Personal Defense Weapons, or PDW for short, are compact, light, magazine-fed weapons. PDWs are exclusively available to the Scout Class.
During World War II, a request was issued to the U.S. Army Ordnance Department received for a light rifle to be issued to certain soldiers that found the typical M1 Garand rifle too cumbersome for their general positions. Although at first rejected, the request was reconsidered and admitted after German attacks using gliders and paratroopers were successful. The M1 Carbine was deployed in the U.S. Army and is often considered as a forerunner to modern Personal Defense Weapons.
Later on, in the 1980's, a request for the concept of a Personal Defense Weapon was introduced to serve as a replacement for Submachine guns, most notably the 9x19mm Parabellum. The Personal Defense Weapon was designed to penetrate body armor and perform well in Close Quarters Combat (CQC). The FN P90 was the answer to the request. The P90 featured a unique design, placing the 50-round magazine horizontally above the weapon. The weapon was extremely compact, no longer than a man's shoulder width, allowing it to be held with ease. In 2001, Heckler & Koch created the MP7 a direct rival to the P90. It featured a more standard design, taking the appearance of a smaller Assault Rifle. Heckler & Koch would go on to create many more Personal Defense Weapons as time progressed.
Personal Defense Weapons are Close Quarter Combat (CQC) oriented weapons, possessing the necessary traits that allow them to perform exceptionally well in close range. These traits, however, hinder PDWs at longer ranges, and they perform weaker at said ranges than other weapons. Therefore, PDWs are best used where CQC is common, such as at Hills or common passages.
Generally, Personal Defense Weapons possess a very high Rate of Fire (RoF) and a good maximum damage, allowing these weapons to perform exceptionally well in close range. PDWs, compared to other weapons, typically sport good hipfire statistics as well, so PDWs will be better suited in hipfiring than other weapons such as Assault Rifles. If one wishes to concentrate on utilizing the hipfire capabilities of a PDW, using attachments such as a Vertical Grip or Laser will help increase the effectiveness of hipfiring. Still, PDWs sport a very low accuracy at longer ranges, either aiming or hipfiring. To top it off, the minimum damage of a PDW drops off at very fast rate, and the damage is very low, making it very ineffective to fire past medium range.
Usage & Tactics
When using a PDW, the recommended strategy is to participate in CQC, although most PDWs are viable for mid-range combat. Due to the good hipfire accuracy, PDWs are very effective in dealing with enemies in a short amount of time, increasing their effectiveness in CQC. If a PDW user finds themselves out in an open area, it is best if that user tries to find cover, as a PDW will not hold well if used in long range engagements. Instead, one should try to take participation in one-on-one fights in a close area.
PDWs, as a side note, are usually very light, and traversing areas with a PDW is a very easy task. This ability to move around the map at quick speeds in an agile manner allows the PDW user to better prepare him or herself for participating in areas where the PDW shines, such as aforementioned closed in areas. However, if the PDW user finds him or herself in an extremely dangerous position and needs to retreat or evacuate to a safer area, the PDW's lightness will not be a hindrance to any quick escape.
The PDW, all in all, is the ideal CQC weapon, possessing a high RoF and a light figure, making the weapon ideal for engaging with foes one-on-one. Other quirks, such as the average PDW possessing a relatively stable hipfire accuracy, a good maximum damage also help PDWs excel in close engagements. Even though PDWs may possess a low accuracy and long reload, which hinder their performance against long-range threats, they still perform much more decently at longer ranges than other CQC-orientated weapons, such as Shotguns.
- Out of all the weapons in the PDW category, only two are actually classified as PDWs in real life, the P90 and MP7.
- The rest are sub-machine guns.
- Some weapons in-game are PDWs in real life but not classified as one in-game, such as the Honey Badger, which classified as an Assault Rifle in-game, although it was previously classified as a Carbine.
- The AS VAL, by Russian standards, is considered an Assault Rifle, but under NATO classifications, the AS VAL is more akin to a PDW.
- There are no set specifications on the calibre used in a PDW.
- Some like the MP7 and P90, fire a small-caliber, high-velocity bottleneck cartridge, designed to pierce modern kevlar body armor. These cartridges are visually similar to rifle rounds, but are much smaller in scale.
- Some like the PP-2000, fire a regular pistol-caliber, but variants designed for better armor-penetration abilitiles and higher muzzle velocity.
- In the PP-2000's case, it usually uses Russian 7N21 and 7N31 variants of the 9x19mm Parabellum round.
- Some fire regular intermediate rifle cartridges, like the Magpul PDR, which uses the 5.56x45mm NATO round.