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.

 

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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.

LS26: Build 1

Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), LS26 LMG, Machine-Guns, Weapons, WWII

This build will be another based on the ever trusty AGM Sten! The first step is to strip off the unneeded bits, grind down the unwanted protrusions etc…

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Then I could start tack welding the cradle together to form the receiver. Once all the parts are in place and squared up I’ll weld them in place permanently.

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Next up, I’m assembling the bipod. With builds like this it’s good to reduce the number of floating parts as quickly as possible, otherwise things have a habit of vanishing into the ether.

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The top part of the bipod pivots forward and folds back under the barrel shroud. The legs spread only as far as the limiter allows. At the bottom of each leg is the distinctive  ski-pole depth limiter. A spiked bipod is great for a solid mounting on soft ground, but once it gets too soft they tend to dig in so these will stop it from going in so far that you’d have to be King Arthur to remove it.

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The top cover is to be 3D printed. This allows me to get some of the awkward shapes and dimensions.

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Once printed, some small tinkering to make it fit nicely but not much.

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The rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation, with the windage leaf dovetailed in. The elevation adjustment uses a variant of my usual system with teeth locking it in place securely using spring pressure.

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The magazine in the magwell. This part is all 3D printed, I’ll be joining it up to the Sten using a spring much like an LMG magazine for an M249 or similar.

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I’ve been putting off making the barrel heat guard as I knew I’d soon have access to my Mill, which would be a much tidier and faster way of making this part. I started by drilling four holes at 90º to one another around the circumference of the tube, then went in with my end mill and cut the first four slots.
 
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I could then skip the left material, plunge into the next slot, then rinse and repeat until the line was done. Then rotate the workpiece 90º and do the same.

The end result is both accurate and tidy, much better than if I had done it the way I used to have to (with a drill and a grinder)_DSF0059

 

There’s still a good bit of work to do on this, but that’s for another post.

 

If you would like to see the other posts for this build, you can do so here.

If you want to check out a similarly obscure Light Machine-Gun, you can see the LMG25 articles here.

If you enjoyed this content join us over on Facebook and check out our Etsy store. If you have an idea for a custom build of your own get in touch on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

LS26: Introduction

Custom builds, History, LS26 LMG, Machine-Guns, Weapons, WWII

There isn’t a great deal written in English that I can find on the LS26 light machine gun, but let me share a general outline here and any Finnish fans can come in and correct  all the stuff I get wrong…
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In 1925/26 the Finns ran trials for a light machine-gun and the LS26 won. Production began the next year and they were produced for both the Finns and the Chinese, though very few made it to China due to the Japanese putting pressure on Finland not to deliver them.
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In the West, it served in the Finnish actions against the Soviets during WWII, and against the Nazis in 1944/45. It had a mixed reputation, with some gunners liking its accuracy and others despising it for its unreliability during its early days of service.

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When posed against the Soviet DP-28, you can see why some Finns swapped for the Soviet gun. With a 20 round box vs a 47 round pan magazine, the DP has a significant advantage for suppressive fire. It is also simpler to strip and with wider tolerances it was more reliable in field conditions. Weight is mentioned as an issue with the LS, but given the DP is around the same weight I suspect this is more a case of weight vs capability making soldiers prefer their Russian captures.
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If you want to see some footage of an LS26 and DP-28 being fired as a comparison to one another you can do so in this short video from Forgotten Weapons.

Vintage Airsoft is currently working on an LS26 for a customer, being an AEG this one should be quite nice to fire in comparison!

 

If you want to see something completely different, check out my side by side stopping rifle build 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.

 

Stopping Rifle: Complete

Complete builds, Custom builds, Imperial Era, Products, Sporting Arms, Stopping Rifle, Weapons, WWI

At long last, the Stopping Rifle is done. So anyone planning on bringing an elephant or tiger to a site near me had better watch out!

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This break action is very satisfying to carry broken over the arm and practice your swift mountings in the bedroom mirror.

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The buttplate, lightly oil finished. I’m yet to take a picture that does this justice, but that gorgeous selection of colours fading from one to another is very satisfying.

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The straight-wrist stock is a classic English side-by-side design. I’ll probably make other styles of stock in future versions.

