When engaged in an airsoft battle, players sometimes like to get up close and personal.

Sure, ranged weapons can be a lot of fun (like these awesome airsoft sniper rifles), but nothing says it how you mean it quite like a shotgun.

Designed for Close Quarters Battle (CQB), and favorite of T-800 Terminators and zombie-killers everywhere; they haven’t earned the nicknames “room cleaner” and “boom stick” for nothing.

And they also happen to be an affordable way into the airsoft hobby.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best airsoft shotguns in 2022, and perhaps you can own one of these impressively satisfying tools of rampant airsoft destruction.

A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.

It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum…and I’m all outta gum.

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The 12 Best Airsoft Shotguns in 2022

Double Eagle M401 Pump Action Airsoft Shotgun

Who better to start us off at the entry-level, than entry-level airsoft company Double Eagle? Known as a manufacturer of LPEG (Low Powered Electric Guns), they’re perfect for airsoft noobs, or anyone looking for a more budget-friendly option.

This M401 pump action shotgun happens to be spring powered, capable of firing .12 mm BBs around 350-400 fps.

It’s compact at only 21.25 inches in length, making it ideal for those close quarter room breaches.

It offers a range of 100 feet, and comes with a detachable magazine, sample pack of ammo, loading tube, and barrel rod.

Pros

  • Outstanding price.
  • No need for gas or battery.
  • Feels surprisingly solid in the hands.
  • Rail for accessories system is a nice touch.
  • Great secondary weapon option.

Cons

  • It’s not going to be that durable over time.
  • Supplied BBs are useless.

Takeaway

As an entry-level first airsoft gun, this isn’t a bad call. It’s pretty powerful considering, and it will be ideal for anyone looking to start out in the sport and save some money at the same time. Just don’t expect it to last forever.

GameFace ASGM47 VooDoo Airsoft Shotgun

Next up we have another spring-powered shotgun, capable of holding a 19 round magazine of BBs, and firing them up to 390 fps.

It’s a single-shot, pump action weapon, with “slam fire” ability – meaning that you can shoot as fast as you can pump.

Offering a Picatinny rail system for scopes, flashlights or other accessories, it also features sling mounts, and comes complete with a sling, and adjustable stock. Other statistics include a length of 26.5 inches, and the weapon weighs in at 1.96 lbs.

Pros

  • Excellent price.
  • Lightweight.
  • Solid look.
  • Slam-fire capability.
  • Decent accuracy.

Cons

  • Limited magazine capacity.
  • The sling mounts aren’t the best.

Takeaway

Another decent choice as an entry-level pump action that will suit casual or backyard players down to the ground. Probably the best cheap airsoft shotgun out there – or at least one of them.

Evike Mossberg Licensed M590 Airsoft Shotgun

Fully licensed by famous shotgun manufacturer Mossberg, this M590 just looks like a lot of fun.

Designed by replica aficionados Cybergun, it’s made with a high strength polymer construction, with a large-capacity 180 round magazine for blasting all those relentless zombies back to hell.

I’ve included it purely because of that purpose – and it looks like a lot of fun to play in a scenario game. The chainsaw grip can be removed, and there are rails available for adding other accessories.

For velocity, you’re looking at 300-350 fps, and there’s an adjustable hop-up if you want to try and improve range and accuracy.

Pros

  • It looks badass.
  • Great price.
  • Solid construction.
  • Aggressive muzzle.
  • High capacity mag.

Cons

  • You might not be taken seriously.
  • Chainsaw grip not for everyone.

Takeaway

We play airsoft for the fun of it – and this chainsaw shotgun epitomizes that fun. You might not win any MilSim competitions (or even be allowed to play) but it’s perfect for some backyard blasting anytime.

Evike CYMA Polymer M870 Airsoft Shotgun

CYMA is a renowned airsoft gun manufacturer and one of the oldest in the world, so they should know a thing or two about it.

They’re also the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of many products, and this is their M870 three-round burst shell loading shotgun.

It’s the first of our entries in the review that uses a tri-shot system – firing three BBs with every pull of the trigger, so you get a more realistic “buckshot” effect and might be able to take out more than one enemy at a time as a result.

Featuring a polymer receiver, pistol grip, and metal barrel assembly, it’s based on the famous Remington 870 shotgun, and uses realistic cartridges that can each contain 30 rounds.

