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The Ultimate Debate: Service Rifle or Cowboy Repeater?


MuteSignals

Service Rifle v Cowboy Repeater  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Which do you prefer, the Service Rifle or Cowboy Repeater?

    • Service Rifle
      0
    • Cowboy Repeater


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As soon as you reach Primm you have the opportunity to pick up two of the game's most widespread rifles, one used famously by the Legion and the other in the hands of almost every NCR trooper. a beatup repeater can be found under the sheriff's bed whilst a service rifle can be yoinked from any trooper in the area. They both use a few pretty useful attachments and can both serve different purposes depending on what you value more. Damage per second? Ammunition Capacity? Sight Picture? Ease of use and Weight. Here's some stats I pulled from the wiki for your convenience;

Legend:
Green means the comparison is better,
Yellow means it's a shared stat,
Red means it's worse.

Cowboy Repeater
Guns Skill: 25
Strength Required: 4
Weight: 5lb
Value: 800 (More expensive to buy repairs!)
Ammo Capacity: 7
Durability: 120 (595 rounds before breaking)
Damage: 32 (46 w/ all perks)
Damage per second: 54.2 (109.2 w/ all perks)
Crit. Damage: 32 (1.25x multipler)
Fire Rate: 1.7 seconds (2.4 w/ all perks)
Action Points: 27
Spread: 0.06
- Perks
Level 8 (Guns 45 + Melee Weapons 45) Cowboy (+8 Damage)
Level 6 Bloody Mess (+1.6 Damage)
Challenge Perk (Kill up to 200 -> 700 -> 1000 enemies, 1,900 in total) Lord Death (+1.3 Damage)
Level 50 (Very Good/Good Karma) Thought You Died (+3.2 Damage)
Trait Fast Shot (+0.3 Fire Rate)
Level 50 (Evil/Very Evil Karma) Ain't Like That Now (+0.3 Fire Rate)
Level 2 (30 Guns + 5 Agility) Rapid Reload (-0.1s Reload Speed)
- Modifications
Maple Stock - Decreases weight by 1.5 (to 3.5)
Long Tube - Adds +4 ammo capacity (to 11)
Custom Action - Increases rate of fire by 20%

 

Service Rifle
Guns Skill: 25
Strength Required: 2
Weight: 8.5lb
Value: 540
Ammo Capacity: 20
Durability: 400 (1,995 rounds before breaking or 2,995 rounds w/ Forged Receiver)
Damage: 18 (25.9 w/ all perks)
Damage per second: 75.6 (152.4 w/ all perks)
Crit. Damage: 18 (1.0x multipler)
Fire Rate: 4.2 seconds (5.9 w/ all perks)
Action Points: 15
Spread: 0.55
- Perks
Level 8 (Guns 45 + Explosives 20) Grunt (+4.5 Damage)
Level 6 Bloody Mess (+0.9 Damage)
Challenge Perk (Kill up to 200 -> 700 -> 1000 enemies, 1,900 in total) Lord Death (+0.7 Damage)
Level 50 (Very Good/Good Karma) Thought You Died (+1.8 Damage)
Trait Fast Shot (+0.8 Fire Rate)
Level 50 (Evil/Very Evil Karma) Ain't Like That Now (+0.8 Fire Rate)
Level 2 (30 Guns + 5 Agility) Rapid Reload (-0.5s Reload Speed)
- Modifications
Upgraded Springs: +30% rate of fire.
Forged Receiver: +50% condition.

Note concerning the unique variants:
Both rifles have variants in the La Longue Carabine and Survivalist Rifle, whilst both boast higher damage there's a difference in cartridge which changes the role they provide. The Carabine has a scope effectively turning it into a sniper rifle whilst the Survivalist has the 12.7mm but with no scope leaning more towards becoming a battle rifle. Not to mention the DLC requirement so I won't be comparing them.

Personal Assessment:
The service rifle was my original go to, partly for asethetics but I enjoyed the high durability and ammunition capacity, more recently though I've favoured the Repeater. I'm willing to repair it more often and suffer the 'Peep sight' which can be obstructive reducing spacial awareness but this can be mitigated by practice. Both rifles can serve you well into the mid to late game as long as you have the skills and perks to keep boosting them.

I included a poll for fun too and incase the stats are boring to read through, a made a small visual "at a glance" chart.

Comparison.thumb.png.51694ff697350f4baa1568a073004338.png

 

Edited by MuteSignals
Spelling Mistake and Editing Colours
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Tough call. Both weapons are ones I use regularly for a good chunk of the game. 

I'd have to go with the repeater I think though. Personally I love the peep sight but even irl thats my preferred sight for a gun so a little biased there. 

Its higher damage is nice, and I seem to find the ammo for it more often in early game which is just an absolute boon. 

 

The service rifle with its fire rate mod is amazballs though with its higher ammo capacity. Can really throw out some lead. 

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+Added a small visual chart to communicate the statistics simpler in the original post.

2 hours ago, DaleTheeMagnificent said:

I'd have to go with the repeater I think though. Personally I love the peep sight..
...and I seem to find the ammo for it more often in early game...
The service rifle with its fire rate mod is amazballs though with its higher ammo capacity. Can really throw out some lead. 

