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The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Ghosts The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare The subject of this artcile appears in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies
For a similarly named submachine gun, see PDW-57.

The PDW (also referred to as VBR in the game files) is a three-round burst/fully-automatic handgun that appears in Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Call of Duty: Ghosts

"3 round burst. High rate of fire with moderate recoil."
— Description


The PDW can be found in the campaign missions Severed Ties and The Ghost Killer, and it is fully-automatic. This version also has a higher magazine capacity, making it comparable to submachine guns. This weapon is used by some enemies as their main weapon (unlike other handguns, which are usually used as secondaries).


The PDW is the most expensive Handgun to unlock, costing seven Squad Points. Its fire rate per burst is high, surpassing the fire cap of three of the other four handguns available, though it is lower compared to past iterations of burst fire secondaries. Unlike other handguns, the PDW zooms in while ADS without an optic. The main drawbacks, however, include the burst delay and the inability to obtain two hit kills without aiming for headshots. Also, the default magazine size is very small for the nature of the weapon, having only 12 rounds (four bursts), meaning that half the magazine will be used if the first burst does not kill, and this therefore makes reloads needed after almost every kill. The drawback about the reload is that unlike other pistols, the PDW in Ghosts is always cocked after reloading, regardless of whether the magazine is empty or not. Like the .44 Magnum, it can be equipped with alternate sights, which may aid if the player dislikes the iron sights. Despite the high fire rate of the weapon, it can be a reliable secondary if the player is very accurate or simply needs to finish off a wounded opponent, but should be traded for another weapon if faced with more than one enemy.

Extended Mags is a very useful option on the PDW, as six trigger pulls can be made instead of four. Muzzle Brake can be considered if the player wanted to increase their one-burst kill range; however, many engagements the player would find themselves in with this weapon would be at close-quarters. Due to its powerful presence at close-ranges, attachments such as the Silencer and the Tactical Knife can aid the weapon greatly.

Gold PDW

"Gold plated PDW with Automatic Fire. Unlocked at Prestige 10."
— Description

A patch on June 3rd, 2014 (June 4th, 2014 for some consoles) released the Gold PDW. Players that have reached Prestige 10 are able to access it immediately, and it can also be used in Private Match and Local Match immediately.

The Gold PDW holds many of the same stats as the base version of the PDW, but with a few key differences. Instead of a 50% damage increase on a headshot, the Gold PDW only gets a 20% damage increase on a headshot. It is still able to get two shot kills to the head up close, but needs two headshots to achieve this instead of the regular PDW only needing one.

The Gold PDW has slightly worse hip-fire accuracy than the regular PDW, on a level more in line with that of the MP-443 Grach. However, due to the fact that the PDW is fully automatic, it has significantly better hip-fire performance as a result.

The Gold PDW's fire rate is far superior to that of the base PDW. Where the regular PDW fires at 789 RPM within the burst and 446 RPM overall, the Gold PDW fires fully automatically at 857 RPM. This drastic fire rate increase highly improves the Gold PDW's damage output and makes the Gold PDW a weapon that can contend with SMGs up close. However, the heavily increased fire rate will significantly exacerbate the recoil.

The last notable change to the Gold PDW is its magazine capacity, with an increased magazine capacity of twenty rounds, and a starting ammo loadout of sixty rounds. This enhanced magazine capacity highly improves the PDW's sustained combat capability.




Under Barrel



For attachments images, see PDW/Attachments.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

The PDW returns in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as a fully automatic pistol by default.


The PDW is the main secondary weapon of the Korean People's Army and the KVA. The magazine size is relatively small for an automatic weapon, so it is not recommended unless nothing else is available. Like the Ameli, it has no aim assist on consoles.


The PDW is unlocked at level 40. It is the last pistol to unlock.

The PDW has the lowest damage per shot of any pistol. At any range shorter than five meters, the PDW will deal 34 damage, resulting in a three shot kill. At any range between five meters and 12.5 meters, the PDW will deal 33 damage, resulting in a four shot kill, or a three shot kill if one bullet is a headshot. At any range past 12.5 meters, the PDW will deal 20 damage, resulting in a five shot kill, a two shot kill in Hardcore game modes, or a four shot kill if at least two of the bullets hit the head. This damage is lower than all of the other pistols, but in comparison to other weapons in general, the PDW is a very good damage per bullet weapon in close quarters. The PDW has low penetration power.

