Specna Arms CORE SA C-04 [Essential Review]
About the Replica
In the world of Airsoft, it can be quite daunting to choose a new rifle replica . Whether it’s your first, or you’re looking to get your hands on a reliable back up or you just want another addition to your growing armory.
Luckily for us all, Specna Arms have got it covered. There’s been quite a lot of focus on their EDGE AEGs recently, but I’m going to be looking at their CORE range today. More specifically, the Specna Arms SA C-04.
It’s commonly marketed as a starter/entry level Airsoft replica and it’s easy to see why! This model is partly metal and has a rather attractive price tag of only around £120!
Usually, this kind of price bracket would put a lot of people off, but don’t be fooled. This is one tremendous bit of kit. With it also bearing the licensed logo of US company Rock River Arms, it’s instantly adding that little extra piece of realism!
On the surface, it’s a basic AEG for the price – polymer stock, buffer tube and body with a metal quad RIS rail and metal barrel. Delve a little deeper and you’ll realise this isn’t just another run of the mill cheap replica.
For example, it comes fitted with a 6.03mm tightbore barrel, metal gearbox internals and an easy to operate quick change spring system allowing you to change your power output in minutes – all as standard! Other more expensive brands could learn a thing or two from this product!
In this review we cover the following:
- Specs and Features
- Upgrades with Recommended Products
Specs and Features
|FPS (Feet Per Second)||380FPS chrono’d with 0.20 BBs (Includes a second spring to lower the FPS to 310 in order to be within UK legal limits)|
|Effective Range||up to 60 metres|
|Recommended BB Weight||0.25g|
|Gearbox||v2 – rear wired|
|Hop-up||Standard rotary hop adjustment behind dust cover|
|Inner Barrel Length and Diameter||260mm / 6.03mm|
|Battery Connector||Mini tamiya|
|Recommended Battery||9.6v Nimh crane stock battery|
|Fire Modes||Safe/Semi Auto/Full Auto|
|Construction||Polymer: crane stock, buffer tube, upper and lower receiver
Metal: quad rail RIS handguard, outer barrel, flash hider
|Rail System||20mm RIS|
|Length||70cm – 79cm|
You can’t deny that at around £120, you’re getting plenty bang for your buck and it’s easy on the bank account too! I would say this certainly rivals the more popular G&G Combat Machines and I would personally recommend this instead due to my experience.
Having a part polymer construction means that it’s saves a bit on the weight compared to a full metal replica, making it easier to carry around for a full game day or even if you’re into full weekend events, it’s not going to destroy your shoulders and upper body. However, if you are looking after a full metal build; then you have to consider this aspect.
Although it’s marketed as a starter/entry level airsoft rifle, it feels like so much more. It’s robust, well balanced and has a good weight to it despite its polymer parts. Also when you’re shooting, the marginal shock from the piston inside, although it’s not a blow back model, adds a touch of realism and feels awesome. This replica could easily have you believing it costs twice as much as it does!
Out of the box performance.
In two words – it’s great. I call it my grab and go replica. It doesn’t particularly need any upgrades immediately as its performance is decent for a ‘starter airsoft rifle.’ It shoots consistently in both its accuracy and velocity making it a reliable asset to any loadout.
Its rate of fire is on par with other average replicas but it has a fantastic trigger response considering the lack of MOSFET. The included metal hi-cap magazine is well made and fits snugly, giving you 300 rounds of satisfaction at a time.
Extra Goodies in the box.
The replica also comes with a stubby grip and an extra spring to adjust the FPS for UK limits. The replica originally shoots at 380 FPS, however provided in the box is an alternative spring with 310FPS power output.
Furthermore, It also comes with a 9.6v 1100mah NiMH battery and a simple European pin charger that has an indicator light to show when the battery is fully charged. It’s no smart charger, however, so if you’re into overnight charging or you charge your batteries when you’re out of the house, then you’d be better off investing in a smart charger that cuts off power when it’s done.
You can grab your own Specna Arms AEG from RW Concepts, (@rw_concepts on instagram) where they currently stock the EDGE series, with the CORE series inbound in the near future. Visit their website for more details.
Although the polymer parts of this replica are sturdy enough to withstand the toil of game day, there’s some parts that are slightly questionable. The polymer buffer tube is top of that list, being held onto the polymer body by one big screw – the same screw that opens it up to allow you to access the quick change spring system. It wouldn’t take much in the way of a really unfortunate trip/fall to break it clean off. There’s no contest in knowing that with a full metal construction, there’s much less chance of that happening.
The included polymer crane stock feels cheap and you can see the seams where its been molded, with a few rough edges in the battery compartment that could scratch your fingers if you’re not careful. It’s nothing that can’t be remedied with a good old nail file and a spare five minutes.
The flip up sight.
It’s a spring loaded flip up sight and it lines up nicely with the metal foresight, but being polymer, it feels cheap and has the potential to break with too much use. I use a holographic sight with mine so my flip up sight stays locked down for the most part.
Lack of MOSFET.
Although it is completely understandable at its price tag, we still have to mention this. The lack of MOSFET will not allow you to use LiPo batteries nor higher voltages such as the 11.1. However, as the performance on NiMH is already great, this is definitely something I wouldn’t consider a crucial negative.
It has all the upgrade potential of the M4 platform as it is Tokyo Marui parts compatible with plenty of rail space for external attachments like torches, lasers and grips and a top 20mm rail for scopes and sights. Here’s our recommended budget friendly ACOG scope with x4 zoom – it’s perfect for airsoft AEGs!
If you do plan to upgrade this replica, I would first of all replace the stock tube to a metal one to remove any chance of its breaking. Of course you can then replace any other external parts if you wish, however, I personally feel they are good enough to withhold a decent amount of skirmishes.
In regards to the internals of this airsoft rifle, we’d recommend sticking to the original until you get used to it and decide to upgrade certain parts that bug you e.g. – rate of fire, further improve trigger response etc. However, if you want to get in straight into internal upgrades – we suggest starting off with a MOSFET; we recommend the Gate Titan as it’s one of the most reliable brands around!
Finally, to improve its accuracy and range, we certainly recommend upgrading the hop-up rubbers to Prometheus Purple Bucking and Namazu Firefly Nub for a Flat Hop and potentially change the inner barrel to a higher quality such as Prometheus or Maple Leaf.
Namazu Flat Nubs and Prometheus Inner Barrels are quite specialist products and can only be found on Airsoft websites – we recommend this Namazu model with a metal pin on UKFob.co.uk. and Prometheus 6.03mm/260mm Inner Barrel on Fire-Support.co.uk
If you’re a new player reading this and you’re looking for a first replica, simply grab one of these and go! There’s nothing you need to do to get this thing game ready as it already out-performs most (if not all) of its similarly priced competitors from the get go.
To those looking for another addition to their airsoft armory, you should seriously consider this as a backup rifle. With the already fantastic initial performance, it wouldn’t take much to activate “beast mode” on this thing. As mentioned previously, a new hop rubbers and a slightly stronger spring to start with and you’ll soon be onto a winner.
Overall, this thing is amazing value for money and given its drawbacks, I think it makes up for them with its amazing out of the box performance for such a lor price point!
I’d genuinely recommend this platform to anyone, whether they’re new to Airsoft, or a seasoned Milsim veteran. It boasts the whole package as far as I’m concerned and I’m going to find it really difficult to find another airsoft rifle in the same price bracket that can stand up to this one!