Fresh out of the box with a new review! Today we are looking at a repro-of-a-repro. This is a replica of the 416 made by E&C (East Crane). E&C is the sister company of E&L, who in turn are in direct connection to real sword. This makes the quality for the price point value fantastic for the players who want a “jack of all trades, master of none” AEG AR platform.
The H&K 416 has had its presence in popular mainstream media for a long time now since it’s presence appeared back in 2004, fast forward 14 years and it is now a stapled rifle for special operations forces and becoming standard issue for some militaries. The 416 is the modern M4 with better durability, modularity, but it’s still basically an M4 so to speak. The rugged look and heavyweight feel compounded its unique free-floating quad-rail stand out, but what really makes this an “H&K” is the open front sight and drum rear sight taken from the G3 and Mp5.
I purchased this E&C rifle for $400 plus tax, shipping was free (hooray for Canada post free shipping over $300). The Gun came in a very plain brown box, with the Company manufacture label front and centre and the FPS legality for Canada in the bottom left corner (great for importation reasons).
Inside the box, you have a well bedded rife in soft foam from tip-to-toe and top-to-bottom; A manual, single Traded 300rnd high-cap magazine and a winding tool. The only downside for me when the rifle came in was the forward-assist was already broken, but I simply swapped it out for a spare I had in-house.
I was pleasantly surprised how detailed the manual was which included a history portion of the rifle! The layout was well made in English and Chinese, and totalling at 21 pages.
No matter how you dress it up, it’s still a 416 and this replica screams it! Now in contrast to the VFC Model (M27 IAR) I owned in the past. Apart from the materials used to make this rifle, the aesthetics are practically identical. The E&C markings are accurate from left to right, the top rail being numbered and even the stock (a nice added touch).
The only manufacturing trades Cleary displayed on the gun are on the bottom of the trigger guard.
The overall ascetics of the rifle are well done, the rear drum-sight is numbered. The sights are well made and the rear drum moves easily and “clicks” nicely when alternating between apertures. Underneath the free floating rail you have a fake gas piston system too, generally a rare thing for Chinese clones (at least in the quality department), but this comes as a nice surprise to me. There are no markings however on the barrel. The upper and lower feature locking pins and the receiver fits together nicely, however, there is a bit of play between them. The dust cover opens and closes shut nicely. To open the breach, use the charging handle and cock the fake bolt back locking it in the rear position exposing the hop-up; it can be released using the paddle on the left side of the rifle.
The pistol grip and buttstock are both made of an ABS-polymer mix, the butt-stock has a proper rubber butt too. The stock has a 6 position tube WITH number markings up to 5 extended positions from the closed position. The stock is stiff to move and does NOT wobbly in the slightest. The stock moves easily and has a very positive “click” when it locks into place. On the other hand, you have storage space in the stock either for your battery to power the gun, or you can put a small Lipo-battery in the stock tube itself. You’ll have to mind the space in the stock, however, mainly because it is limited. On a side note if you need a watertight space for your accessory batteries (AAA, AA, or CR123) the left or right sides provide adequate space for them.
The magazine that comes with the gun is a 300rnd high-cap and features a built-in winding wheel with a key to fully wind the magazine. This will allow the magazine to feed ALL 300rnds with one wind, a big plus over conventional High-caps. The magazine features engravings as well on the left and bottom. It’s a decent quality magazine but I don’t plan to use this anytime soon as I prefer mid-caps instead. On a side note, PMAGS are NOT compatible with the 416 unless you modify the lip to accept the extended mag-well.
The external finish on the gun is a decent matt black, it has a slight shine to it but nothing over the top. The trade marks and functional pieces add that much more to the repro, and I am quite fond of them!
the E&C 416 contains a standard V2 with a unique quick change system. The performance out of the box is nothing spectacular, but the fps and airflow are consistent (fps around 380-382-385). I was hoping 30g bbs and getting them out to 250ish feet with ease to my surprise. The accuracy is what you’d expect of Chinese clone and groupings were good. When got home I cracked this sucker open to having a look to see what was under the hood.
The gearbox motor and the hop-up system is standard across the board (easy for upgrading). The motor is not very strong but does the job and cycles the gearbox well, it’s a standard 1800 toque. On a plus, the gun came standard with silver core wiring, and ball bearing bushings. The cylinder is a very smooth brass with a quality fit and finish. All the gearbox screws are star type, and the gearbox shell is made out of the same material g&p uses (I believe). The external finish is sleek, smooth and has E&C engraved on the right side of the gearbox, a nice added touch.
To the rear of the gearbox, you have an easy quick change spring system with a solid one-piece spring guide made out of steal. the only downside to the spring guide is no ball bearings on the guide to allow the spring to rotate, but this is a minor detail. This can become and issue if you run extremely high ROF (Rate of Fire) as the spring can bind up.
Internally you have a very standard V2 gearbox. the gears are of a higher standard in contrast to A&K, CYMA or JG, very little use but enough to keep the gun running, and in the right places. The Blue plastic is stiff with some flex too it. The nozzle has no o-ring on the inside but fits tightly on the end of the cylinder head. the Piston head is ported and gets a very positive air-seel in the cylinder. the teeth are plastic with a single seal tooth in the front there was very little wear and tear on it considering I ran the gun hard on the field.
The price tag reflects well for this replica, not to cheep, not too expensive. The externals are nothing short of good quality and nice attention to detail. Internally this gun is good quality and 99.9% compatible with the acceptation of the spring guide. For a $400 AEG, this is a good bang for your buck! Ultimately I’m very happy with this AEG and look forward to upgrading the internal components along with the addition of a grenade launcher. If you are considering an intermediate repro-will the looks and a good quality take a looks at E&C’s!!
If you want to get your hands on this E&C brand yourself you can buy E&C from Airsoftdepot.ca!
– Schoolboy out