Ye Olde Shotgun

This week’s edition of “Weapons” brings us to a category that doesn’t receive much love: shotguns. This particular weapon so happens to be the very first shotgun added to the game — the plentiful and reliable IZH-43.

Making it’s debut early on with the 0.32 update, it instilled some much-needed variety to the pool of available weapons. It also gave players the first killing tool that felt most comfortable in close range combat. Let’s take a closer look at this break-action beauty and get to know its finer qualities.

Baikal IZH-43

The double-barreled, single-trigger Baikal IZH-43 shotgun is manufactured by the Izhevsky Mekhanichesky Zavod Corporation in Izhevsk, Russia. It can be hard to nail down a year when this gun began production, but the company was founded in 1942 and it saw some use in World War 2 by Soviet troops, so it’s reasonable to assume that manufacture of the weapon started around that time (likely 1943 as is often indicated by firearm names).

The IZH is a side-by-side shotgun utilizing a barrel selector to switch between sides. By design, this means both barrels cannot be fired at the same time. It also features chrome plating for both bore and chamber to resist corrosion and standard threading for choke tubes.

In addition to custom sawed-off variations, the IZH has been offered with barrels of varying size to suit different uses: 20″ (50.8cm), 24″ (61cm), 26″ (66cm), and 28″ (71.1cm). The standard model in-game appears to be based on either the 24″ or 26″ version.

Above all else, this gun is known for its durability. Soviet dedication to simple, reliable, inexpensive designs is just as evident here as it shows in the AK family of guns. It has few fancy tricks and brings with it no special qualities, it simply guarantees to get the job done no matter what.


Picture courtesy of user Mateogala.

Tool of the Outdoorsman

Owing to its ruggedness and ease of use, the IZH-43 makes an excellent primary for those who tend to stick to the wilderness. You don’t need long range or large capacity if you carry a pair of binoculars and make your shots count.

It packs more than enough power to take down any animal currently roaming Chernarus as long as you’re not careful to spook them out of the weapon’s effective range, and thanks to its break-action design, the gun is quick to reload should you need to put extra shots down range at your target.

Small Game Hunter

Despite packing enough power to kill just about anything, the IZH is best used against smaller targets where you can benefit from the wide area of fire unique to shotguns. In particular, it would be most effective in a situation where a smaller animal is moving too erratically for you to get a good shot off and you want to ensure that they do not escape.

While low-recoil .22 caliber weapons like the Sporter or Trumpet can be useful against small targets, shotguns like the IZH can do the job in one easy shot if you’re careful. This shotgun may have fared better against larger and more agile targets if 12 gauge slugs were still available, but they were killed off with the 0.48 update.

For more info about the 12 gauge slug rounds, please visit the wiki page:

Shorten It Up

By taking a hacksaw to the IZH-43, you reduce its length by nearly half. This completely transforms the weapon from a tactical perspective, sacrificing range for a reduced footprint. At seven slots wide, the standard shotgun is far too big to fit in your inventory and can only be carried on your back, but the little four-slot sawed-off comfortably fits in most backpacks, many vests, and even some jackets.

While the standard length IZH has an effective range of 50m (and can be useful up to 100m), the sawed-off version is really only viable at distances less than 25m and preferably under 10m. It is an extreme trade-off for the privilege of carrying a concealed weapon as powerful as a shotgun.

Low Maintenance

This gun keeps things simple, whether you’re using the standard or sawed-off version. Just pick it up and go, no worrying about attachments or whether or not you’re going to find ammo for it. Straightforward design means quick reloads during chaotic urban combat situations and a box or two of 12 gauge buck shot will keep you going for a while.

No need for trips to high-risk military locations to fuel the upkeep of this metal and wood classic.

On the Receiving End

This weapon is everywhere, and fires relatively abundant ammunition as well. This means you will see it everywhere, and it usually ends up in the hands of those who are most desperate to inflict harm on others. Even still, everyone underestimates this reliable old firearm until it breaks their legs and leaves them unconscious and bleeding out.

It’s highly like you will, as the title says, find yourself on the receiving end of these double barrels on many occasions.


Wherever it goes, the IZH-43 makes a lot of noise. There’s no getting around it: this is a loud weapon. As much fun as it can be to act out Bruce Campbell fantasies against the local Zeds, the low capacity of this gun makes tackling a crowd of them a risky proposition. It will put down the first two quick, but you better get moving in the other direction when it comes time to reload.

At the very least, this weapon is good at beating its own chest in a display of force that sometimes outweighs its own performance. Even if you don’t kill your enemy, you’ve probably sent them running.

Shared by Tatanko on January 4, 2016

The fourth in a many-part series covering the different weapons found in DayZ Standalone.

Many thanks to /u/SeskaRotan for assisting with the album.

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