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Brigid Tenenbaum

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For the Shotgun in BioShock and BioShock 2, see Shotgun (Rapture).
Nothing handles a cluster of enemies faster than a spray of buckshot from the CHINA BROOM.
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The China Broom, known in-game as both the Shotgun and the Heater, is a spread-fire weapon featured in the arsenal of weapons in BioShock Infinite. Both variants of this lever-action shotgun are available to and usable by Booker DeWitt, as a primarily close-range weapon.


BSI Weapons 5

The Shotgun is a reasonably common weapon, used occasionally by Founders and Vox Populi members, as well as being commonly found on the ground, or summonable through Tears. It can be first acquired by the player reasonably early in the game, carried by several Founder ambushers in Battleship Bay. The Shotgun is incredibly effective in close quarters, capable of killing most standard enemies in one shot at point-blank range, and even certain Heavy Hitters in only a few shots, namely Firemen and Zealots. It has very clear sights and decent handling, capable of quickly dispatching enemies that get too close, supplementing the Sky-Hook as an effective close-quarters deterrent. Furthermore, the Shotgun is uniquely capable of firing during a reload if there is at least one shell loaded, limiting the danger that usually comes with long reload times.

However, the Shotgun is not necessarily effective as a primary weapon, mainly because of its very limited range, losing most effectiveness at mid-range and causing no damage beyond that. Although it is possible to kill standard enemies in a couple of shots at medium range, it would be very inefficient use of somewhat limited ammunition, and the player would be advised to actually advance towards the enemy before firing, which can be dangerous in large firefights. Indeed, the Shotgun's small capacity of four shells means that the player will be reloading often if they depend on the Shotgun too heavily. Thus, it is advised to pair the Shotgun with a decent mid-range weapon, such as the Machine Gun or Carbine. However, the Shotgun's lack of mid-range utility can be circumvented by judicious use of the Charge Vigor, which will allow the player to instantly bring themselves into close range, blast a few opponents away, and ideally charge at a distant enemy to escape.

Although the Shotgun is capable of instantly killing standard enemies, its very high damage means that it can be very useful against tougher enemies such as Beasts and Handymen, capable of quickly reducing their health in a few headshots, or heartshots in the case of the Handyman. However, it can be very dangerous to engage enemies such as these in close-quarters, so it is advised to stun tougher foes first with Shock Jockey or possibly Bucking Bronco, and then quickly retreat to reload after attacking, another good way of getting close to the enemy is using the Return to Sender Vigor to collect bullets from enemies and to get as close to the enemy and unleashing a devastating shot. Ammunition for the Shotgun is very common, and can be frequently salvaged or bought cheaply from Dollar Bill vendors, but this ammunition can be depleted alarmingly quickly in longer firefights on higher difficulties.

BSI Weapons 5


  • Effective in close quarters
  • One-shot kills
  • Clear sights
  • Effective against clusters of enemies
  • Head Master increases critical damage
  • Common ammunition
  • Comstock China Broom: 35% (replaces Damage Boost 1)


  • Loses damage with distance
  • Long reload time (can be improved with reload speed upgrade)
  • Low ammunition capacity

Preorder Exclusive[]

GameStop customers who preordered BioShock Infinite and those who bought the DLC Columbia's Finest will also get Comstock's China Broom Shotgun. This upgrade for the China Broom Shotgun comes with a unique skin and an exclusive damage enhancement.


BSI Weapons 10

The Vox Heater is a modified China Broom, used exclusively by the Vox Populi. It differs in appearance from the default Shotgun, with a generally simpler texture, as well as the distinctive red tape around the barrel that marks it as a Vox weapon. The muzzle is opened out like that of a blunderbuss, and briefly glows bright orange after firing each shot. A uniquely named version of the gun called the "Replica Heater" can be first acquired in Toy Soldiers on the Soldier's Field boardwalk, although taking it before the eventual firefight breaks out will cause all nearby Police to turn hostile. The standard Heater is only encountered much later in the game during the Vox Revolt, carried by certain Vox soldiers in Emporia.

