- "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 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.
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 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. Additionally, it had huge recoil and was only effective at point-blank range as it's 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 opponents neck and twisting their hips breaking the enemies neck.
- It has more of a kick than the Gnasher, and more power as is 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.
- 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.
- 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-er!".
- 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.