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  • Some weapons are so iconic they don't even need a name.

  • No maker, no model - all you need to make an impression is a twin twelve-gauge.

  • The double-barreled shotgun is a classic frontier weapon with an imposing profile.

  • They've been around forever - and are still widely used today.

  • So why is this basic design so enduring?

  • What makes them a common sight in video games?

  • And do double the barrels mean double the fun?

  • Shotguns are simple, versatile weapons that are capable of using a wide variety of ammunition.

  • They have a long history, dating to the earliest days of firearms development: with roots lying

  • in large-calibre muzzle-loaders such as the musket and blunderbuss.

  • With the adoption of rifled barrels, shotguns diverged as a separate class of weapons - with

  • their smoothbore barrels more suitable for firing multiple projectiles at once.

  • From the tiny pellets of birdshot to the sheer stopping power of solid slugs, load versatility

  • makes shotguns ideal for hunting all kinds of quarry.

  • The most common 12 gauge load is double-aught buckshot: typically 8 pellets, .33 inches

  • in diameter, such cartridges offer balanced performance against deer and human-sized targets

  • alike.

  • Prior to the invention of lever and pump action weapons, most breech-loading shotguns were

  • break-action: with hinged barrels that would expose the chambers for shell extraction and

  • reloading.

  • In the absence of a magazine, such weapons were single shot: but the simple addition

  • of another parallel barrel would double ready firepower.

  • There have been triple and even quadruple barrel shotguns made: but the classic double

  • barrel seems to offer the perfect blend of firepower against added weight and complexity.

  • There exist two major configurations: with either horizontal or vertical barrel placement.

  • The former are called side-by-sides, and the latter over-and-unders.

  • Side by sides are perhaps the more classic design, evoking traditional coach guns - but

  • the vertical arrangement offers a single sight plane and more manageable recoil - albeit

  • at the cost of greater internal complexity.

  • In all its forms, the double barreled shotgun has been present since the dawn of the American

  • frontier, and equally since the emergence of first person shooters.

  • With distinctive appearance in spite of specific model, a generic profile made it an ideal

  • fit for low-resolution rendition in earlier games - and one title in particular would

  • have immense influence on what would follow.

  • The Super Shotgun in Doom 2 is legendary.

  • While the original shareware version had a shotgun, the retail sequel bumped it up a

  • notch with the inclusion of a double-barreled option.

  • The basic shotgun was good, but the super shotgun was better.

  • It chewed through ammo like nothing else, but few opponents could stand up to a full-frontal

  • blast from both barrels.

  • The gun tore through hellspawn like tissue paper, and lodged its place in history as

  • a firm favourite of many.

  • The mid to late 90s saw a surge in FPS games: at the time known simply as 'Doom-clones'.

  • These old school shooters in the vein of Doom had a strict hierarchy of weapons, with your

  • available arsenal slowly becoming more and more powerful as you progress.

  • This makes the double barrel a particularly strong candidate for inclusion: if you need

  • to double the damage, why not double the barrels?

  • After Doom came Quake, this time with a more gothic theme - but the shotgun and super shotgun

  • combo returned - it's almost a trademark of id's games.

  • Even today there are games in this old-school vein: and it's not uncommon to see the close-range

  • punch of a twin-barreled favourite.

  • Doom-clones aside, there are plenty of historical reasons to include a double shotgun in a game:

  • and they sometimes appear in a realistic military setting - although their use has been limited

  • even since before World War 2.

  • Still, they do crop up from time-to-time - with double barrels appearing in the hands of civilian

  • or partisan fighters, and other irregular troops.

  • However, far more widespread use can be found in the Old West: bolstered by legends recounted

  • in literature and cinema, it's the perfect place to find such a weapon.

  • Its rustic charm rubs shoulders with revolvers and lever-action rifles: in a world of cowboys

  • and stagecoach robberies, the double-barrel is a natural fit for a frontier.

  • The shotgun was a hugely important tool at this time - far more than just a weapon, they

  • were both a means to hunt for food - and to defend a homestead.

  • The twin barrels speak of a confident self-reliance - and such was the weapon's impact, it has

  • lodged itself permanently into culture: intertwined with an emergent Americana.

  • An inelegant weapon for a less civilised time, then - and one fictional setting is another

  • popular place for such shotguns to shine.

  • In fact, if there's one thing that guarantees the weapon's presence - it's the apocalypse:

  • when civilisation crumbles, the rugged shine.

  • Spurred on by depictions in films like Mad Max - if you're going to tread the wasteland,

  • you're going to want a reliable weapon at your side.

  • The fall of order brings a frontier anew, and the double barrel often reprises its role

  • as a tool for survival.

  • With id's youngest franchise, RAGE, we come full circle.

  • A post-apocalyptic game of the same lineage as Doom, the double-barreled shotgun is a

  • familiar fit and an almost essential inclusion.

  • Something about its presence just feels right: with dusty sun-bleached terrain, tribal disputes:

  • and two barrels worth of buckshot.

  • The double-barreled shotgun's impact transcends manufacturer and model - its form-factor alone

  • is enough to conjure its iconic identity.

  • Because of this, it often serves as a generic inclusion in games - and back to the very

  • roots of modern shooters, it is an identifiable and enjoyable choice.

  • Whether fired twice in succession or both barrels simultaneously, the weapon is invariably

  • powerful - devastating any foe caught in a close-range blast.

  • And if two barrels aren't enough, sometimes you'll even come across a quad-barrel - although

  • these reside outside the realm of practicality: two barrels is more than enough for most to

  • wield.

  • Power and reliable function through simplicity: The double-barreled shotgun.

  • Lock.

  • Stock.

  • ...and two smoking barrels.

  • Thank you very much for watching - and until next time, farewell.

Some weapons are so iconic they don't even need a name.

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A1 US shotgun double barrel weapon doom frontier

Double-Barreled Shotgun.

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    30410陳韋仲 posted on 2022/03/15
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