A shotgun is a projectile weapon, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Variants
- 3 Known Patterns
- 3.1 Accatran pattern Mk XI
- 3.2 Accatran pattern, model 34
- 3.3 Lucius pattern Mk 22c
- 3.4 Arbites Pattern III 'Lawbringer'
- 3.5 Arbites Vox Legi-pattern
- 3.6 Avachrus XII Pattern 'Gravefiller' shotgun
- 3.7 Avachrus II-B Enochian Sanctified shotgun
- 3.8 Deathwatch shotgun
- 3.9 Deliverance pattern shotgun
- 3.10 Scatheros “Blackhammer” defence shotgun
- 3.11 Hack shotgun
- 3.12 Raven pattern
- 3.13 Vanaheim pattern
- 3.14 Varonia Honorbound pattern
- 3.15 Varonia Primus pattern
- 3.16 Vostroyan-pattern mark III
- 3.17 Engager-pattern shotgun
- 3.18 Epitaph
- 3.19 Pious Legacy
- 3.20 Doghammer
- 4 Shotgun ammo
- 5 Famous users
- 6 See also
- 7 Sources
The shotgun fires a large, solid slug or a dispersed fragment shot. Some shotguns are drum-fed, others are pump-action, while the most primitive are single shot weapons. They are strongly made, simple weapons that have only a short range but are quite effective against unarmoured targets. Their versatility and ease of construction compared to weapons such as lasguns, makes them widely used. Even the lowest-tech factories can produce these weapons, making them a common sight in the galaxy. Favoured for urban and shipboard combat, where their short-range stopping power comes into play, shotguns have found their way into the arsenal of many Imperial organisations. One of the non-common shell type - the gas shells - release a deadly gas that can kill target and quickly disperse after that.[1c]
They are also popular with hive-world scum and local police. The weapon is sometimes used by the Imperial Guard, although the Lasgun is preferred. It is not highly accurate but it is easier to fire from the hip than the Lasgun. It is easy to produce however and is an ideal weapon for worlds without the technological base to produce laser weapons. Shotguns are extensively used by the Adeptus Arbites for both combat and crowd control, and various types of rounds have been developed for such tasks. Space Marine Scouts also sometimes employ shotguns. Though their shotguns seem to be more powerful than those of other Imperial organizations, they still lack some of the range, power and armour piercing qualities of bolters. However, they are, in some cases, more useful than bolters because they can be fired easily while advancing and charging into close combat.
Favoured by Enforcers, pump-action shotguns have all the strengths of their double-barrelled cousins with the added benefits of increased clip capacity. There are also few things as distinctive as the sound of pump-action shotgun chambering a shell.
Among the voidsmen-at-arms of the Imperial Navy, these large pump-action Shotguns are the favoured tool of the experienced ofﬁcers who lead their forces. These masterfully crafted Shotguns are devastating in the close conﬁnes of the naval boarding engagements for which they were designed, repelling corridors of boarders one shot at a time. Along with their devastating effectiveness against lightly armoured foes, the standard projectile ammunition used with an Artiﬁcer Shotgun is less likely to penetrate the hull of smaller craft than that of other weapons. When used outside the conﬁnes of a void ship, these weapons continue to excel in many other areas of close-quarters engagement where enemies of the Imperium may be found trespassing.[31a]
As they are an ofﬁcer’s weapon, they are of a more robust construction than other Navy Shotguns, and in the hands of an experienced and well-trained user they are capable of a surprising rate of ﬁre in a short amount of time.[31a]
An Auxiliary Shogun is an underﬁtting modiﬁcation that can be attached to most standard-pattern ﬁrearms in place of a bayonet. The attachment allows for a single, brutal short-range blast — a ﬁne compliment to a weapon designed for longer-ranged engagements.[31a]
The combined weight of the Auxiliary Shotgun and its ammunition usually makes the weapon bearing the attachment more difﬁcult to wield. Most users ﬁnd it an acceptable inconvenience given the reassurance of having the devastating stopping power of the Auxiliary Shotgun at hand.[31a]
Across the breadth of the Imperium the Combat Shotgun is the favoured firearm of boarding parties of both the Imperial Navy and Astra Militarum. These automatic shotguns larger and more robustly constructed than the common shotgun, the combat variant is designed purely for warfare. Combat shotguns are usually fed from a drum magazine (and so rarely need to be reloaded)and are capable of both single shot and fully automatic fire and are even deadlier than the normal shotgun. In addition to their short-range destructive power, they hammer out an intimidating racket when being fired.[31a]
When used up close the Combat Shotgun can quickly put down a target with a single brutal slug, or can quickly suppress a larger area or grouping of individuals, rapidly spitting out a dense cloud of rending shot over its thunderous roar.[31a]
Astartes assault shotgun
The Astartes assault shotgun is a much more powerful and versatile version of the shotgun, even larger than the Combat Shotgun, used by Space Marine Scouts. They are bulky, clip-fed weapons that can fire in single shots and in both semi and fully automatic modes, and use an array of specialty ammunition ranging from armour-piercing penetrator rounds to the powerful man-stopping rounds. These variants are specially designed to be used by members of Adeptus Astartes and as such are of much better quality and much more deadly than normal shotguns. Assault shotguns are best used in urban and close-quarters combat, as well as in boarding actions aboard voidships.
