A shotgun, also called a "scattergun", is a firearm designed to shoot a multitude of projectiles with a single pull of the trigger. This makes it very effective at hunting game, greatly increasing the weapon's hit potential. However, the accuracy and power found at close range diminish rapidly as you get farther away from the target. Shotguns designed for military use are often called "combat shotguns".
Along with the varmint rifle, the 9mm pistol and laser pistol, the single shotgun is available to the player at the lowest levels of the game and has the highest single shot damage of the four.
The break action mechanism holds only a single round of ammunition, so it has a fast reload speed that allows multiple shots in a single V.A.T.S. round. It is also accurate for a shotgun with the second lowest shotgun spread after the Dinner Bell. The single shotgun can fire a total of 995 standard shells from full condition before breaking.