TSD Tactical/SRC 416 review

by Arnie

Jeremy has mailed over a review of the TSD/SRC416 AEG complete with lots of images, as usual click the link to read the whole article:

TSD Tactical/SRC 416 review
By Jeremy Hendricks “Booligan”

1Table of Contents:

Real Steel History
First impressions
Gun Specifications

2Real Steel History: HK416 is a gas operated, selective fired weapon of modular design. It uses short-stroke gas piston that operates the 7-lug rotating bolt. Receiver is made from high grade aluminum alloy. Combination-type safety / fire selector allows for single shots and full automatic mode. Hk416 retains all M16-style controls, including last round bolt hold-open device, rear-based charging handle and magazine release button on the right side of the magazine well. HK416 is fitted with four Picatinny rails as standard, and may accept any type of sighting devices on STANAG-1913 compliant mounts. It also can accept modified HK AG36/AG-C 40mm grenade launcher, which is clamped directly to bottom rail. The buttstock is of typical M4 design, multi-position telescoped.

Courtesy of world.guns.ru
Real HK416 image, photo taken from Marinecorpstimes.com

Ordering: I was fortunate enough to receive a pre-production sample of the TSD/SRC 416 directly from TSD, for the purpose of writing a review. The sample I received does not have all of the TSD requested modifications, namely an M120 spring, 6.03mm tightbore inner barrel, and a high strength piston, so the performance of mine will be less than the production models. Pricing wise, TSD’s website, www.airsoftsd.com has the price listed as $398 – $420 USD, depending on barrel length, but my experience with TSD’s listed MSRP is that the actual price is lower. I expect this to come in at less than $400 USD for all models. The model, like all of TSD’s models, includes a warranty, which is 60 days in this case. The 416 is available in three barrel lengths, 10”, 14.5”, and 16”, and will soon come with two stock options, a standard LE stock, with the battery in a mock VITAL-2 laser box, or a Crane stock, with the battery housed in the stock. The model I will be reviewing is the 10” barrel, LE stock version.

First impressions:
The TSD 416 arrived in a nicely detailed cardboard box, with the image of the gun contained inside emblazoned on the front, as well as some information and specifications about the gun. It also shows the upcoming TSD 416 line, showing the different barrel lengths and stock options.

Box art


The TSD 416 will include the gun, two full metal 300 round hi-cap magazines, RIS bolt removal tool, cleaning/unjamming rod, battery box (if LE stock version), and 100 or so SRC bbs. Being that mine was a pre-production model, it only included one 300 round hi-cap magazine.

Gun Specifications:

  • Weight (with 8.4v mini battery): 8lbs
  • -Stock retracted: 27”
  • -Stock fully extended: 30.2”
  • Height (sight to mag): 10.3”
  • Sight Radius: 13.75”
  • Outer barrel length: 10.4”
  • Upper rail length: 15”
  • Lower rail length: 9”


The externals are going to be my primary focus, as they should be a total carryover to the production model. Basically, everything that should be metal is metal, with the polymer parts being made of nylon fiber.

The receiver is made of aluminum, which, according to TSD’s literature, is anodized and phosphate coated. I can’t confirm this, but what I can tell you is that it is mildly textured, has a minimum amount of shine, and doesn’t scratch off easily. The finish is very realistic, and adds to the overall high quality look of this gun. The selector switch, magazine release, mock bolt catch, and charging handle are all made of steel, and have a grayer coloring than the rest of the gun. The selector switch isn’t as smooth as I would like, but it clicks positively into position after using it for a little while. There are three fire selector switch positions, which are molded into the receiver, and are painted for increased visibility. The positions are Safe, Semi, and Full auto, labeled by a white bullet with an “X” through it, a red bullet, and a red bullet with “30” in front of it, respectively.


Receiver – Selector group shown


Receiver – Other side, showing fire selector symbols

This gun has the proper receiver features that a 416 should have, such as the flatter magwell angle, round piece on the upper receiver, as well as the slightly taller upper receiver. These combine to make this one of the most realistic HK416 replicas yet.

The RIS is aluminum, and receives the same coating as the receiver. It is attached to the barrel nut by a cross-bolt, which is unscrewed by the included tool. To remove it, you must unscrew the cross bolt, and the whole RIS will slide off towards the front of the gun. The wiring keeps it from coming off, so if you plan on disassembling the gun regularly, I recommend that you cut off the heat shrink on the quick detach connectors, and replace it with electrical tape, so that you can take the RIS off entirely. The top rail is numbered, for consistent attachment of accessories. The RIS has a metal nub to ensure proper alignment onto the receiver, and it fits with no wobbles or movement whatsoever. The rails themselves are slightly thicker than other rails I’ve seen, but I’ve mounted all my 20mm accessories, including lights, lasers, grenade launchers, optics, and foregrips with no problems.


