Classic Army SLR-105 Steel Version Review
Ever since the CA SLR steel version (SLR) was released months ago I've been eagerly awaiting it's availability here in Canada. Thankfully HoJo was good enough to allow me to poach his incoming CA order and snag one before it "hit the shelves" so to speak.
The box is standard fare, cardboard and styrofoam. Rest assured, it does an adequate job of protecting that which you have paid for. As well a Japanese manual is included that is pretty much good for the trashbin if this isn't your first AEG, nothing special.
But open up that unremarkable box, and wow! Right off the bat when it comes to aesthetics, the SLR impresses. The blued steel receiver and wood furniture look amazing and the heft is enough without being too much of a burden.
The SLR is 100% rock solid right off the bat. The wood furniture is solid and there is no wobble in the pistol grip. I have all visible screws a tweak just to check, but everything was nice and tight right from the factory
CA SLR Steel version compared in size to ICS M4 w/ silencer
The blued steel receiver is a first in the airsoft world when it comes to a full-run AEG, and it looks simply amazing. Once you lay eyes on it, all other AK series painted/parkerized receivers look like complete bullocks. The receiver does have the controversial "Arsenal" trades on the left-hand side, but they aren't noticeable to the casual look and don't detract from the "made in mother Russia" looks this aeg exudes.
Arsenal trades and sight attachement
The blued-steel receiver is of outstanding quality and everything fits together amazingly well. The quality of construction gives one 100% confidence that in the event of a dead battery, the aeg could be used as a blunt* weapon no problem
Classic Army developed something of a reputation for less than stellar quality and performance in it's AEGs when they first began manufacturing runs, especially when they did a "1st gen" run of a new aeg. Those days are apparently over, as the SLR is an outstanding performer out of the box. Shooting approx 300fps factory, and possessing a hopup that is rock solid enables this aeg to hold it's own no problem. The first day I had this out to a training day, of course it was passed around like the village bicycle as quite a few people had a go. The dominant comments were "wow it's quiet" and "it's a laser, shoots right where you point it"
It is indeed a very quiet aeg in comparison to most. And regarding the accuracy, once the hop is set, it's positively a tack driver, putting rounds downrange with amazing precision, time after time.
One issue I must raise however. Rumblings concerning this aeg tell of the need to replace the piston after the first 1,000 rounds. Apparently there are some durability issues w/ all CA pistons. I have not had a chance to crack the mechbox yet, but I will report on this issue once I have, as by my estimates I've put about 1,500 rounds through this rifle so far with no problems.
The SLR's gastube is a cast piece, adding to the impressive weight overall of the AEG.
I'm really quit happy with this purchase. The CA SLR Steel version is a "contender" right out of the box with no QC issues** so far. I'm planning to keep it stock as a "enemy force" weapon, and the solid construction ensures it will be around for awhile no matter how many times I may drop it out of a moving vehicle or bang it against rocks etc....
It is a bit pricey, but 100% worth it.
*One should never use an aeg as a blunt instrument in assaulting another player. Anyone who doesn't realize the above statement was in jest obviously is not familiar w/ the concept of sarcasm....
** After less than 1000 rounds had to replace the piston, however this is the norm with all CA aeg's. I recommend replacement of the piston upon purchase.