I have a short story in the making where two young men go hunt a troll for an old widow. I have some ideas for what they could be carrying, but am aware that messing up something as fundamental as their hunting gear would invalidate the whole narrative, so I'd thought should check the logic of the situation.
The biggest factor in weapon choice is the trolls. In this setting, a troll is a result of a fungal infection. Once a creature gets infected, the fungus warps their body to make it more aggressive and give it various anatomic augmentations to better acquire easy protein (meat). Not only that, but the fungus just wants the troll to gorge itself until it is killed or drops dead so it can turn the corpse into a spore factory, so fear is basically not a factor in a troll's mind.
The biggest problem with killing a troll, however, is regeneration. All trolls can heal from wounds at an incredible rate, so fast that vital organs might as well be unessential. Acts like the destruction of the heart or removable of the head is no more imminently fatal to a troll than cutting off its arm.
That being said, there is a way to kill a troll: starvation. Even with their moderately-physics-breaking metabolism, trolls need calories to survive and regenerating burns a ton of them. In short: keep it regrowing bits until it essentially eats itself to death trying to make repairs. Only real problem with this method is that trolls get more and more aggressive the hungrier they get, so it doesn't take long for them to charge whoever is damaging them and try to eat them.
So far my only idea has been shotguns loaded for bear, since shells are better at quickly removing chunks that bullets are. That being said, the fact that trolls are very prone to charging makes me think these alone wouldn't be good enough. Ammo is finite, reloading is tedious, and trolls don't mind sprinting though gunfire to get at the source of it.
What man-portable weapons would be effective at killing these regenerating trolls? While I am sure that Arkansas has machine guns and rocket launchers laying around somewhere, assume these hunters don't have access to military hardware. Also, while shotgun alternatives and emergency weapons are what I am concerned about, you're welcome to point out any flaws with my shotgun-over-rifle assumption.
Some other information:
- Cutting a quarter of a troll's body mass off will cause it to stave to death pretty quickly. It's still very dangerous, but can be considered killed at this point. Just back away and let it die.
- Burning a troll is done after it gets killed to prevent spores from spawning.
- Trolls are not harder than the creature they were, but might be stronger and faster due to not caring about overtaxing their muscles.
- Sudden blood loss will slow a troll down. Not only that, but they have high enough blood pressure that they can lose a good amount of mass in this fashion (provided the would is big enough to not instantly regenerate).
- While calling one or two more friends isn't out of the question, the police, rangers, wildlife control, and army are either out of the picture entirely or busy doing something else. This is a local matter between neighbors.