Airsoft shotguns can be very cool, delivering a unique in-game experience and, properly deployed, giving their users a handy tactical tool they can use to pepper their opponents with BBs.
They can, however, become a little unwieldy in close quarters or in built up areas and can be a little bulky to carry as a secondary.
Sawed-off airsoft shotguns can give users all the benefits of an airsoft shotgun at a fraction of the size. And, unlike real steel sawed-off shotguns, you can probably actually get your hands on one.
They’re also really cool to look at and handle.
With so many different and unfortunately…questionable models on the market, it can, however, sometimes be hard to know which is worth your time and money.
To help out, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are some of the best airsoft sawed-off shotguns on the market.
In a rush? Check out our top picks for Sawed-off airsoft shotguns
|Best All-around||JAG Arms Gas Scattergun Super CQB||Check out the Jag Arms Scattergun CQB|
|Best “Classic” Style||GE M870 Gas Powered 3/6||Check out the Golden Eagle M870 sawed off|
|Best Spring Powered||Elite Force Tactical Force Triburst||Check out the Elite Force Triburst|
|Best Under $100||CYMA Sport M3 Tri Shot Pistol Grip||Check out the CYMA Trishot Pistol Grip|
|Best Double Barreled||KJW/Farsan Mad Max Double Barrel Gas||Check out the Mad Max|
But First, What Is a Sawed Off Shotgun?
A sawed-off shotgun is a colloquial term for a very restricted, short-barreled shotgun, that is a shotgun with a shorter than average gun barrel, usually under 18 inches long (45.7 cm).
Contrary to popular belief, sawed-off shotguns don’t have to look like a cut down wood hunting shotgun.
A sawed-off shotgun can come in most configurations, the key criteria being that they have a short barrel (<18 inches) for easier maneuvering and concealment (which is largely what makes then a no-no).
For airsofters this means you can have tactical looking versions, versions with stocks, versions with pistol grips and more, making them a little more useful and easier to handle in a CQB game than a traditional shotgun design and length.
What To Look For In An Airsoft Sawed-off Shotgun
We have a few criteria that we look for in a good airsoft sawed-off shotgun. These are:
Size: Although technically sawed-off only really refers to the barrel length, given their CQB nature, we like to keep our sawed-off airsoft replicas as short as possible, ideally under 25 or 26 inches, so they can be more easily carried and used in tight spaces.
Reliability: Obviously, as with any airsoft gun, a sawed-off airsoft shotgun should actually work. Unfortunately airsoft shotguns in general have a reputation for being somewhat finicky, so we make sure to take an even closer look at the specs and user complaints of each model.
Performance: Even more than a full sized shotgun, Sawed-off airsoft shotguns are most at home in close in airsoft games. Consequently, we look for those that fall between 240 FPS (which have enough power to hit their targets reliably at some distance) and 350-400 FPS, so as not to violate indoor range limits.
Accuracy vs Spread: There needs to be a fine balance with airsoft shotguns between accuracy and spread. While it is important to be actually able to hit your target at range, it is also important that a shotgun have some spread, giving it the possibility of hitting multiple, clustered targets as well.
Cost: Given that a sawed-off is unlikely to be anyone’s idea of a primary airsoft gun, and since it will likely be used as an occasional secondary, we feel that it’s best that an airsoft sawed-off shotgun should be reasonably priced, typically under $250 at the upper limit, and should have some extra value and features that justify its cost when over $100 or so.
Best Overall Airsoft Sawed Off Shotgun -JAG Arms Gas Scattergun Airsoft Super CQB
|FPS||~320-370 FPS @ 0.20g BBs|
|Total Length||19 inches (483 mm)|
|Weight||4.3 lbs (1950g)|
|Construction||Full metal with polymer furniture|
|Shots||28 rds per shell, 9 ⅓ or 4 ⅔ shots per shell|
|Highly compact design||Not the cheapest airsoft sawed off shotgun out there|
|Pistol Grip with folding, vertical grip makes it easy to use||Slightly fewer rounds per shell than others|
|Gas power makes pumping a breeze, especially for follow ups||Sells out quickly|
|Solid, full metal construction|
|Easy to refill gas tank|
|Compatible with Tokyo Marui shells|
|Variable burst modes – 3 and 6 bbs per pull|
|Feels great to shoot|
|Picatinny rail for easy mounting of accessories|
Based on the Scattergun platform, The JAG Arms Scattergun Super CQB is our choice for an all-around airsoft sawed off shotgun.
