The Stakeout is a pump-action shotgun, similar to the W1200 from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Two spare shells are held to either side of the Stakeout, although they are unusable, in the same vein as the M1014 in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The Stakeout has a very noticeable amount of idle sway. Being a shotgun, it has very little effect on accuracy. This gun was called the Ithaca in the beta version, which can be seen in the wager match trailer.
The Stakeout is only found in the level SOG. It can be found in a few weapon caches throughout the level. It can be seen in the hands of friendly soldiers. It can be found with and without the Grip attachment. The only ways to get the Stakeout are to acquire it from fallen friendly soldiers or from one of the weapons caches.
The Stakeout is unlocked for purchase at level 8.
The Stakeout is capable of hitting at short-medium range, marginally having the furthest range of all shotguns in Black Ops. It has medium-high damage, able to kill in one shot throughout its range, depending on how many pellets connect. Its pump action is fairly fast, but still limits the fire rate compared to other shotguns, making quick follow up shots difficult.
The Stakeout has the tightest spread of all shotguns when aiming down the sights, therefore aiming accurately will ensure more pellets will reach the intended target at range. This tight spread gives the Stakeout the longest range in both overall and one shot kill range, slightly edging out the Olympia.
Steady Aim tightens the hipfire spread, helping to ensure a one-shot kill over relatively long range without aiming down the sights.
Similar to the other shotguns, Sleight of Hand is beneficial due to the Stakeout's long reload time. Sleight of Hand Pro's halving of ADS time is also particularly useful considering how much ADS improves the effective range of the weapon. Also of note is that when reloading with Sleight of Hand, the last two rounds (3 and 4) reload at the same time, thus not only doubling the reload speed, but tripling it.
Also, Hardened can be used to good effect with the Stakeout, giving it some penetration ability, particularly through thin wood and sheet metal type cover. Additionally, the Pro version's flinch reduction is useful should a player take advantage of the Stakeout's tighter ADS spread.
Buying the Grip attachment is recommended, as it increases the rate of fire slightly and reduces recoil without any downsides.
The Stakeout can be found in Kino der Toten, Ascension, and Five, and bought for 1500 points and is a great alternative if the player hasn't encountered the Mystery Box yet. Its power is excellent for killing Zombies, being a one hit kill from about round 1-10 and effective up to round 12. It is also effective as players can buy ammo off the wall, as it will become scarce in later rounds. It is more effective than the Olympia due to its larger capacity, doesn't sharply drop in power, and is recommended to switch between these guns when the player reaches its room. It is similar to the M1897 Trench Gun of the Call of Duty: World at War maps in the sense that it is a pump-action shotgun with a 6 shell capacity and long reload. The Stakeout is arguably the best shotgun to buy off the walls for the high amount of ammo the player gains (compared to the weapons after the starting room), killing power, and duration of effectiveness (one shot until round 12). When combined with the reload cancel skill, it can get you well passed multiple rounds, and is arguably more effective than most of the weapons exclusive to the Mystery Box.
When Pack-a-Punched it becomes the Raid, with a 10-round capacity, a Grip, and every shell loaded reloads 2 shells, meaning only 5 shells must be loaded from empty similar to the upgraded M1897 Trench Gun, the Gut Shot.
Speed Cola is highly recommended with both versions since it requires adding 6 shells when empty, and 5 when upgraded. Because all shotguns are better at close range, Juggernog is recommended. When using Double Tap its pump is a little faster allowing a higher rate of fire. This gun benefits greatly from a combination of those three perks.
Overall the Stakeout makes a great backup weapon as it's perfect for hellrounds and when the player gets cornered and can't reload their primary.