The APS CAM870 airsoft shotgun is the most realistic shotgun on the market. Not only does it operate like a real shotgun, it also fires like a real shotgun. That is because it can fire up to 12 airsoft BB's in one shot, unlike other "realistic" airsoft shotguns that fires only 1, 3, or 5 BB's at once.
The way APS CAM870 shotgun achieves this realistic firing capability is in its shotgun shell, or shotshell. It uses the Hakkotsu 12 Gauge airsoft shotgun shells (see photo below), which store CO2 within itself. When you trigger the shotgun shell, it fires up to 12 airsoft BB's stored in the hull.
In this article, we are going to review the APS CAM870 shotgun shell. That's right, we are not going to review the APS CAM870 airsoft shotgun, even though we will mention it throughout this article. Why? Because 1) the APS CAM870 airsoft shotgun costs over $500 and we don't have one; 2) the APS CAM870 shotgun shell can fire on its own without the APS CAM870 airsoft shotgun; 3) we want to use these shotgun shells in an underbarrel shotgun. We'll talk about these points in this article.
The APS CAM870 airsoft shotgun comes with two of these shotgun shells. However, you can purchase more. That's a good thing, because there is no way you can last through an airsoft game on two shells. You'll probably need quite a few. A little less if it is just your breaching weapon. Additional shotgun shells comes four to a pack (see photo below).
When purchased in this manner, the APS CAM870 shotgun shells comes with red hulls. Blue and gray hulls are also available. APS calls it "Replacement Cartridge Shell".
The APS CAM870 shotgun shell has a hard plastic hull. "Hakkotsu 12 Gauge Airsoft Cell" is printed on one side (see photo below). The plastic hull is very hard and could probably take a beating.
The other side has a trademarked skull (see photo below). Looks quite manly, I am sure the design will please a lot of people. The bottom of the shell has "Hakkotsu 12 Gauge" imprinted on it as well.
You can unscrew the plastic hull from the shotgun shell casing easily. The following photo shows what it looks like when the plastic hull is removed.
But we found that the black imprint is rather easy to flake off. After unscrewing the plastic hull a few times, the black imprint is completely gone on our shotgun shell.
A special charging tool is needed to charge the APS CAM870 shotgun shells. The charging tool allows you to charge the shotgun shell with CO2, using standard CO2 cartridges.
The charging tool comes with the APS CAM870 airsoft shotgun, but since we have not purchased the airsoft shotgun, we do not have this charging tool. We have placed an order for it and are waiting for this tool to arrive.
In addition to the CO2 canisters being a consumable for the APS CAM870 shotshells, you'll also need wads and sealing papers that are specifically made for these shotshells. The wad is a special plastic cup that goes into the bottom of the hull. It captures the CO2 gas release and propels the BB's forward. The sealing paper seals the front of the shotshell, after you have filled it with airsoft BB's. It prevents the ammunition from falling out of the shotshell.
The wad, the airsoft BB's, and the sealing paper goes into the shotshell after you've filled it with CO2, using the charging tool. The process seems rather safe, because you can't activate the trigger using your finger.
We will update this section when our charging tool arrives.
The APS CAM870 airsoft shotshells are very similar to 40mm airsoft grenade shells in design. However, unlike the 40mm airsoft grenade shells, you can't activate it with your finger, because the activation button is too small. You can use a push pin to activate it, though it is not the most elegant solution.
As we have alluded to earlier in this article, we have not purchased the APS CAM870 shotgun. Instead, we want to use the APS CAM870 shotshells in an airsoft under-barrel shotgun. Airsoft3D makes the Helio M726 Underbarrel Shotgun that uses the APS CAM870 shotshells. It is a science fiction airsoft under-barrel shotgun. But, ironically, it is the only airsoft shotgun on the market the fires multiple airsoft BB's realistically. The following video demonstrates the Airsoft3D Helio M726 Underbarrel Shotgun system.
Because the APS CAM870 airsoft shotshell is designed to fire like a real shotgun shell, you can actually use it to fire projectiles other than airsoft BB's. There are many reports and videos of folks firing metal BB's with the APS CAM870 shotshell.
In the past, I have mused that it would be wonderful if airsoft BB manufacturers would make fertilizer BB's. That way my backyard wouldn't be cluttered with used BB's and my gardens would be greener. Now that the APS CAM870 shotshells are available, maybe my dream has came true.
Some folks even add flour to the APS CAM870 along with BB's to give it a smoking gun look. One video, I've seen, shows a person firing 0.50 cal glass slingshot projectile.
These are all examples of how versatile the APS CAM870 shotshells are. Just be sure you don't fire alternate ammunition at your friends and during an airsoft game.