The PDW makes up for its lackluster damage by having a user friendly rate of fire. The PDW fires in a fully automatic configuration at 750 RPM. This rate of fire is higher than all other pistols in the category, and is very easy to sustain. Due to the good rate of fire and damage up close, the PDW is one of the deadliest, yet reliable weapons in close quarters combat in Advanced Warfare, only being contested by the SMGs, the Atlas 45, and the M1911 in this regard.

The PDW has very inconsistent accuracy. The iron sights are clear, but the recoil pattern is very randomized. The net direction of the recoil will be either upwards or downwards, will vary in intensity, and isn't a consistent pattern. Due to this, the PDW's effective firing range when aiming down the sight is very short, as the recoil is very hard to predict and counteract. Due to this, most players prefer to hip-fire the weapon, as the PDW has almost no recoil inside the hip-fire box.

The PDW's handling traits pale in comparison to other pistols. The PDW will move at 100% of the base speed, and the PDW will aim down the sight in 125 milliseconds. However, the PDW possesses very slow reload speeds.

By default, the PDW will take at least 1.37 seconds to complete a regular reload. However, if the weapon is empty or a Speed Reload was initiated, than the reload speed takes less than a second to perform. For the Akimbo version of the PDW, it will take 1.73 seconds to reload regularly, and the same speeds for the empty and speed reload of the solo PDW are the same on the Akimbo version. All other pistols except the M1 Irons can match or excel all of the PDW's reload speeds, and for a close quarters weapon like the PDW, such reload speeds can easily be detrimental, particularly the regular reload for an akimbo PDW.

The PDW has the largest magazine capacity in its class, with a 15 round magazine. However, due to the high rate of fire and the overall nature of the PDW, this magazine capacity is not put to very good use at all. Reloads will be frequent.

The PDW has an unusual assortment of attachments in the pistol category, as it lacks the Laser Sight. The optical attachments are little more than decoration on the PDW, as aiming down the sight is counter-intuitive, with the only conferred advantage being the enhanced zoom level.

The Tactical Knife is also little more than visual decor, as it doesn't increase the melee speed. The only effect the Tactical Knife offers is a different view of the PDW when aiming down the sight and hip-firing.

Akimbo is quite easily the best attachment on the PDW, which has a nature which leans towards hip-firing. Akimbo allows the user to hip-fire two PDW's at once, greatly increasing close quarters firepower. However, Akimbo has two fatal weaknesses: reserve ammunition will deplete twice as fast, and the PDW with Akimbo will have a very slow regular reload speed of 1.73 seconds, which is comparable to assault rifles and some SMGs.

Extended Mags is another solid option on the PDW, although it isn't as powerful as one would think, as it increases the magazine capacity to 22 rounds, with a 40% increase to ammunition reserve overall. Due to the PDW's nature overall, players will commonly be burning through ammunition, and as such, it is rare where the extra seven rounds will make a difference. However, it is a very potent combination with Akimbo, as both pistols will get the benefit, making it possible to pull off extra kills before reloading.

The Suppressor isn't a bad fit on the PDW, and it is one of the best pistols to suppress. The loss in range isn't very severe, as the PDW relies much more on its rate of fire than its bullet power in general. And due to the PDW's nature, it can easily attract enemies with gunfire. As such, the suppressor is a great fit on this pistol. Advanced Rifling isn't as attractive of an attachment, as the PDW's range values are small, making the benefit small as well.

Easily the best variant overall to use is the Condensed variant. It boosts the rate of fire to 923 RPM, and makes the hip-fire cone 20% tighter, contrarily to what the in-game stats would suggest. It has no direct downsides. Both of these effects make the PDW deadly in close quarters combat, as it actually becomes very accurate with hip-fire, and has an even faster time-to-kill ratio in close quarters. As well, it is a Marksman variant, meaning the player is guaranteed to get the variant after 300 kills with the PDW.

