Review: Dboys HK416

So I figured out that I really wanted a HK416 again after Dale requisitioned his Madbull DD RIS II MK18 in FDE and I ended up selling my King Arms M4 CQB. Turns out that I really missed having a mid-length rail system with a CQB barrel length in a M4 platform – the King Arms M4A1 (SOPMOD Block 1.5) and WE M4A1 (SOPMOD Block 2) just weren’t cutting it on their own.

Airsoft Depot (amoung other Canadian airsoft retailers) recently picked up the new version of the Dboys HK416 without trades – black body, rather than the old gray finish. Out of the box, the rail-mounted HK diopeter sights are mounted, and there’s a LE style stock on the buffer tube. Fits like a glove with Dytac Invader mags (FDE pictured below), loosely designed off of Troy Battlemags they also look really cool.

Coming in a huge cardboard box with a clamshell style of styrofoam inside, I ended up with one cool looking HK416 (see below for what I’ve done to mine thus far).

Let’s get to the disassembly part of things. We’ll start at the rear of the gun. VFC style buffer tube and end plate. GBB/real steel stock adaptors would work with this stock tube, no problem… I’m going to be putting my PTS ASAP for GBB M4 on there. Buffer tube is shorter than normal; instead of being a full 6-position stock tube, the tube only has 5 positions, but at the same intervals as a 6-position tube would have, thus the tube is a whole position shorter than most tubes.

Long extension at the rear of the lower receiver. Note how I put in a new wiring harness/switch assembly for going rear-wired to the stock tube/crane stock. Out of the box, the gun is front wired, with the wire coming out a notch at the rear left of the railed handguard.

Front body pin is really tight fitting – have fun trying to punch that out on the fly on the field (I ended up needing a hammer and punch, which I’ve never needed on any Airsoft gun). Splitting the upper and lower receiver is exactly the same as dealing with a VFC AEG. Upper and lower fit together really nicely, by the way – I’m thoroughly impressed, seems to be similar to VFC in external build solidity thus far. The rail/upper fits together the same was as the VFC, WE and real HK416 fits together – slot in the upper meshes with a protruding notch on the rail system, all while fitting really nice and tight over the barrel nut.

Dboys cloned the bolt stop stuff on the side of the gearbox shell – however my version does not have the bolt ornament plate, nor the bolt lock mech on the side of the gearbox. The mould on the side of the shell, however does exist.

So – fun fact, Dboys did a great job on the motor grip. VFC clone, nice and thin, while having a very pleasant texture that is very grippy. Better than VFC thin-type M4 motor grips, I’ve got a heat-sink type dealio on my grip plate. This is one of the major complaints I have with the stock VFC thin-type A2 pistol grip that I’m running on my King Arms M4A1 – motors heat up way too quickly without having any degree of heat-sinking features integrated into the VFC bottom plate.

Note that the upper receiver is actually a pretty close clone of the VFC. I haven’t tried putting VFC parts in there yet, will likely need to bug Dizzy or Jester for their VFC M4’s so I can test fit some parts into my HK416.

Pulling the HK416 cluster rail is simple. One screw, and the two blocks (pictured below come off).

Removing the screw allows the rail to come loose – removing the rail from here is just as simple as pulling it forward and off the barrel nut.

Removal of the rail reveals this awesome replica of the piston system that is one of the trademarks of the HK416.

Looks to me like Dboys cloned the VFC clear hop up unit. Too bad it’s junk – lots of play in the hop up arm, lots of wiggle in the adjustment gears, inner barrel wobbles like crazy. I’m replacing mine right after I post this article.

So, moving back to the lower receiver, let’s get to the gearbox. Asides from the rear body pin and the mechbox pin, all that needs to be removed is the mag catch. Dboys actually made this guy out of steel – really nice in the way that it is built more like a real AR mag catch, similar to VFC. However, unlike VFC, the mag catch is actually angled on one side, allows for mags to go into the magwell and catch on the mag catch a little easier. I bought a TM-style Element mag catch thinking I’d have to replace it, but it turns out that the Element mag catch isn’t even steel – it didn’t even catch my mags unlike the stock Dboys one with my MAG 190rd aluminum, Dytac Invader 120rd plastic, and Dboys HK high cap mags (and then it stripped… great).

Onto the gearbox we go. 7mm bearings, surprised me. 3/4 ported cylinder. Clear plastic air nozzle. Plastic selector plate – not like the VFC steel ones, however I noticed no mushy selector issue as with some M4 AEG’s without metal selector plates. Here’s the left side of the gearbox:

Reinforced gearbox shell, painted black. Beige plastic spring guide. Here’s the right side of the gearbox:

Here we go – innards of the gearbox. Grease isn’t overly terrible, though there are weird clumps of it in some odd spots that don’t need grease. Shimming wasn’t great, was a little tight and there was a little bit of grinding. Sector gear has delayer chip pre-installed (I’m going to stick with this gearset till it breaks, it doesn’t look the best IMO, but it’s decent). Plastic piston with second tooth removed, polycarbonate piston head (not pictured) – not sure how it is, I’m not using it anyway. Switch assembly got junked too, in favour for a spare one I had kicking around. Plastic cylinder head with single O-ring with that clear air nozzle I mentioned earlier, definitely an air-leak here. Turns out the plastic spring guide actually has a bearing and is reinforced with some sort of cast metal on the rear end of it. Note that the shell is in fact reinforced on the inside too – I’m going to use it and see if it works without breaking on me with a M120-ish spring.