Due to being designed and constructed specifically for use by those who have undertaken the extensive gene modification required to become Astartes, their sheer size and associated recoil make these weapons almost impossible to use except by the strongest of unmodified Humans.[31a]
Sawn-off shotguns are a type of shotgun with a shorter gun barrel and often a shorter or absent stock. These variants come very handy during fighting in confined space. It is mostly popular on agricultural and primitive worlds.[1b]
These much larger variants of a regular shotgun fire a huge shell nearly twice the normal size. They can lay waste to large hordes of attackers - a close hit from one can literally explode a man into a burst of shredded clothing and flesh. However, they generate tremendous recoil and must be mounted down or fired from a braced position to be effective.
Also known as "'Foehammer'", this weapon takes a form of a squat, brutal pistol resembling a single-shot hand cannon. It can fire a standard shotgun shell, and is popular with many naval ship's officers as well as crew chiefs who need an intimidating weapon close at hand.
'Incisor' Shotgun pistol
Notorious for its sheer destructive power and known colloquially by ofﬁcers and the junior staff of the Imperial Navy as the ‘Incisor’, this weapon takes the form of a robust and short-barrelled, yet brutally destructive Pistol. Armed with only a single shot, the Pistol is often worn more for its intimidating appearance and fearsome reputation than it is as a practical sidearm. However, when required, the devastating force and thunderous roar of the Shotgun Pistol can instil fear among the ranks and, as recorded in more than one such instance, leave an observable hole through the chest cavity of the unfortunate target.[31a]
Accatran pattern Mk XI
This model has an eight round internal magazine and uses a manual pump action to to fire a single shot then re-cock the weapon. It can fire a variety of ammunition. The stock is removable and at close quarters many users prefer to discard it, shortening the weapon for extra manoeuvrability. The pistol grip allows the weapon to be fired single handed, but this makes it wildly inaccurate and requires a very strong firer. This weapon is known to be used by Cadian Shock Troopers Regiments of the Imperial Guard.[5c]
- Length: 92 cm
- Barrel: 40 cm
- Weight: 5.6 kg
- Calibre: 12
- Feed: 8 round tubular magazine
- Cyclic rate of fire: n/a
- Muzzle velocity: 500 m/sec - approx
Accatran pattern, model 34
This patttern is a self-loading, semi-automatic weapon with a 8-round internal magazine. Produced of Accatran Forge World, it features an extending stock and pistol grip. The model is frequently used by Elysian Drop Troops Regiments of the Imperial Guard.
Lucius pattern Mk 22c
Produced on Lucius Forge World, this model has an eight round revolving magazine and can be loaded with a variety of ammunition, including solid slugs, pellet loaded canisters and low velocity flares. The weapon uses a gas-operated self-loading action to fire. The revolver action is prone to mechanical failure, but the weapon's high gauge and the heavy cartridge fired fired make it a deadly weapon at close quarters at the cost of a strong recoil. This model is known to be used by Death Korps of Krieg engineers.[5a][5b]
Arbites Pattern III 'Lawbringer'
Arbites Vox Legi-pattern
Effectively a large-bore, locally manufactured version of the shotgun designs used by many planetary enforcers, the Vox Legi is a devastating and adaptable weapon that fires shotgun shells nearly the size of those of Astartes Assault shotgun. The increased size of the weapon reduces its ammunition capacity compared to that of its fellow shotguns, but it still remains more powerful and adaptable than a standard shotgun. Most patrolling Arbitrators take advantage of this flexibility by carrying a variety of shotgun shell types so as to offer them different tactical options in the event of encountering a situation that requires their intervention. Over-engineered by a considerable margin, the weapon is also perfectly capable of being used as a large club in close combat. It is also designed for maximum psychological impact, with a very audible pump action (standard Arbites riot training makes use of this). The sound of a hundred Arbitrators simultaneously chambering their weapons has ended countless riots over the millennia. This pattern of combat shotgun is particularly widespread amongst the Arbitrators of The Periphery, and is broadly typical of the weapons favoured by Calixian Arbitrators.
