Sol: What's that?
Vincent: Haha! This, is a shotgun, Sol!
: It's a fucking anti-aircraft gun, Vincent!
In First Person Shooters
, no matter how many super-powerful weapons the player has at their disposal, many will always tend to use their shotgun.
There are several different reasons for this, though not all of them are always the case:
- The shotgun is Boring but Practical and/or Simple Yet Awesome — it kills enemies quickly without the hassle of avoiding splash damage from rockets or other weapons, and depending on the game it can send enemies flying or just liquify them outright.
- Everything better is Too Awesome to Use — shotgun ammo is nigh ubiquitous since it's usually one of the first weapons found in the game, and everything afterwards tends to be reserved for bosses. Furthermore, unlike automatic weapons, ammo lasts a lot longer in a gunfight, so burning through your entire supply happens a lot less often.
- The shotgun is just plain better than everything else — at close range, it can indeed be the best weapon in the game, and in games without Bottomless Magazines it tends to have a decent magazine size as well.
- In fiction, the shotgun is also a very handy weapon for anyone who makes a living hunting monsters due to the smoothbore design of many shotguns allowing for the use of a wide variety of exotic loads that other guns would need very extensive (and expensive) gunsmithing work to be able to fire, or that would be rather ineffective with regular guns (such as Silver Bullets).
- There is nothing like the sound of a pump-action shotgun being cocked for letting the other guy know that you mean business, which is why many cops and crooks alike like to use them.
However, perhaps the simplest explanation of this trope is that shotguns are just badass
, especially when shortened
shotguns, despite having a short effective range
(which may not be so short
, and comparable to that of a rifle if a modern slug is fired), can be tremendously destructive if loaded with large buckshot, and modern◊ slugs◊
developed for hunting large and dangerous game are even worse and also can be fired accurately almost to 100 yards.
Maybe you prefer revolvers
? Or perhaps you would rather try a heavy machine gun
, such as a gatling
? Or as long as it fires lead, you're happy?
How much of a Short-Range Shotgun
it is may affect the gun's overall usefulness, and may disqualify it from being this.
See also One-Handed Shotgun Pump
. Calling Shotgun
does not necessarily mean the person actually has a shotgun
. Although it helps... Obviously.
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- Two-Face, in the 1980s Batman comics, often carried a double-barreled shotgun as his weapon of choice. These days, he's more likely to favor twin Colt 45s.
- In this series of Judge Dredd fanfics, the characters make extensive and frequent use of the "widowmaker" shotgun, despite having the lawgiver as a standard sidearm.
Live Action Television
- Sam and Dean in Supernatural often uses shotguns loaded with rock salt to fight ghosts.
- In third edition Shadowrun shotguns have high power and are exceeded in base damage only by assault cannons and the best sniper rifles. A burst from an automatic shotgun is one of the few attacks that can kill with even a minimal hit.
- In d20Modern (a modern day setting RPG using Dungeons & Dragons' d20 ruleset) the shotgun is one of the kings of the core rulebook weapon list. The main appeal isn't just the firepower but also the fact that, as a hunting weapon, shotguns only require a common civilian (+1) license to obtain and ammo can be obtained at sporting good stores rather than having to find a dedicated gun shop. Depending on what splatbooks are at hand a shotgun can also blast off doors with heavy slug rounds or even fire a single-shot flamethrower cartridge.
- Many players feel the shotgun forms a third of the 'sacred spread' a trio of weapons considered the ideal Crazy-Prepared kit for going into a gunfight. The shotgun forms the close range, the Baretta is the backup, and the hunting rifle with a scope attached is a street-legal poor-man's sniper rife.
- In Call of Cthulhu shotguns are one of the most powerful and easily accessible guns on the entire planet. The most practical model listed in the core rule book, the 12 gauge Benelli, has a 7 shot capacity, fires twice per round, and does 4D6/2D6/1D6 (10/20/50 yards). That's an average of 14 damage and a standard deviation of 3.4 (it's surprisingly rare to fight a battle beyond 20 yards). In a normal distribution, it will be within one standard deviation of the mean 68% of the time. Since die rolls are discrete, it won't be perfect, but that should give you an idea of how much the damage will vary. To put this into perspective; Most games will have three to eight players, each potentially equipped with a boom stick of their own plus side arms and other weapons, concentrating long range fire power into melee monsters with health barely able to sustain a single two-person shotgun volley. Incredibly massive shoggoth? More like incredibly massive Chunky Salsa! You get two shots per round of combat, and with eight shotgun wielders you'd deal 2*14*8 = 224 damage average and have a standard deviation of 13.7.
- BattleTech and its spinoff MechWarrior games have the LBX series of autocannons. The tabletop version is a straight upgrade in terms of stats—it is lighter, has longer range, produces less heat, and can fire both standard autocannon shells as well as cluster rounds that have accuracy bonuses (ideal for shooting down aircraft or dealing Critical Hits to the interior of a 'Mech). The video game versions are lighter than their standard peers, and depending on the game are either straight upgrades (3 and its Expansion Pack) or a Humongous Mecha Short-Range Shotgun can reliably knocks down enemy 'Mechs and leaves them defenseless (the 4 trilogy onwards). The Annihilator capitalizes on this with four LB-10X ACs and four Medium Pulse Lasers to back it up.
- Subverted by the Heavy Gear video game adaptations. The fragmentation cannon is rather obviously a shotgun in function and appearance, but it is easily one of the worst ranged weapons available in either video game bearing the Heavy Gear name. Its flaws include slow fire rate, low ammo capacity, short range, and pitiful damage. Most embarrassingly, it is outright surpassed in each of the aformentioned traits by the basic light autocannon given to new players.
- In GURPS shotguns have a lot of ammunition choices making them a viable, but not quite ideal, for pretty much any job. Shot-shells make them the most accurate close range weapon while, AP slugs can go through through armored walls, explosive shells can put a grenade through a window, they can even take tiny anti-tank rounds.
- These show up so often in horror films its a running gag for Phelous to use a clip from Resident Evil declaring "I got a shotgun!". In the Linkara's Previously On segment for Secret Defenders 10 he turns around holding one dramatically and was probably about to say it. He is interupted by Linkara, who says he can't go through with the sequence due to this episode being too important due to the integration of Gunslinger Theme. Also that Phelous was the only one he could afford.