Am I impressed? Yup. One last pic to show off my new toy…

Externals are as follows: I put on the folding front sight (my fixed, rail-mounted one stripped on me already). Used a Dboys KAC-style vert grip I’ve been using for a while (will use the one included in the box when this one breaks). CA LMT/Crane stock fits well, though a little bit of wobble (more than on King Arms buffer tube, though less than on a VFC). ACM KAC style flash-hider with notch cut for M4QD suppressors. Magpul PTS RSA. G&P functional PEQ-2 (as I’m putting my batteries in the rear, so I don’t need the battery space of the Dboys PEQ-2 battery case included in the box). Black ACM M600C Scoutlight on TSC Gear Sector clone Scoutlight offset mount in tan. ACM clone of the Aimpoint COMP M4 red/green dot sight, using high mount so I can get lower 1/3 cowitness with the HK BUIS. Included Dboys high cap mag, cloned off of the VFC HK416 mag without winding wheel on the bottom (styled after the HK high-reliability magazine, with HK markings and all – super awesome to have on a HK416 clone).

I’m fairly certain that my ACM M4QD suppressor went MIA over the weekend on the field, so I can’t show you a pic of what that looks like. My apologies – too bad that it would look awesome on this gun.

-juicy

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10 responses to “Review: Dboys HK416

  • Christopher Brown

    Hi, my name is Chris. Im thinking of getting this rifle for Christmas. Would you say this AEG is worth the money, and how much money do you think will go into replacement parts to get the weapon running in a reasonable way? I ask because I play alot of out door airsoft games and normally run with a stock echo 1 M16, and it gets really good range and fps. Ive been wanting to change up my weapon with a shorter AEG and dont want to spend a arm and a leg to get a good gun. Any information would help.

  • overhoppers

    Hi Chris,

    I put about 130-150 USD into parts so far, and done about 1-2 hours of labour myself. This is me getting my gun to the run the way I want it to. My performance expectations out of an AEG is definitely above that which you may find in a stock Echo1 M4/M16, though.

    I purchased my Dboys HK416 only looking for the externals as I was more or less intending to upgrade most (if not all) of the internals. To be honest with you, I did not even fire the gun with or without ammo before taking it apart – I knew that the hop up, the compression in the gearbox, and the shimming were all junk. This was expected within a variety of Dboys gearbox reviews I read prior to purchasing my HK416.

    -juicy

  • overhoppers

    Yup, so long as you don’t mind putting in your own time or buying someone to do the work for you, that shouldn’t be an issue.

  • jackie

    hey im jackie. i have this gun without any upgrade. by looking at the internals how long do you think my gun will last internally

    • overhoppers

      Hi Jackie,

      First off, there’s no real guesstimate that I can give you – it all depends on a whole variety of factors, including how often you shoot, the battery you’re using, if you’re shooting full auto and how often, what spring exactly is in your gun, the temperature you’re shooting in… there are probably more factors that I’m missing.

      It also depends what generation of Dboys HK416 you have – there were several versions that came out from Dboys (different body colours and markings/no markings). I’m not sure if they’re all the same internally. As to the one I have, if you’re willing to take your gearbox apart to shim the gears, it should greatly enhance the longevity of the stock gearbox (gears are generally more expensive and time-consuming to replace than the other parts).

      Spring guide and/or piston will probably be the first to go, though I don’t know how long these will last as I upgraded my gearbox minutes after unboxing my Dboys HK416.

      -juicy

  • Lake-end

    Hi there and thanks for the great review!

    I just got my Dboys 416 week ago and its infact my first AEG. I bought it knowing full well I need to upgrade much of the internals to get a good gun, so far so good and learning about the gun internals has been both interesting and very educational.

    Do you still have this gun and if you do, do you have update on its condition now that you have used it more? Did any of the stock components break yet? Has it been doing okay with 120 spring, I´m also thinking of putting one in but not sure if the gearbox can take it.

    Also do you have trouble with magazines not catching in the mag catch? So far only mag that really catches and feeds correctly is the highcap that came with the gun. I bought Dboys 416 highcaps separately thinking they were the same, but they are not catching at all and are infact bit diffrent. Also Cyma 416 style midcaps are not catching either.

    So if you could offer advice on what magazines you can succesfully been using with this gun, especially the midcaps?

    Cheers!

    • juicy

      Dboys quality is nothing impressive. Don’t expect anything inside to survive long term. I hope you know that I’m not a source for you to ask for answers that you can look up yourself.

      Mag catch problem is similar to that in the VFC it is cloned from.

  • BrianB

    Do you know if it’s possible to put a DD mk18 rail on the d-boys hk416?

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