Serious Sam Wiki

"This is a toy for big boys."
Sam to Kenny.[src]

The 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun, Single Shotgun, or just Shotgun, is a single-barreled shotgun that uses 12-gauge buckshot shells and fires seven pellets in a rectangular shape. It is used by Serious Sam in most games, but also used by Cloned Shotgunners in Serious Sam 3: BFE, Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope and Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE. It is also one of the standard-issue weapons given to Earth Defense Force soldiers.


The pump-action shotgun has been standard military issue since 2094. Originally designed for use in the offworld colonies, it is optimized for durability and ease of use with an emphasis on maintenance and repair under harsh and dirty conditions. Its slug pellets are effective at eliminating enemies at short to medium ramge, but cannot be used in long-range combat due to its spread. The 10-shell cartridge allows for fast, efficient reloading and a decent overall rate of fire.

In-game, the shotgun fires one shell every time the fire key is pressed. It has to be cocked each time the weapon is fired. The weapon remains much more accurate at range than the Double Barrel Coach Gun, thus it is a better choice for ranged shooting than the latter, with each pellet dealing ten points of damage, making a maximum total of 70 damage if all the pellets connect.

The shotgun in Serious Sam 1 and Serious Sam 4 has a high rate of fire, with a short delay time between shots. In Serious Sam 3, the pump-action shotgun functions almost identically to its previous incarnation, with the exception that it must be reloaded after it has expended its magazine. Its pellet spread allows it to only hit things from point-blank to medium range.

In the Serious Sam Fusion version of Serious Sam 3, the shotgun has been improved to carry a maximum of 15 shells per magazine, with a faster reload speed and increased range overall. This makes the shotgun a much more versatile weapon.

In Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, the shotgun has a surprisingly tight spread, enabling the pellets to travel some distance. Like the shotgun in Serious Sam 3, the shotgun has to be manually reloaded, though the shells are inserted into the shotgun rather than using a clip magazine.


The pump-action shotgun is one of the first weapons the player acquires in the series. In most installments, it can be obtained as early as the first level of the game. It can also sometimes be found in secrets.

Serious Sam 1[]

In Serious Sam: The First Encounter, the shotgun is first acquired in the Temple of Hatshepsut and in the first level of every era in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

The shotgun is acquired near the end of Into the Spider's Nest, but can be obtained earlier in Summer in Cairo as a secret. In Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, Sam first obtains the shotgun inside the Temple of Ptah in Knee Deep in Sand. In Serious Sam 4, it is found in Death from Above and later in A Breakfast in France.

Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope[]

The shotgun can be bought from the weapons menu just like any other weapon in the game.

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour[]

The shotgun first appears inside a temple in Knee Deep in Sand. It then later appears in Path of Feast/Fear.

Serious Sam 4[]

The shotgun is first acquired in Death from Above. It appears for the second time in A Breakfast in France, and then for the last time in The Package.


Serious Sam's Bogus Detour[]

Accurate Boomsticks.png Accurate Boomsticks
Your shotguns will fire with less spread and at a longer range.

Serious Sam 4[]

Grenade launcher attachment SS4 icon.png Grenade Launcher Attachment
The shotgun gains an underbarrel grenade launcher. Grenades are launched with the secondary fire key.

Note: this upgrade can only be obtained after completing the second optional side quest in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.



  • The pump shotgun works best against weak enemies, such as Beheaded Kamikazes, Beheaded Rocketeers, and male Gnaars. It usually takes one shot to down the beheaded enemies at up to medium range and one shot to kill a male Gnaar at close range.
  • The pump shotgun is also effective against single Kleer Skeletons. Approximately two shots at close range will be sufficient. However, this makes it ineffective against large hordes, due to the impossibility to kill each in a single shot.

Serious Sam 1[]

  • It is quite a useful weapon against lone Sirian Werebulls; two shots at close range from this weapon will kill one.
  • The pump shotgun can also be used to finish off the latter enemy or a female Gnaar that has been significantly damaged by the Double Barrel Coach Gun. This helps to preserve shells, especially early in the game, when shells can be somewhat limited depending on the difficulty.
  • The pump shotgun can also be used against small amounts of Scythian Witch-Harpies at close or medium range. The shell spread is tight enough to hit them at medium range and its rate of fire is quick enough to engage them at close range.
  • The pump shotgun is notably ineffective on enemies stronger than a Kleer. Even wounded stronger enemies will absorb more than a few shots if the player intends to finish them off.
  • With Serious Damage active, the shotgun becomes a lethal weapon to medium targets like Kleer Skeletons, being able to take out the latter in a single shot at close range.

