MadBull Airsoft: Turn a Shotgun into an Airsoft Gun

Taiwan company MadBull Airsoft have developed a conversion kit to convert any non-semi auto shotgun (pump, single shot, double barrel) into an airsoft gun. The kit includes a barrel insert and special 12 gauge rounds. The rounds of loaded with standard 6mm plastic BBs and charged with C02 gas.

The barrel insert does not appear to allow regular 12 gauge cartridges to be chambered, preventing the accidental mixing of training and live ammunition.

This product will likely be a lot cheaper to buy and operate than other shotgun training systems.

I can’t wait to try this system out.

( If anyone from Madbull is reading this, please get in touch with me, your email system is not working and my replies are bouncing )





Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Rangefinder

    Blaze orange muzzle?

  • Mechman

    This is probably the most potentially dangerous gun addition I’ve ever seen.

    • Sian

      Yeah, yikes.

      • Other Steve

        Agreed, this is a terrible idea on paper and that’s where it should have stayed!

    • JM

      Eh, why? A shotgun isn’t dangerous enough in itself? Something like this shouldn’t scare someone who knows proper firearms handling, storage, and safety.

      • Other Steve

        Does anyone really not get that making a TOY from a GUN is a really bad idea?

        From the increased possibility of shooting someone.

        To the more likely possibility of getting shot by someone else (yea, “someone who knows proper firearms handling”… Do you really trust others that much? Have you been to a public range before?).

        The legality of taking your currently airsoft toy, that’s actually a real firearm to someplace real firearms are not allowed.

        Etc etc etc. This is a horrible idea.

      • JM

        Airsoft guns are not toys, sir.

  • Burst

    I’d just like to say that I can’t think of any way this could go horrifically, catastrophically wrong.

    But I’m sure someone will find one.

  • bima86

    I think this is a really bad idea.. real firearms should be mixed with “toys” such as this. This is an accident just waiting to happen..

    • JM

      Airsoft guns are not toys any more than a four-wheeler is a toy car.

      • Other Steve

        You can post all over that paintball and airsoft are not toys, but they are.

        A four wheeler can be used for travel. A paintball or airsoft gun can not put food on a table or defensively kill. You will next argue that they could be training “tools”, to that I’d argue I could use a four wheeler for hunting…

        Toys are Toys and it’s a bad idea to make a firearm into one.

      • JM

        You’ve never killed an animal with an airgun? You have my pity.

      • bima86

        airsoft and airgun are two different things.

        airsoft’s gearbox produce a short low-pressure of air to push the 6mm plastic ammunition (which are not aerodynamic).

        meanwhile the airgun, I wouldn’t call it a toy.. nobody would ever let a person with an airgun participate in a airsoft skirmish/game. the airgun produces a high-pressure burst of air to push the lead ammunition which are more streamline and designed to at higher velocities.

      • JM

        They are both compressed-air projectile systems. Just because the status quo of one is more powerful than the status quo of the other doesn’t mean that they don’t overlap in terms of power and capability to injure or kill. They are retailed on the same aisle for a reason, and it’s not in the Toy section.

  • Zermoid

    Turn your shotgun into a toy for your kids to play with?

    NO THANKS!

    I can see the lawsuits already………..

    • JM

      I’ve never considered any kind of paintball marker or airsoft gun to be a “toy”. Have you?

  • Chad

    This would be a bad idea for airsoft, but a good training device for shooting around the house when you can’t make it out to the range.

    • Other Steve

      No. If you want that you buy an airsoft shotgun and you keep the two separate.

      • JM

        What’s the difference between keeping an airsoft gun and a real gun separate, and keeping a real gun and an airsoft mod separate? Both require responsibility, which you seem keen on removing from everyday people.

  • Rory

    Terrible, terrible idea. Disaster waiting to happen.

    • Tinkerer

      In my opinion, disaster would only come from improper handling by a not-properly trained individual. Firearms are hazardous machines, but only in the hands of under-trained individuals. Hell, in the airsoft club I used to frequent, they followed the exact same rules of firearms safety that any one of us would follow on a live fire range. It’s not the machine that poses the risk: it’s the human handling it. And that can be said for firearms, paintball markers, airsoft replicas, meat cleavers or golf carts.

      • Other Steve

        Right…. Because all airsofters and shotgun owners are well trained individuals.

      • JM

        I agree, Tinkerer.

