Airsoft Action|April 2020
Ah, there’s nothing quite like the smell of a wooden-bodied rifle - even before it’s seen action and absorbed the blood, sweat and tears from crushing defeats or hard-won victories. Thinking about it, maybe especially before…
In a sector dominated by Tokyo Marui’s plastic, hollow-bodied VSR-10, it’s so refreshing to feel a natural material in hand, thanks to the SV-98 Deluxe Edition Airsoft Sniper Rifle by a new manufacturer from Taiwan; RAPTOR.
Russia fans, get your geek on, because this is a rare example of a recent RIF drawn from the motherland - and it isn’t an AK!
It may look more like a relic from the cold war to some, but the Snaiperskaya Vintovka Model 1998 - SV-98 to its friends - was designed by Vladimir Stronskiy right at the end of the 20th Century. It was issued to Spec Ops forces in 2003 and saw combat in Chechnya.
Created to engage targets at a range of up to 1KM, the SV was based on the Record Shooting rifle by Izhmash - better known as JSC Kalashnikov Concern - with a cold-hammer-forged receiver and free-floating barrel. The laminated plywood stock can be adjusted for height and pitch, with an adjustable cheek riser.
The SV is arguably most recognisable for the old skool detachable carrying handle to the right side, but the glass fiber reinforced nylon 10-round magazine speaks to its modernity.
Izhmash developed an upgraded variant in 2013 with an aluminum alloy receiver and skeleton stock.
The SV-98 has seen service with armed forces in and Armenia, and you’ll find it in videogames such as Warface and Escape From Tarkov.
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
You might not have heard of RAPTOR as an airsoft brand before, because the Taiwanese company was only established in early 2017. But the Kaohsiung company was borne from accessory manufacturer, Tactical Weapon Industries (TWI), so they have prior form in the industry. The SV-98 on test here was just released in September and is now available in the UK from Airsoftworld.net.
When you open the box, you won’t find an assembled RIF, but poly-coddled parts to assemble. Which is fine - if there were instructions as to how to put it all together. Even Ikea gives you more guidance than this!
The main job is to seat the firing assembly into the stock. I don’t know about you, but I can think of one or two airsofters that would struggle with even this. You need to figure out which of the two loose bolts to use where. (Both from underneath, long one behind the trigger guard, the other in front of the mag well.) However, once assembled, it’s rock solid.
In the absence of useful information from the manufacturer, we’d recommend this excellent video from Germany’s always thorough REAPERs Airsoft at www.bit. ly/2R54aHx. You’ll learn a lot, even without English subtitles.
A COOL LONG DRINK
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