The Heater is functionally similar to the Shotgun, providing very high damage at close range, serving as a brutal backup weapon to enemies that get too close. The Heater's main feature over the Shotgun is its incendiary effect, setting targets alight with each shot and causing a lot of afterdamage. This means the player can quickly subdue most enemies as they flail and take fire damage, giving time to change weapon or reload, or merely watch the target burn to death. (This has no effect on Firemen, though, as they are completely immune.)

However, the Heater's main drawback is its single-shot capacity (though this can be slightly remedied with the use of at least one Gear that gives the gun an extra round), forcing the player to time their shots perfectly as each shot counts, leaving the player momentarily open to attack if they miss, which can be potentially fatal in close quarters. The Heater also has a considerably slow reload speed, as there is a brief delay before loading a new shell to allow the barrel to cool down. Ammo is also very scarce and limited, as Booker can only carry nine shots in total, which is worsened by the scarcity of Heater ammunition in the game. This means that the Heater is usually used as a close-range backup weapon only, accompanying a more versatile weapon such as the Machine Gun or Repeater.

BSI Weapons 10


  • Effective at close range
  • Effective against clusters of enemies
  • Provides the same fiery effects as Devil's Kiss
  • Can ignite Oil Slicks
  • Afterdamage


  • One-shell capacity (unless you equip Bullet Boon or Ammo Advantage)
  • Low ammo capacity
  • Scarce ammunition
  • Not effective on Firemen
  • Slow rate of fire




Behind the Scenes[]

  • The first lever-action shotgun was the Winchester Model 1887, which allowed multiple shots to be fired before the user needed to reload. Most fictional lever shotguns are modeled after the 1887 model. The China Broom appears to be a hybrid of both the aforementioned shotgun and the long-forgotten predecessor to the shotgun, the blunderbuss.[2]
  • In the BioShock Infinite Teaser Trailer presented at Sony's Conference at E3 2011, the shotgun is shown to hold eight slugs, however, in the final version this was changed to only four.[3]
  • The Shotgun's pre-release icon was an upended red shot-shell.
  • GameStop customers who pre-ordered the game also receive the Comstock's China Broom Shotgun. This upgrade for BioShock Infinite's China Broom Shotgun comes with a unique skin and an exclusive damage enhancement with a 35% damage increase instead of the usual 25%.
  • Both versions of the shotgun have the inscription Memento Mori on the inside of the gun, right under the ejection port. The phrase Memento Mori is Latin for "remember that you will die".
  • An automatic shotgun is also known as a "street sweeper." The name "China Broom" probably indicates it was designed by Chen Lin.
  • Alternatively, WWI-era Winchester 1897 slide/pump-action shotguns were called "Trench Brooms", and the "China Broom" could reference Columbia's military involvement in the Boxer Rebellion.
  • When reloading with Bullet Boon the player will only load one round instead of two.
  • The China Broom can shoot faster when aiming down the sights or by pressing the reload button between shots and firing immediately after. The latter cancels the reload but allows for faster follow up shots in closer quarters.
  • The Achievement/Trophy Street Sweeper requires 50 kills with the Shotgun or Heater to unlock.
  • The China Broom was featured in the TV commercial when Elizabeth throws the shotgun toward Booker, who soon after kills the Handyman with a single shot. This is simply theatrics for the ad as killing a Handyman with one shot from a Shotgun is impossible in-game, unless of course, this was an example of Elizabeth being able to scrounge up weapons for Booker, and he had already been fighting the Handyman to low health.
  • If the player waits to pick up the Shotgun until they reach Columbia in Burial at Sea - Episode 2, it will still have the appearance of the Rapture variant.
  • While Booker can hold 4 shells in his Shotgun in Burial at Sea - Episode 1 as in the main game, Elizabeth can only hold two shells in her own Shotgun in Burial at Sea - Episode 2.