      • Jusuchin (Military Otaku)

        @Other Steve:

        I own several airsoft guns. I comply with safety regulations and have taught younger relatives firearms safety with them. I’ve also shot two savage bolt action rifles in .308 and .22LR as well as a Mossberg using rifled slugs and have had the firearms safety rules drilled into me by RSOs, Army ROTC, and my Uncle. Am I still an un-trained individual?

  • Spencer W

    If, IF! It can not use real shells this will be a great training tool and a lot of fun. Why does everyone automatically say its a bad idea without any thought of the advantages? If it can only shoot the airsoft shells where is the problem?

  • I remember when 12 years ago i started to operate a paintball field, one of the golden safety rules for a paintball field was (is) NO REAL firearms around.
    And tomorrow. for an airsoft game, a golden safety rule could be: No real ammo in your real shotguns…..please!!!!!
    Pretty dangerous idea, hope never will be in production.

  • Get in touch with Madbull through their facebook page. They are pretty active on there and will probably reply to you about reviewing one.

  • JMD

    This seems like a horribly dangerous idea, and is begging to be a rallying point for new anti-gun legislation. Even if it doesn’t allow the use of standard shotgun shells, what about mini-shells? Oh boy…

    Things like this that encourage people to break rule #2 (never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy), and ignore rule #1 selectively (always behave as if all firearms are always loaded), are just begging for trouble.

    It’s only a matter of time until someone screws up and somebody gets skewered with a flying barrel adapter.

    • JMD

      And on the other side of the coin, what if someone uses this thing for training because their shotgun is their primary self-defense firearm, and they forget to take it out afterward? Assuming this thing actually does function safely as intended, that means if it is left installed, it’ll keep the user from firing live ammunition when that’s needed. It doesn’t look like the device would be visible from the outside, so I would be willing to believe someone could forget it is still installed.

      • JMD

        The libtards are already screaming that children are turning airsoft guns into real guns. Now they’ll be screeching about how companies are turning real guns into toys for children.

        Oh, Jesus…

      • Komrad

        As a a gun owning and loving bleeding-heart, tax-and-spend, commie-liberal, I take offense at the term “libtard” especially used in conjunction with implying that all “libtards” are anti-gun.

      • JM

        I love that you’re putting words into the mouths of “libtards” and then agreeing with them.

    • JM

      So your solution is to clamp down on innovative products that are in demand? Screw the haters. If someone is loading shotguns without checking the chamber first – or leaving loaded guns lying around without periodically checking them for tampering/obstructions – then what happens when they pull the trigger is NOT MadBull’s fault for being innovative. Get a grip.

  • Chucky

    Steve,
    This is an old product by Madbull and I believe it never went into production. It stemmed out of the interest from Tanaka airsoft shotguns which were extremely realistic that you could use real steel parts to fix it (good too because it broke easily) however are unable to take real shells for obvious safety reasons. Madbull made shells for the Tanaka and then experimented with the real steel-to-airsoft conversion as getting a real shotgun is arguably cheaper than starting with a Tanaka and upgrading it for durability. They got a lot of flack for it (same sentiments as below) and ended up not releasing it.

  • JscottNH

    Well I guess we have all been well trained by the Brady Bunch, haven’t we…. We are all humans, and fallible… I guess the only way society will be safe is if we get rid of all the dangerous things in our lives….

    Just my 2¢…

  • D

    I like the concept. A lot of shotguns are home-defense weapons, and i think something that helped people get familiar with it would be a benefit. That way when they go to grab it in an emergency, there’d be better muscle memory.

    There’s all sorts of dangerous things people do, and at some point you have to assume that it’s their right to take the risks they feel are worth taking.

    • Jeff Smith

      Agreed!

      This is a great product if it’s not intended to be used as a toy.

      Lots of law enforcement agencies use airsoft for training purposes. I use my semi auto M9 airsoft gun to practice around the house. Being about to practice with my Mossberg 590 around the house would be great.

      • Mike

        Well, there were two different airsoft 590s, a Marushin original and a Chinese clone (I happen to own one), but they weren’t really practical (Marushin required more expensive 8mm BBs and the Chinese one was leaky as all hell – both were gas-powered).

      • Other Steve

        If they would have made it incompatible with airsoft ammo or parts, then yes, it could have use as a training device and clearly not be a toy.

        However, they are marketing it as AIRSOFT… A TOY. No, bad idea.

      • JM

        Airsoft guns are NOT toys.

  • Bryan S.

    Man, I wonder what some people’s view on other possible training tools, like Simunitions, are around here.

    • Looks like fun. But I have this spider sense that is telling me this seems safe but I just dont like real steel running around with airsoft. Call me old fashioned.

