While the Fortnite team at Epic didn’t give specific reasons for its decision to vault the drum gun, the reasoning seems clear. When the popular meta began to shift away from shotguns and toward SMGs late in Season 4, the drum gun became the game’s standout weapon.
Not only does it do plenty of damage, it also shoots quickly, can be fired for ages without having to reload and destroys walls in just a few shots. It doesn’t hurt that the drum gun also sounded fantastic when you shot it, and was fun to use. Add the fact that it works well at both short and medium range, and you have an overpowered weapon that may not have been a good fit for the overall game anymore.
Thankfully, as Epic has said before, vaulting doesn’t mean that a weapon is gone for a good, just that it’s going away for now. Even if the drum gun comes back, it’s unlikely to be the same one-size-fits-all weapon that reigned supreme for most of Season 5.
The vaulting of the drum gun also brings up a larger question: is Epic going to bring shotguns back to the forefront during Fortnite’s rapidly approaching Season 6? While all signs point in that direction — such as the SMG nerfs and shotgun pull out speed buffs — we won’t know for sure until the official Season 6 patch drops in a few weeks.