The M3 deals very high damage at close range when all pellets from a single shot hit, with a high chance to deal an instant kill if all pellets hit the target, especially if the target has no armor. It deals higher damage per shot than the XM1014, and has a lower spread compared to the XM1014. At range, the shotgun's high spread makes it almost impossible to hit anything,
In Source, the damage is reduced roughly 20% when all pellets hits the enemy's head or chest at point blank range, though still enough to kill in one shot if all pellets hits a target.
It is possible to get double/multiple kills with one shot when enemy targets are clustered together. In GoldSrc games, if enemies are very wounded and are close to each other, the spread can hit multiple enemies and scoring double kill. In Source, because of every firearms now has ability to penetrate through other players and tighter spread, enemies lined up behind each other can also be killed in single shot but makes clustered enemies harder to hit however.
Being a pump-action shotgun, the weapon has a low rate of fire and a delay after each shot to operate the pump, making a follow-up shot more difficult whereas the XM1014 can make a quick follow-up shot due to being automatic. In earlier games, one of the pumping animations will also block the user's crosshair, though this animation is removed in later games. It is also heavier than the XM1014, and has a longer reload time which becomes especially time-consuming when reloading all 8 shells.
The reloading process involves individually loading new shells into the weapon's loading port. It is possible to interrupt the reload and fire mid-reload by pressing the primary attack key during the reload.
|Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero|
|Chest & Arm||171||85|
|Red signifies a fatal hit|
|Chest & Arm||120*||108*|
|All pellets hit|
|Each shot contains 9 pellets|
|* Damage done in 1 M|
Note: Damage is reduced by 20% when pellets hits the same place at point blank, but it still instant kill. (Head and chest only).
- Getting a second shot is unlikely against rifle or SMG users due to the pump-action delaying a follow up shot. This weapon relies on its one-shot-kill potential to be effective, thus when possible, don't fire until you can expect 100 damage or if enemy is still not aware of your presence.
- 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.
- Use ambush tactics and anticipate enemy movement through areas. Hide behind corners and surprise enemies. Catching an enemy off guard can usually guarantee a close-ranged lethal headshot.
- 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.
- Try not to be out in the open with this weapon equipped. Players can easily kill you at long range. Instead, switch to a sidearm at medium and long ranges; a Desert Eagle is usually an acceptable sidearm to engage enemies due to its high damage and good accuracy. However, if the small magazine size is a deterrent, use a Five-SeveN or the .40 Dual Elites. If your sidearm is not effective as well, retreat to a safe place.
- Take cover while reloading, try to take cover or strafe between each pump; also keep the weapon loaded by reloading after each 1 or 2 shot is also a good idea.
- Combining this weapon with the use of grenades and/or pistols with a high rate of fire is a good strategy. If the first shot does not kill, switch to a sidearm which may increase your chances of survival.
- 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.
- When against an enemy that is standing behind a crate or any other indestructible 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 to 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 as it has lower spread compared to early games, thus killing enemies is much easier when aimed at the chest. Also, if all pellets hit the chest of a target, it results in an instant kill unlike in previous games. At closer ranges, aiming at any other areas will usually have the same result as long as all pellets hit a target. At medium to close ranges, an assailant can only be immediately killed if a headshot is scored.
The M3 appeared in the following maps:
In Tour of Duty, Kenny is the only bot that uses the Leone 12 Gauge Super as a main weapon, using it with the Night Hawk .50C as a sidearm. Bots that prefer the Leone YG1625 Auto Shotgun or M249 may buy this shotgun if they are low on funds.
The Leone 12 Gauge Super gains the ability to use its attached flashlight for seeing in dark areas, and seems to have a tighter cone of spread than its multiplayer version. The shotgun appears in the following missions:
- Counter Terrorist Training: Provided to the player in the dark obstacle course to demonstrate its flashlight function. Can also be seen behind the weapons counter at the shooting range.
- DrugLab: The player starts the level with the weapon.
- Motorcade Assault: In a crate on the other side of the gate in the area where the GIGN fought the Midwest Militia.
- Thin Ice: On a table in the upper deck of the engine room, where the first terrorist with a Machete emerges.
- Hankagai: Shortly after encountering the civilian the gang leader shoved aside, the player will see a set of stairs leading up to a locked door and a potted plant. Next to the plant is the shotgun.
- Fastline: On the ground after a corner wall near where a group of Kidotai are killed by an M72 LAW.
- Truth in Chaos: On a bench in the room with the bars and the vent near the beginning of the mission. Another M3 appears in the start the tunnel at the end of the mission, but picking it up has no effect if the player already has the shotgun.
- Run!: Near the beginning of the level, the player shoots a pair of explosive barrels against a wall to escape from pursuing Akunin. The shotgun is on the other side of the wall.
Behind the scenes
- The weapon was planned to be featured in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but was replaced with the Nova during development.
- Sounds of weapon can still found in map sound manifests along with other weapons predecessors.
csgo.fgdfrom Global Offensive game files suggests that the weapon reuses the spawn entity of Left 4 Dead 2's Auto Shotgun.
- The sounds for the pumping animation may not be properly synced when the user is reloading the shotgun.
- In Counter-Strike: Source, the pump animation for the shotgun shows the tip of the flashlight within the fore-end remaining stationary while the shaft stretches out with the pump.
- In Counter-Strike, the weapon contains a weaponlight fore-end and heat shield, both of which do not exist in real life for the Benelli M3.
- In Counter-Strike and Source, the M3 has two different pump animations, while in Condition Zero, there is only one animation.
- In Counter-Strike, one of the weapon's pumping animation obstructs 3/4 of the screen including the crosshair. The obstructive pumping animation was removed in Condition Zero and reworked in Source so that the pump animation would only use 1/2 of the screen without blocking the crosshair.
- 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 usable flashlight kept on it. This shows that the view model is remade after the BETA stage.
- If all pellets hit, this weapon inflicts the highest amount of damage per shot, followed by the Magnum Sniper Rifle.
- In Counter-Strike: Source, the draw animation's sound is the pumping sound in Counter-Strike 1.6, while the pumping sound after firing is the pumping sound in Condition Zero and Condition Zero Deleted Scenes.
- Its pre-attached flashlight is only usable in Deleted Scenes. This applies the same to the MP5.
- The M3 appears in all 4 Deleted Scenes missions that takes place in Japan: Hankagai, Fastline, Truth in Chaos, and Run!, as well as the USP.
- In Counter-Strike, the M3's reload animation appears to show ejected shells rising from the ground and falling into the ejection port, the opposite of what should be happening.
- EXTREMELY early versions of Counter-Strike featured the SPAS-12 from Half-Life instead of the M3.
- Benelli M3 on Wikipedia