Secutor Velites S series spring action shotgun
Secutor Velites S series spring action shotgun
Spring Loaded Roman
Secutor are still a relatively new name on the UK Airsoft scene and have been bestowing their products upon us for the last few months now that have followed a distinctly Roman theme. They started off with the Rudis which is a cracking CO2 powered 1911 pistol which I reviewed and this was followed by the Gladius, a Glock style pistol which wasn’t so good. However during the recent months they have released a range of shotguns they have named the Velites. They come in various style configurations and you have the option of a gas powered version or a spring powered one which this review will cover. For me personally the shotgun sector of the game is as competitive as any other sector so to stand out it needs to be good and very well priced. In this review you will get the answers to both those questions from my point of view.
The History Bit
The Velites were a class of Roman infantry soldiers and would normally be armed with a number of darts with metal tips that they would throw at the enemy and they would be accompanied with a short thrusting sword for when things got up close and personal. They were very rarely clad in armour and were usually the youngest and poorest members of the Roman army and were usually the first into battle on the frontline. In modern day terms they would probably be referred to as cannon fodder. So that’s a bit of the background to the name so lets get on with the review.
Well the shotgun arrived and I wasted no time in opening the box to have a good look at this very tactical looking shotgun. The model that I received was the S-XI which is the one with the full/solid stock in black with Dark Earth coloured parts like the full length top rail and the pump foregrip. This was finished off with a chrome ejection port cover that had a little handle on it so you could slide it backwards to simulate cocking the gun. It also came with a couple of shells that hold 28 bbs, not sure why they would supply 28 round shells for a tri shot but there ya go. Also included were the usual speedloader and a cleaning/unjamming rod that one of the ends fell off soon as I picked it up. A nice little touch was that included in the box was a two piece hand stop that could be easily fitted to the foregrip to make racking the shotgun a little easier. It also came fitted with a fold down front and rear sight (very tacticool).
So after checking everything was there I decided to get it out and pop a few shots out of it. The first thing that struck me when I took the shotgun out of the box was how extremely light it was, a little too light in my opinion. Ok I get that a lot of players would use this as maybe a back up weapon or as a primary in a CQB environment so being light could be a good thing for faster target selection. Now the reason why this shotgun is so light is the fact it is predominantly made from polymer. The only metal parts were the outer barrel, sling mount, trigger and obviously some of the internals that I wouldn’t be able to see without stripping it down. I was really disappointed with this because the price point suggests a full metal shotty but more about that later. Even the full length top rail was polymer and also the fold down sights but I didn’t want to be too harsh as I hadn’t even fired it by this point.
Once I had got over the initial shock of the weight of this and the fact it was nearly all polymer I filled up one of the shells with 0.25g Draft Club bbs, popped the shell in and fired a few shots off. Now the shotgun is fitted with a fixed hop system like in most tri-shot offerings out there so I wasn’t exactly expecting any kind of range from this. To my surprise the Velites sent the bbs a good 40+ metres and they were still lifting a touch but I did notice that one of the bbs was falling a good 10-15 metres shorter than the other two which I put down to the fact there could be a bit of dirt or grease on that particular hop rubber. So I got out a cleaning rod a run a bit of J-Cloth up and down the barrels a few times to see if it made a difference, there was a slight improvement in the wayward bb getting closer to the other two. Another this I noticed was the foregrip is quite wobbly but I tend to find that this is the case with a lot of springer shotguns which is down to the strain being put on it during racking.
I then decided to run some slightly heavier bbs through it and moved onto 0.28g. With these the grouping were a lot tighter but that stray bb still had a mind of it’s own. One thing that I noticed after putting a few shells through it was how accurate it was, each shot was right down the centreline of the gun which is a good thing for a shotty.
After a brief shooting test I decided that I would take to the next game at SOU Kula, I decided on this site because of the fact it is b a tight CQB site where I thought the Velites would come into it’s own and also let some of the regular players have a go with it. Now admittedly it was absolutely freezing on the day and the Veletis clearly shared my loathing of the cold weather as it decided it was only going to fire the bbs about ten feet which totally contradicts what I had previously experienced with this. Now the general consensus on the reason for this was the fact the hop rubbers were simply too cold and hard to grip the bbs. I would hazard a guess that the hop rubbers are probably 70 degree compound which are already very hard to start with, not very good in my opinion. I’ve heard of gas shotguns failing in the cold but never springers so I was really disappointed that I couldn’t use it in game. After returning home and the Velites getting back up to room temperature it was back to shooting at the range I previously talked about.
So what do I think? Well this is a very competitive sector of Airsoft weaponry with offerings from TM, CYMA and A&K to name a few which are great products and are priced accordingly. But the thing that may put people off the Velites is the price point, the model I was sent I believe is in the region of £100-120 which in my opinion for a mostly polymer shotgun is way too high. Would I have one? Yes but not at them prices, take note Secutor.
Huge thanks to Secutor and Marine at 020 for supply of the test rifle.
Review by Angelo Di Vito