SY/Matrix Full Metal Custom M870 Tactical Shotgun review by Booligan
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Basic Gun Information
Anyone who knows me knows that I love shotguns more than pretty much any other type of airsoft gun. I jump at the chance to review any new and interesting shotgun, and today, I'm reviewing the Matrix Custom M870, a very unique tactical shotgun that is relatively new to the market. This shotgun combines a full metal body with a midlength barrel and a retractable EBR type stock with folding shoulder rest. I'll discuss the pros and cons of this unique shotgun in this review, so keep reading for more info!
I obtained this unique airsoft shotgun through Evike. It is available HERE, priced at $90.00. I received it a few days after ordering it using UPS Ground, which is Evike's free shipping option.
Basic Gun Information:
As I mentioned before, this shotgun is full metal with a 15.5” outer barrel, and a retractable metal stock. It is a single shot shotgun, only firing one BB per shot. It appears to use the same firing system as the Maruzen CA870, which means that upgrades, modifications, and spare magazines are readily available. Unfortunately, it uses the standard extended magazine that looks, frankly, terrible, hence the reason why it's not pictured in the main picture.
The Matrix M870 comes packaged in a simple cardboard box with a foam inner liner to keep everything secure while shipping. The foam did its job well, as the gun arrived at my doorstep in perfect shape. When I pulled the gun out of the box, I was really pleased with the metal body and 20mm top rail. The thing really looked quite realistic, however I didn't like how the outer barrel was so much longer than the magazine tube, but I would deal with that later.
Along with the gun, the package includes a single metal magazine, and a cleaning/unjamming rod. It's a really bare bones package, but really, there's not much else that you need with this thing. Just throw some BBs in the gun and you're ready to rock and roll!
Weight: 7 lbs
Sight Radius: N/A
This is a full metal shotgun, as everything that would be metal on the real gun is correct on the replica. The only polymer parts are the grip for the EBR stock, pump handle, and the rubber shoulder pad. The overall fit and finish is quite good, aside from the stock that has some slight wobble. The paint finish is quite nice, however, it is susceptible to wear from the stock arms.
From this point on, click on the thumbnails to view full size photos
One of the main selling points of this gun is the EBR type 4 position retractable stock. On the Maruzen model with the same stock, the stock can flip around and lock onto the adjustment point on the stock, however this one cannot. The mount does have two sling studs for utilizing a variety of sling types. The butt pad is rubber and feels comfortable on your shoulder, but the metal stock arm isn't the most comfortable thing to make a cheek weld onto.
Stock flipped up
The stock mount includes a thin EBR type pistol grip that is securely mounted. There is no wobble or free play in the grip, however it's a little thin for my liking, which is a problem I've always had with EBRs.
The controls are located just in front of the grip, and consist of a trigger and safety button. The trigger is made of metal but is a little clunky to use sometimes. It has a short take-up with a stiff release at the end, and you can't slam fire the gun, which I prefer.
Moving up from the controls, you'll hit the full metal receiver. The finish on the receiver is quite nice, with a matte black finish adding to the realistic look. The right side of the receiver has a faux bolt which has a rectangular opening in it, allowing you to see the inner cylinder. I don't know why this cut-out is here, perhaps a remnant of the old hop-up adjuster location on older single shot shotgun models.
Moving forward from the receiver, you'll find the metal outer barrel and metal magazine tube. On the magazine tube, you'll find the pump handle, which is pretty easy to manipulate, about halfway between the old UTG single shot shotguns and the newer 3 shot units. The pump has plenty of ribs to keep your hand securely on the handle when pumping it.
The outer barrel is about 6" longer than the magazine tube, which isn't a terribly attractive look. I'm not sure why they didn't go with a short outer barrel, as they make one that's the right length. The inner barrel only extends as long as the short barreled model, so it's not like there's a performance advantage with it. Not sure why they did it, but hey, that's what hacksaws are for.
Aiming this shotgun is aided by the full metal 20mm top rail. There are no included iron sights, but mounting them or an optic up is a piece of cake. The rail is slightly out of spec, and is slightly too narrow, but you can generally crank down your accessories enough to fit just fine.
There are no trademarks on the gun, however you can find a single "Made in China" marking laser engraved on the left side of the receiver. Aside from that, the gun is devoid of any other markings.
The included magazine is made of metal and holds 40 rounds. In my testing it fed every round without any issues. I'll be testing some G&P low profile mags in this, as frankly, they look much better than the stock magazine.
Update: Tested it with a G&P flush mount 22 round mag. Fits great, too well in fact. Entirely impossible to remove in its stock form without tools, however there is a fix for it.
The G&P mag has a little bump underneath the feed lips at the front of the mag. This needs to be sanded off, giving you enough free play to pull the magazine out easily. The catch-22 with this is that if you take TOO much of the bump off, the magazine may not fit securely enough in the magwell and can cause misfeeding. Unfortunately, at this point, I'm giving the G&P mag a no-go for this gun without mods.
Performance after a 100 round break-in period, using Matrix .20g BBs, shot through a Madbull Chronograph is as follows:
High FPS: 420.1
Low FPS: 414.6
Average FPS: 417.6
Range and accuracy was actually pretty surprising given that it has such a short inner barrel. I threw some Echo 1 .28g BBs, tweaked the hop-up to give me a nice flat trajectory, and was able to hit my standard torso sized target at 140' with no issues. I used a red dot sight to give me the easiest sight picture and consistent point of aim.
Rapid fire shooting is fairly easy, however you cannot slam fire with this gun. You must allow the trigger to reset before attempting to fire again. One nice feature is the pump lock, so that once you do cock the gun, you cannot pump again until you fire.
In my experience, I can't open up one of these damn things without them falling apart, so I tend to leave them closed up. I can tell you that it has a polymer piston and cylinder, as well as an adjustable hop-up. The hop-up is adjusted using a small hex screw located at the top of the barrel, however, with the top rail in place, it is not easy to get to. You have to remove the top rail, unscrew the mounting point for the rail, and then you can access the hop-up adjuster.
I had a few things that kind of bugged me about this gun, the first being the long outer barrel with the short magazine tube. It's just a tacky look for my tastes, so I decided to chop down the outer barrel. Luckily, the inner barrel only extends about 2/3 of the way down the outer barrel, so I was able to chop down the barrel without modifying the inner barrel. Aside from that, I mounted up a rail to the pump handle to throw on a vertical grip, and I will be getting a low profile magazine to keep a clean, realistic look.
Full metal construction
Very sturdy build, no creaks or wobbles
Affordable price - $90 or so
Adjustable stock to fit pretty much all users
Included top rail for mounting optics
Uses the ugly extended magazine
Stock folds up, but doesn't flip around and lock onto the adjuster unit
Only a single shot shotgun
Difficult to adjust hop-up
Like I said earlier, I absolutely love airsoft shotguns, and I've reviewed most of the ones available on the market. This one is certainly at the top of the single shot replicas that I've reviewed. The full metal body, included top rail and retractable EBR style stock all combine to make a very easy to use shotgun that has a unique look. The only things I really didn't like about it was the ugly extended magazine, which I'm correcting with a Maruzen low profile one, and the outer barrel that was too long compared to the magazine tube, which I chopped down already. Now I've got a lean, mean looking shotgun ready to turn some heads on the field!
Many thanks again to Evike, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!