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STAR SL-9 Review
Given the fact that the SL9 is a relatively variant from H&K, there isn’t much info on it. However see the below article.
Wow... then “mmmmm”. This rifle is gorgeous. I’ve been into AirSoft on and off for 6 years, and in that time I’ve owned some of the below to name but a few:
TM SPAS 12
ICS M4A1 RIS
TM MP5 RAS
KSC Glock 18c (x2)
WA Infinity 6”
WA M92 Blade Master
TM Desert Eagle .50AE Hard Kick
There’s more, but I won’t go too far off topic. The point to this is that the STAR SL9 is by FAR the nicest looking, feeling and well finished AirSoft weapon I have owned to date. Upon opening the box, you’re presented with a 2” thick piece of foam protecting the rifle. By now, I literally had to call in help to deal with the extreme amount of drool emanating from my mouth. Upon removing the foam you’re presented with the huge sight of the SL9. Note that this rifle comes close to the PSG-1 in terms of length, it is huge!
The Rifle is mainly constructed out of high grade ABS, with several of the accessories being Metal. I am torn as to whether or not the SL9 would benefit from having a metal receiver, as currently it weighs a hefty amount, even to someone who generally dual wields MP5’s!
I will add one point which disappointed me. The SL9’s fore grip is in fact the G36K fore grip, however… with no bipod! Whilst I was aware the rifle came with no bi-pod… I was not aware it was using a fore grip intended to be fitted with a bipod, bizarre. I have however asked FireSupport Ltd who seem to be on good terms with STAR, if they can source for me a bipod for the fore grip. You could however simply purchase the G36K fore grip and swap them out.
You will notice when holding the rifle that the stock and cheek rest can be extended / lowered by removing the fixing screws and simply taking away the segments until you reach the desired level. I liked this a lot.
After I managed to let the blood return to my brain, I began examining the rifle. First tests involved:
- Violent shaking to check for ‘Rattle’.
- Pushing and Pulling the front Fore grip to check for movement / flex.
- Look inside the Magwell to ensure it had been greased properly.
- Taking the fore grip off and ensuring the wiring for the battery was secure.
I can happily say, the SL9 passed all of these tests with flying colours.
One thing to consider before we go on with the SL9 is that this is not a rifle you can purchase, put a battery in and go skirmishing with out of the box. There are NO sights on the SL9 as standard, simply a RIS rail to mount an Optical / Reflex sight.
My initial intent for getting hold of the SL9 was to use it as a spotting rifle. Given the nature of the rifle, built in RIS rail, very long inner barrel and carrot stock, this made the SL9 a perfect choice.
Out of the box the rifle chronographs around the 320-324 FPS mark using 0.2 BB’s. The rifle itself is reasonably quiet compared to the TM M4 series, however it is quite distinguishable. I wouldn’t be surprised if people begin to memorise the sound of the SL9 over time. Due to the rifles even weight distribution; you get the benefit of there being little movement between shots, making it not only an ideal weapon for a dedicated marksman, but also a viable sniper choice. Battery wise, you could probably fit some of the larger batteries in the fore grip, as essentially this is exactly the same fore grip as the larger variants in the G36 family, e.g. the G36K.
The rifle can be used by left or right ‘handers’ as the fire selector is on both sides of the receiver. You have 3 fire modes, ranging from: Safe, Semi-Auto and Full-Auto. I
As far as accuracy goes… Amazing. To go with the SL9 I ordered a STAR M3 3.5-10x40 scope, which is also a nice piece of work, although I did have issues with the magnification not working correctly at first (now resolved). The barrel on the SL9 is longer than a standard AEG and can be noticed. I will however be installing a tighter barrel in the near future to further improve the accuracy.
If I was to put down on paper an ideal situation for the SL9, it would have to be woodland / urban scenarios. CQB, considering the length of the rifle is basically a stupid idea. Not only will you most likely end up wrapping your gorgeous SL9 around a brick wall, but you will be seen coming about 2 minutes before you get there due to the length! (Okay, small exaggeration).
As with all of the G36’ family, there are a wealth of accessories available, including fore grips, reflex sights, optical fights, torches, grenade launchers, carry handles and much more. Presuming you would want to keep SL9 as it comes out of the box, I would recommend the following:
a) Reflex or Optical Sight on HIGH amount rings. ANY x40 Scope or larger will require HIGH mount rings, otherwise they simply will not fit on the rifle unless you place the sight towards the front of the rail, which is impractical and given the length of the rifle, will make accurate shots impossible.
b) Bipod. Even if you have to buy a replacement G36K fore grip, make sure you invest in a bipod. Taking into consideration the length of the rifle, this will help stabilise your shots.
Taking into account all of the above, if you were to give the SL9 a reflex sight, bipod and a C-Mag, you would be creating an awesome support weapon. Just a thought for those who enjoy a good BB shower.
Fantastic weapon, STAR have truly out done themselves with this one. My minor complaint is the G36K fore grip being used… which is missing the damn bipod. Other than that, go get one now.
I will try and post pictures in the near future, however no guarantees.
** UPDATE 27/08/2007 **
The SL9 can actually take a Harris Bipod in the holes on the bottom of the receiver. I will post pictures soon!