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An airsoft spring shotgun shoots BBs down range with the help of a compressed spring. Spring airsoft shotguns must be manually cocked before each shot and have a limited effective range. 

New and young airsoft players can easily start with an airsoft spring shotgun to learn the rules of the game and then upgrade to another type of airsoft gun if they choose to continue with the sport. 

What Is an Airsoft Spring Shotgun?

Airsoft spring shotguns are a type of shotgun that uses a compressed spring to propel BBs down range. Although airsoft spring shotguns aren’t as popular as automatic electric shotguns (AESs) or airsoft gas shotguns, they have their place in airsoft. Many beginners choose an airsoft spring shotgun as their primary or secondary weapon. 

Airsoft spring shotguns tend to shoot at lower speeds. You must cock the shotgun every time before you take a shot. Most airsoft spring shotguns are inexpensive and easy to maintain. Unlike green gas-powered or electric shotguns, springer shotguns don’t require compressed gas or batteries. Most typically require slings if you want to carry them for more than a game or two.

Families into airsoft may introduce their younger children to the sport via an airsoft spring shotgun. This type of airsoft gun excels in close-quarters battle (CQB) scenarios and indoor fields where combat is up close and personal. 

Beyond an airsoft spring shotgun, younger players can graduate to a different type of shotgun or any number of other platforms, such as an airsoft pistol, airsoft rifle, airsoft grenade launcher, airsoft sniper rifle, or submachine gun (SMG).

How Does an Airsoft Spring Shotgun Work?

The concept of an airsoft spring shotgun combines the concept of a spring-powered gun and a shotgun platform. Spring airsoft guns, often called “springers,” compress a spring and release it when you pull the trigger. As the spring releases, it builds up the air necessary to propel BBs down range. The best part about springers is that they’re less affected by temperature than gas airsoft guns.

Springer airsoft guns must be manually cocked every time you want to shoot. The spring tension dictates the force with which the spring decompresses, making stronger springs more powerful than lighter springs. However, heavy springs can make spring-powered airsoft rifles challenging to cock, as players must overcome the spring tension each time. 

Regarding the shotgun platform, spring airsoft shotguns can fire one or multiple shots like a standard real-steel shotgun. Most airsoft shotguns are either pump-action or bolt-action, describing the method you use to cock the shotgun. Pump-action shotguns can feel more realistic, but bolt-action shotguns can be just as much fun. 

How To Choose an Airsoft Spring Shotgun

Like many other airsoft replicas, airsoft spring shotguns come in many different shapes, styles, and sizes. Let’s take a look at a few models to demonstrate. 

First is the Tokyo Marui SPAS 12 Spring Airsoft Shotgun (Stockless Version), a tri-shot airsoft shotgun that shoots three BBs with each trigger pull and mirrors the Franchi SPAS-12 real-steel combat shotgun. This spring airsoft shotgun incorporates three individual chambers and inner barrels. The shotshells, which load into the gun’s belly, hold 30 BBs each and can be carried in pouches on your person. You may recognize the SPAS 12 from The Terminator movies. 

More tactically inclined players may enjoy the Maruzen CA870 Tactical II Shotgun. This springer shotgun is based on the Remington 870 and definitely looks the part. This pump-action spring shotgun is easy to operate and loads one round that fires from the gun with each trigger pull. The Maruzen CA870 is lightweight and compact and features a manual safety on the trigger guard. It also includes a 40-round magazine and a Picatinny rail for flashlights and accessories.

If pump action is your preferred style of airsoft spring shotgun, check out the KTW Ithaca M37 Sawed Off Airsoft Spring Shotgun. The sawed-off-style shotgun has shown up in countless movies and is used by civilians, law enforcement, and the military. This KTW spring shotgun incorporates a proprietary high-capacity tube magazine, stockless grip, and fake wood-style furniture. You can also manipulate the fire selector to propel one or two BBs down the barrel with each shot. 

Finally, the Maruzen CA870 Bulldog Airsoft Spring Shotgun is also magazine-fed and is very loosely based on the real-steel Remington 870 shotgun. This bulldog spring shotgun lacks a stock and sights but incorporates a manual safety and pistol grip-style foregrip. The 40-round magazine is plenty for one or two games (as you can only fire one round per trigger pull), and the light pump action won’t tire you out. 

How To Upgrade an Airsoft Spring Shotgun

With different types of airsoft guns, you can upgrade things like the hop-up, bucking, handguards, inner barrels, regulators, nozzles, outer barrels, tappet or selector plates, and anything else you can fit on your wishlist. 

However, minus purchasing a particular color of shotgun shells or selecting the ammo brand you prefer, it’s not necessarily worthwhile to upgrade your spring shotgun.

Unfortunately, what you get with your airsoft spring shotgun purchase is what you have to work with. Some airsoft spring shotguns allow you to change springs, but putting in too powerful a replacement spring can damage the internals and render your springer shotgun useless. Despite being a one-and-done airsoft gun, spring shotguns can be a great entry-level and gateway airsoft platform if you’re not particularly worried about FPS. 

Popular Airsoft Spring Shotgun Models

Many airsoft spring shotguns are based on the Remington 870 platform, including the Maruzen CA870 lineup. 

The Maruzen CA870 Airsoft Spring Shotgun (Full Stock Version) packages your typical airsoft shotgun into a traditional stock complete with a pump-action forend. Maruzen’s CA870 Charger Airsoft Spring Shotgun brings a little tactical flavor to the mix with a pistol grip, adjustable M4 folding stock, and short Picatinny rail section for your flashlight or red dot. If you’re a fan of sawed-off shotguns, the CA870 Sawed-Off variant easily fits the bill. 

Die-hard Tokyo Marui enthusiasts have two M3 variants to choose from. The Tokyo Marui M3 Shorty Spring Airsoft Shotgun lacks the stock found on the Tokyo Marui M3 Super 90 Spring Airsoft Shotgun. Both are solid choices if you want a spring airsoft shotgun backed by the Tokyo Marui reputation and aftermarket support. 

BO Manufacture offers tactical FABARM-licensed airsoft spring shotguns, complete with a flash hider. The BO Manufacture FABARM Licensed STF12 11-inch Short Spring Shotgun is an affordable entry-level spring shotgun. Most of BO Manufacture’s airsoft spring shotguns come in either black or FDE. 

Last but not least are the KTW Ithaca airsoft spring shotguns. These models range in style from sawed-off and full metal to the Ithaca M37 Featherlight Airsoft Spring Sniper Rifle. You can’t go wrong adding one of these spring airsoft shotguns to your arsenal. 

RedWolf carries airsoft spring shotguns and various other airsoft guns, accessories, and upgrades. Let us become your go-to source for all things airsoft, whether you’re just starting out or you know your way around an airsoft field.