Avachrus XII Pattern 'Gravefiller' shotgun
In the illustrious manufactorums of Avachrus, the Shotgun variant known across Gilead by the rank and ﬁle of the Astra Militarum as the ‘Graveﬁller’ is produced en masse. The Avachrus XII is a non-standard, fully automatic, drum-fed combat Shotgun, commonly carried by ofﬁcers and engineers of the Gilead Gravediggers. When operated on fully automatic, its extensive magazine allows it to create a continuous hail of deadly shot which can quickly suppress enemy movement. The robust stock is fully removable and also functions as a multi-purpose entrenchment tool.[31a]
Designed for use in close quarters or clearing enemy positions, recent in-system developments have seen it come to be viewed as an instrument of both authority and control over the vast swathes of penal legionnaires drafted by order of the Lord-Militant Fylamon.[31a]
Avachrus II-B Enochian Sanctified shotgun
Carried by only a handful of bodyguards and servants who protect the hallowed priests and cardinals in the upper echelons of Enoch’s many spires, the Avachrus II-B is a rare and illustrious ﬁrearm. This variant is a magazine-fed, triple-barrelled Combat Shotgun enclosed in a solid adamantium casing and capable of both single and semi-automatic ﬁring. Originally produced in the manufactorums of Avachrus, longstanding and ancient decree sees each completed weapon then transported to Enoch under the watchful eye of the Archdeacon Merramar Clade. — this despite a longstanding rivalry between the two worlds that borders on outright disgust.[31a]
On Enoch the II-B undergoes a sequence of sacred blessings and sanctiﬁcation rituals. Once blessed and puriﬁed the weapon is biometrically locked to its designated user. This lengthy and arduous process ensures that only those in service to individuals held in the highest regard within the priesthood may requisition one, and outside of Enoch’s highest spires they remain a rare, yet deadly, sight.[31a]
The Deathwatch shotgun is a variant used by the Deathwatch Space Marines. It is optimized for close-quarters warfare on Space Hulks and xenos-infected asteroids. It can fire several distinct types of cartridges, ranging from explosive cylinders of shot known as cryptclearer rounds to flame-bursting wyrmsbreath shells.
Deliverance pattern shotgun
Scatheros “Blackhammer” defence shotgun
Notorious for its sheer destructive power, the Blackhammer has a carefully crafted barrel fitted and an equally well-crafted stock and firing mechanism, all constructed to safely fire a single massive shell, more than twice the size of a standard shotgun cartridge with many times the power. Each shell is custom-made and filled with dozens of heavy pellets the size of stubber rounds, backed by a huge charge; the quality of the barrel breach and stock are vital to keep the weapon from tearing itself apart with every firing The weapon’s short range and single-shot capacity are often overlooked in favour of its immense stopping power, although, like many such weapons, it can prove dramatically less effective against targets with heavy armour. It has a ferocious recoil and its ammo is as hard to come by as the Blackhammer itself.[16a]
Known by a wide variety of nicknames on different worlds, this is a conventional double-barrel shotgun, cut down to the smallest possible size and rigged to fire both of its barrels at once from a single trigger pull. Although very short-ranged and hardly a precision weapon, the twin blast is still devastating against unarmoured targets, and the sight of one can have a very salutary effect on bystanders. A Hack is no substitute for a true combat weapon though, as many a ganger faced with carapace-armoured enforcers has found to their cost.[16b]
The "Raven pattern" shotgun is a upgraded model of Astartes Assault Shotgun exclusive to Space Marines of the Raven Guard. It uses an ancient technique incorporating flash and sound suppressors into the scout’s muzzle (a long black cylinder attached to the weapon’s barrel) making it completely silent when fired, without reducing damage or the ability to make use of variant forms of ammo.
