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A Shotgun is a weapon designed chiefly to fire rounds loaded with multiple small metal projectiles at once. This makes them devastating and ruinous at close range but gives them a very short effective distance. Shotguns generally fall into numerous classes, including pump-action; lever-action; break-open; bolt-action; semi-auto and even fully automatic models. Other types of ammunition have been adapted and manufactured for them, including solid slugs, sub-caliber saboted projectiles, flechettes, and a slew of 'less-lethal' rounds loaded with rubber projectiles or chemical projectiles.
A Pump-action shotgun mainly features spent shells being extracted and fresh ones being chambered via mechanical cycling, as opposed to a break action. The weapon has a single barrel above a tube magazine into which shells are inserted. New shells are chambered by pulling a pump handle (often called the fore-end) attached to the tube magazine toward the user, then pushing it back into place to chamber the cartridge. However, there are magazine-fed pump shotguns such as the NOR982 which chamber new shells from a box magazine.
A semi-automatic shotgun is one that is able to fire a cartridge after every trigger squeeze, without any manual chambering of another round being required. The weapon uses the force of the gas (created by the accelerated burning of the propellant) not just to propel the wadding which pushes the shot down the barrel, but also to cycle the action, eject the empty shell and load another round.
An Automatic Shotgun uses some of the energy of each shot to automatically cycle the action and load a new round. It will fire repeatedly until the trigger is released or ammunition runs out. Automatic shotguns have a very limited range, but provide tremendous firepower at close range.