How to get the unique “Big Boomer” Sawed-Off Shotgun in Fallout: New Vegas
How to get the unique “Big Boomer” Sawed-Off Shotgun in Fallout: New Vegas

The Big Boomer is a unique sawed-off shotgun carried by Old Lady Gibson, who lives at the Gibson Scrap Yard.

Quick tips before getting the gun:

  • You don’t have to kill Old Lady Gibson. While killing her is one way of getting the gun, you don’t have to do it to get the gun. This guide will go over how to get the gun without killing her.
  • Stealth Boy recommended. While it is not strictly necessary, having a Stealth Boy will make this method much faster.

Acquisition of the Big Boomer

To get the Big Boomer, you must head to Gibson Scrap Yard, located north of Novac and southeast of Helios One.

Location of the Gibson Scrap Yard | Fallout: New Vegas
Location of the Gibson Scrap Yard

Once you’re there, Old Lady Gibson will be just outside the entrance to the house during the day, or inside her garage at night.

Gibson Scrap Yard from the point of view of the Fast Travel location | Fallout: New Vegas
Gibson Scrap Yard from the point of view of the Fast Travel location
Old Lady Gibson in her garage at night | Fallout: New Vegas
Old Lady Gibson in her garage at night

Whatever the case, find her, crouch, and find a place where you can pickpocket her while in a [HIDDEN] state.

One possible location to pickpocket her from | Fallout: New Vegas
One possible location to pickpocket her from

Once that is done, make a save, and then interact with Old Lady Gibson to open her inventory. Try to steal her shotgun shells. You know that your attempt has been successful if you remain in the inventory screen after taking the shells.

Shells in Old Lady Gibson’s inventory | Fallout: New Vegas
Shells in Old Lady Gibson’s inventory

Once this is done, fast travel to Goodsprings, wait for 3 days using the Wait function (which you can activate by pressing T on PC), and then fast travel back to Gibson Scrap Yard.

She should have unequipped the weapon by the time you’re back. If you have a Stealth Boy, now’s the time to activate it. Go into that same spot as you were last time, make sure you’re in a [HIDDEN] state, make a save, and try to pickpocket the Big Boomer off of her. 

Big Boomer in Old Lady Gibson’s inventory | Fallout: New Vegas
Big Boomer in Old Lady Gibson’s inventory

It might take several attempts, but eventually, you should get the gun.

Comparing the Big Boomer to the Sawed-Off Shotgun

  • The Big Boomer deals substantially more damage (8.6×14 vs 7.1×14)
  • The Big Boomer has a slightly lower AP cost to fire in VATS (35 vs 37)
  • The Big Boomer has a lower spread (3.5 vs 4)

Tips for using the Big Boomer

  • The Big Boomer is the most powerful shotgun in the game as far as damage per trigger pull is concerned. This makes it incredibly useful for dealing with high-health enemies.
  • Acquiring the Big Boomer early can make the entire early game of FNV much easier, as long as you can find enough 12 Gauge shells.
  • The Big Boomer fires both shotgun shells at the same time. This makes it use a substantial amount of ammunition and makes missing very punishing.
  • The “And Stay Back” and “Shotgun Surgeon” perks both synergize perfectly with this weapon. Taking both of them early on, in addition to getting the Big Boomer, allows the player to make a very powerful build that can deal with enemies well into the mid-late game.