To start with, it is a highly compact airsoft shotgun even compared to other sawed-off shotguns.
Coming in at just under 20 inches long total, the Super CQB is very unobtrusive in close-in games and can be easily stored over a player’s back to be deployed as a secondary.
Yet, despite its size, it is surprisingly well built. It is a full metal airsoft shotgun (with polymer grips and handguards), it can stand up to fairly aggressive indoor airsofting and is well put together, with no rattling or loose parts to speak of.
It has some heft to it as well. Weighing just over 4lbs (1.8KG), it feels solid in-hand and very much like a real shotgun, which we feel is important given its compact dimensions.
Much like its big brothers in the JAG Scattergun series, the Super CQB is a gas-powered airsoft shotgun designed to run Green Gas, and so delivers follow up shots a lot easier and quicker than spring models.
The gas is contained in the grip and is easily filled with a Green Gas canister, and can fire off about 110-120 shots per fill – making the Super CQB fairly gas efficient as well.
The Gen 1 JAG Scatterguns did have an issue with gas leaks. The current Gen 2 models have resolved these issues, and this issue does fall under the company’s fairly expansive 30 day warranty, which is nice.
Because this is an airsoft gun, the shorter length of the Super CQB doesn’t really affect its FPS as much as a real steel might, with the gun delivering a solid 330-350 FPS. While it hits hard, it should be able to be used in most CQB and indoor fields.
Also like its big brothers, the JAG Scattergun Super CQB has multiple burst mode options, toggling between three and six shot bursts as the situation may demand.
The Super CQB has a nice, modern tactical look, with an easy to hold folding vertical grip as a pump that not only helps control the gun, but helps make racking a lot easier than a standard forestock.
It does take a little getting used to if you are more used to pumping traditional forestocks, but once you do the more solid grip it gives you lets you really bang out BBs rapidly.
It also comes with a handy top-mounted picatinny, for the easy addition of optics or other accessories.
Based on the Tokyo Marui 870, the JAG Scattergun CQB accepts most Marui shells, giving it decent compatibility as well.
In terms of price, it’s not the cheapest around, but the JAG Scattergun is a lot cheaper than its more premium-priced Tokyo Marui inspiration, the 870 Breacher, coming in at a sub-$200 price point and offers a roughly similar level of construction with a few more features added to it.
On the downside, it comes with 28 round capacity shells, which is a little less than the 30 rounds normally offered by other shotguns, meaning unless you buy spare Tokyo Marui-compatible shells it will fire off slightly fewer rounds per shell than other models out of the box.
Additionally, the JAG Scattergun series in general (and this gun in particular) is a very popular option with airsofters and it does sell out quickly, meaning it can be hard to get your hands on one.
Well built, highly portable and powerful, although it’s not the cheapest airsoft sawed-off around, we think the JAG Scattergun Super CQB offers a lot of value for money and, if you are interested in adding a sawed-off shotgun to your airsoft arsenal, it should be at least near the top of your list.
Check out our review of the JAG Arms Scattergun series, or
Best “Classic” Style Airsoft Sawed Off Shotgun – Golden Eagle M870 Sawed Off gas shotgun
|FPS||~330-360 FPS @ 0.20g BBs|
|Total Length||25 in (6350mm)|
|Weight||6 lbs (2721g)|
|Construction||Metal frame, real wood foregrip and grip|
|Rounds||30 rounds per shell, 10 shots per shell|
|Real wood furniture and classic sawed-off design||Old school looks – no rails, sights|
|Compact design||Smaller stock = less gas = slightly fewer BBs per fill than some other models|
|Easy to pump, gas powered||Sawed-off style 870 stock is harder to hold and fire than a pistol grip|
|Solid metal barrel and body|
|Variable burst modes – 3 and 6 bbs per pull|
|Easy to refill gas tank in stock|
|Compatible with Tokyo Marui shells|
|Good performance, awesome sound|
|Short trigger pull|
While modern and tactical is nice for some, others prefer the traditional charm of a cut down wooden 870 or M3
For those who feel there’s no school like the old school, the Golden Eagle M870 Sawed Off gas shotgun delivers the right look with capable performance to back it up on the field.
The Golden Eagle M870 is a compact airsoft shotgun. At 25 inches long, it can be easily handled in a tight CQB or indoor field and is similarly easy to carry as a secondary.
It’s quite durable as well. It sports a full metal frame and barrel with real wood furniture that can take the typical knocks and bangs of being swung around during an indoor game.
