I don't think it will be too crazy. Hk won't be getting these to market till late, which means the Masada will be out, and maybe the SCAR. HK will be the best option for a piston upper, but it is still just a modified AR system.
HK missed their big chance by not doing it sooner. But, in terms of AR options, they are by far better than everything else. POF will be history. I am getting even more reports of POFs failing and breaking. LMT is coming out with their version, but I don't know if they changed the bolt setup in terms of dwell time like hK did. What hurts these other companies is that they are simply adding a piston but keeping the basic bolt setup.
think about it, $2000 for an upper receiver!!! unbelievable! like i said in another post, this whole piston thing is trend started manufactures telling horror stories about what would happen if you didnt have them, then want to charge you 100X what they cost to build or modify existing models
The Gen 2 uppers are taken off of dealer samples. The going price before yesterday was $3500, while some have tried to sell them for more. 3500 was the sweet spot. I sold mine in 20 minutes at that price.
Now, they may have a hard time unless someone has to have one right now.
The first set to hit the market came from a certain dealer, who reportedly got it from someone in the US military who used his own money to buy them from HK, but bypassed the customs requirements. He sold em all to this dealer, who sold them for about $2300 an upper. These were GEN 1 uppers. HK got pissed and threatened to turn in the owners to the BATF if they were not returned. They would only refund the $1200 value. All the owners I know told them to suck an egg, and the deal was soon forgotten. This is how I got my upper. I recenty sold it for $3500 to buy guns and ammo.
Then later, HK sold dealer samples, I think it was limited to 2-3 per dealer. The dealers would sell the upper for $4500 and sell or donate the lower to the local LEO. These were GEN 2 and included the HK buttstock, which is nothing special.
I think the 416 is worth the extra money, prices will settle down once the HK416 and HK417 are widely available.
This is copied and pasted from another forum...Im NOT the author!
The author Mr Kurz, a weapons engineer for Heckler & Koch who was with the project from the inception.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No pissing match req'd. The HK416 has the goods and others don't. Here it is again. This is all fact and supported by various US user tests. As for OTB function, ONLY HK has demonstrated that in an AR15-style weapon and it is more than just holes in the buffer tube for water drainage. I have seen video of a test where the HK416 fired more than 30 rounds from under the water and remained 100% functional afterwards. Two OTB tests, both bolt open and then closed and bolt closed before dropped below water level. 2-3 times the normal chanber pressure. This version of the HK416 is fielded also. No one else can claim that. The HK was also the first with the firing pin block. Lots of folks have copied the HK416, many continue to. The HKD booth at the SHOT Show in 2004 where the gun was first shown as the "HKM4" was so full of competitors the real customers could hardly get to the guns! Their booths were all vacant! Shame HK never built the gun for the civilians like was originally planned. The steel HK uses BTW is actually French steel. Say it ain't so but it is. A special barrel steel made just for HK from a company close to the German border. A recent US user test had the HK still shooting knot holes after 20K rounds while the well known competitor was washed out before 6K. This has happened many times. I have seen many potential horror stories with HK barrels surviving all kinds of nightmare (and multiple, up to 8 projectiles in an MP5SD!) bore obstructions and no injuries or material left the barrel. I would put HK barrels up against anyone elses for durability and safety, bar none.
Enough from me. Enjoy the gospel! (actually it is from me but....)
Why the HK416 is the Best 5.56mm Carbine in the World
This is all fact and not conjecture or opinion. I was the U.S. PM and developer at HK for the HKM4 (the early HK416 project name) and HK416 development from Day 1 thru May 2006. I assigned Larry Vickers and later Tom Kivlehan the temporary duties of HK416 PM while they were with HK. I sat alone with Ernst Mauch, Managing Director at HK in Germany when the first idea of starting a “Mid-Life Improvement Program” for the US M16/M4 was envisioned by Ernst in 2001, this coming on the heels of the very successful SA80A2 Mid-Life Improvement Program conducted for the Brits. While many at H&K were involved with SA80A2 and HKM4/HK416 efforts and contributed to their eventual success, Ernst was the one who got these two programs started and fed each to successful completion and user fielding. He is the true and only “father” of HK416. This being said it is not just one person but a team of dedicated and capable men and women who made HK416 and other great weapons happen.
