Umarex/H&K VFC 416 AEG
Umarex/H&K 416 AEG review by Booligan
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Umarex has recently attained the rights to sell H&K branded products, and they are going about sourcing out their manufacturers in a very novel way. They appear to be picking the best manufacturer for each specific gun model, in order to get the best possible product available on the market. The model being reviewed today, the 416 AEG is manufactured by VFC, who arguable makes the best 416 replica currently available.
I received this gun directly through Umarex, so that I could review it here on Airsoft Retreat! This top tier AEG is available at most major airsoft retailers, priced at about $399. As always, be sure to shop around to make sure you find the best price!
The 416 comes packaged in a simple, but sturdy box with H&K's slogan, No Compromise emblazoned on the front. Honestly, the box is quite badass. Everything is secured inside with cardboard partitions to keep the items safe during shipping. The gun itself is wrapped in a plastic bag, which adds another layer of protection. The first thing I noticed upon removing the gun from the bag was the smooth, even, and incredibly realistic finish applied to the receiver. Aside from the orange tip, this thing looks like the real deal.
From this point, click all photos to enlarge
Included with the gun is a manual, cleaning rod, and a single hi-cap magazine with winding tool. The manual is actually quite extensive, showing the basic functions of the gun in several languages. Umarex sent a 9.6v 1400 mAh nunchuck battery to use with the gun, but I do not believe the basic pack will include a battery.
Weight: 8.4 lbs
Width: Â 2.15"
Sight Radius: 13.5"
The H&K 416 is a full metal replica, as only the pistol grip and stock are made of polymer materials. The rest of the gun is made of high quality metal, with a smooth, matte black finish, and laser engraved trademarks. The gun oozes quality, both in its appearance, and in the way it feels in your hands. It feels real, plain and simple.
Externals, left side
Externals, right side
I'll start with the stock, which is a Crane style unit that houses the battery. It is adjustable to five different positions, locking firmly into each one. There is some slight rotational freeplay; a few degrees in each direction. The battery is installed by removing the butt pad, and inserting the battery cells into each side of the stock. Take care when routing the wires to ensure they don't get pinched.
Butt pad removed
Moving forward, you will encounter the lower receiver, which houses the fire controls. The selector switch is located on the left side, and has H&K style pictogram selection indicators. The magazine release is located on the right side, and is a standard M4 style push button release. On the left side, above the magazine catch is the bolt release lever. On this gun, the bolt release is functional, as the faux bolt locks back when cocking it, to allow for easy hop-up adjustments. When releasing the bolt, there is a nice metallic clack as the bolt slides forwards.
The pistol grip is a Battlegrip style unit, with great texturing on the sides, and a mild seam line on the front and back. The grip feels great in your hand, and the texturing helps you keep a firm grip when shooting.
Motor height adjuster
The upper receiver is similar to an M4 receiver, but with a slightly taller rail height, and a few other changes. As mentioned before, the bolt locks back when pulling back the charging handle. There is a slight gap at the front of the two receivers, but there is absolutely zero wobble in between the two.
Bolt locked back
Moving forward still, you will see the standard 416 quad rail system, which locks onto the special barrel nut, and slides into a groove in the upper receiver to keep it from rotating. The fit and finish on this piece is impeccable, with absolutely zero freeplay or wobble. The RIS can be removed by unscrewing the single screw and removing the locking blocks.
Underneath the RIS, you will find the beefy outer barrel, gas block, and faux gas piston assembly. This thing looks like the real deal, and is made of several components that fit perfectly together. The outer barrel even has real steel caliber markings, which are laser engraved. The muzzle is terminated in 14mm- threads, which the birdcage style flashhider screws onto. At the front of the tip, orange paint has been applied to comply with federal shipping and sales regulations.
Gas block and flashhider
Gas piston assembly
Moving the gas piston
H&K style detachable sights are attached to the top rail to allow for precision aiming. The rear sight is adjustable for windage, and the sight drum can be rotated to give you different sized peep holes. The front sight has a removable post unit, so you can replace it if you can actually find the replacement parts. Since the receiver is a flat top design, you can add other optics if you so choose, such as red dot and reflex sights.
Overall, the externals of this gun really are second to none. The fit and finish is incredible, aside from one slight gap at the front of the receiver. Captive pins are used to attach the upper and lower receivers, so you don't need to worry about losing them in the field.
One of the selling points of this gun are the legally licensed H&K trademarks, which are located mainly on the left side of the gun. At the front of the receiver, as well as on the right side, you will find warning labels put on by Umarex.
Upper receiver mark
Unique serial number
Right side receiver label
The included magazine is a metal hi-cap, replicating the H&K "High Reliability" design with a continuous curve. It also is missing the winding wheel that plagues most hi-cap magazines, instead using the included tool to wind it via a hole in the side. It fits well into the gun, and feeds great as well. I've tested a few other magazines in it, and the only ones I really had issues with were P-mags and Thermold mags, as they didn't fit into the elongated magwell.
Winding tool inserted
Baseline performance after a 500 round break in period is as follows:
FPS (Recorded using Airsplat .20g BBs shot through a Madbull V1 chrono):
Average over 10 shots: 366.5
This is one of the most consistent shooting AEGs that I've ever used. The FPS barely fluctuated between shots, even using budget ammo. Rate of fire with the 9.6v battery provided by Umarex was also damn impressive, hitting 20 RPS on the nose. I was expecting a shortcoming in the range and accuracy department, due to the somewhat short barrel, but the 416 surprised me there as well, giving me 160' torso shots with .25g BBs with 90% accuracy. This thing is absolutely skirmish ready, and no upgrades are necessary out of the box to make you competitive.
Some people have indicated that the internals of this gun are somehow sub-par, to which I will have to politely disagree. The gun features a V2 gearbox with some reinforcement at the front, 8mm solid metal bushings, steel gears with an actually decent self shimming system, and a polycarbonate piston with aluminum piston head. Yes, some of the parts are made of clear polycarbonate, but they are well cast, and just flexible enough to allow for some bend instead of breaking. The sector gear has a sector chip installed to aid in feeding at high rates of fire.
Bolt catch system
Metal selector plate
Inside the gearbox
Air nozzle (with nearly perfect seal FYI)
Metal spring guide
The motor is a red colored high speed unit. This thing screams along with even low voltage batteries, giving you a great ROF.
The inner barrel is 275mm long, and brass, with a nice long crown. It is coupled with a clear polycarbonate hop-up unit, which feeds very well, even at high ROF. Accuracy with the included hop-up bucking and nub was certainly skirmishable, meaning that replacement isn't really necessary out of the box.
Modifications are not really necessary to this gun, as it's damn near perfect out of the box, however, the gun is compatible with upgrades if you so desire. With an abundance of rail space, you can accessorize this rifle with lights, lasers, grips, sights, launchers, or whatever else you want to install.
Impeccable external quality
Great performance, even on a mid-level battery and ammo
Includes unique H&K style magazine
Attention to detail - faux gas piston, great finish, etc
Functional bolt catch
Unique serial number
Slight gap at the front of my receiver
Doesn't work with some magazines (general 416 problem, due to receiver shape)
Limited to crane/buffer tube batteries
Expensive, however, the quality justifies the price
When I first handled this replica at SHOT Show, it left a lasting impression on me, both in its appearance, and in the fit and feel of the components. After being able to actually fire it, I am happy to report that this thing really is one of the higher quality AEGs available on the market. The legally licensed trademarks, and support through Umarex are just the icing on the cake.
Many thanks again to Umarex and of course, Airsoft Retreat!