“A double barreled shotgun used by big game hunters. It fires two slugs simultaneously and can bring down even the largest targets, quickly.” —Trader description
The Hunting shotgun is the tier 2 weapon available for the Support specialist. It is a double-barreled shotgun that fires its two shells at an extremely fast rate and can deal a large spike of damage to any specimen. The alt-fire shoots both barrels at once for one powerful shot by using the alt-fire (mouse 3 default). With one shot, it can kill multiple Clots (which earns the achievement, Careful Spender) and in two shots (or one, on higher ranks) it can explode a Bloat. Its major downfall is that only two shells can be loaded at once, and both shells must be fired before it can be reloaded. Compared to the Shotgun, the Hunting shotgun has a huge spread, so a close-range attack is required for maximum damage.
The Hunting shotgun, like all special weapons, is never randomly spawned on the map by the game.
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Price and Ammunition
Hunting shotgun costs 750£ by default value and gets 75£ discount per Support specialist perk level. Loads up 2 shells at once with ammunition pool of 48 which again can be increased by Support Specialist perk level to a maximum of 62 shots. At the initial weapon buy, Hunting comes with 24 shots total, with 2 loaded and 22 shells spare. Shells of Hunting costs 15£ per a double stack, which makes it 7.50£ per shot which is quite costly. Thanks to an oversight, player able to stock up ammo over 62 shots of intended value up to 80 shells by picking up ammo boxes even if they can't buy over the limits from the trader.
Hunting shotgun shoots 10 pellets per shell shot with 50 damage per pellet with 1.5x headshot multiplier. Primary fire, shoots each barrel with 0.25 second delay in between. Alt-fire shoots about both barrels and spikes up damage while forcing you to reload right after. Hunting has to reload, and only can reload once both barrels are empty; reloading both barrels always take 2.75 seconds which can only be reduced by Commando perk. Hunting shotgun has a unique pierce efficiency of 0.65, losing 35% of damage upon piercing up to two targets at its base, in which efficiency is not shared by cartridge load or magazine load shotguns. Support Specialist gets damage and increased pierce efficiency per perk level. At the hands of a level 6 Support Specialist, Hunting shotgun deals 800 damage per shell shot, pierces up to 5 targets and only loses 3% damage per target pierced. Like many other shotguns however, shots lose the pierce ability when shot from too up close to a target.
- Before the major balance patch, primary-fire of one shell shot 6 pellets instead of 10, and as a result, alt-fire of 20 pellet spread was the "primary" fire.
- To kill big specimen such as Scrake or Fleshpound much quicker in high difficulties, it's advised to combine the double shotgun blast with stacked hand grenades or a flinching tool like Machete, Fire axe or Lever-action rifle. See extermination tactics of the specified specimen. At high player counts you may have to depend on combining Hunting shotgun with a high damage spike one just like AA12 to weapon switch back to Hunting for a finishing touch against big specimen.
- It's best to get close to a medium specimen (Siren, Bloat or Husk preferably) and hit the alt-fire. Be ready to backpedal for a second shot. If done correctly, they will usually die in 1-2 blasts. At low difficulties and low player counts, bigger specimen will die from 2-3 shots as well but their retaliation can be deadly at high difficulties with high player counts where they can endure a bodyshot easily to enrage and cause a mayhem.
- Move in a strategic way to bunch up a group of specimens and once you have clumped enough specimens together, attack the group with the alt-fire. Its wide spread can be a great advantage for killing a large group at point-blank range.
- Avoid using it as your primary weapon or trash killer. The Hunting shotgun has an extremely slow reload and is most useful for large spikes of damage against powerful specimens. In addition, ammo for it is £15 for 2 shells, costly to refill, and can be fairly expensive for constant use. The money you get from killing 4-5 trash specimen at once, barely covers the cost of a single shot and will only waste valuable ammo that can kill a big specimen in one-two double barrel blast.
- With the major balance patch, the cost for two shells has been reduced to £15, and the starting ammo has been reduced. As a result, the tactic for selling then buying hunting shotgun is now ineffective. However, as a level 6 Support Specialist, the sell price of perk bonus Hunting shotgun player respawned with can be sold for £225 which makes the sell then re-buying the discounted weapon for £224 would be effective just for one wave after respawning.
- The lever-action rifle (or others, though the rifle is arguably one of the better choices) can complement the hunting shotgun. The rifle allows the Support Specialist to remain productive at mid-ranges (precision is necessary, however) and eliminate weak single specimens quickly, while the hunting shotgun will effectively repel closer, more dangerous threats. Use your normal shotgun to pierce multiple trash specimens to manage ammo. As an added plus, the rifle and its ammo are some of the cheapest in the game. It is a good idea to obtain the shotgun first, then the rifle, as the basic pistol can suffice in the first few waves.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Extremely powerful for burst damage;
- Fast single fire-rate;
- High penetration;
- Can be used for speedkills;
- Large spread, can wipe multiple small specimens per shot;
- High pellet count per shot;
- Has the ability to fire both shells simultaneously;
- Ammo boxes give 10 shells, saves £75;
- Won't usually run out of ammo if used for its spike damage only.
- Long reload, in-case you fail to finish a big specimen you'll take its retaliation if there's no one to tank it;
- Both shells must be spent before reloading;
- Ineffective at medium/long range;
- Somewhat expensive ammo at £15 for two shots;
- Very Heavy.
Bugs and exploits
- As of the 1035th update, the alternative firing mode could continue shooting and dealing damage even if the user had no ammo left. Using primary fire made the gun unusable as it should be. Dropping it and picking it up again would make it functional as it was before. This was fixed in a mandatory update to version 1037.
- The hunting shotgun's reload animation could be "cut" to make animation finish, by tapping the bound reload button ("r" by default) quickly. This does not increase actual reload speed, only the animation will cut, allowing player only to aim during reload time. (Works for the alternate fire)
- When reload animation is canceled by a grenade throw, usually when trying a speedkill grenade stack on a Fleshpound, sometimes the next stacked shot loads in won't deal any damage. This occurance appears to be common and can not be compensated by any other mean but can be avoided by drawing your knife for a brief second before shooting it again after a reload cancel. Switching to another weapon appear to be not working.
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