Provided by: TSD TacticalOctober 24, 2008
In airsoft, the shotgun is definitely a CQC staple. To some, the pump action adds a challenging aspect of gameplay when put up against fully automatic AEGs. To others, it fits an appealing character profile or kit impression; and what zombie game is complete without shotguns? As both a blessing and a curse, the airsoft market has no shortage of shotgun replicas - some good, some not so good. TSD has just released their product line into the shotgun market with the Tactical M3 Super 3-Burst Shotgun, so let's take a look at what they've got to offer.
The name is a mouthful, so if you weren't paying attention, we're looking at a Benelli M3 Super 90 replica. Unlike its real-steel counterpart, TSD's Tactical M3 does not feature a selectable semi-automatic function since it's a spring-powered replica. The body is mostly constructed of high quality plastic that doesn't feel wobbly or flimsy at all. The barrel is metal as are a few less significant parts like the trigger and the track that the pump slides along. The pistol grip and the pump are have a rubbery covering that's comfortable to hold for a long time and allows the user to wear gloves without compromising control over the shotgun. Overall, it feels like a very convincing replica aside from the lighter weight.
TSD's M3 Super 90 replicates the primary TM shotgun feature - the 3-barrel design for shooting a spread of bbs at your target, which, of course, is usually the point of using a shotgun in the first place. The hop-up is preset so there's not a way to fiddle with it, but this is on par with the Marui design as well. I noticed that .20g bbs had a bit too much backspin and curved up a bit. Despite the fact that this shotgun comes with a small bag .20g bbs, I noticed that with .25g bbs, the hop-up setting was correct. Muzzle velocity chronos around 280 FPS, which is more than enough to accurately fire at man-sized targets within 50 feet.
TSD ships their M3 Super 90 with a very generous allotment of accessories including four TM-compatible shells, a nylon cheek pad with elastic bands for holding shells, and a speed loader. It may be minor, but it's refreshing to see an airsoft gun come with a speed loader instead of the usual loading tube. The cheek pad is a great addition since it holds your extra shells, although it covers up the rear sling mount. It was also installed upside-down, which earned it a chuckle before I removed it and put it on correctly, during which process, the nylon ripped a little as I tightened down. I would not recommend installing the sling on the sling mount underneath this cheek pad, since the seam between the straps and the pad itself do not tolerate stress at all. While the cheek pad may not be the highest quality, but it serves its purpose well, and as long as the user doesn't take it on and off a lot, it will remain a positive addition to the package. The included shells feed well, and load the same as the TM-style ones. Like the TM shells, they hold 30 rounds so you get 10 shots from each shell. The speed loader is on par with any other speed loader you buy for $6-$10 elsewhere.
My only major complaint about TSD's M3 Super 3-Burst Shotgun is that the barrel is a bit long. They've included a full-size stock and full-length barrel on a very CQC-friendly replica, and a 41 inch (total length) shotgun is somewhat cumbersome to maneuver around with in tight spaces. The inner barrels are far enough back, though, that the do-it-yourselfers can easily hack the front end down without interfering with accuracy, but I'd like to see this done from the factory in the first place. Additionally, the plastic sights are ineffective and are not set to the trajectory of your shot, but I found it easy enough to ignore the sights and "eyeball" my aim well enough in spite of this.
Overall, I am extremely impressed with TSD's M3, and I hope to see more diversified shotgun replicas in the future as TSD continues making products like this one. This is completely on par with both the TM and UTG 3-shot shotguns already on the market, and priced around $65 (depending on the retailer), you can't go wrong for a backup CQC platform, or even if you decide to rock the shotty full time.Length:
~5 poundsPropulsion Method:
TM-compatible 30-round non-ejecting shellsIncluded Accessories:
4 shells, nylon cheek rest w/ shell holder, speed loader, nylong sling, small bag of bbsAverage Price:
$65.00 (will vary based on retailer)
Special thanks to TeamSD Tactical
for allowing AP the opportunity to review this product.