I was watching a stealth build setup for Fallout 4 and noticed the player was using a Combat rifle instead of a Sniper rifle. If you put the .308 receiver on the Combat rifle it has the same damage as a Sniper rifle, so what's the difference? Fire rate? Is the Combat rifle for VATS?

Also, does the Marksman perk apply to Sniper rifles, or is that why the player was using a Combat rifle?

  • Could you possibly link to the video? It might provide some context for your question. Maybe the player just prefers the combat rifle themself. Also yes, the marksman perk applies to all rifle types. Oct 24, 2016 at 3:17
  • Thanks for the help, this is strangely stressing me out to the max (mainly because I don't know how to get a combat rifle quickly). youtube.com/watch?v=k0wWkZcGz_8
    – Typo
    Oct 24, 2016 at 3:18
  • I answered your other question about combat rifle. But to be honest, if you're really going for stealth, you need a stealth weapon above anything. For that, you can reliably get one going after the Railroad questline, but if you're level 20ish, just get anything silenced, pick Marksman (rifles are better for zoom aim), stealth perks, stealth damage multiplier, and that's all you really need. The Combat Rifle is overkill unless you don't bother doing stealth.
    – Nelson
    Oct 24, 2016 at 6:02

2 Answers 2


Around 21:05 in the video, the build maker mentions keeping both a .50 cal hunting rifle and the .308 combat rifle in case you run low on ammo for one or the other. Other than that they did not mention which of the two is better. They simply could've been using it out of aesthetic purposes (the creator of the build does like to stick to roleplaying their character in-game) or other reasons like amount of ammo on hand when filming the video.

To compare the stats of either weapons, the Combat Rifle with a .308 receiver:

Base damage: 57 (33 + 24)

Fire rate: 49 (33 + 16)

Ammo Capacity: 20 (40 with large quick eject mag)

Range: 119

Accuracy: 69 (70 - 1)

Weight: 14.1 (11.1 + 3)

And a Hunting Rifle with a .50 cal receiver:

Base Damage: 64 (37 + 27)

Fire Rate: 4 (3 + 1)

Ammo capacity: 5 (10 with large quick eject mag)

Range: 131

Accuracy: 71

Weight: 12.1 (9.6 + 2.5)

Both weapons can equip the same attachments (barrel, scope, etc.), though those same attachments weigh a bit more on the Combat Rifle.

Overall the Combat Rifle offers more damage per second due to very much higher fire rate as well as a larger magazine. But if you are just going for 1-shot kills the Hunting Rifle with .50 cal receiever has a higher base damage. I do not know for sure the AP cost for the weapons but generally higher rate of fire weapons have lower costs, so the Combat Rifle might be more efficient for heavy V.A.T.S. usage.

  • 1
    For the Combat Rifle, you have the Overseer's Guardian, a gun from Vault 81. For this gun alone I would not even bother with the Hunting Rifle because the Guardian will do more damage than the Hunting Rifle, at about 10 times the firing rate.
    – Nelson
    Oct 24, 2016 at 5:58
  • @Nelson If you take into account legendary effects, you can get that two-shot effect on any weapon. The Overseer's Guardian is just a reliable way to find one early on. I don't know if it's damage is any different from a regular Combat Rifle with the same mods. Oct 25, 2016 at 3:07
  • I can't think of a Legendary Effect on the Hunting Rifle that can surpass the always available Overseer's Guardian. The abysmal firing rate puts the Hunting Rifle very far below the Overseer's Guardian. I've played with Explosive, Freezing, Two-Shot, and Neverending effects. The gun just fires too slow.
    – Nelson
    Oct 25, 2016 at 3:33
  • The most important difference is the AP usage. If it's a "sniper rifle", it has a scope. Don't ever use scopes. They are super expensive for AP. Always use red dots. They make each shot cost less VATS. Anything that increases "focus" reduces VATS cost.
    – DCShannon
    Nov 3, 2016 at 0:42

You are right that in general, Combat Rifles outperform Hunting Rifles (modified into Sniper Rifles). However, where Combat Rifles have great mid-to-long range potential, snipers are often the most accurate at long ranges. Not to mention, Hunting Rifles have access to the .50 cal barrel modification, which amps up the damage significantly, making them great one shot head shot weapons, especially in V.A.T.S.

  • But VATS is terrible at long range. At ranges that I can easily aim, I can't ever get more than 10% accuracy, even with maxed out perks. VATS is actually for headshots at CLOSE range, using a long scope, because VATS accuracy actually gets better with strong scopes, but it would have been impossible to scope aim outside of VATS.
    – Nelson
    Oct 24, 2016 at 6:15
  • I regularly hit 98-99% chances to hit at long range with my sniper rifle.
    – childe
    Oct 24, 2016 at 7:20
  • I usually hit guys outside of VATS range, so when they enter VATS range, it's right at the edge. I have maxed viewing distance.
    – Nelson
    Oct 24, 2016 at 7:40

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