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

  • The shotgun's relatively fast rate of fire and somewhat-low spread makes it handy against weak enemies, such as Kamikazes, Rocketeers or Cloned Soldiers. Even groups of them can be cleared out quickly thanks to its good rate of fire.
  • It is usually too weak to use against anything more powerful than a Kleer Skeleton unless the player is forced to use it, such as in the boss fights against the Adult Arachnoid and Major Bio-mechanoid or the Sirian Werebull miniboss. However even after that, with proper cover, it can (and without secrets, must) be used to fight against single Adult Arachnoids in early levels.
  • This is an excellent weapon to use against Aurigan Cave Demons. Their health is low enough that one or two shots will easily kill it, the spread is low enough that it can hit a Cave Demon at medium or close range with ease, and its rate of fire is fast enough that it's possible to squeeze out a second shot quickly if one shot doesn't kill it.
  • Much like its classic counterpart, it takes two close to medium range shots to kill a Gnaar, though the player can wound it with a shot from the SOP38 Pistol and then finish it off with the shotgun for an easy kill. This also helps to conserve ammo.
  • Make sure to reload often. 10 (or 15 in the Fusion version) shots can be burned through quickly if the player isn't paying attention, it is a good idea to tactically reload.

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour[]

  • The shotgun is one of the most effective weapons in the game, as the weapon's spread is tight enough to hit enemies at up to medium range, and it does a lot of damage per pellet fired. Its ammunition can also be found in abundance.
  • It is useful for close to medium-range elimination of weak enemies, such as Kamikazes, Gnaars, Kleer Skeletons and Orc Troopers.
  • The weapon is also effective against Minor Bio-mechanoids, provided that the player is close to it and fast enough to dodge its lasers.

Serious Sam 4[]

  • The shotgun is an ideal weapon against beheaded enemies, Gnaars, Processed Anthropolyps and Octanian Gamma Troopers, being able to take them out in a single shot at close range.
  • It is effective at clearing out small groups of weak enemies clustered together.
  • It is a great weapon against Emetic Anthropolyps, but care must be taken when shooting them at close range, as they will explode after they are killed.
  • The shotgun can deal a great amount of damage to enemies if they are shot in the head with the shotgun. This is especially true for tougher enemies like Aludran Reptiloids and Scrapjacks.
  • The grenade launcher attachment is very useful for taking out groups of Kamikazes, Minor Bio-mechanoids, Octanian Zealots and Zubenhakrabian Spider Nymphs, as well as for wounding tougher enemies like Major Bio-mechanoids and Sirian Werebulls.

Behind the scenes[]

  • In Test 1, the shotgun had a different firing sound compared to the one heard in the final version of Serious Sam 1.
  • Also in Test 1, the shotgun's pump was placed correctly. However, in the final version, the pump was replaced incorrectly. In the Xbox, HD and VR versions of Serious Sam 1, though, this has been fixed.

Related achievements[]

Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

Achievement Up Close and Personal.jpg
Up Close and Personal b Gscore.png
Gib 20 enemies from close range with a shotgun.

Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter[]

Achievement I love my Shotguns SSVRTFE.jpg
I love my Shotguns
Kill 250 Enemies with a shotgun.

Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE[]

Achievement Up Close and Personal SS3VRBFE.jpg
Up Close and Personal
Gib 20 enemies from close range with a shotgun.

Serious Sam Fusion[]

Achievement I love my Shotguns SSF.jpg
I love my Shotguns
Kill 250 Enemies with a shotgun.
Achievement Up Close and Personal SSF.jpg
Up Close and Personal
Gib 20 enemies from close range with a shotgun.


  • In Serious Sam 1, Sam does not physically pump the gun between shots. Sam's hand does not move, though the handle does. This is fixed in Serious Sam 3.
  • The shotgun in Serious Sam: Xbox has a different, slightly improved model.
  • The Serious Sam HD and Serious Sam VR versions of the shotgun do not eject a shell between shots.
  • The Serious Sam 1 shotgun appears to be a combination of the Remington 870 Police Magnum and a Mossberg 500 Cruiser, while the Serious Sam 3 shotgun is modeled after the Remington 870MCS Tactical, however, much like the Chinese Hawk 97-2 shotgun, it is magazine-fed instead of tube-fed.
  • The Serious Sam 3 shotgun holds 10 shells (15 in Fusion) in its magazine, but realistically, the magazine's size is only just big enough to hold 3-4 shells.

Despite using 12-gauge shells, the weapon's magazine receiver sports a label for 5.56x45 NATO rounds.

  • The Serious Sam 3 shotgun's iron sights resemble the M1014's iron sights.
  • In Serious Sam 3, despite its realistic appearance, the shotgun's pellet spread retains the fixed rectangular shape like in previous games.
  • The shotgun's grenade launcher in Serious Sam 4 is modeled after the Russian GP-25 Kostyor.
  • The aforementioned grenade launcher weapon upgrade may have been inspired by the Explosive Shot modification for the Combat Shotgun in DOOM 2016.


Serious Sam 1[]



Serious Sam 3: BFE[]

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour[]

Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE[]

Serious Sam 4[]

List of appearances[]