Specna Arms SA-G10 KeyMod EBB Carbine
12 Jun 2018
A few months ago, I did a review on the Specna Arms Core series which was their more affordable range of airsoft replicas. Now, Gunfire have sent me the new SA-G10 KeyMod EBB Carbine from the Electric Blowback G-series from Specna Arms. Let’s find out how this AEG, which takes its design inspiration from a famous German firearms manufacturer, fares.
The SA-G10, out of the box, is a great looking Airsoft rifle. It is patterned from what I guess is the G36K from H&K with the scoped carry handle. The SA-G10 feels solid and has a good weight. It has a polymer receiver, both upper and lower, polymer folding stock with a nice rubberised butt pad which makes it comfortable to shoulder, a polymer carry handle with a built in 1.5X scope. The outer barrel is also made of polymer. The flash hider is metal. The KeyMod handguard is also metal and features a top and bottom rail and keymod mounting on the side.
The finish of the polymer material is very nice. It has a matte look so there is no shine at all on the finish and matches the colour of the metal KeyMod handguard.
The metal KeyMod handguard is also well made. It fits perfectly onto the receiver via a screw and bolt located on the front base of the carry handle. It has a top and bottom rail system and a KeyMod system at the sides for attaching accessories such as torches, lasers, and so on. The handguard also acts as the battery compartment with the rifle being front wired. To install the battery, the handguard will have to be completely removed and to do that, I had to use a screwdriver to turn the screw on one side and I had to use a socket screw to hold the bolt in place on the other side to prevent it from turning with the main screw. It would have been better if a self retaining push pin was installed in here as it would have made this work a lot easier. A 7.4v Nunchuck lipo battery fits very well inside the handguard. Now, because of the KeyMod system and other holes on the side of the handguard, the battery and wiring are very visible from the outside.
The carry handle has a built in 1.5x scope. The quality of the scope lens is also good. The crosshairs are very clearly visible from a normal shooting stance and the target is clearly seen. The scope sight is fully adjustable with elevation and windage. On top of the scope, they have added an extra rail mount. I’m not sure if it will be suitable for any low profile red dot sight due to how high the rail is but I think is will be perfect for mounting action cameras.
As with any rifle in the Specna Arms G-Series, the charging handle is located on the top of the receiver. The charging handle aligns with the top receiver and can be pulled to either the left or right side of the rifle. When released, the charging handle springs back to its normal position. The charging handle and the fake bolt are both made of plastic. Pulling them back will reveal the hop-up adjustment which can be accessed from the side or from the top of the receiver.
The folding stock is very solid and does take a fair bit of force to fold it and to deploy it. The locking mechanisms on both ends of the spectrum are well made and the skeletal stock itself feels solid. There is no wobble or any movement felt when it is locked into place. The rubberised butt pad provides some comfort when shouldering the rifle.
The fire selector switch is ambidextrous and rotates easily from safe to semi to full auto mode and vice versa. It does have a bit of a slack and sometimes feels like it is not engaged properly on the selected firing mode.
The overall look and finish of this rifle is impressive. The build quality is solid as there is no wobble. All external parts sit and fit perfectly together. One of the first things that I checked is with the polymer material replicas is the seam or the line where the two halves of the gun or rifle meet are glued together. This for me is the make or break part of any airsoft product made from this material as some will have a very noticeable seam line and sometimes will even have rough and sharp edges. The SA-G10 comes impressively with a very clean and barely noticeable seam. It is probably one of the best ones that I have seen.
When I first tried to shoot the SA-G10, I was surprised to find out that it is an Electric Blow Back (EBB) airsoft rifle. A lot of players are not fans of EBBs as they believe that the added work of pulling the fake bolt back adds strain to the rifle and depletes the battery power a lot quicker. The clever thing about this rifle is that the fake bolt is made of plastic therefore making it lightweight and does not add too much weight for the EBB mechanism to pull.
The EBB feature on this rifle is not that bad. It is crisp and produces a nice sound when fired. Obviously not as realistic as what a real rifle would make but the bolt movement does add a bit of realism. The EBB is also a bit more heavier than others that I have tried giving the rifle a bit of a recoil effect. It is not as heavy as the recoils felt on high end replicas with recoil engines but it is enough to be felt on the shoulder and enough to feel the rifle shake when fired.
The rifle also features a bolt release similar to the real G36. This is located within the trigger guard. It can be used to lock the bolt back when pressed allowing easy access and adjustment to the hop-up.
One thing I am very disappointed with this rifle is the fire selector switch. It is a bit temperamental especially when switching from semi to full auto. I hope this is a one-off fault in this particular unit but I would have liked for it to have a more crisp fire selector cycle and for it to click and lock into place.