The wood furnishings give it some heft as well, at 6 lbs this sawed-off replica feels very much like a real shotgun in hand and it feels great to hold and fire.
The Golden Eagle M870 Sawed Off uses a gas-powered airsoft shotgun, running on Green Gas and has a built-in tank located in the sawed-off-style 870 grip.
The grip has a built-in fill nozzle and is pretty straightforward to fill, and is good for about 70-75 shots between fills, which while not the greatest, is decent enough for most games.
In terms of power, this little airsoft shotgun packs a big punch. It has a great, short trigger and will deliver a solid ~330-360 FPS, which means it should be legal for most indoor games, and provides users with a great sounding blast when fired.
The gun has a nice spread to it, and should be able to hit most targets at around 50-70 feet.
The gun does have variable burst modes, being able to fire off 3 and 6 shot volleys with the flip of a lever, which adds a bit of flexibility and gives you some choice in game as to how you want to handle a situation.
The gun comes with 3 shells and some BBs, letting you get in some shooting right out of the box. It can fire most Tokyo Marui shells, which is a nice bit of compatibility that should help make it easier to own.
In terms of price, the Golden Eagle M870 Sawed Off tends to come in at the $150-170 range. Although not the cheapest option out there, it does offer old school looks, decent gas performance, hard hitting FPS, durable build quality and real wood furniture that we think makes it worth its price tag.
On the downside, because it does have such a tapered and smaller grip, it does hold fewer shots (70-75) per fill than some other models, like the JAG Scattergun.
This cut-down style grip can also make it a little harder to rack, fire and control than a nice, solid pistol grip would. Combined with a lack of full sights, you’re going to want to keep this one for shorter range games.
Overall, however, if you are looking for a sawed-off shotgun and the more modern looks aren’t doing it for you, the Golden Eagle M870 Sawed Off gas shotgun is a solid little performer that just might be what you’re looking for.
Best Spring Powered Sawed Off – Elite Force Tactical Force Triburst
|Action||Pump (tri shot)|
|FPS||~250 FPS @ 0.20g BBs|
|Total Length||22.83 in (580 MM)|
|Weight||2.43 lbs (1100g)|
|Construction||Metal barrel, polymer receiver|
|Shots||30 rds/shell, 10 shots per shell|
|Fairly affordable||Not as much heft as some other shotguns|
|Nice and compact||Not the hardest hitting or the greatest range|
|Smooth and very reliable firing|
|Includes a side saddle|
|Lots of room for optics and accessories with three picatinny rail attachments|
|Solid performance at indoor/CQB FPS|
|Comes with speed loader and 7 shells|
If you prefer the reliability of a spring powered airsoft shotgun over more fickle nature of gas, Elite Force’s Tactical Force Tri-shot shotgun might be more your speed.
The Tactical Force has a sub-23 inch compact design, making it easy to carry around and use in close in games and around corners and it is very lightweight. At under 3 lbs (1.3 KG), users should have no trouble using it as a secondary or carrying it around for long games.
Despite being made of ABS plastic, the Tactical Force is sturdy, with a responsive and snappy pumping mechanism.
It’s spring action is similarly well-designed and well balanced, being fairly easy to rack and reliably pumping out BBs at a fairly consistent rate without much worry about jams or feed problems.
In terms of performance, the Elite Force Tactical Force offers good indoor FPS at around 250 FPS @ 0.20g. Although not the most powerful airsoft shotgun out there, it does the job and is welcome at just about any indoor/CQB field.
Although not highly accurate at range, the Elite Force Tri Shot provides a nice spread of BBs, giving it a good shotgun style, room clearing effect at close to medium range.
It is a highly adaptable airsoft sawed-off shotgun, as well. There are three picatinny rails on the gun, one on top and two on each side of the sliding forestock, making it quite easy to mount optics as well as other CQB accessories (such as a flashlight and/or lasers) to it.
In terms of price, the Tactical Force is fairly affordable, coming at just over $100.
Despite its reasonable price, the Tactical Force comes with an included side saddle that lets you store spare shells right on the gun itself. This is really handy, especially with faster paced CQB games where you may not have time to grab a shell from your pouches.
It also comes with a speed loader and 7 shells, each of which holds 30 BBs (10 shots), meaning it delivers more value out of the box than many competitors.
On the downside, some will find the Tactical Force to be a little too lightweight. Coming in at under 3 lbs, it doesn’t offer some of the more realistic heft and feel that other guns have.
