It’s a whole new week and the entire AA Crew are getting everything together in readiness for our NEW ISSUE ON 15th JULY, and one thing that they’ve been looking at in detail for the RED CELL update is “SEAL-style” Mk18s and HK416s… we’ve amassed quite a few models of each, both AEG and GBB, in the long-term test pool and now it’s nearly time to land our interim report!

When it comes to CQB-length AEGs, SPECNA ARMS had an undoubted success with their “MK18 CQBR” at the back end of 2020 and they’ve moved things along nicely with two models that step firmly into the “NSW” replica arena whilst keeping things real when it comes to pricing. The SA-H11 and H-12 are without any question “416-alikes”, and as they’re both priced sensibly it puts the “operator primary” well within the reach of those even on a budget, and that is fabulous!

The H-11 is pretty much a “standard” A5 with the usual railed HK system with integrated flip up sights, whilst the H-12 takes things up a notch with an “SMR” front end, and it’s a fabulous slimline rail that brings down the front-end weight and bulk of the carbine. Both models from there out are similar externally and internally, benefitting as they do from ambidextrous operating controls; bolt catch, magazine release, safety/fire selector lever and charging handle. There’s a rounded “winter” trigger guard for use with gloves and cold weather clothing, contiguous top rail for use of optics and aiming accessories, a redesigned ergonomic pistol grip (there’s no storage compartment for a field stripping tool of course!), an enlarged bolt catch lever and protective barrier against accidental use, and the latest slimline multi-position sliding stock; all in all they are VERY tidy packages!

In operation the H-12 that was provided for testing (and with the spring set to UK-legal limits prior to shipping by the lovely guys over at proved “good to go” from the box! In terms of power we’ve recorded a consistent 0.93Joule/317fps on a .20g RZR BB using a buffer-tube 900mAh 11.1V LPo, and with .28g RZR BBs the accuracy is more than adequate at that range. We’ve run our usual drills using the provided 300BB metal magazine which feeds perfectly, along with other STANAG and polymer magazines, just using the excellent BUISs that come fitted as standard; once you’ve got the hop set you’ll be hitting targets at 50m+ with dead-flat BB flight! This carbine puts BBs where you want them to go, so if you’re going to use it for CQB, consistent accuracy is NOT going to be a problem once you have it set up right!

Our take so far is that the H-12 is a solid players AEG, most especially given the price. The H-12 replicates one of the most recent versions of the ongoing legend of this family in airsoft form (who’s going to make the A7/G95 first though we wonder???); we still love the HK416 as a design, and having all-ambi controls along with the stunning SMR-style front-end makes the H-12 a carbine that everyone can enjoy owning and using!