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Steampunk Shotgun

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That would almost have to be a double barrel boxlock (semiauto) break open shotgun.  However, the Winchester 1887 lever action repeating shotgun came out in ...1887; it wouldn't be too hard for a PC to get hold of a "prototype" a year early.  Either of these would be 10- or 12-gauge.

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Well British arms makers had perfected the breech-loading shotgun by 1860, so any breech loader would be quite reliable.  If you're looking for something more stylish, there is the concept of the "best gun," which was essentially _any_ British double-barreled shotgun of high build quality, from any high-end manufacturer.  As, by the end of the 1860s, any British double-barreled shotgun was as good reliability-wise as any other, high-end makers pushed the envelop of aesthetics with exotic woods, inlays, metal work, engraving, etc; these firearms were known collectively as "best guns."


I think one of the most beautiful examples of a best gun is the Robertson side-by-side:





Now that particular gun is from around the 1890s, as denoted by the single trigger.  However, I noted you said "steampunk," so I have to ask you if you are looking for off-the-shelf guns or "guns that could have been," in which case I have no problem with the idea that your made inventor reached forward thirty years or so and invented the selector switch, or even the selective ejector and ran with it.


As Indiana Joe mentions, there were revolving shotguns.  These were sales failures, as they were only practical with rifle rests or bipods.  I don't know how familiar you are with firearms, but let me just run this past you:


A revolver is necessarily not a sealed mechanism: the cylinder has to rotate, after all.  The result is that there is a considerable amount of super-heated gases from the powder explosion that are expelled between the cylinder and the barrel of the weapon.  Raise your hands into what Jake Johansen once called "the international shotgun gesture" and notice how they are placed.  For most people, your dominant hand will be forward on the stock, fingers around the mechanism.  Your other hand will be further forward, under the rear of the barrel, so as to steady and help aim.  It's also _just_ forward of where that revolving cylinder was located, meaning that the forearm, wrist, and the hand itself-- depending on your stature, physical strength, and shooting style-- were in the "blast zone" for that gaseous discharge.  Not at _all_ a pleasant experience.  Though again, Steampunk.  If it's something one of your characters invented, then perhaps they have found a way to deal with that problem.


Realistically, save in terms of materials used and the capacity of the weapon, shotguns have changed very, very little from their inception, with the LCKD belt-fed shotgun being perhaps the most notable exception (don't look for one outside South Africa, and I don't think you're going to find them there anymore, either.  They weren't as trouble-free as they were meant to be, and-- well, let's face it:  there's really only one use for a short-range high-dispersal weapon with a belt feed.  The term "fish in a barrel" comes to mind, and the idea that there was a government with these things was...  unsettling....  Let's just call it "crowd control" and let it go.



Now if you mean "how would it be built with HERO mechanics...   Then you're bumping up against one of my personal depression triggers: the fact that HERO-- born of a super-hero system-- has almost no granularity at the "realistic" end of the spectrum (as it was from it's inception meant to model the completely fantastic), and in truth, it is impossible to model the nuances of the difference between one gun and another of the same type using the system.  All guns end up with a depressing amount of sameness using HERO.  If you doubt that, then pick up a copy of Kevin Dockery's "The Armory" (available as a PDF scan of the second printing of the paper book in the HERO store on this site.  I believe it's listed under the 1e banner, though it was released during and more closely follows the 2e rules.   Hundreds of weapons; six possible builds.   :(


However, I suggest at the very _least_ "The Armory" (either printing is fine; only the cover art is different) for anyone wanting to run a "real world" game with HERO; I also suggest "Guns! Guns! Guns!" (commonly called 3G3) and "More Guns: Weapons for all Tech Levels for 3g3," both by Greg Porter and released during the 4e of HERO.  Unfortunately, I don't know that "More Guns" was ever available in PDF.   There is also "Edge of the Sword vol 1: Compendium of Modern Firearms," also by Dockery and also released during the HERO system 4e era.  I _know_ that it's no longer available on PDF, as Dockery states as much on his website (the digital files were lost), but it it still available directly from him or other sources (new and used) on the web.


Note that there has been no official HERO product that provides lists of weapons and data, unless you want to just strip that information out of all the published HERO stuff and compile it (which I am suddenly interested in doing....  :D  ) and that of the four books I recommended to you, none are "official" HERO products.  However, all give HERO stats for the weapons (as well as stats for other popular-at-the-time games), and are a no-brainer for fitting in to your campaign.



I hope something here helps.





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