Similarly, while it delivers a great spread, the FPS and accuracy aren’t much to write home about, and the shotgun isn’t the best at hitting small targets after 100 feet or so, making it very much a CQB option.
Overall, however, with a reasonable price, good build quality and lots of included extras, we think the Tactical Force Tri-shot is one of the better spring powered sawed-offs out there and a great shotgun for anyone interested in CQB games.
Best Airsoft Sawed Off Shotgun Under $100- CYMA Sport M3 Tri Shot Pistol Grip CQB
Get the Specs
|FPS||~300-320 FPS @ 0.20g BBs|
|Total Length||25 in (610mm)|
|Weight||3 lbs (1361g)|
|Construction||Polymer Keymod pump, barrel|
|Shots||30 rounds per shell (10 shots per shell)|
|Sub- $100 price is excellent for beginners||Strong spring makes it little tougher to pump than some others|
|Pistol grip makes it very easy to hold and shoulder||Doesn’t come with extras and only comes with 1 shell|
|Lightweight, easy to carry|
|Strong, high powered spring|
|High compatible with other brand’s shells|
|Hits pretty hard|
|Removable metal sights|
|Keymod pump/forestock, picatinny rail on top for lots of accessory options|
If you’re looking for a sawed-off style shotgun and you’re on a tighter budget, or you just want to dip your toes into the world of airsoft shotguns with a compact, easy to carry model, the CYMA M3 Pistol Grip Keymod might be just what you’re looking for.
The CYMA M3 Pistol Grip Keymod is a modern, CQB-optimised version of the classic Benelli M3.
The gun is 25 inches long (63.5 cm) and weighs only about 3lbs (1.36 KG), making it very compact and easy to carry in CQB games.
It is a polymer gun, and while it’s not full metal, it can stand up to some rough handling at a fraction of the cost of a full metal version.
This particular model of CYMA M3 has a very modern and tactical look. It comes with a pistol grip, which allows users to raise and lower it a little more intuitively, and (in addition to a top rail) has a cool keymod pump and barrel attachment that lets users attach accessories a lot more freely while still keeping the gun smooth and easy to hold
Inside, the CYMA is a tri-shot airsoft shotgun with a fairly tight spring that, performance wise, lets it reach around 300-320 FPS at .20g and gives it pretty good accuracy past 100 feet.
As with the other M3s in the CYMA line up, the M3 Pistol Grip Keymod can take shells from Tokyo Marui, Evike, CYMA and others, which makes owning it a little less complicated.
Despite its cool looks, respectable build and more than decent performance, the M3 Pistol Grip Keymod is also quite inexpensive, coming in at a sub- $100 price, making it a bargain for both beginners and more experienced players alike.
On the downside, the CYMA M3 Pistol Grip Keymod only comes with one shell, so you’ll have to get more ASAP if you want to make full use of it.
Additionally, the tighter spring set up, while providing better FPS and range, does make the Pistol Grip Keymod a little harder to pump, especially given the lack of a stock, as you can’t brace it against your shoulder.
That said if you are looking for a highly compact and cool looking airsoft shotgun that can perform, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the CYMA M3 Pistol Grip Keymod is one of the better value options out there.
Best Double Barrel Sawed Off Airsoft Shotgun – KJW Mad Max Real Wood
Get the Specs
|FPS||410-430 FPS @ 0.20g BBs, Green Gas|
|Total Length||18.5 in (470mm)|
|Weight||3.44 lbs (1560g)|
|Construction||Metal with wood furniture|
|Sawed-off double barreled airsoft shotgun||Expensive|
|Metal alloy frame with real wood furniture||Shoots hot on chronos on Green Gas|
|Realistic locking break-action||Shells can be expensive and may need to be maintained from time to time|
|Dual Trigger/Double barreled- double shots|
|Classic double barrel styling with full stock|
Some airsofters eschew the classic pump action shotgun for a more gentlemanly and timeless double barrel shotgun.
One that evokes a classic, stately approach to firearms.
And still others would take that gentlemanly, timeless double barrel, cut it down and use the results to wreak havoc on an airsoft field.
The KJW Mad Max is definitely a gun for the latter – and it is definitely not for the faint hearted.
To begin with, the Mad Max comes as a full metal frame with real wood furniture, making it look quite realistic and giving it a really nice feeling in hand.
As with a true double barreled shotgun, the gun operates with a snappy break action – the barrels are hinged and snap open and downwards to load or remove shells. The action is crisp, sturdy and solid, and makes loading the KJW an experience all its own.
Unlike many other gas shotguns,it is the shells that are filled with gas and not the gun.
