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Review

Marushin Mossberg M500 (8mm)
  • Manufacturer 
     Marushin
  • Model 
     Mossberg M500
  • Capacity 
     42 8mm BBs
  • Weight 
     3150 grams
  • Power 
     220 fps / 350 fps
  • Power Source 
     HFC134a, Top Gas
  • Blowback 
     No
  • Hop-up 
     Fixed
  • Shooting Mode 
     Pump action
  • Construction 
     All metal and polymer

Pros

  • Heavy metal construction
  • Realistic action
  • Actual shotgun effect with spread
  •  

    Cons

  • Slow to reload
  •  

    Verdict

    This shotgun is the gamer's choice! In contrast to shooting 8mm BBs, it doesn't use much ammo because the capacity and shooting rate are not on par with electric guns. Points naturally to make every shot count!

     

    KA-CHUNG! The sound of cycling a pump-action shotgun is one of the most intimidating effects related to firearms. Regularly used in movies - racked often even without need - and also commonly seen as the most effective weapon in video games, it's no wonder why it has such notoriety. Anyone who has watched action movies and played games would soil their pants when faced with a real shotgun!

    Of course in an airsoft game where you respawn and play several rounds during the day, the intimidation factor wears down quickly if the weapon is not actually effective. There are lots of different shotguns out there, and various models balance between realism (using shells and multiple projectiles) and effectiveness (range, capacity). This time we take a look at Marushin's view how an airsoft shotgun should be made.

    The barrel switch is turned to extend the magazine tube.
    Hidden underneath the pump handle, the loading port is well protected and easy to use. 42 BBs capacity.
    The gas valve is located in the area where the real one would be loaded. Hidden next to it is the dump valve, which may activate with Green Gas.

    Lifting the Marushin Mossberg M500 out of the box is a pleasant experience. It is constructed entirely out of metal and durable polymer, and weighing in at 3.2 kg it is extremely close to the real one in balance and feel. Following the usual snooping around the details, the parts are well made and finished. The markings are not numerous, but they don't stand out on real shotguns either. On the left side of the receiver there are Mossberg markings with caliber information, and on the right side we find a subtle Marushin monogram.

    The stock and grip are polymer. While seam lines are found on these parts, they are present on the real counterpart as well. The trigger guard is also polymer like on the real thing, although the M590 Military model has a light alloy trigger assembly. The loading port has a gas valve in it, but otherwise it's really difficult to tell that it's actually an airsoft gun.

    This particular model has a ghost-ring sight, and a desert color scheme. The ghost ring sight is incredibly fast to aim, and has adjustment for elevation. The polymer parts are tan through and through, while on metal parts it's a nice matte coating.

    The safety is located conveniently to be operated by the thumb. As usual in firearm ergonomics, forward means fire.
    The polymer stock has a soft rubber pad. Unnecessary for the recoil, this is still a realistic touch instead of the plastic used by many.
    Inside the polymer trigger guard you'll find a metal trigger, and behind the trigger guard a steel unlocking lever.

    Racking the action for the first time is quite simply awesome. The sound and feel are exactly like on the real thing, instead of an obvious feeling of compressing a piston. If you're ever going to shout: "Get off my property!", the right timing is after loading a pump-action shotgun. After one loading motion, the handguard is locked forward, just like on the real thing. You have to either pull the trigger to release it, or press an unlocking latch behind the trigger guard. It is conveniently placed to use with the middle finger, and made of stamped sheet steel.

    Loading BBs into the Marushin M500 is an interesting feat. The whole feeding system is ingeniously hidden into the shotgun, so there are no tacky magazines or obvious feed holes on the exterior of the shotgun. The loading port below the magazine tube is revealed when the handle is retracted. Then the barrel lock lever is turned to release the front of the magazine tube. On the real M500 it's used to change the barrel. The magazine tube plug is extracted, allowing you to load 42 8mm BBs into the loading tube. The BBs roll freely towards the back of the shotgun. The magazine tube is then pressed back in, compressing the magazine spring.

    Each time the action is cycled, three BBs are chambered. Even if you rack multiple times (with the help of the unlocking lever), you still get three BBs per shot. The chamber resembles a hockey puck on its side, with a diagonal hole through the middle. The hole is normally aligned with the gas nozzle and inner barrel, sealed from both ends. When the bolt reaches rear position, the chamber tilts down, blocking the rear of the hole while allowing BBs from the magazine tube to enter. Pushing the handle forward brings the chamber back into alignment with the gas nozzle and port. Simple and effective!

    The ejection port is covered by a metal bolt.
    The bolt moves back with the handle. Note the circular chamber indicator, which is now horizontal.
    In the rear position, the circular part tilts down to be fed with BBs from the magazine tube. It returns to horizontal when the action is closed.

    Real shotguns depend on a shot not only to increase hit probability with the spread, but primarily for the increased effects of multiple hits on one target. For example in hunting, the shock of multiple hits could kill a small animal, even if none of the individual projectiles actually penetrated the fur. As each hit counts in airsoft games, three BBs at a time is a suitable amount in our opinion. The magazine capacity is 42, so you'll get 14 effective shots before having to reload.

    The spread of the Marushin shotgun is commendable. The LD-2 Hop-Up system is not your ordinary hop-up. Basically there is one traditional hop-up nub in the beginning of the barrel, but another one closer to the muzzle. It has been criticized by some for reducing accuracy, but it provides a very effective spin to the 0.34g BBs to achieve maximum shooting distance. And in a shotgun, can you really complain for spread?

    From a range of 10 meters, the maximum distance between the three holes was around 100mm on average. Shooting cans from this distance is child's play, and the ergonomics and natural "pointability" of this shotgun make it a fast runner. Got an opponent slicing the pie with an MP5 around the corner? No problem! The fire rate and huge 8mm BBs coming at them will keep elbows in and heads down when you turn the tables and get them instead!

    Shooting three BBs at a time through a chrono gives inaccurate readings, so single BBs were used for velocity testing. With green gas the velocity was 350 fps, which equals 1.92 Joules, while with HFC134a the velocity was 220 fps. The surface area of an 8mm BB is larger, which means that they do not penetrate clothing or break skin as easily as 6mm BBs: They are safe to use in a regular wargame alongside 6mm guns, even if the muzzle energy is higher. In Japan, where they have a strict 0.98 Joule energy limit for 6mm guns, the equivalent limit for 8mm guns is 1.64 Joules.

    Two grub screws prevent the outer barrel from sliding forward. It is supported by a base piece and two O-rings for alignment and durability.
    In the barrel base you can find a screw, which can be used to make rough adjustments to the hop-up. Then there are decelator ports and a chicane, and finally a second hop-up rubber for maximum spin.
    The shotgun is not recommended to be disassembled further than this without expertice.

    The Marushin M500 shotgun series have everything that an airsoft gun should have, and specifically a shotgun type. They fire multiple projectiles, provide an intimidating factor (8mm BBs), have realistic operation and weight, and have a good firepower as well. They have no shells, so the convenience factor is high. Even though they are a little bit slow to reload when you run out of ammo, by that time quite a few other players have already left for the off-game area.

  • M500 Ghost Ring Sight version (Tan)
  • M500 Ghost Ring Sight version (Black)