Pros

  • Beautifully designed.
  • Iconic look.
  • 208-306 FPS.
  • Rubber butt pad.
  • Highly rated.
  • Affordable price.

Cons

  • Larger than you might think.
  • Only one shell included.
  • Not the best range.

Takeaway

Get some respect down at your airsoft field with this excellent 870 replica from CYMA. It’s not going to be great in the woods, but you can sure put the hurt on folks if you’re clearing buildings.

Lancer Tactical LT-7352 Airsoft Shotgun

More affordable airsoft products now from Lancer Tactical – a leading name in the community, especially for beginners.

The LT-7352 is another tri-shot system that fires three BBs at once, and uses shotgun-style shells that each contain 30 rounds before you have to reload.

Featuring a shorter barrel for close quarters combat, it also has an excellent folding stock so you can alternate firing from the hip or from the shoulder.

The double-steel spring propeller provides 300-350 fps for excellent power and range, and the textured, no-slip grip gives you easy cocking with no gas or batteries in sight.

Pros

  • Stylish look and feel.
  • Affordable.
  • Sling hooks.
  • Durable, solid construction.

Cons

  • No rail system.
  • Only one shell provided.

Takeaway

This is a well-made close quarter shotgun that could potentially be devastating around those tight corners and blindsided.

The folding stock is the real winner though, and for the price, this is one of the best airsoft shotguns out there.

Jag Arms Scattergun HD Gas Airsoft Shotgun

JAG Arms brings us this absolute beast of a shotgun, that offers a realistic gas-powered experience but at an affordable price.

Able to fire three bursts and six bursts as two different modes, the full stock design is made from a combination of metal and durable polymer for the handguard and grip.

The gas tank is fully removable and is located in the stock, and the Picatinny rail system allows the addition of optics, flashlight or other accessories.

All in all, it offers an unbeatable look and feel that’s close to that of the real room cleaner it’s based upon.

Pros

  • Top quality construction.
  • Good weight and solid feel.
  • 120 shots per tank of green gas.
  • 300-330 FPS.
  • Perfect length for CQB.

Cons

  • Fixed hop-up (which can be good and bad).

Takeaway

It’s hard to find fault with this excellent replica weapon from JAG Arms. It looks and feels good, with a nice heft, and the ideal length for breaching rooms.

Turn up at your next game with this, and they’ll know you’re serious.

Hudson Metal Mad Max Sawed Airsoft Shotgun

Time for a little variety now with this replica of the famous double-barreled Mad Max sawed off.

Take on the Toecutters and the War Boys with a green-gas powered shotgun that looks the business and will give you serious rep if you can pull off a bunch of kills as you rampage through the arena.

Capable of a very respectable 420 fps with .20g BBs, you have decent power and range for close quarters combat.

It’s a nice weight at 5 lbs, with the look and feel of the real deal, while offering a realistic double-barrel option to shoot individually or both at the same time. Immortan Joe doesn’t stand a chance.

Pros

  • Durable construction.
  • Real wood furniture.
  • High-power gas shells.
  • Safety switch.

Cons

  • It’s on the heavy side to be really practical.
  • Loading can be a bit fiddly.

Takeaway

Perhaps one for gun collectors and movie enthusiasts only, this is a little too much to be useful in combat. Still, it looks amazing and will get you a lot of compliments if you want to try it.

Evike M1887 Terminator Lever Airsoft Shotgun

I really tried not to include this – honestly I did. But in the end, because I made the Terminator reference at the beginning of the article, it would have been a sin not to.

Yes, this is a replica of the lever action Winchester 1887 made famous (among other things) by Arnold Schwarzenegger and a Harley-Davidson.

With a durable aluminum alloy barrel, magazine tube, and receiver, the stock grip and handguard are real wood.

Capable of firing 1-3 BBs per shot with green gas, the smooth racking action is so very satisfying, and you’ll get a respectable 200-300 fps velocity each time.

Pros

  • Beautifully designed.
  • Faithful reconstruction.
  • Premium materials.
  • Five shell magazine.
  • Realistic ejecting shell action.

Cons

  • Not practical for CQB.
  • No hop up.
  • Pretty weak fps.
  • You can’t do the cool-Terminator-one-handed-reload-action (which is what everyone wants it for).

Takeaway

The manufacturer recommends you don’t spin it around with one hand when chasing down cyborgs, but other than that this is a stunning airsoft shotgun that would grace any collection.

