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FCC 416D: From the Outside In

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Old May 22nd, 2013, 14:58   #16
mcguyver
 
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Now, I don't consider my 416 to be a lemon. Of the faults/issues I found, some on both the complete rifle and the kit, the ones that are systemic (all FCC rifles share this, unless radical changes have occurred very recently) are:

The construction of the motor

The MOE grip, and I have used this on several other guns to date

After consultations with several FCC customers who have contacted me after I posted up my thoughts, the following also seem to be present in their products as well:

Poor hopup

Poor QC on "fluff and buff" fit and finish

It should be noted that I covered some issues, yes. This does not mean that these 100% of all issues present, just that this is all I have found to date. It also means that as of this date, everything else is 100% fine until, and if, I determine otherwise at a future date.

But, my analysis still stands. For $2920, I should not be finding any issues, and the issues that I did find are easily correctable at the factory with minimal cost in materials or effort at the manufacturing level. They should not have been allowed to creep into a rifle in this price range or with the performance demanded by users willing to pay it.
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Last edited by mcguyver; May 22nd, 2013 at 15:00..
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 15:33   #17
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I really don't think Brad's being too picky for a $3000 gun, perhaps others aren't being picky enough?
What stands out here is for ~$800 less you could have a PTW that performs just as well, with hop and motor mods, that *may* have a more durable mechbox. So what's my incentive to buy the FCC PTW? So far it just has a better stock motor
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 16:28   #18
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Originally Posted by ThunderCactus View Post
I really don't think Brad's being too picky for a $3000 gun, perhaps others aren't being picky enough?
What stands out here is for ~$800 less you could have a PTW that performs just as well, with hop and motor mods, that *may* have a more durable mechbox. So what's my incentive to buy the FCC PTW? So far it just has a better stock motor
If anything I am over critical of my gear.

I have had the worst luck with Systema Rifles, from the original 07 CK's, to Factory, to 08 upkit's being a stupid waste of money which made me abandon the entire system for 2 years.

They were expensive then, and they are still expensive now.. my Team member's 2012 evolution PTW ran him about $2,500.00 and it was plagued with problems which needed to be corrected, in the end he was up to the price of an FCC rifle having the motor swapped out just to get the @&^$ing rifle to cycle.

My only saving grace was when I purchased a DTT custom M4 from Double Tap Tactical, and it revitalized my faith in the PTW system, however it was still plagued by the same old Systema design flaws caused by low quality metals being used, and practically non existant customer support. Thankfully DTT pointed me in the direction of FCC. I switched over to using FCC parts, replaced everything. My PTW now runs smoother, quieter, and no longer has issues with moisture due to our temperate climate conditions here in Southern Ontario.

I've had a FCC Motor winding fail, a FCC hop up malfunction and a FCC pinion gear strip, and have documented these problems on this forum. Yet due to the warranty and customer support I suffered no game downtime, and it didn't cost me a dime, just the time it took to write an email explaining the problem. When those problems occurred on my 07 PTW, I was down waiting weeks for parts, and roughly 700 dollars in the hole after upgrading to the 08 upkit and hopup/barrel assembly.

For me, that extra bit of cash has been a worth while investment. I promptly offloaded all my Systema stuff shortly after and have never once looked back.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 16:47   #19
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I'm very new to the using the TW platform and it's been all Systema. On my brothers gun one of the springs that applies pressure to the brushes snapped, easy fix if i would have seen it. On mine, I had a worn down brush and abused uncleaned gearbox.

I don't think Brad is unjustified in his opinion of the platform considering his experience. A lot of people had bad guns and some people had amazingly reliable PTWs. Most likely I believe the 'average' user is not picky enough.

Broken nozzles due to chopping/jams, dead motors/electronics are the overwhelming majority of the problems that I have heard about regarding the system, and those occur whether you are running PTW/FCC, (more common on CTW from a couple years back).

I don't get the argument of "more reliable" gearbox, Since i opened my first AEG gearbox until i stopped doing gunwork I have yet to see a PTW have an issue with the drive train other than stripped/damaged teeth on the piston rack.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 21:27   #20
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Originally Posted by c3sk View Post
If anything I am over critical of my gear.

