Cow Mangler 5000

From Team Fortress Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
A deadly device by any measure, the Cow Mangler will quantum disentangle Cows, Sheep, Humans and even Demomen!
Cow Mangler 5000 publicity blurb

The Cow Mangler 5000 is a primary weapon for the Soldier. It is a large, shoulder-fired, retrofuturistic raygun. Several portions of the weapon are team-colored, and arcs of electricity appear periodically on the frontal nodes.

This weapon can fire up to four blasts of team-colored energy that deal about 20% damage to buildings compared to the default Rocket Launcher. The blasts fired function similarly to rocket projectiles; as such, rocket jumps can be executed similarly, and shots can be reflected by enemy Pyros. Projectiles fired travel at the same speed as those from the default Rocket Launcher at 1100 Hammer units per second (approximately 76 km/h or 47 mph). The Cow Mangler 5000 features a "Mangler" bar in the HUD which serves as an indication of its ammunition clip. After the bar is depleted, it is recharged through a reloading animation where the lever on the Mangler's side is cranked. The weapon does not incorporate the traditional ammo reserve used by other weapons and hence has unlimited ammunition, a feature it shares with the Righteous Bison, Pomson 6000, and Manmelter.

When the Mangler bar is full, pressing the secondary fire button (default key: MOUSE2) causes the weapon to begin charging up. During this process, the entire Mangler bar is consumed, the user cannot switch weapons and the Soldier's movement speed is reduced from 80% (normal) to 27%. This charging period lasts two seconds, after which a single charged shot is fired with the same speed and blast radius of a primary fire blast. This shot deals mini-crit damage to players and inflicts 6 seconds of afterburn damage, at the same rate as the Flame Thrower. This can damage and ignite the Soldier who fired it if they are close enough to the impact. The charged shot can destroy enemy stickybombs and disables hit enemy buildings for four seconds. However, damage dealt to enemies is reduced by items that offer explosive or fire resistances.

The Cow Mangler is unable to deal random or guaranteed critical hits. Granted or earned critboosts from the Kritzkrieg's ÜberCharge or Crit Boosted Power Up Canteens are converted to mini-crits instead. The conversion ignores ramp-up the same way crits do, so at close range it does less damage than normal mini-crits.

Enemies killed by the Cow Mangler 5000 suffer a distinctive death by vaporization: they turn black, hover in mid-air while surrounded by team-colored particles, and then disappear into ashes while a loud, distinct vaporization sound plays. Like backstabs and headshots, there is a 25% chance of opponents performing a specific disintegration animation if killed in this way. This vaporization effect is shared among the energy weapons. If killed by a charged shot, the victim explodes and their gibs vaporize individually, flying out in random directions.

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Projectile
Damage type Explosive
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Maximum ramp-up 125% 112
Base damage 100%
Maximum fall-off 52.8% 48
Point blank 105-112
Medium range 50-90
Long range 24-48
Critical 270
Mini-crit 122-151
Afterburn 4 / tick
48 total
Afterburn (mini-crit) 5 / tick
60 total
Splash damage
Minimum splash 50% 2.77 m
Self-damage 27-89
Self damage (rocket jump) 27-46
Function times
Attack interval 0.8 s
Reload (first) 0.92 s
Reload (consecutive) 0.8 s
Afterburn duration 6 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Item set

Main article: Item sets
Dr. Grordbort's Victory Pack
Item icon Dr. Grordbort's Victory Pack.png

No effect



Main article: Crafting


Reclaimed Metal Black Box Cow Mangler 5000
Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png + Item icon Black Box.png = Item icon Cow Mangler 5000.png
Class Token - Soldier Slot Token - Primary Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Soldier.png + Item icon Slot Token - Primary.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Direct Hit.png Item icon Black Box.png Item icon Rocket Jumper.png Item icon Liberty Launcher.png
Item icon Cow Mangler 5000.png Item icon Original.png Item icon Beggar's Bazooka.png Item icon Air Strike.png
Item icon Panic Attack.png

As a crafting ingredient

Refined Metal Victory Pack weapon Possible Results
Item icon Refined Metal.pngx4 + Item icon Cow Mangler 5000.pngItem icon Righteous Bison.png =
Item icon Lord Cockswain's Pith Helmet.png Item icon Lord Cockswain's Novelty Mutton Chops and Pipe.png

Strange variant

Related achievements

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Backdraft Dodger
Backdraft Dodger
Kill a Pyro who has airblasted one of your rockets in the last 10 seconds.