Peep sight is something you either love or hate, but now I'm a lover. In a way, it makes you concentrate on the target like a scope would.
Oh yeah, During my .357 only run I ended up having something like 3,000+ rounds (but this was with buying out stores, selling ammo I didn't need and actively using the reloading bench mechanic) I had quite the collection of the special ammunition too!
One of the service rifle's selling points, you can spam the absolute hell out of it, it'd be even crazier if it was an automatic.

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Don't even need to look at the stats, used that damn cowboy repeater and also the service rifle for specific characters for years now, and the cowboy repeater is almost always the better choice, especially if you haven't patched out the instant reload glitch out of your game yet and have no qualms in using it. You can also just re-equip the gun to cheese the long reload unless you intentionally tweaked that out of your game.

Getting ammo for it is better and i vaguely remember having better ammo variants, hits harder, fires about as fast since the service rifle is hella slow even when your character is a guns 100 agility 10 jerry miculek type guy, peep sight is lame but you can either git gud or mod it away instantly, or even better, just fire it third person and worry about absolutely nothing.

When the modding hits deep then who knows, but usually the service rifle gets better since some mods redistribute loot so 556 is more common, and you can also make regular 556 out of surplus rounds with some mods, which are plentiful, and animation mods makes your character actually fire it faster than maybe even the assault carbine fires if you're good with your clicky finger.

Only time when the service rifle felt either equal or better was when i made a low guns high luck kind of character that critted a whole lot but sucked at actually hitting targets, so here, if you suck or your character suck at hitting stuff, maybe reach for that rifle, cause with the slow reload on that cowb repeater, ya gotta make the hits count... in a game with really archaic gunplay at that.

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4 hours ago, DragonSlayer667 said:

If you suck or your character sucks at hitting stuff, maybe reach for that rifle, cause with the slow reload on that cowboy repeater, ya gotta make the hits count...

There is definitely a factor of accessibility with the Service Rifle, I guess that's why they hand it out to folks like Poindexter and the misfits, they can't hit anything 💀 Not sure about the crit though since it is 1x.

3 hours ago, JimboUK said:

The Cowboy Repeater is what I always use in the early game, right up to Novac where Manny has a terrible accident and I get my hands on a hunting rifle.

As long as you get 50 Guns before hand, not a bad strat. I send Manny out there too despite a Hunting Rifle stored inside Cliff's House or maybe you just wanted two? Make sure to snatch the few boxes of .308 at the Primm Sheriff house too!
I'm getting a sense that if you're an experienced shooter both character and player, the repeater is the gun from the replies so far but I'm waiting for someone to finally give the Service Rifle some love..

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6 hours ago, JimboUK said:

The Cowboy Repeater is what I always use in the early game, right up to Novac where Manny has a terrible accident and I get my hands on a hunting rifle.

The cow questgivers' house has a guncase with a hunting rifle. The Novac bungalow has another gun case but a different rifle, i think, trail carbine or something. There's really no pressing need to arrange an accident for poor Manny.

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10 hours ago, MuteSignals said:

There is definitely a factor of accessibility with the Service Rifle, I guess that's why they hand it out to folks like Poindexter and the misfits, they can't hit anything 💀 Not sure about the crit though since it is 1x.

As long as you get 50 Guns before hand, not a bad strat. I send Manny out there too despite a Hunting Rifle stored inside Cliff's House or maybe you just wanted two? Make sure to snatch the few boxes of .308 at the Primm Sheriff house too!
I'm getting a sense that if you're an experienced shooter both character and player, the repeater is the gun from the replies so far but I'm waiting for someone to finally give the Service Rifle some love..

I want all three in Novac to save on repair kits, I use those on That Gun which I also "acquire" in Novac. I've never really liked service rifle and I'm not sure why, it gets the job done and there are enough around the place for repairs. That said I prefer melee builds and only really use guns until I have enough health and DT to be able to close in on enemies without losing most of my health.

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9 hours ago, Radioactivelad said:

I dislike the lever-action weapons...they suffer from new vegas's gummy animation system more than most.

I do hate that too, there's probably a fix out there but usually I try to reload whilst crouched/first person to avoid this otherwise I do a little dance.

8 hours ago, laclongquan said:

The cow questgivers' house has a guncase with a hunting rifle. The Novac bungalow has another gun case but a different rifle, i think, trail carbine...

Ranger Andy's bungalow has the trail carbine in an average locked chest,
Cliff Briscoe next door has an unlocked chest with a hunting rifle,
Didn't know about the cow house though, I guess the McBrides were always watching it.

33 minutes ago, JimboUK said:

I've never really liked service rifle and I'm not sure why, it gets the job done and there are enough around the place for repairs.

Definitely plenty around especially later in the game. I will give the Service Rifle this, It can use AP (Armor Piercing) rounds. You're given a Rifle + 72x AP Ammo after Can You Find it in Your Heart? by Ranger Jackson. It can punch DT -15 whilst the highest the Repeater can do is JFP (Hand Load) DT -3.

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