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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How to guide for remarking an HK MR556 to 416

Gone are the days of asking for help and hearing “I have a guy. But I can't say…” I have created this guide in hopes of clearing the silence and confusion surrounding remarking an MR556 or MR762. Before I start, there are many ways to go about doing this. I am merely telling you how I went about it, and some of the things I learned along the way. I will not be giving any legal advice; as the jury is still out on a few of the legal questions. I will also be anodizing my receiver in black; the process is basically the same if you wish to Cerakote or tan anodize. TSC Machine does offer a service that will do the whole process for you, however he only uses Cerakote. I’ve heard that US Anodizing will do tanodizing but they are usually not accepting new orders.

Brief Heckler & Koch 416 history
The HK416, which was originally designated as the HKM4 until Colt filed a law suit, was born out of the success of HK's product improvement program on England's SA80 and a desire from some "special customers" within USSOCOM who were looking for a reliable M4 style CQB carbine in around the 10" barrel length. These customers, because of the high volume of shooting done prior to and during each deployment, also placed longer service life on major parts as a primary concern.
With HK's success in utilizing the short stroke gas piston in the G36 family of rifles and the knowledge that in short barrel format, the piston operating system is superior to the direct impingement system, they set about modifying Colt M4s. These grew into the first few prototypes, which were then given to the special customers and tested here in the US and then overseas in combat operations. The result was an overwhelming success and has brought us to where we are now, the fifth version of the HK416 which was unveiled in 2012.
Markings:

416 import marks from Germany used to be "Sterling, VA" - and now say "Ashburn, VA". The change came around “2009-2010” View attachment 238286
Our domestic HK MR556 and MR762 are marked "Columbus, GA" BB34C53B-76D5-4F6F-B4DD-5F4914951B9F_1564519189657.jpeg 1.jpg

Unit Use for clone builds (speculatively)
Delta has been seen with both the 416D in FDE and the A5
DevGru has only been seen with the 416D
Both have been seen using the 417
NASA SWAT has been using the 416 as well

Remarking the MR556
1. Buy an MR556 rifle or lower receiver (lowers can be found on gunbroker from time to time)
2. Strip down the receiver, you should be able to do most of it yourself but having a gunsmith do it may save you some time and prevent you from breaking stuff. I will provide a link on “MR556 takedown pin removal” (https://www.hkpro.com/forum/hk416-hk417-hq/153464-mr556-take-down-pin-removal.html
3. You must cover the serial number with tape — per ATF “it is illegal to tamper with original serial.” New Frontier Armory requires the original MFG name, MFG city & state and serial number to be on receiver when they receive it. The MR556 comes from the factory with that information engraved on the grip tang, so it should be covered as well
4. Sand/Media/Bead blast the lower receiver. I read that glass bead or aluminum oxide blasting will give you the best results. When sand blasting, sand particles shatter and stick into the aluminum surface and can disrupt the durability of the coating, and also colored parts will come out awkward and greyish in color, some will not take dye at all. I had mine media blasted using aluminum oxide at a local gun manufacture. It shouldn’t be hard finding someone to do this. I also plugged some of the holes (Trigger pin holes, takedown pin holes etc.) to prevent tolerance issues.
5. Send the receiver off for anodizing, I used New Frontier Armory. Follow the instructions given on their page. At the time of writing this article cost was $32 with a wait time of 14-21days. **Note: They only do black anodizing** https://www.newfrontierarmory.com/shop/anodizing-service/
6. Once you get the receiver back, engrave it using the provided files. Again, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a place that does this. I had the same company who media blasted it also engrave it. I used matte enamel paint to re infill the selectors. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/848nx0nf1x1lb96/AAAkTrXJPjxHRaUpFfUlUUtAa
7. Voilà you now have a 416

* Note, I am very happy with how mine came out. As you can probably see in the photo there is a slight divot on the left side where i got alittle over enthusiastic with my sand blasting. (it looks worse in the photo than it actually is)

Legal questions that are still unanswered:
• Unknown whether you must form 1 before or after remarking
• Unknown whether you use original (MR556) model name or “new” remarked model name (416) on the form


1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

(Before) (After Blasting) (After Anodizing)

( You_Doodle_2019-07-27T18_48_49Z.JPG IMG_0265.jpg
(Finished)
 

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If I could leave more than one "like", I would. Fantastic write-up!! Thanks for taking the time!
 

