Webley MkVI Buttstock Complete

Add-on kits, carbine, Complete builds, pistol, Products, Weapons, webley, WWI, WWII

You can see the build post for this product HERE if you’re interested!

This buttstock is strongly based on the model available for the original Webley MkVI.

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The stock is made entirely of steel and real, solid walnut.

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The steel is oil blued and the wood has been finished with danish oil, followed by a protective layer of hardwax oil.

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The only real aesthetic improvement would be to make the remaining standard grip a brass colour, which it was with the original when the buttstock was attached.

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If you would like a stock like this for your own or you have 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.

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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

The Sten MkV kit in action

Add-on kits, Customer Reviews, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

Many of VA’s followers are also on the UK WW2 Airsoft forum and will know regular contributor Ken by his handle ‘Kendo’. Ken was one of the first people to buy one of my ready-designed kits and has been using it heavily for well over a year now. I caught up with him recently to get some feedback:

“I was first made aware of Vintage Airsoft’s MkV Sten kit through the WW2 Airsoft forums, perhaps better known to some as ‘Comrades in Arms’. Dom had posted his prototype MkV build, and was looking to put together some more kits for those of us stuck with the perhaps not-entirely-accurate MkII Sten, especially for the many folks like me that portray the iconic late-war British paratroopers!
The idea was inspired: a hand-built, wooden stock, comprising a mounting bracket and pistol grip, that slotted directly onto the receiver of the AGM Sten, replacing the standard T-stock; the kit would be complete with a wooden foregrip that bolted to the Sten barrel shroud, and topped off with a metal front sight that slipped over the outer barrel. As if that wasn’t enough, the wooden stock was hollowed out and wired, meaning the Sten was no longer bound to tiny batteries. All of that for a fraction of the price of a full custom gun, and you could swap back to the old MkII components without any permanent modifications.

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I jumped at the chance, and I’m pleased to say after a solid year of near constant use in all weather, the kit has held up admirably. It’s been dropped, fell on, submerged in nasty bog water, and survived me crashing through foliage in full combat kit, with the only appreciable outcome being a slight looseness at the stock mounting (which was subsequently fixed with the liberal application of B&Q’s finest super glue). I’ve found it to be a very comfortable weapon to hold – a far cry from the plumber’s nightmare that was the MkII – and the battery compartment in the stock is truly a godsend; battery switches can be done in a flicker of the time, and without dismantling the gun to boot.

Now, being a drop-in kit, as it were, all of the pieces are obviously made to be easily installed or removed without modifications to the base gun, and there are some drawbacks to this. The front sight, for example, was initially held on by friction, meaning that knocks and bumps to the gun would frequently misalign it with the rear sight. I also found that the paintwork of the metal band that fits around the barrel shroud would wear away very easily, due to the steel fitting of the sling rubbing against it with use. The nature of the kit also means that certain aspects of the real MkV cannot be replicated – the rear pistol grip sits further back, most tellingly, although this is a small price to pay in my opinion.

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The front sight issue can be easily solved: boring and tapping a small hole through the underside, then using a pointed screw to tighten it against the outer barrel of the Sten would help immensely. Indeed, the user could go one step further and drill a shallow hole into the outer barrel itself for the tip of the screw, which would eliminate the front sight shifting altogether, and with minimal modification to the base gun.
The barrel band, meanwhile, I would most certainly improve by chemical or oil blacking, rather than painting. This will allow it to resist the worst of the wearing the sling attachment subjects it to, and means I won’t have to keep repainting the bloody thing!

I have been let down by certain individuals in this line of work in the past – sometimes criminally so. I am very pleased to report that my experience with both individual and product in this case has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s safe to say I have put the MkV kit through its paces from day one, and it has rarely let me down, with Dom always on hand with troubleshooting should I need it.
Truly though, in a hobby dominated by yet more M4 derivatives and Multicam FAST helmets, nothing beats attacking an objective in full British airborne kit with a proper MkV Sten in your hands. I have Vintage Airsoft to thank for that that one.”

 

I have reproduced Kendo’s full review here, unedited for full disclosure! Feedback like this is really appreciated and we’ll be improving our product accordingly by oil blacking the foregrip band and tapping the foresight mounting. This sort of feedback can only be gained after the sort of heavy use Kendo has subjected it to!

 

You can buy our Sten MkV kit and many other items from our Etsy store.

