Reviews

The A&K SR-25K

Master Chief

The SR-25 rifles created by Eugene Stoner and C. reed Knight, Jr. were originally made as sniper rifles with the best features they can possibly have. The development is based on the original 7.62mm rifle Mr Stoner developed during the 1950s as well as the later 5.56mm M16 family. The SR-25 is specifically engineered to deliver superb "out of the box" accuracy with "of the shelf" factory match grade .308
 calibre cartridges.

The SR-25K was released by the Knights Armament Company or KAC. The SR-25K rifles are special in a sense that there are only 100 of them made. These carbines were made by pulling out 100 pre-ban SR-25s and rebuilding them as SR-25K. Each of these 100 SR-25ks retained their original serial number plus a special identification number identifying each rifle as "X" of 100.

Although all 100 rifles are branded as SR-25K, they still have some differences between each other which is basically owner preference. these differences range from carry handle or flat tops; fixed, removable or folding sights, medium length carbon fibre fore-grip or a free floating RAS.

The SR-25K features a collapsing Colt stock and also a 2-staged trigger mechanism developed by KAC. This means that the shooter will feel two resistance when pulling the trigger in semi-automatic mode which claims to make the shot more accurate by making the more predictable shooting.


The SR-25 and SR-25K in airsoft

It is not easy to be a sniper, be it in the real world or in airsoft. It takes a lot of discipline and dedication to find a perfect hiding spot, stay there for who knows how long, be as still as possible and wait for that one shot. And for most snipers, everything relies on that one shot which if it fails, could mean the difference between life and death on the part of the sniper as most of the time this will give out his position.

It's quite the same is airsoft, and I think a bit more tricky. Although, airsoft sniper rifles have the flexibility of having higher muzzle velocity (450 fps for most sites in the UK for bolt action rifles) than their automatic assault counterparts, you still do not have the range that a real sniper rifle would have. An airsoft sniper should make sure that he has a clear and clean straight line to his target or else, even just a tiny
 branch will prevent his bb from hitting its target.

The advent of the SR-25 and SR-25K's into the airsoft market has become very popular to sniper wannabe's and also to players wanting to delve more into the sniping genre but hate or dislike bolt action rifles. Having a semi-automatic sniper rifle is indeed a great advantage in airsoft as rarely do I see snipers hitting their target in the first shot. Being able to fire a second shot without the hassle of pulling the bolt to load you rifle can make a huge difference on how long you stay in the game. And it made it even better with the release of the SR-25Ks that feature a full-automatic mode.

A number of airsoft SR-25s and SR-25Ks are now out in the market and are manufactured by mostly high end brands such as G&G and G&P. These rifles have proven their mark in the skirmish fields as deadly accurate at long range (believe me as I have had the honour of being at the receiving end of one of these). But with the price tag that came along with these hi-end rifles, only a few players have enjoyed their performance and the release of the SR-25 and SR-25K from A&K have been what can be compared to as a light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of airsoft players.



The Review:
(Note: This will be a review of the A&K SR-25K variant.)

Packaging and accessories

The A&K SR-25K is packaged very good with coloured picture of the rifle and clear prints of what the product is. Upon taking the box lid off, you will find the rifle and its accessories nicely held in place within their foam casing. The rifle was well protected from damage during transport although coming all the way from Hong Kong within a 25kg package.

The rifle came with an orange muzzle cap, crane stock battery and charger with US leads (will need an adaptor for use in the UK), a high capacity (400 rounds) metal magazine, a fore grip, a pair of RAS covers, a cleaning rod and a small screw driver.



Externals




This rifle is, as far as I can see, an exact or very close replica or "clone" of the G&P SR-25K URX. It is full metal with a retractable crane stock. The metal flash hider is well made, and it is difficult to determine if this is the stock flash hider on the real steel version as even these rifles differ from each other depending on what the maker prefers. But it is the same style as the more expensive G&P variant. The outer barrel is very sturdy and does not wobble as it is well supported by the URX (Upper Receiver Extension) style front-end.



The RAS or Rail Adapter System is also well made. The rails are marked in accordance to their location within the system (L, R, T, B). At the top of the RAS is the flip-up removable KAC style iron site. This is very convenient as you do not have to really remove it if you prefer use a scope. Unlike other AEGs with RAS features, the A&K SR-25K has a continuous rail extending from the RAS to the rail on the top receiver. This makes it easy to attach a longer scope whose mounts sometimes fall within the gap between the RAS and the receiver and not needing another scope mount base.




