Bite The Bullet
Airsoft Shotguns - Waiting for a real contender (2005-12-14)This Bite the Bullet post is inspired by an email we received from James Sit.
"Although I am new to airsoft I have always been intrigued with weapons(firearms especially). I have tried out some of the high end airsoft shotguns and realized that the cocking of the gun sounded really real. but as much as I love the shell idea I have always wondered why not go for more than just 3 bb's in a shell. Considering how much money extra shells are why not make a short range havoc launching shotgun? Personally I have experimented with paintball guns and tried to use expended 12 GA. shells and fit 40 bb's in. some of them. Some of them hurt. They acted like those crazy bee hive bottle rockets all shooting at 300 FPS. Also if you want to increase your accuracy on shooting your running opponents, you should practice and do shotgun trap shooting. I have found that it increases your moving accuracy by allot because you get used to having to lead off. Thought I might share my thoughts."
So why is it that no company has yet come out with a shotgun that has sufficient power to make a big bang and propell a couple hundred BBs in the general direction of your opponents? That said, the closest thing we have to a shotgun is the grenade shells from the likes of MADBULL. With one big cloud of gas, these shells propel anywhere from 24 to 208 BBs all at once. Coupled with the loud bang and impressive visual effect, these are what we would consider the "real" shotguns of the airsoft world.
So is it possible to use that same technology to create a reloading airsoft shotgun that can repeatedly fire tens of BB's at a time with good power and range? RedWolf has actually been suggesting this idea to several manufacturers to come up with high powered shotguns, possibly powered by CO2 or TOP GAS that will have the same effect as these grenade BB shower shells. One idea is to use one CO2 cartridge per shell to expend a huge cloud of gas and make a big bang effect. However, this would be quite expensive to operate (despite being very impressive). A more cost effective option would be to make small shotgun shells that can be charged much like the MADBULL shells - which in effect would become mini BB shower shells. I think that the new Tanaka Winchester 1897 Trench Gun is in the right direction, with the gas being charged directly into shotgun shells (each holding 5 rounds). The result is no cool down effect so that each shot is consistently powerful. However, these shells are still rather small and don't hold enough gas to make a loud band like the BB shower shells. If these manufacturers are willing to diverge slightly from the real gun look and make slightly larger chargeable shells, then we may have a chance of seeing more powerful and realistic shotguns. Or perhaps realistically sized shells that take CO2? There are so many things that can be experimented with.
Whatever the final design, we look forward to one of our partner companies launching a good airsoft shotgun! In the meantime, I guess the closest thing to an airsoft shotgun is the CAW 6 Shot Launcher that allows you to load up 6 grenade shells and shoot them off in succession!