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The AMT Hardballer is a distinctive .45 pistol, most notable for appearing in the Hitman franchise. Below are the specifications for both the standard Hardballer, and the Hardballer Longslide.
|Magazine Type||Detachable Box|
|Dimensions||216mm (standard model) or 267mm (extended slide)|
|Barrel Rifling||127mm (standard model) or 178mm (extended slide)|
|Manufacturer||Arcadia Machine and Tool|
|Variants||Hardballer; Longslide; Commando; Hardballer Government; Skipper; Accelerator; Javelina|
|Country of Origin||United States of America|
The AMT Hardballer is an American-made clone of the famous Colt M1911 pistol. It fires a .45 ACP round, like the weapon it is derived from, and was developed by Arcadia Machine and Tool, who no longer exist. The weapon has appeared in every title in the Hitman franchise, acting as Agent 47's signature sidearm. However, during its appearance in the original Hitman: Codename 47, it is not a signature weapon and can be selected alongside other pistols, such as the Desert Eagle. It was also only ever referred to by its correct name during Codename 47. Later games would call the weapon the 'Silverballer', and this is the name by which it is most well known.
The AMT Hardballer is no longer in production by AMT, as the company filed for bankruptcy in the past. The Hardballer was the first stainless steel M1911 clone, and was known as the Hardballer due to the fact it was notoriously unreliable when firing anything other than .45 'hardball' rounds. The AMT Hardballer was first produced in 1977, and holds the distinction of having some parts which are not interchangable with other M1911 clones, or the original Colt M1911 and M1911A1 pistols.
|In Codename 47, the AMT Hardballer is not Agent 47's signature weapon. Players may choose to buy the AMT Hardballer, the Desert Eagle Mark XIX, or a Beretta 92. No preference is shown to any of the weapons. It is an interesting distinction that only the first Hitman game refers to the Hardballer by its correct name - later games in the series would adopt the name of 'Silverballer'.|
When starting a mission, players may choose to purchase an AMT Hardballer, or a different pistol. The AMT Hardballer is first found during the Training Level (also known as The Sanitarium), at the firing range. When embarking on a mission, you can purchase an AMT Hardballer for $550. Ammunition is separate from the main weapon in-game, and each seven-round magazine costs $5.
While the AMT Hardballer is not a signature weapon during Codename 47, much of the artwork and loading screens display the Hardballer being used by Agent 47.
|In Hitman 2, the 'Silverballer' has been adopted as Agent 47's signature weapon. They are dual wielded (referred to as Dual Silverballers), and should a mission be completed with the Silent Assassin rating, they will be suppressed. However, they have a reduced usefulness due to being dual wielded. With every time you fire, you will fire two shots. It is essential to be accurate, or you will miss and null your Silent Assassin rating.|
The Silverballers have much increased damage in Hitman 2, frequently throwing enemies forward. This can cause enemies to be flung into the sight of other enemies, bringing the security down on your assassination attempt. They have a long reload and draw time, in addition to this.
The Hitman 2 rendition of the 'Silverballer' is not incredibly effective due to all of these flaws being combined. However, they can be used quite effectively when compromised. It is possible that IO Interactive chose to deliberately have the Silverballer to act in these manners to coerce players into using other weapons, such as the Fiber Wire.
|In Contracts, the Silverballers are changed again. Visually, the grip has been changed from a wooden grip to rubber. Agent 47 will begin each mission with Dual Silverballers, and when playing on Normal difficulty, a Suppressed Silverballer as well. During the mission "The Meat King's Party", you can find a Suppressed Silverballer on the lawyer.|
It is also possible to unlock Dual Suppressed Silverballers, through completing "The Bjarkhov Bomb" with a Silent Assassin rating. Hitman: Contracts sees the Silverballer become more useful, particularly when on Normal difficulty.
|In Blood Money, the Silverballer is arguably the best firearm in the game. It supports the widest array of customisations, and is relatively powerful as well. The standard Silverballer is not of incredible note, but it is unlikely that many players used it without customisation. The Silverballer can be upgraded with different ammunition types, optics and magazines. It can also be modified to fire fully automatic; effectively giving you a Machine Pistol. Silencers are highly effective, as are different types of ammunition. Equipping the Silverballer with Magnum Ammunition effectively has it act like a Desert Eagle. Having a Silverballer modified into a Machine Pistol, with Magnum Ammunition? Well, you'll see...|
Note however that regardless of ammunition used in Agent 47's handgun, it will always be weaker than the 'Custom M1911' used by both the Mark III clone in the White House, and 'Jack' Leland Caine. This is somewhat unusual, as the standard ammo between the pistols would be the same, and the Magnum Amunition would be more powerful than a .45ACP round in real life. The Custom M1911 cannot be collected however, meaning that for sheer power and portability, the AMT pistol cannot be topped by any other weapon in the game.
|The Silverballer appears in the promotional shot for Absolution, though has again been subtly changed. The texturing of the rubber grip seems to have been removed in favor of a slick texture, with 47's insignia additionally added to it. The Silverballer is almost definitely going to return in the game, though like other Hitman titles it will be dissuaded for actual use.|