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Continuing on from the first part in his epic journey towards 416 enlightenment, Tactical Optician Andy Bourne continues…

”The problem of sourcing a good 416 lower plagued me for some time. I’d all but given up on the idea when I saw the Suzutomo Gun Tailoring (SGT) variant. I had previously seen their kit, but dismissed it as too expensive. After speaking to Rich from The Reptile House, I decided to find out if I could get my hands on one.

Tosh from SGT was a dream to deal with. He rapidly briefed me on the various custom options, sent my an invoice, and shipped the lower. Despite knowing the high reputation of SGT parts, I was not prepared for the exquisite beauty & accuracy of the lower when it finally arrived.”

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

”Now the ergonomic evolution could begin. Using the tried & tested arrangement of my previous build, this was not to be the trial & error process of before. I had a working set up that I simply wanted to duplicate, but I was not beyond testing a couple of changes. First on the list was a Magpul AFG2. Now, these are a bit ‘marmite’ and I want to like them. However, they just don’t work as well as a good (and it needs to be good) vertical grip. So back to the Magpul RVG setup.

I didn’t want to source a second S&S Precision mount, mainly due to the hefty price tag, and I had seen Gear Sector’s take on the offset mount. I was lucky enough to spot one second hand for comparatively little, so I snapped it up. There was a hunch that clearance with the larger KM2 IR/white head may be an issue; the S&S mount needs a spacer (which is supplied by Surefire in their KM2 head kit) to give enough clearance. Happily the Gear Sector Offset mount was good to go with no modification. So the KM2 head can be swapped between blasters easily.”

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

”Finally there was a cosmetic problem; it just looked too damn new. The idea of spraying over the gorgeous SGT Cerakote & markings was discarded immediately. Research showed plenty of 416s au naturelle, but they all had a worn & dusty patina characteristic of hard working tools of the trade.”

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”To naturally wear mine, I turned to Halfords Khaki. No prep, no strip down or masking, just a faint dusting of paint from a distance. Allowing the gusting wind to interfere with the pattern was all it took. A rag and some acetone-free nail polish remover wiped over high wear areas completed the effect (acetone can do bad things to plastics, and acetone-free strips paint just as well). Shake & bake weathering, instantly.”

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WE 416 upper
SGT custom 416 lower
FCC TangoDown grip
CQD single point sling mount
Mil spec buffer
Magpul CTR stock
KAC front BUIS*
Aimpoint T1, ADM co witness mount, TangoDown IO cover
Tactical Optician polycarbonate T1 protector, FCC holder
Magpul RVG
PTS AAC flash hider and Mini4 suppressor
Gear Sector Offset mount
Surefire M600 Scout Light
RS EMAGs converted to PTW
Daniel Defense RIS sling mount
LBT 2500BZ two point sling
Halfords Camouflage khaki weathering

*Denotes reproduction kit

Tactical Optician is Andy Bourne, who is an Ophthalmic Optician. Andy provides expert services to members of the Armed Forces, as well as performance athletes and airsofters. Obviously Andy is an airsofter himself, so he fully understands the needs of the demographic…as well as those of actual warfighters.

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