Introduction: I have been looking around for a new airsoft weapon for some time. Having already owned an AEG and gas pistol I had decided I wanted something different, something you don’t see everyday. After browsing several HK websites I came upon the shotgun section. I had a look at all the TM, Maruzen and Marushin brands but the one shotgun that struck me most was the mossberg series. I decided to get the full stock/ghost ring sight version as I wanted a nice sturdy weapon as well as easy to aim sights. Before purchasing the shotgun, I had searched just about every popular airsoft forum and had done countless of google searches. This only resulted in a few sentences of rather unhelpful information. Still, I did not want to settle for another AEG so I bit the bullet and decided to order it. But from where?
Where to purchase: At the time of purchase, the only trusted HK shop I found that carried the mossberg model that I wanted was UNCompany (insert hyperlink for www.uncompany.com). I knew the shotgun could only take 134a gas and thus resulted in rather poor FPS. This wouldn’t be a problem when playing CQB/Urban type of games but I wanted to use the shotgun for woodland games as well. This is when I came upon Airsoft Armoury (not to be confused with the UK based Airsoft Armoury http://www.airsoftarmoury.co.uk/ ).
While still pending an e-mail from UNCompany I decided to try to contact Airsoft Armoury (AA). When I hit the contact us button I was surprised to find several instant messenger contact programs such as MSN and ICQ messengers. I was curious, so I tried contacting them through MSN. What happened next put a smile on my face, instant customer service! I had spoken with Ivan Poon from AA and received excellent and speedy replies in fluent english.
Note: As of now, AA does not support these messenging services due to being bogged down by hundreds of customers asking questions. Instead, AA has set up a “help desk” for any questions and speedy replies. The help desk can be found on their website at http://www.airsoft-armory.com/information.aspx?information=Helpdesk
The customer service from AA was excellent. They upgraded my shotgun with higher degree o-rings and disabled the overflow valve. This was to prevent any leaks that have been known to occur with the mossberg shotguns when using green gas or other high power gasses. As told from Ivan, the shotgun was now ready to take green gas and red gas safely and efficiently without an worries. I put the order in as well as with a few accessories and it arrived within four business days at my door (Florida, US).
First Impressions: As I tore open the packaging paper I found everything to be nicely packaged and undamaged. I was greeted by a rather cheesy looking yellow box with big bold letters written “MOSSBERG M500SSB 8mmBB”. The shotgun came with a manual (written in japanese only), target sheet, small bag of 8mm BBs and a marushin catalog.
When I first picked the shotgun up my first thought was “Wow, this is heavy!”. The shotgun felt nice and sturdy when shouldered. Racking the pump handle emits one of the most nicest sounds I have ever heard on an airsoft shotgun with a loud *KLACK-KLACK*. Very satisfying. One feature that really detracted from the weapon’s sturdyness was the pump handle. As told by Ivan Poon, the pump handle was attached securely to the pump guide rods, but has some slight play to it from left to right.
Appearance: The mossberg has a very nice bold black finish to it. Finding out which parts are metal was a bit tricky. I am not 100% if the receiver, trigger guard, and outer barrel are made of metal because they have the appearance of some type of plastic but they are always cool to the touch as metal parts, unlike the plastic stock.
If they are indeed metal, then the metal parts found on the gun are as followed: Receiver, outer barrel, shotgun shell tube, trigger, safety, trigger guard and pump guide rods. The pump handle and stock are made of ABS plastic. The stock was very sturdy, with a nice rubber recoil pad at the end (albeit useless in airoft, but comfy nonetheless). The ghost ring sights were clear and easy to aim, especially with some white paint doted at the end of the front sight. The ejector port is easily spotted with a nice finish and moves back and forth as you pump the shotgun.
Proper trademarks can be seen throughout the gun’s receiver and and outer barrel, though they can be rather shallow at some points. On the left side of the reciever you can find a “Mossberg” logo with “CHAMBERED FOR 2¾ AND 3IN. SHELLS —-12 GA – 18½ IN. CYLINDER BORE —-“.
On the right side you will find the ASGK logo with “Marushin Industy Co., LTD” (yes, industry spelled wrong) with the marushin logo following. The on the outer barrel you’ll find a big “WARNING” followed by ” BEFORE USE READ OWNER’S GUIDE FOR SAFE OPERATION ———— FREE FROM P.O. BOX 497. NORTH HAVEN. CT. 06473″.
Shooting: Shooting the mossberg is a delight but first you must load it up. Loading the gun with BBs is simple. First you need to turn a small latch 180 degrees to unlock the shotgun tube rod. You then pump the handle back and pull the tube rod out. A large opening on the shotgun tube will now be exposed. Just simply pour in 42 BBs and push the tube rod forward again. Put the pump handle forward, lock the latch, and you’re ready to gas up.
Gassing up is just as any other GBB/NBB weapon. Just insert the gas nozzle into the fill valve and away you go. The gas is stored in an internal tank inside the receiver. A full charge will last about 14-18 shots depending on the amount of gas supplied. Considering the shotgun’s low ammo capacity, I know some of you are wondering if it is possible to reload midgame. My answer to that is yes, but not very easily. You can reload the shotgun with some speed if you practice, but you will need some time. Though I will not recommend doing so in the middle of a firefight ;). The safety is very simple to use and very sturdy due to the all metal build.
When I first fired the mossberg I was amazed on how fast the BBs flew out and the gas that was emitted from the shot. The amount of time it took for the BBs to reach their target was slightly faster than my upgraded MP5. The shotgun fires three 8mm BBs for each trigger pull. Racking the pump handle loads another 3 BBs into the chamber and cocks the hammer ready for another shot. Be aware that you will not achieve pin point accuracy with this weapon. The BBs are all shot out through one single barrel.
The gun does indeed have hop up, this would be the SSB or super sonic barrel (marushin’s hop-up). When firing, the BBs travel in a very tight grouping at about 30-40 feet. After that, the grouping starts to spread considerably with having one of the three BBs usually on a flat straight path. I have not been able to chrono the shotgun, but firing it one BB at a time seems to give about 380-400 fps while three BBs give about 280-300 or so fps. Doing the coke can test (albeit on a beer can), the shotgun easily penetrated ANY part of the can from about 6 inches away. This is likely due to the force of three 8mm BBs penetrating the same spot.
Here is a list of unbiased pros and cons I listed at the forums.
Conclusion: In all, I think the Mossberg M500SSB 8mm is a great shotgun. The power is good, the weight is nice, sturdy, and the sound of racking it just makes people jump. If you are looking for a shotgun and want something different but don’t want the hassle of buying zillions of shells, go for the Mossberg. I’ve had the shotgun for two months now and it has perfomed wonderfully.
I’d rate the weapon followed by specs.
Range test (by Arnie): Sequential shots of an M500 running on propane fired at range (towards the tree in the backdrop).
By Evil Cookie