Haven’t you had enough electric air rifles lately? There’s nothing unusual about that – no matter how fast or hard they can shoot or how much they’ve been modified, they still look like fast kitchen appliances and the need to recharge the batteries before every game can be a problem. If you want an alternative airsoft gun, without batteries and without electric buzz, I recommend a modest airsoft gun. If so far you’ve mainly played with rental guns and want to find your first weapon with a tight budget, a shotgun is the usual (and cheap) way to get started. On the other hand, if you have passed the first, second or fifth airsoft weapon, a top class shotgun can still be an excellent primary or secondary weapon.
No matter where you practice your hobby, introducing a shotgun into the game can be a great way to try out new tactics and improve your mobility, and it can also serve as a reliable replacement in case your main weapon breaks during an event.
Short term ? Here is a list of points:
- Best entry model Airsoft Shotgun: CYMA M870 Series
- Best single-shot air gun:
- Best Airsoft Gas Rifle: Disperse Shotgun
- The best money is not an Airsoft shotgun item: Salient weapons/APS CAM870
**Our more detailed description. Click on the links above to view current prices or to read customer reviews on Amazon.
Why buy an Airsoft rifle?
The main advantage of the air rifle is that you will find it useful, regardless of your experience in compressed air sports. My first weapon was a cheap shotgun, and although it has been slightly modified, it still accompanies me in all races! There are several other advantages to having a weapon in your arsenal.
Like everyone at Airsoft, you can spend very little on a cheap Chinese shotgun, or you can spend thousands on an obscure vintage model from a nonexistent Japanese manufacturer. On average, however, a usable quality airsoft shotgun can cost well under $100, while comparable AEGs can cost twice as much. If you only do sports or if you save on some kind of high quality eye protection (which I recommend!), it can make a big difference.
In my experience, the only thing that is as reliable in an air gun as a typical spring or gas gun is a non-refillable gas gun. The most common types of spring guns have few moving parts and probably do not require any major maintenance, apart from periodically greasing the operation and cleaning the inner stock. Gas guns require even less maintenance because the green gas they work with also mixes the lubricants – just clean lightly from time to time to prevent the accumulation of plastic residue.
That’s why the rifle is an excellent primary weapon that never breaks, but perhaps more importantly, it is the best backup weapon in case your primary rifle breaks. Some weekend scenarios can cost up to a hundred dollars and take several hours by car. If you switch to one of them and suddenly change gears in the gearbox and paralyze most other parts while working, you have a problem! And if you don’t have a replacement weapon or can’t hire one, there’s a chance you’ll survive the event. If you have a relatively cheap shotgun with your equipment in reserve, you can stay in the game without having to repair your weapon for hours or spend more money to hire an inferior weapon.
Most air rifles, especially those made of plastic, are on the lighter side of things. They usually weigh no more than eight pounds – in fact, many of the best shotguns use lightweight, single-barrel magazines that are compact and fit into almost any storage solution, from jacket pockets to special pockets with the barrel or belt. All this is very useful when moving with a light weight, which means a faster movement, a shorter reaction time and a much lower bulk weight, which is very useful for hard CQB or inflatable obstacle games.
I think the best Airsoft game I ever played was a CQB game with a cheap plastic pistol, a handful of cartridges and sneakers. Sure, it’s great to win games, but winning games with equipment under $100? It’s practically priceless. Airsoft guns can’t control how much fire the AEG can unleash, but if you have speed, avoid a few obstacles from behind and a few buddies to cover you, the wind will flank and mark enemy cover.
Which Airsoft rifle suits you best?
There are many types of airsoft guns with different mechanisms, power supplies and logarithms. Some shoot one bullet per trigger, others shoot three or six, and others shoot an entire cloud (probably the most realistic style!).
Most air guns (and almost all air guns in the entrance area) work with a spring pump. The big choice you can make here: Do you want a three-shot (simulated one-shot) or a shooting?
If you want three, you probably choose a shotgun based on a system developed by the Japanese manufacturer Tokyo Marui. These air guns are spring-loaded and have a cartridge-type magazine that resembles a real shotgun and contains 30 bullets, allowing 10 shots to be fired three times per cartridge. Although Tokyo Marui has developed this type of weapon, it is not the only manufacturer, especially in the United States, other manufacturers (such as CYMA, UTG and Double Eagle) sell close copies of these weapons at much lower prices. Usually these models will be made of plastic, like the original Tokio Marui pistols, although CYMA released a series of such pistols with all metal parts at the end of 2016.
If you prefer a single shot, the best choice is a shotgun with magazine, based on a system originally developed by the manufacturer Maruzen in the 1980s. While the original version was made of plastic, most modern versions available in the United States from manufacturers such as A&K, S&T, Classic Army and G&P are all made of metal and accepted as interchangeable chargers. Unfortunately, many of these models burn .20g BB’s at 400 feet per second or more. It is unlikely that you will be able to use it for the CQB on your local site, so take this into account when purchasing.
Although feather guns are generally more expensive and slightly more difficult to handle than dirty guns, gas guns offer many interesting possibilities for the field! There are currently three main types of gas guns, produced in the United States, which can be used from three shots to a small BB cloud.
