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A few soldiers preparing for battle in Warzone.
Image via Activision

The best shotguns in Modern Warfare 2

The one shot elimination weapons.

In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, players can unlock various weapons and shotguns are one of the categories. Shotguns are close-range weapons that can eliminate players with a single shot. These are exceedingly powerful, and you must unlock all of the attachments to build proper shotgun classes. 

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In MW2, there are six shotguns you can unlock, and players can expect more guns to be added to this category as the seasons progress. Not all of the shotguns will be unlocked from the start, and you must get them by gaining levels on both your account and with different weapons. Put them in a custom loadout and start unlocking attachments for each of the shotguns. 

Each available shotgun is unique, but not all of them are equally efficient when you put on five attachments. Players looking to get some quick close-range kills need to know the best shotguns to use in the game. 

Best shotguns in MW2, ranked for season 6

As is nearly always the case, you want a shotgun that can put your opponent in the dirt with the fewest shots possible. In season 6 of MW2, that number of shots is ideally going to be one. If it’s taking more than one shot, you want shot number two to be ready to go ASAP. And, even though shotguns are better at close range, it wouldn’t hurt to have a shotgun that’s got just a bit more reach than the competition.

6) Bryson 800

A screenshot of the Bryson 800 shotgun in MW2.
Pick something else, shottie fans. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Bryson 800 is a pump-action shotgun versatile at close range. This weapon has 21 levels of progression, and you will unlock several attachments by leveling it up. 

Reaching level 21 unlocks this gun’s weapon tuning, allowing players to customize the class setup to suit their playing style. With the Bryson 800, you want to move quickly and be accurate with every shot from close to mid-range. 

With updates, the Bryson 800 has received a slightly reduced mid-distance damage range. Its slugs and HE slugs had their damage range and long-range damage increased slightly.

While it’s not the best shotgun in the game, you can level up this weapon to unlock the Bryson 890. Here are the best attachments for the Bryson 800 Shotgun.

  • Laser: VLK LZR 7mw
  • Barrel: 29.5″ Rifled Barrel
  • Muzzle: SA Schweigen XS
  • Guard: Sawed Off Mod 
  • Stock: Demo X50 Tactical Pump or Lockwood Series II

5) Expedite 12

A screenshot of the Expedite 12 shotgun in MW2.  Best shotgun MW2
There are better choices. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Expedite 12 is a shotgun you can unlock by reaching account level nine. This semi-auto shotgun has massive recoil, making it one of the toughest weapons to use in this category. 

Despite its weaknesses, the Expedite 12 can be customized in a one-shot class setup with the right attachments. You’ll need to grind for a while as the Expedite 12 has 30 levels of progression. Unlock its weapon tuning to experiment with the build even further. 

We recommend not putting a barrel attachment on the Expedite 12, as it’s best to use this shotgun as a close-range weapon. Instead, players must focus on sprint to fire speed and aim down sight speed while building a class for this shotgun. 

  • Muzzle: Bryson Choke or Bryson Improvised Choke
  • Laser: VLK LZR 7mw
  • Stock: Resonance Stock Collapse 
  • Bolt: Expedite L-Bolt
  • Rear Grip/Comb: Schlager Void Grip

4) Bryson 890

A screenshot of the Bryson 890 shotgun in MW2.  Best shotgun mw2
One of the best there was at launch. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Bryson 890 was one of the better shotguns in MW2 at launch. Players can unlock this weapon by leveling up the Bryson 800 to level 16. The Bryson 890 is another pump-action shotgun with a magazine that improves reload speed. 

The Bryson 890 trumps the Lockwood 300 in recoil and handling but falls short on every other stat. This shotgun has 22 progression levels, and you must level it up to get all the attachments. It does not perform as efficiently as the Lockwood 300 over range, so you need maximum mobility to improvise around the enemy in tricky situations.

In recent updates, the Bryson 890 received a slight reduction in damage range. Its slugs and HE slug attachments also received increased damage range.

Here are the best attachments to run with the Bryson 890. 

