Lawbringer shotgun review

556 hours in the game and all the class penances unlocked, I feel pretty qualified to write this at this point.

Alright ladies and gents the review is that… its bad, but also insanely fun to use - it feels good, so you want it to be great. I’ll go into why and what I feel could be done to fix it.

#1 No way to deal with armor. Buckshot does not penetrate carapace except on crits. Other firearms generally can, such as bolters.
Solution - To me this seems like such a simple win - get rid of the “horizontal choke” and instead the “weapon special” should load in a slug that is capable of punching hard against even carapace armor OR make a variant of the shotgun that uses a slug or simply change the special to use a slug.

#2 Poor ammo viability. This issue doesn’t become apparent until heresy and once you hit damnation it becomes damning. Comparing the shotgun to a gun like the bolter… even with a veteran getting the ammo bonus - there just isn’t enough
Solution - Shotgun could honestly stand to have a 25% bonus to ammo capacity and as a veteran regenerating 2 shells instead of one would go a very long way.

#3 unnecessary animations - there is a lot to cover on this, but long story short the forend gets racked for no reason far too often. (for example if you are loading a special shell in the tube)
Solution - Revisit why a character racks the gun. Often times a character should have a round in the chamber will rack the gun upon finishing a loading animation. This is just whack. It is unfortunate but the creators of the shotgun missed a huge opportunity to include “breach loading” for the first shell loaded into an empty shotgun that would have made everything make a lot more sense - I strongly suggest looking at it for whatever shotgun iteration comes next!

#4 No flashlight option - Its dark out there sometimes.
Solution - Simply create a flashlight pattern of the firearm as an option.


Need more people talking about Lawbringer.

Have not actually seen it for Zealot, so all of my experience has been running it on Veteran. With that in mind, this gun is fun to use on Damnation for that first big room fight… and that’s it. After that I’m just out of ammo for the rest of the match, nothing short of an ammo crate gives enough back to really use it. If there’s a zealot on the team or, god-forbid, an Ogryn with a ripper, I just won’t see any ammo again.

If there’s any game changing shotgun blessing, I’ve never seen it, so my whole experience is basically with vanilla weapons and weak perks/blessings.

I actually dig the 3 different fire modes it comes with. In fact, I think that could be expanded on further. Like if ADS increased the effective range and damage to certain armor types. Weapon special could honestly apply burn DoT and it would not be OP. If the special attack is going to be a gimmick, make it flashy and awesome. What’s more Ordo Hereticus than firing phosphorus shells Promethium shells to rain white hot death on heretics?

Lastly, I really want different MKs.


Overall it’s a solid gun, very slightly below average in terms of overall DPS against various targets.

  1. The armor comment is misleading. Because its DPS vs. Maulers is actually great, and because very few ranged weapons deal meaningful damage to Carapace (only ~4 of em, and 3 are Helbores). By “actually great” I mean my Combat Shotty is the best ranged DPS vs. Maulers of any ranged weapon I’ve tested so far.

  2. Ammo is the biggest problem. The average gun has like 44k total damage (all shots fired) and that’s my general metric for measuring ammo efficiency. Shotgun has 22k. Really bad. The worst part about this is the weapon is clearly intended to be used sometimes against hordes - and ranged weapons designed to kill hordes generally need more ammo because hordes are more common.

  3. Love the suggestion of a pattern that has a flashlight.

In the “what should shotguns do?” thread, I proposed the idea of making shotties like chainsaw weapons in that they should do extreme damage to Mutants and other infested flesh enemies, and as a tradeoff I’d expect them to back off on flak damage a bit (still good, but not great). Just seems like shotguns have a similar feel to chainsaws.


Kark me… I didnt realize it was that bad…

Yeah, really bad weapon to use. I think that tracks across all difficulties

I’m still firmly considering the shotgun special action as an place holder which was strapped into the gun last minit just for the game looking less unfinished, at least gun funcion wise.