      I wonder if you can chamber the airsoft shells like real shells. I would be interested in getting this for indoor pistol range action shooting.

    • Other Steve

      Simunition is rare, very expensive, and only found around professionals.

      Airsoft is common, cheap, and found near children.

      You really don’t see an issue with this?

      • JM

        REAL ammunition is cheap and found near children. What’s your point?

  • Chuck

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • VERY freaking bad idea.

    You’ll be violating EVERY one of the 4 rules of gun safety with real steel.

    Nevermind the ease with which some idiot could put this in for inspection ( I presume they inspect all toys to ensure they’re not weapons), then
    “go loud” during the game.

    Keep the tools where the tools belong.
    Keep the toys where the toys belong.
    Do we really need to give this any further thought beyond the above?

    It’s a gun. It can NOT be made safe to play with as a toy. Period. F’ing. Dot.

    • Other Steve

      Agreed.

      I can’t understand why anyone would argue “training” without realizing the vastly better idea of buying an airsoft shotgun if that’s what they are into.

    • JM

      Maybe it’s a “bad freaking idea” in YOUR hands, as you obviously consider paintball markers “toys”.

      • A paintball marker IS a toy. It is not a tool. It is used for playing at combatives, period.

        Yes I realize they can be used in the cattle industry to mark a cow…. do you really think the primary market for them is to such a purpose?

        No, when you have something that looks like a gun and shoots paint, it is a toy.

      • JM

        JAFO, if you believe that then people like you are the reason that kids are getting shot by cops when they point paintball markers at them. The box of any paintball marker or airsoft gun clearly notes that it is not a toy. To SWAT teams it is a “less lethal weapon”. To you it is apparently something you can hand to a child without supervision. Shame on you.

      • Other Steve

        JAFO has it. Paintball and Airsoft are toys.

        You’re justifying their legitimacy because cops shoot kids who brandish them? WTF?

      • JM

        If they’re toys, then why are they illegal to discharge within most city limits? And why does simply carrying one in public display constitute a public menace? And why does shooting someone with one outside of a sporting field draw a felony assault charge in most states?

      • Bryan S.

        It is not a paintball “marker” its a paintball GUN. They can maim and kill of mistreated and not used in the correct way.

        To write it off as a toy, and not as a gun (for a specific use) is an invite to serious safety issues, not to mention political ones.

        -11 year paintball player, referee, and former team organizer.

      • W

        i wouldn’t call a paintball gun or a airsoft gun a toy, as they both have additional safety considerations that “toys” don’t have. I believe they fit into the same niche as fireworks; they are recreational activities intended for adults that require additional safety parameters.

        I am vehemently opposed to the idea of a conversion making a live gun into a airsoft trainer, as it violates the 4 rules of gun safety, though i believe airsoft or painball guns also fall into those same rules and a responsible owner/operator/player lives by these rules.

        I don’t agree that it is a “less than lethal” item; less than lethal means items that are designed to incapacitate rather than kill. There are specialized paintball-like items that are less than lethal, though your run-of-the-mill paintball gun is not designed to incapacitate someone (perhaps you are mistaking SWAT’s usage of the FN 303 to a bona fide paintball gun).

      • JM

        No, I was referring to SWAT’s use of CO2-powered paintball markers with pepper ball ammo.

      • W

        and i can fashion a baton out of cherry wood, which is less than lethal too. What is your point? The definition of less than lethal is “incapacitating” a assailant (incapacitate being the key word). Paintball guns were not designed to be less than lethal, though there are accommodations for to make them less than lethal. Similar to a 870 shotgun…they were not designed originally to be less than lethal, though can be accommodated as such.

    • If you think this is bad, wait till you see the cool laser-tag system the military uses.

      They use REAL GUNS to fire REAL BLANKS at EACH OTHERS FACES!!!

      They even make a blank firing adapter for the 50 cal!

      Some eyes are going to get poked out, surely. Why, they’ll probably put a pebble down the barrel and…

      Wait, how long has this system been around? Since 1980?! Why haven’t we heard about all the dead soldiers firing REAL BLANKS from their REAL GUNS at each other?

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_Integrated_Laser_Engagement_System

      • James-

        Have you done more than read the wiki article on this system?

        Ever used it?

