|"The sawed-off, pump-action shotgun features a truncated barrel resulting in a wide spread at close range and will accept either buckshot or sabot shells."|
|— description of the sawed-off shotgun, Deus Ex|
The sawed-off shotgun is a rifle skill weapon appearing in Deus Ex.
These sawed-off shotguns might have been made with a short barrel from the weapons factory (and kept the name "sawed-off") as "entry shotguns" generally used for entering buildings, where the short, easy handling is more important than the increased ammunition capacity of a longer shotgun, as well as the ability to load breaching rounds.
Alternatively, the barrel of the sawed-off shotguns could have been sawn off by the owner as an illegal modification for easier concealment and increased shot spread of buckshot rounds. Most likely the former, since by 2052 the United States of America seems to have repealed the 2nd Amendment (revealed in an optional statement by the player to Gilbert Renton at the 'Ton Hotel).
The sawed-off shotgun (along with the assault shotgun) is widely used in 2052.
When the sawed-off shotgun is fired, it shoots five pellets. Each of these pellets' accuracy is calculated individually. Both the recoil and the gun's inherent accuracy affects where the pellets hit.
The shotgun can be found in a sunken boat near the docks where you meet Harley Filben during the first mission. If not picked up there, various NSF troops use it in the next mission. If not picked up from them, it can be found lying on the ground in various areas. It's the most common weapon in Paris, carried by several people and enemies, being also easily acquired by finding it.
- At Master Rifle skill, the sawed-off's pellets will always have 100% accuracy. This makes it quite useful for medium-range work, while the accuracy means all of its pellets will hit an enemy at close range, meaning every shot will do 100% damage to a foe. A single close-range shot with a sawed-off against an MJ12 Trooper will always kill them with one chest shot with Master Rifle skill. Advanced Rifle training makes the gun accurate enough that headshots will always be a one-hit kill if most of the pellets hit the target's head.
- Weapon mods can make the sawed-off even more powerful. Reload and clip mods are a must because of how long it takes to reload the weapon and how few rounds its magazine holds unmodded. Recoil mods can reduce the gun's spread, making more of each shell's pellets hit an enemy.
- The sawed-off shotgun's advantage over the assault shotgun lies in its instant DPS. It boasts 25% increase in damage and a noticeable increase in accuracy, making it easier to take out enemies with a single shot to the head. However, if it fails, the slow firing speed and small magazine size will likely put you in trouble. When engaging in a firefight with the sawed-off shotgun it is recommended to find some cover and hide behind it during the pumping animation.
- A sawed-off with Sabot shells is a great utility weapon for taking down security cameras and turrets. At Advanced Rifle skill, it can take them down with three or four shots.
- Even with Sabot shells, the sawed-off shotgun is difficult to use against robots, as they will constantly fire on you while you're pumping unless you use the pop-out-of cover tactic. You might have some degree of success using it against the spiderbots, but more powerful robots will be very difficult, if not impossible, to take down.
- The Targeting aug works well with the sawed-off. The aug's damage boost makes it even more powerful, while the accuracy boost allows players with Advanced Rifle skill level to be almost as effective as Master Rifle skill users at medium-range combat.
- Note that an unmodded sawed-off shotgun can be difficult to use. Its recoil is enormous, making it hard to fire follow-up shots with any degree of accuracy. Its magazine is small, meaning that you'll have to make every shot count in combat, and its long reloading time will make you even more vulnerable than pumping the shotgun does. Modding it and boosting one's Rifle skill is essential to unlocking the sawed-off's power.