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Tippmann M4 or HK 416c?? HPA

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Hi guys,

 

With limited RIF experience Ive decided to go for it and committed myself to a HPA setup. The only thing left to buy now is the rifle itself! I'm looking for a realistic SBR so I'm torn between a Tippmann M4 or the possibilty of doing a proper conversion to a HK 416c. The TPM4 would fit the bill with a cqb stock and shorter barrell but the 416c already has both but also has lock back...... The Tippmann, also as a company, appear to be reliable and the M4 looks like maintenance is minimal. My issues however with the TPM4 is firstly the lack of lock back. Can you tell when your mag is empty? Has anyone done a successful mod for it? My second query is the recoil as I have not had chance to try one yet but I've read that they recoil forward instead of backwards. Am I worrying about nothing on the latter?

 

The 416c however is another ball game as this has the setup im looking for with the lock back, stock and barrell BUT, have any of you guys ever done a "proper" (not via mag) HPA conversion? Is it even possible? Last but not least, if I go down this route which would you suggest WE or VFC? Thanks in advance guys!

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The Tippmann will win every time against an HPA-converted GBBR when it comes to long-term durability. Especially a stock WE or VFC - you will have hammer issues after a few months of constant play because they're just not made to stand up to the constant use that a lot of users who HPA convert them try to put them through. For HPA-converted GBBRs, not a day goes by where there's not a post on some forum or Facebook about someone rounding off their hammer, ruining their BCG or just having real issues with keeping magazines lubricated. That's not to say it can't be done, but you need to know GBBRs and be prepared to take care of it more than a Tippmann might need.

 

You also have the issue of changing the line over to a new magazine every time you switch (unless you get a custom built hi-cap HPA magazine) and the constant maintenance, cost and additional weight that comes with owning so many GBBR magazines.

 

What's your budget? You've not stated one, so I kinda feel a plug for Daytona Gun might be in order just to be sure that you've explored your options. The Tippmann is great though if you're looking to keep things affordable and fun, and finding spares is fairly easy too. There's also quite a big following even in the UK, and the regulator-less (I got it right this time Sp00n!) design makes it even cheaper than some HPA-tapping mods because you won't need to splash out £80 to £135 for a Redline Firebase or SFR.

 

In short: Buy a Tippmann M4 as it's made for the job. If you really want a functional bolt catch then save up and buy a Daytona Gun kit for a VFC 416.

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Thanks prof! That's a great response. My plan A was the Tippmann as a Daytona gun seemed a financial step too far. Have you had much experience with either?

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I've shot the Tippmann, but I don't own one and it was literally just a 'hey can I have a go?' sort of moment. Like you I was looking at them a lot just over a year ago when I was looking into DG, Tippmann and GBBR HPA tapping. I do own a Daytona M249 - obviously they're a ways apart from the M4 but the engine design is identical in concept (just different in dimensions and the way that the trigger mechanism works).

You have two choices for the 416 for DG: VFC GBBR 416 and the WE GBBR M4 kit (also compatible with the 416 that WE make). They're machined to exacting specifications so aren't compatible with all the 416s out there. They do WA/G&P GBBR M4 kits too though. I'd probably recommend G&P if you're going for the M4/AR option as you can buy more interesting uppers and lowers given how popular the WA Magna-compatible stuff still is today.

Versus the Tippmann the DG does have slightly better blow back in my opinion. It's more immediate - the Tippmann has a strange feel to it that's a little more along the lines of some of the heavy-bolt GBBRs in that it can seem slightly sluggish. Still really quite fun though. Purely in terms of durability the DG also wins out as those things will not die. Seals need replacing maybe once every couple of years (or yearly if you use it a lot) but other than that they're just a block of rather expensive metal that doesn't really wear in the same way that the Tippmann and some GBBRs have done.

TNK Guns will ship the kit to you to fit - there is also an EU retailer selling some of the kits called HPAirsoft. I'd also be happy to fit one if you're really not confident enough in doing it, but ultimately the M4 kits are pretty straight forward to install. You can send it to the states to be done and broken in if you'd like though obviously that costs time and money (but they do an incredibly good job of breaking it in before it even arrives at your doorstep, which is nice). The biggest pain is the break-in and a lot of people cock it up. There's information out there on what to do to get it done properly. The website is being updated to make this more accessible, though really the DG is less plug-and-play than the Tippmann so that's another thing to consider.

I'm actually becoming the official spares dealer for Daytona Gun in Europe so if you do need spare crush rings, buckings etc. then I'll be able to sort those out. Shipping the spares piecemeal from the US was getting very expensive ($35 each time for a $20 spare is silly) so I'll be keeping some on hand here.