        I HAVE. I was ain Infantry soldier from 88-94. The difference between the army MILES system and the offering here is there’s a *big honkin’ orange blank adapter screwed onto the end of the barrel. It’s simply not possible to use that system without said adapter, owing to the adapter keeping gas pressure up, and the soldiers’ chain of command seeing that they do same.
        It goes without saying that professional men at arms are MUCH better trained than some civilian of dubious training who happened to get the money to buy the system offered here.

      • -meant to add- the big orange blank adapter says to everyone in sight “hey, this weapon is safe as can be (training for combat being inherently unsafe). Yes, someone can chamber live ammo- but steps are taken to control live ammo, for obvious reasons unrelated to this convo.

        Further- troops do NOT train to engage the face up close with this system. We trained to engage Center of Mass (as all but the most elite troops do), and no shots were taken within 25 meters. Doing so was actually an Article-15 offense in my brigade, and there were a couple troops that had that happen.

        Real-life experience trumps Wikipedia every-damn-time.

      • W

        james, your comparison is null.

        In military training using MILES, possible injuries due to training are mitigated by a composite risk management system (anybody who served in the military knows what this is LMAO!!!) and superior leadership from team leader all the way up the line.

        Civilians do not (that I know of) have a system in place to mitigate injuries besides disproportionate reliance on good intentions and safety equipment.

        Comparing the military (a professional organization with a support staff, necessary bureaucracy, and disciplined soldiers) to civilians when it comes to using real firearms for training is a fallacy.

  • Bam

    I think we all need to slow down. Nowhere in the article does it have anything stating that Madbull is making this available to the civilian market. I have no doubt that if Madbull is pioneering this idea, it’s going to be purchased through LEO organizations or someone wanting to use them for force-on-force training. In fact, the article itself states nothing except “Look what Madbull made!”. I’m sure they’ve got plenty of other things going through R&D that aren’t made for civilians and aren’t even supposed to see the light of day in the civvie world.

  • Kenny Blankenship

    Ah, perfect for getting those pesky neighbor kids off my lawn!

  • calool

    i think this is a potentially bad idea, it wont be long until someone has their eye out.

    as for the whole idea of simulated ammo, it seems a little flawed firing it from any real gun, until we develop an ammunition that can be fired from a gun, hit a target safely and be safe to fire at humans, sim ammo is really dangerous. the problem is that even low velocity rounds can cause bruises and may even potentially penetrate skin

  • Nick

    While I would never want to see this on the field, it’s a nifty product for training. To those who say just buy an airsoft shotgun for training, there are no good choices out there, and they’re all around $300 anyway. Buy a used 870 or 500, paint the barrel blue, and only use it with this conversion. You won’t be out too much more than an airsoft shotgun and it will be several times more durable.

  • Jim

    This makes a lot of sense for Mil, Police and other professional training, otherwise it could get ugly. Restrict sales to M&P and problem solved.

  • cto

    Personally i agree with most of the comments of how real steel and airsoft shouldnt be blurred in terms of actual firearms being turned into airsoft guns, but it seems like most of you didn’t see this part of Steve’s post.

    “The barrel insert does not appear to allow regular 12 gauge cartridges to be chambered, preventing the accidental mixing of training and live ammunition.”

    • Mechman

      The problem isn’t loading real rounds when you’ve got an airsoft barrel in. The problem is forgetting which you’ve got in, and either needing real rounds and having airsoft, or needing airsoft and having real ones.

    • In reply to the bit about “The barrel insert not allowing insertion of live rounds”

      My point is more that the weapon- and it IS a weapon- can be made real, as that’s what it started out as.

      One of the points of acceptance for Airsoft weapons is that they can not be made to fire live ammo. Witness, the issue reported here last year about Airsoft AR15s that were “able to accept live ammo with minimal mods”.

      Personally, if something looks like a weapon and someone is pointing it at me, there’s going to be trouble… which is why I choose not to participate in “playing war”.

      • Amir

        by “minimal mods”
        they were able to make the lower receivers hold the actual parts from an actual ar15 lower receiver so when attached to the upper it would fire
        the problem is that can also be done with a block of wood or metal, or the receivers from the electric airsoft guns. not just the metal receivers of the gas operated airsoft guns that were confiscated/banned.
        what they did was stupid, and only done because they do not like airsoft and alot of those guns were shipped to America without the orange tip.
        have you seen there may be a bill making airsoft guns considered a real firearm requiring a license? the ATF just dislikes airsoft (mostlikely since most of the business is from foreign founded companies. I.E. they probably are butthurt the Taiwanese or Chinese have such great dimensions for the ar15)
        want some dr.dre beats?
        http://www.dealextreme.com/p/designer-s-cool-in-ear-stereo-earphone-red-black-3-5mm-jack-125cm-cable-67258
        the quality control isn;t the greatest so defects get shipped out a good bit, but they are real, for obvious reasons some things aren’t put the right way or missing but it’s from the same factory AND the factory is making a major profit yet look at the price
        more $ doesn’t make it “better” or “worth more” only the final quality/product matter
        if it does what is needed thats it
        like a $100 HDMI cable is no better than the $1 cable at amazon, it might be more resistant to breaking from being pulled, but thats not worth $99 to me, give it slack and don’t pull it, real simple. go out and party or get more food

