Airsoft shotguns are, without a doubt, super fun weapons useful in Close Quarter Combat; hence, many are flooding the market hoping to grab one and show off their skills. For many, shotguns are all about the number of BBs released and their functionality. The best airsoft shotguns offer these and more.

But with the plethora of cool airsoft shotguns available, making an informed decision is often a challenge. Luckily, this article discusses the best airsoft-guns money can buy. Join us as we review them together, shall we?

Best Airsoft Shotguns on the Market

Wondering what the most powerful shotguns are? Read on to find out.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best overall
EMG Salient Arms Licensed M870 MKII

EMG Salient Arms Licensed M870 MKII

With its heavy-duty, weather-resistant aluminum build, freedom to mix and match shell loads, and realistic shell loading and ejection, EMG Salient Arms Licensed M870 MKII makes you feel like you are handling a real shotgun.

10
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Best Green Gas Shotgun
Golden Eagle Gas Airsoft Shotgun

Golden Eagle Gas Airsoft Shotgun

Suppose you are looking for a 3 shot airsoft solution with an aesthetic look, high-quality construction, and affordability. In that case, Golden Eagle Gas Airsoft Shotgun is a fine choice for you. Moreover, it's powered with green gas propellant, thus bridging the gap between traditional guns and airsoft shotguns.

9.5
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Best pump-action
TM M3 Shorty Super 90

TM M3 Shorty Super 90

Old but gold best describes Tokyo Marui M3 Shorty Super 90 Airsoft Pump Action Shotgun. The spring-powered airsoft shotgun is reliable, durable, strong, and affordable, making it ideal for everyone looking for the next best thing.

9
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Best tri-shot
UMAREX Tactical Force Tri-Shot

UMAREX Tactical Force Tri-Shot

If you would rather not go through the demands of an electric or gas-powered shotgun, but prefer a compact, lightweight, and tactical shotgun, then UMAREX Tactical Force Tri-Shot Spring Powered Pump Shotgun is what you need.

8.5
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Most realistic shotgun
APS CAM870 Shell Ejecting  MKII

APS CAM870 Shell Ejecting MKII

APS CAM870 Shell Ejecting Tactical Pump Action Gas Airsoft MKII Shotgun is what you need if you are after realism. Rather than mimic the pump action of real shotguns, APS has a unique shell ejection mechanism and adjustable firing to make you feel like you are wielding a real gun on a battlefield.

6
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The Best Airsoft Shotgun Reviews

Best overall
10/10Our Score

From its design and features to its operations, EMG Salient Arms Licensed M870 MKII is undoubtedly one of the best airsoft guns available. 

EMG Salient M870 MKII is lightweight, with a heavy-duty aluminum body and a weather-resistant anodized finish. It has a tactical design that makes it ideal for an aggressive, combat-oriented grip. There are also steel action bars that make for durability and smoother cycling. 

Thanks to its APS shot shell system, every shotshell has its propellant charge; users also get to choose to load or not. The shotgun can be loaded and cycled just like a real-life pump action. 

Specifications:

Length: 700mm
Muzzle Velocity: ~280 FPS Per BB (Measured w/ 0.20g BBs and CO2 gas)
Magazine: 6+1 shells
Firing Modes: Safe / Fire
System: Gas, Pump Action
Hop up: No Hop up, No Inner Barrel
Package: Shotgun, CO2 shell primer, 2x shells

Pros
  • Allows for mixing and matching shell loads 
  • Lightweight design for easy use
  • Easy-fill gas-in-bolt design
  • Heavy-duty, weather-resistant build
Cons
  • High price point
  • Not readily available
Best Green Gas Shotgun
9/10Our Score

You don't have to rob a bank to afford the best short-barrel shotgun, not when there's the Golden Eagle Gas Airsoft Shotgun. The shotgun is aesthetically pleasing, with its high-quality metal and polymer furniture mimicking the real thing. 

Right from the scattergun, you will discover the outer barrel, magazine tube, and receiver all assembled to look like a real steel gun. There's also a pistol grip and a buffer tube for ergonomic use.

The shotgun also features a rail system that enables users to mount any visual style and anything else, from action cameras to lighting systems. Furthermore, a side saddle is linked to the airsoft shotgun, allowing for the quick loading of shells from the side of the gun.

Golden Eagle Gas Airsoft Shotgun is powered by green gas inside the buffer tube; this way, users can quickly handle and fire the shotgun. 

