In Multiplayer, the M1014 has a 4 shell capacity, and is unlocked at Level 31. The M1014 can be equipped with either a Red Dot Sight attachment (after killing 25 enemies) or a Foregrip attachment (after killing 50 enemies), which replaces perk 1.
However, the M1014 has a number of distinctions likely to preserve game balance. The M1014 has a relatively small ammo capacity (4 shell capacity, compared to the W1200's 7 shell capacity and tied with the R700 for the smallest ammo capacity in the game) and a long reload time. The regular reload time of the M1014 exposes a defenseless player in the event that the entire four shell magazine fails to kill an enemy or additional enemies appear. The long reload time can be greatly reduced with the use of the Sleight of Hand perk. In addition, like the W1200 , the M1014 will not be able to inflict damage beyond a certain range. The Steady Aim perk will increase accuracy, but the effect is negligible in close quarters combat. The effect is more useful at the mid to long range of the shotgun.
Like all the other weapons in game, both of the shotguns can unlock camouflage patterns. Digital Camo for the M1014 can be unlocked after 25 headshots, the same as all other weapons in game. Blue Tiger Camo and Red Tiger Camo are unlocked at 50 and 100 headshots, respectively, different from the 75 and 150 headshots needed to obtain these camouflage patterns for all other weapons aside from the W1200. The M1014 is also one of the golden weapons available after completing all shotgun challenges (Marksman and Expert).
The M1014 appears as the only shotgun in the Nintendo DS version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and as such, is used by all factions. The NDS version of the M1014 looks vaguely similar to the M1014 on the consoles, but sports a black color scheme, as opposed to a brown color scheme. The M1014 is semi-automatic as well, but it has a very low Firecap, so it seems like it isn't semi-automatic, like the W1200. This causes most players treat it as a pump-action shotgun, despite the lack of a pumping animation. Despite these facts, it has a couple unique advantages not seen on other shotguns. First of all, its pellets have unlimited range, though they will spread apart as the range between the player an the target increases. The spread actually stops after a certain distance, though is still spread apart enough to eliminate its one-shot kill ability. The pellets also spread in the same pattern each time. This allows the player to expend all eight shells to make a kill at long ranges, but on a moving target it is just a waste of bullets as it's impossible to achieve a kill as the opponent would counterattack or hide.
The qualities of the M1014 makes it excellent for all ranges, though it is recommended to keep an assault rifle or sub machine gun as well. Even though the M1014 is an excellent weapon, it is only recommended for close ranges in multiplayer. This is because the player will be overwhelmed by long range weapons (M16A4, AK-47), or sub machine guns (MAC-10, MP5).
In Singleplayer, the magazine holds 7 shells (up to approximately 77 total), loaded individually. It's used by the U.S. Army Rangers, Task Force 141, and the U.S. Navy SEALs. In missions when the player is given one, it is useful for close quarters engagements as it is very powerful.
The M1014 returns in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and is unlocked at Level 54 in multiplayer. In Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 this weapon is used as a secondary weapon. It can now accept a silencer. It lacks the spare shell holder on the side, and has a flashlight mounted under the barrel which is purely for aesthetic purposes. The M1014 is infrequently encountered in multiplayer games due to its high unlock level, and also because of its relative mediocrity in comparison to the other shotguns, which is to say that it doesn't excel in any particular feature. However, this is also what makes the M1014 appealing to some players, as there are no serious drawbacks to it either. This makes the M1014 an excellent choice for players who want a shotgun that is good at getting the job done, and doesn't come with any of the main cons that plague other shotguns (such as slow reloading (Striker), low rate of fire (SPAS-12 & Model 1887), very poor range (Ranger), low carried ammo (AA-12), etc.) The M1014 might best be thought of as the All-Around shotgun.
Although the M1014 is very powerful with a capped rate of fire of 300 RPM, it holds only 4 shells and needs to be reloaded frequently, albeit with a modest reload time. This makes Extended Mags a useful attachment for it, though it only increases its ammo count by 2. In addition to a small magazine, this weapon also seems to have hindered ADS movement speed in comparison to the other shotguns.
Interestingly, if a player manages to pull the trigger quickly enough, he/she can actually shoot 2 shells simultaneously, something not achievable with the Striker.
Like the SPAS-12, the M1014 is reloaded one shell at a time. If an enemy approaches while reloading, reload canceling by sprinting or double tapping the switch weapons button will allow the weapon to fire with as many shells as have been loaded up to that point. Pressing the fire button will load one more shell before allowing the player to fire.
When fired quickly, the weapon has decent vertical recoil and some slight, random side-to-side recoil, though this may be purely visual. The weapon settles back to the original aim point and the grip speeds this settling. Using a silencer is not at all recommended because the range is already very short, and the rate of fire is lowered for reasons unknown.
The M1014 benefits from a variety of perks: Steady Aim and Stopping Power both increase the chances of one shot kills. However, due to the ability to fire shells in quick succession despite the fire cap, two shot kills do not take much longer. That being said, two-shot kills require more frequent reloading, which can be offset somewhat by Sleight of Hand. Lightweight is very effective with this weapon, especially when combined with Marathon as it will allow users to get even closer to enemies and fire very quickly after they stop sprinting.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
- If the game is set to the French language, the M1014 will be called the "Benelli M4", and when playing in German the M1014 is called "M4".
- Under the iron-sights, there is a reference to San Diego, CA.
- There are 6 shells in a holder on the side of the M1014. This is odd, as the magazine capacity is always either 7 shells (singleplayer) or 4 shells (multiplayer). Also, the shells can never be used, even if the player is out of ammo.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- In the Create-A-Class image, the M1014's trigger is not visible.
- The M1014 has an unusable flashlight attached in front of the handguard.
- Two Shadow Company soldiers are seen using the M1014 with a flashlight attached to it in the mission "Just Like Old Times".
- In the "Museum", there is an M1014 with Arctic camouflage, camouflage is unable to be applied to any secondary in multiplayer without hacking/modding.
- The iron sights on the M1014 are misaligned, similar to the Desert Eagle and M93 Raffica's.
- When reloading the weapon the handle and trigger are invisible for less than a second.
- In single player, the M1014 has the same sound of the SPAS-12, just without the pump sound.