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Orphan Maker is a cursed unique shotgun of Jakobs manufacture in Borderlands 2 as part of the DLC Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty. Orphan Maker is obtained from the mission Message In A Bottle (Oasis).

Special Weapon Effects

Makes Orphans. Often. – Increased damage and reduced pellet count.

Curse of the Nefarious Backlash! – Every shot from the weapon will deal a small amount of damage (5% of weapon damage rating) to the wielding character.

Usage & Description

The Orphan Maker is relatively accurate with a low pellet count and high damage, allowing critical points to be targeted more easily. The self-damaging effect means this weapon needs to be used more cautiously than a typical shotgun. The self-damage is usually not significant to the character but it will reset shield recharge delay. Ambush tactics or frequent use of cover is favored for this shotgun as constant use effectively prevents shields from recharging.

The Orphan Maker is useful for Gaige due to its ability to activate several of her skills at once: Smaller, Lighter, Faster, Shock and "AAAGGGGHHH!", and Cooking Up Trouble. Smaller, Lighter, Faster will shrink the already small magazine down to two, which means it will reload after every shot, processing Cooking Up Trouble and Shock and "AAAGGGGHHH!" as well as granting Anarchy stacks; the high damage also works well with Anarchy because it is applied to each pellet that hits, while Close Enough ensures a high hit rate. The damage it does to the wielder can be counteracted by Blood Soaked Shields and this gun's ability to get a kill every shot; Blood-Soaked Shield's negative of taking 5% health is counteracted by this gun activating Cooking Up Trouble after every reload.

Krieg can make exceptionally good use of this weapon, since its self-damage is smaller and more manageable than friendly-fire damage from Fuel the Rampage, or self-damage from Silence the Voices. The self-damage can be used to reduce Buzz Axe Rampage cooldown, or reset shield recharge delay to take advantage from Empty the RageMaylay shields, or Flame of the Firehawk.

Maya makes effective use of this weapon when healing other Vault Hunters with the skill Restoration, being able to bring them back to full health from even the lowest health.

Shields with high capacities are also a smart choice to equip if this gun is used frequently. Quick shields are also a viable option when using this weapon because lost shield charge can be regenerated promptly.


  • The Orphan Maker is not a good option if an Amp Shield is equipped; amp shields require full shields to function properly, and shooting the weapon causes the user's shields to be damaged.
  • The weapon's full title in the game files is "Captain Blade's Orphan Maker;" however, "Captain Blade's" is treated as a prefix by the game engine and can be replaced with other prefixes.
  • A bug prevents the cursed effect from being applied when the gun is wielded in Salvador's left hand while gunzerking.
  • Day 12 of the Borderlands 2 $100,000 Loot Hunt featured this weapon, dropped by Big Sleep.


  • "Makes orphans often" is a reference to a line from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance referencing how the uncommon British pronunciation of "orphan" and "often" can sound the same.
  • The weapon functions like an elephant gun - it is a shotgun-bored weapon, but each barrel fires only a single, high-powered slug.