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H&K 416 vs. other M16's

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ruckus3008, Sep 19, 2007.

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  1. ruckus3008

    ruckus3008 Member

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    Can someone tell me what exactly the H&K 416 (or POF) Gas piston upper is and why they are so special? How are they different from the other M16's? Are they worth the extra money?

    And yes I tried the search function and was not able to find what I was looking for.
     
  2. brentn

    brentn Member

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    this has been covered many many times, search for it and you'll find your answer.
    To sum it up, the 416 uses a piston gas system for the bolt carrier and the regular AR's use a direct gas system. Piston gas systems are technically more reliable and direct gas systems result in better accuracy but can foul.There are a couple other things that the 416 has but that is the gyst of it.
     
  3. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    This is a big debate.

    Most people who hate the AR15, tend to hate it because they claim it ****s where it eats making it less reliable.

    I haven't seen any reliability issues with my AR15's due to fouling, personally. The piston is just one more part that can break, and that was the thinking when the AR15 design was first created.
     
  4. RevolvingCylinder

    RevolvingCylinder Member

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    Most people don't realized that it all comes down to clearances vs. accuracy. It either "isn't accurate enough" or "an unreliable POS". It seems to me the direct gas impingement system is just a scapegoat.

    I personally think that it's just an easy way to make money by introducing older unneeded technology to a newer system.
     
  5. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    I had a discussion on another site about the AR-15 gas system. I'm not sure if it's one of those cliched: "solutions looking for a problem" or if there is some validity to it. I got the opportunity to shoot a piston upper on an M-16 this past weekend. It was as smooth as butter and a joy to shoot, but it did hang up a few times, (using Wolf and after being fired constantly - literally all day). It was a joy to shoot, held to target well, (even during full auto) and had a crisp, Swiss watch like feel to it compared to other M-16's I have fired. On the other hand, I recently got rid of a 10-year old Colt National Match HBAR. I bought it new and put well over 15,000 rounds through it. It was gnats-arse accurate - no free floating tubes, no fancy triggers, no sniper grips - nada. Bone stock. In those years, I never, (I mean never ever) cleaned out the gas system. In fact, by most cleaning fanatics accounts, I poorly maintained this rifle. A rag with Hoppes here, a toothbrush there, a patch/brush down the barrel and some CLP. The guy I sold it to is also laxidasical about gun care and also shoots it more frequently than I did...Same story - no gas tube cleaning - no gas tube issues. Is the HK that cliche? I guess time will tell, but HK's disdain for we civilians will likely see them in short supply at our local shops-o-fun....
     
  6. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    It's an attempt to make and M16 or AR15 more reliable / less dirty by ditching the gas impingment system if favor of an operating rod / gas piston. But the AK for example is probably the worlds most reliable automatic because of the loose tolerances more so than it's simple gas piston / operating rod! If an AR had those loose tolorances in the reciever, bolt lugs, bolt carrier, etc it could digest all the crud and sand fed to it by a direct impingment system. So basically it's a way to stop feeding it carbon.
     
  7. Jeremy2171

    Jeremy2171 Member

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    In the long run its a moot point as the M16/Ar15 is reliable enough as-is.
     
  8. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    First of all, a well built op rod shouldn't break. If op rods breaking was so common and problematic then engineers would never use that system. Guess what? It's the most common system on rifles today. You can't say the same for DI. If you want the best of both worlds, maybe some one will make a long stroke gas operated ar15 just like the AK. No op rods breaking, no crap in the receiver. Oh, but now people will complain about recoil and weight and blah blah blah.

    A rifle should be reliable no matter what. It isn't a big artillery system a crew has to care for, it's a simple rifle. A simple rifle, in my opinion, should not be frequently dissected and cleaned if it can be avoided. The Taiwanese avoided that by adding a piston to their M16's.

    Let's talk about the internals. First, knowing that there's going to be so much heat in this region of the rifle, why the hell would you use a spring loaded ejector? I've heard all kinds of problems, "spring broke...", "I found a brass shaving....", "spring broke...", "so much crude in there...", "spring broke...". Why not just have a simple fixed ejector and be done with it??? And another thing, a cam pin!? What the hell is a cam pin?!? Why is it a separate piece and why couldn't it be machined out of the bolt like an AK?

    So much unneeded parts.
     
  9. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    It's got the gas piston... which pretty much everybody else in the world uses, AFAIK.
    Israelis: Gas piston.
    Italy: Gas piston.
    France: 'Lever delayed blowback'. IOW, screwy beyond belief.
    UK: Gas piston.
    Germany: Gas piston.
    Switzerland: Gas piston.
    China: Gas piston.
    Of course:
    Canada: AR clone.
    Denmark: Canadian AR clone.
    Netherlands: Canadian AR clone.

    I'm sure there's other countries adopting ARs, and I know there's more with gas-piston designs. From that list, though, it appears that most (major) countries prefer a gas-piston design. I'm sure their engineers can make a DGI setup, but I don't see anybody doing it on anything but ARs... which, incidentally, don't appear too popular worldwide in their standard form. I couldn't say why.
     
  10. Jeremy2171

    Jeremy2171 Member

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    But yet still reliable............
     
  11. rero360

    rero360 Member

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    I don't know muh about AKs, other than I'm still alive because of their inaccuracy, and bad guy's lack of skill.

    However over the last 7 years, 6 infantry and this past one MP over in Iraq, I've put countless rounds through numerous M16 A2s, A4s, and M4s. In that short period of time, I've never once had a malfuntion, ball, tracer and blanks, no issues, using both CLP and Miltek.

