Classic Army Arsenal SLR105 Tactical AEG review by Booligan
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Basic Gun Information
Classic Army is one of the older names in the airsoft industry, having started business back in 2000 or so, however, they are still manufacturing unique and interesting airsoft replicas today! Today we will be reviewing one of their newest licensed guns, the Arsenal SLR105 Tactical, which is a tactical variant of the ever evolving AK74 platform. This model blends the timeless AK design with modern features including a rail system and collapsible M4 type stock. If you're interested in this unique airsoft rifle, keep reading and hopefully you'll get the information you need! This is a slightly limited review, with limited internal information, but hopefully we will be seeing more reviews on Classic Army products in the coming months!
I was sent this AEG directly by Spartan Imports, who is the exclusive US distributor of Classic Army airsoft replicas. The SLR105 is available at most major airsoft retailers including Airsoft Extreme and Evike, who have it available priced around $220.00. This price puts it on par with CA's Premium Sportline models, however this gun has much better internal and external components compared to the Sportline models that I've used. Hopefully this affordable pricing for professional level guns is something that Classic Army continues with!
Basic Gun Information:
The SLR105 is a variant of the venerable AK74 platform, which on this model has a shortened barrel, one piece gas block/front sight unit, and tactical furniture making it easy to modify and customize to fit the shooter. It's a full metal replica, with a zinc alloy body, some steel components throughout the body, and polymer furniture. The most distinctive features of this gun are the railed handguard and retractable crane stock, which serves as the battery storage area. When combined with the shortened outer barrel, the SLR105 Tactical is a CQB and field use powerhouse. The fact that it's properly licensed through Arsenal is really the icing on the cake.
Classic Army always puts together a nice looking package, and the SLR is no exception. It's a whtie box with an image of the gun held within plastered on the front, contrasting over the Arsenal logo and name. Inside the box, a white foam inner liner keeps everything safe during shipping, and has cutouts for the few accessories that the gun includes.
From this point on, click on the thumbnails to view full size photos
Along with the gun itself, Classic Army included a single hi-cap AK74 type magazine, a cleaning/unjamming rod, front sight adjustment tool, a manual, and a catalog of CA's 2012 product line-up. There is no battery included, so you'll need to source out your own split cell butterfly type battery to use the gun.
Weight: 6.6 lbs
Length: 33.25" – 36.5"
Width: 3" (at stock)
Height: 11" (sight to magazine)
Sight Radius: 11"
LOP: 12.75" - 16"
As mentioned before, this is a full metal replica, as everything that would be metal on the real gun is accurately replicated with this AEG. The only polymer components are the handguard, pistol grip, and stock. Everything else is either made of a zinc alloy or steel, making the gun incredibly solid. The only part that is lacking solidity is the front sight, which has a little bit of wobble, due to the way it mounts to the barrel. The matte black finish looks great, but on closer inspection of certain parts, there is some roughness to the paint.
Overview, left side
Overview, right side
One of my favorite features of this gun is the stock unit. It uses a unique 6 position buffer tube assembly that is very solid, due to its metal construction and attachment method. You will find sling mount points on either side of the tube near the receiver. The stock itself is a polymer crane stock with spaces on the sides to hold your choice of battery. The inner wire is a coiled unit, making the use of buffer tube LiPos quite difficult.
Six locking positions
QD sling mount port
Moving forward, you'll hit the full metal receiver, which like all AK variants houses the very simple fire controls. You'll find a right sided selector switch with safe-full-semi, in the tradition AK pattern. The magazine release is part of the trigger guard and has a standard lever. An oversized lever or tactical selector switch would be a great addition to this gun. On the left side of the receiver, you'll find the Arsenal trademarks, but you'll note that there is no side scope mount.
Left side of the receiver
Like all AK replicas, you can pull back the faux cocking handle, which exposes the hop-up adjustment lever. The top cover is made of steel and has a fantastic paint finish applied to it. Like all TM type AK replicas, the cocking handle only goes back partially.
Cocking handle pulled back
The pistol grip is a SAW type unit, which is one of my favorite grips for AK AEGS. It's big, has ridges for enhanced grip, and is at a good angle It really fits the look of the gun as well, blending well with the stock and railed foregrip.
