In this episode we're covering the third Shotgun - the SPAS-12.
It's a semi-automatic weapon, and is unlocked at level 24.
The Franchi Special Purpose Automatic Shotgun, or the SPAS-12, hails from Italian arms manufacturer, Luigi Franchi.
First produced in 1979, the weapon is unusual in that it can be used in both a semi-automatic and pump-action mode.
This means the SPAS-12 can fire cartridges that otherwise might lack the power to cycle a semi-automatic weapon - such as less-than-lethal rounds or tear gas.
In spite of this versatility, the dual-mode operation adds weight and complexity to the weapon - adding to its expense and limiting its suitability to niche roles.
It was the 'lack of sporting purpose' that led to the weapon being banned from import in the United States, making the SPAS-12 a rare weapon known for its distinctive appearance and prolific presence in cinema.
The tube magazine holds 8 rounds, making the SPAS-12 the shotgun with the highest capacity in Black Ops.
The cartridge fired is your standard 2 and 3-quarter inch 12-gauge cartridge, as usual for a weapon in this class.
Damage in-game is low compared to the Olympia and Stakeout - although the SPAS-12 is entirely capable of killing in one shot, you'll notice it will take 2 or 3 shots to kill towards the end of your effective range.
Thankfully the low damage is balanced somewhat with a good rate of fire and healthy magazine - as a semi-auto weapon you can usually rely on getting the shots you need on target in relatively short order.
312 rounds per minute is less than most semi-automatic weapons, but with the close-range power of the SPAS-12, it's more than adequate.
Aim time is quick at 200 milliseconds, but the iron sights are very obstructive on the SPAS-12 - so it's fortunate that hipfiring is almost always the way to go, especially if you're using Steady Aim.
Reload is done shell-by-shell, and is a little slower than the Stakeout - especially if you have to replenish the entire 8-round magazine.
Still, reloading can be cancelled partway should you run into trouble, and if done with care should seldom result in your death.
While silenced shotguns aren't new to the Call of Duty series - the suppressed SPAS-12 is notable in that the Suppressor does not impact your effective range in any way.
Given that you'll be spending a lot of time in close proximity to your enemy, the suppressor is invaluable in keeping you alive - there's really no excuse not to use it.
For that reason, my attachment recommendation for the SPAS-12 is simple: Use the suppressor.
For your equipment, in the absence of Marathon, Tactical Insertions are very, very useful.
As a ghost with a shotgun, spawning in an unexpected place will often work to your advantage.
With the ability to cancel the insertion spawn should it be compromised, the risks of spawning so close to the enemy can be mitigated - and in my experience most enemies will be entirely unaware that the blinking light will soon spell their doom.
Careful movement is a core skill for any stealth class - rather than rushing blindly into combat, instead you must bide your time, watch the radar and get a sense for your enemy's position.
There's more to stealth than prowling in the shadows, however - and you'll need to perform a fair bit of manoeuvring to get into an ideal position.
Striking from the flank or rear is absolutely the best approach with any suppressed weapon, so in some cases you'll need to take the long way round to ensure a better chance at a successful strike.
You'll want to avoid central, open areas - most of them will leave you exposed across multiple angles, and at ranges where you won't be competitive - instead move as much as possible through less-trafficked areas of the map, and covered locations and interiors.
The SPAS-12 is a potent stealth weapon, unique in that it's the only shotgun with the suppressor attachment available - and unusual in that it doesn't hamper the weapon's performance.
This combination of a close range one-hit kill and the suppressor makes it a devastating weapon when employed against inattentive foes - allowing you to strike a group from the flank or rear and destroy them all before the last realises their demise.
As with all the shotguns though, your limited range is your downfall - and if you're caught outside it you won't stand much of a chance.
Even at close range it's important to maintain the element of surprise, as the SPAS-12's lower damage might mean you'll need multiple shots on target to secure the kill. Faster follow-up shots mean the weapon is more forgiving of poor aim - and more suited to dislodging defenders and clearing rooms.
If played to its strengths there's no doubting its effectiveness in close quarters - and when paired with the suppressor the SPAS-12 is silent - but deadly.