In the beginning, I would like to say that it won’t be a typical detailed review of the replica, but it’s description with the addition of my personal opinion. I am not a user of airsoft snipers. I am a casual AEG and GBB user, who just got a 420 fps spring-loaded bolt action rifle into his hands. What’s the purpose of this kind of budget sniper airsoft replica, where can it be used and what’s its potential? We’ll see. Meet the SA-S03 CORE Sniper Rifle Replica from Specna Arms.
The replica is sent in styrofoam form with a cardboard cover. It’s not as secure as sponge used in EDGE. In my case, there was a piece of styrofoam broken by the muzzle brake of the replica.
Inside the package we can find:
- the rifle in two parts: its body and the barrel with a cylinder set.
- 3 low-cap magazines
- a polymer, fake magazine
- screws and hex key
- additional rails for the barrel
- user manual
- a certificate with fps measurement
- a bunch of Specna Arms stickers
Due to the length of the replica, it’s sent in two halves to assembly it by yourself. If someone is afraid that it requires high technical skills – no worries! It’s just a few screws to tighten, and you’re ready to go.
A similar difficulty level is when mounting the additional rails on the barrel. What’s a nice feature, is that it’s the same height as the main rifle RIS rail, so it doesn’t get in the way when using optics.
The last element that you can “engineer” by yourself is the buttstock, which is made of a few blocks, that can be placed or removed to adjust the buttstock length. It’s a useful solution for people with longer or shorter arms.
The replica seems quite sturdy and well-made at first sight. The pros are the black matte plastics and outer barrel coating.
After more detailed examination, a few imperfections can be spotted in the seaming of the body. They’re not harsh to the hands and doesn’t affect the usage of the sniper. It’s only a cosmetic defect. Before I forget, this is a replica of M40A5!
This version of the Specna Arms CORE sniper rifle has a cool feature. It’s a fake, polymer magazine in the receiver. It’s just for the looks, however, it can be reloaded.
The fake magazine is made of very light and shiny plastic. There are no holes in it. It has a closed, flat surface on top. Unfortunately, there are no additional weights inside, which could improve the realism of the gun.
Besides the buttstock mentioned before, the other adjustable part is the cheek rest. It’s mounted by four screws, which gives a lot of options to set the cheek rest at the desired comfortable position.
The bolt lever is made of metal. The sound of the opening and closing mechanism is very crisp. Near the bolt, there is also a functioning safety lever. It is also made of metal.
The parts of the body that are held by hands are covered in a coarse pattern, which is useful with wet or dirty hands.
On the rifle, there is a main rail for the optics and the second one for the bipod. However, the first one loosened up after a few magazines and needed to be tightened.
The muzzle brake is made of metal. Underneath you can find a standard 14 mm thread for silencer etc.
Near the bolt, there is an aesthetic laser engraving with the Specna Arms logo.
Besides, there are also stickers with the serial number hologram and the QR code to the Specna Arms website.
The actual bb magazine is placed at the front of the body. It’s projected to hide fully in the rifle, just like in the VSR replicas. It is made of lightweight polymer and has a capacity of 20 bbs. The magazine is locked in the magwell by a thin plastic block that is released by pulling a spring.
Removing the magazine is supported with a big spring block, that pushes it out of the magwell.
The heart of the replica is the whole barrel and cylinder system with the trigger mechanism. I don’t know this kind of constructions well, so I’ll make use of some of the internet knowledge. The pneumatics are in the TM VSR standard. The cylinder is made of steel. Inside it, there is the spring that shoots about 420 fps, however, there shouldn’t be any problems with fitting a stronger one.
Unhappily, the construction of the trigger mechanism isn’t capable od the trigger pull adjustment. The elements of the mechanism are made of zinc alloy. Some people may not like the fact, that the hop up chamber is not made in the VSR standard, which makes it currently noninterchangeable with market parts. However, it’s still used with a VSR/GBB barrel and bucking. The pneumatics are properly lubed and greased, but they need some time to work smoothly. To be honest, the first bolt reloads were kind of harsh, not it moves much better. I’ve needed to mention that because it’s not that obvious and some people may think that’s a factory issue.
I’ve shot the rifle at the distances of 20 meters (a steel plate targets) and 40 meters (human-chest-sized cardboard). Due to the kind of low fps for an airsoft sniper rifle, I’ve loaded the replica with 0,3 bbs. They didn’t fly fast, however, the trajectory and accuracy were stable. At the time, I’ve forgotten how great is the AEG possibility to quickly correct the next shots ;). After getting used to the rifle and its trigger, hitting the little metal targets from 20 meters wasn’t a problem. The same applies to the human chest target at the 40 meters – all the bbs were hitting the target. Is this performance satisfying for a low-priced sniper rifle? I think so. Does it have any advantage towards other players with AEG replicas with a similar range and accuracy, but a higher rate of fire? Definitely not. Sorry for my honesty, but it’s the brutal truth.
This doesn’t mean that the SA-S03 CORE sniper rifle replica is not worth the attention – it’s quite the opposite! Thanks to it’s lower power than other cheap sniper rifles, it’s a very suitable gun for younger players, that can hurt someone and need to learn the preciousness of each sniper shot and the sniper tactics in airsoft fights.
The other use of that rifle is in the spring and gbb only games, which are still organized in some places and are a great springboard for typical skirmishes.
The third and I think – the most interesting use of the Specna Core sniper rifles is to tune up them for real airsoft sniper rifle. The VSR system parts should make it possible, however, be aware of the non-standard hop up chamber, which may require some additional DIY sealing. If someone is a handyman, there is a potential of specna to be a great budget sniper rifle base. And remember about the cool factor – it’s the replica of freakin M40A5! (stylization alert!).
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