The lead pipe is a melee weapon. Max Payne carries a pipe during his 2001 vendetta.
The lead pipe is a rather short piece of metal, used as an improvised combat instrument. It deals relatively little damage, but is swung fast. It requires the user to approach the intended target to a very close distance, this way dangerously exposing the bearer to any incoming attacks. The armament is weaker than the baseball bat, as it has a shorter reach and deals less damage. This rudimentary weapon is primarily used to break open containers without wasting ammunition, or it might serve as a last resort option in combat if there already is no ammo left.
Behind the scenes
The lead pipe is the weakest weapon in Max Payne.
Max Payne has the pipe since the start of Part I and Part III; it can never be picked up in-game. In Part II, only the baseball bat is available as a melee weapon.