Words and Pics: Alex Dai


Getting a fresh new look for my HAO HK416D PTW was my year-end project of 2019 – ready for the decade to come.

Tastes change, ergonomics change, and new products come to market which can be blended with the time honoured favourites that experience shows work for me.

Also, after outfitting my GBLS DAS HRT rifle, I rediscovered the joy of the PTW. You can read my take on PTW vs. GBLS at the end of this article.

The Build

As I’ve lost interest in military-inspired 416s for now, building a 416D PTW that looks modern and ergonomic became my priority.

But why not just get a HAO HK416A5?

The main reason is that building a new 416 PTW is expensive. Besides that, I still prefer the iconic profile of the 416D’s lower receiver – with its extended mag well.


Even though I still love that boxy HK quad rail, it did make the rifle look dated.

To build a more streamlined looking 416, HAO’s HK SMR was a no brainer for me. It’s a near perfect 1:1 replica and the build quality is top-notch, just like the company’s 416D V2 conversion kit.

This handguard not only changes the entire look of the 416, but also improves the way the rifle handles.


An ergonomic pistol grip is of great significance to me for any rifle build. The Magpul MOE K2 is my favourite without a doubt. That steeper angle makes it more comfortable than any other grip when in use.

I’d always thought the K2 was impossible to fit to an AEG, because of the motor angle. That’s why I was thrilled when I read Rich’s article about his Tackleberried Magpul MOE K2 grip for PTW.

And I really can’t thank my friend Bou Yan enough for modding this K2 grip for me.

Pistol Brace

The SBA4 is the newest version of SB Tactical’s AR-15 pistol stabilizing brace that is based on their popular SBM4 brace.

I chose this brace simply because it looks right on my 416. The thick profile of the brace somehow makes the 416 look more balanced and less front heavy. Also, the SBA4 delivers enhanced cheek weld ergonomics and increased stability.

Not only the new rail, pistol grip and brace but also other accessories revitalized the venerable HK416D.

Light Mount and Indexer

I highly recommend the Arisaka Offset Scout Mount and Indexer for Geissele HK SMR. They both attach directly to the threaded inserts on the SMR, eliminating additional Picatinny rails and mounts. And the Indexer is a very low profile, minimal control accessory; which exactly meets my current preference for forward hand control products.

Optic Mount

If you’ve read my article on the GBLS DAS FBI rifle, you’ll know how I love high optic mounts; specifically the Unity Tactical FAST series. And one bonus feature of this FAST riser is that a Flip-Up Offset BUIS module can be added on the side.

This feature will provide fast-transition BUIS capability to the riser. Unfortunately, the BUIS module is not available for purchase yet.


The release of the HK style PTW mag was definitely a big surprise recently. It was Licensed by H&K (Umarex) and manufactured by Alpha Parts Airsoft.

The translucent bluish-green polymer case looks authentic and feels solid. More importantly, it feeds perfectly with my HK416D PTW

Parts List

  • HAO 416D V2 Conversion Kit for PTW
  • HAO G style SMR handguard (10.5”)
  • HAO Advanced PTW Cylinder
  • HAO Maritime Bolt Catch for PTW
  • SYSTEMA Hop-Up Chamber Set
  • Orga 6.10mm Inner Barrel for PTW (264mm)
  • Orga Flat Hop for PTW
  • Alpha H&K Licensed PTW 120Rds Polymer Magazine
  • Angry Gun SF SOCOM 556 Muzzle Brake
  • RS Magpul MOE-K2 Pistol Grip
  • RS Magpul Enhanced AR Magazine Release
  • RS SB Tactical SBA4 Stabilizing Brace
  • RS Radian Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle
  • RS Radian Ultralight QD Endplate
  • RS Arisaka Defense Offset Scout Mount (for Geissele HK SMR)
  • RS Arisaka Defense Indexer (for Geissele 416 SMR)
  • RS SureFire M600DF Scout Light
  • RS Cloud Defensive LCS
  • RS Surefire ST07 Tape Switch
  • RS EOTech EXPS3-0
  • RS Aimpoint 3X-C Magnifier
  • RS Unity Tactical FAST Riser
  • RS Unity Tactical FAST FTC Magnifier Mount

Systema PTW Versus GBLS DAS – An Owner’s View

People often ask me if a GBLS DAS is better than a PTW, because I own both and have used them for some time.

They are both excellent platforms, so it’s impossible for me to choose one over the other.

Rather than asking if one platform is better than the other, it’s perhaps more useful to ask yourself which platform better suits your specific needs. I chose the GBLS for its fully functional BCG and hard kicks; while at the same time, I chose the PTW for the true 1:1 scale and maximum real parts compatibility.

I do feel that a lighter trigger and higher mag capacity does bring a little edge to the PTW over GBLS on the field.

The PTW is an excellent basis upon which to build clones of real firearms, so if you’re a real steel enthusiast like me the PTW is irreplaceable. Not to mention, there are many 1:1, high-end conversion kits available on the market only for PTW.

With the reveal of HAO’s SCAR PTW project, 2020 is going to be another great year for us PTW fans.

Follow Alex on Instagram @alexxdai