As I get a few searches per day on my blog about WE GBBR’s I’d thought I’d do a small review on my latest GBBR, a WE HK 416 – Open Chamber (Open Bolt).
I’ve own a few GBBR rifles, all from WE (Wetti) and I’ve put some descent amount of time in to every one of the and also my friends GBBR’s so I think I know a little about how they work and what the major issues were with the Closed Bolt version.
To start with the overall finnish is as good on any WE gun. The metal feels nice, not that cheap China pot metal that you see on many AEG’s especially on the clones.
In the box you get the rifle itself, a gas magazine, AR15 tool (plus allen keys), loading rod and a barrel cleaner. I also bought a RA-Tech NPAS, Co2 magazines and a 9 inch 6.01 precision barrel from RA-Tech. The Co2 magazines were “Gen 1″ meaning that they only work with the Closed Bolt version so I had to buy feeding lips and convert it to work with the Open Chamber rifle. The magazine “upgrade” is really simple and takes only a few minutes per magazine. One thing that ticked me off is that they still use the manual for the CB rifle, why? Did get a separate paper on the parts for the Open Chamber conversion kit – could get even more confusing for the noob…
Compared to my older CB-rifle the feel is about the same though the OC version has a louder bang and this would be because the bolt carrier construction is different from the CB. The CB version has an “open” construction at the back where a screw sits so you can remove the guide rod, the newer version does not have this and is a solid piece of metal.
Bolt & Bolt Carrier
The bolt carrier has much smarter construction and looks more like a real AR15 bolt carrier and so far it out performs the CB version. I had some real issues with what kind of pellets that I used with the CB but this one doesn’t seem to care that much. Why? You don’t really have any moving parts that can “miss” the pellet and cut it in half jamming it in the hop-up chamber or down the barrel – some people had really big issues with this on the CB-rifle if you didn’t modify it.
NPAS upgrade was a little trickier that with the CB version because it sits inside the bolt itself. First you pull out the bolt carrier out of the upper receiver and unscrew part 33 and turn this the wrong way. Under it you’ll find a plastic part with a screw, remove this one to be able to get to the bolt. There’s also a plastic part on the left side of the bolt carrier, remove this one too. The two parts you just removed keeps the bolt centered inside the bolt carrier. Now you’ll be able to pull out the bolt but it’s still attached to a spring. To remove this there’s a small pin in the middle of the bolt, remove it and you’ll be able to pull the bolt apart and out of the bolt carrier. You’ll now find the stock nozzle inside the bolt attached to a spring, remove this one and replace it with your NPAS (don’t forget the spring). Once you’ve done that put the rear part of the bolt inside the carrier again and make sure the spring is inside and the loop is facing the pin-hole so you can reattach it. Put the front part into the bolt carrier like it was when you removed it and put the pin back in and you’re good to go!
The hop-up construction is the second biggest change from the CB to the Open Chamber rifle. First, you don’t have the brass tube anymore (hence the Open Chamber name) so it looks more like the real deal. The hop-up construction itself is also more like a airsoft-sniper-rifle construction where you remove one screw and the hop-up comes a part (like the VSR-rifles) making the upgrading a lot easier and faster. The whole thing about how the hop-up works is much better than before. One downside with the new hop-up is that you have to adjust it with an allen key inside the upper receiver, this does make the shoots more consistent. In the long-term I think you’ll have to put some Loctite to it or it’ll unscrew itself… I’ll just have to wait and see.
The performance is way better than the CB version even with Stinger Hop-up installed!
Video from some guy on YouTube showing the WE HK 416 Open Chamber in action. Note that he’s got the one with markings. The “standard” WE 416 Open Chamber comes with out markings (the fire selector is always marked with safe-semi-auto).
I would recommend this rifle to anyone who wants some more feel and reality in their rifle. Perfect for training, “crossover-airsoft-traning” for an instance. The newer versions of the GBBRs from WE are better than the previous versions in durability and construction. I recommend that you buy Co2 magazines instead of gas magazines as it will give you a more realistic feel and a better performance in cold weather.
Down side, you still need to give these GBBRs some love. It’s not like your standard AEG where you just charge the battery and you’re good to go. You need to buy Gas or Co2 cartridges. You need to maintain it (pref after every use) so it won’t fail on you. Magazines… They still leak and can be a pain in the butt to fix – If you have problems with your Co2 magazines I’ve made a guide how to fix it, you’ll find it here.
Besides all of this it’s a great gun and much more fun than your standard AEG. Buy one!