Random Airsoft Musings: The Tokyo Marui Recoil Shock HK416, and leaving well enough alone.

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Whenever you acquire a new AEG, you usually have to answer a series of questions. Many are basic:

  • what role will it play in my armoury, and does it fill a gap in said armoury or does it’s role overlap with other AEGs in my collection?
  • What optics and other external accessories will I add to it, if any?
  • Do I have the batteries and magazines I want to run with it?

For those of us who like to indulge in airsoft gunsmithing (and I would guess the majority of those who are reading this fall into this category), we have the following question:

  • What is my aim in terms of internal mods? High FPS DMR? Low FPS/High RPS bullet hose? Somewhere in-between? Am I looking purely for enduance/reliability mods, or am I willing to sacrifice long term reliability in my pursuit for the absolute best performance?

But for those that are lucky enough to acquire a Tokyo Marui Recoil Shock AEG, we must also answer the following:

  • Should I bother touching the internals at all?

More on my thoughts on the unique conundrum posed by the Recoil Shock series after the break.

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The main follow up question to that last question is naturally “Does the gun perform well enough stock to warrant keeping it stock?” The answer to this, mostly, is yes. 150-175ft shots are not impossible with a stock Recoil Shock and 0.25g BBs. The trigger and trigger response with the proprietary (and much maligned) SOPMOD batteries is respectable, if not impressive. In short, I wouldn’t feel at a significant disadvantage going up against tuned-AEGs just because I’m running a stock gun, and I think that says more about Marui quality than it does about anything else.

Given the strong performance out of the box, the temptation exists to see if the performance can be boosted even further with a bump up to ~400fps, hop-up mods, a new motor, a switch to lipos, etc. Surely, if it performs so strongly out of the box, then a well-tuned Recoil Shock must perform even better?

The answer is yes, it will. I have been fortunate enough to have Juicy upgrade my TM SCAR-H to just that level of performance, and yes, that gun is a laser. But I also know that it took a ton of work and tinkering on his part to get it running that way, not to mention the expense and effort it took to bring all those parts in. Added to this is the fact that Juicy is x10 the airsoft gunsmith that I will ever be. It would be an exercise in frustration, given my relatively noobish gunsmithing skill, to attempt to upgrade the 416 to the same level as my SCAR-H.

Furthermore, I have other AEG projects on the go (upgrading my VFC Mk18 Mod1 and IAR, revamping my PTW into a civvy gun with new externals, tuning up my TM M14). I don’t need to rely on the TM HK416 to perform like a laser gun every time I step out onto the field, because I have other guns that can do that for me.

Finally, it’s always nice to have a gun shooting CQB fps for those relatively rare instances when I actually play CQB.

For these reasons and more, I’ve decided to keep the TM HK416 completely stock. This way, I can enjoy the TM Recoil Shock HK416 as Tokyo Marui meant for it to be enjoyed – completely stock, with stock batteries, shooting no more than 310fps. Tokyo Marui literally invented the gearbox. Who am I to say that I, of all people, can make their latest offering better?

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