Ordering from abroad
The countdown After viewing the new release section on Den Trinity I saw to my amazement the new version of the M870. Having always been interested in the full stock version of this replica, though never realistically opting to add it to my personal armoury due to its size. I was virtually over the moon when they told me that it would cost around the same as your average GBB pistol ($179 plus shipping) With that in mind, I set about the ordering process.
The chase Having heard on good authority (take note Arnie, as this is you) that Iescrow was the best course of action for ordering from abroad, I went ahead and got my quote. At a little over $330 (Just over £200) including postage and Iescrow's fee I decided to trust my fate with the people in Hong Kong. With funds and charges agreed it was down to credit card details. Now for some strange reason, Iescrow don't believe in secure servers, instead they would rather have you fax them a copy of the statement on their page.
Now for someone without a fax machine, this was rather infuriating to say the least, but never the less I went about securing myself some fax software with relevant licence agreements, which was cheaper than buying a fax machine by at least £50. With this in hand, I printed off my documents, signed them, scanned them in and faxed them off. To my dismay I received an email saying that my fax document was too dark and a request for me to send again. 3 attempts later and several filters via PhotoShop I had my statement verified, only to have a request for a credit card statement with billing stub attached.
one to keep all my paperwork, I thought this to be somewhat of an inconvenience.
Though low and behold I find a statement with stub attached, I must have somehow
managed to curb my spending that month. With my statement scanned and faxed
off, I sat and waited patiently for my package.
Final wait With everything that I needed to do, done, I waited and waited some more for my package, eagerly checking with TNT online tracking for my package. A day later my consignment had been delivered to Edinburgh Airport, "result" I thought to myself. Not so…
The package cleared the next day and was passed onto the Aberdeen depot. A day later I was rather concerned that in one day the package had flown from one side of the planet to the other, and in another day a couple of hours up the road. Though this day it hadn't managed to travel a measly 18 miles to my house. Checking up again with TNT it had been re-shipped to Edinburgh for customs to have a good shifty at. Accompanying that great news, an email arrived with a gloomy statement from customs and excise. At this point I was a little worried to say the least.
Thinking that some ham-fisted goon from customs would have a good rummage around inside my replica and then dismantle it into as many pieces as he possibly could. A simple phone call later and all possible doubts in my head were removed. It had already been inspected and was on its way back up to me.
I thought. I should have it tomorrow by the latest then. Again, not so. It
was only on Tuesday, 4 days later, that I actually received my package, an
entire 8 days after it was shipped from Hong Kong and around 20 days from
my initial inquiry.
In Summary Well, with my shotgun in my gun case and my pocket being slightly lighter. I say that ordering from abroad is a worthy way to purchase your Airsoft products. With most overseas having a money back guarantee on the products being seized by customs and Iescrow holding your money until you actually get your product and are completely happy with it, there is no real way of getting screwed over. The savings you make buying from abroad are well worth the little extra trouble thrown in with setting up the purchase. But from now on, all future purchases by myself will be a lot faster, with my account already set up with Iescrow.
Appearance "Yowzer" was my first thought after I peeled back the rather lack lustre green cardboard box from the m870. On first appearances I thought that the majority of the m870 was constructed from metal parts, due to it's weight.
Though this isn't true. The metal parts made up most of the moving parts, but not everything. The pump fore grip and the pistol grip itself are made from a marble effect ABS plastic, which frankly looks stunning. The body of the shotgun is made from a matte effect ABS plastic which is a very convincing shade of black, much better than Marui's efforts in the metal receiver stakes.
My only concern with the appearance of the shotgun was the rather strange arrangement of holes above the pistol grip. After looking through the manual these are for the addition of a folding stock very similar to the SPAS folding stock. Staring down the barrel of the shotgun, you are met with several inches of darkness ending up with the end of the inner barrel hidden away in the background. A very nice touch, which adds to the overall realism of the piece.