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The shells are roughly based on .700 Nitro-Express. These are quite nice for extraction and pocketing, a nice handful in every pair.

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The Express sights deserve comment. Given the nature of express cartridges, heavy and slow, they have a somewhat rainbow trajectory. This style of sight allows the shooter to quickly select their range and fire without having to finely adjust a wheel or tangent.

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At the front, I’ve taken a leaf out of the French book of rifle design, a chunky front post (already there) for fast shooting and a finer notch in the middle for more precise shots, just in case I ever want to make them!

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Broken open, the shells look pretty good! APS cartridges are the heart of this system, though I may make some custom shells in the future.

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Finally, the etching. I felt that this was the sort of detail that really needed doing. At some point, I’d like to come back to this and redo it with more extravagant etchings, some scrollwork or an elephant or something. Maybe when I’ve had a bit more practice…

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If you are interested in this project 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.

Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifled Musket: Introduction

Custom builds, Imperial Era, Muskets and muzzle loaders, P53, Weapons

For nearly 150 years, the British Army’s main arm had been the smoothbore musket referred to generically as the Brown Bess. This name covers a number of patterns that were used through this time and includes both the original flint-locks and the percussion cap conversions.

 

The Rifled Musket was the next major step for field armies. Unfortunately, the necessity of having a snug fitting projectile meant that the rate of fire that could be achieved with a smoothbore couldn’t be managed with a rifle. As a result they were not widely used (although some were adopted prior to this, usually for specialist units).

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The invention that changed this was the Minié ball (Minnie ball in British slang). In the late 1830s-1840s a series of expanding bullets were designed that were smaller than the barrel (so could be loaded as quickly as a round ball) but when fired spread and engaged with the rifling.

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This all happened at much the same time as everything was kicking off in the Crimea between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire. As a result this war was fought with a mixture of rifled and smoothbore muskets, with the Pattern 1853 making its debut there the following year.

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This rifle served in a number of other actions, most famously the Indian Mutiny, the US Civil War (on both sides) and the Second Schleswig War.

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Eventually, the P53 was replaced with… itself. Well, the Snider conversion allowed the P53 to take cartridges through an inexpensive breech conversion, but the story of the Snider-Enfield is for another day.

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I’ll be building a P53 Enfield over the next few months for American Civil War airsoft, eventually I hope to upgrade it to the Snider pattern for a slightly more skirmish-able gun.

 

If this project interests you, you will find the build posts here as they happen.

 

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 smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

 

Stopping Rifle: Build 1

Custom builds, Imperial Era, Inter-War (1918-1939), Sporting Arms, Stopping Rifle, Weapons

The Stopping Rifle is being built from a Hwasan double barrelled shotgun. The guns themselves are alright, however their standard shells are pretty awful. As a result…

The first step in the stopping rifle build is making usable shells for it. I’m wanting to keep the chunky feel of the standard shells, but with the reliability of something better. Many Hwasan users convert their shotguns to take APS shot shells, I’ll be doing something along those lines by making special shells in the style of .700 Nitro-Express.

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These are 3D printed, painted up and, though I say so myself, look great. This is one type next to an airsoft Webley shell for scale.

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This will have a barrel in it to increase velocity of the 1-2 BBs it will take for a bit more range over a standard shot shell. I’ll make some shot shells for close up work as well.

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On top, I’ll fit these distinctive Express sights. These were designed to allow the shooter to shoot quickly in an emergency as well as fairly precisely when more time was had.

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On the original rifle each leaf was for a fixed range, typically between 50-500 yards depending on the calibre.

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These could be folded down quickly to change the range easily.

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When lined up, the vertical white line helps with foresight acquisition.

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In the real world, I cut out my walnut buttstock.

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Cutting and fitting it to the action was a very involved process.

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To get to this stage took about two hours of solid work. The receiver cutout for this is incredibly complicated, with lots of nooks and crannies.

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Another hour and a half or so later, the action is pretty much fitted.
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The metalwork is recessed quite deep into the wood at this stage, which can be cut back to fit closely. This excess makes it harder initially to fit the metalwork, but it does mean that there won’t be a big shelf between the metal and the wood.

