Out of curiosity, were you doing this in the vanilla game, or in a mod like Domochev? Normally you can't have a gun equipped in the Bar in vanilla, which seems to make giving weapons to NPCs impossible.
If there's a way to do it in vanilla I'd love to know.
That's why I had suggested trying different angles, as when you drop a
weapon from your inventory you cannot predict how it will fall from you.
I've been able to give better weapons to just about everyone inside the
100 Rads Bar except the trenchcoat Loner in the corner with the VLA.
In my experience the weapon can drop unpredictably from the players hands as well, so I thought that was what you meant.
Anyway, I've already gone back in my current game and retrieved the Family Rifle and the Storming Obokan from their owners by giving them shiny new TRs's. It's too bad the Family Rifle just becomes a normal sawed-off once Hunter has it.
It was always just a normal sawn-off shotgun. What would have been
cool if it had been a TOZ-34 like we saw later in CS & CoP. Unlike the
Storming Obokan mission that you can repeat, Hunter's task does not.