ammu-Nation, however it is unknown how much it would cost as of yet.
- The Pistol and Rocket Launcher are the only GTA weapons to appear in every GTA game to date.
- The Pistol from GTA: CW has the same sound from the 9mm Pistol in the first Max Payne, also published by Rockstar.
- In GTA San Andreas, once the player achieves the Hitman level weapon skill, they recieve a set of dual Pistols which share the same ammunition stock.
- In the GTA III era, police officers are the only characters who hold Pistols with two hands instead of a single hand.
- If CJ recruits unarmed GSF members in San Andreas, they will always automatically receive a Pistol.