B&T SPR300 PRO
Is there an airsoft replica of a bolt-action rifle which range would allow it to be used at similar distances as the real firearm? This question sounds tricky, but the correct answer is yes. However, this is made possible not by utopian replicas that shoot at several hundred meters but by the existence of specialized firearms intended for use at shorter distances. At one time, the American Sniper Association, formed in 2000, conducted research and surveys for SWAT members throughout the United States, which showed that as many as 95% of shots fired by police snipers occurred at distances not exceeding 100 yards (91.44 meters).
With such applications in mind, the Swiss, bolt-action B&T SPR300 PRO was created. Chambered in .300 BLK or .300 Whisper ammunition and equipped with an integrated noise suppressor, this four-shot rifle is best suited for distances up to 150 meters, generating noise of only 121 dB when shooting. Other advantages of the design include compactness and the ability to quickly fold, which makes it easier to discreetly carry the SPR300 and quickly prepare it for operation.
Archwick is one of the manufacturers that is not very well known in our domestic market. It's no wonder, because the brand was established only in 2019. However, its founders are enthusiasts, among others of airsoft and paintball, with over 30 years of experience. Thanks to promising products and solutions about which we try to keep you informed (see also: Archwick at MOA 2023), this company is starting to get the attention it deserves.
One of the interesting Archwick replicas is the SPR300 PRO, fully licensed by B&T Air. It was created based on the diagrams provided by the manufacturer of the original firearm. This model is undoubtedly a treat for collectors and enthusiasts of rare replicas, but its role goes much beyond that. According to opinions found on social media, this is one of the best-performing factory bolt-action airsoft rifles currently available on the market.
Thanks to the Airsoftzone store, we had the opportunity to check it out ourselves.
DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING QUALITY
When designing the SPR300 PRO replica, the manufacturer tried to retain as many features of the original firearm as possible. Due to the shape of its packaging, one can check whether folding and unfolding the product is really quick and easy just after opening the box. The buyer receives it in parts: a bed with a receiver, a grip, and a foldable stock, a barrel with an integrated (functional) sound suppressor, an optional Picatinny rail mounted in the front of the forestock with an extension of the upper mounting rail, as well as elements responsible for feeding the BBs.
In the case of the latter of these things, there are two different ways of feeding the BBs. The user can either use traditional VSR-style magazines or a box magazine with dimensions consistent with the caliber of the original, i.e. 300 AAC Blackout. If one decides on an option closer to the original, a special ramp included in the set should be installed in the VSR magazine slot, which is responsible for transferring the BBs to the hop-up chamber. This solution forces the box magazine (with a capacity of 50 pieces) to be loaded twice with BBs before the first use of the replica, because after the first connection, a large part of them will be released and fed to the mentioned chamber. It is also worth remembering that, due to the way the system works, it is not possible to use both types of magazines at the same time.
Although it can be expected that assembling a replica prepared in this way should be simple (the package includes detailed pictorial instructions and links to videos devoted to this task), I encountered a certain problem at the very beginning: a slight discrepancy in the position of the mounting screw hole in the barrel and in the forestock. Some flexibility of the material and the use of force allowed these parts to be assembled, but a similar obstacle recurred when screwing the front RIS module. Ultimately, the replica was assembled, but it took more time and was definitely less pleasant than one could expect from a product of this class. However, browsing social media and places on the Internet devoted to the SPR300 PRO from Archwick, one can assume that this was an isolated case of the tested unit.
Fortunately, after a few days of testing the replica and having to disassemble it for basic cleaning, it turned out that the above mentioned parts fit together better. From that moment on, the replica could be easily disassembled and reassembled.