This rifle also is meant to have a micro switch which in theory should give it a very responsive trigger especially on rapid semi auto firing. But for some reason the rifle misfires when the trigger is pulled at a fast rate on semi auto. It feels like the trigger is not engaging the micro switch properly.
Apart from those problems the rifle shoots very well and has a decent range. The hop-up does its job and gives the BBs a decent trajectory up to around 50 metres.
The rifle came with one 350-round high capacity magazine.
One of the features that I like about this rifle and with other Specna Arms replicas is their quick spring change which they call “Enter and Convert.” To do this, fold the stock then remove the back cover which holds the rod and spring for the EBB. This will expose the rear of the gearbox. Remove the 6mm Allen screw by pressing it down and turning it. This will release the main spring.
Access to the gearbox is not difficult. First, pop the 2 body pins out. They are well held in place so a little tap from a screw driver handle will help. Then detach the magwell from the upper receiver and then pull the entire lower receiver off. The gearbox is a version 3 and the motor has a cage attached it. Remove the two small screws at the base of the pistol grip and a pin near the trigger and slowly work your way into pulling the gearbox out. The ambidextrous firing mode mechanism will be a bit of a bother but will allow you to pull the gearbox out.
The motor is unbranded. To open the gearbox, detach the motor and the motor cage. Next step is to then remove all the screws around the gearbox. The screw on the rear of the gearbox has a brass ring that keeps the blowback lever from falling off so please do not lose this. Since the main spring is already out, all the internal parts should stay where they are when the gearbox is split. Remove the blowback lever on the top of the gearbox and slowly split it. The trigger assembly parts will all spring out of place so be wary of this.
The wiring is kept neat. There is a plastic piece that holds the wires neatly in place.
The internal components are very decent and similar to those found on other Specna Arms models. Lubrication is very poorly done although it is evident on the gears --- there is a blob of grease on the top of the sector gear which makes the gears look dirty. A bit of time could have been given to make sure the lube is well spread out evenly.
The piston is lightweight with one metal tooth. The cylinder appears to me made of a metal material with a plastic cylinder head and nozzle.
Now, as I mentioned before, this rifle is meant to have a microswitch which should make a more responsive trigger. There is no microswitch directly in contact with the trigger but there is a micro switch which is located a fair bit of a distance from the trigger. Now most microswitch triggers that I have seen sit directly or very close to the trigger and most of them are activated directly by the trigger. For some reason, Specna Arms made this a little bit more complicated. Let me try my best to explain.
The main trigger has a spring that connects it to the gearbox shell. The rear of the trigger slots into a piece of metal part which also slots into one of the holes on the gearbox shell. Now, as the trigger is pulled, this metal piece partially rotates upward and pushes a plastic slider. This slider runs along a rail within the gearbox. As this plastic part moves forward, the front end of it hits the microswitch and therefore firing the rifle. This is where the problem with the misfiring happens, the plastic piece that triggers the micro switch sits directly underneath the fake bolt that travels back and forth due to the EBB feature. I think that because of this, the fake bolt rubs into the microswitch trigger and disturbs the movement of it as this itself has to move forward and back on semi auto firing. There is no misfiring on full auto as this piece will just press on the microswitch all the time.
Another big problem that I had was re-assembling the trigger mechanism. This could just be me but it is near impossible to do it with two hands. All the 3 components: the main trigger, the metal piece that pushes the plastic piece forward and this plastic piece that triggers the microswitch, all have to stay in place with the anti-reversal latch on the other end in order to put the gearbox shell together. And the trigger, the plastic piece and the anti-reversal latch all have small springs. So unless you find a way to keep all these parts in place while placing the other half of the gearbox shell in place, it is basically a 2 man or woman job.
The Specna Arms SA-G10 is, for me, a very impressive bit of airsoft kit. The build is very solid and the quality is very nice. The built in scope is a big bonus as it is very usable and deletes the need to purchase an aftermarket scope. The EBB mechanism is well made and adds a bit of realism to the use of the rifle.
The Good Bits:
- Solid build
- High quality external finish
- Metal handguard with keymod feature
- Built- in scope
- Decent EBB function
- Quick spring swap feature
- Decent battery compartment
The Not So Good Bits:
- Tools needed to remove handguard screw to install the battery
- Battery is visible from the outside
- Temperamental fire selector switch
- Tendency to misfire on rapid semi auto firing
- Slightly complicated trigger assembly
So would I use the SA-G10? Definitely yes. It looks good, it performs good and feels solid. Compared to other similar brands like the JG G36 which in itself is a good replica, the SA-G10 looks and performs a lot better.
Big thanks to Gunfire for sending us a sample unit for this review.