If you love the HK416 then you’re bound to love the HK417 too, right? And having the same platform ergonomics when it comes to a DMR must be a good thing too… Bill reflects on this as he gets to grips with one of the latest models from Golden Eagle, and finds a perfect candidate for a precision rifle project, as well as a soild gameday fightin’ iron!

Ever since I first got an HK416 I’ve been sold on the platform, and my first version is still with me, although it’s been through many airsoft battles and had many “changes of face”, the fact is that it’s still performing almost as new after much abuse! Okay, it’s had a couple of proper full services over the years, and new hop rubbers and buckings, but it’s otherwise still “as new” and just shows that a well-maintained and cared-for AEG can stand the test of time as a trusted sidekick… and yes, it’s now seventeen years old!

Of course in that time the HK416 has continued to develop, and the new A5 variants are gorgeous (I love this variant too!), but the fact is that the “Koch” was always a brilliant take on the AR-style carbine, with balance and ergonomics that put it into a completely different league in my opinion, and the upgrades to the externals of the platform have only made it better, and easier to live with!

So, although I have so very much love for the 416 I have to ask myself why I’ve never embraced the big-bore-brother, the 7.62mm HK417? After all, the ergonomics are largely identical, as is the entire silhouette other than the much larger magazine. The Golden Eagle 417 that I’ve been looking at weighs much the same as my old Gen1 VFC 416 when loaded, and in terms of length it’s only 80mm longer than my Double Bell A5 with the stock fully deployed. The pistol grip is pretty much identical to the latest version, and the H&K-style stock the same as the one I use on the VFC too.

And in the real world it’s a platform that sounds like it’s made for the kind of games all of us enjoy, as the H&K website states that “The HK417 is the first choice if you want to use a rifle that combines the handling of an assault rifle with the characteristics of a precision weapon. Structurally, the HK417 features a receiver with optimised barrel interface and bore axis alignment. In barrel lengths of 13, 16.5 and 20 inches, it provides a platform for urban and house-to-house fighting scenarios, as well as precision-driven engagement at a distance.

That sounds like just the kind of game I enjoy, and as the weight and “feel” of the 417 are almost identical to my “5.56” versions I therefore find myself questioning why I’ve broken one of my own cardinal airsoft rules… commonality of manipulation and muscle memory in a lightweight, fast-mover of a platform. The only answer I can give you here is that the 417 is just TOO similar to the 416 as a general skirmish AEG, and although I’ve tried to keep up with new variants of the “smaller calibre (it’s still 6mm though!)” platform the extra cost of adding another AEG of the same overall style, but using vastly different magazines, whilst not putting me off the 417 has not excited me enough to actively seek one out.

And whilst I’m talking about magazines, those “airsoft bullet mags” that seem to come with a lot of DMR-style rifles are not my bag at all either! Yes, I know that the “real deal” often has a translucent magazine so that you can see the rounds remaining, but (and it’s a personal thing I know… fight me!) I always feel that the airsoft replications often look at bit tacky, spoiling the overall effect of an otherwise fine looking firearm-recreation! I’m happier with solid mags for my BBs, so I guess that’s another minus for many HK417 replicas out there…

So, with all that in mind I must be ambivalent about the Golden Eagle take, right? Wrong!


The Golden Eagle E6907M (to give it the proper title) is an AEG from another brand that appears to be really pushing on, and although they’ve been involved with airsoft since 2007 allegedly, it’s only recently that I’ve seen them appearing meaningfully in stores both local to me and online. You could argue that they’ve always been around but that the brand hasn’t been actively supported until quite recently by good distributors, but if you take a look at their website there’s a good existing range that’s now bolstered by an equal if not greater number of new AEG and GBB models “in development and coming soon”.

Therefore, with experience in developing and manufacturing airsoft guns, airsoft parts and related products under the brand GE Airsoft or Golden Eagle Airsoft; you’ll find Golden Eagle under their own brand name across most of Europe, but if you’re in the USA then no doubt they’ll be offered under the “MATRIX” banner… the same thing basically…

This indicates to me a combination of things; firstly it would appear that they have indeed chosen some professional distributors that care about the brand and support if properly, and secondly that after some solid work in the all-important Asian market they are now adding to their offering for a much bigger global airsoft market with different desires and requirements.

And this is not a bad thing at all, as there are some neat platforms “coming soon” that could add to our enjoyment at a sensible (very reasonable!) price, and if their medium length, black HK417M (and MT, M= Mosfet, T= Tan) is an indication of what we can expect then they’re going to be a brand to keep an eye on!