The fully assembled replica is sufficiently stiff and looks good. Only minor looseness in the stock assembly is noticeable. The quality of the materials used certainly influences the positive reception of the product. The main structure of the bolt and the trigger are made of steel, an aluminum alloy was used for the production of the barrel, stock, and mounting rails, and the forestock, rail frame, pistol grip, and adjustable cheek pad are made of a pleasant-to-the-touch plastic. In the stock itself, there is space for four steel QD slots ("press dots") for mounting the carrying sling swivels and additional M-LOK slots at both sided and the bottom (enabling, among other things, the installation of a bipod). The Achilles heel of the design seems to be the plastic magazines: they are soft and have a shiny texture. They don't make a good impression. Moreover, the VSR version of the feeder initially had problems with feeding the BBs, and it was necessary to use a bit of lubricant (the use of which is most often avoided when maintaining magazines) and start the mechanism to make it work properly.
The interior of the Archwick SPR300 PRO replica contains many reinforced parts made of steel and aluminum, made using CNC machines. According to the manufacturer, they are able to work even with M170 springs. Some solutions are noteworthy, such as the use of a 45 cc cylinder or an aluminum hop-up chamber with TDC adjustment (smooth, stepless). A nice touch is also the fact that the product is factory equipped with a 6.03 mm precision barrel. At the end of the testing period, after firing several hundred BBS, the replica was disassembled again for cleaning: the condition of the internal parts was satisfactory.
WE CHECK ITS PERFORMANCE
Depending on the region where Archwick SPR300 PRO is sold, in the initial configuration, the initial speed of a BB may vary from 95 to 160 m/s. Presumably, this value is given for 0.20g BBs. Tests using a chronograph seem to confirm this - 2.6 J was achieved using 0.20g BBs. After changing them to 0.43g, the replica's potential to use the joule creep effect was revealed, and the result on the measuring device showed around 3.4 J. I was positively impressed by the small FPS spread of subsequent shots, within +/- 2 FPS. For further tests, I decided to use BLS 0.48g BBs because the factory hop-up system was able to effectively spin them.
I went outdoors to see how the replica would work when shooting at static targets. During the tests, is was cloudy and humidity was high, the temperature reached 8°C, and there was some side wind. It was weak, but its strength was enough to slightly influence the final phase of the BBs' flight path (they drifted to the right).
Since in our review we wanted to see in this product could aspire to the role of the airsoft holy grail (a sniper replica "out of the box"), shooting tests were carried out at long ranges: 60, 80, and 100 meters (measured using a Vortex laser rangefinder). I used a mat and a shooting rest to minimize the influence of variables. I installed a 3-9x40 scope and a Runcam Scopecam 2 4K camera to record the results of the test. I placed an additional camera near the target to make it easier to record where the BBs hit it.
A helmet and a plate carrier, suspended on a tripod, were used as the target. This was to simulate airsoft conditions in which the player's silhouette shot at is most often partially covered. Behind the target, there was a tree that caught missed shots.
The results are not perfect, but they are still satisfying. One should always bear in mind that we are talking about a replica in a factory configuration. A total of about 100 shots were fired, including those needed to set the hop-up and correct the scope settings. On average, 1-2 BBs from each series of 10-shots fired at the target had unnatural deviations that resulted from excessive or insufficient spin of the BB. In general, their flight path during the test turned out to be quite predictable and repeatable.
From a distance of 60 meters, on average 7/10 shots hit the target. The remaining ones did not fly beyond the outline of the tree in the background. I would define this range as the optimal. Until the shooter makes a mistake, hitting an exposed opponent located about 60 meters away should be a formality.
I spent most of my time shooting from 80 meters. Due to the small size of the target and less than ideal weather conditions, there were about 3 hits in each series. A similar number of BBs ended their flight on the tree behind the target. This means that when firing at a distance of up to 80 meters, the shooter has a real chance of hitting their opponent.
Finally, I fired 10 shots from 100 meters. No direct hits were recorded, but a camera near the target confirmed that at least some of the BBs reached this distance. In theory, it is possible to hit another player at such a range using a factory, unmodified replica.
