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  • Writer's pictureGary Anderson

I Tested And Reviewed The Umarex T4E Shotgun In 2024

It's hard to find an air gun you can rely on. I tested a couple, and the Umarex T4E HDS shotgun really is amazing if you're looking to shoot .68 caliber paintballs or rubber balls. It's perfect for training and home defense.

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FYI, prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

Umarex T4E HDS .68 Caliber Training Shotgun and Paintball Marker

best air shotgun

Highlight: Shoots .68 caliber rubber balls, pepper balls and paintballs.

Helpful review: Stay with me; an Air Shotgun is a real thing. I saw this at Shotshow and had to get one to test so I could give my honest feedback on this unique approach to home defense. The name is a bit misleading; this air gun does not load buckshot in the chamber and push it out with air pressure. It is more like a severe paintball gun.
The Umarex T4E HDS in .68 caliber is a double barrel, side-by-side, break-action breech-loader powered by a CO2 cartridge. The Umarex T4E HDS is considered a paintball gun that can launch marker rounds or pepper balls for crowd recognition and marking or dispersal for rowdy folks who don't know when it's a good idea to quit.
Anyone who has "played" paintball knows how much it will get your attention when it hits, especially if all you wear is a T-shirt. If you are unlucky enough to experience pepper spray, we share the same training nightmares. These projectiles are non-lethal but very convincing on the receiving end. What gives the Umarex the distinction of a shotgun is that it fires multiple projectiles in one pull of the trigger. Not being a firearm, this is legal in all 50 states and does not qualify as a machine gun or destructive device. The t4E HDS can fire the .68 caliber paint marker balls, the pepper balls, or a nasty thing called the PowerBall. The Powerball is a rubber-coated steel ball that delivers massive energy on impact.
If the Umarex sounds like the new Burna, it is like the Burna. Unlike a CCW pistol, the Umarex fires multiple rounds and works like a double barreled, sawed-off shotgun with a pistol grip. I had to try this thing out in the most controlled conditions, so I shot the paintballs in my shop at a cardboard box. The paintballs splattered as expected but also broke the box from impact.
With that confidence and thinking of safety, I went outside and used an old paint can as a target for the Powerballs, also called riot balls by some folks. The Powerballs will smash the paint can in half and sometimes blast through the can. If the power balls are used for the sake of the poor recipient, give them about ten feet or so if you can. If the bad guy does not stop advancing on a thing that looks like a sawed-off 12 gauge, I guess they get what they deserve.
I did not practice the pepper balls because I did not want to do that again, up close anyway. I shot at a tree over the fence from my house in the park. The clump of pepper dust should affect a global area of about 10 feet in diameter. With this ammunition using a cloud of dust and not a liquid, I am confident everyone within 10 feet will get a serious dose of the nasty stuff.
This air gun operates as a hip shooter and will do well with a mounted flashlight to light up the target and a laser, so you do not have to hold it like a pistol. As a unique item to win and have a lot of fun shooting, this is a riot (pun intended); for a practical alternative, it's pretty big. A Byrna pistol may be the better choice if you carry it as a CCW non-lethal alternative. — Gary Anderson

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