Shotguns are a favorite among many weapon lovers for their style and firing mode: high damage slugs with a high spread, contrasted by a low range and low rate of fire. You want to always be on the wielding side of those - especially as they are the first weapon in your arsenal that deals splash damage.
Shotguns deliver 50% Splash Damage over a radius of 1. This is the first weapon with splash damage that survivors can use. Shotguns are considered to be Rifles and enjoy all modifiers that come from the Rifle skill tree.
Shotguns can only be used with survivors that have the Rare Firearms Skill - so they are usually reserved to level 4 survivors that maximized their Rifles skill.
In Judgment, shotguns are a rare Tier II weapon that Survivors can craft and use in combat.