I have had the worst luck with Systema Rifles, from the original 07 CK's, to Factory, to 08 upkit's being a stupid waste of money which made me abandon the entire system for 2 years.
The VUKs were only intended to be used on a gun 1 time. The performance and safety feature upgrades are well worth the money.

I am not sure to what you are referring to as being a waste of money.

Quote:
They were expensive then, and they are still expensive now.. my Team member's 2012 evolution PTW ran him about $2,500.00 and it was plagued with problems which needed to be corrected, in the end he was up to the price of an FCC rifle having the motor swapped out just to get the @&^$ing rifle to cycle.
There is only 1 problem with a Systema that will cause it not to cycle, and that is the motor. You can get a brand new 2012 with a Rewound armature for well under $2500 with a modified hopup. The performance andvantages leave the FCC way, way behind, snd for alot more money.

Quote:
My only saving grace was when I purchased a DTT custom M4 from Double Tap Tactical, and it revitalized my faith in the PTW system, however it was still plagued by the same old Systema design flaws caused by low quality metals being used, and practically non existant customer support. Thankfully DTT pointed me in the direction of FCC. I switched over to using FCC parts, replaced everything. My PTW now runs smoother, quieter, and no longer has issues with moisture due to our temperate climate conditions here in Southern Ontario.
The only materials deficiencies between FCC and Systema are in the Systema receivers. In every other way, Systema has far better quality materials and surface treatments on their gear train. As proof of this, look at a Systema gearbox with 250,000 rounds and then look at one that has FCC gears installed with only a few thousand rounds. The wear on the FCC gears is striking.

As far as being quieter, not even close. I have several guns up here with a mix of pure Systema to pure FCC, with a smattering of parts mixed throughout. The Systema guns are noticeably quieter and have a more authoritative SNAP!! when fired. We compared this two weekends ago amongst a coupke teams of experienced and long-term PTW users.


Quote:
I've had a FCC Motor winding fail, a FCC hop up malfunction and a FCC pinion gear strip, and have documented these problems on this forum. Yet due to the warranty and customer support I suffered no game downtime, and it didn't cost me a dime, just the time it took to write an email explaining the problem. When those problems occurred on my 07 PTW, I was down waiting weeks for parts, and roughly 700 dollars in the hole after upgrading to the 08 upkit and hopup/barrel assembly.
Systema has not exactly been the benchmark of good customer service. Warranty is nice, for sure.

Quote:
For me, that extra bit of cash has been a worth while investment. I promptly offloaded all my Systema stuff shortly after and have never once looked back.
For me, the extra cash is nowhere near worth the investment. I can take any beat up $700 used Systema and for a small investment in parts and a few hours labour make it a better performer than any FCC rifle. I have seen their construction and how they assemble the little things and there has been nothing to convince me that they have better QC, in fact, quite the opposite. If it was found in my gun, it was found in others, as another convenient review of a 416 has recently shown.

I have already spent more than a few hours labour on a $2900 gun just to get a minimum basic performance that FCC could have and should have done at the factory. It is really very easy to do, the only reason it wasn't done is because they either don't know, don't care, or have let profit direct quality. Neither of these attributes makes me feel any better.

If your hopup sucks, get a more precise jig, teach your people to assemble them properly, the costs of not doing apit are nowhere near worth it. As FCC grows, and it will, they are going to get caught in the same labour/tolerance/QC crunch that all companies must face. When you are small, you can afford attention to detail, when you are big, you can not.

Without criticism from experienced users and modifiers like me, FCC is not going to learn from their mistakes, and are not going to be motivated to create a better product, or at least one which meets the expectations of the consumer.

The only three bitches I have ever had about Systema has been their hopup, which I can remedy, their motor, which I send to England to be rewound, and their body, which has never caused me any issues in hundreds of thousands of rounds, but has for many others. The price difference to remedy all those is still way less than an FCC, the reliability, compatibility, smoothness of operation and consistancy are miles, miles ahead of the FCC.

I realize you guys are in a retail scenario with FCC, and my assessment is probably the last thing you want to hear, but you need to step back and look objectively at the whole picture. As much as I wanted an FCC 416 (ask Chris about that), the hype has not lived up to the reality. My sincerest hope that an honest and forthright forensic analysis of their product will bring to light issues for FCC to rectify, should they chose to do it. These are not big issues per se, but can very easily become that and the obvious performance shortfalls are factory rectifiable.

