Airsoft Shotguns

Written by Johnny Kitchens
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Airsoft shotguns come in as many shapes and sizes as real-world shotguns--though sawed-off versions are another matter. Shotguns are not automatic weapons, but there are semi-automatic versions that fire, eject the spent shell, and reload a new shell with each cycle. There are other multi-shot shotguns that can hold up to seven shells but must be manually cycled. The least expensive versions are almost universally spring-powered, single-shot weapons.

Shotguns are useful in close-quarters combat situations and many law enforcement agencies use Airsoft replicas for training purposes--such as SWAT training. Shotguns for these purposes are easier to manipulate if they do not have full stocks. Many Airsoft versions of popular shotgun models like the Remington M1100, the M3 Super 90, and the SPAS12 are all available with or without butt-stocks and in both wood and matte black styles.

Most of the major Airsoft manufacturers are in Asia, and their products are exported to international markets. Companies like Marushin, Tokyo-Marui, and Maruzen, all make excellent--and very realistic--shotgun replicas. There are, therefore, some legal concerns when importing such lifelike weapons. The muzzles must be painted bright orange and must be left that way by the owners. There are also some gray areas concerning silencers and Airsoft guns with high pellet velocities.

Firing Mechanisms of Airsoft Shotguns

Nearly every Airsoft shotgun on the market is either gas-powered or spring-powered. The cheapest are usually spring-powered, while the shotguns powered by gas are quite a bit more expensive. Mid-range shotguns are either powerful spring versions or less-powerful gas versions. With the gas shotguns, you also need to be certain to use the right gas to get proper operation. Some gas shotguns can be upgraded to use more highly compressed gas.

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