Specifications:

Length: 955mm
Muzzle Velocity: 300~330 FPS (Measured w/ 0.20g BBs and Green Gas)
Magazine: 28 rd shell magazine
Firing Modes: 3 Shot, 6 Shot, Safety
System: Pump action
Hop up: Yes, fixed
Package: Gun, Gas Tank, Shells, Manual

Pros
  • Lots of designs available
  • Customizable firing mode
  • Aesthetic look
  • Gas-powered for easy use
Cons
  • The shotgun is heavy
  • Reports of defective versions
Best pump-action
9/10Our Score

Tokyo Marui M3 Shorty Super 90 Airsoft Pump Action Shotgun is not just one of the good airsoft shotguns out there: it's one of the first and the best. It's a three-shot airsoft solution that can fire up to three BBs from each shot. The airsoft pump shotgun boasts of high quality, reliability, and excellent performance.

It is made of ABS polymer, a mark of quality, and is spring powered, so there's no need for batteries or gas. It has a metal barrel, a magazine tube, a pistol grip, and fixed metal sights.

Specifications:

Length: 645mm
Muzzle velocity: ~280 FPS (Measured w/ .20g BB)
Magazine: 30 BB's
Firing modes: Safe / Fire
System: Spring
Hop up: Yes, Fixed
Package: Shotgun, Loading Rod, 1x Shotgun Shell, Manual, Unjamming Rod.

Pros
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Shortened barrel for CQB
  • Can take three shots at a go
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Outdated
  • Available in one color only
Best tri-shot
8.5/10Our Score

UMAREX Tactical Force Tri-Shot Spring Powered Pump Shotgun is arguably the best tactical shotgun on the market. The shotgun has a short, simple, and compact cruise design, with a 20mm top rail to easily attach optics and other accessories. 

The lightweight shotgun also features an attached hop-up, has six shot shell side saddle, and comes with 7x shotshells. 

It is also efficient and spring powered, so you need not worry about replacing batteries or refilling gas. UMAREX is a tri-shot airsoft shotgun that can shoot 3 BBs with just one trigger.

Features:

Length: 580mm
Muzzle Velocity: ~245 feet per second
Magazine: 30th shell magazine
Firing Modes: 3 Shot, Safety
System: Pump Action
Hop up: Yes, fixed
Package: Gun, Speed Loader, 7x Shells, Side Saddle, and Manual

 

Pros
  • Efficient and lightweight
  • Affordable
  • It's smooth and feels solid in the hand
  • Can attach accessories
Cons
  • No information on warranty
  • The front grip leaves marks on the barrel
Most realistic shotgun
6/10Our Score

APS CAM870 shell-ejecting tactical airsoft shotgun with its realistic pump action and shell ejection is what you need to feel like the real pro on the battlefield. The shotgun is reputed for its many configuration settings, solid build, simple operation, and realistic feel.

Rather than using a complicated charging rig and having to charge each shotgun shell, APS features a gas-powered mechanism inside the shell, resulting in users only having to charge the bolt. It also ensures less is spent on shells and reduces loading time.

Its most unique feature is how BBs are loaded in each shell. It has a plastic cup with a paper cap holding up to twelve 6mm BBs within the shell. With this, you don't need inner barrels. The shotgun allows you to fire an infinite number of BBs in one trigger pull.

APS has a solid build with an impressive heft to add to its realism. It features metal parts, including the barrel, trigger guard, receiver, action, and trigger. With just 6+1 ammo capacity, there’s more than enough firepower to work with.

Features:

Length: 805mm-890mm (31.7in - 35in), Adjustable
Muzzle Velocity: ~280 FPS Per BB (Measured w/ 0.20g BBs and Green Gas)
Magazine: 6+1 shells
Firing Modes: Safe / Fire
System: Gas, Pump Action
Hop up: No hop up, no inner barrel
Package: CO2 charging adapter, shell catch, shotgun, 2x gas shells

 

 

Pros
  • Realistic operation
  • Special shell-ejection mechanism
  • Adjustable firing
  • Fires up to 12 BBs per shot
  • Durable metal build
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not powerful enough

Buying Guide

While many top-loading shotguns are on the market, not all will suit your needs. Rather than settle for any product that catches your fancy, this session details some tips that will help you make the right choice.

How Do Airsoft Shotguns Work?

Airsoft shotguns and pistols are powered mainly by air and can shoot round projectiles (usually around 6mm, although other sizes are available). There are three types of airsoft guns namely:

Spring Powered Shotgun

This is a very common shotgun that uses coil springs to shoot pellets from the gun. Typically, spring powered shotgun shoots off one shot per time. Hence, users must pull back the gun slide every time to shoot another round.

Electric Powered Shotgun

As the name implies, an electric airsoft shotgun is powered by electricity. It typically makes use of 9.6v. Also, it features an electric motor that compresses the pump spring inside the gun, enabling it to shoot off a pellet.

