Designed by the renowned firearms manufacturer Heckler & Koch, the HK416 was originally designed in the 1990s as a replacement for the venerable M4.
Since its introduction in the early 2000s, the gun has been adopted by top tier military and police special operations forces (and later regular forces) around the world, owing to its reliable and highly capable performance.
It is perhaps no surprise, then, that the HK416 (and its heavier duty variant, the HK417) has become quite popular with the airsoft community, being seen as a different, more modern and tactical alternative to the various AR variants that seem to flood airsoft fields.
If you’re looking for an HK416 airsoft gun to add to your collection, or even to use as your primary, then read on as we look at some of the best models out there today.
In A Rush? Here Are Our Top HK416 Airsoft Choices
|Model||Our Thoughts||Find It|
|Best Airsoft HK416- VFC HK416 AEG||Read our review||Check out the VFC AEG|
|Best Gas – VFC HK416 GBBR||Read our review||Check out the VFC GBB|
|Best Budget Option- G&G CMF-16||Read our review||Check out the G&G|
What We Look For In an Airsoft HK416
As with other airsoft guns, we prefer our HK416 replicas to be as close to the real thing as possible.
A model should feature an AR-style lower receiver, have a mock gas block, a raised top rail, ambidextrous controls (on A5 variants), H&K-style pictographic selection markings, flip up sights, accessory-ready quad picatinny rail handguard (or MLOK/Keymod) and a V1/V2 H&K grip.
The gun should also come as close to the basic overall dimensions and weight of a real steel H&K HK416, accounting for differences in airsoft manufacturing of course, as described in the chart below:
|Length||27.9 – 40.6 inches (709–1,030 mm)|
|Weight||6.88 lbs empty (3.74 kg)|
|Height||9.4 inches (240mm)|
Power & Performance
If you’re thinking about picking up an airsoft HK416, chances are, as an assault rifle replica, it’s going to be used as a primary and will probably be used in a variety of different games and situations.
In other words, like an M4, an HK416 can be your go-to airsoft gun and so should be able to perform well outdoors, indoors and in CQB, providing decent accuracy, power, responsiveness and rate of fire (when set to full auto).
Some of the numbers we look for are:
Power – around 350 FPS, being strong enough to be used outdoors but still able to be taken to fields with stricter FPS limits. Ideally, the gun should have a quick change spring to allow users to down or up power the gun quickly and efficiently.
Range – the gun should hit targets reliably to 150 feet (45m) and get decent groupings at under 100 feet.
Rate of fire – A good airsoft HK416 should be automatic capable and as an assault rifle should exceed 13-14 RPS on a 7.4v battery and 12-13 on green gas.
As a potential primary, an HK416 airsoft rifle has to be built to withstand the rigors of gameplay.
Ideally, we like to see our HK replicas made of all metal, particularly if the receivers are made from a good quality alloy or even aluminum.
That said, nylon-reinforced polymer can also be a decent choice, as it can balance durability and handling pretty well if thick enough.
With the HK416, we also pay close attention to the gun’s handguard and/or rails.
The 416 is known for its ability to natively accommodate a good deal of tactical equipment, and airsoft replicas should be able to withstand their frequent removal and attachment without chipping or cracking.
Finally, the quality of an airsoft HK416 should extend to its internals, allowing the gun to be used over and over again with consistent performance and without suffering catastrophic failure.
In particular, we look for a reinforced gearbox, metal gears, good seals, a piston with at least a couple metal teeth (with last tooth deletion for better angle of engagement) and, ideally, an adjustable hop up, and a MOSFET or at least the room to add one.
An HK416 airsoft gun is in a bit of a weird place when it comes to price.
On the one hand it is a bit more unusual, in demand, tactically stylish compared to a standard M4 and tends to be licensed by H&K, so a bit of a premium should be expected.
Further, as a HK416 is also probably going to be a primary gun and does need to work well and reliably, so really isn’t something potential owners want to skimp out on too much.
