This article is about the PAYDAY: The Heist weapon. For the weapon of the same name in PAYDAY 2, see Brenner 21 (Payday 2).
Brenner 21
Brenner 21 upgrade
Unlock Level Assault 22
Inventory Slot Primary
Weapon Type Light Support Weapon
Damage 2.5
Capacity 80
Total Ammo 240
Rate-of-Fire 450
Internal name hk21
Even though it was originally designed as a mounted machine gun, the Brenner 21 is a mobile powerhouse. With its huge capacity magazine, this is a given choice for the assault specialist.
The Brenner 21 is a machine gun that is unlocked at level 22 of the Assault tree. Although it has very high firepower, able to take out most law enforcers in only a few shots, it has poor accuracy and rate of fire. Because of this, the Brenner is most effective at the front line, either defensively or offensively.


The powerful rounds combined with the high magazine capacity can mow down many enemies in quick succession, even on higher difficulties. It only takes two shots to take down the most basic cops, and approximately three or four to take down a Heavy SWAT on Overkill. Because of this, the Brenner 21 can suppress oncoming waves of enemies quite easily.

The Brenner 21 is an excellent tool for taking down Special Units. The Cloaker and the Taser are easily stunned by the Brenner, so it is a wise idea to suppress these units while teammates go in for the kill. Although it is not the best choice for taking down the Bulldozer, it is useful as a support weapon to help others take them down. With most fully upgraded automatic weapons, and the M308, the player will have to empty most, if not all, of a magazine into the Bulldozer's faceplate to destroy it, then reload or switch to another weapon to finish the Bulldozer off. This long and dangerous process is made much simpler by the Brenner 21, due to its high capacity and unrelenting firepower, so that if an ally is reloading, the Brenner 21 assures that the Bulldozer will take uninterrupted damage.

However, the Brenner 21 suffers from very distinct drawbacks that are unique among primary weapons. For starters, it has a longer reload time than any other automatic weapon. This makes it important to reload at the right time so that the player will not be caught in the middle of the long reloading animation by a wave of enemies when it is not necessary. The Speed Reloaders crew bonus can slightly assist the player when in a tight spot and in the need of a reload.

The other, more severe flaw is the Brenner 21's low accuracy. While aiming down sights, it is exclusively a medium range weapon due to its strong recoil. While not aiming down the sights, the effective range is reduced even further, with the weapon barely reaching the effective range of the game's shotguns. Using the Sharpshooters crew bonus helps this issue slightly, though it does not remedy it. The most effective way of using the Brenner 21 at anything besides close range is to use its low rate of fire to its advantage and fire single shots or burst fire.

The most surprising issue with the Brenner 21 is that it is terribly inefficient with ammunition. The player can store hundreds of Brenner 21 rounds at a time, but when the player runs out, ammo drops only will recover a few rounds at a time, so refilling the player's massive stock of ammunition can be a near impossible task. It is recommended to stock up using ammo bags.

The Brenner 21 satisfies many different roles, as an offensive or defensive weapon, as well as it is suited to taking down Special Units and low level law enforcers alike. Its versatility issues limit its effectiveness at long range, and its suppressive ability is dependent on the team having enough ammo bags.


  • When firing the Brenner 21, the player should try to fire on single enemies instead of spraying at an entire group. Law enforcers tend to react little to single shots. The most effective way of suppressing a group of enemies is to focus on one, make sure the enemy is downed, then immediately move on to the next.
  • Bullets do not penetrate enemies, even dead ones. As such, the player can fire additional rounds into a falling law enforcer, believing they are damaging the one behind him, but are wasting their ammunition. It is a good idea to recognize when an enemy has died (their helmet flying off, their death animation) as well as how to aim around these dying enemies so that the player makes an efficient use of their ammo.
  • Though not a good idea, you can fire onto a crowd of enemies without aiming. The accuracy can clear nearly whole rooms. This can also mean civilian death, which will incur a +10 second trade penalty when you're in custody.
  • The weapon is most effective indoors in enclosed spaces such as in Undercover or Panic Room due to the inability of the enemies to dodge to cover (They just roll awkwardly towards walls or hug the ground) and are easy pickings for you. Always run and gun with this weapon and never poke your head outdoors (to avoid snipers) to maximize effectiveness. Always try to reload in between random enemy contacts and if you are caught in mid reload use melee (you can even stun the first enemy you run into with this) to cancel out the reloading animation and fire the remaining shots (you should have a few, its a large magazine after all) towards the enemy and either switch to other weapons or find cover and reload.
  • Due to its uneconomic ammo consumption rate, it would be prudent to supplement the Brenner 21 with a high ammo efficiency secondary (e.g, Compact-5) and sidearm (e.g, B9-S).


Brenner 21

The Brenner 21 and its upgrades.

Upgrade Assault level
Mag increase I (90) 24
Damage increase I 27
Recoil dampener I (bipod) 31
Mag increase II (100) 37
Damage increase II 39
Mag increase III (110) 42
Damage increase III 44
Recoil dampener II (reflex sight) 46
Damage increase IV 47
Mag increase IV (box magazine) (120) 48


  • The Brenner 21 is based on the HK11A1. The most notable evidence is the Brenner's relatively short length, H&K-style diopter drum rear sight, magazine-feeding system, and simplified design compared to its later incarnation which was based on the HK21E/HK23E that was introduced into PAYDAY 2 with the release of the Gage Weapon Pack #02 DLC.
  • Despite the upgrade tree descriptions claiming the Brenner 21's original purpose was to be a mounted machinegun, none of the marketed HK21/HK11 variants are actually adopted and/or built with exclusive mount-firing in mind, though this might also imply its use of a bipod which is featured on almost every version of the real weapon.
  • The Brenner 21 has three visual upgrades, a distinction it shares with the Compact-5 and Locomotive 12G. However, it's the only gun that can visually show all three upgrades at the same time.
  • "Brenner" is the rough German equivalent for "blowtorch".
  • The Brenner 21 retains its weapon switching animation even with a sight attached, resulting in the player's hand clipping through it when putting the weapon away. This is also seen on the AMCAR-4.