Death from Above
Death from Above
Rocket jump and kill 2 enemies before you land.

Duty Bound
Duty Bound
While rocket jumping kill an enemy with the Equalizer before you land or just after landing.
For Whom the Shell Trolls
For Whom the Shell Trolls
Bounce an opponent into the air with a rocket and then kill them with the shotgun before they land.

Mutually Assured Destruction
Mutually Assured Destruction
Kill an enemy sniper with a rocket after he kills you.

Where Eagles Dare
Where Eagles Dare
Get the highest possible rocket jump using jump and crouch.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

Pilot Light
Pilot Light
Ignite a rocket-jumping Soldier while he's in midair.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

Eagle Eye
Eagle Eye
While using The Classic, kill a rocket/grenade jumping enemy in midair with a full charge, no-scope, headshot.
Jumper Stumper
Jumper Stumper
Kill a rocket or grenade-jumping enemy in midair with your Sniper Rifle or the Huntsman.

Tf snakewater salesman.png Snakewater achievements

Mutually Air-Sured-Destruction
Mutually Air-Sured-Destruction
While rocket jumping, use a rocket to kill a rocket jumping enemy who also kills you with a rocket.

Update history

July 20, 2011 Patch #1 (Dr. Grordbort's Victory Pack Update)
  • The Cow Mangler 5000 was added to the game.

July 20, 2011 Patch #2

  • Fixed being able to paint the Cow Mangler 5000.

July 22, 2011 Patch #1

  • Improved the impact sounds for the Cow Mangler 5000’s projectiles.
  • Optimized many particle effects related to the Cow Mangler 5000.
  • Updated the Cow Mangler 5000 to display the drawbacks in its attribute list.
  • Updated the gamehaptics file.
    • Added recoil/draw/crit/reload forces for the Cow Mangler 5000.
    • Added charge shot force for the Cow Mangler 5000.

July 22, 2011 Patch #2

  • Fixed the charged shot sometimes doing more damage than intended.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the projectiles to stay in the world after a team change.
  • Changed attributes:
    • Slowed reload rate by 5%.
    • Decreased damage dealt by 10%.

July 26, 2011 Patch

  • Corrected the damage ramp for the Cow Mangler 5000.

August 18, 2011 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Updated the kill icon for Cow Mangler 5000.

September 15, 2011 Patch

  • Updated the particle effects for the Cow Mangler 5000 and the Righteous Bison.

October 14, 2011 [Item schema update]

  • The Cow Mangler 5000 can no longer be painted.

October 27, 2011 Patch (Very Scary Halloween Special)

  • Updated effects for the Cow Mangler 5000.

May 13, 2013 Patch

July 10, 2013 Patch

  • Changed attributes:
    • Reduced clip size (from 5 to 4).
    • Removed -10% damage attribute.
    • Removed 5% slower reload attribute.
    • Added missing "sets players on fire" description text.
    • Updated particles and sound.

July 11, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed missing Cow Mangler 5000 particles when running in DirectX8.

November 12, 2013 Patch

July 3, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed dropped energy weapons not being able to fire after being picked up.

May 31, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed energy weapons not reloading when using cl_autoreload.

July 28, 2016 Patch

  • Adjusted the Cow Mangler 5000 reload animation to be slightly faster (now matches the default Rocket Launcher).

August 29, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed a bug with the Cow Mangler 5000 reload speed.

September 14, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed being able to damage enemies through gates with the Cow Mangler 5000.

October 20, 2017 Patch (Jungle Inferno Update)

  • Changed attribute:
    • Removed cannot be critboosted.
    • Granted/earned crits will be converted to mini-crits instead.

October 24, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed the afterburn duration for the Cow Mangler 5000.

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Fixed the Cow Mangler 5000's charged shot so that afterburn lasts 6 seconds (instead of 10).

July 25, 2019 Patch

  • [Undocumented] The charged shot can now destroy enemy stickybombs.

