Australian SMLE Carbine VSR

Complete builds, Custom builds, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWII

When I saw this pattern of experimental SMLE on Forgotten Weapons (see the video here) I knew I just had to make one. I used this as an opportunity to try out some of my new techniques for SMLE builds.

This carbine was conceived as a way to make the SMLE shorter and lighter, the project being run in parallel with similar programmes in Ishapore (India) and Enfield (GB), the latter of which used the No.4 as the starting point and resulted in the No.5 MkI.

This is an impression of the first shortened Australian pattern. In time I hope to replicate quite a few of the others.

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It is, in essence, just a short SMLE. The only real effort to make the rifle lighter at this stage was in shortening the barrel and woodwork.

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This does however make for a very handy rifle!

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This was one of my first rifles to use my rubber cast buttplates. The originals used metal plates, I use rubber simply because metal plates are very hard to get presently.

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Possibly the best feature of this conversion is the use of this rear-mounted aperture sight. On the original rifle, this had two settings for range, on mine I have gone for a simple zeroing elevation adjustment. 

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Having used this rifle in-game I can say confidently that this is an excellent sight, far superior to a regular SMLE notch. The narrower aperture is in my opinion better than the No.4 sight, at least in daylight.

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As with the original, I have put a large draft on the front of the aperture to gather the maximum light possible.

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As with my other Enfield builds, I have used my custom Enfield trigger.

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I got to use this in-game in October. The shorter, lighter version of the SMLE make this extremely handy on its own, add in the rear aperture and it’s extremely quick to bring to bear as well. As an airsoft version, I can’t comment on how comfortable it would be to shoot the original, but I suspect it would be rather brutal on recoil and have a rather blinding flash.

Although this was never adopted, I’m glad to have made my own version and can confirm it is going to a very good home.

If you like this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

Don’t forget you can buy many of our complete products via The website.

 

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MP28: New 2018 Pattern

Complete builds, Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), MP28, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

A while ago I finished the first of a new pattern of MP28. There are a few differences between this and the previous versions.

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Firstly, I have used a new hung-back trigger, which reproduces the trigger location more realistically than previous versions. The stock wrist is also slightly thicker to allow a wire to run to a battery compartment in the stock.

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I have formalised the battery compartment cover, accessed by loosening one screw and levering up the cover.

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The rear sight is now a simpler, non-windage-adjustable pattern. Elevation is still adjustable via the sight leaf.

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The magazine well is an all new pattern. This allows me to produce a more accurate magazine well and adds in details I couldn’t possibly do by hand. I think all will agree that these markings really do look the part and really add to the replica.

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The new buttplate pattern, slightly slimmer than its predecessor.

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If you are interested in the history or would like to see the first build you can find them here.

If you like this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

Don’t forget you can buy many of our complete products via The website.

 

Enfield No.4 VSR: Complete

Cold War, Complete builds, Custom builds, Lee-Enfield, No. 4 L-E, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

Some heads up on this No.4 in the aim of full disclosure!

Firstly, this is a custom build for Sniper Mechanic, using one of his base rifles. As a result the trigger group and internals are different to the standard. As he is a sniper chiefly, the way I have mounted the scope is different to the way I would do for a British WWII/Cold War Airsofter with the focus on stability rather than authenticity. I have also performed a minor heresy in producing shall we say… a non-standard accessory for it (more of that later).

Although in due course I hope to produce a No.32 scope mount that is both authentic and very stable it will require more work (though for the record the one I have made previously is fine, just not as stable as I would like for a high-powered sniper rifle). Watch this space for more news on that.

The Rifle

Right side.

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Left side

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The buttplate, a rubber cast copy as originals are becoming very difficult to source.

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The foresight and muzzle. Dimensioned to take accessories. Note the original front band.

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Top view of the receiver: from here you can see the hop-up adjustment screw in the top handguard. You can also see some of the modifications I have made to the receiver to fit the scope. As this is an older designed receiver I have used some Polymorph to add material to the structure.

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The VSR magazine well. This is the newer MkII version.

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Scoped

This replica uses my No.32 scope option. Although I tried using modern pattern scopes, alas they just don’t look right on Enfields. The No.32 scope is a very distinctive shape, which really changes the silhouette when mounted.

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Side view showing the more modern scope mounts. As you can see, with these mounts it is necessary to fold the rear sight back to fit them.

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Rear view.

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Spike Bayonet

Although I have shared pictures before, I thought it would be nice to share a picture of it mounted on the rifle.

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Suppressor

And finally, the heresy. Dan (Sniper Mechanic) wanted a way to mount a suppressor. I at first thought about making a screw mount adaptor, but this custom suppressor suits the rifle rather well, attaches to the bayonet lugs and keeps the tube out the way of this sights.

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Front view.

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Keeping the suppressor off-centre from the barrel means it is quite nicely in line with the rest of the rifle.

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To remove it, it has the same system as the bayonet catch.

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Pushing the button in allows it to be twisted and pulled off.