On the other hand, it’s also not exactly a niche or unique airsoft gun and essentially looks and functions like a M4, so there’s no real reason to go too crazy on price.
In general, as with an M4, we tend to look for guns at the $250-400 level, which should fit most budgets, although we tend to accept a bit of a higher price if a model brings a little something extra to the table.
Best Overall – VFC HK416 A5 AEG
|Realism of design||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Power and Performance||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Overall build quality||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Highly realistic||Little on the pricey side|
|Easily upgradable V2 compatible gearbox|
|Good power Range|
If you’re looking for the best airsoft HK416 AEG out there, then we have no doubt that the Umarex / VFC HK416 A5 should be at the top of your list.
To start off with, the VFC HK416 is a highly accurate, 1:1 replica of a real steel HK416 A5 variant, with a solid full metal alloy design that has been coated in a nice, scratch-resistant finish.
At around 31.5 inches long (extended) and about 6.6 lbs (2.99 kg), the gun matches the overall dimensions of its real steel inspiration pretty closely and, thanks to a full metal build, feels about as close to an actual firearm as an airsoft rifle can get.
The gun also contains many of the small details that make a real steel 416 different than your typical AR clone, such as an enlarged trigger guard, a V2 H&K grip, a slimline H&K-branded ergonomic stock, a mock gas tube, ambidextrous controls, ambidextrous sling points and even an ambidextrous bolt release that uses a little lever on the right hand side of the gun.
The VFC is even officially licensed by H&K, so it comes with all the cool red and black H&K trades that enthusiasts, collectors and milsimmers might want, including numerous logos and markings across its receiver, stock, mock bolt and more (and, of course, it is easier to get your hands on in the US as a result).
More than its looks, the gun is quite well built and it’s clear that VFC has spent a good deal of time making sure things fit together properly.
When we handled it, the VFC showed absolutely no signs of squeaking or rattling, making it a good choice for stealthily making your way through a field, and the switches and controls all seemed to be fitted securely into the receiver, thumbing into place or otherwise activating with satisfyingly audible clicks.
In terms of accessories, the VFC HK416 comes with a distinctive metal quad rail handguard and elevated top rail, making it super easy and quick to attach your choice of optics, lasers, foregrips and more without risking any chipping or damage.
That said, being a quad rail set up, there is no potential for offset accessory mounts and the handguard won’t be quite as smooth as an MLOK, but frankly that’s the nature of the beast.
Additionally, the gun’s outer barrel is threaded (14mm CCW), meaning it will readily accept mock suppressors, tracer units and other barrel accessories, options that will further enhance its tactical look.
Internally, the HK416 A5 AEG makes use of VFC’s well-known V2-compatible Avalon gearbox.
Inside its reinforced shell, users will find a good deal of high quality parts, including steel gears, low-friction 8mm bearings, ported piston with steel teeth (and 2nd tooth delete) and an inline, integrated MOSFET, which helps make the gun LiPo-ready.
The gearbox is also fitted with a quick change spring system, which allows users to pop the spring from the gearbox without having to open it, making up/down-powering the gun pretty simple and easy to do.
All of this is powered by a nice and torquey long type 22 TPA neodymium motor, and BBs are sent through an easy to access rotary-style adjustable hop up before being fired out of a smoothly-finished, 275mm tightbore barrel.
Users should note that, as of writing, the gun is small Tamiya wired, which is a bit disappointing, but not that much of an issue overall.
This attention to internal detail and quality does yield some pretty impressive performance on the field.
When fitted with 11.1V batteries, the gun chronos in at a healthy 350-360 or so FPS, making it pretty widely usable in most fields, and it is capable of delivering a pretty blazing 18-20 RPS when set to full auto.
In terms of accuracy and range, the gun is pretty laser-like, hitting targets well past 150 feet (45m) fairly reliably with little issue and getting pretty solid groupings at the 100 foot range (30m) and below.
