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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 The subject of this article appeared in Zombies mode

The Argus is a lever-action shotgun featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

"Lever-action shotgun. Reliable with a small hip-fire spread, and deadly accurate while ADS."
— Description



  • Ammo: 12 Gauge
  • Length: 650.3mm
  • Weight: 2.35kg
  • Barrel: 423.2mm
  • Production Years: 2058 - Present
  • Country of Origin: United States of America


The Argus is unlocked at rank 37. It has a tight cone of fire when fired from the hip, and has no spread when aiming down sight (unlike other shotguns). It also enters ADS faster than average.

The Argus has the longest effective range in the shotgun class, killing in one shot even at its maximum range, though it is also the shotgun most reliant on the player's accuracy to earn one-shot kills; even at close ranges, at least five pellets will need to hit their target to kill in one shot, making ADS mandatory at longer ranges.

The rate of fire is also very slow at 63 RPM, similar to the KRM-262. Despite potential consistency issues with the one-shot kill, it will never take more than two shots to kill in Core modes like the KRM-262, while a single pellet can kill an enemy at any range in Hardcore modes, making it a very reliable shotgun considering the effective range.

The Argus holds ten rounds by default in a disk-shaped magazine, which is reloaded all at once relatively quickly when reload cancelled, allowing a player to forgo Fast Mag or Extended Mags.

Long Barrel is not recommended, as while it adds to its damage range, it barely changes the one-shot kill range and simply adds a few meters of range where it will never kill in one shot.

Rapid Fire will only increase the Argus's rate of fire by 6%. This will only result in it firing 4 RPM faster. Due to this being a near negligible effect, this attachment is probably better to skip over.

Quickdraw Handle is by far the most useful attachment, as it allows faster access to the Argus's deadly ADS spread.

Stock goes hand in hand with the Quickdraw Handle; while the actual difference in movement speed while aiming is marginal, it still allows for better strafing, and is required to keep Ghost active when moving while aiming, as it is otherwise unable to do so.

Laser Sight is more situational, but as it tightens the Argus's already impressive hipfire spread even further, it can aid players in situations where ADS is not possible, though more accuracy is demanded from the player.

The Argus is the only shotgun that receives a damage nerf from the Suppressor (decreasing damage by 10%), and this will noticeably cut its one-shot kill range. Optics are available for the Argus, but players may be better off selecting attachments with more tangible effects.



The Argus appears in Zombies, where it can be found in the Mystery Box in the maps Shadows of Evil, The Giant, Der Eisendrache, Zetsubou No Shima and Gorod Krovi. It can be bought off the wall in various locations in Zetsubou No Shima for 1100 points, as well as all maps included in Zombies Chronicles (with the exception of Verrückt and Shangri-La). Unlike its campaign and multiplayer counterpart, it fires single slugs instead of buckshot. It has fairly high damage, and can kill with one headshot until late teen rounds even without Double Tap Root Beer. It can also body shot with one hit until round 15. Due to the slug rounds and lever action, missing a shot in close quarters or even not getting a headshot may get one killed. It can, however, be treated as one might handle a sniper rifle, as headshots remain very effective.

When upgraded via the Pack-a-Punch Machine, it becomes the Ancient Messenger. It has increased damage, higher magazine capacity, and more reserve ammo. It increases the magazine size to a whopping 32 rounds but this does not make up for the slower pump/cycle rate compared to the Dagon's Glare (Packed KRM-262), nor does it beat the damage-per-second output of the Shoeshining 100 (Packed Haymaker 12) or the Stellar Screech (Packed 205 Brecci). The player would do well to note that the reserve ammunition remains somewhat small in comparison to the immense magazine size increase, at just 96 rounds. The Argus makes an effective primary until late teen rounds, and even further if the player gains access to the Pack-a-Punch early on, however, it is not an ideal gun above round 24 as it becomes a two-shot to the body with Double Tap Root Beer.

Argus vs Ancient Messenger

Argus Ancient Messenger
Argus BO3.png Ancient Messenger BO3.png
Damage 800-500 2000
Multiplier head: x2.25
chest: x1
abdomen: x1
Fire mode Lever-action Lever-action
Rate of fire 63 RPM
Magazine size 10 32
Max ammo 60+10 96+32
Mobility High High
Extras Extended Mags, higher damage, more reserve ammo


For attachment variants, see Argus/Attachments.
For camouflage images, see Argus/Camouflage.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

"Lever-action shotgun. Improved handling with more ammo. Deadly accurate while aiming down sights."
— Description

The Argus was added to Black Ops 4 in the Operation Apocalypse Z update. This time it is a secondary weapon, because shotguns are sidearms in Black Ops 4.

Its magazine capacity is reduced by 50% in multiplayer, other parts are mostly unchanged.





The Argus can be obtained from the Mystery Box for 950 points on all maps. When upgraded by the Pack-a-Punch Machine it becomes Ancient Harbinger, gaining an increased base magazine size of 32, increased reserve ammo of 90 and increased damage.


Call of Duty: Black Ops III

  • The manufacturer's logo can be seen on the left side of the shotgun.
  • Its name is derived from the many-eyed giant who watched over the heifer-nymph Io.
  • With Extended Mags, the character performs a flip-cock animation after reloading, similarly to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

  • The Argus shouldn't exist in the time period of Black Ops 4, which is set in 2040s. According to Black Ops III, it began production in 2058.