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As far as the legal questions, you can mark the gun whenever you want. You just can’t build it into a SBR until it is marked and the form approved. I always have mine marked before the form 1 goes in just on the chance the ATF wants to see the markings (they never have). I submitted my remarked USC as a UMP and got it approved so I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t do the same with the MR556. Has to be someone here that has done it.
 

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Where the heck have you been?.....fantastic info although why didn't you have the upper anodized too? I'd been running a thread asking for info on MR556A1 to 416 anodizing/engraving and got referred to a guy who wanted $350 plus shipping to Black anodize my MR.. lower and 416 upper. Then I was still going to have to pay the engraver. I was looking at $600 bucks after everything was done. Summer is too short so I'm going to put the project off for a while so I can to train with it for a couple months before sending it in for anodizing/engraving..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the positive feedback! Hopefully it makes the process easier for the everyone who follows.



Where the heck have you been?.....fantastic info although why didn't you have the upper anodized too? I'd been running a thread asking for info on MR556A1 to 416 anodizing/engraving and got referred to a guy who wanted $350 plus shipping to Black anodize my MR.. lower and 416 upper. Then I was still going to have to pay the engraver. I was looking at $600 bucks after everything was done. Summer is too short so I'm going to put the project off for a while so I can to train with it for a couple months before sending it in for anodizing/engraving..
I chose not to anodize the upper because i didnt want to mess with the value of a OTB 416 upper. however it turned out that Newfrontiers anodizing is very close to factory HK anodizing. Have fun with your build!!

- J
 

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There should be someone who can just do all this in a 1 stop shop....disassembly, strip, anodizing, engraving, assembly, and send it back to you.
 

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@jbrams Great information however I do think there will still be a little bit of " I have a guy, but....". This is because your write up is true for HK made lowers. Most engravers that I talked with are not afraid to mark HK on HK but they are leery of marking HK on NON HK. Some of them stated to me that they did not believe one or two here and there was a problem but others said absolutely no go, ALL said it was because they were to small of an operation to face off with HK over some markings. I can understand that and please understand OP I am not trying to poo poo your post. I believe it is great and relevant info in the HK on HK application but not the "clone" application.
 

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@straightgrain

Can we get the OO’s original post added to the locked FAQ thread started by ye ol’ pb-removed?

Or made into a sticky like Nzfly’s 416 SF post?
I agree it would likely cut down on redundant questions. One small suggestion would be to swap out the markings comparison picture with actual examples and not airsoft receivers.

ETA-
"Reason: People complaining about the airsoft receivers" - lol
 

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Wish I could do this with a MR lower in NJ (I know, it sucks). Make sure you check your local and State laws before going forward with all of this. In NJ:

According to section N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1, “deface” means to remove, deface, cover, alter, or destroy the name of the maker, model designation, manufacturer’s serial number or any other distinguishing identification mark or number on any firearm.
 

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Jbrams, this is an informative post and thanks for taking the time to go into detail with exactly what you did.

I would like to add, I spoke with US Anodizing about a month or two ago and they told me they aren’t accepting new orders for anodizing as they have large contracts to fulfill before the end for the year.

I was also advised by US Anodizing that the proper way to have the Type III Class 2 hard-coat that HK uses removed, is to be removed by a chemical etching bath.

I looked into the chemical etching more and more and along with the help from another member on the forum I found a place who does metal etching. I brought my stripped MR762 lower to the business earlier today, and within five minutes the factory anodizing was removed without any media blasting. There was a little left over in the trigger pocket and very small amounts in other areas, but that can be taken down with glass bead blasting after sanding the factory markings off.

I’m not trying to hijack your post, just looking to offer additional information to the process.

Here are three pictures of my lower post chemical etching:
 

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Removing the anodization from a receiver is something you can very easily do at home, even if it's hard anodized. However the problem isn't the de-anodizing of the receiver, but the re-anodizing afterwards. During the anodization process you're changing the molecular make up of the aluminium, causing it to simultaneously grow a very hard but porous layer both inwards and outwards. It's this outward grown layer which changes the dimensions of the items, and by removing the anodization you're also removing some of the outer layer of that part, and thus again changing it's dimensions. For that reason a firearm receiver is only allowed to be stripped and re-anodized once during its lifetime, repeating the process more than that will have too much of a detrimental effect on the tolerances. It is possible to strip and re-apply the anodized layer to the exact same thickness, hence keeping it within the same tolerances as before, but it takes great skill and experience to do that.
 
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