Words and Pics: AX06 Of Aegis Group
This build kind of started by accident…
Originally, it was based around a 2010 CAG build. Lots of inaccuracies at first, but it was close enough for me. I didn’t base the gun off any pictures at this time. I just tried to use what Unit guys had been seen using and added my own paint job.
About 2 years ago, Burkina Faso happened and it really sparked my interested in the anodized 416s the Unit was using.
This is when I really started the build.
However, I didn’t want to copy a specific picture because I wanted to build a gun that worked for me. That said, I do try to work within a CAG framework – using the same equipment. Interestingly I have found that the way CAG guys have their guns is pretty ergonomic for me.
The base gun is a VFC HK416 CQB, which I actually won in an online contest in September 2013. I had it bone stock up until about a year and a half ago, which is when I started the transformation process. The internals are actually still completely stock.
The first transformational product I purchased was a HAO Geissele SMR replica.
This really made me dive in. From this point on I’ve relied on HAO products to help me recreate the upper.
After the Rail, I bought a HAO Surefire SFCT Flash Hider and HAO S&S Precision Low-Pro mount for the Surefire M600c. I have since replaced the latter with a Geissele Surefire Mount.
Other things that I bought included an LMT pistol grip, a Magpul CTR stock, an Element LA-5, and Socom Gear Lancer L5 AWM mags.
The next step was to get it painted.
Originally, I tried to match the color CAG was using on their HK416Ds using spray paint, but I was never satisfied with the result. It just didn’t look right.
The idea to Cerakote was actually inspired by one of my friend’s guns. I loved how his looked so much that I decided to get mine done. He referred me to a company called LTS Tactical, which is based in Florida. Basically, what I had them do was mix Burnt Bronze and Black to create a custom color known as Dark Burnt Bronze – or DBB (I’m unsure of the ratios used to create the color).
I am really satisfied with how it turned out since it looks like one of the early production HK416s the Unit used.
For the painting process, I broke down my gun into components and sent them to LTS in separate bags; labeled with the colors I wanted on which parts. For the upper and lower receivers and the buffer tube, I had LTS Cerakote them DBB. Everything else (barrel, gas block, charging handle, dust cover, etc.), I had Cerakoted black, which LTS did for no extra cost since they were already using black for the custom color.
All of the trademarks were done by LTS as well. They are all hand-painted onto the receiver.
The total cost of the entire Cerakote exercise, with the trademarks, totalled $155 USD. Only thing left to do was have it shipped back and put it back together.
After paint, I had to update my optic to match the new build, and opted to buy a Hurricane EOtech XPS2-0 replica, which I bought from WGC Shop.
The color was horrid, but overall it was a good optic for the money and lasted me for the 8 months that I owned it.
The gun then sat as it was for about 6 months. This all changed when my friend bought me a Surefire BFA from a surplus store. It was time to finish the build.
At first, I tried to source a company to drill the BFA so I could actually shoot BBs through it, but no one would. About that time, HAO announced its first batch of Surefire cans were going to be for sale; finally. I had to have one, and I begged my wife for a solid month to let me get one (#sad).
Once I got the can, I moved on to upgrading my optic. I had a Crye 330D Low-Vis Carrier (CVC) with cummerbund sitting in my gear room that I had planned to trick out, but knew I wasn’t going to use. I ended up selling it to my friend to finance my next purchase: a tan EOtech XPS2-0. I think maybe the hardest thing to source so far was the EOtech. It’s a discontinued model, so there aren’t a lot of them around.
Next thing to get was a riser.
I wanted, and still want, one of the anodized tan Wilcox risers with the FTS, but I don’t have, nor could I justify, the ~$2300 it would cost to purchase one. I instead bought a black Wilcox riser.
The next step is to find a RAL8000 dust cover.
If I find one for a good price, a tan riser and FTS might happen. I also need to get the correct front BUIS and would also like to source a tan anodized EOtech G33 magnifier.
I have also been in talks with HAO to see if I can get an A5 buffer tube, charging handle, and trigger guard to fit my VFC.
If I could do the VFC build differently, I think I’d get the limited edition VFC anodized receivers. Other than that, I can’t see much more I would change.
Going forwards, I’d like to buy a PTW and put the HAO HK416 A5 kit on it.
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