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Remington M870 Shorty

Maruzen M870 BV

 

 

Ash: "Lady, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to leave the store"
Possessed woman: "Who are you?"
Ash: "Name's Ash" [cocks shotgun] "Housewares."

 

- Army of Darkness

 

 

For a change, these photos make the gun look slightly more realistic than it actually is, rather than less... The BV version was the only Maruzen M870 in the shops when my airsoft shotgun obsession neared it's peak, and although it wasn't quite what I was looking for, I really wanted a pump-action and with so many spare parts on the way I had the feeling that I could make something interesting from it in the end...

In it's stock version, however, the replica is less than pleasing. The ABS plastic of the foregrip and, especially, the stock looks rather cheap and, well, plasticy, and the degree of play in the entire foregrip assembly is around three millimetres in any direction you care to name, thanks to the strange and tacky design of the joints that link it to the pump action itself.

The action racks quite nicely in spite of this, with a fair metal-on-metal sound going backwards and forwards, ending in a healthy clunk as the cartridge is chambered. Unfortunately, at that point the obvious thing to do is to pull the trigger and that way disappointment lies. Much has been written on the weedy "pop" sound that results, and it really is as bad as has been suggested...

[Update] Now, this is more like it! With the addition of some bolt-on aftermarket accessories, the cosmetics of the M870 are transformed from a rather slim, elegant sporting gun to a more brutal, businesslike military or SWAT weapon. The original plan was to mount the heat shield to the M1100 replica, but that would have required considerable machining of either the shotgun's foregrip or of the heat shield itself. However, some fiddling a while ago suggested that it would fit to the M870 rather more easily, and as the M1100 was already looking quite pleasing as it was I decided to try for a makeover of the M870 instead.

When it came to it, everything slotted together relatively easily. The heat shield is designed for the "real steel" M870, and Maruzen's replica is a close enough copy that everything fitted tolerably well without any modification. To complete the businesslike, military look I transplanted the magazine extension tube from the M1100 and added a stock-mounted shot-shell holder - the former another ATI component, the latter an airsoft accessory sourced from one of the Far East suppliers.

The magazine extension required some considerable modification when I first fitted it to the M1100 earlier this year, as a real 12 gauge shell is considerably longer and fatter than Maruzen's replicas. Once I sliced off the over-sized mounting section completely, though, it formed a relatively tight push-fit onto the magazine tube's screw thread, and is held firmly enough by the plastic clamp. Now that I'm happy with the overall appearance, though, I may well epoxy it in place to provide a rather more permanent solution.

The additional metalwork and the increased "bulk" of the replica detract considerably from the placsticy appearance, and give it an improved weight and heft without making to too muzzle heavy. Apart from the fuss of importing real gun components from the US, which is not for the faint of heart in this day and age, it was an easy modification and relatively cheap, too - I paid less than $90 all-in for a pair of shot-shell clips, the magazine extension and clamp, and the heat shield. They all came from ATI Technologies, who were very helpful and very speedy - recommended.

 

Resources

 

M870 reviews at Arnies Airsoft:

Maruzen M870 review - Arnie

M870 EB Custom - Arnie

M870 grip version + accessories - Airsoft Scotland

M870 grip version + accessories - Mentall

Fitting M870 custom parts - Andrew Newton

DumboRAT on M870 Mods