Another good variant is the Chucker, it has the highest rate of fire out all of the PDW variants, at an extreme 1000 RPM, making it extremely deadly in close quarters, as its high rate of fire allows it to dispatch opponents very quickly. The Chucker however, has some very noticeable downsides, though. Its long range damage is reduced to 19, meaning it requires six shots to kill a target at long range and it also has a slight range penalty, making it drop of in damage faster than the base PDW. Finally, the Chucker has 10% greater viewkick which is further emphasized by its high rate of fire, making it harder to hit targets at longer ranges. In conclusion, the Chucker is an effective weapon in close quarters combat but due its downsides, it quickly loses its efficiency once the distance to the target increases. It is comparable to the MP11, as they are both fast-firing weapons that effective at close range but become rather weak at long range.

Exo Survival

The PDW is also in Exo Survival. It costs two upgrade points to buy, and is unlocked at round 12, but comes with the Specialist Exo class by default.

It is a weak weapon, taking around 5 shots to kill even on the first waves. Like all pistols, it should be swapped out by the first drone wave, and in the PDW's case, probably even before then. Its recoil is inconsistent to say the least, with shots unpredictably causing significantly more kick than all the others. This makes killing drones difficult and killing enemies at range nearly impossible. If the player wants a pistol, the MP443 Grach and the RW1 are often better candidates.

Exo Zombies

The PDW appears in Exo Zombies. It is available via the 3D Printer. Its magazine size is increased to 28 rounds, with 175 rounds in reserve.

Compared to its multiplayer counterpart, the PDW has much lower recoil, making it very accurate, as well as a slightly lower fire rate. In spite of low ammunition reserves, it is a poor weapon, taking about ten shots to kill a single zombie on the early rounds. In addition to this, the player will run through ammo extremely fast, and thus will become dependent on Full Reloads for ammo or another weapon very quickly. The MP11 can be used for a similar style of play, only much more effectively.

It will gain a Red Dot Sight when upgraded to Mk 4, a Quickdraw Handle at Mk 7, and Extended Mags (which increases the magazine capacity to 42 and the reserve ammo to 262) at Mk 10.


Supply Drop Variants

Name Rarity Advantages Disadvantages Notes
Sub Cal Enlisted Fire Rate: 857 RPM Damage: 34-33-19
Compact Enlisted Fire Rate: 857 RPM Hipspread +10%
Ion Enlisted Fire Rate: 857 RPM Range: 200-425
CQB Retired Fire Rate: 857 RPM Viewkick +10%
Dead Eye Professional Viewkick -10% Hipspread +10% Integrated Red Dot Sight
Chop-Chop Professional Fire Rate: 857 RPM
Range: 200-575
Damage: 34-33-16
Rage Professional Fire Rate: 857 RPM Range: 200-425 Integrated ACOG Scope
Crusher Elite Fire Rate: 923 RPM
Mag capacity: 16 rounds
Damage: 34-33-16
Viewkick +10%
Hipspread +10%
Chucker Elite Fire Rate: 1000 RPM Damage: 34-33-19
Range: 200-425
Viewkick +10%
Royalty Elite (Same advantages/disadvantages as Crusher)
Condensed Permanent (Unlocked at 300 kills) Fire Rate: 923 RPM
Hipspread -20%


For attachments images, see PDW/Attachments.
For camouflage images, see PDW/Camouflage.
For variants images, see PDW/Variants.


Call of Duty: Ghosts

  • The PDW has an unusable aperture sight on either side of the iron sights.
  • In earlier stages of the game's development, the PDW was a four-round burst pistol. It was changed to three in the final game.
  • The Create-a-Soldier image of the PDW has the retractable stock in the extended position.
  • The Gold PDW's name is shown in gold when the name is shown on the HUD when switching to it.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

  • When aiming down the sights, the PDW is held much closer to the camera than other pistols, making the sights larger. However, when used with the Tactical Knife, the PDW is held further away when aiming, similar in size to the other pistols.
  • Certain variants will have a warning sticker below the charging handle that says, "THIS IS A GUN. IT IS VERY DANGEROUS IF MISUSED. PLEASE READ MANUAL. THANKS", with the PDW's caliber of 7.92x24mm written below the sticker. The Deadeye has this sticker, but it cannot be read while aiming due to the integral red dot sight.