With so many airsoft shotguns out there, it can be difficult to hone in on a reliable budget-friendly weapon. That's why we've composed a comprehensive list of the best airsoft shotguns, including gas-powered, spring-powered, single-shot, and tri-shot. All this is followed by a buying guide. Our goal is to help you make the most informed decision before you bite the bullet and spend your entire paycheck on your next duty weapon.
CYMA's M500 Airsoft Shotgun Tri-Shot CM350 is your classic shotgun with the capability of firing three BBs with a single pull of the trigger. The removable cartridge can hold up to 30 slugs. Meanwhile, the top-folding stock offers reinforcement and stability when extended, with enhanced maneuverability for tight spaces when closed. Apart from being an incredibly versatile airsoft weapon, the CYMA tri-shot 870 is a hearty, reliable adaptation of a military and law enforcement mainstay.
Specs include a metal receiver, metal barrel assembly, and functional safety. All this is encompassed in a realistic, robust black exterior with a regulation blaze orange safety tip. This gun promises to shoot rounds at a velocity of 280~306 FPS (feet per second), making it perfect for close-knit battlefield employment.
What you can't see on the surface is a sophisticated triple barrel designed to initiate a powerful pain penalty on your soon to be dejected opponents. Meanwhile, the top-loading M4-style magazine is easy to grip, stock, and lock in the heat of the moment.
Overall, this is an excellent bargain rifle for close quarters battles. What's more, it is light enough for both children and adults. While an adjustable hop-up would have helped to hone in on those perfect shots you have been fantasizing about, this solid tri-shot system is just the thing to guarantee enemy lockdown.
APS CAM870SF Shell Ejecting Zombie Hunter CQB CO2 Airsoft Shotgun
Next up is the APS CAM870SF Shell Ejecting Zombie Hunter CQB CO2 Airsoft Shotgun. This CO2-powered airsoft rifle ejects 12-round shells like a beast, giving you ample opportunity to pick off your enemy before they get to you. What's more, it features a max velocity of 330 FPS, fitting it well within indoor and outdoor CQC regulations. The shortened barrel and ergonomic pistol grip make this the ideal weapon to navigate compact battlefield.
Other perks include front and rear sling mounts that make it all the easier to switch between rifles. Plus, since it weighs in at just four and a half pounds, carrying extra artillery has never been more painless. Meanwhile, the magazine holds up to four shells and a single CO2 cartridge at any given time, giving you the opportunity to inflict harsh punishment on your opponent.
Oddly enough, this rifle doesn't have a hop-up unit. Instead, BBs are separated in the feeding tube with the help of refillable paper liners. If you're not keen on incurring extra upkeep expenses, the combination of CO2 cartridges and papers might throw you over the edge. Our only other complaint is that rigid trigger feel. However, it's a fail-safe firearm for arms-length skirmishes.
CYMA's Airsoft Shotgun Spring Powered Full Stock Long Barrel is yet another classy tri-shot rifle with an adjustable stock. Unlike the M500, the M870 features a longer yet lightweight stock that will generously pump your opponent with three BBs with every pull of the trigger. With its 30-round magazine spilling ammo at 280 to 306 FPS, this long barreled shotgun is a great choice for close quarter battles and field skirmishes.
The internals feature spring-loaded triple barrel chambers, while the external sheath is made of high-quality, durable polymer. It features front and rear swing swivels as well as a padded rubber butt for lengthy stakeouts.
Unlike many comparable spring-loaded tri-shots, the CYMA long barrel never seems to jam between pumps. What's more, the BBs seem to always land in reliable tight-knit bursts. As such, you'll have no problem hitting targets from 100 meters away. For just under 50 bucks, you really can't go wrong with this long-distance precision shooter.
Just pop in some Tokyo Marui BBs, and you're ready for battle.
ASG Licensed Franchi SAS 12 Pump CQB 3-Shot Airsoft Spring Shotgun
The ASG Licensed Franchi SAS 12 Pump CQB 3-Shot Airsoft Spring Shotgun is the Italian Stallion of airsoft shotguns, and it won't even have you shelling out big bucks. With a 300 FPS, we'd specifically recommend this gun for indoor arenas and close quarters combat.
The main appeal of the Franchi replica is its spring-powered tri-shot, which fires out realistic bursts of BBs to quickly and efficiently overcome the enemy target. One pump and you'll have your opponent on the ground.
While the rifle is a scale replica of the real deal, it weighs in just over five pounds thanks to the lightweight metal and polymer construction. Rubber-cuffed forends, pistol grips, and butt pads also make it one of the easier guns to grip in poor weather and battle heat. Meanwhile, it sports a reliable adjustable hop-up system and four 30-round capacity shells just waiting to be fed into the amply spaced barrel.
An adjustable hop-up helps to widen the range of this already long-distance shooter. Plus, the speed loader that rests over the stock is high-quality and easy to access. We had no problem hitting a moving human target from 70 meters away but will say it took some time to get used to the rigid pump mechanism.
Tokyo Marui M870 Tactical Airsoft Pump Action Gas Shotgun
Tokyo Marui's M870 Tactical Airsoft Pump Action Gas Shotgun offers primo fire, discharging three to six BBs with every pull of the trigger. Just flip a switch and you're in automatic overdrive. The gas-powered system offers realistic, rapid racking and a fear-invoking sound that will leave scarring memories in your losing opponent.
