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Picking up this Umarex replica is a whole new experience. Not only do you feel the quality of its materials or the strength of its structure, but when you fire this GBB you notice the recoil in the body and even delight in the sound made by the bolt. All of this in addition to the level of similarity with the original model, which isn’t only in the licences (it does have them, and we can see this across the whole replica). We are hugely surprised by it, and it’s not like we haven’t tried other replicas in the office!


Umarex has HK licences and this means we can enjoy the original markings in this Airsoft replica. Also on the whole lower receiver (the Germans must have thought “if there’s room, I’ll put something”), we can see them on the upper receiver, on the bolt, on the magazine and even the stock. With the only “licence” of putting “Cal. 6 mm BB” instead of the calibre of the real firearm, which doesn’t look out of place at all.


The magazine, just like in the real firearm, has a capacity for 20 rounds (6 mm bbs in our case). It is made of translucent polymer which, in the real one, would allow us to see how much ammunition is left (in the 416 or 417 AEG we can see this dummy effect), but we can’t see this in the model. However in order to achieve the same effect, it wouldn’t be hard to find stickers online to put on the inside of the polymer case surrounding the magazine, which we can get into by just removing the base plate.


The HK 417, to make the story simpler, is the 7.62 mm calibre version of the HK 416 (5.56 mm). This is why they look so similar, but the HK 417 has a bigger magwell to accept larger magazines, which in the firearm loads bigger bullets. In this case, the replica weighs 3.7 kg and measures 81 cm, since this is the shorter version of the model, which is more similar to the measurements of the HK 416 (730-805 mm).


By emulating a greater calibre, we also find that the bolt is a “remodelled version” of the 416, and this is also the case for the stock recoil (which, by the way, comes with a metal spring guide and not a plastic one like in the TM MWS, resulting in a drier recoil). In turn, this means that the stock tube is bigger and even though it uses the same system, this gives rise to the 5.56 or M4 replica stocks (and some 7.62 replicas that don’t take this detail of realism into account) not being compatible.


Delta Force (Tier 1 unit of the U.S. Army) collaborated with Heckler & Koch to develop a new assault rifle in the early 90s. The project was originally called "HK M4", but Colt didn’t like this too much and saw fit to sue them for trademark infringement, so the HK416 and HK417 were finally released to the world. But how cool would an HK M4 have been?


The pistol grip of this model is really comfortable if you have big hands, but not so much if you have smaller hands. Since it’s a GBB and doesn’t need to hold any motor, which is similar to the real model, it’s handy having a hollow space inside to store batteries or maintenance tools. Having said that, in the replica the cover doesn’t have an O-ring to allow for greater or better sealing inside. We also find similar spaces on the sides and bottom part of the stock when disassembling the butt pad. And although it seems really useful, we have to be careful to avoid the rattling effect when it bounces around inside while we play.


This replica is 100% CNC metal, not including the pistol grip or stock of course. The handguard is RIS, the HK417 A2 is Keymod (that’s right, we didn’t say MLok because it’s one of those that still resists this trend), numbered on the top part so that it’s easier for us to put our accessories back in the same position. And the level of tolerance is so low that when we try to disassemble it, we’ll need to be really strong at times.


The HK417 was developed for special forces units as a result of the interest in 7.62 mm calibre rifles, stemming from their experience during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq where a greater range and penetration power came in very useful. We might have therefore seen it in films such as:

-Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

-Patriots Day (2016)

-13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

-Captain Phillips (2013)

-Zero Dark Thirty (2012)


Players who tried the first version of the model often complained about the efficiency of the gas and problems with dual feed, something which VFC (which makes this model for Umarex) quickly resolved in the later versions. It now offers us a gas load of between 70 and 90 shots, at an average of 355-375 FPS (at 18ºC and with 0.20g bbs) which can vary, as you know, depending on the temperature of the place and the rate at which you fire. But even still, we assure you that it’s one of the strongest recoils that we’ve tried.


The magazine is an important part, and not just because it represents almost half a kilo of the replica’s total weight. On the top part we will find a handle that we can move to avoid the bolt getting jammed behind when left without ammunition, allowing us to dry fire. This might come in really useful for us if, for example, we want to practise dry firing or if like “rotten” players, we try to confuse players on the opposite side by not letting them see we’ve got no bbs left. Something we don’t recommend is, if you disassemble the magazine you’ll see that there’s a plastic part that limits the capacity of the magazine to 20 bbs and if you remove it, apparently, you’ll increase its capacity, but this also makes the spring pushing the bbs not have the same compression and strength to operate.


The set of the firing mechanism is finally made of steel (thanks VFC!) and if you’ve never had a GBB, you might be surprised that its body is slightly thinner than that of an AEG, and this is because its firing mechanism is very similar to that of a firearm. However, the hop-up adjustment is not as convenient as that of an AEG, talking of which we must tell you that it has a VSR10 type rubber and a 320 mm inner barrel. In terms of the magazine, the loading valve is definitely very similar to that of other M4 type GBB models, however the percussion valve is clearly different.


There’s no doubt about it. The special forces operators, our favourite action films and the players who’ve tried this GBB replica in a game of Airsoft have no doubt about it: the HK 417 is cool. The feeling you get when firing it, the realistic way it looks and operates, and its efficiency means it is an investment worth all the money that it costs.