 

A big thanks to Syfer Airsoft Photography for use of their fantastic photographs. Check out their page for great kit and action photos.

Sten MkI/MkI* : Complete

Add-on kits, Complete builds, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

Some images of the completed Sten MkI and MkI*. Firstly a picture of AN original for comparison. I should point out that you can find differences between nearly every surviving example so this isn’t definitive:

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The main issue with this replica is that the safety catch is at the top of the operating handle slot (as this is based on the AGM Sten MkII). The only way to adequately redo this is to make a whole new receiver unit. Maybe a project for the future…

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A close up of the receiver. The new operating handle and bolt also feature the Sten safety switch kit. You can also just make out the Sten MkI stampings on the magazine housing.

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The foresight on this is very comfortable to acquire, at least in the confines of the workshop where I have tested it so far! This will be going out in the field at the weekend.

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The stock is very comfortable compared to the MkII T-stock. That said clutching a thistle is an improvement over the T-stock… But in all seriousness this is a great alternative and is fast becoming a personal favourite.

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One final feature worth noting is the battery compartment. Accessible from the rear, it can just about fit the standard stick battery in it, though a stick lipo would be a far easier fit.

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And in the Sten MkI* configuration, once it had been optimised by the Singer company for serial production:

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This kit will be for sale on our Etsy page HERE in due course. If you like the look of this gun and would like a build of your own that we don’t currently offer please do get in touch! Email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or get in touch via our Facebook page.

Webley shells-Finished products

Add-on kits, Area effect, Imperial Era, pistol, Products, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Recently we put up a piece on our replacement Webley shells, now we have a video on their performance! The tests compare the standard Webley shells, our single shot reproductions and our new SHOTshells to enhance your firepower.

The really juicy bit is at 3m 43s: 12 shot shells fired in quick succession.

We really want to make the same products for the standard Dan Wesson revolver shells. Let us know if you are interested.

You can now buy these shells HERE.

 

And don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook!

The Sten MkI/MkI*

Add-on kits, History, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

History

After the swift and brutal defeat of the British Expeditionary Force and their allies in the Battle of France and the retreat from Dunkirk across the channel, Britain was desperate for equipment and armament. All heavy weapons, vehicles and most small arms were left behind.

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As a result there was a huge push to re-arm as quickly as possible. As well as all of Britain’s manufacturing being turned to the war effort, the War Office bought every Thompson sub-machine gun the USA could build. The US couldn’t keep up with demand however and with losses to U-boats in the Atlantic Britain needed to produce their own sub-machine gun.

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The result of this was the Sten Machine Carbine. The prototype was a complex piece of engineering, requiring a multitude of machining actions to produce. When handed over to the Singer company to produce, a host of improvements were made to make the gun suitable for mass production.

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I wanted to develop a kit to temporarily modify the AGM Sten MkII to a MkI/MkI* for early war impressions and, frankly, for an interesting regular game gun.

The build

Step one was to build the flash hider/muzzle rise compensator. This large scoop is formed from a piece of steel cut to shape and beaten on a former.

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This could then be welded shut and a short piece of tube welded on the back to mount it. The sling loop is a piece of thick wire, welded shut. I turned a piece of nylon bar to size to fit round the mounting tube and inside the heat sleeve.

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This can then be slid into the heat sleeve. The photograph below shows the front sight mounted. This is mild steel, laser cut to shape and bent by hand.

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To create the buttstock, I needed to bend steel tube to shape. As I don’t have a tube bending jig and a spring bending system would produce too shallow a bend. Cutting out a section like this, bending to shape and welding closed makes for a neat, controlled bend.

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This could be welded onto the backplate and buttplate. The top tube also functions as the battery tube and the plan is to have the battery accessed from the back.

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At this point, this is pretty well what the MkI* looked like (as far as one can tell, photographic evidence is limited) as it has all the woodwork removed for simpler manufacture.

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Woodwork is needed to complete the MkI of course, the foregrip being an important part of the design that was sadly deleted on later models until the introduction of the MkV.

I made this woodwork right back at the beginning on Vintage Airsoft at the end of 2014, it has been sitting waiting for me to finish this project all this time!

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There are a few last bits to finish, namely removing the MkII fore-sight and stamping the magazine well with the correct information. The only major inaccuracy will be the safety catch location. On the MkI Sten this was actually below the operating handle slot but was moved to the top on all later models.