I mean, its acceptable all the way up to heresy, … from there it just plummets in viability

Always had this irking feeling that with good blessings it might actually be decently viable even in damnation, but that ammo count is simply too low for how much total damage it can pump out.

Its one of those quilty pleasure weapons for me but i would definitely agree that the special action needs a job because it barely seems to do anything worthwhile and the ammo count could almost be doubled without any big issues.
If the ammo is to remain limited then it needs simply more damage to compensate.

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Well low ammo just means you can’t run around with it with a “Ranged Primary” mindset. And if you avoid that mindset, Shotgun is pretty solid right now.

My favorite Zealot build right now is Turtolsky+Braced, but fairly close behind is Turtolsky+Shotgun (because it does more DPS vs. Mauler/Hound, but slightly worse DPS vs. Mutant/Maniac/Bulwark). Again “more DPS” in this case is Shotgun doing the best DPS of any ranged weapon I’ve tested against them so far.

So it’s damnation viable because of both solid DPS against important targets (slightly below average, like I said in the other post), its choke is reasonably tight out to fairly long range when ADSing, and the stagger is great against everything.

I still haven’t used Special in its intended role (horde clear) to know how it handles that, but due to the big ammo issues I’m not sure I would want that anyway (in its current state) even if it was surprisingly great. Given it doesn’t really have SFX to communicate it’s “wide choke” nature, I’m inclined to agree with @CGILantern that it feels pretty tacked on (I loaded special vs. elites for the longest time, just assuming it was the ranged equivalent of a heavy attack: taking extra time to do extra damage, and that was partially because I didn’t notice a visually wide shot when I used that ammo type.)

It supposed to be horde sweeping weapon, like reaper, but it’s not. I could be efficient staggering weapon, but reload time vs amount of shots / fire rate vs enemy numbers on damnation just don’t give a chance to stagger most potential targets. Pellet spread is not high enough for efficient enemy picking on 30+ meters, it takes several shots to kill one softy, 'cos you keep stagering softies, not killing 'em. So its just fun toy for malice, not a solution. Even Kickback solid enough, maybe lack of accuracy at distance. Anyway, comparing flakcannon vs enforcement gun is bad attitude.

Need some tuning with reload time and amount of pellets, also special ability must go, we need something like explosive shells or FRAG-12.

You want to look out for No Respite (+12.5-20% damage on staggered target). It seems to stack multiple times (edit: just asked on Discord and was told it’s got a 5 stack max) and can significantly improve the shotty’s ability to kill a lot of elites. Especially noticeable on Reapers from memory but I’ll jump into meat grinder at some point and retest. It does technically help with ammo a bit too since it will often save you a shot to kill elites but not nearly enough to make its ammo count acceptable.

Personally I would give it like x2 ammo reserve and make the special round load twice as fast so it’s more reasonable to chain them together into dense horde. Might also need a little more cleave on the special but I’m not as sure about that one.

I wouldn’t give it more damage personally just because that’s the next change I’d like to see revolver get and I don’t want these two weapons having too much overlap. I’d rather the shotgun be a bit more spammy stagger focused with horde utility on special attack while the revolver is more of a low ammo hand cannon.

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Yeah no respite is something i’ve kept my eye on, but it stacking multiple times sounds like fatshark things.
Combined with the updated full bore, its starting to sound kinda disgusting damage wise.
It just so happens that i got really good 378 shotgun yestarday from store so hopefully with todays crafting i can make something that truly impresses.

Yeah I’ve been thinking the same thing. Could definitely be a good elite deleter albeit still a very ammo hungry one.

A bit off topic sorry but I’m kinda excited to get my hands on a blaze away pinning fire autopistol. Up to +150% power with its buffed impact sounds like it’s gonna be pretty wowsers.

No respite is definitely the top tier choice for shotgun… One more thing to add… shotgun needs better blessing options.

Would be nice to have access to increased weakspot damage or increased stagger on weakspot hit. Those would pair nicely with no respite.