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Thanks again pal. At the risk of mythering I have a few more Q's if you don't mind....am I right in thinking that the DG setup would have lock back? How much would it cost to get a DG kit installed (excluding breakin period)? Are DG guns "regulator-less? (Couldn't resist lol)

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The questions are fine - DG isn't well documented at all really. We're working on fixing that, but yeh.

 

The WA/G&P is the only one with a functional bolt catch. AFAIK, fitting for the WA/G&P M4 is $200. Honestly getting the M4s done by TNK Guns is a good idea though as they do require some degree of tooling.

 

It needs a regulator and a big air tank. You're looking at maybe £250-300 for the air line, regulator and tank alone if you want a decent 4500psi tank and a single QD regulator with a wide bore on an SFR. Works out slightly cheaper if you were to send the M4 off though or buy one in the US and get it shipped to TNK Guns before they send it to you as the regulators are a bit cheaper there than here (also they come with the wide bore hose) and they can bundle it in. Still, only a small consolation when we're talking about this much money.

 

I think LordGeorge on here fitted his own kit. I've got a terrible memory but I think it was a 416. He could probably tell you how hard it was to do.

 

(This is the old fitting tutorial - links may take a while to load)

https://web.archive.org/web/20150226051753/http://tnkguns.com/img/airsoft/m4doc1.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20150226051835/http://tnkguns.com/img/airsoft/m4doc2.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20150226051843/http://tnkguns.com/img/airsoft/m4doc3.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20150226051954/http://tnkguns.com/img/airsoft/m4doc4.pdf

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Yet again thanks for the response. The saying "in for a penny in for a pound" springs to mind and putting a good engine in a cheap car doesn't seem right. Add in the install and shipping costs and the DG option starts to get a bit silly for me. My intention as an engineer was to enjoy the "pimping" process as much as the pew pew time so that wouldn't be realistic option if I had already spent that money on the DG set up. Thanks for the advice. A Tippmann it is then.

 

Just thinking.....im trying to find out what parts on a Tippmann are RS compatible as my "eye candy" list of parts is growing and I like the idea/quality of RS parts. As most of the pieces I'm seeing are on US sites do you know of the top of your head any UK sites that sell RS bits? Your previous mention of shipping costs makes me wonder if this might be an avenue for you....? Just an idea.

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Sounds like the more reasonable idea. If you're an engineer then you would easily be able to fit it yourself though - they're not hard to do, but do take TNK Guns at least 4 hours each. Considering their real steel gunsmithing clocks in at $75 per hour, they make a loss on every kit installation really so you can see why they charge so much.

 

Frankly, companies like Madbull make good licensed replicas of most of the popular rail systems - for example. These can come in at a fraction of the cost of the real thing and are obviously a lot easier to get. https://www.davescustomairsoft.co.uk/ is good for real steel stuff sometimes though. I don't buy much of the real stuff because I don't see the value for the fractions of an ounce that are shaved off the weight due to the more expensive materials. I wouldn't go too ham on getting externals down though until the internals are what you want. I know this is obvious, but the more time you spend looking (and I'm sure you've spent plenty already) the more likely you'll be to make the right choice down the line.

 

The Tippmann is compatible with some real steel stuff: The buffer tube is AR civilian spec (milspec stocks will rattle a little) and the receiver threading for a rail is AEG-spec (so you'd need the rethread for milspec, which may not end too well as the receivers are made from cheap alloy). Again though, licensed AEG-spec rails look nearly identical to the real thing, so this is an area that I think need serious consideration.

 

Problem with importing a lot of US RS parts is not only VAT, but also their own export laws restricting sales to most countries. You have to have the proper paperwork and connections to buy a lot of the good brands at wholesale prices. Daytona spares are sold at cost, so I only do it as a service to my fellow DGers in the EU and UK. I really think it should be more popular than it is, but to an extent TNK Guns don't actually want it to be. They really only want GBB/HPA enthusiasts buying it because they don't have the infrastructure to deal with people buying them who don't have a baseline of technical know-how to maintain them properly. Their target market isn't the new user or the masses who've flocked to the HPA electric solenoid engines (Polarstar, Wolvering etc.) or those looking for a quicker and more affordable solution like Tippmann provides. This isn't to say you can't get into it as someone who's new to the platform (my DG was my first HPA gun), but it's small market despite being around since 2011 so that's why I wanted to make getting some more common spares a little easier for us.

 

I would say that TNK Guns will fit RS parts for you if you send it all to them during the build process. Not sure how much they charge, but one would hope the rate is lower than their actual gunsmithing.

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Wise words. I think I'll stick with the Tippmann for now..... Need to start turning my wish list into a will list. Happy hunting!

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