COD MW3: 5 Best Shotguns [All Types]

Learn about the best shotguns in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 that are lethal for your enemies.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has featured shotguns as a unique and valuable option for intense, close-range combat. Players who prefer close-range action can rely on shotguns for high-damage output.

Helpful Reads:

Key Takeaways
  • There are a total of 9 shotguns available in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
  • Out of all the nine shotguns, the most lethal is the Bryson 800.
  • Shotguns are especially effective in close combat as they can inflict devastating damage with a single shot.
  • The limited effective range of shotguns makes them less suitable for medium to long-range fights.

Best Shotguns In MW3

Here are the top five shotguns in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:

Serial NoShotgunDamageRate of FireMax RangeMagazine CapacityReload Time
1Bryson 800120/ 110/ 102164.4 rpm26.7 m85.4 s
2Lockwood 68083/ 82/ 81150 rpm16.5 m63.1 s
3Haymaker52/ 52/ 52250 rpm21.6 m82.8 s
4MX Guardian37/ 31/ 29428.6 rpm7.9 m153 s
5Riveter35/ 28/ 27400 rpm31.8 m152.8 s

1. Bryson 800

Best Shotgun For Hight Damage In MW3

mw3 best shotgun
Bryson 800 [Image By Me]
Damage120/ 110/ 102
Rate of Fire164.4 rpm
Max Range26.7 m
Magazine Capacity8
Reload Time5.4 s

One of my favorite shotguns in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the Bryson 800. Unlike some other shotguns, it doesn’t have a detachable magazine, but in my opinion, that’s not a big deal. It actually performs better without it.

The Bryson 800 is a powerhouse, dealing massive damage to opponents. Additionally, its range is perfect for my playstyle. You can also customize it with different attachments to improve its accuracy when shooting at targets from a distance.

2. Lockwood 680

Best All-rounder Shotgun In Modern Warfare 3

mw3 best shotgun
Lockwood 680 [Image By Me]
Damage83/ 82/ 81
Rate of Fire150 rpm
Max Range16.5 m
Magazine Capacity6
Reload Time3.1 s

Ranked as the second-best shotgun, the Lockwood 680 is a direct and powerful option within its optimal range. However, it falls a bit short in range compared to the Bryson 800, a shotgun with a similar feel. Despite its limitations, the Lockwood 680 remains a solid choice for those who prefer straightforward and close combats in the fast-paced world of Modern Warfare 3.

How To Unlock

Lockwood 680 can be unlocked by reaching level 6 in multiplayer.

3. Haymaker

Best Fast-firing Shotgun In COD MW3

mw3 best shotguns
Haymaker [Capture By Me]
Damage52/ 52/ 52
Rate of Fire250 rpm
Max Range21.6 m
Magazine Capacity8
Reload Time2.8 s

The Haymaker has earned its place as my third-best shotgun in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It is a semi-automatic, fast-firing shotgun that strikes a great balance between damage potential and range. Although the Haymaker may not have the raw power of other weapons, it is forgiving and easy to control, making it a reliable choice. It is especially beginner-friendly and a great option for those just starting out.

How To Unlock

You need to reach level 39 in multiplayer to unlock Haymaker.

4. MX Guardian

Best Shotgun For Balanced Damage & Rate of Fire In MW3

mw3 best shotgun
MX Guardian [Capture By Me]
Damage37/ 31/ 29
Rate of Fire428.6 rpm
Max Range7.9 m
Magazine Capacity15
Reload Time3 s

The MX Guardian is a fully automatic shotgun that exceeded my expectations, particularly when used in room-clearing scenarios with the right attachments. Despite being a full-auto shotgun, it maintains its killing power, remaining reliable for one-shot kills. The ability to quickly follow up with additional shots makes it an impressive weapon. What I appreciate most about the MX Guardian is that minimal thinking is required – you can simply point and shoot.

How To Unlock

Reach level 55 to activate the unlock challenge. You can use MX Guardian after completing the challenge.

5. Riveter

mw3 best shotguns
Riveter [Shot By Me]
Damage35/ 28/ 27
Rate of Fire400 rpm
Max Range31.8 m
Magazine Capacity15
Reload Time2.8 s

The semi-automatic magazine-fed Riveter shotgun is in a league of its own. Its impressive fire rate, substantial magazine capacity, and unexpected range allow you to wield it almost like an assault rifle rather than a typical shotgun. Although it may not hit as hard as other shotguns, it still holds its ground in the middle of the pack.

How To Unlock

You can unlock Riveter by purchasing the vault edition, or the armory unlocks at level 25. 

Modern Warfare 3 Best Shotgun – Personal Take

mw3 best shotguns
In Game Capture [Shot By Me]
In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, my top shotgun pick is the Bryson 800, as it hits hard, handles well, and has a longer range than other shotguns.

I really like the fact that I can customize it with different attachments to match my playstyle. Regarding shotguns, personal preferences align with individual playstyles, which may differ from the ones highlighted in this guide. So, while the Bryson 800 reigns supreme for me, your perfect shotgun might reflect your unique approach to the game.

This is all about the best shotguns in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Make sure to read about Modern Warfare 3: Best PC Settings to optimize the game and boost your FPS. Also, read Obaid’s guide on Halo Hat Trick Achievement


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Sulaymaan Ahmad

Sulaymaan Ahmad is a Senior Writer on eXputer who covers all the latest and greatest games. He has an engineering background and a knack for decimating players in First-Person Shooter games. He also enjoys narrative-driven games with characters he can emotionally invest in. Sulaymaan's love for gaming has been going strong for several years which is evident on his gaming profiles at Steam and PSN. Experience: 3+ Years || Written 150+ Guides || Mainly Covers Strategy Guides on eXputer

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