Lanchester MkI*: Complete

Complete builds, Custom builds, Lanchester, Products, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

So, the Lanchester is finished! And I am in love, though I say so myself.

_DSF9334

Details, the new magazine well closely resembles the original and is an improvement on the Sten original. I have brazed the mag catch head so that when it wears it looks brassy.

_DSF9335

The foresight and bayonet lug. This should take a rubber SMLE bayonet if the owner decides to do so!

_DSF9336

The trigger is set back, the pull is a little unusual but not bad.

_DSF9337

The buttplate, steel, though a brass SMLE buttplate could be substituted in here.

_DSF9338

The rear locking lug is just for looks on this. A hinge is quite hard to do but may be doable in the future. For now you can remove the lock and back cap to replace the battery. Unfortunately the wrist of this stock is too slim to drill through to a larger battery compartment in the buttstock.

_DSF9339

 

You can check out the build process for this gun here.

 

If you like this build, you may like to take a look at where it came from, the MP18 and its extended family.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog or join us on Facebook for more! You can buy some of our ready-made products on Etsy. You can also email to enquire about custom or special builds on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

 

P.S.: If anyone wants a Lanchester with this awesome period tac-light please DO get in touch. 

Fighting_in_the_Dark._2_January_1943,_Liverpool,_the_Navy's_Lanchester_Gun_Fitted_With_Illumination_Attachment_For_Night_Operation._A13831

Japanese T89 ‘knee’ mortar

Area effect, Area-effect, Complete builds, Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), T89 'Knee' Mortar, Weapons, WWII

I was recently given this replica T89 mortar replica to convert to fire TAGS. I hope someday to make my own from scratch with a bit more detailing and moving parts.

_DSF8460 copy

The first step is to fit a firing pin. This is quite simple, I tapped two disks and threaded them onto a bolt to create a stable unit. This can be pushed down to the bottom of the barrel.

_DSF8462

The shells are steel tubes with custom-made caps. This is the prototype, there is a second hole in the production versions to allow quick refiling of the TAGs. The bottom plate is held on by spring pressure.

_DSF8463

There are two rows of spacers. The bottom one keeps the shell centred in the barrel, the top, thicker row allows the user to line up the shell before dropping it into the barrel for firing.

_DSF8464

The completed shells.

_DSF8681

I’ll be taking lessons learned from this design to apply to my other mortars and heavy weapons. I’ll also be offering these quickfill shells as an alternative to the standard 2″ mortar shells I’m providing with the SMBL mortar.

 

If you want a mortar of your own, please do get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.

FG42: First production model: Improvements

Battle Rifles, Complete builds, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

First things first, a locking system for the bipod. It flopped around a lot on the pre-production version so I have added locking lugs. This should hold it in both deployed and carry positions.

The new receiver and trigger group. The shape has been changed significantly, losing the fore-end entirely which allows for a much stronger wood fore-stock. The back has been extended to fill out the buttstock and support it fully.

The pistol grip has also changed to fit the new grips I am making.

I bought in some repro grips from the US and modified them with polymorph to fill in the air gap and make them really solid.

I then made rubber moulds of these modified grips and poured copies.

The new magazine well is a big improvement. It locks up very tightly on the magazine.

I have modified the Sten barrel to fit an extension. The gas port is welded directly onto the receiver.

The new foregrip in place. This is much more solid than the first version and will have a correct-looking curve across the top.

I sanded down the woodwork and stained it. Finishing it with hardwax oil.

I then cut a slot matching that in the receiver up into the gas tube for the operating handle in order to allow it to move.

Some of the new parts having their first coat of paint. I’m looking into 3D printed versions of some of these, but need to test out the strength of the parts.

_DSF8940

In position on the gun. 

20170328_200027

The bipod locked down, so far, so good!

20170328_200210

The new gas tube cover.

20170328_200228

There are a few other small changes, but this article covers the vast majority. I hope to have the first  production model completed this week!

 

If this build is of interest to you, please get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.

Spring SMLE: Complete.

