The Reptile House has been lucky enough to receive some interesting content regarding HAO’s new kit, with insights from Bismarck HAO – the company CEO.
When is it released and how much?
HAO’s CAG kit is shipping right now – at $990USD.
This is cheaper than the company’s average receiver kit price, but the CAG exhibits no lesser quality: CNC milled 7075-T6 receivers, gun-drilled steel barrel (see pics below), and delicious anodised RAL8000 finish – just like the real thing.
Cerakote, who? Never heard of her…Bismarck HAO
“We do RS spec, not toy spec…”
Like their recently released HK416A5, HAO has moved the CAG 416D’s externals away from Marui’s spec, to be 1:1 wherever possible – without compromising on the fit and function of TM’s excellent internals:
While ZET and NGRS are well known for high quality internals and reliability, users simply put up with (or are unaware of) the unrealistic dimensions of Marui’s platforms. Via HAO, ZET externals are scaled as authentically as those of the Systema PTW, as well as mid-range GBBR platforms by the likes of VFC and WE; though of course, HAO uses premium materials instead of pot metal.
We do RS spec, not toy spec…Bismarck HAO
In practice it means RS barrel nuts, trigger guards, castle nuts etc are a drop in fit – as well as all the usual RS grips which are already native to MWS.
Not only that, but:
It’s all done to superior tolerances than Marui and other mid-range manufacturers. This is beneficial to function, efficiency and longevity.Bismarck HAO
As for some of the kit’s salient features, note that the barrel nut area is extended – just like the real HK416D.
CAG HK416D versus M4 barrel nut thread length:
As is correct and unlike some competitors, HAO’s CAG model has the barrel location notch on top – again, like the RS.Bismarck HAO
The buffer tube thread is also RS spec:
Because this is a CAG kit, HAO’s selector arrangement is NOT ambi. They made this decision in order to match 99% of open source reference pics.
The single selector is significant to those in the know. It’s the kind of thing which is often missed by manufacturers who don’t have a real interest in their subject.Bismarck HAO
Note that the kit comes complete with HAO’s top of the line Geissele SMR replica (REVIEW) – still considered to be the best out there.
The company has also manufactured a replica of the iconic HK416D castle nut – something missing from previous applicable kits, but now bundled with the ZET CAG and also available to buy as a separate.
Yes – it’s RS spec.
A thing of beauty to HAO as engineers, our proprietary extended barrel chamber is EDM wire cut steel.Bismarck HAO
HAO’s barrel nut is also steel and to RS spec – meaning an RS rail can be used if the user prefers:
Gas block sling loops are pre-ghetto modded in order to fit the SMR:
Remember that this ghetto-modding step is said to be accomplished by the real CAG armourers, so cutting the loops off and keeping the steel bare is the legit look.
As your readers may imagine, with the technology available to us we could have finished it neatly, but it just would not have been authentic. So what if you can’t easily see it with the rail installed? We’re not that kind of company.Bismarck HAO
New ZET System Bolts
The cool looking branded HK bolt seen here isn’t part of the kit, but can be purchased separately. MSRP is $50USD.
Oh, and isn’t that a tanodised Geissele replica bolt, too? It’s been hard anodised with little to no dye, to get that awesome DDC tone. MSRP $60USD.
But, here’s the even cooler part:
Existing HAO HK416A5 ZET kit owners will get the HK bolt for free.Bismarck HAO
So stand by your inboxes!
Even for those of us who are still deliberating whether or not to jump into the ZET system, it’s an interesting time for it. It is really gaining traction after a slow start (much like NGRS did) and throwing shade on the competition by subsequently defining how reliable a GBBR ought to be.
What’s also curious is HAO’s strong endorsement of ZET after their lukewarm response to Marui’s NGRS. It’s surely easier to support a growing platform than to rescue one that was in slow decline like the PTW, but ZET is the first mid-range platform the company has chosen for the HAO treatment.
However, if there’s one thing HAO loves it’s an underdog. Maybe they will next turn their hand to something which (I’m told by its fans) could give ZET a run for its money if tolerances were improved, but which is currently losing the battle – like GHK?
My guess is that HAO has now paid off the R&D costs incurred by their original PTW HK416 series. Is it this solid foundation which underpins the CAG ZET package, consequently enabling HAO to lower the price to $990? Will GHK owners pay that price for a luxury receiver set? The ones I know, would.
Looking at the pics, I think this is HAO’s finest moment yet – befitting what many consider to be the very best gas system out there right now. The MWS is apparently demolishing the market share of its GBBR competitors; and taking a bite out of an AEG market which it already dominates (a little self-defeating of TM there, but what were they supposed to do – make a GBBR which spends most of its time venting gas because it’s really just for training? Plenty of those out there already).
The undoubted popularity of Tokyo Marui’s platforms means ZET kits can be produced in greater volumes than those of HAO’s previous target market (the evidently niche Systema PTW). Economies of scale could play a role in lowering the price.
However, I would not be slow in purchasing HAO’s CAG kit. I’m told that much of the initial production run is already spoken for by Japanese collectors and retailers – so if you want one of these beasts and you’re outside Japan, buy now to avoid disappointment.
With thanks to Bismarck HAO for the insights, and to Miguel HAO for his notes and, as always, for his awesome pics.