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Call of Duty players have turned the shotgun into a comically powerful sniper rifle

Players are finding some pretty weird builds

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A player runs forward shooting an MP5 in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2019. Infinity Ward/Activision
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been live for a little more than a week, and most players are beginning to dig into its meaty list of multiplayer weapons. Already some weird quirks are emerging, including a few guns that fire less accurately when the player is crouched. There’s also apparently a double-barreled shotgun with extraordinary range. If you’re hoping to dive in this week, here’s a handful of weapons to keep an eye on.

Part of getting used to a gun in a modern first-person shooter is familiarizing yourself with its recoil pattern. As rounds are fired, the barrel tends to rise and drift left or right off the centerline. Crouching can limit that movement considerably, and that’s certainly the case in Modern Warfare... unless you’re using the Kilo 141 assault rifle, the M-13 assault rifle, or the MP-5 sub-machine gun.

As YouTuber E-Roc shows in the video below, those weapons work the other way around. They’re actually more accurate when you’re standing.

The argument made in the video is that these weapons are broken, but that might not necessarily be true. There are plenty of perks and weapons mods that enhance hip-fire accuracy as well as movement speed, so these guns in particular could factor into a high-mobility setup. Be on the lookout for changes with the next round of patch notes.

More unusual is the behavior of the double-barreled 725 shotgun. With just two shots between reloads, it’s a high-risk gun to carry as your main weapon. But, I’ve seen an awful lot of players using it to great effect, moving quickly from cover to take two shots in quick succession, and then vanishing. With the amount of damage it deals with each shell, there’s no limping away from this one. Get tagged and you’ll go down in a heap.

But, as the weapon description says, an extended choke on the 725 helps keep the spread of its buckshot in a tight radius. That gives it a conspicuously long range for a shotgun. Some players are doubling down, upgrading to a so-called “monolithic suppressor” and an extended barrel, both of which increase the shotgun’s range. Add on a four-times scope and you’ve got one hell of a sniper rifle.

Personally, in previous iterations of the franchise, I found myself narrowing in on one or two types of weapons exclusively. Modern Warfare’s arsenal is a lot more interesting, and that’s likely to send me off the beaten path to unlock new toys. That kind of diversity, coupled with a huge selection of multiplayer game modes — which run the gamut from small unit, night-vision only, tactical engagements to massive 64-player battles — is going to keep me coming back to this game for a long time to come.

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