As far as I can ascertain for close inspection and range testing, Golden Eagle have got it largely right when it comes to replicating the 417. Overall it’s a solid replica, both in looks and feel; everything that should be metal is (alloy), and the quality nylon-fibre-reinforced polymer parts including the 420 BB Hi Cap (solid, no “bullets”… yay!) look very tidy… if you’re a bit of a “DMR-purist” like me though there’s also a 70 BB mag available too.

Externally the finish is very good as new, but I’ve found that it does wear quite quickly if you’re less than gentle, but then I like my platforms “battle-worn” so I don’t see that as a major issue, especially given the price! At the front end is an AAC-style flash hider standing slightly proud of the handguard which means that you can fit your fave suppressors on to the 14mm CCW threaded outer barrel; this also means that you could easily add an outer barrel extension if you wanted to fit a longer inner. The outer barrel is housed in quite a tidy “H&K-style” gas block, although the built-in sling-rings are hidden under the rail, but you could still run a paracord attachment for a two-point sling if you wanted to; alternatively there are QD-stud sling-points on the rail itself too.

The handguard is very well done indeed, featuring M-LOK accessory attachment slots at 3, 6 and 9… there’s also 45 degree M-LOK points L and R upper-rail for newer switch/cable management setups. Up-top you get the rail marrying up with that of the upper receiver (a neatly dovetailed and solid non-rotating setup it is too!) which gives a continuous 440mm of space for optics, PEQs, and switches again. The receivers are nicely finished and have no wobble between the upper and the lower but there are no trades whatsoever other than the selector bullet-pictograms… cool enough for me!

There are the correct ambidextrous selectors and mag release which all seem to work flawlessly, but on the model I had for testing there’s no bolt-hold-open function although the metal hop unit is still easily accessed for easy adjustments given the sheer “7.62”size of the “bolt cover”. Internally things are solid enough for the money; there’s a tried and tested (and easily upgraded!) gearbox all driven along by an “okay” motor. The 417 does now come with a MOSFET as standard, and although nothing inside really sets the pulse racing but it’s all serviceable to start with, and the fact that everything is compatible with all TM-spec AEG upgrade components means that with the absolutely rock-solid externals you could end up with a very respectable, uniquely-charactered shooter!


Performance-wise the 417 is no slouch from the box to be fair. The AEG comes with a perfectly serviceable high capacity magazine which feeds well and would keep you in-game for a good while, but as I said earlier there are middies that are now easily sourced too. I have tried it with other of my AR-style DMR magazines, and sadly none of them are compatible so you’re best advised to buy a few extra with the AEG… thankfully the additional mags are relatively inexpensive too! It seems to work happily on an 11.1V LiPo which gives it a nice trigger response and ROF, and thus far in testing nothing has burnt out or gone “twang” or showed any sign of doing so even though I’ve been pumping BBs through it with alacrity and not treating it kindly at all!

With the magazine fully loaded and wound, and a charged TITAN stick-LiPo fitted initially the 417 through the chrono was actually very consistent at a site-friendly 1.04 Joule/335fps using .20g BBs; rate of fire was also darn quick on the 11.1 too! The 417 as standard is also extremely positive in relation to range, and once the hop had been dialled in it happily sent .28g BBs to the extreme of the 30m “woods range”, and at 30m prone I’m able to easily hit a 300 x 300mm steel time and again, and that’s just using the stock “irons” that come with the AEG. The trajectory at 30m was consistently flat, and that always gives me confidence that with time and bedding-in a platform will reach out respectably.

However, where this could get fun, is what the base platform could be capable of with some clever and judicious upgrades! For me adding a full-time suppressor and fitting a longer precision barrel would be the start, along with some hop-tweaks to marry this up. Bringing the power level up might expose some weaknesses internally, but I feel that the existing setup would handle a bigger spring, for a while at least. Locking things off physically and obviously to semi-only would be straightforward by installing a couple of pins L and R to restrict the travel of the selector (and make it easy for marshals to confirm status), but I’m certain Jimmy would find a more elegant solution… if he didn’t just HPA the whole deal from the get-go!

Bottom line here is that the GOLDEN EAGLE E6907M is actually an extremely well-priced way of owning a 417 replica and from-the-box you’ll have an AEG that will set you up nicely for a skirmish day whilst being just a bit different visually. I’ve never personally fancied a 417 to add to my collection, but I have to say that this model is most certainly worthy of consideration given the look, quality, and solidity of the externals, and although the performance as new is perfectly acceptable without any upgrades for general gameday use, the E6907M could be a project base with which to create something quite remarkable with a minimal outlay if you want to create a cracking, eminently shoot-able DMR on a budget!

My thanks go to www.iwholesales.co.uk for supplying the review sample; for more information on the E6907M along with other models from Golden Eagle please do pay their website a visit!