A strange choice of finishes on the ejector port covering leads me to wonder why Maruzen didn't choose a shiny piece of metal, like that on the loading bay hatch, but it still looks good, if a little different. Overall, I can't fault the appearance of this simply stunning replica.
|Lock and load First thing to do with the m870 is locate the gas well. Which is nestled within the pistol grip. A nice touch here is that it's removable, meaning that spare gas wells can be carried in combat instead of a rather conspicuous can of gas. With a rather large squirt of green gas (I warn you now powerful gas may damage your weapon, but who cares eh?) I was ready to fire the shotgun, well not quite. Spilling open a couple of cartridge packs (I don't care if you want to call them shot shells, as I will simply ignore you) I then proceeded to fill each with 3 0.2g BBs. All that was left to do was to put them into the shogun and start having fun.|
This is where my first problem occurred. Placing the first shell in, but not quite far enough for it to go past the catch that grips the brass on the rear end of the cartridge, it was pushed back into the body of the m870 by the spring from the shell tube. Not being able to cock the m870 in this position, I had to remove the front end of the shell tube, take out the spring and the spring guide to fish the shell out.
Basically you have to ensure that each shell goes past the catch inside the shell tube, done so by a thumb being pushed inside the loading bay after the shell. With this minor problem solved, it was onto firing. At 5 metres, this was very impressive. A good spread and very nice speed. At 10 metres it was getting a little strained and past 20 was simply a case of hope that you'll scare the opponent with your flashy gas shotgun.
Another problem with the m870 itself is the ejection of shells. If the pump action isn't cycled all the way back, the shell may not be ejected but another is fed from the shell tube. Resulting in 2 shells stuck where only 1 is meant to be. Again removing the front end and fishing about a bit solves this. Obviously, these points go to show that the m870 isn't the most practical replica out there, though with at least 25 shots from one gas fill, you can't complain at this for a backup weapon or even a main in a CQB environment.
Bits and bobs The gun itself is supplied with 3 cartridges, which is nowhere near enough for the hardened shooter out there. So with my purchase, I ordered 3 more packs of 5, resulting with 18 shells in total.
Another point with the Maruzen shotguns is the ejection of used cartridges, so a simple catcher is used to alleviate the problem of losing your valuable shells.
Not the most aerodynamic of designs, the catcher itself is more practical than anything else, and can hold around 15 ejected shells before they clog up the ejector port.
With the shell catcher came the shell carrier, which is designed to fit on the stock of the m870/m1100, though with a little jiggery pokery I managed to fit it onto the offside of the body with a rather pleasing result.
With no iron sights provided on the shotgun itself, the application of some sort of aiming device is quite a good idea, though nothing to accurate as a shotgun isn't exactly a precise tool.
| By luck
more than anything else, it turned out that the pressure switch cable
on my beamshot laser was just the right length for it to be attached to
the pump grip and the laser itself to be underslung on the upper barrel.
This obviously allows for quick targeting which is the prime requisite with shotgun shooting in Airsoft for me. With all these pieces stuck onto the m870, it makes a lovely gun look even better (well minus the shell catcher)
Conclusion With everything I've said in this review, the final opinion could go either way. As this replica has both good points and some bad points to boot it isn't going to receive a startlingly high final score.
Comedy photo to go here
"Airsoft Base" :M870 review -the only English review I could find (Arnie)
Doraguner's M870 Riot version review - a review in Japanese
"Airsoft Guns in Russia" M870 review - a review in Russian
Remington M870 Manual - The official manual for the real-steel Remington Pump action
SureFire Tac Mount - A Page with details of kits to mount Surefire lights and lasers onto the shotgun
Magazine Extension Kit @ ATI Gun Stocks - details of magasine extension tubes for the M870/M1100
Operator's Manual - the official US Government's operators guide to the M870
Custom Remington 870 laser mounting - a custom method for fitting a laser unit to the end of the 870, not a method I would recommend though.
"The Tactical Shotgun" - an article about shotguns and their use in a tactical environment. It's a VERY good read
The original website is from this page here: http://www.angelfire.com/tx/ShotGun/ "The MultiPurpose Shotgun"
Last modified: Wednesday, May 9, 2001 9:37 AM copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft