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For a similarly named submachine gun, see PDW-57.
For a similar handgun, see KAP-40.

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


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) has released the Gold PDW. Players Prestige 10 are able to access it immediately, and it can also be used in Private Match and Local Match immediately. It is essentially a fully-automatic PDW with a 20-round magazine. The Gold PDW also has a higher rate of fire than the standard one per burst, but as a downside it has a lower damage multiplier to the head, as well as lower hip-fire accuracy. 




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.


The PDW is unlocked at level 40. It is the only fully-automatic pistol in the game, and performs well as an emergency backup weapon for close-quarters engagements. It has an unusual and quite random recoil pattern; most shots will produce negligible recoil, but some shots will unpredictably cause massive kick, even when aiming down the sights. This makes it very hard to kill targets at medium ranges and near-impossible to hit anything at long ranges.

The small magazine size of 15 rounds, combined with the high rate of fire, makes Extended Mags almost essential. Some users may prefer a Red Dot Sight or Target Enhancer as opposed to the default iron sights.

Arguably the best attachments for the PDW are Extended Mags and Akimbo, as this combination allows for sustained fire without having to deal with the inconsistent recoil, as well as keeping up the fire without having to reload in the middle of an engagement. At close ranges, the player should be able to land enough shots on the enemy to kill, which is a problem with a single PDW. Overall, the weapon is a poor weapon meant to be used only as a close-quarters backup to a weapon such as a sniper rifle or LMG, and should not be used in a primary role.

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 Specalist 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 should be considered as 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.

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 (42 bullets, 262 total ammo at Mk 10.


Supply Drop Variants

Name Rarity Advantages Disadvantages Notes
Sub Cal Enlisted Fire Rate: 857 RPM Damage: 33-25-19
Compact Enlisted Fire Rate: 857 RPM Hipspread +10%
Ion Enlisted Fire Rate: 857 RPM Range: 100-405
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: 100-575
Damage: 33-25-16
Rage Professional Fire Rate: 857 RPM Range: 100-425 Integrated ACOG Scope
Crusher Elite Fire Rate: 923 RPM
Mag capacity: 16 rounds
Damage: 33-25-16
Viewkick +10%
Hipspread +10%
Chucker Elite Fire Rate: 1000 RPM Damage: 33-25-19
Range: 100-425
Viewkick +10%
Royalty Elite
Condensed Permanent (Unlocked at 300 kills) Fire Rate: 923 RPM
Hipspread -20%
Handling -2 acts as Handling +2


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.
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