Evike APS CAM870 Airsoft MKII Shotgun

Famous airsofter Novritsch has had this shell ejecting realistic pump action gas shotgun on his Youtube channel, which inspired its inclusion here – just because it looks so badass.

One of the most popular shotguns of its type on the market, it looks and feels like the real thing, ejecting shells from the chamber every time you pump the action, firing up to 12 BBs with each pull of the trigger.

Easily one of the best shotguns for buckshot style kills, the shells are individually loaded with gas and BBs, and will release at a muzzle velocity of around 280 fps per pellet. Arguably the most realistic airsoft shotgun on the market.

Pros

  • As real as it gets without being an actual shotgun.
  • Premium materials.
  • Smooth racking action.
  • Good weight.
  • Vertical folding grip.
  • Nylon fiber composite furniture.

Cons

  • Wastes a fair amount of ammo per shot.
  • Individually gassing and loading each shell is extremely time-consuming.
  • Once you’re out of ammo – you’re pretty much done.

Takeaway

If you’re going for ultra-realism and you want the look, feel, kick, and cartridge eject of a real shotgun, then this is probably as close as it gets in the airsoft world.

There’s just quite a few downsides that don’t make it that practical for the battlefield.

Tokyo Marui Super 90 Airsoft Pump Shotgun

Tokyo Marui Super 90 Full Size Airsoft Pump Shotgun

As a by-word for the best in the business, Tokyo Marui will just roll off the tongues of anyone who knows anything about airsoft. They’re the guys that pretty much started it all, and this is one of the best airsoft shotguns ever invented.

Made with a high-quality ABS polymer construction with metal barrel and mag tube, it’s a spring-powered gun with no need for gas or batteries, with a tri-shot feature that can shoot three BBs at a time.

It will give you around 280 fps muzzle velocity, and as it’s based off the Benelli M3 12-gauge shotgun – it should put the fear of God into anyone who comes up against you on the field.

Pros

  • The real deal.
  • Beautifully designed.
  • Realistic weight.
  • Smooth pump action.
  • Highly accurate.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • No rail system.

Takeaway

Sure, it’s pricey, but boy is it worth it. Never mind being the best airsoft shotgun, it’s one of the best airsoft guns of all time – period.

Just make sure you’re wearing plenty of protection when using the thing – like one of these excellent airsoft masks.

Tokyo Marui Sledge Hammer Airsoft Shotgun

Tokyo Marui Sledge Hammer Airsoft Electric Shotgun

It has to be said that electric shotguns are a rare breed and are few and far between. But when Tokyo Marui gets involved to make this thing, then you have an airsoft gun that’s on another level.

The injection molded polymer body has a metal frame for improved durability, with a tri-shot setting that fires three BBs every time you pull the trigger.

However, the difference here is that it’s also capable of full auto, so you have a devastating hybrid weapon that can adapt to your playing style.

And the ingenious three separate hop-ups allow you to fine tune where each shot is placed. If you’re playing CQB and you come up rocking this – it’s just not going to be fair.

Pros

  • Just about everything.

Cons

  • Exorbitantly expensive.
  • You’ll blaze through the rounds.

Takeaway

Repeatedly mentioned in the airsoft community as one of the best guns ever, it’s “Sledgehammer” by name and a sledgehammer by nature. You’ll probably never need another gun.

EMG Salient Arms M870 MKII Airsoft Shotgun

Now, we finish with something that any player would want in their locker – the ultra-realistic fully licensed M870 shotgun from Salient Arms.

Based on the classic Remington 870, it’s designed for aggressive combat, with a heavy-duty aluminum body, no slip grip, and steel action bars for smoother cycling and improved durability.

Able to fire up to 12 BBs with one trigger pull, it then realistically ejects the cartridge when it’s spent.

Easily one of the most advanced airsoft shotguns on the market, you’ll also need a pair of these tactical shooting gloves if you really want to look the part.

Pros

  • Beautifully accurate.
  • Easy fill gas-in-bolt design.
  • Premium quality materials throughout.
  • Highly rated and revered in the community.

Cons

  • Get ready to sell a kidney to own one.
  • Limited rounds – you’ll be reloading a lot.
  • Slow rate of fire.

Takeaway

It might well be one of the most expensive airsoft shotguns out there, but it truly is a thing of beauty and worth every dime. It doesn’t get much better than this for realism. Whatever you do – don’t go waving it around on the street.

