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"Argh! Uh, I guess I'll have to stick with the Sawed-Off..."
—An unidentified Stranded after his attempt at the "two-piece" with the Gnasher Shotgun

The Sawed-Off Double Barreled Shotgun, normally shortened to the Sawed-Off, was a small but powerful shotgun produced by the humans of Sera.


The Sawed-Off Shotgun saw service in the COG Army early in the Locust War, and probably before. It later found its way into Locust hands, being used heavily by them during the Destruction of Halvo Bay. It emerged again during the Lambent Pandemic being used by Savage Therons. The weapon was also used by the Stranded as most of them seemed to find them easier to use than the Gnasher Shotgun.[3]

It is a compact but powerful shotgun, packing enough power to kill multiple enemies or even larger enemies at point-blank range with a single shot. The Sawed-Off had two short, horizontal barrels which must be reloaded separately; the weapon is discharged one barrel at a time, but later modifications made the Sawed-Off capable of firing both barrels simultaneously. It is capable of ripping a Boomer apart, vaporizing a group of Formers in one shot, or cleaving a Reaver in two.

Although effective, the Sawed-Off's main drawbacks were the painfully slow reload time and having to reload after every two shots, leaving one extremely vulnerable during this period due to the enemy/enemies being "given both barrels". Additionally, it had huge recoil and was only effective at point-blank range, as its short barrels caused the shot to spread wider than usual.

Behind the Scenes

  • The Sawed-Off's execution features the character opening the barrels; putting the gun to the opponent's neck, and twisting their hips sharply, breaking the enemy's neck.
  • It has more of a kick than the Gnasher, and more power as seen in the Ashes to Ashes trailer and the Campaign Demo, where Marcus Fenix used it to kill a Drone with one shot and fire at Lambent tentacles respectively.
  • In the Ashes to Ashes trailer, the weapon fires multiple shots without reloading, despite having a one-shot reload in-game. This was later confirmed as artistic licence.
  • This gun was introduced to the universe because Cliff Bleszinski wanted to embrace the shotgun and give more of a possible selection to selecting a standard loadout for multiplayer in Gears 3.

Sam with the Sawed-Off.

  • Lee Perry explained the Sawed-Off's range capabilities like this: Sawed-Off→Gnasher→Retro Lancer→Lancer→Hammerburst, showing that the Sawed-Off is a short-range, power-packed version of the Gnasher.
  • Players with the "Veteran Gear" achievement from Gears of War 2, or the "Commando" achievement from Gears of War will earn a gold variant of the Sawed-Off Shotgun.[4]
  • Ron Ferguson stated in his Gears of War 3 Q&A that the Sawed-Off Shotgun was for new players, or players who aren't good using the Gnasher.
    "We recognize people really like the shotgun gameplay so we wanted to find a way to let new players have that same experience who aren't talented with the Gnasher for example. So we wanted to make a weapon that doesn't require the twitch gameplay of the Gnasher but allows them to have that close quarters combat fun. I know it's a controversial weapon."
  • In RAAM's Shadow, the Theron Elite carries a Retro Sawed-Off Shotgun, a variant which has dual bayonets used for stabbing an enemy in a Retro Lancer charge-like fashion and afterwards blasting them to pieces.
  • When a player scores a double kill with this weapon, the character shouts a unique piece of dialogue such as: "That's a Two-fer!".
  • The early designs of the Sawed-Off show it as having a slightly different receiver section. The pistol grip is angled back more, it has a larger trigger guard that extends down to the bottom of the grip, has metal plates on the grip, and appears to have a 2-stage trigger.
  • The Sawed-Off Shotgun makes a return in Gears of War: Judgment. However, there are now two shots and the power has been slightly reduced. Also, ammo can now only be taken from other Sawed-Offs.


