The Penetrator is a legendary sniper rifle manufactured by Dahl.

Examples are on the talk page.

Special Weapon Effects

Sniper Killer... Qu'est que c'est – Fully automatic. Increased rate of fire, recoil reduction and ammo capacity.

Usage & Description

The Penetrator is a fully automatic sniper rifle. It can unload its entire magazine in less than two to three seconds. Alongside the Hyperion Invader, it sports some of the highest long-range damage per second in Borderlands. It consumes ammo at a more than alarming rate. It is recommended that the player either use this weapon sparingly or be equipped with a class mod that regenerates sniper rifle ammo. The Penetrator can be seen as a hybrid between a combat rifle and a sniper rifle, possessing the high damage and small magazine size of a Sniper, while maintaining a high rate of fire of a combat rifle. The accuracy and recoil stats fall in between the two archetypes, it is more accurate and features more recoil than a combat rifle, but less accurate than high-quality snipers and presents less recoil than a sniper rifle firing at this fire rate should have. It also has a tendency to spawn with sight1, further suggesting that this weapon should be used for medium-range encounters.

Although the Penetrator gives the player a sense of spray-and-pray styled gameplay, if all shots land, it will outdamage most other single shot sniper rifles. It is especially effective against bosses/enemies that have difficult to hit critical hit locations and are not particularly weak to any element, such as devastators, Crawmerax the Invincible, and spiderants.


  • The Penetrator's rarity is bugged in the original release of Borderlands, causing it to appear as purple, blue, or green, but still retaining its name and flavor text. This makes it significantly easier to find than the Draco, which has a similar bug that also stripped the weapon of its name and flavor text.
    • The rarity has been corrected in the 2019 Enhanced edition of Borderlands, where the Penetrator always correctly drops as a legendary weapon.
  • Very useful to shave off Bloodwing cooldown with Mordecai's Carrion Call skill.
  • When combined with a means of regenerating ammo, the Penetrator is exceptionally useful against Crawmerax the Invincible. The high fire rate, decent normal damage, and additional damage for critical hits (only critical hits deal damage to Crawmerax) make quick work of his weak points.
  • The only legitimate prefixes are Liquid (if no "D" model suffix) and Desert (if "D" model suffix).


  • The red text is a reference to the song Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads, with a line from the chorus: "Psycho Killer... Qu'est que c'est?"
  • The phrase "Qu'est-ce que c'est" itself is French, meaning "What is that/it".


The Penetrator gets its effect from the barrel1_Dahl_Penetrator barrel, which is heavily modified from the generic barrel1 part. Penetrators are never exceptionally accurate or powerful, as barrel1 is one of the worst barrels available on sniper rifles. When compared to a barrel5, the Penetrator is less accurate and damaging, but has better recoil reduction. Furthermore, when combined with the recoil reducing Dahl materials, it will provide enough stability for sustained automatic fire over medium ranges. For an explanation on how to interpret the information on the following table, please see the stat modifiers page.

barrel1_Dahl_Penetrator barrel1 barrel5
Recoil: -150%
Fire Rate: +150%
Clip Size: +3
Tech Level: +2

Damage: -4%
Recoil: -50%

Damage: +15%
Accuracy Maximum: -40%
Accuracy Minimum: -150%
Spread: -130%
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