An automatic shotgun designed for law enforcement agencies, it follows a conventional pattern in its design. The weapon has been designed with a short barrel and without a stock, to provide riot control teams with a small, compact shotgun that can be reliably used in crowds, while retaining its firepower.
The riot shotgun is a semi-automatic shotgun with a drum magazine. It has high damage-per-second, due in part to its large ammunition capacity when compared to other shotguns and its high rate of fire. With the Shotgun Surgeon and And Stay Backperks, it can be a very devastating weapon in close quarters combat. It also reloads much faster than any other shotgun because of its detachable drum magazine and therefore can change ammunition type very quickly.
As with most shotguns, there are a number of disadvantages to the weapon; it suffers at mid to long range due to its poor weapons spread, and the low damage per pellet struggles against targets with high damage threshold, even with Shotgun Surgeon. However, these can be countered to a certain extent by using the 12-gauge slug ammunition (which decrease spread considerably, and consolidate the damage into one projectile). A riot shotgun at full condition can fire 870 standard shells (or about 72 drums) before breaking.
It is also possible to find one during a quest for the Van Graffs, at the final confrontation between the Van Graffs and Caesar's Legion where three of the Legionnaires carry riot shotguns (if above level 14).