Price-wise, the VFC HK416 A5 typically comes in a little north of $500, which doesn’t exactly make it the most affordable AEG out there.
That said, given that it is a well-made, all metal airsoft gun with cool trades, capable internals and extremely solid performance, the VFC HK416 A5 AEG offers excellent value for money and is actually one of the best choices for a stock primary that we’ve seen.
Best Gas Blowback- VFC HK416 A5 GBBR
|Realism of design||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Power and Performance||⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2|
|Overall build quality||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Highly realistic||Little on the pricey side|
|Full metal build, steel internals||May be a bit hot out of the box for some fields|
|Excellent blowback action|
|Built in NPAS for FPS adjustment|
|Decent ROF for a GBB|
If you like what you’ve read about the VFC H&K 416 A5 AEG but are looking for something with a little more kick to it, then the company’s GBBR might be just what you need.
Like its AEG sibling, the VFC H&K 416 A5 GBBR is a 1:1 replica of a real steel 416, including a realistic size and weight, H&K V2 grips, integrated flip up front sight, ambidextrous handling, quad rails and a gas tube that doubles as a hop up adjustment, which is pretty convenient.
Also like the AEG, it is a full metal build, with durable alloy receivers, barrel assembly and steel internals (hammer, firing group, buffer unit, valve plunger and more), which not only make the gun feel realistic but also helps make sure that the gun can reliably handle its own blowback without issue.
The gun, of course, comes with a metal quad rail and top rail, which makes it very easy to strap optics and other accessories to, and a 14mm CCW threaded outer barrel, which allows users to freely attach their choice of suppressors and other barrel accessories.
Like VFC’s AEG take on the 416, the VFC H&K 416 A5 GBBR is extremely well put together and was very quiet when we moved around with it, allowing us to really sneak around and get the drop on enemies, which we really liked.
In terms of performance, on green gas and in room temperature conditions, the gun chrono’d at around 400 FPS when settled in and delivered a respectable enough 14 RPS when set on automatic.
While this can be a bit hot for some indoor fields, the gun actually comes with an NPAS kit located in its bolt assembly that, with the turn of a 1.5mm hex key, allows users to adjust the gun’s FPS to make it more CQB-friendly…which is honestly pretty handy even if it requires the gun to be pretty much stripped to do.
When firing, the VFC offers users a relatively powerful and snappy blowback action that makes it a lot of fun to shoot, and it has a pretty crisp and responsive trigger with an excellent break and reset, which we always appreciate.
It’s also quite accurate, nailing targets well past 150 feet (45 feet) once dialled in with surprising ease.
Gas efficiency on this gun was decent, although nothing exceptional to write home about, getting about 2-2.5 mags per fill depending on temperature.
Interestingly, the gun comes with two mag options, a standard STANAG-style 30 round mag and a distinctly more tactical looking and plastic coated V-Mag, which tends to give the gun a bit more oomph and is designed to support dry firing.
In terms of price, as with other higher quality GBBRs, the VFC H&K 416 A5 GBB isn’t all that cheap, coming in well north of $600.
That said, for the money you do get an excellent gas blowback with excellent performance, superior build quality and reliability and really awesome looks.
Best Budget – G&G CMF-16
|Realism of design||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Power and Performance||⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2|
|Overall build quality||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Easy to handle, lightweight||Not an all metal design|
|Lots of opportunities to mount accessories||No trades|
|Well-balanced power||Some proprietary parts|
|Great rate of fire|
|Well put together|
|More budget-friendly than other 416 options|
Finally, if the prospect of spending $4-500 on a top quality airsoft 416 replica isn’t really an option, the G&G CMF-16 can give you a lot of bang for your buck.
Now, it should be said that the G&G CMF-16 isn’t really an officially licensed H&K 416 but more of an airsoft hommage.
The gun lacks any H&K trades and markings, replacing them instead with the rather well-known (at least in airsoft) and always prominent G&G Combat Machine logo, the model upon which this gun is based.
