Airsoft Impressions #3 - TM HK416 Recoil Shock
Updated: Mar 28
I was actually expecting to write about the leaf suit after last time's debate between the VSR and it, however fate just loves to intervene in such plans. I went down today with my VSR, having popped in the sp130 spring once again. I had my new sidearm, the STTI mk23, and I was ready for a day of sniping.
Then I went to the chrono and got 2.36J on the lowest shot, the others being higher towards 2.4J. With the site limit at 2.32J for bolt actions I found myself in a bit of a quandary. Furthermore, the STTI mk23, which I couldn't put my upgrade parts in due to the internals of the mk23 not coming apart, was shooting awfully. Really, it was struggling to hit 30m consistently. I was standing around in my leaf suit wondering what I was going to do.
Fortunately, I brought a backup gun as I always do. My TM HK416 Delta Recoil Shock was also in my rifle bag, along with three midcap PTS magazines, allowing me to hold a total of 390 BBs when I went out into the game area.
I thought to myself that using my leaf suit would mean I would need to hand wash it when I got back, and I really couldn't be bothered with that since I was using a stock TM gun that was well below the 1.1J limit for AEGs. So I ditched it and ran around in a short sleeve t-shirt, as it was sunny and warm enough to do so with all the running around.
With this choice, I was given another. I could try and play how I usually do, which involves a lot of slow, silent movement, firing from concealment, crawling through bushes and the like. Or I could play far more aggressively and take on an assault role. Considering I was in a short sleeved, black t-shirt with bare arms, I opted for the latter. Sneaking around with bare arms can work, but it was also a bit chilly so I wanted to run around. The upside of this was keeping warm, but the downside was that I immediately tore my DPM trousers between the legs, as my body shape makes trousers difficult; the legs are never big enough and end up straining the fabric between the legs whenever anything like crouching or taking a knee is done.
However, my wardrobe issues are not the point of this article. I wanted to write about my TM416. My totally stock TM416, with the only modification being Deans connectors. So, how did it perform?
It was fantastic. With .25g BBs, it was hitting targets accurately at around 40m - 45m, with longer range shots at about 50m. I ran it with a Magpul QD one point sling, attached at the back just below the stock and used a 7.2v 1100mAh lipo battery. As I stated above, I only had three magazines, running them in a double m4 magazine pouch on the left side of my belt kit with nothing else. I ditched the STTI mk23, as there was no point running a sidearm that struggled to hit 30m and it was just getting in the way with the dropleg platform and suppressor causing it to dig into the ground a lot. It was an incredibly lightweight loadout.
However, this allowed me to move around nice and quickly. You see all these players wearing full plate carriers, backpacks, helmets, face masks, belt kits with all the mod cons, however all that gear does slow you down. I found myself able to move around the skirmish areas easily, getting into positions to get good shots on the enemy players with ease and relocating when they realised where I was. As I generally stick to semi-automatic, the comparatively small amount of ammo was no issue for me, though I burned through a lot more BBs than I usually use as a pistol-happy sniper. I ended up with my Odin sidewinder speed loader in a pocket, as I needed to refill my magazines a lot more than I usually do.
In addition, the recoil, while weak, is incredibly fun to shoot with. It's nothing compared to an actual rifle, but the added little kick of the recoil engine is surprisingly satisfying. Also, when the magazine runs dry, the fact that the rifle just stops firing instead of dry firing like other AEGs is a nice indication of running out of ammo. It makes for very quick reloading, as you don't have the delay of thinking your AEG is still firing when it's out, or that you're just having feeding issues. No, if your magazine is running dry, the rifle just stops firing, meaning you have to reload and press the bolt release for it to start firing again. It's definitely a gimmick and probably not worth the price tag, but I love it all the same.
So overall I don't really have anything negative to say about the TM416D. Sure, it's "only" got an effective range of about 40m and a maximum range of around 50m, but for a fairly lightweight, relatively compact and easy to use rifle it doesn't really matter. It's not a sniper rifle or DMR; it's designed to be a close to mid-range AEG. The one time I did put it to full-auto, the rate of fire was fantastic and firing on semi-auto was snappy and responsive. Worth the price tag? You can definitely get an AEG that fires better for less, however in my opinion the TM416D makes up for that with great out of the box performance, needing no modifications or technical know-how, as well as satisfying, but admittedly gimmicky recoil and fun reloading. It's a fun, reliable gun, and a fantastic "oh no, my VSR is shooting too hot and my STTI mk23 is shooting like crap" gun.