  • Muzzle: Bryson Improvised Choke
  • Barrel: 21.5″ Bryson Tacfire
  • Laser: Point G-3P 04
  • Stock: Sawed Off Mod
  • Guard: Demo X50 Tactical Pump

3) MX Guardian

The MX Guardian, and its most-ideal build.
What’s a king to a god? Screenshot by Dot Esports

The latest shotgun added to the game in season four reloaded, the MX Guardian is a fully automatic, 12-gauge behemoth that is unrivaled in its firepower, fire rate, and accuracy. Even its range is ridiculously far for its class, and it has 15 shells in one magazine, making it a multi-kill machine at close range.

Players can unlock the MX Guardian by completing a special sector in the battle pass, where you must complete five different challenges to acquire the shotgun for free. Here are all the challenges to complete once you reach the specific sector in the battle pass:

  • Get 10 ADS Operator Kills with Shotguns
  • Get 10 Hipfire Operator Kills with Shotguns
  • Get 10 Headshot Operator Kills with Shotguns
  • Get 10 One Shot Operator Kills with Shotguns
  • Get 30 Point Blank Operator Kills with Shotguns

And once you gain access to this juggernaut of a shotgun, here are the best attachments to help reduce recoil, increase range, and boost damage.

  • Muzzle: SA MX-53
  • Barrel: HYP-LM
  • Underbarrel: Merc Foregrip
  • Laser: Point-G3P 04
  • Rear Grip: Cronen Ergo

2) KV Broadside

A screenshot of the best KV Broadside loadout in MW2.  Best shotgun mw2
The former king. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Added in season two of MW2, the KV Broadside is a top-tier option for shotguns thanks to its fast rate of fire and ability to completely oppress the opposition with its firepower.

Players need to unlock the KV Broadside with an in-game challenge, and it can be done by using one of the other loadouts as seen above:

Here’s what you need to do to unlock the KV Broadside in MW2:

  • Get 10 one-shot kills with Shotguns.
  • Extract the KV Broadside successfully in DMZ.

And here’s what we think is the best loadout to use on the KV Broadside once it’s unlocked.

  • Barrel: Range Twelve
  • Laser: Point-G3P 04
  • Stock: VLK Stockless
  • Underbarrel: VX Pineapple
  • Bolt: Dashbolt 60

1) Lockwood 300

The best Lockwood 300 loadout in MW2 for one-shot kills.
A one-shot machine. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Lockwood 300 is undoubtedly one of the best shotguns to use in MW2. Although it is low on handling and has a tough-to-control recoil, this weapon’s accuracy, range, and damage stats are top-notch. The Lockwood 300 is the best shotgun to build a one-shot run-and-gun class in MW2, especially after the season six update which added the Maelstrom Dual Trigger attachment.

Players can unlock the Lockwood 300 by progressing to account level 36. While shooting enemies at mid-range, it is imperative to aim down sight to improve precision. This weapon has 28 levels of progression, and you’ll unlock a bunch of attachments by leveling up. Keep in mind that aim down sight speed and aim walking speed are two crucial factors you want in the Lockwood 300 class build. 

Optic, under-barrel, and ammunition attachments are not recommended for this shotgun. Instead, focus on choosing the best muzzle, barrel, and stock attachments to build the perfect class. 

This is the best one-shot build for the Lockwood 300, combining damage, range, and mobility to become a menace in multiplayer.

  • Barrel: Matuzek 812 Barrel
  • Laser: VLK LZR 7MW
  • Stock: Heist Stock Mod
  • Ammunition: 12 Gauge Slug
  • Trigger Action: Maelstrom Dual Trigger

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Dipanjan Dey
Dipanjan Dey started his gaming journey with Doom 2 and Contra: Legacy of War back in 1997. Naturally, he gravitated to RPGs and FPS titles like Call of Duty, Halo, and CS:GO. Dipanjan has been covering stories and writing about video games for the past five years. Dipanjan has been working as a Weekend Freelance Author for Dot Esports since August 2022, covering titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends, CoD, and new releases.
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Scott Duwe
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