Review: CA M15 SPR
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Classic Army SPR/ Special Purpose Rifle
Price: $420 from Airsoft Atlanta
After a long awaited time of saving and saving I was finally able to get a new gun. I had my sights set on the Classic Army SPR. It was a bit pricey yes, but I had the money so what the heck, I went for it. I ordered it from Airsoft Atlanta, and in two days it was there on my front door. I was so excited about my new gun I skipped 5th, 6th, and 7th period so that I could come home early and see it.
When I tore open the brown paper I saw a beautifully illustrated box with the words' "M15A4 Special Purpose Rifle" written across it. The rifle was contained in a Styrofoam hollow that was cutout exactly like the rifle. It ensured that there would be no movement during transport. There in the box were the instructions, safety manual, Classic Army Parts catalogue, the gun, a foregrip, rail panels, a ramrod, and a front sight adjustment tool. The safety of the gun was definateley a priority. And thus, it arrived in flawless condition.
I yanked from the box a masterfully articulate rifle. I quickly pulled it up to my shoulder, getting a feel for the weight of the gun; surprisingly it was much heavier than the standard M4. Then again it wasn't loaded or even had a battery in it. I noticed a slight front heaviness to the rifle but after I later put the battery in, it weighed it out to where it was neither front nor back heavy, it was harmoniously balanced. It felt really good, with the usual composite hand grip allowing for a tight grip while maintaining its comfortableness. Everything from the selector switch to the mag catch was easily in reach, though this might not be the same for you if you're left-handed. All in all everything is real nice, the edges are crisp, and trades are laser precise.
I quickly slapped on the accessories it came with such as the rail panels and foregrip. At first I was worried about the length but once it was in my hands it seem as if it were merely an extension of my body. Not feeling too lengthy at all. Me being only 5 10" it suited me well. I also checked for any wobble or creaking in the front end and stock. None. Although the stock was made out of the same material out of the hand grip, it felt kind of... well... you can tell it's hollow. Now, there's really no way to prevent this because the stock is in fact hollow to allow for large battery storage. But none the less, I was thoroughly impressed. The RIS was well built. It had no front end wobble and had been cast very well. It included all the white elevation markings at each individual ridge and the foregrip and panels fit snugly.
The rear sight was not a plus for me at first, but after getting used to it, I wouldn't have it any other way. It works great, allowing for adjustment in windage and elevation. When you look down the sights you don't even notice that the majority of the carrying handle is not there. The chopped sight also reduces weight which can be a lifesaver if you're at an OP and you've been carrying the gun around all day.
With the gun, I also ordered an Intellect 8.4v 3600mah battery since it doesn't come with a battery or charger. I wanted to rid my self of the worry that my battery would die in the middle of a game. Well, I should say no more, because the battery is quite the beast. With the first test firing of the gun, I was too eager to shoot it so I only let the battery charge for an hour or so. With that I pulled it off the charger and slid it into the rear of the stock. It went in very easily and there was plenty of space leftover which hints at the possibility of fitting a 9.6v in the stock. The butt plate has a similar design to the m14 which allows you to merely open a hatch to install the battery.
Once the battery was in and the mag was loaded (with .23s because that's all I had) I proceeded to walk out onto the deck. I took aim, slowly pulling the trigger. BRRRAAAPPPP! I had accidentally had it on full auto. And I was impressed. It had one heck of an ROF. And the battery was barely even charged. Later found out that it takes around 8 hours to charge this battery.
Back on topic, the shots were quite straight and well grouped together. Everyone hitting the tree that I was aiming at, which I estimate was about 80 feet from me. So then, I put it on semi auto, with a satisfying click I might add, and went to work. The first thing I noticed was that it was very quiet on semi auto. Like scary quiet, and since I planned on make this a DMR weapon, this made me happy. The shots were very accurate out too around 100-120 feet. The range was suffering a little I believe because of the .23's but never the less it was quite enjoyable.
After using an actual measuring tape, I setup 100ft and 150ft away. I setup small plastic Rubbermaid trashcan about the sized of a human torso out at 100ft. In a standing position I was able to hit the trashcan 8 out of 10 times. In the prone position, I was able to hit the target with every shot. After this, I moved back to 150ft, I realize that this is a long shot for an aeg but I had been sighting in my friend's sniper rifle so I already had the measurement marked. I only fired at the target in a prone position. After taking a few shots to adjust my hop up for the extra distance I was able to hit the target only 3 out of 10 times. Both these test were done with .2 BBs since I didn't have anything else.
I consistently hit targets after adjusting the hop up. This was the same as most classic army guns. It has the specific area that you have to find to get the hop up just right. If you don't or have never owned a Classic Army then you don't know what I'm talking about. It's just a minor thing but it bugs me none the less. I didn't really do an official poor mans chrono but I shot a squashed coke can from about two inches away, it just happened to be on the ground outside, it didn't make it all the way through the bottom but it was very close to piercing. If I had to eyeball it with the fps then I would say it was around the standard 320 maybe a little more.
Update*Ok, I officially chrono'ed the gun. Based on a five shot average the gun shoots right at 300fps out of the box. I was a little disappointed. But it still has good range. I had my silencer on when I did this test but I don't think this affects the fps.
Okay, I played my first game this weekend with this gun and I love it. I play with mostly upgraded guns around the 380fps area. My SPR performed well though. It is really accurate with the .23's although it does lack the range, but I believe this is minor due to its great accuracy. I think the long barrel attributes to that. I thought the rate of fire was fast before, on the fully charged battery, it was like a buzz saw. I was a little worried to be honest. I kept full auto use to a minimum, reserving it for the sticky situations. In one instance, I had an enemy move around to my left out about 75 feet or so. He was unaware of my presence. I turned the rifle and put him in my sights, and then I took three shots on semi auto in rapid succession. Each round was a hit, striking him on the back. I was one satisfied airsofter.
One thing you have to get used to with the SPR, is the fact that it cannot be swung around trees really fast. When you get into some close combat situations, it will be tuff to pop out and shoot very quickly. This took some time for me to get used to but I eventually got to where I knew how long the gun was and had backed up a few feed from my object that I used for cover, so that I was able to pop out and shoot.
Also when using semi auto, the gun was hard for the enemy to hear which in my book is a plus. I was surprised at how it wasn't much harder to maneuver than the M4's. Although I am used to playing with a fully extended M4 stock and a silencer. Now there was some difficulty maneuvering around trees with speed but still it wasn't too bad. The weight does increase a little after the battery and the ammo is in but it is still not that heavy. I mean there is a considerable difference between the plastic Tokyo Mauri's but if you are used to playing with full metal guns then the transition to this gun should be fairly easy. After the day was done I had racked up a fairly decent kill count. About halfway through the day I switched to .20's. My range increased but so did my grouping. After testing both, I favored the .23's accuracy. But if accuracy is not your number one priority, then the .2's are probably more of you style. But .23's or .20's its still a great gun. I was in love.
When taking this rifle apart to get to the mechbox, I was pleasantly surprised. Since the wires are run to the back of the stock, you don't have to take the whole front-end of the gun apart. You merely pull the two body pins out of the receiver and this allows you to pull the top half of the gun off.
Remember when sliding the top receiver off, that you pull forward; this releases the two alignment rods at the back of the receiver. Then you make sure to slide the hop up chamber away from the air nozzle to avoid bending it during removal. Once you have slid the upper receiver forward as well as the hop up chamber, pull straight up on the upper receiver, will a small amount of force, and it should come free. You can remove the hop up chamber and barrel from the upper assembly now.
Once that is off, there are two screws located at the end of the stock, remove those and slide the stock off.
Disconnect the wiring and you should be left with the lower receiver and handgrip.
You remove the handgrip by taking out two screws at the base of the handgrip. Then unplug both wires running to the motor. Pull the motor out of the handgrip. Then there are two screws in the bottom holding the handgrip to the mechbox. Once those are removed you should be able to pull the handgrip away from the receiver and mechbox.
Now there are two things you have to remove before you can separate the receiver from the mechbox. You must remove the pin located right above the trigger. It's a small body pin and it can be pushed through, and pulled out the other side. Sometimes you have to use a tap and hammer.
The other thing you must remove is the mag catch. On the mag release button there is a small Allen screw. Remove that and then you can pull out the button and spring from one side, and the mag catch lever from the other side.
Once you do this, be sure to put your selector switch in the safety position, and then you pull the mechbox in a forward and up direction. It should come right out leaving you with the complete mechbox.
Ok, the hop up shows the signs and problems of the previous classic army ones. It seems to have a few sporadic shots every couple of hundred rounds. Also, when I set it for .23s, it seems like there isn't much left as far as adding hop up. So this makes me think that you may have trouble using .25s in this gun while it's in its stock form. This might be somewhere on the list for replacement. I have heard Systema hop-ups are where it's at so I might try one of those down the road.
Alright upon opening the gun I found quite a few pleasantries about the gun. It comes equipped with an upgraded cylinder, a bearing spring guide, a metal cylinder head, and an aluminum cylinder head. The mechbox is also reinforced. I am not a very big fan of the aluminum piston head because it tends to crack the mechbox over time. I will be removing that and replacing it with a Systema silent piston head.
I have just installed a replacement spur gear, a Systema silent piston head, an m120, and a Tokyo Mauri piston, the classic army one was a little worn. The gun shoots great now. I would assume that it is shooting around 360 because I have not chrono'ed it yet. Even with my 8.4v battery, the gun still has an awesome rate of fire. This indicates to me that the motor is indeed some sort of torque up motor as found in most other CA's. Although I am kind of disappointed in the silent piston head. It really, to be honest, is louder than I started. The gun was incredibly quiet before I upgraded it and now it a bit louder. I think that I am going to remove it and put a polycarbonate piston head in. It is not worth the fps drop, especially in this gun since it was so quiet to start out with.
Ok, here's where I got a little surprise. I have only owned the gun for 40 days. I noticed that it started making a noise within the last day or so. It sounded like I was firing two shots but I had only pulled the trigger once. It was definitely an abnormal sound though, and I immediately knew something was wrong. I opened up the gearbox to find that my spur gear had broken one tooth off. It looked like there was just a weak spot right at the base of the tooth. This was really a downer because no gear seat should break a tooth on a stock spring. The sound must have been the gears slipping when rounding the missing tooth.
I give this gun a 7.5/10. I love everything about the gun externally. It's sleek and sexy and it can hold its own on the field of combat and its accurate. It's got the RIS and chopped rear sight and the large battery capacity. The reason it has scored low is because it broke after just a few thousand rounds, its very expensive, it comes stock(300fps), and if you were untrained in mechbox repair a new gear, labor, and shipping could easily cost you $100 to get the gun working right again. The upgraded internals were a plus for the most part but the weak gear set took most of that away. Overall, the gun is a good looking piece of equipment but for $420 you deserve a more reliable and harder shooting gun.
Great battery compartment design allowing a 9.6v as well
Beautiful RIS with included rails and foregrip
Includes hicap that's feeds flawlessly
Easy to Disassemble
Only 300fps out of the box
No Battery No Charger
Durability Issues/ broken tooth on Spur gear
Hop up has random shots every couple of hundred rounds
Recommended accessories: In the picture I have put on a G&G ss-100 silencer which makes the gun inaudible except for the very small amount of motor noise. Also I have Vietnam mags for it because I plan to turn it into a DMR weapon. But I think it looks good with them in there like it is.
Overall, this gun is an average gun; it's very expensive with some potential problems. I don't believe that you are getting your money's worth unless you just have to have the gun and be ready to swap out some gears.
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