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Submachine Gun

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Smg 1
Hud icon Uzi invert 
Weapon Type Light Assault
Main weapon
Weapon Tier 1
Left 4 Dead
Capacity 50
Carry Capacity 480
Damage per Shot 20
Rate of Fire 960/minute (16/second)
Damage per Second 320
Damage per Magazine 1000
Total Damage 10600
Left 4 Dead 2
Capacity 50
Carry Capacity 650
Damage per Shot 20
Rate of Fire 960/minute (16/second)
Damage per Second 320
Damage per Magazine 1000
Total Damage 14000

"Oh, man, this is just like Counter-Strike!"
"I guess it'll do. Yeah, whatever, it's a machine gun."

The Submachine Gun is the standard Tier 1 weapon (next to the Pump Shotgun) that is available to players at the start of each chapter and to those who have re-spawned in a closet after dying. This weapon deals out light but noticeable and progressive damage on account of the high speed at which it fires.

It has a 50-round magazine with 480 rounds (650 in Left 4 Dead 2) in reserve. Accuracy-wise, it excels at short ranges but can also engage medium range targets (which is helped when the player crouches to fire). Although it is replaced by the Assault Rifle in Tier 2, its rate of fire is higher than the heavier rifle.

Given its ability to take on medium range targets, inherent accuracy and high rate of fire, the Submachine Gun is a worthy alternative to the slower firing, shorter ranged but heavier hitting Pump Shotgun.

The Submachine Gun's major drawbacks are twofold. Firstly, its projectile's penetration and hitting power are poor, making it a risky choice when facing a Tank. Secondly, its high rate of fire relative to its ammo reserve means that even players who maintain strict fire discipline and fire only short bursts will start to run short of ammo partway through a level. This situation is even worse in the case of a co-op team featuring a member with a "full-auto" bad habit; these people will become team liabilities due to a lack of ammo in short order.


Smgv 1

Louis wielding the Submachine Gun.

  • Fire in small bursts. This keeps accuracy up and prevents wasting ammo on Infected when they are already dying.
  • Try to fire mostly while still and crouching. This produces better accuracy and an opportunity for another team member to shoot over the user's head.
  • Switch to the Pistol(s) at every opportunity, saving the Submachine Gun for when it is really needed.
  • Learn when not to shoot. Ammo conservation is paramount. Let another team member armed with a shotgun take point and use the Submachine Gun to provide cover.
  • When shooting there are three useful tactics. Firstly, the "head-hunting" technique involves aiming at Common Infected's heads and (when they are attacking in a Horde) takes advantage of the fact that physically they are all of the same height (only one bullet is needed for a successful head shot). Secondly, there is the "leg chopper" technique: aim at a Common Infected's leg and sever it (all it takes is a two- or three-shot burst). Thirdly, target the Common Infected's feet and move the aim whilst firing up the body. The Infected slows down from the leg damage and eventually gets headshot. Whilst more expensive in ammo, this technique limits friendly fire when a team member is being mobbed.
  • When facing a Common Infected horde attack, use the "headhunter" or "leg chopper" techniques above. Both will drop them instantly (although damaging and often ultimately fatal, body shots allow many Common Infected to stay on their feet for a while thus tempting a player to waste precious ammo).
  • The Submachine Gun can shoot through apertures in damaged doors, thereby preserving the protection afforded by the door whilst being able to inflict damage on Infected on the other side.
  • When an Infected attacks a player at close quarters, accuracy drops because the game models the effect of the attacker bumping and blocking the player's firearm. Players in this situation should train themselves knock the Infected back so as to get a clean shot.
  • Players with Submachine Guns should not be reluctant to help teammates snagged by Hunters or Smokers: the Submachine Gun does an excellent job of "delousing" them with aimed fire at even long ranges.
  • Reload often. The high rate of fire on the Submachine Gun means that the 50-round magazine will run dry fairly quickly. In fact, it takes about 3 seconds for the ammo count to go from 50 to 0 on full-auto, faster than any weapon in the game, apart from the Silenced Submachine Gun. A player disciplined to fire short (five- or six-round) bursts knows that after about four or five bursts, the magazine is about half empty and due for a reload, something that is impossible to gauge when firing on full auto.
  • Practice the Pistol Shuffle when faced with a mob of Common Infected. Engage them initially with the Submachine Gun, empty the magazine and then switch to (ideally) Dual Pistols. The rate of fire that can be put out is prodigious and deadly, especially if the player remembers to fire controlled bursts and avoids wasting ammo by aiming at the Common Infected's bodies (see Notes above).
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the Submachine Gun is a good complement to a melee weapon such as a Katana.