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If you like this build you can see other complete projects here. If you have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

 

Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

 

New pattern K98k and K98k scoped

Add-on kits, Complete builds, K98k, Products, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

Most of the previous model of VSR K98k has been carried over to the new design, the only major change is the magazine well.

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But I never pass up the opportunity to share more pictures of pretty pewsticks.

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The rear sight unit and, concealed beneath the leaf, the hop adjustment grub screw for the TDC.

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The 3D printed foresight block and oil-finished barrel.

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The new VSR magazine well (MkII, printed) is far neater and more intuitive to use than its predecessor.

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Sniper Variant

Loosely based on the ZF39 mounted rifles, this was an inexpensive workaround to buying and fitting an original or repro scope and mounting system. While that is something I would like to do, this is good for the player who wants to snipe in style on a bit more of a budget.

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The sight hood is included with the standard K98ks as well, but suits the scoped rifles particularly well.

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The scope mounts have been modified to look slightly less modern. Square edges have been rounded off, hex screws replaced with oil-finished slotted screws and the chunky thumbscrew replaced with nuts.

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The buttplate has been chequered for extra grip. This could be neater, unfortunately the buttplate curved across its face as well as down the length which I didn’t expect and this threw me off.

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Several of the K98k stocks I have received recently have had shorter-than standard hand guards. In order to ensure a secure fit I have made a polymorph hand guard retaining piece.

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And last but not least, a custom reticle for the scope. You can’t have a German Sniper rifle without a German Post. This is a prototype, I’m looking to get some laser cut for a sharper profile.

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If you are interested in the history of the K98k, you can check out the introduction article here, or see the whole build process here.

If you like this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

Don’t forget you can buy many of our complete products via The website.

No.32 Scope model

Cold War, Custom builds, Optics, Products, Weapons, WWII

Producing as I have been airsoft replicas of the No.4 and L42A1 rifles, I had need to mount a scope. Unfortunately, the British issue No.32 was a very distinctive optic, even for the time when such scopes looked very different to modern ones. I tried mounting normal modern scopes but they just didn’t look right and ruined the lines of the rifle.

While a very nice replica can be acquired from the Far East, the cost is quite high once import duty has been added, so a lower cost alternative is in order.

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This 3D printed shell fits around a small and inexpensive scope. It gives the profile of the No.32 and still gives access to the adjustment for zeroing the scope.

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My hope is, in the longer term, to also change the reticule so that it too is correct.

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P.S.: Since I wrote the rest of this article, I have been experimenting with reticle modification and construction. This is very far from perfect but it’s a start.

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If you like this build you can see other complete projects here. If you have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

 

Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

 

Vintage Airsoft August 2018 update

Products

It’s been quite a year at Vintage Airsoft.

For those that haven’t read the ‘about’ page, VA is a one-man-band. As a result, the whole operation is reliant on my own health, personal life and organisation all living in harmony. As many of my followers will know, this year they have not been so and as a result of personal life (bereavements), poor weather in the winter, illness and a short notice workshop move, my organisation has suffered.

At last, things have been on a relatively even keel for a bit (one hopes it remains so). There are some exciting developments which I’m going to share here and some changes to how VA is run to make everything run more smoothly.

Item 1: Duplicating jig

This is exciting. I’ve had this in the works since I started VA and the rails have moved house and workshop with me since I started in my parents’ garage.

This device is at about the MkIII stage, there are still some improvements to make to make it easier to use, but for now this is a major improvement over making every single stock by hand.

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Things like this SMLE nose cap go from being hours of intense work, focus and swearing to get right down to around a half hour.

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Item 2: Batch manufacture

Making items in batches is far more efficient in terms of time, materials and logistics. As a result, I will be making most items in batches from now on. This will apply to anything I have made in the past that isn’t too weird and wonderful (I’ll never be asked by four people at the same time to make an LMG25 for example), but for things like SMLEs, K98ks etc… I’ll make a batch or two per year or as suits demand.

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3. Custom builds

I’m going to formalise my builds waiting list so that there is a specific order for projects to start. Otherwise these projects will be spread between batches and overlapping with one another as they do presently.

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4. Foreign shipping

I can now ship abroad (outside the UK) using a specialist courier. It’s very, very expensive for single rifles but I can bring the costs down if I send multiple rifles to a central distributor in a country. I have a man in the US who will process delivery for me at that end as I have many order requests from there, there are several other countries that I may put feelers out to as well if the quantities are high enough.

5. The Site

I have recently been offered an airsoft site and, as a dream opportunity, I have accepted. This is an entirely separate venture to VA, but there will naturally be some crossover.

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It’s almost a blank canvas, but the group of us involved have already made a strong start.

 

You can join the C3 group here if you want to come and play with us in Monmouthshire, UK. 

 

That’s all for now, back to building airsoft guns!

Airsoft G3: External upgrades and safe bayonet

Cold War, Complete builds, Custom builds, G3, G3 Bayonet, War on Terror, Weapons

Most of this work I did a little while ago, a friend asked me to fit their wooden original furniture to their airsoft G3. This work was a lot of small, fine adjustments so I didn’t really photograph the process. You can however enjoy the end result!

