Combat shotguns are basic weapons compared to higher tech weapons. Their standard ammunition are scatter shells, which disperses during flight into a hail of fragments. The shotgun is a durable, simple and reliable weapon, which has made it the mainstay of many military assault units, who prefer it over other weapons when entering hostile drop zones. Police and militia units across the galaxy is also known for using the shotgun for crowd control and urban conditions.

Shotguns are used across the galaxy and are popular with criminals and local police. Among these groups a large variety of specialist ammunition is used, including man-stopper shells, modified gyrojet rounds and incendiary shells.

Many spaceships carry shotguns for the crew to use during boarding actions or against uprisings by crewmen aboard the ship. Some scout units are also known to employ shotguns in their missions.

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