RIS – Battery box shown


RIS numbering

The stock is the standard M4 6 position retractable LE style stock, and is compatible with different stocks on the market. I’ve tested it with a DBoys Crane style stock, with no issues. The stock tube is metal, with the stock itself being made of nylon fiber. It fits with only a tiny bit of wobble, maybe 1 degree in each direction. There is a mild seam line visible on the stock, but you cannot feel it, only see it.


LE style stock

The grip is the proper 416 style, and is incredibly comfortable to hold. It has raised, hi-grip areas on the sides, to ensure a positive grip on the gun, even while wearing gloves.


Pistol grip

Pulling back the charging handle opens the dust cover, and exposes the mock bolt, and hop-up adjuster. The bolt is a very tight fit inside the body, requiring a good bit of force to pull back. Sadly, this tight fit also means that you must push the charging handle forward in order to move the bolt back forwards. I have a feeling that this will improve with time, as it is starting to wear into the bolt, and will eventually loosen up.

Charging handle pulled back, exposing the mock bolt and hop-up

Being that I have the CQB version, my outer barrel is exceptionally short. It only sticks out about half an inch from the gas block before it transitions into threading for the flashhider. Speaking of threading, it is 14mm- (CCW) so any 14mm- flashhider or silencer will fit on this. The flashhider is metal, and is painted orange (at least for the US market). The mock gas block has built in sling mounts on both sides, and has the attachment lug for a flip up front sight. On the 14.5” and 16” barreled versions, the front sight is a flip sight attached to this lug, but on the 10” version like this one, the front sight is attached to the RIS.

Flashhider and gas block

The battery is held in a large battery box, styled after the VITAL-2 laser module. It is made of plastic with a metal rail mount, and is quite large. It states that it can hold up to a 9.6v 1800mAh battery, or a 7.4-11.1v LiPo battery. The battery is inserted through the front of the box, by swinging the spring loaded door out of the way. The box is quite tall, and tends to get in the way of the sights when mounted on the top rail. I recommend moving it to one of the side rails, which required you to rewire the plug to one of the lower RIS vent holes.


Battery box


Mounting hardware


Shot into battery box, with door swung open

The sights on this model are attached to the RIS, are made of metal, and are the traditional HK style drum and post design. The rear sight has 4 settings, each with a different sized hole, for different ranges. It is adjustable for windage, but not elevation. The front sight is a partially hooded HK style post, and is not adjustable for windage or elevation.


Rear sight


Front sight

Overall, the externals on the TSD/SRC 416 are great, with an excellent finish, excellent materials, and overall great workmanship. My only complaint is the mock bolt, but time will tell if that improves with use. This isn’t just a pretty body with crappy internals though, as I will go into further in the internals section.

Sadly, there are no HK trades on this, but with companies cracking down on unlicensed trademarks, I wouldn’t expect there to be. There are, however, laser engraved SRC trademarks located on the left side of the magwell. On mine, the trades say:


CAL. 6.00mm


Now, the serial number is supposed to be unique to each gun, so expect different numbers on the bottom line.



The 416 includes two metal hi-cap magazines, which hold 300 rounds, and are a somewhat glossy black color. They have laser engraved trademarks on them, styled after the HK High Reliability 223 30 round magazine. The mag clicks into position well, but has a slight amount of wobble in all directions.


This gun is compatible with any TM compatible magazine. I have tested it with DBoys, JG, TM, MAG, and G&P mags with no fitment or feeding issues.


The performance of this particular replica can’t be judged yet, as the model I have is not made to production specs, but based off of how it performs now, I am very optimistic about the actual model.

Mine chronoed at an average of 318 fps over 10 shots, using TSD 0.20g bbs, shot through a Madbull Chronograph. The stock model will feature an M120 spring, so expect the FPS to be in the 400s at launch.

Accuracy was decent, given it was using a stock 6.08mm inner barrel. It was nothing spectacular, but I imagine that the production version will have substantially better accuracy, as it will come with a 6.035mm tightbore inner barrel stock.

Overall, I can’t really judge the performance at this time, as there are too many parts changing in the production version, but with the collection of high quality parts in this gun, I honestly can’t see how performance will be anything less than excellent!


This gun features some of the highest quality internals that I have seen in any airsoft gun in a long time, but they are a royal pain to get to. The body is made with tighter tolerances than other airsoft bodies, and it really isn’t designed to be taken apart, so disassembly is a chore. I started by removing the RIS, but this is where you hit your first snag. The small type battery connector is attached through a hole in the RIS, and it too large to go through said hole. In order to remove the RIS, you must unscrew the cross bolt, and slide the RIS partially forwards, exposing the heat shrink covered quick disconnects on the wires. You then cut the heat shrink, and disconnect the quick connectors, but be sure to replace the heat shrink with some electrical tape upon reassembly. I took this time to relocate the connector to one of the lower holes, so I can put the battery box on the side, instead of the top. After disconnecting the wires, you can remove the RIS entirely, exposing the outer barrel and mock gas piston assembly.



