Shotguns are typically portrayed in pop culture and video games as a dependable close-range weapon. The best thing about its mainstream popularity is that it functions in the same manner when employed in real-life situations. The shotgun’s lethality in close quarters makes it a weapon of choice for most mafia enforcers.

How does a Shotgun Benefit its Wielder?

The ordinary shotgun, also was known as a scattergun, is a long-barreled firearm that disperses metallic pellets when fired at a target. It is empowered by the loading of a straight-walled cartridge known as a shotshell. Each shotshell is filled with small metallic ball pellets that scatter towards an intended area when the shotgun’s firing mechanism triggers the gunpowder inside the shell.

The shotgun is historically known as the fowling-piece and has evolved throughout the years as a reliable close-quarter melee firearm. For example, the Mossberg 590a1 is adopted for various Marine combat applications, such as breaching hostile structures. The Mossberg 500 variant can be seen being used as a breaching alternative to destroying door bolts, latches, and knobs before a CQB unit throws a flashbang and rushes in to clear a room.

During the 19th Century, Cavalry units used many shotguns and saw extensive action during the American civil war and Indian wars. Many militia groups and rebel forces also favored the shotgun. One of the shotgun’s famous applications was observed during World War I, known as the trench gun deployed by US Army units. The cramped and tight passages of World War I trenches required the devastating close-range firepower of the shotgun.

Shotguns are highly-adaptable weapons that are now used by civilian hunters for hunting deer or shooting down birds. These types of guns can fire two types of ammunition, known as slugs or buckshot depending on the user’s preference, the situation, and the target. Slugs are heavy single-shot projectiles, while buckshot is shotgun shells containing small pieces of metal that scatter on impact when the shotgun is fired.

Shotguns Prefered by Modern Mafias

Mafias are organized crime syndicates specializing in racketeering, arbitrating criminal disputes, illegal agreements between factions, and brokering. They also are known to cater to secondary activities such as gambling, drug-trafficking, loan-sharking, and fraud. These activities are clearly why many mafia enforcers are equipped with the best shotguns they can or acquire via illegal purposes for their use and protection.

Remington 870

Famously used by many real-world mafia organizations, the Remington 870 graced our screens as the primary weapon of choice for several mafia shooters. The Remington 870 is the company’s fourth major release, intended to be an affordable, modern, rugged, and reliable version of their previous models. The Remington 870 can be loaded with shells with a bottom hatch, featuring a side-ejecting receiver and is a pump-action shotgun for 12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge and the .410 bore cartridge.


The Lupara shotgun is typically used for wolf hunting activities. The Lupara grew famous as the primary shotgun preferred by the Sicilian mafia and referred to the novelization of the Godfather. It is a single-hand operated sawn-off shotgun that uses the No.3 and No.4 buckshot shell. Lupara was associated with the real-life Italian crime syndicate known as La Cosa Nostra.

Mossberg 500 Series

The Mossberg 500 series of shotguns saw extensive use with modernized mafia syndicates. In the past few years, numerous arrests by International Law Enforcement groups captured syndicate members equipped with modern military-grade Mossberg 500 shotguns. The shotguns’ long-barrel and combat effectiveness make it a devastating weapon for many mafia enforcers.


Shotguns are long-barreled firearms that discharge groups of metallic rounds and pellets at a designated target. It is useful as a close-quarter spray-and-hit weapon and is used by many law-enforcement, military, or crime syndicate units. Shotguns can be used to fire buckshot shells or heavy projectile slugs depending on the target or situation.