FG42: Part 2

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Much awaited, the second instalment of the FG42 build! This has been quietly going on in the background when I have had to wait for other parts to dry/cool down/harden.

The pistol grip is pretty much the same as before, the changes are internal mainly, plus the top panels.

_DSF6974

This attaches in much the same way as the previous version, though as you can see the receiver is very different.

_DSF6978

This is because it is a cradle for a Sten MkII, that will be modified. This means less modifying gearboxes and no need to make a custom hop as the Sten hop is excellent as-is.

_DSF6981

The unfinished magazine well. This is a first model, so finish will be a bit rough as this is just to establish exactly where parts need to go and establish the fit.

_DSF7317

Like the first model, this takes M14 magazines.

_DSF7318

With the barrel in place and the gas tube.

_DSF7398

Making the furniture, the original was laminate wood, this version will be as well. Given how little material there is inside the woodwork, this actually makes a lot of sense as it is far less wasteful of materials than solid timber would be.

_DSF7442

_DSF7507

The sights both fold down to prevent them catching on equipment during the jump.

The foresight block is made of several parts welded together. Three parts make the post, two plate parts and one screw make the ghost ring.

_DSF7464

This fits onto the foresight base and tightens up with a screw. The original used a spring-loaded nub and detent to lock in place but it would be prohibitively expensive to make this mechanism as well as the rear sight…

_DSF7467
The rear sight is VERY complicated. This is the second model I’ve made, lots of parts go into making this function like the original.
_DSF7532

Some stills of the rear sight in location. At the bottom of this article there is also a video of it working.

_DSF7538 _DSF7539 _DSF7542

 

 

If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or follow us on Facebook.

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

P-04 Navy ‘Luger’

Custom builds, History, Imperial Era, Luger P04, pistol, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Disclaimer: The Germans never referred to their toggle-locked service pistol as the Luger officially. However in this history of the pistol I will refer to the various models as the Luger as it is far more commonly known by that name today.

The P-08

The most well-known rendition of the Luger pistol is the P-08, adopted by the German Army after extensive trials as a pistol and another version (with an 8″ barrel, removable stock and adjustable tangent sight) was adopted as an artillery carbine. However, this was not the first rendition of a toggle-lock pistol, nor even the first Luger.MIT400-S-F1-H

The Borchardt C-93 was the first use of a toggle-lock, however it was somewhat clunky and quite uncomfortable.

78162

Georg Luger took this design and made huge improvements to the balance, weight and ergonomics, much to the chagrin of Hugo Borchardt who felt his idea had been ‘stolen’. However the improvements Luger made to this mechanism really made it viable for use as a sidearm.

This was then adopted by the Swiss (who had a reputation of staying ahead of the curve) and four years later by the Imperial German Navy in 1904. This featured a rear sight adjustable to 100 and 200m and a 6″ barrel. This is the rendition in question.

 

VDD64-K-F1-H VDD64-K-F2-H

While it is possible to get Lugers in all three German service versions that take green gas, they have a bit of a varied reputation, among which problems include firing full auto on occasion. I’m also a CO2 man myself, I much prefer the stability and reliability of CO2 cartridges.

The KWC Luger P08 will be the donor for this conversion, which will feature a longer barrel, the adjustable rear sight, new grips, lots of extra detailing (including maker’s marks missing on the KWC), some tweaks to the magazine and an overall refinishing. Plus some internal modifications to make it skirmishable as it is firing pretty hot, as my back will testify.

13459548_10208583642261291_1127903712_n

As the Webley is my main sidearm, I forget sometimes how big it is. KWC’s 1:1 Luger is no midget of a gun, but it is positively tiny in comparison.

I’d like to go into a lot more detail about the history of the toggle-lock and the Luger specifically as it had a long and successful service life as well as entry into a number of trials in countries that nearly adopted the Luger but it’s a broad subject and at the moment building the replicas is what allows me to do this blog rather than the other way around. If you want to see more content along those lines, let me know and I’ll try and write more.

If this piece has interested you, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or find us on Facebook!

MG08/15: Improved internals

Custom builds, Machine-Guns, MG08/15, Weapons, WWI, WWII

When I went to test the MG08/15 the other day out of the workshop I had one of those frustrating moments when something that worked fine in the workshop didn’t! The gun was firing groups like a shotgun at hopelessly low FPS.

I decided the issue was in a poor BB transition from the chamber to the barrel so a fix was in order to smooth this out.

Instead of one screw locking the barrel in place, which offset it slightly, I added another two screws to hold it centrally. This eliminates the step the BB was having to take to get into the barrel, causing that appalling firing pattern.

_DSF7498

A quick test run at my local indoor site proves satisfactory! Just a little tweak to the hop nub should have this beauty field ready in no time.

If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook.

You can buy the face mask I was wearing in the second video in our Etsy store.

Webley MkVI Buttstock (build)

Add-on kits, carbine, Imperial Era, pistol, Products, Weapons, webley, WWI, WWII

Those of you who have been following Vintage Airsoft for a while know that the Webley MkVI is a firm favourite. So far, we’ve made replacement shells, shotgun shells and added a hop unit.

There are still a few accessories to complete however, namely the removable butt stock which allowed the pistol to be used as a carbine and the Pritchard-Greener bayonet. The latter of these are rare, with no recorded use in combat, the former however was common enough.