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On the other side. If you look closely you can see that the thread for the front sling mount has been replaced with a steel nut as it had stripped out (threads in aluminium don’t last that well).

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A closer view at the buttstock end. Although the receiver shape is about right, it needed thinning out in a few places to fit the stock.

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I added a real steel magazine catch, the AEG one was aluminium and quite fragile in my opinion. This steel one needed a collar machining so that the parts would move smoothly in the AEG trigger group.

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A closer look at the fore-end. Fitting the hand guard was mainly shaving away material at the top to fit around the barrel support.

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The buttstock is already hollow, to reduce weight I would imagine. This has the added bonus of allowing you to fit a LiPo battery inside. The cable runs from the gun, through the hole which the support column uses on the real thing (you may also be able to drill through this if you want to keep it).

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Now, the bayonet; a rifle really isn’t complete without one. This is cast from an original in hard rubber.

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The gas plug needs drilling out to take the stem that locks the bayonet in place on this AEG.

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Unusually, the G3 bayonet sits above the barrel, just ahead of the foresight. On a rifle of this format I can see this providing better leverage for twisting out of a body. Not that this concerns us with airsoft/re-enacting of course…

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This photo has been taken with the rifle at a slight angle to show the natural flex of the bayonet blade.

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If you like this build you can see other complete projects here. If you have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

 

Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. including this G3 bayonet. Our larger items can be found here.

 

MAS 36: Complete

Cold War, Complete builds, Custom builds, MAS 36, Products, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

Though I say so myself, she’s rather nice. When I first took on the MAS 36 build, it was just an interesting commission. Now, I rather want one. A fascinating rifle and it’s satisfying to have an airsoft version of it.

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The far side, showing the sling arrangement.

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The rear sight is designed along the same lines as the original.

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To adjust the elevation, you press down the leaf and move the slider. The markings are visible in this picture as well, recessed deep into the receiver like the originals

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The VSR magwell, shared between the foreguard and receiver. As you can see, this is the MkII magwell, which allows you to fit an extension if you struggle with the catch, useful for cold weather if you have to wear gloves.

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The 3D printed middle band. It should be strong enough for use as I thickened it quite significantly, not to mention the steel screw running through it

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The original woodwork really adds to this build. As and when I can do another I may make the top guard a good bit skinnier.

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The bolt, all oil finished. Though I say so myself it looks the part.

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The bolt handle operates at 90º, like the original.

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At the front, something important was missing. I realised it was the bayonet. I had a MAS bayonet mould made up already for the FG42, so I made another and adjusted it to fit.

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Every rifle wants a bayonet really, but especially when it is built in. This one has a plastic stiffener running through it to prevent excessive wobble.

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If you like this build you can see the rest of the project here. If you have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

 

Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

Vz. 24: Complete

Complete builds, Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), Products, Rifles, Vz.24, Weapons, WWII

The Vz.24, VSR base. Like the K98k builds, this was destined to be a pretty gun.

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This build has used a lot of original parts, which really adds to the air of authenticity.

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The straight bolt handle and cut back top guard is reminiscent of the very early Vz series.

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The rear sight is 3D printed, as needs must to fit the VSR base.

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It is adjustable for elevation, underneath the sight leaf is the TDC hop adjustment.

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The Mauser back cap and locking block are almost identical to the K98k model.

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The opposite side, where you can see the alternative sling arrangement. Rather unusually for the era, this rifle has several sling mounting options that allow the rifle to be shoulder or back slung fairly comfortably.

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The middle band is original, a rather pleasing feature. The lower swivel was surprisingly tricky to find.

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The wrist swivel. An unusual location, but fine so long as you’re not left handed.

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This rifle was started while I was still using my MkI steel VSR magwells. As a result, it still has this model. Future versions will use my MkII magwell.

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The buttplate, which interestingly is interchangeable with the G98.

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If you like this build you can see the rest of the project here. If you have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

 

Don’t forget you can buy our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

Enfield No.4 Rubber Spike Bayonet

Cold War, Complete builds, Edged Weapons, Lee-Enfield, No. 4 L-E, No.4 Spike bayonet, Weapons, WWII

With a VSR No.4 Enfield in the works, I got ahead of the game by making a bayonet for it. I initially started making this for an RWA No.4, but we all know how those went down (if you don’t know, they went badly).

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The bayonet is composite plastic and rubber, to make the most of the complimentary properties of the materials. As you can see, I’ve kept the markings on the socket.

The best thing is that it locks onto the rifle, so as well as being less likely to drop off the gun, you get to enjoy fixing bayonets with that distinctive twist and click of the socket.

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And of course it fits in an original scabbard.

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If you fancy a spike bayonet of your own, you can buy it here on Etsy. You can see the build posts for my VSR No.4 Enfield here when they are posted.

 

If you have like this project or have an idea of your own, drop me a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ the Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.