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Marushin Mossberg M500 Shorty

Review date: January 24, 2005
Model: Mossberg 500 Shorty
Type: Gas Powered Shotgun
Manufacturer: Marushin
Length: 765mm
Weight: 2800g
FPS: 289-310 (w/ 3x .34g 8mm BBs, propane)
Magazine Capacity: 48 (16 shots @ 3x BBs/shot)
Build Material: Metal with ABS grip and pump handle

The rear of the gun, showing the safety (top) and the sling swivel on the side which is included with the gun
The extremely mean looking front end and heat shield
The Gas Valve and plate that covers the blowoff valve

The loading port for the BBs. Note that the brass tube inside slides out the front of the magazine tube for you to slide BBs in

Airsoft Shutguns

As far as shotguns go in airsoft, there are not very many choices, and hence not many people had them...this meant I had to get one. The most popular of the lot are the Marui spring shotguns (SPAS-12 and M3). These are nice, fire 3 BBs per shot, and are moderately accurate. However, the idea of one of these did not appeal to me, due to their plastic construction and complex operation. Also, I had heard horror stories of inner barrel parts breaking and bad things happening, and the guns being generally un-openable as far as repair goes. I don't have the money to replace a broken gun usually, so I ruled those out.

Next along the popularity line are the Maruzen (MZ) CA870 series. These are accurate, sturdy shotguns that use APS2 internals. A plus is that there are now metal bodies and barrels available...unfortunately, it was still spring powered (Which left me with the sound of Marui spring shotguns cocking - a sissy plastic sliding sound), and it only fired one bb at a time...not very realistic as far as shotguns go.

The next ones people seem to know about are the Maruzen shell-ejecting series. These are also primarily plastic in constructions, but from what I've heard you'd be hard pressed to tell that when you held one. Furthermore, you can cram up to 10 BBs into a shell and unload a cloud of them out at someone with each shot. They make a nice sound when pumped, and eject the shells on pumping. This is incredible and Maruzen shell-ejecting shotguns are the most realistic choice as far as firing function and operation go - they can have a large spread of BBs per shot, and eject shells. However, I was looking for something to skirmish with, and the idea of running around looking for shells after a firefight didn't appeal to me. Furthermore, I was slightly turned off by the mostly plastic construction (Though this was not the deciding factor). I could have added a shell catcher to the gun, and while it would be good, and tactical, I think shotguns look stupid with a big bag hanging off of them. I needed something more "badass".

Finally, I looked at the Marushin line. Marushin is a goofy company because they go and make you buy special 8mm BBs for a lot of their guns nowadays...this might turn some people off, but I had owned a Marushin M1 Carbine in the past and enjoyed it, and I saw what they do with their 8mm guns, and had faith in them. Furthermore, Marushin shotguns are absolutely 100% metal. They fire hard (but not so hard you can't use them in CQB), and they fire 3 BBs per shot, but only have one barrel (This leads to a pretty radical, wide spread, without the complexity of the Marui design). I was sold. The problem was FINDING somewhere that had one in stock. I managed to find one at Wargamer's Club and placed an order. The total was, after shipping, $338 for the shotgun and 1000 8mm BBs.

Two days later, it was in my hands.

Appearance is Everything

The gun is surprisingly small when you look at it (about a foot shorter than a M4, and nowhere near as deep), but it has about the same weight as a CA M15a4. This was one heavy gun - most of this was attributed to the fact that the metal on it is very thick - up to about a half inch in some places. It was all very solid, and my only gripe with the feel of it was that the front pump handle wobbled a little bit, but I have been told from others that the real-steel version feels the exact same, and has the same amount of wobble, so it didn't worry me. It does not feel unsturdy in any way, and I feel as if I could use it to support my car if my jack suddenly gave way. It comes with a rear sling swivel already in place, and a front stud for a typical quick detach sling swivel. I bought one at Wal-Mart with a neoprene sling for $11.

The rear of the gun, showing the safety (top) and the sling swivel on the side which is included with the gun.

The finish all over is very good, and it looks extremely mean, mostly due to the vented heatshield that shrouds most of the barrel, clearly visible in the shot. I ordered the shorty variant of it, with no stock. It seems able to readily take real-steel stock and pump parts, however real scope mounts will not fit on it, as the screw holes do not line up.

The extremely mean looking front end and heat shield.


Without a stock, you might wonder where the gas is stored. The shell loading port has a gas valve and another gas valve hidden under a guide plate (Used to help shell loading on the real gun - non functional except for moving when pumped on the Airsoft version). This is a blowoff valve - if you overload the gas tank, it sprays the extra out through here. No worries about blowing seals from overfill. There is the concern of if you try and put red gas in it, it may vent it all out, but with green gas and propane, I have not had this happen at all, and it always holds every bit of gas. Further, there is no leaking while filling. It is very sound and secure.

The Gas Valve and plate that covers the blowoff valve.

BB's are loaded by sliding off the front of the magazine tube, and pulling it out, and sliding BB's in through a small opening under the magazine tube. This opening is only visible when the pump is in a half cocked position. Further, the pump will slide to this position freely when uncocked, but if the gun is cocked, it stays locked forward and doesn't move. It holds 48 BBs which is enough for exactly 16 shots before reloading. The gas lasts for quite a bit longer than that, but you should probably refill the gas when you reload the BBs just to be safe.

The loading port for the BBs. Note that the brass tube inside slides out the front of the magazine tube for you to slide BBs in.

Shot in the Field

The gun is a joy to skirmish with, as a primary or secondary. It gets enough range to be used as a primary, but anywhere after 30 feet or so, you will have a 3 foot or greater spread. It is small enough (The shorty version anyway) to be used as a secondary, slung along your shoulder or across your back. It has enough power to rip through leaves and brush without problem. And the metallic Clack-clank noise that it makes when pumped is enough to make someone surrender if you pump it anywhere near them.


All in all, is it the most realistic functioning shotgun? No. Is it the best shotgun out there to be a primary weapon all of the time? Probably not. You only get 16 shots with it, and it takes a long time to reload. However, it is roughly the same price as a Marui shotgun, has infinitely more power and reliability, is METAL and built like a tank, and feels great to hold. If you're looking for something different, give it a try - they also come in wood flavor, with full stocks or short.


Review by: Perfect Blue


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© Copyright 2004 by Lance Eppley & Joey Araniego