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A Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) is a compact semi-automatic or fully automatic firearm that is, in most respects, a subclassification of Submachine Guns (SMGs). They typically have the lowest hip-fire spread and reload faster than other weapons and also offer users many slots for customization to better fit both circumstances and preference.
They fire similar, (often proprietary) to rifle rounds, giving them better ranges, accuracy and armor-penetrating capabilities. The class of weapon as it exists today evolved as a hybrid between a SMG and a Carbine, retaining the compact size and ammunition capacity of the former while adding the ammunition power, accuracy and penetration of the latter.