The Long Dark Wiki

Rifle Firearm.png

Rifle Firearm or Firearms is a survival skill that involves the use of a hunting rifle to hunt animals.

The rifle's range allows it to wound or kill animals from relatively safe distances.



The hunting rifle is a tool used to fire rifle rounds at targets. The rifle operates as a hit-scan weapon; unlike the bow, its bullets are not affected by projectile drop. The high-velocity rounds it fires will travel in a straight line and cause massive internal injuries to any animal struck by it, with the potential to kill instantly. If a shot hits the targeted animal (indicated by a spurt of blood) but fails to immediately kill it, the round will inflict a bleeding wound that leaves a blood trail on the ground. Over the course of several game hours, the wound will eventually kill the animal. Bullets will disappear, but shell casings can be picked up immediately after firing.

  • The rifle currently has a maximum range of approximately fifty paces with a Beginner Firearms skill. Targets beyond the maximum range cannot be hit.
  • Hitting a fleshy target will produce a blood spray effect.
  • Hitting a solid target will produce a smoke effect often accompanied with a "clank" sound.
  • Hitting most environmental targets will produce a snow scatter effect.


Players need both a rifle and ammunition before they can start practicing the firearms skill.

Hunting rifle[]

The hunting rifle is a tool used to fire rifle rounds at targets. The rifle's condition will degrade about 1.333% per shot. Rifles can be repaired by using a firearm cleaning kit to keep the weapon in optimal condition.

Rifle ammunition[]

Rifle ammunition for hunting rifles can be found as single cartridges or in 5-round boxes. It can be crafted at the Ammunition Workbench, a crafting station found in both Bleak Inlet and Blackrock.

The rifle holds a maximum of 10 rounds at a time, and can be loaded with 5 round stripper clips; rounds will be loaded individually if there are 6 or more rounds in the magazine or if the player has fewer than 5 rounds. Loading will continue until interrupted, either by clicking or canceling, or until the magazine is fully loaded. Unlike the Revolver, shell casings will be ejected onto the ground automatically after firing due to the bolt action, and should be picked up immediately if possible.


Main article: Hunting

Hunting animals allows players to kill and then harvest their flesh, pelts, and guts to acquire food and materials in The Long Dark. Hitting animals with projectiles, such as rifle ammunition, is the most effective way to kill game while completely bypassing the animals' natural defenses. Rifle shots move too quickly to be blocked or dodged and can be fired from outside the animal's zone of perception.

Critical hits[]

Critical hits are random occurrences, but are more likely in designated critical areas. Shots to the head and neck have the best chance to cause a critical hit, followed by shots to the shoulders and chest. Shots to the feet are immune to critical hits.


Direct hits to an animal with a rifle round that are not critical will cause bleeding wounds. Animals will bleed out according to which area they were shot in last. Multiple shots to the same area will not make the animal bleed out any faster. However, shooting an animal in an area that bleeds faster than a previous wound it has already received will cause it to bleed out as if the faster wound were caused when the first wound was.

Hit zone
Animal Head Chest Hind Foot
Rabbit Instant Instant Instant Instant
Deer Instant 45 minutes 60 minutes 240 minutes
Wolf Instant Instant 60 minutes 120 minutes
Bear 60 minutes 240 minutes 360 minutes 480 minutes
Moose N/A[1] N/A[1] N/A[1] N/A[1]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Moose do not bleed out.

Skill levels[]

Rifle Skill is increased by scoring hits on live wildlife with the Hunting Rifle, or by fully reading the research books "Frontier Shooting Guide" or "Advanced Guns Guns Guns!". Multiple copies of each book can be read, each granting skill points when fully read.

  • A rifle round striking a live animal (except crows) grants 1 skill point.
  • Frontier Shooting Guide grants 5 skill points (4 hours of reading), but only to a maximum of Level 3.
  • Advanced Guns Guns Guns! grants 10 skill points (25 hours of reading).

Once players have reached a new skill level, they unlock the effects described in the table below.

Level Skill points Effects
1 0
2 10
  • Critical hit chance increased by 10%
  • 2 additional percent of condition per repair action
3 25
  • Accuracy range increased by 20%
  • Critical Hit chance increased by 15%
  • 3 additional percent of condition per repair action
4 50
  • Damage increased by 10%
  • Accuracy range increased by 30%
  • Critical Hit chance increased by 20%
  • 4 additional percent of condition per repair action
5 100
  • Damage increased by 20%
  • Accuracy range increased by 40%
  • Critical hit chance increased by 30%
  • 5 additional percent of condition per repair action
  • Per-use condition degradation reduced by 50%


  • The rifle can't be used with a sprained wrist.
  • Bullets are more likely to cause a critical wound, and do more damage compared to arrows.
  • Bullets cause less severe bleeding compared to arrows, resulting in longer bleed-out times.
  • Firing the rifle indoors will cause temporary deafness.
  • The rifle will be dropped in any struggle if the player loses.