HK416 ASCU Upgraded - GFC Guns

Hi everyone, this is Fidel from Nice Airsoft Equipe !
Today we will be reviewing a brand new replica, that I ordered a few weeks ago. We didn't review it before since we needed to know how it behaved during games.
So after extensive testing, we give you the HK416 ASCU by GFC Guns.

 

II - Devil is in the details

I was looking for a new replica, being a bit fed up with my M4 from APS. Albeit being full metal, there is a few things that are pissing me off, such as magazine being wobbly, front right rotating left or right if you use a sling, and having to use a nunchuk-style battery that can't fit anywhere else. Without talking about the handguard moving a bit. Don't get me wrong, this replica from APS has an absolutely incredible external aspect, and is by far one of the best I've been able to play with.

Now as for the internals, I had it completely customized, since it broke up 2 times after firing 1 mag (by that I mean : 1 mag => warranty, came back, 1 mag => warranty, came back fully customized and without EBB, but has been working great since then).

All of that to explain why I wanted to change and get something new and more nice looking/with less little problems.

When I saw the HK416, I thought "Mmm...full metal ? Nice ! 24 months warranty ? Even nicer ! An ASCU ? Oh my, I do need it !"

So I went ahead, not knowing exactly what to expect performance wise, and received this :

 

I - Because we all love to open the box :

 


Here's what you will find inside the box :

- The replica, very well maintained by the foam, no risk to see it move during the transport. That's a good thing. Oh and no styrofoam, you won't believe how my wife liked that. No need to use a broom or a vacuum after opening up the box.
- A high-cap magazine, 300 rounds.
- 9.6v 1500mah NICD large type battery...more on that later
- Charger
- Unjamming rod
- A little key to wind the magazine
- And of course an instruction manual for both the replica and the ASCU (very useful)

Everything is very tightly packed, and will suffer no damage from transport as long as an elephant doesn't step on it.

 

III/ The externals, just because it's what you see first :

 

First impression when picking up the HK out of its box ? Damn it's gorgeous.

First off, let's zoom on the sights :


Those parts are metal, and they are damn well made. Very well done. You can play with those without a problem (unless you don't like iron sights and prefer a red dot)


The rails are without a doubt something really impressive. Edges are sharp (but you will not cut yourself - so that's good) ! And they give a real sturdy feeling. There is absolutely no movement whatsoever since the whole upper receiver is one big piece of metal.

I like that a lot. It differs so much from my M4 that this alone had me conquered.

To be honest, the only plastic parts on this replica are the following :
- Pistol grip
- Stock

Talking about the stock, the little silver ring you can see is here to put a quick detach swivel. That's appreciated. And since the stock is that big, you can almost fit anything into it. But more on that later.


The markings also look great. You have what looks like an individual serial number, and a very nice looking logo.


To be noted : the bolt catch isn't working, but it's not a problem as you can regulate the hop up once the ejection port cover is down without having to keep the charging handle back. Here's a picture to illustrate
And that's if for the externals. Now onto the internals...where the real deal is :-).

 

IV - Beauty is on the inside ? Seems to be true :

First, let me say that the guys at GFC gave their replica almost the best for this price range. Everything inside the replica inspires confidence.
One of the immediate thing you will see is that the hop up unit is made of metal. This was something I have been looking for since you can find one of this kind in almost every high end replica.

This Hop-up unit gives very good results and lifts the bbs very correctly for an "out of box" unit (understand by that the unit, and rubber too), might not be the best rubber out there, but hey, did you ever get a replica where you didn't need to change something ?

The second thing you will be impressed about is the noise the replica makes when it fire. You can clearly hear that the internals have been fine tuned for optimal performances. Oh dear, music to my hears.

The replica is announced around ~440fps. After a quick run with our very own chrony, here are the results (hop up set to 0, shooting with .2g bb) :
So an average of 437fps. Not bad, very close to what is announced (440fps).

What is nice is the constistency of the shots, there is no real difference, every result is quite similar, which seems to indicate that there is no loss of air, and the seals are good.
On stock battery, which is 9.6v, the replica shoots around 850RPM (or my chrony as gone FUBAR, your choice). Quite enough to make your "friends" run for cover.

Now the more "theorical" things you will not immediatly see :
- Reinforced gears, hi-torque type.
- Metal spring guide.
- Reinforced piston.
- Piston head with bearings.
- Chrome cylinder for smoother operation.
- Hi-torque motor.
- Metal ball bearings.
- Globally reinforced gearbox case.
- Last but not least is a announced 6.04 barrel.

And if you like pictures, there you go :
And of course let's not forget the heart of this replica, the ASCU.
So what is it exactly ? Well if you're familiar with the MOSFET type component, it's an upraded MOSFET.
If you're not familiar with this type of material, let's just put this in a simple way.
With regular gearbox operation, you have a contactor, which when activated spins the motor, then the anti reversal latch helps stop the operation and make sure your gears don't go backward, which sometime results in a strange lock up of the gearbox.

Now, with the ASCU, you hit the trigger, which then tells the ASCU to activate the motor, and then when it detects that the gearbox has done a full cycle, in any firing mode, it stops the motor (so a good motor with good magnets is more than advised). No anti reversal latch is required. One less component susceptible to break up and give troubles.

Oh by the way, it all happened to us, you know, when you are firing on semi, sometimes you can't fire anymore, you have to switch it to auto for it to resume firing ? Well, forget about this with the ASCU ! Since it's always making sure your gearbox has done a full cycle, this kind of trouble will be a distant memory.

