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Remington CA870 - Maruzen

One day I developed an urge for a pump action shotgun (I expect I'd been watching a film somewhere), but strangely, instead of just going away, it built and built. I looked around and quickly discounted the Marui range as too big, too ugly and too expensive.

Ugly blighter in standard form, but feels very solid.

Then Maruzen released the CA870. Sure it was ugly, but it was simple and cheap. When one appeared on the forum, I bought it.

In the Box

Described as brand new, the gun certainly looked it and I was mightily impressed by the weight of the box.

Really just a big spring pistol, so not much here.

The box was typical of recent Maruzens with a plain cardboard box printed with line drawings and lots of spurious hype about the gun in Jap-glish. All that was in the box was the gun, some paperwork and a flimsy looking tube and hopper loading tool.

First Impressions

I'd seen pictures of the CA870, of course, and the body always looks grey and grainy. Certainly, it does, but up close it looked better than the photos I'd seen suggested.

Lifting it from the box, proved that the weight wasn't wasted in packaging, it's all there in the gun.

Box magazine supposedly used in Vietnam.

The stock and foregrip look a bit cheap (plastic trying to be wood), but they are nicely finished (as is the whole gun), whilst the body of the gun looks like grey coloured fibreglass (which it is), but it feels smooth and the, few, markings are nicely done.

Button over trigger is safety - Note trades.

The breech doesn't open when you cock the gun and there's a flimsy (but very cheap to buy) 40 round box magazine to hold your BBs in the slot where you'd normally expect to load shells. Reports suggest the box magazine was used in Vietnam, but I couldn't find any references to this anywhere on the web.

The gun is designed to be fired from the hip, so there are no sights at all.

Closer Look

Firing the gun was good. It's easy to cock, although I can't do that one handed flick of the gun whilst holding the pump action foregrip that you always see in the films and it's powerful and (given it has no sights!) accurate.

Stock extended - the pump is quite a reach for me at 5ft 10ins.

Personally, I didn't like the sawn off stock. It really looks NOTHING like a wood stock, but it removes easily, revealing a stub tube with a thread inside. This opens up a couple of alternatives. Firstly, M16 or other Armalite owners might want to saw that tube off (it doesn't seem to serve any functional purpose, other than holding the stock on.) and attach the gun "Masterkey" style under the front barrel of their AEG. I wanted to fit a stock and found a nice side folding one (there are top folding stocks, too, or you could fit a solid wood or fibreglass stock), which suited my requirements well as I also wanted to fit a red-dot sight to the top, which I achieved by fitting a short piece of Weaver rail direct to the top of the receiver casing.

Compact gun still, with stock folded, although difficult to use left handed.

The stock is solid and made entirely of plastic, so does not add too much weight to unbalance the gun. With it extended, I find the pump quite a reach at my 5ft 10ins, but as the gun is easy to pump it is not a problem. With the stock folded, though, it's virtually impossible to pump with the right hand, meaning it is only comfortable for right handed use.

Having fitted the stock, I decided I need a sling, so I removed the rear swivel from the removed 'sawn off' stock and simply screwed it into the pistol grip of the stock. I obtained a Blackhawk M16 sling (which is probably a bit too long, although I could cut it down and it is adjustable) which makes it easy to shoulder.

The final step was to fit a red dot sight. Being new to red dots, I decided to get a very cheap one and settled on a New Century open red dot (actually cost me 10 from eBay). It's not exceptional quality, being made mainly of plastic, but it does the job (despite very negative reviews I've read on the forums) of making the gun aimable. I have it zeroed for about 10m and it hits pretty accurately at that range. For the price, I was most impressed.

Much of the inspiration for the mods to my CA870 came from Ruriwo's website - You can find his strip down guide (roughly translated) on the Resources page.

Shooting Impressions

Target34
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, seemed a bit pointless, but I did it anyway, with 9, .12g BBs.

The red dot sight wasn't quite zeroed in, so I was compensating with each shot and the pump action takes the sight off target (at least a little) on each pump.

Even so, 8 of the BBs were in the centre area, with the 9th just outside. The entire grouping was 2.75 inches (7.3 CM), with the best 7 in a 1.75 inch (4.5 CM) diameter. Pretty good, as you'd expect from something you can steady on your shoulder.

Outside, the power of the gun is impressive. It carries easily over the fence at the end of my garden (70ft away) and shows no sign of fall off at that range, reports suggest that it is on a par with a stock AEG in standard form

UPDATE July 2004 - I now have a CA870 CQB, which I will review fully sometime, but the technically identical CQB produced the following chrono results.

Over 5 shots, it averaged 293 fps, placing it a little above a stock AEG, although the shorter barrel will effect practical range.

Shot      FPS
1 295.0
2 289.1
3 292.4
4 295.8
5 293.8

UPDATE - 23/11/03

Since I posted this review, a lot of activity has occurred on the CA870 front.

I found an excellent technical article ,concentrating on the CQB, here.

Meanwhile, Angs have launched power up springs for the CA870, given 350 or 400 fps performance, they claim, whilst KN 6.04mm barrels are also available in both standard and extended (for which you'll need a silencer to cover the extension, or a custom outer barrel).

Finally, it seems that Maruzen also like the 'tactical' look for the CA870 as they've launched the CA870 CQB

CQB's spec very similar to mine.

Other than the black foregrip, it's a very similar to spec to my gun, albeit without a stock.

Conclusions

Overall, the CA870 does exactly what it says on the box. It isn't a direct competitor to the gas shotguns of Maruzen and Marushin or to the spring shotguns from Tokyo Marui. What it IS is an excellent backup or close combat weapon, being more than a spring pistol, but less than a rifle.

The final form, with rail mounted red dot and Blackhawk sling.

It offers reliable (and probably upgradable, although taken the gun apart is non-trivial) performance and good accuracy in a compact, but sturdy package.

Weight : 1300g (standard form)/1900g (with folding stock)

Realism : ***
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns

Review of the Maruzen CA870 CQB


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