APS CAM870 MK2 CO2 Airsoft Shotgun
11 Oct 2018
For the past few years, it has been very obvious that airsoft manufacturers are trying their best to outdo each other on who can make the most realistic airsoft replica not just on looks but also on the way they function.
We now have replicas that recreate recoil and blowback when fired like the more realistic gas blow backs to the more electric recoil shock AEGs. We have also seen shell ejecting airsoft shotgun replicas made to make it a step further into realism.
APS Conception were the first to introduce a range of shell ejecting CO2 powered shotguns which are thought to be one of if not the most realistic airsoft shotguns currently available in the market to date. The first one that they released, the Mk1 version, featured CO2 powered shotgun shells. This made the Mk1 in my view the closest thing you can ever get to the real deal. Each shell is a self-contained ammunition. Though the downside of the Mk1 is that each shotgun shell, depending on how many you are intending of using, needs to be individually charged with CO2 making it rather time consuming. Also, I’m sure there is also the issue of legality in certain countries where self contained ammunition is regarded as the same as the real thing.
Then APS decided to do a bit of tweaking with the CAM870 and ended up redesigning the propellant storage. The Mk2 now holds the CO2 within its receiver and APS also released new shells to make it easier to load them.
So let’s us have a closer look.
I first saw the APS CAM 870 was at the Northern Shooting Show held early this year here in England, UK. It was more of a customised version of the replica rather than the actual thing. A 3-Gun shooter brought it in for the show to show it around and I was pretty impressed with how close it is the a real deal shotgun. So when I got back, I got in touch with Joe Lau from APS Conception and asked if he would be kind enough to send me a sample to test and for personal use. To my delight, Joe said yes and after a few days the package arrived.
The first time I laid my eyes on this replica, I was in awe. I mean APS have made a masterpiece. Joe sent me the CAM870 Mk2 the “RED LONG” version and it is a beauty. I picked it up and I was immediately im-pressed with the weight and the feel of it.
Out of the box, the sliding handgrip is racked back to show that the shotgun is empty. And obviously I did what probably most if not everyone will do with a shotgun, rack it. The racking noise this thing makes is so satisfying to hear and it is what you would expect from something that looks this realistic.
The package includes the shotgun, a net shell catcher, 2 shell cartridges Mk1 type, a CO2 adapter to charge the shotgun, 50 x wads and 50x sealing paper.
The shotgun has a red and gold finish making it stand out and look like something out of an Iron Man movie.
The under barrel tubular magazine can hold 7 shotgun shells plus one that can be loaded directly through the ejection port. The design of the Mk2 “Red Long” is best suited for airsoft shotgun competitions such as 3gun due to its design. Sports shooters usually go for this type of colour scheme.
From the tip, the barrel and tube magazine are held together by a barrel clamp that holds both tubes together. On its side, the barrel clamp has a short rail to which accessories can be attached such as torches or action cameras. On the top of the top barrel is a long red fibre optic front sight which is the only sight for the gun. The front site being fibre optic works rather well as the shotgun is basically a point and shoot gun, it aides the shooter in pointing the gun towards the right target.
The fore end/forestock or perhaps what others call as the cocking/racking handle is made of a polymer mate-rial. The underside is very textured to ensure a non-slip grip on the handle. The movement of the fore end/forestock is smooth and light. As the fore end/forestock is pulled back, the bolt is pushed backwards, the spent shell is then ejected out and a new shell from the under barrel tube magazine is loaded in as the fore end/forestock is pushed forward back into place... just like the real thing.
Unlike the original APS CAM870, the Mk2 stores its propellant directly into the bolt. The gas charging port is located on the side of the bolt. The gun uses the 88g disposable CO2 cartridges. Simply attach the included CO2 charging adapter and charge the gun directly. Takes less than 10 seconds to fill the bolt. A fully charged bolt can fire around 12 shells before needing another re-fill.
The trigger pull is very short in this shotgun but the pull is quite firm giving the shooter the feel of the trigger before it fires. There is no trigger reset that I could feel.
The CAM870 Mk2 is a full metal airsoft shotgun. The only parts that are not metal are the full stock and the fore-end. The finish of the stock is very clean and same as the fore-end, the area where the shooter would grip is also heavily textured giving it a secured but comfortable grip.
Similar to the original version, the Mk2 does not have any inner barrel or barrels which other airsoft shotguns feature. The BB are shot directly out from the shells again making it very realistic.
THE CAM870 SHELL CARTRIDGES: VERSIONS 1 AND 2
The shell cartridges of the Mk2 are basically just a container for the BBs. APS have redesigned the original CAM870 CO2 charged shell into these ones and these shells hold up to around 12 BBs. A wad is placed first at the bottom of the shell, then the BBs are loaded, and a sealing paper which is basically a round piece or thin paper material is placed on top to stop the BBs from falling out. The bottom end of the shell is just a hole where the CO2 will be released into. So as the shotgun is fired, CO2 is released through the shell pushing the wad and the BBs out. As they exit the barrel and hit open air, the wad and sealing paper should fall off leaving the BBs to fly their way onto the target.
Loading the Version 2 shells is far easier than the original design in which you put the wad, then the BBs and then the sealing paper... done. But we can always count on APS to always think of how they can make our lives much easier thus they have recently released the Version 2 shells for the Mk2. Yes... they made Version 2 shells for the Mk2 shotgun.
The Version 2 shells now only hold 9 BBs instead of a max capacity of 12 for original CAM870 shell. So how is this seen as an improvement? The BBs can now be loaded directly into the shells without the need for the wad and sealing paper.
SHOOTING AND PERFORMANCE
The CAM870 Mk2 feels comfortable to hold. The gun feels very solid and well made. The textured fore-end and stock grip makes the rifle fell very secured to hold although that is not necessarily needed as the shotgun downs have any recoil.
Loading the shotgun is exactly the same as loading a real steel version. You can load one shell directly onto the ejection port and 7 into the tube magazine. Attempting to double or quad load the shells into the magazine proved to be a bit challenging as the loading tray goes in a bit further. I’m sure a little customisation would help solve this problem.
ROE Firearms here in Essex, UK have kindly let me use their facility for testing real shotguns to test the CAM870 Mk2. Shooting is very satisfying with the shells flying out of the gun and loading the next shell as you pull the fore-end. There are instances when the shells would jam into the loading port. I found that rack-ing it harder or snappier helps avoid this.
Performance... now this is a bit tricky. From my experience with this gun, it is definitely not a skirmish gun. Maybe for CQB with the shell catcher in place. Why, the range from our tests isn’t really that great. The cool weather may be a factor but we only got a maximum of below 15 metres of range.
What this gun will be great is for competition purposes like 3-Gun where the targets are of a short distance from the shooter.
The APS CAM870 is a really beautiful airsoft shotgun. It is well made and feels very solid. I showed this to my friend Rob of ROE Firearms and he said that it is very close to a real steel shotgun.
So if you are after probably the most realistic airsoft shotgun in the market today then this APS CAM870 is definitely for you.
With its performance, I think it can do with a little improvement on its range but saying that I still have not tried the Mk1 where in the Co2 is directly charged into each individual shells.
Big thanks to Joe Lau and Mr. Frog Lee of APS Conception for sending me the CAM870 Mk2 for this review and to ROE Firearms for letting me use their facilities for testing.