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I am making a character who uses pistols as their ranged weapons. If an effect like the artificer's Repeating Shot infusion got rid of the loading effect on one pistols, could they dual wield pistols?

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Unfortunately, this does not work

Repeating Shot says:

If you load no ammunition in the weapon, it pro­duces its own, automatically creating one piece of magic ammunition when you make a ranged attack with it.

That means you will never need to load your infused pistol, and need no free hand for that. What about your normal pistol?

Pistols have the ammunition property and that says (PH p. 146f):

Drawing the ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack (you need a free hand to load a one-handed weapon).

The emphasized part was added in clarifying errata. Your pistol is a one-handed weapon. This means once your pistol has fired, you will need a free hand to load your pistol, and will not be able to do so, when you hold an infused pistol in your other hand.

In addition, two-weapon fighting is only available for melee weapons (PH, 195):

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand.

Not even the Dual Wielder feat changes that:

You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren’t light.

So dual wielding guns is not supported by the rules. Talk to you DM to see if they are willing to make it happen for you and find a way to balance it. Its a cool trope, after all.

PS. The loading property is not relevant for dual wielding. All it does is limiting you to one attack per round with a weapon. The infusion allows you to ignore that limitation if you have extra attacks for the infused pistol. Even if you could dual wield however, you use your bonus action to attack with your other hand, and you only have one bonus action per turn for that anyways.

PSS. There is a way to try and get to dual wielding with hand crossbows, which is somewhat more feasible due to the Crossbow Expert feat, but even with that, due to needing free hands to reload, you cannot quite get there: Can you dual wield two hand crossbows?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically could you dual wield until you ran out of ammo on the pistol that needs loading? Without the fears (which don't work as you explain) it doesn't do anything more than just using one pistol, but you get to look cool for a bit. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Mar 24 at 10:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Nothing stops you from holding a pistol in your other hand, but there is no rule that allows you to make a bonus action shot with it, as its not a melee weapon. You could look cool and fire them on alternate rounds. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 24 at 11:04

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