The Paladin is a reliable, durable weapon developed by law enforcement looking for a high-powered but easily concealed sidearm for undercover agents. Surprisingly small for its hitting power, the Paladin is a variant on the Carnifex pistol. While it has a smaller clip than the Carnifex, its shots are unquestionably more powerful.
The Paladin functions very similarly to the M-6 Carnifex, albeit with half the clip size, less spare ammo capacity and over 1.5x the damage (when compared at the same level). It is also significantly heavier.
The Paladin's main drawback is its extremely low thermal clip and reserve capacity: only 3 shots in the thermal clip and 21 in reserve without upgrades. This makes the Paladin the heavy pistol with the second lowest capacity in the game, with fewer shots than some shotguns and sniper rifles. In order to maximize effectiveness, it is recommended to go for headshots whenever possible or weaken the target with powers first.
A Paladin, even at level 1, can kill any basic troops with a headshot in Silver difficulty, even better if a High Caliber Barrel is attached. This makes the weapon on par with a Valiant when it comes to DPS, with Valiant having a much longer range and faster reload and Paladin having much more damage per shot.
A Paladin X, especially if modified with a Scope and a Magazine Upgrade, can act as a substitute for a sniper rifle; at this point having similar statistics and range. However, its shallower firing profile and lower recoil mean that it is faster to aim and re-sight. Foregoing the Scope for the High Caliber Barrel and the Piercing Mod makes it on par with a Black Widow in medium range encounters.
The Magazine Upgrade can be very useful for extra damage per clip, but it will only increase the shot capacity by 2 shots. A Piercing Mod can devastate Guardians, Reapers protected by armor plating (such as those of the Brute and the Marauder's enhancement) and light cover, but it loses some of its punch with penetration. A High Caliber Barrel will give the Paladin enough power to eliminate unprotected enemies in one shot, and some shielded enemies in two. A Scope could provide a longer ranged option, but peripheral vision is decreased when zoomed in.
Recent updates made the Paladin lighter and slightly more powerful, however it is still the heavy pistol with the second biggest weight penalty.