RIS removed

You have the choice of removing or leaving the outer barrel on in order to get to the gearbox, but I took it off to show its construction. It was easily removed by unscrewing the barrel nut by hand, and pulling the barrel off towards the front. Keep track of the mock gas piston parts, as they come off when the barrel comes off.


Outer barrel removed

At this point, you should remove the front and rear body pins (yes, both, as this actually uses the rear pin to hold on the body), and get ready for some manual labor. This is where these tight tolerances come back to haunt you!

Start by pulling the charging handle back, and letting it come back forwards, but not lock in. You will need a little bit of play in the handle to clear a part of the gearbox. Now, I recommend having a rubber mallet handy, as you will need to whack the upper receiver quite a bit in order to slide it forwards. I found the rear sight to be a good point to hit, as it is pretty beefy. Slowly but surely, I was able to whack the upper receiver forwards to the point where it could come off. It really got snagged about halfway off, but that is due to, what I can best describe as a ramp on the upper receiver, forcing you to change the direction of impact with the mallet. At this point, I was looking at the upper receiver, with its beautiful blue anodized cylinder and spring guide.


Upper receiver, notice the ramp on the bottom, in the middle? Learn to hate that ramp…


Pretty… The scratches in the side are due to the tight inner body tolerances.

The inner barrel is brass, with a metal hop-up unit. The barrel has some of the deepest muzzle crowning I’ve ever seen. Whether that is a good thing or not, I’m not sure, but either way, the production barrel will be a tightbore anyways.


Barrel and hop-up


Inner barrel, showing deep crowning

The lower receiver is normal M4, just take out the motor, which is a SRC “Ultra High Torque” motor, and remove the two screws from the grip. Then, unscrew the mag catch, tap out the body pin, and unscrew the stock tube from the stock. At this point, the gearbox can be removed from the lower receiver. A note on the motor, it takes a good amount of strength to rotate the pinion gear by hand, and everything on the workbench that is metal will be attracted to the motor body, so the magnets inside are VERY strong.


Gearbox and motor


“Ultra High Torque” is certainly a good way to describe this!


Umm… Strong magnets in the motor…

The gearbox itself is a reinforced V2 shell, with 8mm ball bearing bushings, steel gears, aluminum cylinder, aluminum ball bearing spring guide, aluminum ported piston head, brass cylinder head which is concave, and features a “bumper” o-ring. The gearbox also featured about 2 lbs of grease, which needed to be cleaned out! This is one of the only AEGs I’ve tested that had 100% cylinder air seal stock. With your finger plugging the cylinder output, the piston cannot move down the cylinder, instead getting stopped halfway down due to the lack of air leaks. With an M120 spring, this should be getting a very FPS rating! The gears were shimmed very well, and fit snugly into the ball bearings. The piston was black plastic, but a “High Performance Strengthened” piston will be installed in the production models. The piston head is aluminum, flat, ported, and anodized purple, and is way too pretty to be hidden inside the gearbox!


Gearbox shell, red stuff is loc-tite.




Ball bearing metal spring guide


Aluminum piston head


Greasy piston…


Cylinder head

All in all, the internals are great out of the box, and should be very skirmishable out of the box. The quality materials combined with good shimming mean that the gearbox should last a good long while before needing any replacement parts. The production version looks to be even better, with a tightbore barrel, hotter spring, and better piston!

Being that the 416 is in the M4 family, it can take advantage of almost everything made for the M4. The abundance of rails mean that you can mount any 20mm weaver accessory, such as foregrips, rail covers, grenade launchers, lights, lasers, optics, etc…

One modification I recommend out of the box is the removal of the heat shrink on the wiring quick disconnects, and replacing it with electrical tape, to facilitate easier disassembly. Also, at that time, I recommend wiring it to come out one of the lower RIS holes, so you can mount the battery box on the side.


  • Great materials
  • Solid gearbox components
  • No wobble or creaks in body
  • Great pistol grip
  • Lots of rails
  • Proper HK416 body design
  • Skirmishable out of the box
  • Lots of aftermarket support


  • Pretty pricy, but the quality makes up for it
  • Pain to disassemble
  • Battery box isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (Crane and full stock versions coming soon)
  • Heat shrink on wiring needs to be removed


If you want a proper HK416 replica, with the correct body design and metal body, but with great internals as well, the TSD/SRC 416 is perfect for you. It has a few issues, namely the horrible disassembly procedure, but the pros far outweigh the cons, in my opinion. The production model is looking to be, internally at least, one of the best AEGs out of Taiwan!

Many thanks to TSD, www.caoc-a.com, and of course, www.arniesairsoft.co.uk!

The whole future weapons family!

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