December 21, 2021 Patch

  • Fixed movement bug related to the Cow Mangler 5000.

Unused content

  • In the VPK files there is an unused alternate sound for charged shots resembling some Quake sounds listed as cow_mangler_over_charge_shot. There is also an unused idle sound and some alternative explosion sounds.

The Cow Mangler 5000 is set up for paint to be applied, but the ability to do so is disabled. It was briefly enabled between the weapon's introduction and the second July 20, 2011 Patch.

Unused painted variants
Main article: Paint Can
Mouseover cells to preview the images on a dark background. Click on the images to enlarge them.
Single colors
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 E6E6E6.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 D8BED8.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 C5AF91.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 7E7E7E.png
An Extraordinary Abundance of Tinge Color No. 216-190-216 Peculiarly Drab Tincture Aged Moustache Grey
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 141414.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 2D2D24.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 694D3A.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 7C6C57.png
A Distinctive Lack of Hue After Eight Radigan Conagher Brown Ye Olde Rustic Colour
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 A57545.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 CF7336.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 E7B53B.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 F0E68C.png
Muskelmannbraun Mann Co. Orange Australium Gold The Color of a Gentlemann's Business Pants
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 E9967A.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 FF69B4.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 7D4071.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 51384A.png
Dark Salmon Injustice Pink as Hell A Deep Commitment to Purple Noble Hatter's Violet
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 2F4F4F.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 424F3B.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 808000.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 729E42.png
A Color Similar to Slate Zepheniah's Greed Drably Olive Indubitably Green
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 32CD32.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 BCDDB3.png
The Bitter Taste of Defeat and Lime A Mann's Mint
Team colors
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 A89A8C.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 839FA3.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 3B1F23.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 18233D.png
Waterlogged Lab Coat (RED) Waterlogged Lab Coat (BLU) Balaclavas Are Forever (RED) Balaclavas Are Forever (BLU)
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 B8383B.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 5885A2.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 483838.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 384248.png
Team Spirit (RED) Team Spirit (BLU) Operator's Overalls (RED) Operator's Overalls (BLU)
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 803020.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 256D8D.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 654740.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 28394D.png
The Value of Teamwork (RED) The Value of Teamwork (BLU) An Air of Debonair (RED) An Air of Debonair (BLU)
Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 C36C2D.png Unused Painted Cow Mangler 5000 B88035.png RED Cow Mangler 5000.png BLU Cow Mangler 5000.png
Cream Spirit (RED) Cream Spirit (BLU) Unpainted (RED) Unpainted (BLU)


A Soldier killed by the Mangler's afterburn after being damaged by an enemy.
  • If the Soldier dies from the afterburn of his own charged shot after being damaged by an enemy, the enemy is credited with the kill and the kill feed displays the Cow Mangler icon.
  • The weapon fires a charged shot even if the charging process is interrupted by Humiliation or getting stunned.
  • Rarely, after a moment of not firing, the Soldier automatically reloads the weapon's clip, regardless of the player's auto-reload setting.[1]
  • When minimizing the game with this weapon equipped, the ammo portion of the HUD may disappear. Opening the scoreboard may fix this.
  • The weapon does not glow when mini-critboosted.
  • If the Soldier dies from their own Cow Mangler, the vaporization effect uses the opposite team's color.
  • If the player dies while the Mangler is active, the weapon's particle effects still appear in spectate while the player waits to respawn.
  • The backpack icon has the team-colored parts of the weapon colored in dark orange.
  • On respawn zones, if a player switches loadout presets to another with the Cow Mangler equipped, and starts charging right before respawning, the charge continues, but the speed penalty is not applied.[2]
    • Additionally, under the same criteria, constantly switching loadouts delays the charged shot from being fired.[3]
      • These conditions only work if the "Automatically respawn after loadout changes in respawn zones" option is enabled on the game's Advanced Options menu.
  • The Cow Mangler 5000 fires closer to the center than the stock Rocket Launcher.


  • The name Cow Mangler is a reference to the association of alien contact with cattle mutilation. This originated from American science-fiction movies of the 1950s in which aliens would use laser and plasma weapons to cause mutilation to livestock.


See also