How to Choose the Best Airsoft Shotgun

Below you’ll find a handy buyer’s guide for assistance in what you should be looking out for when you’re in the market for a new airsoft shotgun.

airsoft military game players with assault rifles

Why an Airsoft Shotgun?

First of all, in a community dominated by AEGs and airsoft pistols, why would you ever want an airsoft shotgun?

Perhaps the number one response to this would be – because they look unbelievably awesome. And you can still you a pistol as an airsoft backup gun.

For practical purposes on the field of play, shotguns receive mixed reviews, but purely down to the fact that they look and feel so badass- many players don’t really care.

There’s nothing quite like pulling a shotgun out of your tactical backpack as you prepare to breach and clear a room.

Firing multiple BBs ensures you have a much greater chance of hitting your target, and then absolutely decimating everyone within range – much to their shock and surprise.

However, that being said, they’re obviously much better when playing indoors, and kinda useless when you’re in the woods.

As a bonus, at the more budget-friendly end of the scale and because many of them are spring-powered, you’ll find airsoft shotguns are a simple and effective choice for beginners.

They’re a great back up option if you’d like to switch up your gameplay and prefer a shotgun over a pistol for CQB. Or, if you just want a new challenge with limited ammo and the need to make every shot count.

Either way, any decent airsoft enthusiast worth their salt will have at least one shotgun in their arsenal.

They’re just really good to keep handy – for close encounters.

airsoft military game players in camouflage uniform

Power Source/FPS

Airsoft shotguns, like most other airsoft rifles, are powered by three different sources – green gas/Co2, single-action spring, or battery-powered electric.

Of those, the most common will be gas and spring power. Electric is usually just reserved for AEGs.

Spring-powered shotguns will use a spring piston that is cocked, in this case usually with the pumping of the forestock. The weapon is ready to fire and will do so when the trigger is pressed.

Shotguns that are spring-powered are most commonly single shotguns that fire one BB round at a time, but have the advantage of higher capacity magazines and no gas or batteries required.

They also often fire at a higher fps rate and as such offer more power and range.

Gas or Co2 powered shotguns can come in two distinct types. Some you charge the shotgun itself with gas, and others you charge the cartridge.

You can achieve a more rapid rate of fire, often with a choice of how many BBs you’re firing at the same time.

Plus, the added realism of cartridges that eject like real shotguns, as well as a heavier recoil that simulates that of an actual firearm, is just a winner for most airsofters.

Finally, electric shotguns use a rechargeable battery pack like AEGs to send ammunition down range. While they’re few and far between, what they lack in realism they make up for in practicality – and can be devastating when in play.

The FPS refers to Feet Per Second, which is the muzzle velocity of the shotgun – how fast the BBs will travel once fired from the barrel.

Type of Shotgun

Most shotguns in the current airsoft market will be replicas of pump-action weapons. Likely because this system works well on the platform.

However, single-action shotguns are available, as are double-barreled variants, break-action, sawed-off guns, and semi-automatics.

Basically, if it exists as a real shotgun, it’s likely available as its airsoft counterpart.

The type you choose will depend on what you’re into, what game/scenario you’re playing, or just what you like the look of for cleaning rooms.

airsoft sniper with automatic rifle and mask

Shell/Ammo Setup

Airsoft shotguns use various methods for ejecting BBs down range and at your intended target.

A spring-action shotgun will utilize a magazine filled with BBs. Every time the weapon is cocked, a round will be chambered.

But the shotguns that use cartridges (similar to that of a real firearm) operate differently.

You will be able to purchase empty shotgun cartridges compatible with your weapon, that you then fill with BBs, and then load into the gun.

Once cocked and the trigger pulled, the gun will expel either three or six BBs (sometimes more) depending on the type of weapon it is. Then, it will either eject the cartridge itself, or you need to remove and replace it manually.

Some shotguns will expel the contents of the entire shell, and you can send upwards of 12 BBs down range.

There are all kinds of disadvantages to these systems, including limited amounts of ammo, having to collect the cartridges, and lengthy reload times.

But it’s also a lot of fun, super-realistic, and you have a higher chance of hitting your target if you’re firing a lot of BBs for that scatter-gun effect.

It’s important that you understand the ammo/cartridge set up of the shotgun before you make a purchase – so check with each individual weapon for more information.

Weight

A heavy-duty shotgun might look totally badass on the field, but after running around with it for a while, you might begin to regret it.

Some airsoft guns are meant for the field, and others are meant to be admired as a replica display piece, or used on the range.