The ones included with the gun can hold up to 6 BBs each. When fired they release their contents in one go, peppering your opponent with 6mm BBs.
Since it is a double barreled replica, it supports single barrel and double barrel shooting, meaning you can fire both barrels individually or together. Consequently, users can unload the entirety of their shells on one target, which can be fun.
In addition to the shells that come with the gun, online you can find shells for the Mad Max that can be filled with 14 and 28 BBs, meaning you can really let them have both barrels if you so choose.
In terms of performance, on Green gas this thing is a high performance FPS beast. On a chrono test it will blow past 400 FPS easily.
Part of the reason is that chrono tests only usually load up one BB, but even with a few more this thing will still hit hard, shooting around 350 FPS @ 0.20g.
While this is great and a lot of fun, it does mean that running it as it can blow past stricter indoor/CQB limits.
On the downside, the shells are proprietary and can be a little more expensive than other shotguns. Similarly, they may require periodic O ring replacement and care to prevent leaking.
Additionally, there isn’t a great amount of scatter with Mad Max. It is fairly accurate and delivers its BBS in a concentrated area, so it can be a little harder to get multi-hits closer in.
Finally, this isn’t a cheap airsoft shotgun by any means. At over $200, this isn’t exactly a budget airsoft shotgun.
Overall, though, if you love a classic double barreled shotgun and you’d like a sawed-off version for your airsofting, the KJW/Farsan double Mad Max barreled gas shotgun has the straight up good looks you’ll want with the power and performance you’ll need to terrorize your oponents.
Why Buy a Sawed-Off?
Because you can
Unlike real steel sawed-off shotguns, which are highly regulated, airsoft sawed-offs can actually be purchased by a large number of airsofters (that said, always check your local laws to make sure).
They’re extremely fun
Sawed-off shotguns replicate the action of loading and firing a full-sized shotgun, which can be a lot of fun to do in game.
Depending on the type of sawed-off, users can rack their shotguns by pumping, cracking the breach, or even cocking a lever, making using a sawed-off in-game a very tactical and memorable experience.
They are compact and easy to use in tight spaces
Airsoft shotguns are great for indoor games, CQB and any other location where opponents may be packed together.
The smaller size of a sawed-off airsoft shotgun makes it even easier to carry, swing around corners, and generally handle in tight confines compared to full sized or even compact shotguns.
They blast several BBs with one trigger pull
Like other airsoft shotguns, sawed-off shotguns can spray several BBs per trigger pull (typically 3 in a tri shot), allowing users to hit multiple opponents in one go, especially if they are clustered together in one area.
There’s no real loss of performance over standard airsoft shotguns
Real steel sawed-off shotguns are notorious for their lack of accuracy, sacrificing range and performance for easy carry and concealment.
In airsoft, performance is a lot less affected by barrel length than by internals. Given that most airsoft sawed-offs are shortened CQB-oriented variants of full sized shotguns, i.e. they use identical mechanisms and inner barrels.
This means that any loss of performance is minimal.
What Problems Can Sawed-off airsoft shotguns have?
Those that lack stocks can be hard to fire
The most popular look for a sawed-off, that of a short barreled shotgun with a pistol grip of some kind, can actually be quite hard to rack and fire due to the inability to use your shoulder as a brace.
As a result, although they may have the FPS and are built to fire 150+ feet, it can be hard to aim them properly.
Fixed hop ups
As with other airsoft shotguns, sawed-off models usually used fixed hop ups, rather than adjustable ones.
Consequently, they are very limited in their ability to adjust for range and BB spin.
Difficult repair and modification
Airsoft shotguns are notoriously difficult to repair/upgrade compared to more popular models and sawed-offs are no different.
They are not notoriously easy to open and tinker with without breaking, their mechanisms can be fairly complex, often with multiple barrels fed through a single hop up that, should one break, render the gun essentially useless.
Similarly, while they have a reputation for reliability, spring shotguns in particular are hard to upgrade due to the fact that altering the spring power tends to make the gun far harder to pump properly.
Finally, there are typically few parts available for upgrade and replacement.
Airsoft shotguns are something of a niche item to airsoft manufacturers, and sawed-offs are even more so.
As a result, many shotguns are subject to poorer quality control, leading some to suffer from feed issues or catastrophic failures soon after use.
Airsoft sawed off shotguns are fun and can be a great choice for a close quarters game. It is important that players know what they are getting into with these airsoft guns, what their limitations are and how they can best be used.