I'm playing Fallout New Vegas vanilla (although updated to the latest patch). I wanted to make a cowboy-like character that would wield primarily lever-action rifles - scoped trail carbine and a brush gun. I aimed to ultimately use trail carbine as default long range engaging weapon and resort to blasting enemies away with brush gun when (if) they come close enough, always trying to eliminate them quickly with headshots.

However, fallout wikia says that VATS aiming with brush gun is broken and bullets consistently fly above target's head if you aim for headshots.

How often does that happen? Is it happening only in certain situations (target in unusual position, me crouching, I don't know)? Will it hamper my efforts and spoil my fun?

Edit: Actual brush gun bug description from Fallout Wiki VATS page

V.A.T.S. targeting is bugged for certain guns - most lever action rifles and a few pistols: it consistently shoots high, making headshots improbable or impossible. Consistently replicable by starting a new game, adding a brush gun (id: 00121148) and .45-70 ammo (id: 0013e43e), forcing Guns to 100, and shooting at Easy Pete's head from the nearby road. Bullet impacts will appear on the windowpane behind him - and, shot after shot, will consistently be high. Modifying the gun to have perfect accuracy and/or setting fVATSSpreadMult to 0.01 will reveal that the V.A.T.S. point of aim is roughly a foot high. No known fix yet. This bug also seems to occur with the Hunting Revolver. [verified]

  • 1
    Actually according to the wiki: fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Brush_gun . It sais: Sometimes a serious bug will affect the weapon's shooting capabilities, making every bullet hit about 20 feet to the right of where you are aiming. Also this bug affects the iron sights, as you can not see them when you zoom in. The rest of the VATS bugs with it are for the ps3 and xbox only.
    – Lyrion
    Jul 1, 2014 at 11:54
  • You know those percentages that VATS shows you when stunning, that's your hit change of hitting that specific aim target. It is effects by range, angle, weapon, weapon condition, skill in weapon class... Now for headshots, you'll rarely get that above a 30% hit chance and the chance is capped at 95%, so there is always a chance to miss.
    – ewanm89
    Jul 1, 2014 at 11:58
  • I can't think of a good reason to use VATS at long range. You can head shot things manually easily enough.
    – Nelson
    Oct 14, 2015 at 7:08
  • @Nelson What about the increased crit chance in VATS?
    – flaszlok
    Aug 26, 2019 at 9:46

1 Answer 1


Having played Fallout: New Vegas far too much I can not attest to having encountered this bug, I would assume it has a low rate of occurrence.

From what I've researched regarding this bug it can be remedied by simply aiming at the target's torso. While this sacrifices the 2x headshot damage bonus, with incredibly powerful late-game brush gun or hunting revolver the actual loss of damage is negligible - you'd be killing most enemies using two shots regardless of where you aim.

On subject of bugs, a much more dangerous glitch is the VATS reload bug. In which, initiating and firing VATS while reloading a revolver may freeze your character for as much as twenty seconds while you remain susceptible to enemy damage.

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