Left 4 Dead Wiki

"Shotgun! Alright folks, I'm on crowd control."
"Shotgun for me."

The Pump Shotgun is a primary weapon that made its appearance in both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. Shotgun deals heavy damage to a single enemy, or lighter damage to many, in a spread. It holds eight shells with 128 in reserve in Left 4 Dead and 72 in Left 4 Dead 2. The spread of the 8 pellets in a shell can take down multiple Common Infected per shot. This often makes it better at handling Hordes than the Submachine Gun or Pistols. It reloads about two shells per second and fires one shell per second. Since the Pump Shotgun has a maximum effective range of approximately 40 to 50 meters (131 to 164 feet), Pistols are its superior for ranged encounters.

All shotguns allow topping off the magazine on the fly, and the reloading process can be stopped to handle sudden threats using shells already loaded in its tube magazine. However, if a player is reloading when empty in the former game, the shotgun must be racked to chamber a shell and fire the weapon regardless of whether the reloading cycle was completed or interrupted. A good trick is to interrupt an empty reload after the first shot by clicking the fire button and then reloading again, as you have gotten the racking animation out of the way and can immediately fire if a threat appears. Another tip is just to reload constantly and always keep at least one shell loaded in the chamber. In the latter game, this racking animation is removed and allowing the shotguns be fired as soon first shell is inserted.

Like the rest of the shotguns, the Pump Shotgun can kill a Witch with one hit if all the pellets strike her head before she rises, making it useful for getting the "Cr0wnd" and "Witch Hunter" achievements.

Left 4 Dead 2[]

The Pump Shotgun returns with a new model. Compared with the Chrome Shotgun, it has a higher DPS due to two more pellets per shell, but a larger spread. Unfortunately, the Pump Shotgun's reserve ammunition has been dramatically reduced from 128 shells to 56, making every shot more valuable, until the PC-exclusive September 2020 update increasing its reserve ammunition from 56 shells to 72.


Francis wielding the Pump Shotgun

  • The spread of the Pump Shotgun can cover the entire width of most doors and openings. Use this to your advantage, especially during Horde attacks.
  • While being attacked by hordes, it is best to shove after each shot to push back Infected while chambering the next shell.
    • You can shove as you reload to maintain a full or nearly full magazine while still stopping the Infected from hitting you.
  • Shoving can also be used to interrupt the Pump Shotgun's round-chambering animation in both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, significantly increasing its rate of fire and DPS.
    • In Left 4 Dead 2, this can trigger melee fatigue, meaning that the survivor may not be able to shove nearby infected back and leaving them more vulnerable to attack.
  • Team members with Pump Shotguns should be at the front to reduce the chance of friendly fire. Shotguns are not accurate enough to precisely avoid shooting teammates, making anywhere but the front a difficult position to fight from with a shotgun.
  • Crouching will make the pellet spread tighter, allowing some improved accuracy at medium distances.
  • There will always have 1 pellet landing in the middle of the crosshair when shooting while crouched, this can be used to snipe a distant infected's head due to the fact they die instantly from headshots. However, this tactic is relatively ineffective against other threats due to low damage of individual pellets and high damage drop off over distance of the shotgun. This applies to the other 3 shotguns as well.
  • If you are trying to help someone who is surrounded on any difficulty level aside from Easy or Normal, switch to your secondary. If you try to use the Pump Shotgun, you will most likely end up dealing more damage to a teammate than to the Infected themselves. If you must use a Pump Shotgun to rescue a surrounded teammate, keep the crosshair off the teammate to kill Infected with the spread.
  • When attempting to headshot a Witch, it is best to have the top line on the crosshair aimed for the Witch's forehead. This tactic, however, will not work 100% of the time. When going up against the Witch, it is easier and more effective to aim the crosshair on the center of her back, so every pellet hits her.
    • Multiple teammates can use the Pump Shotgun together to maximize the chances of enough pellets landing to kill a Witch before she is startled. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
  • If your teammate is being attacked on the other side of a thin wall, you can use the Pump Shotgun to shoot through the wall to save them.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, Explosive Ammunition makes your shotgun fire slugs with large explosions. You can use this to shoot the ground and take out large numbers of Common Infected and knock back Special Infected.
    • This is not recommended for higher difficulties, due to increased self-damage.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, take advantage of Incendiary ammunition with the Pump Shotgun to ignite multiple Infected with one shot. The additional pellets and increased spread will maximize the number of Infected hit per shot.
  • Be careful not to aim anywhere near gas cans or other carried explosives that you don't want to ignite, especially in Left 4 Dead 2's "The Atrium", "The Port", and Scavenge mode. The Pump Shotgun's spread can easily cause pellets to spray towards unintended targets so long as they are still in front of the shooter.