In essence, I have thrown down the gauntlet to FCC. Make a better product.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 22:07   #21
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It would appear that as of today, FCC has announced that they will be sending out Tango Down style grips for those who have purchased their 416. This is a positive step. It should have been done during production, but late is better than never.

This is one of my bitches that that FCC has decided to fix, though not necessarily because I complained, this could have been a while in the making.

Because you know, nothing says HK416 like an MOE grip and an LMT sopmod stock.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 02:16   #22
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I should also note that FCC has not contacted me further regarding my gun. Not that it really matters to me specifically at this point, there is nothing for them to do. I am confident that my warranty period will come and go with no failure requiring service, but likely my teardown would be viewed as voiding their warranty obligations anyways.

c3sk had asked in the other thread to update you all with their responses and communications. Everything that exists is posted up here, with nothing further to add.

Personally, I would be just tickled if they never contacted me again but fixed their issues much more than if they emailed me with pleasantries but did nothing.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 09:59   #23
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They DO have really excellent customer service though, I think anyone that's dealt with warranty issues will agree
I hope they do take your criticism to heart and improve their manufacturing process, it's REALLY not difficult to do.
Looks like they're using a MIAD grip end plate for a MOE grip
Ream the body pin holes on a machine rather than what looks like by hand, or maybe they tried to ream them with a standard drill
New, slimmer, brush housing for the motor
And what precisely is the issue with the buffer tube? Is the FCC cylinder shorter than a systema, or is it the receiver that's the issue?
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Old May 30th, 2013, 16:27   #24
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The issue was the buffer cap, and how it was shimmed as a result of the buffer tube not being turned one extra turn.

More may be to come, I still haven't torn down the gearbox yet.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 17:05   #25
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This whole thread is really making the TM EBB sound better every day.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 23:08   #26
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This whole thread is really making the TM EBB sound better every day.
fuck it go straight to the original airsoft.. the slingshot.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 23:57   #27
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not unless you put velocity reducers on them, freakin things shoot 500fps with .36s
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Old June 4th, 2013, 20:53   #28
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I purchased another Magpul MOE stock in milspec on the weekend. Just in case anyone is wondering, I have several Magpul stocks, some civi, some milspec. This most recent stock fits exactly the same way the last one did, tighter than a bull's ass at fly time. Now, I turn a screwdriver for a living, I can generate alot of force in a controlled manner when I need things to move, it is what I do. But holy hell, you need to be in great physical shape to use that stock.

This is an issue that extends to all FCC buffer tubes, anyone who says different is trying to sell you something. I personally have two of them and have installed a few more over the last year, and everyone has been the same. They are not milspec.

In fact, of the sampling of three that I just measured, they range from 1.149-1.158 inches along the length of the buffer. Milspec needs to be a max of 1.150, where civi need to be a max of 1.170", with nice operation being slightly smaller than the maximum. On the three FCC buffer tubes, none was under 1.150" over their length, and the two newest ones did not dip below 1.150" at any time. The surface finish on the newest one is rougher than on the oldest which has had alot of cycles in-out of the stock (I know some of you like in-out, so I'll toss out the first BAHAHAHA!!!). It would appear that the more in-out cycles of the stock, the closer it gets to the max. 1.150", but still not below, leaving operation tough.

Solution?

Pump that stock lots, and it may loosen up.

Buy civi spec.

Buy an airsoft stock that falls somewhere in between.

As a comparison, factory Systema stock ranges between 1.164"-1.167", and at no time hits 1.170". Perfect for a civi stock, no good for milspec. The stock has to be one or the other. If it is slightly too tight for milspec, it will have wobble with a civi stock. True milspec will be universal, so long as you don't mind a little wobble with your civi stock.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 23:24   #29
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Thanks for the great review. It is good to hear some downside about the FCC 416. So far i only heard good review and good comments about it.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 01:26   #30
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This whole thread is really making the TM EBB sound better every day.
+1.

And thanks for this very detailed review and update. For sure a gun at this price should have a much better design, QC.
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