Top Call of Duty: Modern Warfare weapons: shotguns

Call of Duty Shotguns
Shotguns are the go-to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare guns for close encounters. (Image credit: Activision)

Our series goes into its third round: we’re trying to outline the best of each weapon class in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone. The assault rifles and MPs have already been dealt with. Today we take a look at the kings of close combat – shotguns.

The choices are rather limited this time. At the moment there are exactly five shotguns, four of which you unlock by leveling up. The other one becomes playable after a successful challenge. There’s still more than three to pick from, which is good enough for us cause that’s the magic number over here. Let’s get to it!

Shotguns – the eye-to-eye brawl guns

Shotguns are intended for close combat even more than submachine guns. If you're always in the middle of the action or particularly fond of playing on rather small, twisty cards, you'll feel especially comfortable with shotguns. They are by far the best choice for close combat and kill with just one hit.

3. Origin 12

In at number 3 comes the Origin 12 – the only semi-automatic shotgun in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Call of Duty Origin 12
The Origin 12 has a short one-sho killing range but compensates with a semi-automatic firing mode. (Image credit: Activision)

This shotgun unlocks at level 31 and features a semi-automatic fire mode and high magazine capacity. It has an extremely short range and can kill enemies at a distance of only one to two meters with one shot. Therefore it is well suited for fast run-and-gun gameplay. To get the most out of the Origin 12, we recommend using attachments to increase range and sprint to fire speed:

  • Run: FORGE TAC Precision
  • Laser: 1mW laser/5mW laser
  • Underflow: Mercenary front grip
  • Ammunition: 12-shot magazine
  • Handle: Patterned grip tape

These attachments give the shotgun a little more range and let you shoot faster after sprinting as well as aim faster. So it's perfect for running a lot on small maps and taking out enemies in close combat. With the laser, you have to make a decision: In addition to faster sprinting, the 5mW gives even more precise hip fire to the firing tempo, but is also much more visible and may warn enemies in advance. Of course, you can also take larger magazines with you, but since they reduce the speed of movement and the Origin 12 reloads comparatively quickly, the 12 shots should suffice.

If you want to have some room to miss a shot or two, the Origin 12 is just the right shotgun for you. The semi-automatic firing mode gives that advantage other shotguns lack and the gun is still deadly enough at the shortest distances.

2. R9-0

The R9-0 makes it to second place with its very special two-shot mode. This shotgun can fire two shots in a row extremely quickly before you have to repeat and fire again.

Call of Duty R9 0
The R9-0 has an awkward shooting mechanic that could be tricky to get used to. (Image credit: Activision)

The R9-0 can be accessed right from the start. Like the Origin 12, it has an extremely short range and its very special fire mode makes it a bit of an adjustment. But when you get used to it, we think it is an extremely strong choice. The two single shots can be fired much faster than two shots with the Origin. The damage is also slightly higher, which is why we rank the R9-0 higher. However, it's also advisable to get more range out of it with attachments and to improve mobility:

  • muzzle: Chokehole
  • barrel: FORGE TAC gun
  • Laser: 1mW laser/5mW laser
  • Underflow: Mercenary front grip
  • Handle: Patterned grip tape

These attachments get everything out of the range of the R9-0 and also improve sprint while firing, as well as the time it takes to aim. Even though the range and damage is slightly higher than the Origin 12, the R9-0 is still only recommended for close combat, where it will take one or two shots to get rid of any enemy. As with the Origin, you can choose between 1mW and 5mW for the laser. For reloading, however, it is better to find a quiet place with this shotgun, as it takes considerably longer than the Origin 12.

If you can aim reasonably well and are into fast run-and-gun gameplay, the R9-0 is a faithful companion.

1. 725

Like all leaders in our lists so far, the 725 has long been considered an OP weapon. Although it’s gone through some devastating nerfs it is still our pick for the best shotie in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Call of Duty 725
The 725 can be a menace so long as you hit those shots. (Image credit: Activision)

The 725 is unlocked at level 17 and is a so-called “break-action” shotgun. It has two barrels with one shot each and must be reloaded afterwards. This is also its biggest disadvantage: If you don't hit with the two shots, you are pretty much dead. But if you have trust in your aim, the 725 is one of the best weapons you could go for in the game overall. It kills enemies at over ten metres with just one hit and can even kill at medium distances with two shots. We recommend that you build on its strengths:

  • Muzzle: Chokehole
  • Shaft: Cronen Pro light
  • Underflow: Mercenary front grip
  • Hand protection: Tempus SlimGrip
  • Extra: dexterity

With these attachments there is even more range, so much so that the 725 hardly feels like a shotgun when playing. Since you have to reload every two shots, this weapon cannot be played like the others in absolute close combat or as a run-and-gun shotgun. To make the most of the range, you should not shoot from the hip, which is why these attachments also increase the target speed. Essential for the 725 is also the extra dexterity, which significantly increases reloading speed.

If you adapt your playing style to this weapon, aim well and play a little more carefully or passively, you can dominate a match with the 725. The almost absurd damage with the incredibly high one-shot range makes this weapon by far the best shotgun in the game. However, with its break-action mechanics, it is not for everyone.

Come back again in a few days to check our top LMG picks. You can check what we already went over previously with the best Call of Duty: Modern Warfare assault rifles and submachine guns.