In the world of airsoft guns, there is one universal truth. You cannot get a field ready sniper rifle for cheap. At least, that's what we thought. The Classic Army SR40 is no stranger to the airsoft market, it's not exactly a new release, but with these rifles selling for under $100, we just HAD to know "is it cheap because it sucks?" or "is it a secret weapon nobody has discovered?" Today, We're going to put the rifle to the test, let you know what kinds of upgrades we'd put in it, and just how far your small budget can really get you.
The construction on this Classic Army rifle reflects the price tag. That isn't to say that the rifle is bad by any means, but the materials used match with the cost. However, it is pretty similar to it's contemporaries. The JG BAR10 and even the VSR10 by Tokyo Marui both feature polymer body construction, metal upper receivers and unrealistic magazine locations. The SR40 goes a step further and adds an adjustable stock cheek pad so you can get behind your scope no matter how high you like it, and still get a comfortable and functional cheek weld.
The magazine release, likely by design, sports a common flaw in the JG rifle, where the release button can be sticky, sometimes leading to an unnecessary hardship inserting and removing magazines. It's an easy fix to just squirt some silicone in the release mechanism and work it in with 10-15 button presses. We did have to do that with our review unit, so just be mindful if you pick one up for yourself.
The bolt was stiff, and hard to move, our model had been one sitting on a shelf for a while no doubt, and needed a bit of grease, but once properly lubricated, this rifle cycled like a dream. No grinding from part tolerances being wrong, and the spring was pretty smooth considering the FPS we were receiving, which was around 430 for our model. Accuracy was better than expected. We were able to launch bb's to around 175 feet, with reasonable minute-of-man shots. This is on par with the BAR10 out of the box as well.
Overall, the external construction met our expectations for the rifle in most places, and exceeded in a couple where most rifles would rest on their laurels and let you do the work later. Performance was reasonable and the rifle is upgrade capable, but how much can you really do?
The parts inside this rifle aren't anything to write home about. This isn't reaching some new level of innovation like the Amoeba Striker we reviewed a few months ago, and it's not going to be chock full of high end upgrade parts for a rifle that averages around the $75 mark. We took it apart anyway to see what it was working with.
The gun is pretty VSR compatible from what we can tell, but there are a few things that are different due to the body style. The hop-up unit itself is the most obvious change, and the most function-related part many players will change out. While it's unfortunate that you can't swap for a high end Action Army upgrade here, thankfully the unit included is sturdy and seems to hold it's settings well. The barrel and bucking were able to take VSR parts pretty easy, which we tested with a leftover Action Army 6.01 tight bore and a Madbull Accelerator bucking (though we would swap for the Maple Leaf if we were going to truly build this gun out right) that we had lying around.
The trigger unit is very VSR-styled. While we don't have a trigger to drop in handy, some quick internet research showed us that others have been dropping in VSR triggers and pistons with only minimal upgrades, though like all sniper rifles, you should be ready for some fitment here. The trigger guard seems to be the biggest point of contention, as the trigger on some upgrade units can be a bit long, and this rifle definitely tries to keep a smaller profile. The cylinder didn't seem like it would swap out, but the parts inside were VSR ready to our best assumptions as well.
With all of that research being out there now, is this rifle worth your dollars and cents?
It's got a retail price of $124.99, but frequently goes on sale at Airsoft GI for as low as $74.99. It's a great base for a budget minded upgrade build, especially for players that want to dip a foot into the sniper waters and see if this is something worth investing in more precise kit for, or if they'll skip it and go back to the run-and-gun lifestyle.
This rifle gets a firm yes, so long as you know what you are getting into. This will not be the last sniper rifle you ever buy, but it just might be the first.
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