Later in this text I linked an example recording made during the tests, depictingsix consecutive shots made from a distance of 80 meters. You can see both the shots that hit and the flight path of the BBs that missed, including one of the shots when the hop-up system worked unpredictably.
While tests involving shooting at a stationary target from a previously prepared, comfortable position can give a good idea of the real performance and capabilities of a given replica, many aspects of using a given piece of equipment are revealed only during its participation in an actual airsoft game. For this reason, I took the tested replica to an airsoft game that took place in Silesia in the last days of December.
Unfortunately, conditions that day were definitely unfavorable for bolt-action replicas and favored designs with electric or gas drives. The fun was hampered by strong wind, dense terrain full of small branches and, in the last phase of the game, also heavy rain.
The differences compared to the highly improved bolt-action replicas of other players were noticeable, but the Archwick SPR300 PRO, without any problems, allowed for competition both with its range and decent repeatability. I scored many hits (including one at a distance of about 90 meters), at least a few of which were captured on recordings, which you can watch below. What was noticeable was the high sound report of the tested replica. Although it does not differ from other stock bolt-action models, it made operating stealthily more difficult and revealed the shooter's position in the event of a missed shot. Considering that the tested product is already factory-equipped with a short, integrated sound suppressor, the noise problem should be solved by using a more efficient airbrake on the piston head.
Playing with the described replica was enjoyable, as much as a left-handed person can effectively use a bolt-action airsoft rifle with a strong spring, adapted for right-handed people. Unfortunately, for now, the manufacturer does not offer a version that allows reloading it from the left side. I also accidentally detached the magazine twice. To ensure faithful replication of the original, the manufacturer of the replica also placed the magazine release on both sides of the replica. Its location means that when moving dynamically, one can accidentally hit the button with the webbing.
Despite these minor problems, the replica passed the field test. Additionally, its uniqueness and attractive appearance constantly provoked questions from other players. Some of them were not aware of the existence of the Archwick brand. Several people were interested in the possibility of taking test shots, and all of them drew similar conclusions: for a replica in the factory configuration, the SPR300 PRO shoots really well.
Has there finally been a product on the sniper airsoft market that does not require any modifications and, straight out of the box, does not differ from the best-assembled replicas in its class? No, and there are many indications that this is still a distant dream. However, we have seen the availability of high-class bolt-action airsoft rifles on the market, of which the SPR300 PRO is a good example. Thanks to this, when choosing a product for oneself, not only factory performance and the availability of spare parts can be taken into account, but also let one's own, often very sublime, taste.
Subjectively, but having both a comparison to other bolt-action replicas at a similar price and some experience playing with this type of equipment, I am optimistic about the possibilities offered when buying of the Archwick B&T Air SPR300 PRO. However, we should not expect a revolution or a product that could disturb the balance of forces on airsoft battlefields.
Despite this, this still fresh replica is a high-end bolt-action product because even its factory performance is able to provide a large dose of pleasure and satisfaction when used during airsoft games. Of course, assuming that minor problems with fitting the parts, which may be encountered when assembling the product, will not influence the positive attitude of the owner. And that he or she is not a left-handed person, which also makes it difficult to play with the described equipment from Archwick.
As with every major design on the market, the Archwick SPR300 PRO is a replica susceptible to tuning. Taking into account that both the manufacturer itself and third party companies offer the possibility of expanding and improving the performance of this replica, it has a promising future. We will certainly see it many times in the hands of airsoft players who prefer the "sniper" role in a game.
The cherry on top are the aesthetic values of this replica, solutions taken from the original firearm and markings licensed by B&T Air. All this results in the SPR300 PRO replica from Archwick attracting attention and arousing interest wherever it appears.
Photos: WMASG.com (Paweł Ciecielowski, Medard Starzycki)
The text was created as part of an advertising cooperation with the company Airsoftzone. As always, we have made every effort to ensure that the following article provides reliable information, and the advertiser cannot influence its content. It presents the author's assessment and does not close the field for discussion, to which we invite you in the comments.
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