In what situations is it better to use buckshot than slugs with shotguns in Battlefield 3?

In close quarters battles, 6/11 pellets need to hit for a 1 hit kill… and that falls off quickly, to the point where at even moderate distances it takes 3 or 4 shells to kill an opponent.

Slugs, however, are guaranteed one hit kill in close quarters, and still deal an appreciable amount of damage at range.

Moreover, even in close quarters, I feel like I get more killing hits with slugs than with shot.

So: when does it make sense to use buckshot?


First off, a small rundown on buckshot pellets per shotgun vs slug rounds per shotgun as seen on wikia (Buckshot / Slugs):

Buckshot Pellets  /  Shotgun  /  Damage based on Distance
 11 pellets          SPAS-12       18.0 - 6.0 / pellet
 9 pellets           SAIGA12K      18.0 - 6.0 / pellet
 9 pellets           DAO-12        18.0 - 6.0 / pellet
 10 pellets          M1014         18.0 - 6.0 / pellet
 12 pellets          870MCS        18.0 - 6.0 / pellet
 7 pellets           USAS-12       18.0 - 6.0 / pellet
 8 pellets           MK3A1         18.0 - 6.0 / pellet
 12 pellets          M26 MASS      18.0 - 6.0 / pellet

// Headshot Bonus : 2.40x

 Slug Rounds      /  Shotgun  /  Damage based on Distance
  1 round            SPAS-12       100 - 40 (pump-action)
  1 round            SAIGA12K      75 - 37.5 (semi-automatic/auto)
  1 round            DAO-12        75 - 37.5 (semi-automatic/auto)
  1 round            M1014         75 - 37.5 (semi-automatic/auto)
  1 round            870MCS        100 - 40 (pump-action)
  1 round            USAS-12       75 - 37.5 (semi-automatic/auto)
  1 round            MK3A1         75 - 37.5 (semi-automatic/auto)
  1 round            M26 MASS      100 - 40 (pump-action)

// Headshot Bonus : Insta-kill?

That being said, in my opinion, in close quarters when your reticle is mainly on the target when you're using buckshot (especially on the area above the waist), its usually a instant-kill for me, and I'm not even aiming the weapon.

But if I chose to aim, or have my reticle generally focused on the enemy torso at close range, I would be able to also instantly kill someone at close range.

From your question, however, it is also debatable on your definition of "close range", which is usually 25metres and below in-game (for me).

I would also -- if given the limited choices of a buckshot and slug shotgun only in the entire game -- choose the:

Slug for a long range engagement such as a long-reaching room or a wide area, because you can at least aim and be guaranteed to kill something in here.

Buckshot for tight corners and small rooms within 25m because its a confirmed kill usually at such low ranges.

Hope that answers your question.

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  • 1
    This. Hip-firing with slugs is significantly less effective than with buckshot. And hip-firing is necessary when surprised. – SSumner Aug 18 '13 at 18:13

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