Pros and Cons[]


  • Extremely powerful early in the game, capable of dispatching multiple Common Infected simultaneously.
  • A lot more powerful at close range compared with the Submachine Gun.
  • Due to a low rate of fire, it is easy to control and does not run out of ammo as quickly as other guns.
  • Can take out Special Infected (especially Hunters) faster than the Submachine Gun at close range.
    • Individual shots do high damage, so direct headshots can instantly kill some Special Infected.
  • Low rate of fire means it can reduce the incidence of friendly fire accidents.
  • Great for tight, narrow spaces like choke points in buildings.
  • The widespread shells make it ideal for crowd control.
  • Interruptable reload allows for easy reloading in the middle of combat.
  • Shoving can be used to significantly increase fire rate and DPS.


  • Slow reloading time since each shell in the gun must be reloaded individually.
  • Extremely inaccurate and ineffective at long distances due to its wide shot dispersion and significant damage dropoff.
  • Low rate of fire makes it difficult to hit fast moving targets.
  • When grabbed by a Smoker at long range, it is nearly impossible for a player to free themself unaided before being dragged off.
  • On higher difficulties, friendly fire becomes a serious problem. On Expert, one shot can incapacitate a teammate from full health.
  • The loose spread of the Pump Shotgun makes it difficult to crown a Witch.
  • The slow rate of fire and reload speed, as well as the damage penalty for all shotguns, means the Pump Shotgun takes the longest of any primary weapon to kill the Tank, with the exception of the Scout and AWP (though it ties with the Chrome Shotgun).
    • Shoving while firing can be used to increase the speed at which the Pump Shotgun kills the Tank.


Left 4 Dead 2[]


Achievement Get Skeeted On.png
Kill a pouncing Hunter with a shotgun.

Achievement Shotgun Wedding.png
Kill the Witch bride with a single shotgun blast on expert difficulty.

Behind the Scenes[]

The very early ammo count for the Pump Shotgun

An unusual ammo counter for the Pump Shotgun's magazine is in the game's files. It shows eight shotgun shells. There are two versions: one for an empty magazine and one for a full one. This has never been seen in any footage, which means that it is much earlier than the footage shown. This seems to hint that in very early versions of the game, the player ammo count would be shown with a physical representation of how much ammo is left in the magazine. It has a resemblance with the ammo counter from Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.

The Pump Shotgun is based on Counter-Strike's M3S90 pump-action shotgun. Its "price" in the gun's weapon file is the same as the M3's, and it references the M3 in its "animation" listing. The M3's firing sound is played when Francis fires the Pump Shotgun in the first Left 4 Dead teaser, released in January 2007 (reupload is here: Left 4 Dead PC Games Video - Urban Zombies).


