From Quake Wiki
The Shotgun is the weapon you start with. It is not very powerful but remains useful throughout the singleplayer campaign for hitting monsters (such as Scrags) at long range, when a slow-moving projectile won't do. For close-range combat its use is completely eclipsed once you pick up the Double-Barrelled Shotgun, which is more efficient in both damage over time and damage per shell used (but has a wider spread).
The term boomstick is likely a reference to the 1982 movie Army of Darkness.
|Weapons from Quake|
|Axe | Shotgun | Double-Barrelled Shotgun | Nailgun | Super Nailgun | Grenade Launcher | Rocket Launcher | Thunderbolt|