While lightweight weapons won’t have quite the same authenticity, what they lack in realism they more than make up for in practicality.

This is especially important for younger or beginner airsofters, who perhaps won’t be used to carrying heavier firearms.

Accessories/Rails

Shotguns aren’t often used with optics, but it’s nice to have the option. However, adding a flashlight to such weapons is a really smart idea – especially as they’re best used indoors.

As such, it’s nice when the guns come with Weaver or Picatinny rails already mounted. This makes it easy for you to add the accessories of your choice should you so desire.

Always have one eye on improving or upgrading any airsoft gun you buy – and check to see if it’s capable of doing so before purchasing.

Cost

Finding a decent airsoft shotgun actually doesn’t have to break the bank, and they are an ideal option for beginners, or anyone looking to stick to a lower budget.

Having said that, they can also be extortionately expensive, and higher-end models can cost an arm and a leg.

As ever, I’d encourage you to spend as much as you can afford to get the weapon you want – but don’t run before you can walk.

Choose something that will give you a taste if you’re just starting out – in case you find it’s not for you.

tactical combat pump shotgun shooting training

FAQs

What is the best airsoft shotgun?

That depends on what you need/want it for and it’s a subjective question. However, if push came to shove, I’d have to say the Salient Arms M870 really takes some beating.

For a more affordable option, there’s a lot to like about the JAG Arms Scattergun.

Are airsoft shotgun shells reusable?

Yes. Providing you pick them up after they’ve been ejected, of course. Or, you simply save them in a secure pocket during play and refill them with BBs later.

Try these tactical pants with knee pads for some great airsoft apparel with loads of storage options for spare ammo.

How do airsoft shotgun shells work?

Airsoft shotgun cartridges can be filled with BBs, and then either the gun or the cartridge itself is primed with Co2 or green gas. BBs are fired from the carriage when the trigger is pulled.

Cartridges will then either eject automatically or you have to remove them yourself when spent.

Spring shotguns tend to use 30-shot magazines instead of “shells.”

All three variants are reusable.

Is there a single shot airsoft shotgun?

Yes. Most spring-powered airsoft shotguns are single-shot and fire one BB per round.

Your rate of fire will depend on how fast you can pump the forestock.

How does a tri shot airsoft shotgun work?

Tri shot shotguns are the airsoft guns that allow you to fire three pellets per shot, thus increasing the chance of you hitting your target.

But instead of ejecting all the BBs in the cartridge at once (like buckshot) it only shoots three. You’ll notice that these cartridges are loaded with BBs in a hole at the top – usually with a speed loader.

Some models of shotguns will let you choose between three and six BBs that are ejected with each shot.

And advanced weapons will allow you to adjust the hop-up of each BB, to really control the slug grouping.

What are some of the loudest airsoft shotguns available?

Airsoft guns, by their very nature, aren’t particularly loud at all. But if you’re looking for the loudest, then you should choose a GBBG (Gas Blow Back Gun).

They will simulate the most realism, but they’re still nowhere near as loud as a proper firearm, or even a weapon firing blanks.

Is an airsoft shotgun a good option?

For CQB (Close Quarter Battles) it’s probably one of the best options. Great for intimidating opponents and wiping out rooms full of enemy Tangos.

Plus, they’re immensely satisfying – and a whole lot of fun. So, yes is the answer to your question.

Do airsoft shotguns hurt?

They can if you’re not wearing the right protective gear. Make sure your skin is covered and that you’re wearing a pair of the best airsoft eye goggles at the very least.

Are airsoft shotguns legal?

Yes. They’re not classed as firearms and are legal for use by all ages.

However, it’s highly recommended you retain the orange safety tip to avoid confusing it with a real weapon, and if you have to take this off, only do so on designated airsoft fields and never in public.

Note that this will also void the warranty with many airsoft gun manufacturers.

What should I wear for airsoft with a shotgun?

Check out the video below for some awesome ideas for an airsoft tactical loadout if you’re rocking the shotgun at your next game. And take a look at this article for what to wear for airsoft in general.

Summary

Airsoft shotguns. Righteous. Badass. Take no prisoners.

I hope this article has helped you find the best airsoft shotgun in 2022 for your set up. Or, if you just like collecting the weapons, it’s given you some ideas on the next one to pick up.

Let me know which weapon you’ve gone for and why.

Happy airsofting, and don’t worry…

…I’ll be back.