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In Dead Island, there are two types of shotguns: shotguns and short shotguns. In comparison to the latter, the former holds two more shells, is more accurate, shoots fewer pellets, and seems to reload faster.
If I want to make sure that I don't miss any pellets with a short shotgun, I have to get near point blank range, but this is within the range of a Thug's reach. If I shoot from outside of the Thug's reach, I fear how many pellets are missing in the trade for safety, and wonder if a normal shotgun would be more effective.
To put it objectively, at just outside of the maximum range of a Thug's reach, WHICH shotgun lands more damage (in a single shot) to Thug leg or head? Spread must be taken into account.

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But you didn't use to shoot at Thugs tho, you ran in gave him a few good whacks with your hammer/sword then get out just in time to dodge his attack. Why can't you do this now with the shotgun? Get in close fire at him then back off abit, rinse and repeat. –  Lyrion May 2 '13 at 8:40
    
I'm not running in and taking a swing, then jumping back out. These are shotguns we're talking about here. They're close-range weapons, but I can't do with them what you suggest. Secondly, I've come to the point where I can take them down in one shot, because I do enough damage in one shot that it dismembers. If I can get them in the first attack, there's no point in backing off. Thirdly, I dismember the leg because that's an instant kill too, so I'm usually crouching, which is a harder state from which to retreat. –  NiteCyper May 2 '13 at 15:17
    
Yeah but if you can kill them with 1 shot there is no problem, just walk in and fire :p –  Lyrion May 3 '13 at 6:22
    
I only kill them in one shot if I land a sufficient amount of pellets in the right spot. –  NiteCyper May 3 '13 at 12:09

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