  • The Pump Shotgun is modeled after the Remington 870 Police Magnum Riot and the Pump Shotgun in the first Left 4 Dead uses a different shotgun model.
  • The Pump Shotgun in the original Left 4 Dead is actually a blend of popular American shotgun models, although the side of the shotgun says "Renegade Rangemaster" (which is meant to sound similar to the very common "Remington Wingmaster", a variant of the Remington 870). The safety and slide release resemble the kind seen on the Remington 870, but it possesses several features found in others. The pump is off an Ithaca where Remington shotguns usually use a smooth pump. The magazine holds five shells and extends one shell beyond the pump also like the Ithaca, while most Remington shotguns have the magazine run all the way to the end of the pump. The locking screws at the end of the receiver are of Ithaca fame, though the model seem to be based on a Stevens 67.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, it more closely resembles the Remington 870 Police Magnum Riot, but it still has an Ithaca 37-like magazine tube.
    • Also in Left 4 Dead 2, all shotguns can be fired right after the first shell is loaded in the dry magazine without pumping animation (not very realistic, as it means that you can fire a shell which hasn't been actually loaded yet). However, in third person the pumping animation is shown at the end of the dry reload if it isn't interrupted.
  • The shotgun reload animation is incorrect. After filling the magazine, the shotgun is pumped, which chambers a shell, yet would also mean the shotgun is always being loaded to one shell under its capacity. Also, the shotgun pump is brought forward after the last shell is fired; there is no reason to do this because there are no shells in the magazine to chamber. The extra pump, however, could be to clear the chamber itself before the weapon is reloaded, even though this is a pointless action.
  • The flashlight on the gun is not shown on the HUD icon.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the Pump Shotgun reuses Left 4 Dead's HUD icon, regardless of its different appearance.
  • "Police Tactical 12" is written on the barrel of the weapon in both games.
  • Within 100 game units, all shotguns deal 5x damage to Common Infected (makes a difference on Expert Realism). These variables can be configured in the console.
  • All shotguns suffer from a reduced ability to inflict damage upon Tanks. This mirrors reality; buckshot is notorious among hunters for being a very poor option when hunting big or thick-skinned animals, and self-evidently, the Tank fits this category to perfection.
  • The texture files for the original Pump Shotgun is in the Left 4 Dead 2 files. This could be a legacy leftover, or for modding, if some players wanted to use the original textures for one purpose or another.
  • This, and other shotguns, is hard-coded, as its attack interval and reload/shell-insertion interval is impossible to be changed through the modification of the weapon scripts. While it is technically possible to modify these statistics in the game files, such modifications won't do anything; the entity will still shoot at its default attack interval, and reload at its default shell-insertion interval. Upon reloading with an increased capacity through modification, it suffers an animation glitch upon the 17th shell and beyond.
  • In real life Remington 870 never really truly has an iron sight and the shotgun barrel was too short as in real life the barrel was long.
  • The PC-exclusive September 2020 update for Left 4 Dead 2 gave the pump shotgun a different alternative skin which gives it the chrome shotgun textures. An alternative skin was also given to the chrome shotgun which gives it the pump shotgun textures.

External Links[]


Primary Weapons
Tier 1 Chrome invert.png Chrome Shotgun / Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun / MP5 Invert.png MP5 / Mac10 invert.png Silenced Submachine Gun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 Ak invert.png AK-47 / Icon weapon rifle desert inverted.png Combat Rifle / M16 invert.png M-16 Assault Rifle / SIG Invert.png SG 552 / Auto invert.png Auto Shotgun / Spas12 invert.png Combat Shotgun / AWSM Invert.png AWP / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle / Steyr Invert.png Scout / G3 invert.png Sniper Rifle
Special Tier Grenade launcher inverted.png Grenade Launcher / M60Icon.png M60 Machine Gun
Secondary Weapons
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png M1911 Pistol / Deagle invert.png Magnum Pistol / Pistol inverted.png P220 Pistol
Melee Weapons Bat invert.png Baseball Bat / Cricket invert.png Cricket Bat / Crowbar invert.png Crowbar / Axe invert.png Fireaxe / Pan invert.png Frying Pan / GolfClubIcon.png Golf Club / Guitar invert.png Guitar / Katana invert.png Katana / Knife Invert.png Knife / Machete invert.png Machete / Baton invert.png Nightstick / Icon pitchfork inverted.png Pitchfork / Icon shovel inverted.png Shovel
Special Tier Chainsaw invert.png Chainsaw
Other Weapons
Grenades Bile invert.png Bile Bomb / Molotov inverted.png Molotov Cocktail / Pipebomb invert.png Pipe Bomb
Upgrades L4D2 ammo explosive.png Explosive Ammunition / L4D2 ammo incendiary.png Incendiary Ammunition / Laser sight HUD invert.PNG Laser Sight
Fixed Weapons MMG Icon.png Heavy Machine Gun / Minigun icon.png Minigun
Usable Items Explosive Barrel HUD invert.png Explosive barrel / Fireworks icon.png Fireworks / Gas canister HUD invert.png Gas can / Oxytank icon.png Oxygen tank / Propane tank icon.png Propane tank
Special Items Cola.png Cola / Gnome icon.png Gnome Chompski
Featured in both games / L4D1-exclusive / L4D2-exclusive (Counter-Strike weapons / PC-exclusive)