The ASCU also features different programmable modes (very well explained and easy to change if you follow the manual given with your replica), including a safe/semi/burst/auto mode. Yes you've got that right : BURST mode.

You can't even begin to imagine how great it is to finally be able to put down 3 bbs at a time, because sometime semi is just not enough, and sometimes auto mode is too much (and getting hit by 10 bbs at 20 meters isn't always nice). So this is a nice alternative. And the recoil is just impressive. There's no blowback, but you can clearly feel the gearbox doing it's thing.

To use this mode, put the ASCU replica to "auto", hit the trigger only once, and there you go. Now, should you need auto fire, just let the trigger pulled. Easy ? Yeah thought so.

Due to the fact that the trigger hits an electronic switch to get your replica to fire, you can't even begin to imagine how smooth the trigger course is. And you won't believe how hard it is if you have to go back to a regular replica. Also, the number of shots you can fire on semi only depends on how fast you can hit that trigger. Unbelievable. It's very VERY reactive. And I haven't tried that on a lipo yet ;-) Oh and you also gain accuracy since there is almost no resistance to pull that trigger.

So now we know that :
- Looks great.
- Sounds great (actually sounds great, I've heard numerous replica sounding like something was about to explode inside)
- Has an ASCU, which changes everything compared to classic V2 gearbox replicas.

But if you're like me, theory is nice, but how a replica behave on a field is an entire other story, so let's see how it does in real life situation.

 

V - Outdoors, where the fun really is :

For testing purpose, I've installed a red dot (not visible in the above picture). Will be easier to hit a target this way, and it will show the replica accuracy well enough.

For the record, when I played with this replica the first time, I was a bit disappointed by the performances accuracy-wise. Well after cleaning the barrel, shot around 2000 bbs and switched to higher grade bbs (Rockets, which you can find the review on our website/youtube channel), guess what : the hop up finally did it's job regarding accuracy. Of course it is not as precise as a replica using a 6.03 barrel, but hey, results are good enough for me.

Firing in burst also showed me one thing : you have to be stable and not move an inch until it has stopped firing, otherwise the last bb will not even hit the target. But hey, that's normal and I had to adapt to that, so it's more because I had to get used to this kind of firing mode than the replica shooting crap.

In this text review, we've used a paper target to show what you can expect at 40 meters.
Dare I say that 40 meters makes this replica laugh ? Well I dare. You can hit your target torso consistently at that that distance on semi. The bbs will start to show sever dropping at around 50m but you can compensate with some hop up adjustements.

Now, on stock barrel and hop rubber, you will still be able to hit your target on bursts at 55m, beyond that it will be a bit more difficult and you'll have go full auto to maximize your chances to hit.

Here are the results of 10 shots on semi, at 40m, target being an A3 sized paper sheet.
Yep, the 10 shots did hit the paper sheet which is roughly the size of a human torso. Nice one ? Sure. For a stock gun ? Nice enough ! Honest truth, you can't really expect better results than this on replicas around this price range. Hell, half of your players replica didn't even hit the target at that distance (blame it on the cheap side of the replica they are using).

So yes there is better, yes there is more accurate, but at what price ? I'm not willing to put more than that in a replica I'll use at most 4 times a month. So it's a question of personal choice I guess.

 

VI - Conclusion :

You can get this replica for around 250. That's with the ASCU pre-installed. If you don't want the ASCU, it's around 190

But honestly, once you've tested out an ASCU upgraded replica, you will not want to go back to something classic. Now the only thing left to do might be to install a better hop up rubber and a 6.03 barrel. But for now it's perfectly playable.

Below, you will find the classic PRO/CONS, because even if this replica is good, there are somethings that could be better.

PROs :
- Full metal.
- Excellent externals.
- Very good internals.
- ASCU upgraded ! Longer battery life, safer gearbox operation, better reactivity, you need one. Oh and did I mention the 3 round burst mode ? You will LOVE it.
- QD ready !
- Price (good luck finding this kind of replica cheaper - or installing the ASCU yourself).

CONs :
- Large type battery with tamiya LARGE connector...really ? Who uses that nowadays ? To me that's a bad design decision. I can always change it by myself, but come on...LARGE Tamiya ? That means I can't switch to my backup 8.4v 1500mah FIREFOX battery if need be (and believe me, when shooting bursts, the need comes quickly). I guess they used a large type battery so it fits nicely into the stock and doesn't move around. Well my AK battery is a large one, and with tamiya mini...oh well, will have to get an adapter.
- The ASCU could have used a little velcro patch to stay in place and not move around when you run. Plus it would have helped to get it out of the way when installing the battery (took me a while to figure out how to install it properly).
- Quick detach swivel. You can install one in, but you have to pay for it

Some simple remarks :

- 300 rounds is not much when firing 3 bbs at a time. So be sure to get an extra mag because once you start firing, you will not be able to stop :-) Bursts are that great
- And talking about magazines, be sure to buy mags from Jing-Gong. We had troubles fitting Dboys in, they just wouldn't clip in place.
- 6.04mm barrel - A 6.03mm will be the nail in the coffin for every other replica. Get one as soon as you can.
- and of course go get a new hop up rubber, so you can get the most out of this replica. Rubbers are cheap but will give you the extra range over your "ex-friends", who know hate you because you have the best replica out on the field.

My advice ? Buy one. If you are into nice looking replicas that shoots hard and straight, you can't be wrong getting one. But to make it a great replica, you will need some knowledge like changing a barrel, a hop rubber and so on. No big deal, it's very simple, don't be afraid to try.

Take care, and see you soon for another review !
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