HK first created and briefed the concept of an improved M4 as far back as 2001. The choice of the gas system was a no brainer based on the success of other piston operated weapons, like the HK G36. The first HKM4’s were US M4A1 carbines loaned to HK which then had the first versions of the HK piston rod gas system installed in “Uncle Sam’s COLT’s” (not to be confused with Samuel Colt). The joint industry and user development of the HKM4, and then HK416, is considered by those in the know as they most successful rifle development program of its kind in recent history.
HK approached the user unit/our US Government partner on this effort with the idea for HKM4 after most every other US Government ordnance organization passed on it. After a legal review of the concept was conducted from the user side the program began basically on a hand shake and later a No Cost (0 dollar) contract for the development. HK developed the HKM4 for free in exchange for user involvement and prototype testing. In the end the users received a vastly improved 21st century AR-based rifle in less than 2 years from start to finish, including time wasted with the Colt law suit against the HKM4, with not a single US Government R&D dollar spent!
Those who know the current elite users of the HK416 will realize why they selected the HK416 over ALL other carbines available, to include the M4’s they replaced with the HK416, and that these organizations only buy and use the very best available. They selected the HK416 after detailed comparative testing against other weapons, to include in some cases the M4A1 and even SCAR L.
What makes the HK416 better than most if not all other M4-style weapons? You can decide for yourself based on the list of proven capabilities provided below. All these statements are documented in actual testing. Can your M4-style weapon approach this degree of performance? Does it have these features? Since the debut of the HKM4 at the 2004 SHOT Show, the concept of the piston operated M4-style weapon has been included in a rash of more than 12 (to date) similar AR-based weapons. While not the first company to offer a “pusher rod” M4-style weapon, NO ONE but H&K can yet claim the success of a piston operated M4-style weapon in the elite user community that the HK416 has achieved in a very short period of time.
HK416 Advantages – Upper Receiver
●Piston Rod Gas System
*70% less fouling and cleaning time (< 4 minutes for an HK416, > 12 for an M4)
An almost total lack of carbon fouling is present within the weapon during even extended operation. 95% of all carbon fouling, debris and heat leaves the muzzle of the HK416 upon firing.
*Little or no heat transfer to the bolt parts which results in 3-4 times increased service parts life and little to no requirement to reapply lubricant
*Ability to fire the weapon w/o lubricant. A lack of lubricant attracts less sand and grit in harsh environments thus improving reliability.
*Weapon operation not effected by the presence of water in the gas system
*User removable without tools
*Same gas system components and gas port location for all barrel lengths (10.4-20”)
●Cold Hammer Forged Barrel with Unique HK Tapered Bore Profile
*Long Barrel Service Life with less than 5% loss in muzzle velocity and accuracy in more than 20K rounds fired!
*Easily resists damage and/or reduces operator injury from an obstructed bore firing in the event of an obstructed bore (100% obstructed) occurrence (lodged projectile, water, mud, etc.) or excessive firing rates over 500-700 rounds (melt down)
*Bore and chamber chrome plated for improved corrosion resistance and reduced wear
10.4" barreled HK416's regularly out shoot 14.5" barreled M4's for accuracy - some HK416’s with 10.4” barrels shoot @ 1 MOA with match ammo! A randomly selected HK416 with 10.4” barrel from a production lot of more than 300 guns fired multiple 1 inch groups at 100 meters from a rest with match ammo (IMI 55 grain BTHP) during USG acceptance testing.
●Increased Parts Service Life
*HK416’s selected at random in USG testing have fired 15K rounds and more without a single stoppage or parts failure. In fact one gun was then tested to 30K rounds with no parts failures or stoppages recorded. M4 parts and barrel are expected to last only 6000 rounds or less as per the Army’s MIL SPEC for the weapon. (These relatively low numbers are accurate as per numerous reports from M4 users and armorers).
*ALL HK416 parts are guaranteed for a minimum of 15K rounds.
*Increased service life helps eliminate failures in combat, time and costs for repeated parts replacement and weapon repair.
*HK416’s have fired 30K rounds in testing without the replacement of a single part whereas an M4 to reach that round count will have replaced barrels and bolts at least 2 – 4 times, as well as various small parts (extractors, extractor springs).