These robust and tested shotguns are standard in the armies of the Skitarii Provosts that take the rule of enforcers on Mechanicum worlds. The weapons feature an inbuilt red-dot laser sight and attached saw-bladed bayonet.[16c]
Varonia Honorbound pattern
Throughout the various vessels of the Varonius Flotilla, the “Honorbound” is perhaps the most commonly found variant of Shotgun-type weaponry. Made available to all crew via security-controlled defence lockers in instances of incursion, this pattern is favoured in such circumstances due to both the multiple functional applications of its design and its ease of use by untrained personnel.[31a]
Robustly constructed, the Varonia Pattern consists of a simple, magazine-fed squared body and wide-bore barrel speciﬁcally designed for the rigours of ship-board combat; at short range this weapon can be devastatingly effective in stopping an enemy advance. Should the user be engaged at close quarters, the weapon’s stock is reinforced and contains an elongated ceramite weighted component at its base allowing for the ﬁrearm to be utilised as a simple, yet effective, bludgeoning type combat weapon.[31a]
Varonia Primus pattern
The Varonia Primus is a manual pump-action single-shot non-standard variant used most notably by petty ofﬁcers within the Varonius Flotilla. The body of the weapon is fully enclosed and features an internal magazine that holds eight standard shells or similar sized variant ammunition. The stock is removable, and when used in breaching or boarding actions many users prefer the shortened form as it allows for increased manoeuvrability within enclosed spaces. One unique feature that differentiates the Varonia Primus from other Shotguns commonly found in the Gilead System is that it utilises a pistol-style grip and ﬁring mechanism which allows the weapon to be wielded single-handed, however, this practise is discouraged due to operator risk.[31a]
Vostroyan-pattern mark III
A highly advanced pump-action shotgun, issued to the Helots of the Mentors Chapter. Keyed to the users biometrics, the weapon's were designed and crafted by the Chapter's Techmarines to kill their fellow Astartes. At standard range the shotgun can breach ceramite and at close range it can buckle adamantium. The Mentors will typically modify the weapon further after its construction with attachments such as a suspensor-studded three-shot auxiliary grenade launcher capable of launching vortex grenades.
A highly modifiable pump action shotgun pattern, popular amongst the gangers and hired guns of Necromunda.
A highly modifiable combat shotgun pattern, popular amongst the gangers and hired guns of Necromunda.
Many shotguns can fire a variety of ammunition, including non lethal plastic baton rounds, solid slugs and pellet-filled cannister rounds as well as more exotic variants.[5c]
- VXII Auto-GuideSys Targeting Shell - Favoured by the noble prosecution forces of Gilead Prime, these shells pair directly with the targeting system of the Shotgun before making use of an intelligent guidance system built into the shell itself that allows each round to track and hit targets with great accuracy. In situations that require apprehending high-priority scum or recidivists who have cowardly sought refuge among busy crowds or densely populated areas, the VXII Auto-GuideSys round excels. Fired at range the shell takes an initial moment to acquire bio-lock on its target before relentlessly pursuing them to their explosive conclusion. Due to their complexity, this ammunition type requires the use of sophisticated targeting equipment unavailable to most.[31b]
- Scatter - A standard shotgun ammunition variant, scatter shells spray a wide area with small pieces of shot 
- Avachrun Forgeshot - These shells are manufactured in Avachrus where mineral-dense dust is gathered as a by-product from the industrial extraction of the planet’s core and then recycled and pressed for further reuse. These condensed slabs are then used in the fabrication of shell casings for the famed Forgeshot. With a metallurgical density several times that of common steel, the resultant shot can easily puncture through armour or bulkheads at short range.[31b]
- Biologis Impacter N-MF-76 - Speciﬁcally designed by representatives of the Adeptus Mechanicus stationed on Nethrius for the persecution of organic targets, the Biologis Impacter X76 round contains a lethal synaptic inhibitor poison derived from the native megafauna. The round consists of small glass beads in replacement of the standard ceramite shot. These shatter on ﬁring, releasing their virulent contents and creating a deadly hail of toxin-tipped shards. When hit, the deadly toxicant within acts upon the target's biology at a cellular level. This ensures that should the initial force fail to completely neutralise the threat, within a few seconds they are rendered incapacitated as the poison runs rampant through their system, allowing for them to be dispatched with ease.[31b]
- Cryptclearer - These explosive shells rupture on contact, showering the area of the blast in lethal shrapnel. Used in areas where densely packed or fast moving Xenos foes would seek to gain advantage, the lethal fragmentary payload quickly spreads within enclosed spaces, cutting down threats with ease.[31b]
- Executioner - Executioner rounds are most commonly used by agents of Adeptus Arbites. They contain a tiny artificial guidance system that allows them to home in on their target. However, it takes a moment for them to acquire their target and so are more accurate at longer ranges.
- Ferromag - A type of ammunition used by the Imperial Fists Legion and originating in their homeworld Inwit. These heavy shotgun shells instead of firing a spread of shrapnel, unleash a single charged shell that attaches to ceramite and other exotic materials on impact before detonating, proving a deadly tool in short-ranged firefights with enemy warriors of the Legiones Astartes.
- Hellfire - These bullets contain a small phial of acidic toxins that burn the flesh and affect the victim's nervous system if not stopped by target's armour.
- Illuminator Flare Round - Extensively used by the Explorators that first ventured into the Gilead System ventured into the Gilead System, the Illuminator Flare Round is now a rare and often overlooked ammunition variant. Based on a standard-pattern shell, this purpose-speciﬁc round is designed to act as a source of illumination or as a guiding beacon in times of distress. Due to the Flare Round’s immense size and ignition system it can only be ﬁred from the wide-bore Shotgun Pistol. The round is designed to soar high into the air when ﬁred, and contains a small fuel-cell based propellant system that can cause a devastating explosion if ﬁred at close range or in enclosed spaces. This is an ill-advised use, however, as the resulting blast is capable of blowing a hole clean through even reinforced armoured hulls, while the accompanying ﬂare has the potential to cause severe visual impairment and additional combustion.[31b]
- Inferno - These bullets contain a phosphorous gel that ignites on contact and may put their target on fire with lethal results.
- Nethreun Penetrator - These shells are used by the Nethrian service personnel, the solid-state, large calibre bullets are ﬁtted with an explosive propellant and a timed thermobaric cap, designed to initially pierce through the thick hide or scales of the beasts of Nethreus with ease before detonating milliseconds later with devastating explosive force from within the target.[31b]
- Wyrmsbreath - Wyrmsbreath shells, most commonly used by the Adeptus Astartes of the Deathwatch, unleash wave-like bursts of sanctiﬁed ﬂame that are particularly useful against large mobs of baying recidivists or xenos. Capable of quickly engulﬁng whole rooms or tightly packed corridors in searing ﬂame, these shells excel against poorly-armoured threats, the initial blast ripping through soft ﬂesh with ease before igniting the target.[31b]
- Xenopurge - From within the exalted arsenal of the Deathwatch of the Adeptus Astartes, the ammunition known as Xenopurge ﬁres a heavy slug designed to punch through the natural armour of many xenos species and shred their vital organs. This quality ensures it sees notable usage against Tyranids and other entomic species that favour the simplicity of swarm tactics. As with many of the tools of the Deathwatch, its exact construction is known only to the specially chosen Tech-Priests who meet the Deathwatch’s strict vetting and are sworn to secrecy.[31b]
- Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken
- Chaos Cultist Champion Tetchvar
- Missionary Uriah Jacobus
- Scout Sergeant Cyrus
- Imperial Guard Weaponry (List)
- Projectile Weapons
- Space Marine Weaponry (List)
- Bolt Shotgun
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- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), [Needs Citation]
|Stub gun • Hand Cannon • Stub Rifle • Heavy stubber • Shotgun • Ripper Gun
|Autopistol • Autogun • Autocannon • Assault cannon • Macro cannon
|Grot Blasta • Slugga • Shoota • Big Shoota • Supa-Gatler • Gigashoota
|Shuriken Weaponry • Shrieker Cannon • Death Spinner • Shadow Weaver
|Splinter Pistol • Splinter Rifle • Splinter Cannon
|Kroot Bolt Thrower • Kroot rifle • Kroot hunting rifle • Kroot gun • Rail Rifle • Railgun