Guardians of the Stars
A shotgun (also known as a scattergun and peppergun) is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug. Shotguns come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 5.5 mm (.22 inch) bore up to 5 cm (2.0 in) bore, and in a range of firearm operating mechanisms, including breech loading, single-barreled, double or combination gun, pump-action, bolt-, and lever-action, semi-automatic, and even fully automatic variants.
The shot pellets from a shotgun spread upon leaving the barrel, and the power of the burning charge is divided among the pellets, which means that the energy of any one ball of shot is fairly low. In a military or law enforcement context, the large number of projectiles makes the shotgun useful as a close quarters combat weapon or a defensive weapon.
Military Shotguns often go by names such as ‘Close Assault Weapon’ (CAW) or ‘Close Quarters Combat Weapon’ (CQC or CQCW). They are not only valuable for close combat, but for the large variety of ammo they can fire including non-lethal rounds.