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Best Shotgun in Modern Warfare 2

This is the best Shotgun to use right now in MW2

Which is the best Shotgun to use in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? While SMGs make use of their blistering fire rate to drop enemies at close range, Shotguns prefer the one-hit-kill approach. And in the fast-paced, low-time-to-kill battles of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, it's very important that if you use a Shotgun, it kills in one hit. Otherwise, you'll likely be dead before you can fire off your second shot.

Modern Warfare 2 brings with it a new selection of powerful Shotguns, but some are definitely stronger than others - particularly when equipped with the right set of attachments. Below we'll walk you through which is the very best Shotgun that you can use right now in MW2, and why it is so strong against enemies in close-range fights. We'll also explore the strengths and weaknesses of each of the Shotguns in the game in greater depth, so you can get a full understanding of the current Shotgun meta in Modern Warfare 2.

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What is the best Shotgun in Modern Warfare 2?

The best Shotgun in Modern Warfare 2 right now is the Lockwood 300. It's less forgiving than the other Shotguns in the game because you only get two quickfire shots before reloading, but the refire rate, tight pellet spread, and extreme stopping power makes it the most reliable at beating an enemy in a close-range one-on-one fight.

Here is our tier list of the best Shotguns in Modern Warfare 2:

  1. Lockwood 300
  2. Bryson 800
  3. Expedite 12
  4. Bryson 890

Below we'll talk in more detail about each of the Shotguns on offer in Modern Warfare 2, the situations in which they excel, and why they are ranked as they are in our above tier list.

Lockwood 300

A close-up of the Lockwood 300 Shotgun in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.

If you can bear having just two shots before reloading, the Lockwood 300 is definitely the Shotgun to use at the moment in Modern Warfare 2. It already has a greater range and tighter spread than its competitors, and when kitted out correctly with range-extending attachments, it becomes an absolute monster, with a level of precision you wouldn't expect from any Shotgun. It may take you a bit of time to hone in on the gun's effective range, but the Lockwood gives you the best chance of the four Shotguns at dropping an enemy before they have time to kill you.

If you want help kitting out the Lockwood 300 with the right attachments to turn it into the best Shotgun in the game, look no further than our Modern Warfare 2 best Lockwood 300 loadout guide.

Bryson 800

A close-up of the Bryson 800 Shotgun in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.

The Bryson 800 only just eclipses the Expedite 12 on this list due to the potential offered by its versatile set of attachments. Unlike the Lockwood, the Bryson 800 is a more traditional pump-action Shotgun with an 8-round magazine, but as with the Lockwood, it can be given some impressive range with the right barrel and muzzle attachments.

It's a reliable and punishing weapon up close, despite its comparatively sluggish handling speeds. And with the attachments listed in our Modern Warfare 2 best Bryson 800 loadout guide, you can speed those handling stats right up and turn it into a very formidable instrument of death.

Expedite 12

A close-up of the Expedite 12 Shotgun in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.

A favourite from the Modern Warfare 2 beta, the Expedite 12 is still a very powerful Shotgun, well-suited for newer players. It's the most forgiving Shotgun on the list, with a a decent fire rate, large magazine capacity, and good handling stats. But its range suffers compared with those above it in this list. You'll need to really get up close and personal to kill an enemy in one hit, and you'd better hope you hit with your first shot, because the recoil is not particularly pleasant on this Shotgun.

Bryson 890

A close-up of the Bryson 890 Shotgun in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

The call to fame of the Bryson 890 is its detachable magazine, which allows for fast reloads. But in terms of reliability and stopping power, we think it's the least of the Shotguns on offer. It's quite inaccurate and kicks fairly hard, and spending attachment slots to fix these things stops you from placing attachments elsewhere to improve the Shotgun's range and damage.

It's still more than capable of killing enemies and clearing rooms, but if you want consistent close-range kills, you should probably pick a different Shotgun. Nonetheless, you can drastically improve upon its base version with the attachments in our Modern Warfare 2 best Bryson 890 loadout guide.

That wraps up our primer on the very best Shotguns in Modern Warfare 2. If you're looking for a fuller overview of the current gun meta, check out our Modern Warfare 2 best guns guide. For a longer-ranged counterpart to your Shotgun, you can consult our walkthrough of the best Assault Rifles in Modern Warfare 2. And if you're looking to combine both guns into one class setup, you'll want to use the Overkill perk as explained in our guide to the best Modern Warfare 2 perks.

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Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.