The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of Borderlands Red Text Guns

Great vid. Just one pet peeve.

Your statement at the end. I know this has been addressed many times before, but it is a point that always seems to get lost over the internet. When people say “X class of weapons suck”, they are talking about the class as a whole, not as an elite group of red text weapons. Vladof ARs may be good in some contexts (too ammo hosey for me), but that doesn’t change Dahl and Bandit being pretty trashy, and the class as a whole having not-so-great stats, like the ludicrious amonts of recoil bandits, vladofs, and Dahls when not ADS have for comparitively little damage.

Those 5 guns are great no doubt. But there are at least 5 or 6 other types of vladof ARs, along with 4 other manufacturers, 2 of which (Dahl and Bandit) are pretty difficult to use optimally (squeezing out whatever damage they may be entirely capable of) and still not the great even when you do.

Unless there is some guide for non-red text ARs that deals with how use them effectively, I don’t really think this one group can discount an observation that is generally correct. I mean, you saw the crit damage those non red text guns were doing.

Bandit has at less the sawbar which is really good, Dahl have some good ones as well. This whole topic is about red text but I would be happy to explore regular purple ARs separately, there are many strong ones. Also Torgue has some really solid ones as well.

At some point, I’d be interested in your thoughts on Torgue ARs, having become a recent fan while learning to play a Mechromancer.

Oh yeah - had some highly effective purple Dahl, Vladof, and Toruge ARs over the years. My general rule of thumb is to never toss anything until I’ve tried it out.


That is some of the beat borderlands advice one can give

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I’m really enjoying the series. Looking forward for the pistols.

Ill be able to wrap up the Jakobs and Vladof parts today, and I started with Dahl next.

Dammed Cowboy

Stats compared to the Rifle it was based off of

Damage: +68.67%
Accuracy: +2.0
Fire Rate: -13.3
Reload Speed: +0.1
Magazine Size: unchanged

Red Text Effects other than stats

32.5% type B critical hit instead of 15%.

Starting off you have a lot more damage but the question remains, is the damage enough to make up for the slow fire rate.

The One Shot Math

for these tests I had on minds eye to show the type B crit damage, the 25% is minds eye

Dammed Cowboy
710880 x 2 x (1 + 25%) + (1 + 32.5%) = 2,354,790

421450 x 2 x (1 + 25%) + (1 + 15%) = 1,211,668

Now on crit it does 94% more damage but with the lower fire rate it won’t do more DPS. While the damage is respectable on the Dammed Cowboy its not quite enough for the fire rate IMO but not far off either.

My hindsight fix of a bit more damage and more crit, I would go with 100% more damage and add 50% type A crit.

Dammed Cowboy with Hindsight fix
842900 x 2 x (1 + 50% + 25%) x (1 + 32.5%) = 3,894,198

Now it would do 221% more damage than a blue Rifle yet that damage isn’t unreasonable. I think with this you would see much more use of this gun that should give it one shot one kill potential.

How to get the most out of it

  • Any fire rate buffs will help this greatly 2 fire rate can get decent quickly.
  • Critical hit buffs go a long ways with a 32.5% type B crit bonus. TTAoDK coms go nice here because of that.


Stats compared to the Cannon it was based off of

  • Damage: +11.82%
  • Accuracy: unchanged
  • Fire Rate: unchanged
  • Reload Speed: unchanged
  • Magazine Size: unchanged

Red Text Effects other than stats

The Stinkpot is always corrosive, where Cannons can only be explosive so on armored enemies it can out perform a Cannon but outside of that its weaker.

The One Shot Math

Flesh enemy as in image
880137 x 60% = 528,082
Armor enemy
880137 x 175%= 1,540,239

Flesh enemy as in image
Armor Enemy

You can see it does quite a bit less on flesh but quite a bit more on Armor, but my issue is its not enough. If you compare this to the other guns I’ve covered even on Armor enemies its not great damage.

My hindsight fix wasn’t really doing anything to the stats but make the AOE bigger so you hit multiple enemies with each shot easier and have it shoot 2 grenades without an increase to the ammo cost. With that youl kwould be doing 3 million to a target and thats solid damage.

How to get the most out of it

  • Since it shoots grenades both Axton and Krieg can get a lot out of it with their buffs
  • Sometimes shooting the ground and bouncing the grenade into your target it better than having it possibly bouncing off.
  • Since its corrosive it should go without say but only use it on armored enemies with a yellow health bar or bosses that you know are weak to corrosion
  • Corrosive Bone goes well with it for obvious reasons.

As the only corrosive Jakobs weapon, I use the Stinkpot a lot (basically whenever armored critters are around) with my allegiance Assassin. That second bullet above about how to get the most out of it makes a surprising difference, and I’m not sure why? It does seem like rounds shot straight at a target will either fly straight through or bounce off (although some definitely hit the target). Once you get the hang of ricocheting those grenades at the enemies though, I think it’s great. I find it one of the very few grenade-tossing assault rifles that I’ll use (although I’m still looking for an effective niche for the Bearcat other than weakly carpet bombing enemies).

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I think sometimes the game calculates the ricochet angle as 180°, so the shot appears to go straight through - annoying until you figure out what’s going on.

The only other thing I’d add is that IME the Stinkpot is a great weapon to have for BARex. Yes, there are better weapons for the fight, but if you run out of ammo on your whatever it is, this is good to have in reserve because the projectiles don’t come back at you.

About the Vladof: it’s worth mentioning that the Rabid prefix on the Kitten should be avoided at all coast. The gun is unusable with it. Or, to put it another way, it would be usable only at(literally) point blank range.


Will do, the kitten is interesting for prefix, damage, accuracy, and fire rate can all be the best depending on who and how you’re speced.

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There is the dahl ar video, I’ll catch up with the thread after work today, the weekend didn’t give me much free time, sorry.

Yes. Vladof ARs are such a success: so many good choices, so many good possibilities to fit a specific playstyle.

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I almost wished there was a Vladof version of the Sawbar and Veruc.

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A vladof does sound amazing

And then we have the Bearcat, bland like its skin.

I would be willing to deal with its explosive delay, and even just have one grenade per shot if that grenade was the grenade you currently have equipped. For a pearl this would be amazing, imagine shooting out quasars…or stormfronts from the Bearcat, it would be a simple boss killer just by shear brute force. Reduce the grenade dmg by half even…

Oh gawd, that would be hilarious. Although that while drunk as Zero with 100% Tw0 Fang? crazy

Updated the OP with the Vladof guns, I’ll get caught up more tomorrow.