The Weapons and Equipment of Gears of War
Melee Weapons Chainsaw Bayonet · Combat Knife · Commando Knife · Machete · Powersaw
Rifles Designated Marksman Rifle · EMBAR Railgun · Enforcer Submachine Gun (Shock variant) · GZ18 Markza Sniper Rifle (Marksman variant) · Hunting Rifle · Musket · Longshot Sniper Rifle · Mark 1 Lancer Assault Rifle (Police variant) · Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle (Custom variant) · Mark 3 Lancer Assault Rifle (GL variant) · UIR Belt-fed Machine Gun
Shotguns Gnasher Shotgun · Overkill Shotgun · Sawed-Off Shotgun
Sidearms MX8 Snub Pistol · Talon Autopistol · Zapper
Grenades Beacon Grenade · Bolo Grenade · Cytostatic Gas Grenade · Flashbang · Incendiary Grenade · Molotov Cocktail · Shock Grenade · Smoke Grenade · Stim-Gas Grenade
Heavy Weapons Auto-Turret · Booshka Grenade Launcher · Buzzkill · Chain Gun · COG Machine Gun · Cryo Cannon · Dropshot Munitions Launcher · Laser-Guided Rocket Pod · Longspear Rocket Launcher · Mortar · Mulcher · One-Shot · Rocket Launcher · Salvo Rocket Launcher · Scorcher Flamethrower · Silverback Rocket Launcher · Stomper · Tripwire Crossbow · Tri-Shot Chain Gun · Twin-Barrel Turret · UIR Machine Gun · UIR Minigun · Ultra-Violet Turret · Vulcan Gatling Gun
Super-Heavy Weapons Asp SAM Turret · Ball Turrets · Brader · Defence Missile System · High Velocity Main Cannon · Flechette Guns · Fortress Artillery Cannon · Industrial Staple Gun · Kestrel Missile Launcher · Mega Mech Gatling Gun · Naval Gun · Pariah Cannon · Railgun · Torpedo · UIR Artillery Battery · UIR Anti-Air Turret
Weapons of Mass Destruction Hammer of Dawn · Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon · Lightmass Bomb · Lightmass Missile · Nuclear Missile · Venom Bomb
Equipment Adrenaline Injector · Barrier · Blow Torch · COG/UIR Ammo Crates · Cloak · COG Armor · COG Tag · Fire Extinguisher · Gas Mask · Gut-Puncher · Propane Tanks · Pulse · Remote Targeting System · Stim · UIR Armor · UIR Tag
Other Bow · Flash · Hijack · Shock Trap
Melee Weapons Butcher Cleaver · Breaker Mace · Combat Knife · Crystal Tooth Bayonet · Dual Chainsaw Staff · Explosive Flail · Serrated Knife · Staff · Tremor Hammer
Rifles Breechshot · Claw Light Machine Gun · Hammerburst Assault Rifle (Gorgon variant) · Hammerburst II
Shotguns Elite Sawed-Off Shotgun
Sidearms Boltok Pistol · Gorgon Submachine Gun
Grenades Bolo Grenade · Ink Grenade · Kryll Grenade
Heavy Weapons Boomshot Grenade Launcher · Canker · Digger Launcher · Multi-Turret · Nemacyst · Reaver Chain Gun · Torque Bow · Troika Heavy Machine Gun (RAAM's variant)
Super-Heavy Weapons Brumak Rocket Launcher · Wrist-Mounted Chain Gun · Brumak Rocket Mortar · Corpser Mine Layer · Hydra Missile Pod · Hydra Rocket Pod · Locust Defense Tower · Reaver Rocket Launcher · Siegebeast Catapult
Weapons of Mass Destruction Riftworm
Equipment Boom Shield · Imulsion Explosive Canister · Imulsion Injection Harness · Immune System Booster · Locust Ammo Crates · Locust Armor · Locust Emblem · Swarm Armor · Thumper · Torture Pod
Other Ticker
Easter Egg Weapons
Melee Weapons Elemental Cleavers · Fish Stick
Rifles A Real Gun
Shotguns Raging Buccaneer
Sidearms Despicable You · Memento Mori
Grenades Dom's Toms
Heavy Weapons Cluckshot · Trackshot
Other Relic Weapons