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The Terrible Shotgun is a unique shotgun in Fallout 3.


The Terrible Shotgun is a unique variant of the combat shotgun and has the second-highest damage of all weapons in the Small Guns category. The weapon has a far larger spread than normal shotguns, and full damage is only done if all pellets hit, making it most effective in close-quarters.

Critical hit damage with this weapon is applied to each individual pellet the Terrible Shotgun fires (outside of V.A.T.S.). If all nine pellets sneak attack critical at the same time, the weapon's total critical damage is 360. Paired with the Better Criticals perk, it can go up to 540. Add in the base damage of the weapon, and then double the damage because of the sneak attack bonus, and the weapon's total damage increases to 880 or 1240, capable of one-shotting every enemy in the base game and its add-ons.


The Terrible Shotgun can fire a total of about 146 rounds, the equivalent of 13 reloads, from full condition before breaking. Even so, the weapon will not jam until 120 rounds are fired. Given that one does not reload until the current magazine is expired, they will have 10 reloads before the gun begins to jam, but the gun will only have three chances to jam before it breaks.



Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)Attacks in V.A.T.S.- Attacks in V.A.T.S.
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)Action point cost- Action point cost
Damage per attack (damage per projectile)- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per action point- Damage per action point
Damage per second- Damage per secondWeapon spread- Weapon spread
Area of effect damage- Area of effect damageMagazine capacity (shots per reload)- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)
Effect damage & duration- Effect damage & durationDurability (number of attacks before breaking)- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)
Bonus effects- Bonus effectsWeight- Weight
Attacks per second- Attacks per secondValue in caps- Value in caps
Critical chance % multiplier- Critical chance % multiplierValue to weight ratio- Value to weight ratio
Critical damage- Critical damageSkill required- Skill required
Critical effect damage & duration- Critical effect damage & durationStrength required- Strength required
With all mods attached- With all mods attached
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per secondAttacks per secondCritical Chance % multiplierCritical damageAction Point costDamage per action pointWeapon spreadMagazine capacity (shots per reload)Durability (number of attacks before breaking)WeightValue in capsValue to weight ratio
Combat shotgun 55
The Terrible Shotgun 80


This gun is carried by Smiling Jack, the non-hostile raider merchant in Evergreen Mills. He can be killed for it, with no Karma loss, or it can be reverse-pickpocketed.


  • If the weapon is placed in Charon's inventory, he will use it in combat, regardless of whether he has ammo for it or not.
  • Another shotgun in Fallout 4 bears the name Le Fusil Terribles, which translates as "The Terrible Gun" in French.


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