Complete builds, Imperial Era, Lee-Enfield, Products, Rifles, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

At long last, the first spring rifle is complete! I’m quite pleased with my first attempt at a VSR based SMLE, though there are a few tweaks I shall be making to production versions.

_dsf8813

 

 

 

_dsf8814

I think in future versions I shall sit the action lower down in the stock to achieve a lower profile. Then I can add things like a charger bridge, maybe even splitting the back of the receiver for added authenticity.

_dsf8816

This example is using an original rear sight leaf. In future versions I hope to make reproductions to minimise the number of irreparably modified originals. The rear sight will also host the TDC hop adjustment mod, saving you a helpful upgrade.

_dsf8817

I may have to use No. 4 Enfield swivels unless I can find a way to reproduce these, swivels are becoming harder to come by.

_dsf8818

After the success of the 3D printed Sten MkV foresight, I have continued to use this technology here to create the outer barrel impression and foresight unit.

_dsf8819

The barrel has been trimmed down to fit. The VSR barrel is a little long so I removed it, cut and re-crowned it on the lathe.

_dsf8820

Here’s an important feature, I have lined the magazine well with steel which means magazine release should be consistent and not pinched by the wood. Other VSR Enfields don’t have this lining and I have seen magazines get stuck. There is a new design for this which I will use in the production versions to allow very fast magazine changes.

_dsf8821

The fake magazine is solid resin, painted to look right. There is no need to destroy a perfectly good magazine for this build!

_dsf8822

The original buttplate. I’m hoping to make reproduction ones for future versions. As this is an original buttstock you would still be able to fit an original if this happens.

_dsf8823

I’m hoping to improve the bolt handle and back of the bolt shape. However I am pleased with where it now sits, nice and authentic on the rear band you can achieve quite a good rate of fire.

_dsf8824

So, there are some changes to come for production but I’m very happy with this first go!

You can see the whole VSR SMLE build here and a potted history of Lee-Enfield development here.

If you are interested in 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 our complete products via Etsy. This will be available soon.

British SMBL 2″ Mortar prototype: complete

Area effect, Complete builds, Custom builds, Products, SMBL 2" mortar, Weapons, WWII

At last, the mortar prototype is finished. The shells are steel tube and based on (though not replicas of) the SMBL 2″ mortar shells. The six fins and band at the top hold it straight as it is dropped into the barrel.

Inside you can fit a TAG shell or other 40mm grenade. To recharge them, simply remove the tube, reset the firing pin if needed and re-gas. The tube is held in place by the spring tension of the bottom half, these are taped up for dispatch.

Time for some pictures:

_dsc5973

Although the early models were supplied with an adjustable sight for targeting at different ranges, these were quickly ditched in favour of the single white line up the back for quick lining up. Adjustments could be made by eye.

_dsc5974

This picture shows how the shells come apart to fit a 40mm grenade or TAG shell. The top half just pulls out of the bottom, held in place by spring tension. The shell on the right is taped up ready for dispatch, this isn’t needed for use.

_dsc5978

When loaded, these are very safe to carry. MOSCARTs are notorious for going off when dropped. These shells have a firing pin which is recessed well into the tube which reduces the chance of this happening-prarticularly important when using TAG or solid state launchers.

 

If you want a mortar of your own, please do get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.

FG42 Pre-production prototype complete

Battle Rifles, Complete builds, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Long-awaited by many, the pre-production FG42 is now finished!

_dsc5936

This airsoft model was designed with a number of considerations in mind:

  1. It should be relatively affordable. Obviously work like this is expensive but the price should be kept as low as possible.
  2. It should use standardised airsoft parts as far as possible to allow for upgrade and tech work to be carried out with relative simplicity if/when it must be carried out.
  3. It should use standard magazines. Airsoft guns with dedicated mags for a relatively niche audience become unusable if the magazine malfunctions or breaks.
  4. It should have features as authentic as possible to the original.

