I think we’ve all been guilty of owning a shotgun, and leaving it in the gun bag as a back-up to your AEG.

So what are the drawbacks of the shotgun compared to the AEG?

Weight of firepower, usually due to the need to cock the action is usually the biggest one, and with a 300+ fps shotty, you need big biceps! Depending on the type of shot gun, loading can be a pain in the arse as well.

Most shotguns are long as well, to allow the cocking action, which counteracts the ideal spread shot for with buildings. This can be eliminated by stockless models (SPAS12), which can be fired from the hip, but accuracy then suffers.

A new kid on the block has arrived, the TM 870 gas operated shotgun.

The Remington 870 is one of the most popular shotgun designs of the last century. Made famous by its use in Vietnam by US Forces, and also in Malaya by the British. Reliable, and great for clearing jungle at close range, perfectly made for pointmen!

If you expecting real steel weight, you’ll be disappointed, but that doesn’t mean it’s been made from cheap materials. Like most TM products, It’s solid, well made and should take punishment. So what makes it different to other shotguns? The pump action is gas powered, so It’s light to cock, speeding up the action and saving your biceps! Another great point, it uses standard 30 round shells, and you can select different spreads of bb’s. Getting hit at close range by a six shot is painful!

So where’s the downfall? The big one is the price, a smudging under £300, which puts it into the AEG bracket. The only real advantage this gives in the woodland environment, is a slight increase in the rate of fire, and within the CQB environment a bigger spread of bb’s.

Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing piece of kit, but for the price you can get a decent AEG and an ASG hi-powered shotgun. If you have money to burn, then go for it, if you are on a budget, then it’s a luxury you may not be able to afford.

The US military used a cut down version in Vietnam, if someone clones this TM, at a much lower price, with a shorter barrel, I’ll be the first in the queue for a Vietnam loadout!