The full metal receiver is, off course, the SR type. The quality of the finish is very impressive. It is one of the best finishes I have ever seen on an ACM. There are no markings on the receiver aside from the labels for the fire selector switch. The fire selector switch is attached firmly and moves smoothly through the three fire modes. On top of the receiver is the folding rear site which is fully adjustable. The charging handle opens the ejection port cover to reveal the hop-up adjustment dial. The hand-grip is the normal M4/M16 style. The retractable crane stock houses the battery. Placing the battery inside the crane stock is a breeze. No tools needed, all you need to do is pull the crane stock all the way and this will detach itself from the stock barrel. The two caps that cover the sides of the crane stock can get on the way of the barrel when putting the stock back in place, best thing to do is to replace them once the stock is fitted in place. When placing the battery, make sure that it is inserted with the wired end going in first, if not, the wires will get in the way of the barrel.




Internals

Takedown of the A&K SR-25K is a pretty straight forward M4/M16 style disassembly procedure. The pin at the lower front of the receiver will disconnect the upper from the lower receiver. To release the gearbox from the lower receiver you will need to remove the following: I always find it easy to remove the stock barrel first, just to get it out of the way, you will need a long screwdriver to reach the screw. There is a stopper where the screw attaches inside the barrel, make sure you don't lose this. Then you will need to remove two pins on the lower receiver. One is the big pin beside the fire selector switch and the other is the small pin just above the trigger. You will also need to detach the magazine release catch, remove the screw in the middle of the release button, make sure that you watch out for the spring as it has a tendency to just fly off. Lastly, remove the hand grip that houses the motor. You will need to remove the motor first. Once all these are done, just pull the gearbox out. The gearbox on this rifle actually pulls out easily because the receiver is slightly bigger than the normal M4 receiver.




The upper receiver houses the hop-up unit and the inner barrel. The two are properly connected and the is no movement in between them. The hop-up unit is metal with plastic dials. This one was quite dry and the dial was very difficult to adjust but nothing that can't be solved by a short burst of silicone oil.



The gearbox is metal, a slightly longer version 2 to fit the SR-25 body. This is the first time that I had the chance to open an A&K gearbox and I was glad to find aluminium bushings. Unlike from what I have heard about A&K internals, this one has a good amount of lubrication in it. The only thing is that the grease is not properly or evenly distributed across the gears. It was as if the grease tube was dabbed randomly across the internals. The gears are metal and branded as A&K gears. I have no idea what the difference is, if there is any, from the usual XYT gears that we find on most ACM rifles. The spring guide is metal and as a good weight behind it. The spring is very tough, I would say an M120 equivalent or even higher. Piston is plastic and I am a bit concerned that it will not last considering the powerful spring that pushes it. Another disappointing part is the nozzle, which is made of thin plastic. Other than that, the internals look decent enough including the wirings.



The motor has no markings but rate of fire (ROF) with the stock battery is good.



Performance:

Shouldering the A&K SR-25K is not too bad. The rifle is long, definitely not for CQC battles. Weight is debatable I think, I did not find it too heavy, but then again I'm 5'11" and close to 200 lbs. Not sure how a shorter player would find it. The retractable stock is handy as the overall length of the rifle can be adjusted.

Muzzle velocity was inconsistent ranging from as low as 307 fps to as high as 410 fps. Semi-automatic mode went well. Consistently hitting my target at around 20 to 25 meters. Full automatic was consistent as well. I did not encounter any misfeeds. BBs fly on a straight line except for 3 or 4 flyers.

Conclusion:

The A&K SR-25K is one of the best ACM AEG I have ever encountered when it comes to finish and solid build. I did not find any unnecessary movement on the externals. A little bit of time needs to be spent on the internals as I think is the case with most if not all ACM guns in the market today and I still need to investigate what is causing the inconsistencies in velocities. Would have been better if they packaged it with a bipod.

All in all, the A&K SR-25K is a well built solid AEG with good performance that is bang on the buck.

Thanks to Keith from RSOV for providing us with the rifle for review.

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