*HK416’s have fired more than 20K rounds without stoppages or parts failures, with NO cleaning or lubrication applied during those 20K rounds
●Bolt Carrier “Bell” Design for increased function and reliability
*Does not require extractor removal for cleaning
*Has support lug on extractor (and barrel extension) to limit excess compression of extractor spring
*Bolt head supports the cartridge case head
*No gas rings required
●One-piece Piston Rod “Carrier Key”
*Improved reliability and component service life
●Firing Pin Safety
*Prevents slam or drop fires and primer indents during chambering
●Higher Cook Off Rate (> 250 rounds versus < 210 for an M4)
●Free-floating User Removable 4-Quadrant Rail System
*100% return-to-zero/bore sight retention
*Allows user attachment w/o tools of US Army/HK 40x46 mm XM320 Grenade Launcher Module (GLM)
●Barrel Exchange by Armorer in less than 4 minutes
*Headspace automatically fixed with install
●Flared Magazine Well
*Assists in the ease and speed of reloading
●Improved HK-style Buffer Retainer
*Improved buffer retention for increased reliability
●HK Tungsten Granulate Buffer and Buffer Spring
*Improves feeding and locking reliability and reduces bolt “bounce back” to eliminate “light strikes”. One HK buffer and buffer spring is delivered with every HK416 and HK416 upper receiver.
●Improved HK High-Reliability Steel Magazine – up to 30% improvement in feed reliability over that with the standard aluminum USGI magazine. One HK magazine is delivered with every HK416 and HK416 upper receiver.
HK416 Advantages – Miscellaneous
●Special Order “Over the Beach” (OTB) Variant/Capability
*Allows the HK416 to be safely fired and reliably, if need be, from the surf with it completely full of water. This can be done repeatedly without ill effect to the shooter or weapon (an M4 blows the top of the receiver off).
●Unique HK Safety Blank Firing Adapter
*Will “catch” up to 3 live projectiles if accidentally mixed with blank ammunition during blank firing training
The HK416 price includes a user removable free floating rail system with insured/proven return-to-zero, HK buffer and spring, sling, manual and 30-rd steel "high-reliability" magazine – US DoD cost $1425 (qty of one). Current 2007 US DoD pricing for the US M4 with non-free floating rail system and USGI magazine is $1300 (qty of 400K).
●System Lifecycle Cost
The M4 is a good gun and has served and continues to serve its users well. The HK416 is simply better, packed with the many features and capabilities described above and thus it does cost slightly more. If you have not experienced an HK416 for yourself you simply don't have it as a high water mark point of reference (a horse drawn carriage looks fine until you experience your first model T!)
The US military price, from the large quantity (10K+) US Government contract for an M4 w/o rail system is/was @ $967. A KAC free-floating rail is $200-$400 and requires armorer installation and barrel removal to mount it. So that’s @ $1200-$1400 for a comparably equipped M4 with free-floating rail system.
An HK416 with rail system costs @ $1425. More money yes but A LOT more gun. Why do you think the M4's maker is improving (new op rod gas system, rail system, etc.) the M4 now (Colt’s “M5”) after so many years?
If you add up the cost and time to replace M4 bolt heads, extractors and springs and barrels to get to the service life of the HK416 parts (>20K rounds) you've already easily covered any price difference between the two weapons AND with the HK416 you have superior weapon performance and operator safety for the entire life cycle of the system.
That means a whole lot to the current users who are the most elite of the elite. They can also use the shorter 10” barreled HK416 in places where the 14.5” barreled M4 is simply too long, like from vehicles, and still not lose accuracy down range.
You can also get all these upgrades, except the flared mag well and HK buffer retainer, by simply adding a drop-on HK416 upper receiver "upgrade" kit to an M16 or M4 lower for just over $1000. Oh, and don’t forget the 7.62x51mm HK417. You can’t get that from the M4’s maker, and there is a 6.8mm SPC HK416 available as well.
The Following was Copied & Pasted exactly as it is printed in a recent US Govt (Air Force) procurement:
For Official Use Only
OTHER THAN FULL AND OPEN COMPETITION
IAW FAR 6.303
1. REQUIRING AGENCY – 1st BN, 1st SFG (A), APO AP 96376 (HSC 1-1 SFG (A))
2. NATURE/DESCRIPTION OF ACTION BEING APPROVED
Purchase of HK416 barrels and sights for the U.S. Army.
3. DESCRIPTION OF SUPPLIES REQUIRED TO MEET THE AGENCY’S NEEDS
Agency requires 84 Each HK416 10” barrel Upper Receiver Kits (5.56mm), 84 Each Diopter rear sights (HK416 10” barrel), 84 Each folding front sights (HK416, barrel mount), 10 Each HK sight adjustment tool (diopter sights), 10 Each Spare 10” HK416 barrels, and 1 Each HK416 Multitool (with headspace gauges).
