This weapon fires five pellets per round, each pellet having a base damage of 5 (for a total base damage of 25). Pellet spread depends on the weapon's accuracy. As accuracy increases (via weapon skill or the Targeting augmentation), pellet spread decreases, allowing for headshots to be made with greater ease. Note, however, there will always be some amount of pellet spread, regardless of accuracy.
Compared to the assault shotgun, the sawed-off shotgun has a higher per-shot damage, a smaller inventory size, and a higher base accuracy. The higher base accuracy enables the sawed-off shotgun to land headshots with greater ease (and also with greater effect, due to its higher damage). The sawed-off shotgun's higher per-shot damage enables it to take down common troopers with a full torso shot when master skill level has been achieved, whereas the same is not possible with the assault shotgun.
The sawed-off's main disadvantages compared to the assault shotgun are its significantly lower rate of fire, which results in a much lower damage per second, and its small magazine, which can be increased to 9 by use of clip modifications.
Sabot shells are fired in the same manner as normal buckshot shells, but inflict "sabot" damage, which has two main benefits. The first benefit is that robots take full damage from sabot rounds, rather than only 25% damage from normal rounds. Nonetheless, even with sabot shells equipped, the sawed-off shotgun is generally considered to be ineffective against robots larger than the mini-spiderbot.
The other benefit of sabot shells is that they are not subject to the minimum damage threshold of turrets, cameras, and alarm panels. Therefore, the sawed-off shotgun can be used as a weapon for destroying these devices.
Against live targets, sabot is just as effective as buckshot, though the shells are much rarer.
- During the first mission on Liberty Island, a sawed-off shotgun is found in a sunken boat near the docks where you meet Harley Filben.
- Carried by NSF troops in the second mission.
- Commonly encountered in Paris.