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The shotgun category in any Call of Duty title is always a tad controversial. Since the weapons are powerful by nature, the developers often have a hard time balancing them. The weapons in the class are usually either overpowered to a huge degree or so underwhelming that they’re not worth using.

In Black Ops Cold War, the balance is relatively solid, with no one weapon standing out in either direction. This makes discerning the best in class a bit tricky, as each has merit. However, going by player popularity and overall performance, the best shotgun in Cold War is the Gallo SA12.

Best shotgun in Black Ops Cold War

The Gallo SA12 has been a part of Black Ops Cold War since the game’s release. It can be unlocked by reaching level 34 in multiplayer, the second shotgun unlocked. In the past, it wasn’t the best weapon in its class but Season 3 is entirely another story. With the right attachments, the Gallo SA12 can be a one to two-shot kill at close-range. This, paired with its high fire rate, gives players the best chance at eliminating enemies quickly and efficiently.

Some will argue that the Streetsweeper is the best shotgun in Cold War. This is in part due to its similar stats and notoriety. However, the Streetsweeper’s damage was nerfed in Season 3, while the Gallo SA12 was buffed significantly. Treyarch saw how dominant the Streetsweeper was and nerfed its max damage potential. In turn, it buffed the Gallo SA12’s damage.

Thanks to its already decent stats, this buff pushed the Gallo SA12 over the Streetsweeper. There’s not much to argue in this debate; the Gallo now features better stats and a stronger loadout in Season 3 of Black Ops Cold War. Perhaps Season 4 will see another change on this front but in Season 3, the answer is clear.