Umarex's H&K 416D: Perfection in .22 Long Rifle
By Chris A. Choat

Umarex USA began with the acquisition of Ruag Ammotec USA (Dynamit Nobel), North American marketers of the famous RWS brand of premium adult airguns. Combined with the world class products from German based Umarex, the parent company of Walther Firearms, Umarex USA has quickly become one of the premier providers of airguns and airgun accessories to North America. Along with being a premier airgun company they now have branched out into the rimfire firearms market with the addition of two high visibility, company licensed .22 long rifle lines. Last year Umarex introduced a Colt licensed .22 rimfire replica of the M16/M4 rifle called the Colt Tactical Rimfire. This year they have announced a series of Heckler & Koch licensed .22 long rifle replicas beginning with a .22 copy of the highly sought after HK 416D rifle. Three other guns will eventually be available and will also carry the H&K stamp of approval. These include two models of the HK MP-5 (an A-5 version as well as an SD model) and also an HK 416 SD pistol. As the HK416D rifle replica was the first model available it is the subject of our test and evaluation.

All of the Umarex .22's are engineered and manufactured in Germany by Carl Walther. Like the Colt Tactical Rimfires, the new HK replicas are a dedicated .22 long rifle platform, are blowback operated and feature match grade precision barrels. This author has owned one of Umarex's M4 .22 carbines for about a year now and it has had several thousand rounds put through it. The only time that is has quit working is when it gets so dirty that it just can't go anymore. It is the first .22 that I grab when I get the urge to go rimfire plinking. That said, I was expecting high marks from the Umarex HK 416D rifle. As it turns out I wasn't disappointed.

Upon first examination of the new rifle a couple of things are immediately noticeable. The first is the overall look of the gun. It is really a good looking firearm. The fit and finish is great. The upper and lower receivers mate up with no wiggle whatsoever. It is finished in a very nice matte black color and all parts match. There are not several different blacks and definitely no "purple" color anywhere on the gun. Next is the attention to detail. The left side of the lower carries the HK logo, model designation, caliber and serial number. The engraving is white color filled and is very sharp and clear. The right side of the lower has the trademark, manufacturer and importer information. This engraving is also color filled and is the only disappointment on the whole gun. With that much information in white letters the lower looks cluttered. Selector markings are in pictogram form and have safe and fire spelled out below each. The gun's upper and lower receivers are held together with HK style push pins.

Like the original H&K rifle, the Umarex 416 has a free floating barrel housed inside a Rail Interface System (RIS) forearm. This RIS features rails at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions. The top rail aligns perfectly with the railed flat top upper receiver. This top rail also has a set of adjustable iron sights that look and work just like the H&K sights that they were copied from. The pistol grip is the same hand filling design that is used on the centerfire HK and a removable plate on the bottom of the grip covers a storage area. The 6-position telescoping stock mimics the stock on the original gun and even carries the "HK" logo. The buttstock has a removable soft rubber butt pad which exposes more storage compartments.

The barrel of the Umarex HK 416 looks like it has an M4 configuration but in reality is a .22 caliber barrel liner covered by shroud that makes it look like an M4 barrel. The barrel is threaded but Walther chose to use the same thread that they used on their P-22 pistol and their Colt rimfire rifles which is metric 8x.75. This is unfortunate as most US manufactured .22 suppressors are threaded 1/2x28. Not to fear, Gemtech has come to the rescue with their Umarex Barrel Thread Adapter. To install the adapter you simply remove the original Walther A-2 style flash hider which exposed the barrel threads. Screw on the Gemtech adapter and then screw on an original 1/2x28 flash hider or suppressor. This adapter is the finest quality, the finish matches perfectly and when installed is not even noticeable.

The magazine that came with the test rifle is a proprietary design and holds 20 rounds. The magazine's follower has thumb pads on either side that enables sliding the follower down to make loading a breeze. These pads travel in slots on either side of the magazine that give a visual indication of the number of rounds left. Magazines of 10 and 30 rounds will also be available. Hopefully, Black Dog Machine will come out with a tower for their 50-round drums to fit this gun.

Testing of the Umarex HK 416D rifle was done using several types of high velocity .22 long rifle as well as some subsonic ammunition. These included Remington High Velocity Hollow Points, CCI Mini-Mag in both hollow point and round nose styles, CCI Stingers and Remington Subsonic lead hollow points. As Umarex USA is the U.S. distributor for RWS rimfire ammunition, the test also included RWS High Velocity HP ammo. All testing was done from a rest at 50 yards.

To get the best accuracy from the gun a Leupold Tactical Prismatic Riflescope was mounted on the receiver's flat top rail. This compact scope is a true 1X optic that comes with a removable illumination module that lights the reticle up in red. The reticle is called a Circle Plex and consists of a crosshair with a 2 MOA center dot surrounded by a ranging outer circle. The reticle is etched glass making it visible, at all times, even without batteries. It features 1/2- MOA click windage and elevation adjustments and comes with a quick detach base that includes different height mounting spacers to work with any type of firearm platform. This scope is also compatible with the A.R.M.S. #22 throw lever base. This compact scope is not cheap but it is one of the best compacts that this author has used.

As long as the shooter does his part this .22 rifle performs very well. Groups with the CCI Mini-Mags were right around 1.5 inches as were groups from the other high velocity ammunition. The exception here was the RWS High Velocity Hollow Points. This ammo consistently grouped at 1 inch or slightly better. This is some very consistent ammunition. Accuracy was then checked with the Remington Subsonic hollow point ammunition. The author installed his Gemtech Outback suppressor coupled with their Umarex Barrel Thread Adapter. Though not unusual, the rifle produced its best groups with this combination. At 50 yards 10-shot groups were less than 1 inch.

The manual for the Umarex .22 guns recommends using only high velocity ammunition but the test rifle ran with any kind of quality .22 shells that were stuffed into it. The rifle utilizes a user adjustable bolt recoil spring tension that can be adjusted for most ammo but no adjustment was needed in our tests. Overall, the Umarex HK 416D rifle leaves very little to be desired in this type gun, as it has it all. It offers good looks, very reliable functioning, outstanding accuracy and, with the forearm rail system, can be equipped with all the bells and whistles that you would ever want to hang on a rifle.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V14N5 (February 2011)
and was posted online on November 1, 2011


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