The M3 is a very powerful pump-action shotgun available to both teams. The M3 is very effective in close quarters combat and is commonly seen on Office and Nuke. Because both shotguns are fairly similar, both are used. For those reasons, the M3 is a fairly popular weapon although not comparable to the AWSM, M4A1, AK-47, XM1014, or Desert Eagle and is almost never seen in tournaments and in public servers.
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The M3 is a fairly heavy weapon. While wielded, the player's movement speed is 220 units per second (default speed is 250), meaning they suffer heavy speed reduction. The M3 is one of the few weapons that is unable to fire underwater.
- High damage at close range
- Has a high chance of receiving an instant kill if all pellets hit a target, especially if the target is unarmored.
- Deals a higher damage per shot than the XM1014 on armored target.
- Good weapon for close range combat and flanking on single target.
- Lower spread compared to XM1014
- High damage for a cheap weapon.
- Pump-Action (low rate of fire)
- The pumping animation will hamper the user's view
- Not reliable at longer ranges
- A poor weapon of choice against large groups of enemy players
- Long reload time, if all shells have been used
- Heavier than the XM1014
- Easily countered with rifles and SMGs
- Cannot fire underwater
- Aiming for the head is the best technique to obtain easy one hit kills at close quarters. However, it can be risky as some of the pellets may miss your target so be sure to confront the enemy within acceptable distances and when no one is aware of your presence. If you have trouble scoring headshots, aim for the chest or neck.
- Take cover while reloading, also, try to take cover or strafe between each pump.
- Combining this weapon with the use of grenades and/or fast pistols is a good strategy.
- If hiding in corners, this weapon and the Benelli M4 Super 90 are the best for easy and quick kills.
- Try not to be out in the open with this weapon equipped. Players can easily kill you at long range.
- Switch to the sidearm at medium to long range; the Desert Eagle is the best sidearm to engage the enemies due of the high damage and good accuracy.
- This may be a shotgun but do not underestimate its range. Shotgun pellets do not disappear after a certain distance in Valve games so this weapon has a longer range than would be expected in an FPS.
- Getting a second shot is unlikely against rifle or SMG users. When possible, don't fire until you can expect 100 damage or if enemy is still not aware of your presence.
- Work with your teammates; if your shot doesn't kill, your teammates can take the opponent down or you can finish up wounded enemies at close range.
- Use a Smoke grenade or a Flashbang to help you get closer to your target.
- When facing an enemy close to your position, ensure that you fire your M3 first, preferably at the head or chest, and retreat when you have to pump the weapon after firing a shell. You can also use a flashbang with this tactic to assist you.
- Shooting while hiding around a corner can increase your chances of scoring a kill.
- If friendly-fire is enabled, avoid shooting the M3, along with the XM1014, at clustered groups of enemy and allied players. The high spread of the pellets can lead to unintentional damage on allies.
- This shotgun is often used by campers to ambush enemies in enclosed areas. Vice versa, highly skilled players use the M3 to swiftly kill camping players, providing that they are fast enough, especially in Source.
- When against an enemy that is standing behind a crate or any other non-destroyable object while their upper body is visible (like in the map Prodigy) and you are at medium range, switch to a sidearm if possible; the spread of the shotgun cannot guarantee kill an enemy player unless they are on low health, which is just wasting ammo and giving the assailant is using cover an opportunity to easily kill you with any other weapon.
- In Counter-Strike: Source, the M3 is more effective due to lower spread thus killing enemies is much easier when aimed at the chest. However, the spread of the pellets will increase if the user jumps and moves.
- Use long and medium range weapons against its users.
- Grenades against its users also works, flash its users if you need to fight in close quarters.
- Avoid all close contact with M3 users.
- If you have XM1014, you can use the rate of fire to your advantage, though this is still risky.
- If you have Sniper rifle and the M3 user is close, keep moving and use your sidearm to defend yourself.
- Automatic weapons may give the user an advantage due to the M3's slow rate of fire, low-damage SMGs may give the shotgun user a chance to fire a second round though.
- The pumping animation for the M3 can hamper the sight perspective for users thus making them unable to clearly see where their targets are moving. Due to this, use this exploit to your advantage by strafe left-right and gunning down the M3 user.
- Make evasion your top priority; the enemy player's pump time will be your best opportunity to counter-attack.
- Use cover if possible if they are at medium range, the spread of the shotgun is ineffective against an enemy that is standing behind a object. Although you must kill the M3 user before they are able to charge you at close range.
- Higher damage
- Lower pellet spread
- Higher magazine size (8 shells vs 7 shells)
- Cheaper ($1700 compared to $3000)
- Available for both factions
- Same ammunition type (12 gauge)
- Same amount of reserve ammo (32 shells)
- Both weapon cannot fire underwater
- Slower rate of fire (68 rpm compared to 240 rpm)
- Pump-action (if one shot misses, it will give the combatant less likely to resist retaliation, unlike the XM1014's semi-automatic.)
- Lower movement speed (220 units per seconds vs 240 units per second)
- Longer reload time (4.6 seconds vs 4.2 seconds)
| Leone 12 Gauge Super Expert|
Kill 200 enemy players with the Leone 12 Gauge Super.
- In Counter-Strike, the M3 has two different pump animations while in Condition Zero, there are two identical pump animations.
- The entity spawn code for this weapon is m3.
- The M3 is one of four weapons that cannot fire underwater, the others being the Leone YG1265 Auto Shotgun, IDF Defender, and Clarion 5.56.
- In-game, the M3 does not have the ability to switch from pump action to semi-automatic operation (which can be done with the real life counterpart). The pump action mode of the M3 is mainly used to fire low velocity defense loads for non-lethal, riot control ammunition, which can cause stoppages while firing in automatic mode. These types of ammunition is common among police, law enforcement, and sometimes used by Counter-Terrorist units.
- The M3 does more damage than the XM1014, despite they share the same ammo. This was implemented for balancing reasons. This is not true in real-life, as pump-action are less lethal than semi-automatic.
- In Deleted Scenes however, the effect is the same.
- In Counter-Strike: Source, the view model shows that the rear sights have been removed, but the sights still show up on the weapon's world model. In first-person view, it has a ghost ring sight attached and a unusable flashlight kept on it. This shows that the view model is remade after the BETA stage.
- The M3 is the only weapon that can perform an instant kill if hit the legs, possibly to balance the pumping action, in case if all pellets hit the target.
- The flashlight attached to this shotgun is only usable in Counter-Strike: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes. Thus, it produces different fire sounds.
- This shotgun is not available for Terrorists in Assassination maps.
- The sounds for the pumping animation may not be properly synced when the user is reloading this shotgun.
- Main article: Leone 12 Gauge Super/Gallery
- M3 at Wikipedia