Lanchester to T100 SMG

Custom builds, Sub Machine-guns, T100/44, Weapons, WWII

History

The T100 SMG was a Japanese sub machine-gun produced during the Second World War. Two versions were made, the earlier T100/40 was excessively complex and quite frankly, a bit useless. Later on in the war the T100/44 was brought in to massively simplify production and produced a faster-firing and much more reliable weapon.

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T100/40. Note massive bayonet lug and bipod.

 

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T100/44. Image courtesy of James D Julia (Maine).

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T100/44. Image courtesy of James D Julia (Maine).

The build

This build will be a lookalike gun made for WWII Airsoft games set in the Pacific. The client has supplied me with a home-built Lanchester based on an AGM Sten to work from.

First step is to remove the recess for the action to go. The trigger mechanism housing on the donor gun has been heavily modified already to reduce its bulk which is helpful this!

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Then the rest of the buttstock can be glued on. Most if not all Japanese firearms were made in this way due to material shortages.

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While this is drying, I can get to work on the barrel shroud.

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The template guides where the holes go accurately. All the tubular components together below:

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And brazing the muzzle brake:

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One really nice feature of the T100 as far as manufacturing goes is that all the accessories mounted on the barrel shroud are on this band at the front. This makes it very easy to place everything without wielding the large workpiece.
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Now dry, I can get to work marking out the body of the stock.

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Which is roughed out on the scroll saw before proceeding with shaping.

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And routing out the slim finger grips at the fore-end.

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Fitting the Lanchester action to the stock is, as always, slow work!

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But eventually it is there.

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Once tightened down with the mounting screw it sits very snugly in the stock. The balance of the gun is set very high due to the action being sat high-up on a slim wooden stock. You can also see the new trigger in its initial stages.

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The new trigger guard in place and recessed into the stock.

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At this point the stock is sanded down, ready for oiling and the buttplate fitted.

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In this photograph you can just about see the join between the two pieces of wood that make up the stock.

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The buttplate is, unconventionally, wooden as well. Attached with two panel pins. Although this seems a bit pointless, the side grain of the wood is less likely to be damaged by grounding the stock than the end grain, which would splay and splinter with repeated exposure.
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After several coats of danish oil followed by a coat of Hardwax oil the stock is looking pretty fine. The join between the two stock pieces is subtle, perhaps a bit too much to be authentic but the oil does boost the contrast in the grain very well and the butt plate shows up nicely.

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Skipping ahead, the barrel band is welded together. Underneath is the bayonet lug and on the right side is the unusual sling swivel arrangement. The parts of the swivel are oil blacked as they will be worn much more heavily. The rest will be painted as it is quite a large item to try and oil black.

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The remaining small parts are oil blacked and fitted to the stock.

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On the left of the stock is an unusual sling arrangement which I have reproduced. The position and design is very much in the style of a cavalry carbine. Although this particular sling swivel is non-functional it does rotate much like the original.
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Now it is time for final assembly and fitting, plus a couple of last details. Pictures of the final product to follow!

 

Like this gun? Why not email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to find out more. Also, why not check out our Etsy page where we have ready-made kits and accessories?

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