Moving forward from the receiver, you'll hit another distinctive part of the SLR, the railed handguard. It's a polymer handguard with rails located at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. The side rails can be removed if you want a sleeker look to the front of the gun. Aside from the rails, there are ridges molded into the grip to help you keep a strong hold on the gun. The rail is very solidly attached to the gun, so you should have no problem mounting an optic on the top rail. At the front of the handguard, you'll find another sling mount.
Moving forward still, you'll hit the unique gas block/front sight combo, as well as the steel flashhider. The flashhider is an AKS74U type unit with an orange painted front end. It's very securely attached to the threaded front end, so secure that I haven't been able to take it off!
The SLR is equipped with standard AK type iron sights, so aiming isn't a problem. The shorter than normal sight radius may decrease accuracy a bit, but I haven't noticed. The top rail on the handguard makes adding a red dot a piece of cake.
Classic Army, through ASG, has obtained licensing for Arsenal, a real steel weapon manufacturer, and the gun has engraved markings on the receiver, as well as a serial number that appears to be unique to each gun.
Classic Army markings
The included magazine is a polymer AK74 type unit that holds 500 rounds. I was pleasantly surprised that the magazine fit into the gun with almost zero wobble or free play, which is the opposite of most AKs that I test. I tested magazines from a wide variety of companies including Cyma, Echo 1, Javelin, and King Arms and had no fitment or feeding issues.
Performance after a 200 round break-in period, using Matrix .20g BBs, shot through a Madbull Chronograph is as follows:
High FPS: 403.1 FPS
Low FPS: 392.7 FPS
Average FPS: 395.5 FPS
Rate of fire using a cheap ACM 9.6v butterfly pack was surprisingly quick. I got a damn solid 18 RPS using that battery, shooting up to 25 when using a moderate output 11.1v LiPo pack. This is really good for a bone stock, mid-priced AEG.
Range and accuracy were standard for a 363mm inner barrel equipped gun. I loaded it up with some .28g ammo and set my standard torso sized target out at 160'. I was easily able to get my rounds on target at that range and with that ammo. I'd be comfortable engaging targets out to 170' if I needed to, but 160' is really the sweet spot in my testing.
Due to the special nature of this review, I can't go too deep into the internals, however I am happy to report that this does use some great components from what I can see. It comes with a V3 gearbox which is equipped with 7mm ball bearings for smooth operation. The short motor seems to be a high torque unit, and the wiring is pretty high quality. I'm disappointed that it has soldered motor tabs, but I'm just spoiled by my last few AKs I guess. It has a plastic hop-up unit with a 363mm inner barrel.
7mm ball bearing
If I can get additional information on the internal components, I will update this review. For now, unfortunately, this is all that I can provide.
As far as modification goes, you can add a wide variety of accessories to the railed handguard, including lights, lasers, optics, and foregrips. The stock can be swapped out, however the coiled battery cable makes the use of buffer tube batteries very difficult. Internally, it's a standard V3 gearbox, so it's a piece of cake to modify it for high speed or high powered use. It's not a bad starting gun if you wanted to build a Magpul Mag-K or other similar AEG.
Full metal construction makes it very solid
Affordable price - $220 at most retailers
Licensed trademarks through Arsenal
Tactical furniture makes customization a piece of cake
Retractable stock makes it easy for a wide range of shooters
Shortened outer barrel makes it useful for CQB or field use
Great ROF even using a low output 9.6v battery
No included battery or charger
Front sight has some wobble
Paint finish on some parts is a little rough
There are many in the airsoft field that think that AK replicas need to be bone stock, wood and metal only, with no options or accessories. I really think that the AK platform is one of the best on the airsoft market, and that modernizing it with user friendly features is precisely the goal of the AK. Make it usable by the widest possible audience and it'll be a hit.
The Classic Army SLR105 Tactical really epitomizes this theory, as it starts with the solid and widely supported AK platform and adds some really useful features and accessories. The collapsible stock makes it easy to adjust to fit different shooters. The railed handguard makes adding accessories a pain free process. The shortened barrel makes it much easier to handle in pretty much all environments. To top it all off, the price makes it accessible to damn near anyone in the market for an AEG. I'm happy that I was able to review this gun and get more info out onto the market about this awesome AEG!
Many thanks again to Spartan Imports, and of course, Airsoft Retreat!