The first type, and perhaps the most widespread, is the three-load rifle, which is based on the Tokyo Marui gas rifle system. These rifles work in the same way as the 3-shot spring loaded rifles, which use interchangeable cartridges and always depend on the operation of the pump. However, the BB is operated by a gas tank, which is usually located in the handle, which means that the pump runs much smoother than with a resilient gun. Although until recently Tokyo Marui was the only manufacturer to produce these cloned versions under the Jag Arms brand, they have been marketed in the US and have been well received.
The next type is the gas emission per type of case, where the gas delivered by BB is suddenly and unexpectedly in the case that holds it in place, and the cases are ejected after use (making them difficult to follow in the game). PPS, SHS, Hwasan and APS guns (Gen 1 only) work this way. Each ball can contain 3 to 5 balls (with the exception of APS rifles, which can contain a small handful of about 10 balls covered with a paper stick). There are a number of manufacturers who make such guns, and they all use their own system, which means that the bullets are not interchangeable with each other.
The latter type is the ejection of shells into a gas reservoir, where the shells contain only BB and the gas energy comes from the reservoir, which is normally hidden in the reserve. Sinks are always discarded after use, but they are at least slightly cheaper per unit than the more complex type of gas in the sink. The new APS (Gen 2) shotguns are designed for use with ejected projectiles and gas retention in the rear stock and (currently not available) the Maruzen 1100 series semi-automatic rifles.
Electric shotguns are largely a by-product, because they are a relatively new development in the world of airsoft shotguns. They were first released in January 2016, and there are currently only two models, both produced by Tokyo Maruy : AA-12 and SGR-12 Thors Hammer (fictional weapon made popular in the Resident Evil video game). Both fire semi-automatic or automatic three-shot shots from 90 core loaders or 800-ton loaders, which use the same internal mechanism and only differ in appearance. Unfortunately, they’re both quite expensive. Since the beginning of 2019 there has also been no support for spare parts in the United States, which means that if a part fails, replacement is likely to be possible only if external manufacturers develop compatible parts.
Best air rifles on the market
Best entry model Airsoft Shotgun:
CYMA M870 Series
Now that CYMA is selling its range of 870 shotguns, they are my new recommendation for best in class at the price point, beating the old UTG and Double M3 rifles together. A few parts that used to be made of ABS plastic in the upper parts of the old models have been replaced by a resistant nylon polymer. Even better, you have the choice: either you want a cheap version with a plastic housing or you opt for a metal housing. CYMA also offers many more affordable drain lengths and types, from pistol grip to foldable drain type SPAS-12. There are many options, so choose a price and size that suits you.
- Number of lengths and share options
- Choice of metal or plastic housing
- Very cheap.
- A good FPS for the CQB
- Uses shell style magazines
- solid interior construction
- Some models have small vibrations or rattling noises coming from the factory.
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Best single-shot air gun:
S&T is good for the money. I am a fan of their T21 (Tavor) AEG, but they have left their mark by making relatively unusual air guns with nice looks at a reasonable price. Their shotguns have a good price and are built on the one-shot mechanism of Maruzen, using an all metal construction and housing all the shops like Maruzen. What really impressed me was the real hardwood, which is quite unusual in this price segment! Pay attention: With the factory spring inside this gun can shoot too hard for CQB use.
- Metal construction
- Natural wood furniture
- Different cutting options (black or silver)
- Accepts standard magazines
- Pulling too hard for most CQB fields
Best Airsoft Gas Rifle:
Jag Arms rifles based on the Tokyo Marui 3-shot gas gun have a pretty good price-performance ratio. I took care of the pair and thought they were good value for money – they were close together and the action was much smoother than with a sprung rifle. The surface of the metal parts was not as good as that of Tokyo Marui, but they are much more expensive and harder to find in the United States. Some people have had problems leaking gas from the tank after months of use, but I’ve never seen it in person.
- Full metal
- CQB FPS locations
- Takes seashell-style magazines.
- Not cheap enough.
- The plastic parts seem a little fragile.
- The gas tank detects a leak after a certain time.
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The best money is not an Airsoft shotgun item:
Exceptional weapons / APS CAM870
I’d say it’s an air rifle that complements a small chilled caviar and a yacht in the Baltic Sea. Although I unfortunately could not exhibit this particular model, I played with the APS CAM870, the base platform on which this particular special weapon was built. This is a solid Airsoft shotgun, and what’s even better, with 10-12 bullets fired, it probably comes closest to a real shotgun available in Airsoft. While it can be difficult to find all the free bowls you need to play, if you can afford the sticker prizes, chances are you can afford enough to keep playing, even if you lose one or two bowls.
- Extremely durable assembly quality
- Housing gas design reduces housing costs
- 12 BB’s before the shooting
- Realistic proportions, treatment
- Aggressive sockets
- High costs
- Tray ejection
- Mainly cosmetic updates
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Best Airsoft Shotgun Lock Notes
If you are interested in an airsoft shotgun, there are many possibilities for you. Although the choice may seem daunting at first glance, the decision should be much easier once you’ve decided whether you want to fire a single shot or make a fire, whether you prefer spring or gas power, and what your budget is! You should be able to find something fun for many games on the go, and this will serve as your primary or backup weapon for as long as you play Airsoft!
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Noah Maines is a writer, a balloonist and, most importantly, he got stuck in the ’80s. From Colt SMG to David Bowie and brick phones, he enjoys the biggest decade and likes to share his enthusiasm for the ALICE transmission system (with excellent use, of course) with anyone who wants to listen to it.
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