|“|| A sawed-off hunting shotgun with two side-by-side barrels, making it lighter and more compact than a full shotgun. One of the most popular weapons among bandits due to its combination of ease of concealment and extreme effectiveness in close combat.|
- Call of Pripyat in-game description
The Sawed-off shotgun is a break-open action, side-by-side double-barreled shotgun with external hammers appearing in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl as the Sawn-off dbl-barrel, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky as the Shotgun, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat.
Shadow of Chernobyl
Known as Sawn-off dbl barrel, this weapon is the first decent weapon the player finds, and it can be acquired soon after the beginning of the game, when raiding the car park in the Cordon. It is the only shotgun available in the Cordon at that time, therefore it is wise to keep one for use against mutants. It is used by rookie Loners and Bandits in later levels as well, including the Garbage, the Dark Valley, Agroprom, and Rostok. Unfortunately, the weapon degrades very quickly, although it doesn't jam until it reaches a very low durability. (most rifles would be uselessly jam-prone at the same levels) One can find one in Cordon in Nimble's "stash".
Damage is quite poor and power at medium range is mediocre - it is advised to get as close as possible to the target and aim for the head to get a kill within a single shot. The two-shell capacity is a heavy drawback, therefore it is highly advised to aim precisely when shooting as it would avoid reloading for nothing, especially since the animation is quite long. The damage per shot quickly degrades at short range unlike other shotguns, making the weapon helpful exclusively for close-quarters combat. Even worse, the accuracy is poor and the lack of proper iron sights make the weapon anything but suited for fighting in open areas.
Although its effectiveness against NPCs is debatable, it is effective against mutants: a single pull of the trigger is usually enough to kill a dog or a boar at close range - which is helpful as the starting levels usually spawn these mutants. Its small capacity is a problem as well when it comes to fighting multiple mutants.
Overall, it is a poor weapon, and while still helpful in the early game, it is advised to replace it as soon as possible.
In Clear Sky, the weapon is now simply named "Shotgun" rather than "Sawn-off dbl-barrel".
Docent Suslov gives this weapon to the player, along with other equipment, prior to the first mission in the game. The performance is even better than in Shadow of Chernobyl; somehow dealing more damage than any other shotgun and one can unload both barrels almost instantly - its firecap was increased to 1000 RPM. It can fire Slugs or Darts, which doesn't have any effect on its usefulness since it is terrible with them anyway. However, this weapon degrades faster than in Shadow of Chernobyl (without proper upgrade), and takes longer to reload. It is used by rookie Loners, Bandits, Renegades, and Clear Sky members.
The Shotgun doesn't have many upgrades. Its upgrades are reducing it's recoil, making it more reliable and threading its barrel to make it more accurate in firing slug and dart rounds. Threading the barrel is discouraged as this weapon does not need too much accuracy, given how it'll only be used in close range where buckshot rounds is more effective and even if one wants to use slug rounds to take on armored stalkers, it is still not worth it as the shotgun has performs poorly at range, even with accuracy upgrades installed, and this only compromises its versatility.
|Barrel modification (100 RU)|
50% better accuracy, cannot use buckshot ammunition
|Grip handguards (100 RU)|
|Striker replacement (100 RU)|
Call of Pripyat
In Call of Pripyat, the weapon is now called Sawed-off Shotgun.
The sawed-off shotgun is less common in Call of Pripyat, since the game takes place around the center of the Zone. It carried by the occasional rookie Loners and Bandits, but since the vastly superior Chaser 13 is fairly easy to find even in the first area, the sawn-off isn't likely to get much use, especially since it has the worst accuracy, range, magazine size, recoil and durability of any small arms weapon.
However, because Call of Pripyat allows any weapon to be inserted into the two weapon slots in the inventory rather than the traditional primary and sidearm setup, the Sawn-off shotgun can now be more useful, compared to its previous incarnations. The sawn-off can be a powerful sidearm as it's lighter than any other shotgun available and can still do massive damage at close range, where sidearms are mostly needed. While the two-round capacity is a downside, it is still capable of either stunning or outright killing stalkers and small mutants at close range with a quick 2-round burst. However, carrying a handgun in the inventory in tandem with the sawn-off shotgun is still recommended, as in the event the player's primary weapon runs out of ammo, the sawed-off shotgun is not a great backup combat weapon on open ground due to its short effective range.
Behind the scenes
In the Alpha Builds of SoC there's a full-size TOZ-66 (i.e. with a full-length barrel and stock). Its role of a full-sized double-barreled shotgun has been taken by the TOZ-34.