Yeah personally my autopistol graduated into one of the best combos I could imagine:

  • blaze away for power on sustained fire
  • raking fire for power on rear shot

Clocks some seriously brutal DPS vs. Mutant (damnation):

The one thing I always wanted the shotgun to do for me is open up a bulwark (at close range). I guess it’ll never happen, but you can dream…

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I’m a shotgun main veteran and I don’t agree that it’s bad, but I would absolutely welcome some tweaks upward. I feel you on the ammo point particularly. On the topic of the special shell I’m definitely torn. I think the horizontal choke is an absolute load of fun to use and watch a line of dude either lose their heads or get cut in half at the waist, but I can also concede that an armor piercing slug of phosphex shell would be more useful.

One thing I’ve noticed with the shotgun as well is how some of the animations seem a little stiff or odd. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m not remembering this correctly as I can’t test it right now but sometimes the animations are very sudden when entering ADS, like it skips part of the zoom in and steadying of the shotgun. Also something that throws me off is when I go into ADS from sprinting it feels like the shotgun is drifted to the right before recentering. Maybe if I get the chance I’ll come back and amend this post once I get a chance to check.


Eh it already pushes most things on their asses so i don’t really see the value of additional stagger from weakspot hits.
Blessing wise it actually has some solid choices now. Tough i do agree that some of them still make no sense to have. The crit memery especially seems bit confusing since i don’t think it inherintly has any massive crit bonuses like say dagger.

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It would synergize with no respite

I have around 500 hours myself and have also been exclusively playing with the shotgun on damnation, for the last two weeks, with my Zealot. For context here is my lawbringer:

Perhaps you are not familiar with the setting but shotguns are always represented as high strength (S4) and no armor pen (Pen 0). A bolter is S4 and Pen -1 and a lasgun is S3 Pen 0. Basically the shotgun is representing itself in a manner that is lore accurate. It is effective when firing from the hip, on the move. It has medium range. It is effective against unarmored enemies.

While I have no issue with adding more variants of the weapon to cater to different play styles, this is decidedly the wrong #1 issue to choose. The shotgun is effective at horde clear and light infantry and unarmored ogryn (ADS headshots do a whopping 800-ish on reapers). You can pair this weapon with melee weapons that have good armor penetration. For example I take it with my Thunder Hammer because what I need out of my gun, then, is a way to thin out hordes and maybe take on shooters/ ranged specials/ranged elites. I don’t really need armor penetration. if I did I would take a bolter, and that’s one of the things that actually differentiates the two weapons.

#2 Poor ammo viability. This issue doesn’t become apparent until heresy and once you hit damnation it becomes damning. Comparing the shotgun to a gun like the bolter… even with a veteran getting the ammo bonus - there just isn’t enough
Solution - Shotgun could honestly stand to have a 25% bonus to ammo capacity and as a veteran regenerating 2 shells instead of one would go a very long way.

This is the #1 issue with the shotgun. It has poor ammo supply and poor ammo regeneration. Small boxes only give 9 rounds, they should give at least as many as a full magazine. This is a common issue with “horde clear” weapons in Dark Tide and i’ve been meaning to write about it. Insofar as a weapon might excel at killing large groups of chaff enemies it also always consumes large amounts of ammo at low value per shot AND low pickup rates. Something as simple as scaling the pickup values for small and large ammo crates could dramatically positively impact horde clear ranged weapons. The shotgun being chief among them.

#3 unnecessary animations - there is a lot to cover on this, but long story short the forend gets racked for no reason far too often. (for example if you are loading a special shell in the tube)

This is a semi-automatic shotgun, not a pump shot gun. It has a pump mechanism for racking the bolt. The special shell is loaded into position 1 of the tube and not the breach. Thus the action must be racked in order to load the special shell. This animation is accurate.

In my experience the special action (horizontal duckbill shot with high stagger) is a main reason to bring it, actually. It kills significantly more groaners and poxwalkers when shooting sequentially into a horde than just hipfiring into the same horde does.