A Magnum is a high caliber handgun that fires very powerful rounds. These pistols have large frames to withstand the high pressures of their cartridges, and often have long barrels to maximize bullet velocity. These firearms use Magnum ammunition. Magnums appear in revolver and semi-automatic forms.
The standard "power weapon" in almost all Resident Evil games, the Magnum deals devastating damage to enemies and also possesses superb penetrating abilities. These guns will instantly decapitate a normal zombie when shot in the head.
However, Magnums often have a small supply of ammunition available. Thus their use is limited and recommended only for boss encounters and hard-to-kill enemies. Plus they have a slow rate of fire due to strong recoil.
The Magnum is the second most powerful weapon type in Resident Evil next to the Rocket Launcher.
In Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and Resident Evil 6, the player can equip certain Skills effect how effective Magnums are.
In Resident Evil: Revelations, enemies have a specific set of resistance and vulnerability to each weapon type. In Raid Mode, Raymond, Lansdale, Rachel, HUNK, and Lady HUNK have inherent skills that make them more effective with Magnums.