The practice of producing a butt stock to fit pistols was commonplace among manufacturers from the introduction of revolvers. It allowed the shooter to make the most of a pistol cartridge out to ranges that would be quite difficult to achieve useful accuracy by hand only. A more commonly recognised use of this idea is the Artillery Lugers, issued by Germany to troops not wanting the bulk of a full rifle but needing something easier to use than a pistol. Essentially, this is the fore-runner to what in current Western parlance is called the PDW or Personal Defence Weapon.

WebleyRevolverStock&Bayonet

Firstly, a digital design to work out what needed to go where. This could then be printed out to check the proportions were correct.

_DSF7122

This would then be converted into steel in a batch of laser cuttings.
_DSF7447

It is made up of three layers to make the shape without having to perform milling operations. The thickest inner layer (4mm) is chamfered on both sides around most of the length to allow deep penetration of the joining weld.

_DSF7448

You can see in the photograph below the two screws full-length protruding from the grip. These run through two corresponding holes drilled in the butt of the pistol itself, which is the only modification required to fit this unit.

_DSF7451 _DSF7452

These, along with the excess weld can be ground down to a smooth finish. It can then be laid out on the wood for the stock and drawn round, using the screws at the back as reference points. The excess material can then be removed.

_DSF7453

Once the parts were all in place, they could be separated and finished. The surface of the metalwork was gone over with a sanding drum for a smooth finish, then slightly oil blued to achieve a similar finish to the original.
_DSF7561

The walnut stock itself took a thick coat of danish oil. Several more will be applied before it is complete along with a coat of hardwax oil to give it a tough, wear-resistant finish.

 

Photos of the finished product to follow!

 

If this post has inspired you to want a custom gun of your own or has given you a great idea for an accessory, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or get in touch on Facebook!

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

Cz ZB-26-Bren barrel conversion

Bren, Machine-Guns, Weapons, WWII

A regular client of mine recently got himself a ZB-26 LMG to use as a Bren. There are a few differences between these guns, the main one being the barrel. On the Bren it is a smooth surfaced heavy barrel, the ZB-26 has a fanned barrel for faster cooling. I was commissioned to make the changes.

The original plan was to turn down the fans along the whole barrel, however this turned out to be aluminium and I was concerned about the integrity of the finished product.

_DSF6261

As a result I removed the majority of the barrel from the attachment point that fits into the receiver and turned down that part to fit inside a piece of steel tube.

_DSF6310

As so… a very close friction fit.

_DSF6313

Meanwhile at the other end of the steel tube, the flash suppressor and foresight unit fits nicely over the outside diameter. Underneath is the gas block and two holes that run through the top of this, through which drift pins can be pushed to hold the unit in place.

_DSF6307

At this point I realise I have had a dunce moment. Naturally the barrel is slimmer than the ZB-26 barrel as it hasn’t the cooling fins and the handle mount is much too large.

_DSF6314

Fortunately, making a new one is simple enough, the new lug is brazed onto a piece of steel tube that fits around the barrel.

_DSF6685

The old handle is close enough to the original to be used, so a custom bolt allows this to be removed without tools.

_DSF6686

Finally, the gas block adjustment, which controls the gas flow in the original. Grey polymorph fills in the space.

_DSF7326

And all finished! This unit just needs mounting into the Bren gun and it’s good to go.

_DSF7347

Gewehr ’98: Part 2

Custom builds, G98, Rifles, WWI, WWII

The next trick is to attach the lengthened fore-end to the rest of the stock. To do this I inletted both parts down the centre and inserted a ‘biscuit’, a piece of wood that joins the two parts.

_DSF7345

Once the two parts were joined, I removed the top part of the biscuit so that the barrel could fit in the groove originally cut for it.

_DSF7369

In the meantime, I taped up the bolt to protect the working parts from dirt ingress. I could then remove the bolt handle with the angle grinder.
_DSF7351

In order to fit the rear sight, some modifications are needed to the chamber. First, removing the rear sight unit and chamber cover, I then could grind down this screw thread until flat.

_DSF7356

The chamber cover can then be replaced with a piece of steel tube.

_DSF7366

This is the correct diameter for the new Vizier rear sight. This is a reproduction one from the US.

To complete the work, I removed the top slide of the sight. To fit around the chamber I removed the bottom of the mounts. The built-in screw point holds it in position.
_DSF7368

There is a lug at the front of the sight which holds down the hand guard. This had to be modified slightly to fit around the tube being used to hold the rear sight.
_DSF7376

Next I filled in the cutaways for the bolt handle (on the K98k, the bolt handle is bent down so needs a cutaway, this is not needed on the straight-handled G98), the cut-through for the sling will be replaced by a standard sling swivel. When dry these blocks could be worked flat with the rest of the stock. I then lightly scored the surface in line with the grain of the stock so the stain would set more deeply and blend the two different timbers together better.

_DSF7380

Coats 1+2 of the stain, still some variation between the timbers. As I build up layer on layer the differences will become very subtle.

_DSF7388

While all this is drying, I could turn and attach the new bolt handle. The original plan was to use the cut-off bend bolt but this wasn’t going to be long enough to look right so I made a better one out of some brass bar I had to hand.

_DSF7379

 

The next post should see the stock finished, the bolt handle blacked and everything assembled.

 

If this build has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook!