Following on from my initial blog about Suzutomo’s 416 upper, I received my upper back from Tackleberry fully assembled.
Assembling a PTW upper isn’t rocket science. Even I can do it. However, since I don’t have an HK416 barrel nut wrench, nor a 416 compatible receiver block, I thought I’d go for pro fitting. I did the same with my Eagle Eye 416, which was modded and assembled by Project PTW.
And that’s another reason I went pro. The Eagle Eye upper needed modification to allow Tackleberry Pmags to be used with it. I don’t have a milling machine nor the appropriate skills, so if the Suzutomo 416 upper needed similar attention to fit, it wasn’t going to be me who would be doing it.
Fortunately it needed no such attention – nor did the VFC rail, which the Suzutomo is supplied with. The upper shotguns normally on each of the lowers I mated it with, so additional clearance at the back end of the rail was not required.
The final reason to go pro with the fit was to review the service I received from Tackleberry. This is important to EU Suzutomo customers, because Tackleberry is Suzutomo’s EU partner.
The upper arrived yesterday, via UPS. It was beautifully packaged, as usual. The turnaround time was about three weeks. This is consistent with the vast majority of jobs Tac has completed for me.
As can be expected from Tac, the upper arrived with me in perfect condition. No scratches, scrapes or bodges and I could see the RIS was perfectly timed to the twelve o’clock position.
So, the first thing I looked at was how far the outer barrel extended into receiver. With the barrel nut properly torqued, the hop end of the outer barrel was nice and flush with the receiver’s inner wall – as predicted by my test fit, in Part One. This shows how precise Suzutomo has been with their kit.
Tackleberry had asked me if I wanted stud lock applied to the threaded flash hider sleeve, to prevent it rotating. The sleeve connects the outer barrel to the flash hider. There are no threads on the outer barrel per se.
Into the outer barrel, the sleeve is CW threaded. However, the other end, threaded for the flash hider, is CCW. So, if the sleeve isn’t locked into the outer barrel, it unscrews as you tighten the flash hider.
I can see the benefits of this sleeve, but I’d prefer that the steel barrel itself was threaded. However, the sleeve is stainless steel, not aluminium as I originally thought, which is a good thing. Also, I do agree with the decision to go CCW with the hider thread. Most airsoft hiders are CCW, so this is a logical choice.
I wanted to use a PTS AAC flash hider. It’s fine as it is, but the recessed area at the rear of the hider isn’t of a diameter wide enough to subsume the end of the outer barrel.
I found this RS close up on Google – courtesy of SMGLee. I’m assuming the rear of the hider will need to be cored, to get this look:
And, for reference, here’s how the standard birdcage looks in the RS:
This is exactly how the supplied birdcage looks on the Suzutomo, unsurprisingly, due to the inclusion of an aluminium VFC crush washer between the end of the outer barrel and the hider.
As mentioned earlier, the Suzutomo 416 upper does not require modding in order to accept Tackleberry Pmags. Due to their floating inners, Tac’s Pmag shells are longer and extend higher into the upper. I asked Tac to confirm the fit of his mags and he duly did.
The ramps inside Suzutomo’s upper are of a size and shape which allow the use of Tac’s Pmags. In fact, the Suzutomo’s ramps are consistent with those of Prime.
In the EE, on the other hand, the ramps are much bigger. While they are fine with standard mags (OEM Systema, PTS Pmags) they limit the use of Tac’s Pmags, unless they are removed.
Suzutomo and Prime ramps:
I test fitted the Suzutomo upper with my EE lower. The Suzutomo upper actually fits the EE lower better than the EE upper does. It’s absolutely solid, with no wobble whatsoever. The raised portion of the mag well lines up between upper and lower and there is no gap to be seen where the receiver halves meet.
I suppose this says as much about the accuracy of EE’s lower as it does about Suzutomo’s upper. It’s as if the two were made for each other. It’s also interesting that the colour match between upper and lower is pretty consistent.
Compare the fit between upper and lower with a Prime set. Notice the gap at the rear:
No Prime gap with the Suzutomo/EE combination:
I did try the Suzutomo upper on my Prime Colt lower. For those thinking of going Delta, the fit was OK. However, the raised portion of the mag well is out of line between upper and lower – which, whilst being consistent with the RS, is OCD inflaming.
I’m quite pleased with this apparent match between 416 brands. It means that EE owners who are thinking about going Suzutomo can expect some sort of cross-compatibility.
So, the Suzutomo 416 upper is pretty impressive so far 🙂
However, the upper is heavy. It feels significantly heavier than the EE. I won’t know until I skirmish the Suzutomo how it handles, given the additional weight, so that’s next – some time after Xmas.
Once again, many thanks to Tosh of Suzutomo for including me in the 416 pre-order cohort of customers; and also thanks to Tackleberry for assembling the upper for me.