Left 4 Dead 2Edit

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Ellis holding the Submachine Gun.

The Submachine Gun returns with new animations. It is much more efficient than its Left 4 Dead counterpart as its ammo reserve is now 650, compared with the original version's 480 reserve. However, players should adopt all the tactics specified in the section above, such as fire discipline and burst firing.

The Submachine Gun is better than the Silenced Submachine Gun for long range work because it is more accurate when burst fired, even though it does less damage per bullet than the Silenced Submachine Gun.

Behind the ScenesEdit

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The flashlight mounted on the handguard.

Originally, the Submachine Gun's flashlight was mounted directly under its handguard. In the final version, the flashlight is mounted on the right side of the gun.

The Submachine Gun is (at first glance) based on the world-renowned Israeli Military Industries SMG, the Uzi. However, the fire-selector switch seems to betray its actual origin as Italian; the R is a feature present chiefly on the SOCIMI Type 821, an Uzi clone. The in-game weapon is fitted with an Uzi stock and grip, however.

It's interesting to note that the weapon was apparently originally to have been based on Counter-Strike's MP5N submachine gun. Its "price" in the gun's weapon file is the same as the MP5N's, and it references the MP5N in its "animation" listing. A scoped MP5 is also carried by the Survivors in some of the posters.

It also had a full reload animation of pulling the cocking handle after replacing the magazine. The cocking animation can still occasionally be observed in the final version of the game when pulling out the weapon after meleeshoving with the M1911 Pistol.


  • SMG Cocking Animation

    The SMG's removed cocking animation.

    The Submachine Gun is modeled after the Uzi.
  • The ammo count of 480 in Left 4 Dead hints that the Submachine Gun may have originally modeled its real-life capacity of 32 rounds.
    • Aftermarket 50-round magazines are available for the Uzi, although the in-game model appears to have the more common 32-round magazine.
  • The first game's Submachine Gun has a much higher rate of fire than the actual Uzi (960 RPM versus 600 RPM)—nearly identical to the fire rate of the Mini-Uzi (not to be confused with Micro-Uzi) variant which fires at 950 RPM.
  • Though Louis says, "Oh man, this is just like Counter-Strike," Counter-Strike does not currently have an Uzi (though he may be referring to the MAC-10, which resembles it).
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, it is incorrectly shown with a reciprocating cocking handle.
  • Very rarely, usually after shooting a Pistol, if you pick up a Submachine Gun, a different sound might play. The sound resembles the cocking of a gun and it may have been the sound intended for the gun's cut cocking animation.
  • The Submachine Gun, along with the Assault Rifle, is capable of a glitch called a "Power Shot" in Left 4 Dead. The glitch resulted in the entire magazine of bullets being fired at once. This was patched on 22nd September 2009.
  • Bug: In Left 4 Dead, the removed cocking animation may sometimes show up when using the SMG.
  • This weapon, along with the Assault Rifle and the Hunting Rifle are the only weapons that have reloading animations in which the magazine is actually removed from the weapon when seen from the third person view in Left 4 Dead 2. Other weapons' magazine will remain attached to the weapons if their reloading animations are played in third person.

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