4. IDENTIFICATION OF STATUTORY AUTHORITY PERMITTING OTHER THAN FULL AND OPEN COMPETITION – 10 U.S.C. 2304(C)(1) or 41 U.S.C. 253(C)(1)
5. DEMONSTRATION THAT THE PROPOSED CONTRACTOR’S UNIQUE QUALIFICATIONS OR THE NATURE OF THE ACQUISITION REQUIRES USE OF THE AUTHORITY CITED:
Currently Heckler & Koch Defense, Inc. (H&K) is the only company that can meet the Government’s needs. H&K is the only company that manufactures the 416 Upper Receiver Kit. The 416 Upper Receiver Kit is an upper receiver replacement that allows soldiers to replace the existing M4 upper receiver with an HK proprietary gas system that does not introduce propellant gases and the associated carbon fouling back into the weapon’s interior. This reduces operator cleaning time, and increases the reliability of the M4 Carbine, particularly in an environment in which sand and dust are prevalent. The elimination of the gas tube currently used in the M4 Carbine means that the M4 will function normally even if the weapon is fired full of water without first being drained. There isn’t another company that offers these features in their products. It is a practical, versatile system.
6. DESCRIPTION OF EFFORTS MADE TO ENSURE THAT OFFERS ARE SOLICITED FROM AS MANY POTENTIAL SOURCES AS PRACTICABLE:
The requirement will be posted on FBO to determine if any other companies may offer similar products that could be evaluated for future use.
7. DETERMINATION BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE ANTICIPATED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE FAIR AND REASONABLE:
The Government estimate is based on a quote provided by the vendor. The vendor quoted prices is based on the sales to several special operation units that already use these items. The costs listed above reflect the military/Department of Defense discounted rate.
8. A DESCRIPTION OF MARKET RESEARCH CONDUCTED AND THE RESULTS:
Members of Charlie Company are constantly researching new equipment that will facilitate their mission. Lethal equipment of all types is of particular inteerest for the unit, so research for ways to reliably enhance this capability is always ongoing. The HK 416 Kit is unique and Heckler & Koch is the only company that manufactures compatible components. USASOC (A) currently uses these systems.
For Official Use Only
For Official Use Only
9. ANY OTHER FACT SUPPORTING THE USE OF OTHER THAN FULL AND OPEN COMPETITION:
Due to the specialized nature of the products required, through the conducting of extensive and ongoing market research by the customer, it has been determined that Heckler & Koch Defense, Inc. is the only company that can meet the Government’s needs.
10. A LIST OF SOURCES THAT EXPRESSED IN WRITING AN INTEREST IN THE ACQUISITION:
Heckler & Koch is the only source that has expressed interest at this time.
11. ACTIONS TO REMOVE OR OVERCOME ANY BARRIERS TO COMPETITION BEFORE ANY SUBSEQUENT ACQUISITIONS:
For any future requirements of this type we will once again post it to try to get as many sources as possible to bid on our requirement. Also, we will request or equals and will consider any substitute item submitted to us. If it is possible to obtain another item that meets our customer’s needs at a better value to the government we will accept that item.
I certify that the facts contained in this justification are complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge.
MICHAIL J. WALKER, A1C, USAF
It may come as news to some here, but the gas-piston AR type weapon is nothing new. All H&K has done is taken a proven gas-piston design developed in the late-1960's and refined it with their known detailed engineering. The sad part is it's taken the US Army almost 40 years to get it's head out of a hole and move forward with the gas-piston driven upper for AR type small arms, when the almost exact "fix" was offered as a solution way back in the late-1960's.
H&K actually followed exact US Army requirements in producing the 416, these requirements were established from feed back gathered from field use of the M16 & M4 in Iraq and Afghanistan. The feed back was published in a Army Material Command Report and has lead to several improvements of other fielded weapons and the deveopement of a new .45ACP pistol. I have a copy of the AMC report is someone cares to host it.
H&K makes fine products( I own many) but unfortunately outside of the Govt & LE markets their customer service is poor to say the least.
I agree I seen future weapons, and they showed how the H&K 416 fired with sand and water in it. I was impressed, and I want a upper or the complete rifle. The think is I dont want it bad enough to spend 3000 to 4000 for a upper.