It’s also largely made of (albeit very sturdy and hard wearing) nylon-reinforced polymer, rather than metal, which serves to keep the gun’s weight down to a very easy to carry 5.2 lbs (2.5 kg) at the cost of a little overall realism.
Beyond this, however, the gun is largely a pretty good take on the 416, with an overall length of 30.75 inches (768 mm) and sporting things like an ambidextrous controls, ambidextrous sling plate, flip up front sights, a A5-like grip (although slightly thinner in profile, which is good for smaller hands), modern collapsible stock, mock gas block and slightly raised top rail.
The gun comes with a M LOK handguard, however, rather than the traditional quad rail, which is something that may stand out.
That said, it does tend to give users a smoother grip, doesn’t really catch quite as much on clothing or gear and allows users to mount accessories at an offset, all of which are distinct positives that non-sticklers to realism should definitely consider.
Like the G&G CMF-16’s receivers, however, it too is made of reinforced polymer, so users will have to be a little more careful so as not to chip or scratch it, particularly if mounting real steel optics or lasers.
Beyond that, the gun’s outer barrel comes with a 14mm CCW thread, which allows users to freely attach mock suppressors, tracer units and more without an issue.
Internally, the G&G CMF-16 is actually very well made, sharing many components with the company’s premiere performance AEG- the SSG-1.
The gun’s reinforced gearbox comes with well-shimmed steel gears, 8mm bearings, piston with full steel toothed rack (with 2nd to last tooth delete), and a G&G 4th gen inline MOSFET and ETU that’s actually programmable for burst mode, which is both unusual for a stock system and pretty sweet.
The gearbox is powered by a well-balanced 17 TPA long type IFRIT and is also Dean’s wired, which is a nice change of pace.
BBs pass through the gun’s rotary-style hop up (which actually provides a good deal of lift and is capable of handling .32gs no problem) and fire out of a 6.04mm brass tightbore barrel.
Due to this internal build quality, it is perhaps no surprise that the G&G is very capable of delivering the goods on the field.
Wired to a 11.1V, the gun chrono’d at 370 FPS and was capable of delivering a pretty impressive 20 RPS on full auto.
While this can be a bit hot for some fields, particularly those with stricter indoor or CQB FPS limits, the gun comes with a quick change spring system, which is accessible from the rear of the gearbox, meaning that users can downpower it easily enough if needed.
Trigger response on this gun is surprisingly crisp, offering a very light response and a decent break and return that makes shooting it quite enjoyable.
Thanks to its hop up and quality tightbore, the gun is also quite accurate, being able to group quite nicely to about 100 feet (30m) and nail targets at 150m (45 m) once dialled in.
Price with the G&G CMF-16 is a bit of a tricky thing..
On the one hand, coming it at just over $300, it’s not really all that cheap, especially considering its use of plastic and lack of trades.
However, considering that the next option for a high-quality 416-style airsoft gun tends to be almost twice the price, it is something of a bargain and so our pick for the best budget option.
Differences between a M4 and a HK416 When It Comes To Airsoft Guns
Famously, the H&K HK416 is a very different gun than the traditional Colt M4.
Unfortunately for airsoft players, most of those differences pertain to the internal ballistic function of the gun, such as the fact that the HK uses a proprietary G36 short-stroke gas piston system and not the AR’s direct impingement system.
These systems and differences are obviously absent in airsoft replicas and so the differences an airsoft HK416 and M4 can be quite minor and unnoticeable to the untrained eye, particularly as it’s not that hard to find tactically modded-out M4 variants with ambi-controls, quad rails, longer outer barrels and more.
With all that said, there are some differences that those with a keener eye can see between these guns.
Notably, an HK416 replica will have a small gas block just above the barrel, which won’t obviously be all that functional (at least compared to a real steel firearm) but does give a nod to the real steel H&K’s gas piston system.
