Armored Core Analogs: Shotguns

Perfect for situations like these.

Every shooter in the known universe will have a shotgun, and Armored Core is no exception. And just like every incarnation of the this weapon, AC’s own brand of boomstick is a nasty little beast you do not want to cross.

While its shot spread and slow reload speed are limiting factors to a shotgun’s capabilities, these quirks are forgotten when one gets a taste of the weapon’s ability to turn your AC into something resembling a clip from Destroyed in Seconds.

Shotguns - the second leading cause of powered human flight (The first being Chuck's roundhouse kicks)

For every situation that a rifle or an MG user needs and steady hands and several rounds of ammo to perforate the enemy, a shotgun wielder can easily render the same amount of hurt in a split-second with one or two well-placed blasts. In close quarters, the shotgun is king.

It’s also a light weapon, meaning that it’s not just the heavy builds you have to worry about. Given a raven worth his/her salt plus a pair of decent shotties, even a lightweight can render unto the enemy the sort of bodily harm you’d normally find history’s most badass zombie killer inflicting on the undead.

Sadly, not even a chainsaw will make your AC half as awesome as Ash

But far from being intended for use in blowing faces off 10-meter tall mechs or zombie hordes (or maybe hordes of 10-meter tall zombie mechs) today’s shotgun has its origins as a fowling piece.

Early shotguns were generally shorter than muskets of their time, and and their ability to fire multiple pellets in one blast made them a favorite for hunting fast-moving targets such as birds.

While military use of shotguns was minimal for most of the weapon’s history, this all began to change with America’s involvement in World War I, where General Pershing’s units were issued with 12-gauge shotguns.

Imagine fighting a trench full of these, except with American accents.

In the cramped trenches of the time, these guns were so effective that Germany filed a protest to have them banned from the battlefield. That’s right – Germany, one of the most prevalent users of Mustard Gas during the war, cried foul because they thought getting shot in the face with a 12-gauge was crueler than being gassed.

From these early beginnings, we fast forward to one of the more utterly badass reincarnations of the shotgun, the Auto Assault-12, more commonly known as the AA-12.

One size fits all zombies.

Originally created by Maxwell Atchisson in 1972, the AA-12 has since seen received nearly two hundred improvements to its design over the years since it was acquired by Military Police Systems, Inc in 1987.

Today’s AA-12 weighs in at a 4.76 kilos, fires 350 rounds per minute in full auto, and is capable of packing a 32-round drum. Awesome, but will it work against 10-meter tall mechs?

While it definitely isn’t anywhere near as big as the shottie sitting on your AC’s hands, the AA-12 wins out due to the fact it’s not entirely stuck to firing just buckshot. Aside from traditional zombie-obliteraing 12-gauge shells, the AA-12 is also capable of firing solid lead shots, and FRAG-12 shells.

What’s a FRAG-12 shell you ask? To put it simply, a FRAG-12 is a series of specially designed fin-stabilized bombs that include a standard High-Explosive (HE), and a specialized armor-piercing slug.

Definitely not your car's lighter.

So going back to our question about the possibility of an AA-12 actually hurting your mech, the answer is yes: The HE shell is capable of punching a hole in 1/4 inch steel place, while the AP will penetrate up to half an inch of armor.

Sure, it’s not going to kill your mech, but somebody with a brass pair can land a shot where it will hurt the most – namely the joints, boosters, air intakes, or even your weapon magazines.

It won’t destroy your AC, but that just means you’ll have to live with the humiliation of being kneecapped by a guy who was badass enough not to need a mech to cripple your obscenely expensive death machine.

No – all he needed was a 10-pound hunk of plastic and steel. To be fair though, it’s a ten-pound hunk of plastic and steel that can do this:

On second thought, getting gassed doesn’t sound too bad…