_dsc5946

After several years of work, this prototype which roughly shows what the end product will be like. This is NOT the finished product, there are a number of design and manufacture differences that will be implemented in future models:

  • The pistol grips will be replaced with a design that is both easier to make and more authentic
  • Gas port detailing will be improved
  • The forestock will be re-designed: So that the operating handle will move and the shape of the woodwork will be improved
  • Bipod: locking mechanism to improve stability when in use
  • Add turf spike to bipod
  • Improve case deflector
  • Improve aesthetic of rear sight
  • Improve access to hop adjustment
  • I hope to produce a bayonet for it in time (such use as it may be!)

_dsc5947

_dsc5951

There are a number of positive features of this design which I shall be retaining however:

  • The base gun is an AEG airsoft Sten, taking upgrades for this model and having its excellent hop-up
  • The magazines are standard, unmodified M14 midcaps
  • Both fore and rear sight fold down for transport
  • The rear sight adjusts for elevation just like the original, you can see a video of a prototype here
  • The construction is, as far as possible, steel. The woodwork is laminate, like the originals (so far as I can gather)

_dsc5957

_dsc5958

 

If you are interested in 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.

 

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

P04 Navy Luger: Complete

Complete builds, Custom builds, Era, Imperial Era, Luger P04, pistol, Products, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Some pictures of the completed build! It’s not 100%, I think I will re-visit the rear sight at some point in the future and improve on the shape a little.

_DSF7638

With the exception of the areas left in the white, there is a thin coat of paint over the whole pistol in a dark blue, to try and simulate the blued effect of the original. It is quite successful, though the dream is to have an all steel model that is correctly blued!

_DSF7639

The text is slightly highlighted with off-white paint to improve visibility as well as authenticity.

_DSF7640

The original magazine plugs of the era were wooden, sadly this can’t be achieved with this model but I have painted them to give some of the effect for now until I can find a solution.

_DSF7641

And the DWM mark on the toggle lock. I need to find a way to fill this more effectively with paint, for some reason the usual technique isn’t working so well but the etching itself was satisfying!
_DSF7643

 

If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, drop us an email at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or join us on Facebook!

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

 

To see the whole of this build from the start, you can see it here.

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.

_DSF7581

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

_DSF7582

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

_DSF7583

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.

_DSF7585

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.

Lanchester to T100 conversion: Complete

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

This has been such a good build. A really enjoyable conversion where I could take time shaping a beautiful, authentic stock and assemble some simple fittings to produce a reasonably authentic and very distinctive piece. Another enjoyable aspect was learning about a gun I didn’t know much about before, from a firearms design culture somewhat divorced from what I am used to in the west.

_DSF7260

First picture: The completed T100 with the Lanchester parts it came with (not made by me but a home-build Sten project).

_DSF7254

And a view of the T100. As you can see, this has a new fore-end and a standard Sten magwell.

_DSF7255

Close-up on the front band, on which the foresight post and front sling mount is placed. Underneath the paint the sling mounts have been oil blacked to resist wear for longer.

_DSF7256

The rear sight is not correct for the T100, this came with the Lanchester but would need entirely removing to be more correct. Early T100s came with a laughably small tangent sight at the very back of the receiver tube, but when I make another T100 I will equip it with the later fixed peep sight, which is more suited to such a gun.

_DSF7258

A close-up of the new trigger, guard and the cavalry sling mount.

_DSF7257

_DSF7259

And a final view of the far side of the stock and rear sling swivel. You can also see clearly on this side the join in the stock used by the Japanese to improve material use efficiency.

 

This is clearly not a 100% true replica. In terms of inaccuracies, I have already mentioned the rear sight. Also, the T100 fed from a curved magazine with the magazine housing inclined slightly forward. This is a project for the longer term. The operating handle and the slot it runs in is higher while the ejection port is lower. The overall shape is slightly lower profile but there would be no way of using the Lanchester without massive, irreversible modifications which somewhat defeats the point!

 

For use, I think the gun’s owner will be very please with the ergonomics, coupled with the Sten’s excellent internals it should serve very well.

 

If you like the look of this gun and would like one, or 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.

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:

tumblr_mky4fuYlFr1s57vgxo1_1280

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…

_DSF7039

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.

_DSF7040

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.

_DSF7042

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.

_DSF7043

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.

_DSF7045

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

_DSF7044

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.