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The Bolt Pistol is a one handed single shot version of the Boltgun (Bolter). It fires 0.75 caliber rounds, called bolts, which propel themselves like mini rockets once free of the barrel. The Bolt Pistol has a clip that holds approximately 12 bolt rounds. Being a one handed ranged weapon leaves one hand free. This allows for varied Bolt Pistol and melee weapon combinations. The Pistol itself is often used as a close combat weapon when the wielder closes the distance with an enemy.
Bolt Pistols are mainly used by high ranking Imperial Guard (Commissars) or specific types of Space Marines (Force Commanders, Chaplains, Librarians, Assault Marines, and Sergeants).
Up close is where the Bolt Pistol really shines. The Boltgun (Bolter), a two handed weapon, has a minimum range of effectiveness, and must be replaced by another weapon when the user is engaged in melee combat. The Bolt Pistol can be coupled with a close combat weapon and used concurrently. As the combatants close the distance a few bolt rounds can be discharged to soften up the target. When the enemy is within striking distance a melee weapon can be brought to bear without missing a step. Finally, the Bolt Pistol itself is heavy and sturdy enough to be used as a blunt weapon.
Bolt Pistol Combinations
Force CommanderRanged Weapon: Bolt Pistol
Close Combat Weapon: Powersword, Daemonhammer
LibrarianRanged Weapon: Bolt Pistol
Close Combat Weapon: Powersword, Force Weapon
ChaplainRanged Weapon: Bolt Pistol
Close Combat Weapon: Powersword, Crozius Arcanum
Space Marine SergeantRanged Weapon: Bolt Pistol
Close Combat Weapon: Chainsword, Powersword, Powerfist