    My buddy's rifle for the longest time hd a piece of a paperclip in place of the firing pin retaining pin. Never had any problems with it and would qual expert every time.
     
  12. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    The gas tube is self cleaning. You don't need to clean it.
     
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I think it's much ado about nothing.

    As has been mentioned, a properly maintained Colt or FN M-16 will run indefinitely without carbon scraping or gas tube cleaning.

    Most of the civilian AR problems can be traced to out of spec clone guns, crappy ammo, and bad magazines!

    The worst part of the whole gas impingement system is that NCO's and Officers like to see weapons white glove clean for inspections.
    And GI's don't like cleaning carbon traces out of the innards of an M-16!

    As for the validity of a piston upper?
    I think I would just as soon stay with what works and is current issue.
    I can find parts for an AR-15 at a well stocked garage sale!

    What's the gas piston guys going to do in a few years when the company that made the upper goes out of business or stops making them!

    As for the Military adopting them?
    Not going to ever happen!

    If & when they change rifles the next time, it won't be to another M-16 variant.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  14. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    Gas piston is a win-win for HK:
    -More moving parts
    -Much higher price than a D.I. upper
    -Huge hype over nothing
     
  15. Eyesac

    Eyesac Member

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    Hehe... Yeah, funny thing about them and their followers. I have a few Big HK fans here at work, and I ask them what's so good about HK and they say: "they're the best firearms on the planet"
    And they can never tell me why. I mean they can't name ONE single thing HK does that makes their stuff better.
     
  16. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, if you look at the guys who are using HK416s, they generally have a need for a couple of things:

    1. A higher than normal rate of fire
    2. Very short barrels for protection/CQB/vehicle work
    3. Suppressors

    Now you can make an AR15 do all of those jobs, the problem comes when you want it to fire full-auto from a short barrel unsuppressed as well as suppressed. The same heavy buffer that keeps the bolt from battering itself to death now stops the rifle from cycling. None of which is helped by the fact that you are using parts designed around a 20" barrel with 13" to gas port in a rifle that now has a 7-10" barrel and 6-8" to gas port.

    If you have to solve that particular problem, then a gas piston is a good engineering solution for that problem. As to enhanced reliability and other claims made by H&K (who does have the reputation of marketing hype exceeding actual performance), I would like to see a comparison between new Colt M4s and a new HK416.

    I'm sure some of the guys with 416s in the field love them; but let's face it: If your previous rifle was a 7yr old Colt M4 and you were firing 5,000 rounds a month through it; pretty much any new modern rifle is going to look really good by comparison.
     
  17. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

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    Here is a good place for HK's: http://www.hkpro.com

    H&K have gas-piston in several models, old and new.

    AK-type and FN-FAL are other 2/3 of the world and are gas piston.

    Argument goes ways beyond reliability/accuracy. Lethality of the 5.56x45 NATO is another big argument. Plenty of other chamberings avail. for AR-type rifles.
     
  18. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

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    ask and ye shall receive. http://www.defensetech.org/archives/003625.html

    the test was done last month but i haven't been able to find any results yet.

    Bobby
     
  19. MisterPX

    MisterPX Member

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    If you're thinking about one, I'd wait until they get teh bugs worked out of them first. Gas piston AR's are failing just as much as DI ones in training classes.
     
  20. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    There are other gas piston AR uppers besides the HK ... anyone know how well the ZM performs compared to the HK?

    http://www.zmweapons.com/

    Honestly the only reason I could see for dumping the stock direct impingement upper for the gas one is if you're going to suppress the rifle, or if you really really really want a side folding stock.
     
  21. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    after shooting an HK SL8-1 for several years, if the factory and aftermarket parts for that rifle were as ubiquitous as they are for ar15 pattern rifles, i'd be shooting a G38 pattern gun. I really loved it. but hey, that's never going to happen and so i sold it last year and have been satisfied with half a dozen AR15s
     
  22. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    I don't get why people rag on HK so much. They make really good weapons. If they didn't, no one would use them. Now, I hear HK is a real socialist organization, but no one's proven that so far. So what if they wanted to get by the AWB by making the SL8? They thought the climate would stay that way. And, being European, that was probably a reasonable assumption.
    As for the M16 vs. HK416 debate. I'm confuzzled. So many vastly different reports by so many different people. All I know is that the DI system is used by only one major rifle: the AR-15 series. I'm sure DI is fine for civilian use, but if you want a military-grade weapon, I'm not sure I'd make it the first choice. But it works. We wouldn't use it if it didn't. I'll stick to the AK. Even if it's 99.99998% reliability versus 99.999999999%, I still want my AK. Piece of mind, mate.
     
  23. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    Which AK is that? Unless you have a real rarity, you have a semi-auto Kalashnikov-based rifle that is a mixture of foreign and domestic parts assembled an/or modified here in the US. It is not a military AK and, therefore, not a military-grade weapon. If you like it and have confidence in it, more power to you; but don't call it something it is not.
     
  24. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    Joe, I don't have an AK. I was using "my" to refer to an affection towards the weapon. And don't nitpick, because you know what I meant. I meant that I don't think I'd arm a military with M16s, they may be perfectly reliable for use civvies, but we're shooting our rifles in nice conditions at the range, cleaning them every so often. Taking care of them. Same reason there's a big difference between civilian and military shotguns; the military weapons have to stand up to much more. The M16 is adequate, else we wouldn't use it, but I think that there are significantly better weapons out there.
     
  25. CleverNickname

    CleverNickname Member

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    Yes there are other gas piston uppers, but the ZM isn't one of them. It's direct impingement; it just uses a different bolt carrier and recoil spring setup from a normal direct impingement upper.
     
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