M90A shotgun

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M90A Close Assault Weapon System
Production overview


Weapon System Technology[1][2]

Model series:

DTM series[1]


Pump-action shotgun[1][2]


cR 2200[1]



  • (o/a): 123.9 centimetres (48.8 in)[1][Note 1]
  • (Barrel): 61 centimetres (24 in)[1]


  • Empty: 5.4 kilograms (12 lb)[1]
  • Loaded: 5.7 kilograms (13 lb)[1]

Ammunition type:

8-Gauge Magnum[1]

Feed system:

6-shell dual-tubular non-detachable magazine[1]



Muzzle velocity:

300-400 m/s (980-1300 f/s)[1]

Effective range:

40 metres (130 ft)[1]

Service history

In service:


"The kick is milder with the [M90A]—not that it was that bad to begin with—sometimes progress just seems like change, if you catch my meaning."
— An anonymous E2-BAG/1/7 serviceman comparing the M90A to the M90 shotgun.[1]

The M90A Close Assault Weapon System, or M90A CAWS,[3][2] is a powerful pump-action shotgun in the service of the United Nations Space Command and law enforcement authorities as a standard close-quarters assault weapon.[4] The M90A is a variant of the M90 shotgun prioritised for urban tactical warfare, and is the preferred close-quarters weapon for use by civil defence authorities.[2] It is a variant of the widespread DTM series produced by Weapon System Technology.[1]


Design details[edit]

"The adjustable stock on the M90 works just fine, but I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for the DTM/LE model—old habits die hard I guess."
Robert Grove[1]

A variant of the M90 shotgun, the M90A fires the tremendously powerful 8-gauge magnum cartridge, generally the 0000-variant, feeding from a 6-shell dual-tubular non-detachable. The weapon has an overall length of 123.9 cm and a barrel length of 61 cm.[Note 1] It weighs 5.4 kg empty and 5.7 when fully loaded.[1] It has a characteristic shape, with the prominent non-detachable magazine positioned above the barrel, atop which are positioned a set of blue-glowing illuminated iron sights. Below the barrel, the forend (or "pump") follows a protruding rod. Into the forend is inserted a reddish button. On the weapon's left side, mounted along the barrel, is a flashlight. The adjustable stock, pistol grip and forend of the weapon have a matte black finish, with the rest of the weapon being a dark, metallic gray. The receiver port of the weapon is located on top of its body, roughly in-line with the trigger on the underside. It features a chrome finish, distinguishing it from the rest of the weapon's body.[5][6]


"I believe that the sound of racking the pump of a shotgun is universally recognized as "kiss your ass goodbye"."
— Anonymous E2-BAG/1/7 serviceman[1]
An M90A being discharged, firing standard 8-gauge magnum ammunition.

When using standard 0000 8-Gauge Magnum ammunition, the weapon does not fire a single projectile but a spray of small pellets known as "buckshot", each of which leaves the weapon's barrel travelling at 300–400 m/s in a plume of fiery gasses.[1] After the weapon is discharged via the depression of a trigger positioned at the top of the pistol grip, the forend of the weapon (which acts as a foregrip for the user's non-dominant hand) must be retracted towards the stock by the user, ejecting the spent shell of the round just fired. When the forend is fully retracted, the way will have been cleared for an elevator to position a new shell from the magazine so that it can be loaded as the forend is once again pushed forward in the direction of the muzzle.[5][6]

At any point, the weapon's non-detachable magazine can be topped off or reloaded with more individual shells via the receiver. Once the magazine has been topped off, the weapon's action is cycled before firing can recommence.[5][6]


"The shotgun is a specialist weapon—it has its uses, but they are limited. Maybe it is more accurate to call it a tool, as opposed to a weapon?"
— Anonymous E2-BAG/1/7 serviceman[1]

The M90A is a simple weapon, quite easy for any shooter to make use of. When firing standard ammunition, it possesses an effective range of 40 metres (130 ft), an extreme degree of stopping power at close range, and a situationally beneficial lack of propensity to cause unintended damage to hard targets such as spacecraft hulls. It features noticeably milder recoil than other variants of the DTM series. A marine of E2-BAG/1/7 noted that the M90A's usefulness outside its specific role was somewhat limited, musing that it would perhaps be better thought of as a tool than a weapon.[1]

Operational history[edit]

"The action I saw against the Flood on Delta Halo was pretty limited—thankfully—and you would think that the M90 would be the ultimate anti-Flood weapon, right? Except that a shotgun is effective because it delivers a massive shock to a delicately balance system of organs and the Flood don’t have that delicately balanced system of organs—it’s like shooting a mike foxtrot tree! All you can really hope to do is disassemble them as rapidly as possible in the correct order."
— Anonymous E2-BAG/1/7 serviceman[1]

The M90A saw limited use among members of E2-BAG/1/7 during the Battle of Installation 05.[1] It was prominently employed during the Battle of Earth, including the Battle of Mombasa,[7] the Attack on Crow's Nest, and the Battle of Voi, by UNSC marines,[8] NMPD officers,[7] and in at least one case, civilian combatants.[9] It was also used during the Battle of Installation 00.[10] After the war, the M90A was one of many weapons featured in the report Machines, Materiel and Munitions from the Human-Covenant Conflict, 2525 - Present by Dr. Robert McLees,[1] and an M90A was displayed in the Museum of Humanity.[11]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b In the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), the M90A's length is discrepantly given as 47.9 inches (122 cm).


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x, The M90A Shotgun (Retrieved on Jun 8, 2020) [local archive] [external archive]
  2. ^ a b c d Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 173
  3. ^ Halo 3 manual, page 12: "SHOTGUN M90A CAWS"
  4. ^, Halo 3 Service Record, Tools of Destruction: "The UNSC's resident close-quarters assault weapon." (Retrieved on Jan 19, 2021) [archive]
  5. ^ a b c Halo 3, Shotgun in-game weapon
  6. ^ a b c Halo 3: ODST, Shotgun in-game weapon
  7. ^ a b Halo 3: ODST, campaign level ONI Alpha Site
  8. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Crow's Nest
  9. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Storm
  10. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
  11. ^ Halo 3 marketing, Believe campaign, Enemy Weapon