The first and last option were not so appealing as I have worked with silverback red dot mounts and it is a nightmare trying to find the right red dot to use! As of yet (through 3 other projects), I have yet to find a red dot that fits on the adapter. The drilling option was not appealing as I didn't want to damage the slide and getting it wrong could potentially be a £300 mistake! I went for the direct mount in the end which was not the cheapest option (about £60 compared to the £20 silverback mount) and not the lightest option. I also invested in some AABB tritium sights which are about £40 in comparison to the £90 NineBall sights. On first glance, they are very good. They work as they should do however, I have now owned 3 pairs of them and its obvious they are not made to the same quality control standards that NineBall maintain. But, when saving £50 and a pair of sights that will work all the same in the dark, I'm not hugely fussed. The front sight was a pain to install on the SAI slide, I had to sand down the base by about 1mm to be able to get it to fit in the slot.
When looking at parts, I invested in the Action copper recoil rod which matched the "gold" copper coating on the SAI barrel. I also invested in a Hi-cappa 5.1 TK twist barrel, I haven't used one yet as I've always been stuck in my ways with PDI however, this was an excuse to do something different. The mandatory NineBall Air chamber purple hop up rubber was bought as well to be fitted. When looking at the weight of the rail mount and optic, I thought it would be wise to invest in some light weight parts. I ended up getting the AIP lightweight blowback housing and the light weight hop unit. Unfortunately neither came with an installation guide... But the hop up unit is literally a drop in unit, you just need the dial and hop bar to complete the hop unit. The light weight blowback housing was also pretty much drop in, it just needs the nozzle and valve parts. The unit already comes with a piston head and 2 sizes of o-rings to produce different FPS and blowback. As of yet, I haven't got the blowback housing to work well inside the SAI slide... but it's early days as I only started work on Sunday morning (writing this on Monday morning).
Interestingly, Guns Modify produce an SAI adjustable trigger! I bought one in black and gold to match the pistol and installed it with surprising ease! The trigger pull needs to be adjusted before installation which means a lot of assembly and disassembly to get the trigger pull perfect. The trigger itself is nice with a strong spring behind the trigger safety so you can't accidentally squeeze the trigger. I will probably be modding body slightly as the trigger safety is not as secure as I would like. I had also bought and installed the AIP and Guns Modify extended slide catch and take down bar, both of which were easy to install and make the operation far easier! The final part missing is the magazine release. I wanted an AIP extended magazine release however, I am struggling to find the TM version in stock at the moment.
I have invested in the AIP steel trigger set but after a few reviews, I will more than likely fit the Guns Modify zero trigger later on. The steel kit is pretty much a drop in as well with just a matter of pulling out all the old trigger parts and replacing them with the new ones. All the modification needed comes from the wear of the action.
The next steps for this kit will be to sort out the nozzle and the action. At the moment, the nozzle jams which is a massive pain. I haven't had the time to look at why but I'd imagine the nozzle return spring is getting stuck in the body. I might have to balance the recoil spring with the hammer spring as they're from two different kits which means they are probably not of matching power. Once all that is sorted and the G34 cycles as it should, I will be sending the lower off for stippling. There is a company near me called Tactical Textures who have a very interesting portfolio and their Facebook page boasts some very good work! The final step will be to think about magazines and mag wells. I am undecided between +2 magazine bases or the CNC aluminium plates. I also do not know whether I will fit the 5KU gold mag well flare or keep it straight.
I did find a big flaw the the NineBall direct mount (which is a shame for £60 of metal), the screw the provided me was substandard. I ended up having to get a flat cut into the screw as the allen head was so small and the metal was so soft I managed to burr the head on my first installation! The AABB sights were a minor pain to install however, I'd imagine that wasn't solely the sights fault. After dealing with RA-TECH for two years, I am more than confident that the CNC SAI slide probably has front sight holes that are 1mm or so too small.
If you want to see more photos of the project, check out instagram through @Airsoft_Addicted and twitter through AirsoftAddicted. A friend of mine also started up a facebook group to share our custom gun work so join and enjoy! The final product of this project is looking to be completed in July so keep an eye out. Between now and then, I will be reviewing the TM HK416D recoil shock and a few upgrade parts for the Kriss Vector.