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BF3 Guide to Shotguns and their Attachments

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  • [GUIDE] BF3 Guide to Shotguns and their Attachments

    This short guide is intended to familiarize yourself about the behavior of shotguns and their various preferred attachments for each specific gun. I will not go into specific damage amounts as they are generally variable between each 1 meter increment but instead will describe the feel that will give you a much better understanding of the expected behavior. As you will find below, shotguns are not all equal.

    Important note: Direct hits (full on hits that hit the body/head) make a huge difference. Most shotgunners will only partially hit a target because their aim is poor or they are unable to compensate for a running target (eg. first impressions aren't why these weapons exist today). It's important that proper aim and positioning = effective shotgunning. Don't expose yourself on a open area and expect to win unless you're a superb shotgunner and have chosen very specifically the shells/rounds/attachment/weapon to compete in that kind of engagement.

    Reloading: If empty your weapon on a target, you suffer a reload penalty with shotguns. Always reload prior to the last round.


    Buckshot - Your standard round in any shotgun. Deals the most amount of damage within a 5m radius (short distance), and naturally has a wide spread/cone. Kills at point blank, and usually anything that you hit directly within 5m. It is not exactly efficient at longer ranges as it will generally take 2 shots to kill anything beyond 10m at full health. At these longer distances, because not all the pellets are hitting, you will often find that 2-4 shots might be necessary to finish off a target. This shell is for the shotgunner who absolutely wants as much close range damage per shot as possible regardless of damage drop off within 15m.

    Flechette - These shells allow bullet penetration through thin metals (sheet metal in Grand Bazaar market) or thin wood (tunnel left side of metro phase 2). The more real benefit of penetration is the ability to hit all targets behind the first target you shoot at. This allows your shotgun to shred hallways full of enemies rather than down one enemy at a time. The damage reduction starts to kick in beyond 3m or so, as this can still kill at point blank close range distances. The damage reduction is not that noticeable but can make a difference at 5m+ ranges (I find that the damage drop off for Flechette is acutally smaller than buckshot for 8m shots); you also have to factor in direct hits versus body hits. If you're the shotgunner who can make up for the damage by pulling that trigger one more time, this is for you. Its arguable whether buckshot or flechette are better at long distances, but I when I shoot long distances, I use flechette (if not slug).

    Slug - These shells deliver a single slug that deals great damage. They can kill at point blank just like its sisters but unfortunately do not one-shot at longer distances. I find that anything beyond 5m the damage begins to drop off significantly. It takes 2 shots at 5m, each shot dealing roughly 90 damage. For even longer distances, it takes more shots. Headshots always kill in 1 hit however. Great for long distance shooting for the shotgunner who wants some range with his best friend.

    Frag - These shells deliver an explosive element. They do area damage and while unable to penetrate multiple targets, can still damage multiple targets if they are bunched up (literally within 1m). They have an increased suppression factor unlike the other shells. They kill if you get headshots. They can be used to destroy destructive elements such as metal fences, wood, and other semi-hard cover (not walls though). They can also be used to shoot around corners, and kill targets behind cover by shooting the wall above them. They also have long range capability (we're talking 300m here), where the shot from the shells tighten up into a giant plasma round with bullet drop. Practice with this and it becomes a medium damage grenade launcher with minimal AOE (ie. you need to actually aim with this or its super ineffective). Frag rounds are not as damaging unless you score direct hits however. SMGs/ARs tend to beat the number of shots on average it requires to drop a target.


    Tac Light - Blinds people who are almost always in the range of your shotgun, awesome.
    Extended Mag - Even better as this actually makes sure they stay dead.
    Laser Sight - You don't need this, unless you have trouble aiming at the center and hud is disabled.
    Flash Suppressor - Like you need this when they are dead.
    Sound Suppressor - Don't bother unless you're a DICE employee.


    Slug = Holo, ACOG, IRNV, Riflescope (for those days when you are trying for humor)
    Frag = Holo, RDS, Riflescope (again for the lols, but in the hands of an experienced shotgunner...)
    Buckshot = RDS or None (note that aiming down the sight is important to accurately shoot while moving or get frustrated that your shotgun isn't doing as well at close range) <--- important, use your sights, shots can be fairly inaccurate while moving
    Flechette = Same as buckshot


    The (#) is from 1-5. Higher number = better. These numbers are from my observation (at least 100 kills in every shotgun).

    M26 Underbarrel Attachment

    I'll be brief here. This attachment for certain assault rifles is a great way to help 1-2 shot enemies at close distances where you would otherwise get beaten by faster firing SMGs, Carbines, or other guns that are better due to the way hit registration works. It can fire everything from Buckshot, Slug, Frag, and Dart (flechette). It one-shots at point blank. Attaching it to a rifle makes it as fast as switching to a pistol, except you generally kill them faster or better (1 shots damaged people, deals a high amount of damage, is more silent than many pistols, has an good spread which requires less aim). To unlock the other types of shot, you have to kill with this gun. It does not have the same range as other shotguns below, in fact you should only use it within 3m for effective killing. I prefer the DART since it kills just as well at these short ranges and confuses the crap out of people after they see it.