Marui's M870 is primed for your favorite sniping accessories thanks to integrated scope rail. Meanwhile, ghost ring iron sites make non-optical target acquisition a breeze. Hook yourself with an ample supply of green gas, 0.20g BBs, and TM spring shotgun shells and you'll be shooting between 300 and 350 FPS.
Other features include a beefy magazine tube, fixed hop-up, and ergonomic hand guard. While we'd like to see this baby in full metal, the durable polymer shell does just fine in close quarter combat, giving us very little to complain about when it comes to this invisible brute.
Jag Arms Scattergun TSS Gas Airsoft Shotgun
The Jag Arms Scattergun TSS Gas Airsoft Shotgun is the carbon copy of the bona fide scattergun, right down to the Picatinny rails. Use the lever to alternate between bursts of three or six BBs. Use the rail to mount premium optics and hit your target every time with this high-capacity field weapon.
If you can't fully visualize this excellent mid-range weapon, check out this comprehensive YouTube unboxing.
The rifle holds 28-round shells and can fire up to 120 rounds with each gas fill. regular BBs will give you a shot velocity of 300 to 330 FPS. With such an unmatched rate of fire, your opponent is a dead man walking. Choose between solid black or tan polymer exteriors. Skip plinking and head right to the arena with this top-notch duty weapon.
Other perks include un bottom barrel storage tank that can hold an additional four shells. If you're worried about keeping extra ammo on your person for battlefield skirmishes, this may be the shotgun for you. It also features an easy-to-use lever that pops open for quick combat zone reloads. The rear-loaded gas tank offers decent tallies but is prone to leaking.
The 30-day limited warranty isn't going to hold up for those slow to surface manufacturing defects, but the bulk of positive user reviews tell us this is a close quarters battle mainstay that isn't being replaced any time soon.
How to Choose the Best Airsoft Shotgun
How powerfull should it be?
When you begin your search for an airsoft shotgun, start by addressing your needs. Will you be utilizing the weapon for close quarter combat or suiting up for long-distance? shots.
This will help you determine what FPS (feet per seconds) range you'll need your weapon to fall in. Typically, this means a limit of 300 to 350 FPS for indoor arenas and 350 to 450 for outdoor battlefields (Tac City). In any case, it is always a good idea to check local regulations before making a final purchase.
How many shots?
In addition to FPS, different battle scenarios call for different shooting facilities. When making the choice between single, tri, and six-shot rifles, think about the metrics of close quarter combat compared to distance shooting. A precise, reliable single shooter will do just fine for snipers, but rapid bursts are money if you're thirsting for maximum engagement.
Gas or Spring Shotgun
Finally, consider the pros and cons of spring vs. gas-powered shotguns. Spring-powered guns are considered entry-level weapons in airsoft skirmishes, but they're also great for budget-minded individuals who don't want to repeatedly foot the bill for air cartridges. Gas guns are a bit more complicated to handle but are capable of firing rapid bursts of BBs without the need to manually recock your weapon.
Furthermore it should also be considered that gas guns will loose velocity when the temperature drops so a less powerfull gun bursting 6 shoots at the time can have a very limited range in cold temperatures.
With that being said, spring-loaded weapons are heralded by beginners and veterans alike, considering they don't require a fixed fuel. While cocking the gun can be a cumbersome task, staying in the game longer might be worth it.
Parts and Materials
Airsoft shotguns consist of several different parts, not all of which are considered compulsory. Hop-ups, for example, vary between fixed, adjustable, and nonexistent. Shooters vary in their preference for fixed and adjustable hop-ups for spring-powered guns. Check out Shotgun Al's cross-comparison of the two different types of hop-ups here.
Another thing to consider is BB and shell compatibility. While most of the guns on our list have 20-round+ capacity shells, the retaining systems vary greatly between the units. While some hold three or four cartridges and consist of automatic feeding systems, others offer more sparse storage. Another thing to consider is the availability of shells and whether or not the shotgun takes mock shells.
While a lot of shotgun aficionados take a sniper's stance, the vast majority don't include optic rails. If you're looking for a long-range capacity rifle, standard Picatinny mounts or rings will have you staging your favorite optics right out of the box.
While not at the top of our list, a shotgun's rate of fire is an imperative feature to consider when making a purchase. Guns that output a maximum ROF of 1000 or greater are far more likely to dominate in the playing field. Likewise, rifles with high-capacity magazines offer more shooting power. Shotguns that harness automatic feedback are going to allow you to overcome your enemy with a seemingly never ending rain of ammo as they fumble to reload.
On that note, consider the ease of reloading your weapon. Apart from holding several rounds of BBs, does your gun feature an easy to toggle switch or lever that mount have you fumbling in the middle of a shoot-out?
Furthermore, consider the quality and traction of the shotgun's grips. These are almost always lined with high-quality rubber. Below, durable polymer or metal frames offer a sturdy foundation. While plastic may not hold up to damage as well as alloys, it tends to be lightweight and increase the manoeuvrability of a weapon in close quarters combat.
Finally, keep your eye out for a weapon with a sound manufacturer's warranty. This gives you the ability to send back defect items and save your well-earned money for new weapons.
We hope our top six airsoft shotguns were everything you imagined and more. It was hard to choose, but the weapons that made it on our list were sleek, reliable, and destined for victors.