Gas Powered Shotgun

Gas-powered shotguns are similar to electric-powered shotguns, but instead of using batteries, they use gas. Gas-powered shotguns make use of compressed gas to fire a pellet. The position of the gas chamber usually differs from one gun to the other and should be replaced regularly.

What To Consider When Choosing an Airsoft Shotgun

Do you wish to buy a top-loading shotgun? The following tips will help you make the right decision.

How Many BBs It Shoots

Different shotguns have different capacities. The more a gun can hold more shells, the less you need to reload, and the faster and easier it is to shoot. Thus, determine how many BBs you want to be able to shoot per time and go for shotguns with your requirement.

Performance And Consistency

Consider the performance and consistency of the shotgun before deciding. To ensure you get the best, consider the range of the gun, the accuracy of shots fired, and the power (which is measured in feet-per-second FPS).

Also, choose guns with high-quality bucking and adjustable hop-up, as this guarantees accuracy and consistency.

Build Quality and Materials

Look out for guns with high-quality construction and materials. But don’t be too fixated on the external parts, check the internal components to ensure they are of the same high quality as the external ones. Check out the smoothness of operation, durability of parts, discernable rattles and wobbles, fit tolerance, and so on.

Ease of Use

An ideal airsoft shotgun should be easy to use. Hence, check the grip to ensure it’s ergonomic; consider if it’s spring, gas, or electric power and if it’s easy to reload and fire.

Upgrade Options

An ideal shotgun should create room for attachments and accessories, including sights, rails, optics, and many more. Therefore, consider if the gun you wish to buy has upgrade options.

Airsoft Shotgun Types

Gas-powered airsoft shotguns

Gas-powered shotguns are airsoft guns that run on gas. There are two types of gas which include green gas and carbon (iv) oxide (CO2).
CO2 and Green gas airsoft shotguns compared

Although CO2 and green gas have similar functionality, they are pretty different. To start with, green gas consists majorly of propane, with some drops of silicone oil added. During production, the gas is small. Green gas is usually kept in a bottle and pressured to about 300 psi and features a fill valve that allows you to fill up magazines by charging them.

CO2, on the other hand, is nothing but air. Here, carbon dioxide is pressurized and trapped in a metal cylinder. The pressure is usually about 12 000 psi. Like green gas, CO2 is filled into a magazine, but unlike green gas, you will have to place the whole canister into the magazine.

Green gas is cost-effective, has a lower pressure than CO2, and is easy to use. Also, the presence of silicone oil acts as a lubricant. CO2 shotgun, on the other hand, kicks harder, shoots fasts, and works better in cold weather.

Spring-powered airsoft shotguns

As earlier mentioned, spring airsoft shotgun functions on mechanical power. It utilizes the power of a spring to force BBs down the barrel of a gun. The gun is cocked back or set with a bolt with spring-powered guns.

Pump-action airsoft shotguns

Pump-action airsoft shotguns are usually made up of parts like butt, trigger, trigger guard, safety, action bar, and magazine. The pump action is like a semi-auto airsoft shotgun, the only difference being that the former does not require extra maintenance or attention.

FAQ

Should I get a single-shot airsoft shotgun?

Single-shot airsoft guns are guns that hold one round of BB and require manual reloading after every shot. Rather than go for a single-shot airsoft shotgun, consider guns with multiple shots, that way you get to shoot more per time without needing to reload.

What attachments do I need on my shotgun?

There are many accessories you can attach to your airsoft shotgun. This includes replacement springs, magazines, barrels and barrel covers, trigger upgrades, brushings and bearings, slings, batteries, grips, scopes, optics, bipods, and many more.

Are airsoft shotgun shells reusable?

Shotgun shells can be reused as many times as possible. You can reuse any spent, old shotgun shell, or you can get new ones. However, you may not get to use the shells many times before they become too worn.

How far does an airsoft shotgun shoot?

The best airsoft shotgun and pistol can shoot as far as 100 meters (330 feet) in an airsoft field. However, the distance a BB will travel will depend on the type of shotgun. Typically, airsoft shotguns and pistols are the lowest-range airsoft fans.

Which one is better – a spring or spring-powered airsoft shotgun?

Spring and spring-powered airsoft shotguns are both the same. They are both powered by a spring that forces the pellet down the gun’s barrel. Thus, they are both ideal.

Conclusion

The airsoft gun you choose can make or mar your experience. While choosing an ideal gun may seem overwhelming for people just starting out in the world of airsoft, we have made things easier by sharing the best airsoft shotguns on the market. We have also shared buying guide and answered pressing questions you may ask.

Armed with this information, it’s time to get yourself an airsoft gun and have all the fun in the world.