There are now two airsoft shotgun shells (shotshells) that can fire 12 rounds of airsoft BBs. Both of them are self-contained, gas operated. They are both about the size of a 12-gauge shotgun shell (see photo below). They are the APS CAM870 shotgun shell and the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotgun shell.
Although the two airsoft shotshell seems very similar in the specs, there are some subtle, but important differences. In this article, we are going to take a look at the subtle differences between the two shells.
The APS CAM870 airsoft shotshell is designed to look like the real thing, while the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell is designed to function.
The first thing you'll notice is that the casing lip on the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell is a lot bigger and thicker than the APS CAM870 shotshell (see photo below).
Overall, the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell is longer than the APS CAM870 shotshell. The hull is longer than the APS CAM870 hull. The Goblin Solo/Deuce hull is also larger in diameter. The outside is ribbed on the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell, while the APS CAM870 shotshell is smooth.
But the inner diameter of the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell hull is actually smaller than the inner diameter of the APS CAM870 shotshell hull (see photo above). That is because the APS CAM870 shotshell hull wall is thinner, which is similar to a real shotshell.
Both airsoft shotshells are charged via the top of the air cartridge (see photo below). But it's very different how they are charged.
The Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell (on the left), can be charged using standard airsoft charging methods. You can charge it with green gas, red gas, propane adapter, or CO2 adapter. But to charge it, you have to slide the hull off, which is pretty easy to do. But when you carry the shotshell, you have to be careful that the two parts do not separate out on the field.
The APS CAM870 shotshell (on the right), can only be charged via a special charging tool that is included with the APS CAM870 airsoft shotgun. You can also purchase it separately. The hull doesn't come off when you charge it. It's a little more work to charge the APS CAM870 shotshell with the APS CAM870 charging tool, but we have found that the charging is very consistent.
Other than gas and BB's, the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell has no other consumables. That means there is very little continuous cost over time, other than paying for gas and BB's.
On the other hand, the APS CAM870 shotshell requires the wad and the sealing paper; very similar to a real shotshell. The sealing paper is practically a round cardboard with a cool printed skull. Using the wad and sealing paper, just like a real shotshell, you can fire many different types of ammunition with the APS CAM870 airsoft shotshell, which you cannot with the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell. However, we cannot recommend you do that, because it can be very dangerous. Just keep in mind when you go with the APS CAM870 shotshell, you will be paying for the gas, BB's, wad, and sealing paper.
Both airsoft shotgun shells are made to shoot twelve 6mm airsoft BBs. But the two hulls are designed very differently.
The Goblin Solo/Deuce airsoft hull is deigned very similarly to 40mm airsoft grenade shells. That means there are four airsoft BB ports with enough room to fit three airsoft BBs each. So the only ammunition you can use is 6mm BB's. But there are paintball hulls that allows you to use paintballs with the Goblin shotshell instead. This is a real plus if you play both paintball and airsoft.
The APS CAM870 airsoft hull is like a real shotgun hull. It's wide open space, so you can literally fit anything into it. There are many YouTube videos that shows alternative ammunition being used inside the APS CAM870 airsoft shotshell.
Note that only plastic airsoft BB's are to be used against other players on an airsoft field. Do not use alternative ammunition on people!
Both airsoft shotgun shells have the trigger in the bottom of the air cartridge (see photo below). The difference, you can trigger the Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell with your finger tip. The APS CAM870 shotshell trigger is enclosed, so that you can't trigger it with your finger tip. Overall, the APS CAM870 shotshell feels safer, because you can't inadvertently trigger it without a tool.
The Goblin Solo/Deuce shotgun hull holds 12 BB's in four tubes (3 BB's each). The hull keeps the BB's in place whether the hull is attached to the air chamber or not. Therefore, they serve as independent units. You can fill the gas up first, or you can fill up the BB's first.
The Goblin Solo/Deuce shotgun shell uses the same mechanics to keep the BBs in the hull as 40mm airsoft grenade shells. Therefore, the BBs are held in place by a mechanical protrusion. O-rings are used in the case of 40mm grenade launchers. Goblin Solo/Deuce shotshell's protrusions are plastic. Therefore, the protrusions are relatively minor to allows the successful exit of BBs. In some cases, the BBs have a tendency to just roll out (perhaps the BBs are a little smaller).
The APS CAM870 shotgun shell doesn't have this problem, because the front is sealed with sealing paper, like a real shotgun shell. However, to fill the APS CAM870 shotshell, you have to follow a defined procedure. You have to screw the hull on first (if it is no already screwed on). Then you must fill it with CO2. Then insert the wad. Then load the BB's. And then press on the sealing paper.
Measuring the velocity of realistic airsoft shotgun shells is quite challenging, because it fires multiple BB's at the same time. If you only load one BB, then the measurement is only correct for that one BB and incorrect for multiple BBs.
So far, we haven't been able to measure these shotshells. However, the official answer for CAM870 is 280-300 FPS. The official answer for Goblin is "does not exceed 300 FPS (typically 200-250 FPS).
It has taken us a long time to finally acquire the CAM870 charging tool. No one has it in stock in the United States, until just recently. The charging of the CAM870 shotshells seems very consistent, giving us high confidence that the CAM870 shotshell will work.
Because we have just recently received the charging tool, we haven't actually been to an airsoft field with the CAM870 shotshells yet. But we plan to try it on the field next time we go. We will report back when we have more experience with them.
We took the Goblin shotshell to SC Village for a trial. We used propane gas in the two shotshells we brought. After playing a full round, where we hadn't discharged the shotshell, we discharged it when everyone was walking off the field. Surprisingly, it didn't fire. It barely gave a puff. All the gas has leaked out during the short round.
We were kind of disappointed by the amount of gas leak. So we learned to refill the Goblin shotshells in between rounds, whether they were fired or not. The test was inconclusive during the rounds, because we constantly missed the opportunity to use them as the firefights overwhelmed our brains.
On the bench, we tried lubricating all the Goblin Shotshell o-rings, but that didn't seem to solve the leak. Maybe CO2 would provide a better seal? In the future, we will continue to try and report back.