An airsoft HK416 also has a raised 20mm Picatinny top rail, which can actually be a bit more useful for those wearing full masks and helmets in game as it raises any attached optics up a bit.
One thing to note, however, is that raised rail does mean that M4 and HK416 handguards likely won’t be all that compatible.
Advantages of HK416 Airsoft Guns
Strong connection to special operations forces (and popular media)
Although developed relatively recently, the HK416 is a gun with a strong connection to military and security forces, and has featured prominently in pop media since its release.
The gun has been used by special operations units in the US and around the world for some time, being adopted by units such as Delta Force, DEVGRU, the Irish Ranger Wing, Marine Raiders, 24th STS, GSG9, the 13e Régiment de Dragons Parachutistes of the French Army and more.
It has also popped up a number of popular movies, tv shows and video games, such as John Wick, The Expendables, Zero Dark Thirty, S.W.A.T., WW3, Ghost Recon, Escape from Tarkov and much more.
Lots of room for accessories
Airsoft HK416s are nothing if not easy to strap your favourite accessories to.
With quad rail handguards (or MLOKs), picatinny top rails and threaded barrels, adding flashlights, lasers, vertical grips, brakes, mock suppressors, tracer units and more can be extremely simple.
As a result, HK416s are pretty easy to set up and configure to taste.
Solid all-around choice of airsoft gun
Like an M4, a good airsoft HK416 can be an excellent all around airsoft gun.
They are light, compact and maneuverable enough to use indoors or in CQB games, while still capable, reliable and flexible enough to be used outdoors.
A bit cooler and more aggressive looking than classic M4
The M4 is a classic but, let’s face it, a standard airsoft carbine can be a bit plain.
With its aggressive flash hider, quad railset up, mock gas block, H&K grip and markings and more sleek stocks, the HK416 has (at least in our opinion) a bit of a fresher and more tactical appearance.
Usually pretty easy to modify, repair and upgrade
Being similar to the many airsoft M4s out there can have its advantages, namely in that airsoft HK416s can usually accept many of the 3rd party parts and upgrades designed for ARs, of which there are a ton.
Consequently, they are not only easy to repair but can be a great platform for custom builds.
Cool officially licensed models available
Being based on an H&K product, airsoft HK416s come with the many cool markings associated with the company, including their logo, trademark red-on-black style and pictographic selector switch.
Disadvantages of HK416 Airsoft Guns
Not as many options out there as standard airsoft M4
Generally speaking, there aren’t quite as many airsoft HK416 options out there as there are M4s or other M16 variants.
This is especially true in the states where trademark enforcement tends to prevent the import of non-licensed replicas.
As a result, airsoft players may not have quite as much choice when it comes to OEM manufacturers, and models may go out of stock a bit quicker due to more limited overall supply.
Airsoft models not all that different looking than many modern, tactical AR variants
Those in the know should be familiar enough with the small details and markings that separate an airsoft HK416 from the usual assortment of AR clones on the market.
That said, not everyone is as up to date on their firearms and there are quite a few players out there that can’t tell the difference, limiting an airsoft HK416’s ability to help you stand out from the crowd.
Tends to command a price premium
Due to official licensing, popularity and having relatively fewer options out there, HK416s tend to be more expensive than their average M4 counterpart.
With its cool looks and strong connection to special operations use, an HK416 airsoft rifle can be a valuable and modern replica to add to anyone’s collection.
Although there still aren’t a ton of models available for sale, especially compared to the many M4 variants out there, it is still important to find a model that’s worth your time and money and that lives up to the reputation and spirit of its real steel counterpart.
With their realistic designs, excellent internals and capable performance, the airsoft models we’ve listed should go a long way in helping you have as an immersive and exhilarating game as possible.
Will Martin – Will has been into airsoft and paintball for well over 10 years, and has done it all – from upgrading and fixing gearboxes as a tech to building custom airsoft loadouts for his friends to supporting off those friends as a DM.