More photographs to follow with the completion of the build!

Like the look of this build? Why not email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to find out more. While you’re in a gun mood, check out our Etsy page where we have ready-made kits and accessories.

P.S.: I am looking for any original images of the Sten MkI or MkI* in use by soldiers. These seem to be almost non-existent so if any readers have such images please do send them in.

P.P.S.: For more information on the development of the Sten Machine Carbine and some beautiful pictures of an original Sten MkI, see here.

Webley Shells

Add-on kits, pistol, Products, Weapons, WWI, WWII

The Webley MkVI is probably my favourite airsoft gun. The only downside is that the shells are easily lost in the heat of battle if they get ejected so a solution is needed. I believe it comes in the form of this block of rubber:

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Remove the blu-tac and…

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A row of shells are embedded in it.

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I removed these and could start casting.

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There is going to be a bit of experimentation in the material used for these, first up a silicone rubber:

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And the shells:

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Then a plastic resin for a harder shell.

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When these have been removed, I could clean of the flashing and drill the port through the centre.

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These chrono’ed at 280fps with .20s, though obviously drilling a larger hole could be used to increase the fps. The rubber bullets chrono’ed the same but are a bit more tread-proof, though don’t eject as well.

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Being white they are easy to see when ejected. In future I may spray the backs with a gold paint so that they look better when the gun is closed.

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If you are interested in buying these do let us know on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or contact us through our Facebook page. They will be for sale on our Etsy page if there is enough interest.

 

UPDATE: 16/3/2016: These shells are now available on our Etsy page.

Sten upgrade: Replacement nut

Add-on kits, Cold War, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

The AGM Sten comes with a hex head screw to attach the stock, which also contains the battery compartment.

This has three disadvantages:

  1. It looks appalling
  2. You require a tool to remove the stock/change the battery
  3. It really looks diabolical

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That’s right, it looks so bad it is worth mentioning twice. Fortunately this is easily fixed! The fix Vintage Airsoft offers also means that you can change the battery without any tools at all.

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This piece is all-steel in construction. The edges are knurled for grip, meaning that the replacement screw can be fitted very tightly with just finger strength.

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The corners are taken off for comfort of use.

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The whole piece is oil blacked, which means it has an extremely wear-resistant finish that nicely matches the original painted surface of the gun.

 

You can buy this very handy piece on the Vintage Airsoft Etsy page For a very reasonable price.

If you like this idea, find us on Facebook for more related content. If you have an idea of your own you would like to see made, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss.

ASG Sten-Safety catch

Add-on kits, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, WWII

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First things first, the new operating handle. Although the one provided with the ASG Sten is close enough to correct, I preferred the small, rounded operating knob as it is less likely to catch on clothing. For this build it is perfectly possible to use the original handle.

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In order to make the gun ‘safe’, the operating handle is pulled a little further back than the regular ‘cocked’ position. It is then pushed up into the lug above the channel where it usually runs when firing. On the real steel Sten, this simply stops the bolt from being able to reciprocate and therefore ‘safe’. In reality this was a far from perfect system and these guns still had a reputation for going off when dropped.

As this is an AEG, this safety mechanism uses a microswitch to control current flow.

SAFE:

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The operating handle will be oil blacked for use, but it wouldn’t have shown up for the photos here to demonstrate so I left it unfinished.

 

If you liked the look of this, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook. Don’t forget you can follow the blog and get updates straight to your email inbox!

G43: Part 4

Add-on kits, Battle Rifles, Custom builds, G43/K43, Weapons, WWII

While skimming the stock to remove the varnish one thin area gave way in the pistol grip. This proved quite difficult to fill as there was no support to speak of underneath.

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Eventually, I managed to fit a piece of shaped wood into the space and affix it with wood glue. To re-enforce it I filled the space with resin. Once sanded and varnished it should disappear fairly quickly.

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I could then varnish the wood all over to seal it.

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I then oil blacked the remaining parts. I’ll be putting together a video on this process very soon.

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The oil blacked receiver in place. You can see the small, irritating gap between the top heat guard and the stock. I have managed to fix it by shaving some of it off in just the right place and adding a brace inside.

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Looking quite close to finished now! I’m tweaking a couple of bits to make it a little more usable and will be testing it soon. I also have to finish the scope mount for this client.

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This project has sparked a lot of interest so this model will be available as a kit. 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.