    M320 Flechette

    This ammunition type for the M320 is devastating within 5m. It can kill at longer ranges (if the enemy is damaged) but it shines close range where you're looking to fire and "forget" just like you would with a HE round. This can clear entire hallways in metro, but alas there are few maps where you'd actually use this for the full duration of a round (compared to the practical uses of a M320 or even a M26).

    870MCS (Pump Shotty)

    Damage: Highest per shot (5)
    Rate of Fire: Slowest (1)
    Effective Ranges: 1m - 10m (it's too slow to effectively kill at range)
    Rounds: 5, 7

    This weapon is most effective with either buckshot or slug. With buckshot, you get highest damage at close ranges per shot. With slug you get highest damage at long ranges per shot. The drawback is speed, which is compensated by the power this shotgun provides for other shells. Use a tactical light since an extended mag gives you only 2 additional bullets. A thoughtful shotgunner will always reload before or after the 4th shot with this gun. Use an ACOG or IRNV for slugs.

    M1014 (Automatic, in every shooter since golden eye [jk])

    Damage: Low per shot (2)
    Rate of Fire: Fast (4)
    Effective Ranges: 1m - 5m (most cases you won't have enough rounds to kill beyond this range)
    Rounds: 5, 7

    This weapon is effective with any attachment due to it's fast fire rate. You pretty much unload your entire shotgun into the target in most situations. This gun also has less range than other shotguns in general. I could say more but this shotgun is out gunned by situation or straight up usefulness by other weapons such as slug damage from the 870, and so forth. If you're set on using this gun, take the extended mag over the tactical light. 2 rounds makes a difference with this fast shotgun.

    Saiga 12K (Automatic, its a classic!)

    Damage: Average per shot (3)
    Rate of Fire: Average (3)
    Effective Ranges: 1m - 10m (but people can generally react to your shots at this longer range due to fire speed)
    Rounds: 6, 9

    An average shotgun with average fire rate and damage. A staple in BC2 for some, this shotgun is like the M1014, except with more rounds to fire and a slower fire rate (trade off). Again, you're better off using the two shotguns below, or the 870 for specific needs.

    DAO-12 (Automatic; because the AA12 would be overpowered)

    Damage: High per shot (4)
    Rate of Fire: Slow (2)
    Effective Ranges: 1m - 5m (bulky gun = not good at long range, believe it!)
    Rounds: 8, 12

    With great damage and a slower but still suitable rate of fire, this gun is a great room clearer. 8 rounds makes it viable to take down 4 targets before reloading, and an extended mag makes this shotgun a beast to behold. Both buckshot and flechette rounds work well in this gun (due to mag size and power), but to a much lesser extend, frag and slug. A tactical light makes close range encounters potentially easier while again, extended mag simply gives you more flexibility. If you want to be able to clear rooms, this is the shotgun.

    USAUCE-12 (Automatic, actually called USAS-12)

    Damage: Lowest per shot (1) (fires so fast it makes up for the damage)
    Rate of Fire: Fastest (5)
    Effective Ranges: 1m - 10m (fires so fast it 10m is all right)
    Rounds: 6, 11

    This is the shotgun when you need to kill the guy twice, but he only gives you point's once. This fires as fast as you can pull the trigger, again making up for the lack of damage per shot with sheer firepower and suppression. This is where the gun starts to shine with Frag rounds. Frag rounds turn this USAS into the SAUCE where your frag rounds become more like plasma rounds, burning everything near your shots up into points. The only limitation is the fact that you will run out of ammo quickly. An extended mag is necessary to shoot more plasma rounds into people. Since it fires so fast, you can better capitalize on shooting above a wall or around a corner and kill an enemy before he can react. The only drawback is really with the rounds you choose. The Frag rounds can be a bit inaccurate due to fire rate and missing can cost you as with any shotgun. I personally use this gun over any other shotgun for general shotgun purposes. My longest range kill is 300m with this shotgun using plasma rounds: This guy jumped out of his chopper on Caspian and was running down this hill. I started to lob these deadly bolts of plasma at him while using the first shots to compensate for the drop (frag rounds tighten at distance...for some reason). A few landed close enough to deal damage when my next shot was a direct hit sending his body flying a good 50m to the side. Ok I talked enough about plasma rounds (frag rounds). Using this gun with slugs is great too because you can also shoot quickly enough to kill enemies in 2-3 hits at close range (or score headshots at long ranges). You could even argue that this can be better than the DAO-12 for clearing rooms because of its rate of fire augmented by flechette or frag, or even bears. Again, ultimate shotgun in my opinion until Karkland strikes back.

    Here is a random video of a USAUCE in action using slugs:
    Random video of a guy dissing the Frag round but that's not why I'm posting it:
    Last edited by Avs; 11-08-2011, 05:30 PM.

  • #2
    Re: BF3 Guide to Shotguns and their Attachments

    Another great guide from Avs. Good stuff!

    3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.


    • #3
      Re: BF3 Guide to Shotguns and their Attachments

      Thanks for your effort, good read. I personally fell in love with DAO-12's co-called "plasma" rounds. Shooting it makes alot of disturbance/supression among foes, especially on close combat maps.


      • #4
        Re: BF3 Guide to Shotguns and their Attachments

        Excellent guide thanks, very helpful!


        • #5
          Re: BF3 Guide to Shotguns and their Attachments

          Yet another Avs guide...





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