    • cto

      Dont get me wrong, i fully believe what you guys are saying. I’m an avid shooter and love competing but i also play airsoft on my off days after spending 3 years in japan without guns.

      My answer was in response to people saying what happens if you insert a real shotgun shell while the barrel mod was still inside the barrel.

      As for the turning a shotgun into an airsoft gun; I’d have no issue with it…If it weren’t for the fact there are idiots everywhere and i’m not leaving it to some douchebag to remeber what he’s got in his gun.

      As for the comment on the airsoft M4s being turned in into full-auto assault rifles.

      I’d love to see the proof, they never once bothered to test it and provide evidence of there tests. furthermore, this information was provided by an ATF “spokesman” who apparently has never handled an M4 carbine, considering the fact he spent a solid 5 seconds trying to insert the replica magazine into the magwell BACKWARDS, while on camera no less.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk8-ePGqBmM&feature=related

      Lets also not forget the series of guns he was talking about are made of Pot-metal and other cheap, low melting point metals. If you were able to get a round into the chamber and have it strike, the likelihood of it exploding in your hands is so high that you’re basically asking for grievous bodily injury for attempting it.

      • W

        “As for the comment on the airsoft M4s being turned in into full-auto assault rifles.”

        “I’d love to see the proof, they never once bothered to test it and provide evidence of there tests.”

        Apparently you can ask the ATF for “proof” but you have to file a Freedom of Information request. Its too bad I already pay for their f–king paycheck as a tax payer, so this proof better be provided without special request. Utter stupidity.

        “furthermore, this information was provided by an ATF “spokesman” who apparently has never handled an M4 carbine, considering the fact he spent a solid 5 seconds trying to insert the replica magazine into the magwell BACKWARDS, while on camera no less.”

        hahahaha, yeah it reminds me of the DEA agent that shot himself in the foot. Utter incompetent stooges with no grasp of reality. The ATF doesn’t do anything the FBI or state police cannot do, and it would be best for a red line to be drawn through the agency and its personnel to save the taxpayer money, time, and resources needed elsewhere.

        Anybody who believes a airsoft gun can be made into a full automatic assault rifle that fires real bullets is an idiot, plain and simple. I would like to see one of these morons attempt to retrofit one to fire real bullets, especially the “after” footage inside a hospital emergency room.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk8-ePGqBmM&feature=related

        “Lets also not forget the series of guns he was talking about are made of Pot-metal and other cheap, low melting point metals. If you were able to get a round into the chamber and have it strike, the likelihood of it exploding in your hands is so high that you’re basically asking for grievous bodily injury for attempting it.”

        hahahaha i laughed so hard when i heard about this i cried. seriously. Again, I would like to see a victim of natural selection fire a live bullet through a airsoft gun and see what happens.

        Note: For the love of whatever makes you sane, im kidding. Do not try this. If are curious, however, Im sure the darwin awards are looking for some fresh faces.

  • x

    read about halfway through the comments, anyways to everyone saying its a bad idea , you do realise people have to still buy the shotgun as a shotgun and go through all the paperwork and not have a previous mental condition, and i see airsoft guns as guns, but bordering on adult toys, but never a toy, as a toy is something i’d let a child play with near my new television hypochondriac child and whatnot

    and when the atf stopped those airsoft m4 lowers from coming in when you can still buy actual aluminum ar15 lowers without firing groups machined over the internet and it doesnt count as a firearm, it sounds alot like a publicity stunt. and to everyone saying the airsoft ones were a danger of blowing up, the locking lugs are on the upper, most of the force of the blast is spent there, and the rest is only a little over what it takes to compress the buffer spring. btw theres a whole thread , with pictures of the entire process of building a ar15 lower from pinewood on weaponeer.net, and the wood he used being one of the softest,largest grain wood available think if he used a hardwood

  • Nick

    Could work well for law enf/mil training (prob what is was geared towards) but put in the hands of the masses a bad idea.