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As you can see, there’s a tiny gap between the stock and action, which I will fill with an oil finished steel fillet which should make a nice contrasting join.

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Next I use the electric planer to take the thickness down to meet the action and add some very rough curves.

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Before achieving the rough shape with the hand plane, drawknife and palm plane.

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If you are interested in this project you can see the introduction 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.

 

Sten MkIV: Build

Custom builds, Sten, Sten MkIV, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

The first major hurdle for me was that my Sten was missing the massive chunk of aluminium that houses the barrel and hop up unit. I measured up one from another gun and created a 3D model to be printed. I added a section to the front for the flash hider which is a separate piece. Running through this and the other part is some 16mm steel tube for strength.

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The stock is made from pieces of laser cut steel. For the very sharp bends I made cuts with the angle grinder, made the folds and welded them up.

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The locking bar is kept in place with two screws. These ride in slots that stop it from travelling too far back or forwards.

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The pistol grip slotted into place, welded on the bottom which was then ground flat to allow the stock to pivot. The trigger guard is huge, the bend was made with wooden formers and the shape was checked against my paper template.

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A close-up of the locking system. This is a pretty solid system, with only the wobble you would expect from a typical Sten stock.

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Once the stock unit was welded onto the backplate, this really started to take shape. Shown below with the stock stowed.

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And the stock deployed. So far it’s more comfortable than it looks, the next step is to make the wooden grips.

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These are made from some leftover walnut I had sitting around. I printed a paper template, cut them out and drilled the screw holes. Then fine fitting and shaping was done with files and the electric hand sander.

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Then it was time to strip everything and finish her up.

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The grips got a quick soaking with some dark red woodstain, followed by hardwax oil.

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All that’s left now is reassembly, fitting a foresight and doing some internal work on the Sten. I’ve swapped the barrel out already for a shorter one but the trigger needs some TLC.

You can see the complete item 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 smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

State of the Vintage Airsoft 2017 1 of 2

Complete builds, Custom builds

So, the New Year has come round once again. It’s time to look back at the last year’s work and forward to what’s coming in 2018!

 

2017’s top projects

The MG08/15 is FINALLY FINISHED! Hurrah! This thing has been the bane of my life for three years. If something could go wrong, it did go wrong. Several times.

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The Sten MkIV. I’ve not shared the build for this yet as it was a quick side project. This is very fun to use and the ability to make it compact very quickly is a really nice feature.

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The G43 (MkII version!). I know there is some excitement around this, although it’s not a world first by any means, I am very pleased with the end result.

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The Webley snubnose was another side project, starting out life as a Well Webley this is now a useful little sidearm to tuck into my battledress for emergencies!

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The Lee-Enfield No.5 Mk1 ‘Jungle Carbine’. A personal build, quite a few people have asked for them but no-one has committed, so I decided to make one anyway! This is my up close and personal sneaky rifle, with a custom piston and cylinder head to keep noise to a minimum. In that respect rather unlike the original…

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The Pritchard-Greener bayonet has proven very popular. Its novelty value and iconic design is so appealing and I’m sure it will prove popular in Great War Airsoft circles. You can find it on the Etsy store here.

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The K98k VSR conversion is a beauty (though I say so myself). This gun was for a friend of mine, I can see these being a great first conversion job for a rookie airsoft gun builder and I’ll be offering kits to help people do this.

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This LMG25 is I believe a unique airsoft piece. Taking AK magazines, this was built for a contingent of Swiss Border re-enactors so you may see it on the UK show circuit this year.

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I’ve done a few infantry portable artillery bits this year. I did a light version of the SMBL 2″ mortar, ideal for mid-late WWII units, this is one of the more practical mortar designs for regular skirmishing.

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A more sophisticated light mortar was the M2 60mm mortar, this has full elevation and windage control to allow for very precise targeting of enemy positions.

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I converted the D-Boys G98 conversion to VSR, I now use this myself with a Mancraft kit.

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The FG42, probably the second most popular project, only beaten to the top spot by the G43. A lot goes into this build, the details of the folding and adjustable sights, trigger unit and bipod, not to mention the intricate hollow furniture makes this an involved process but with a very satisfying result.

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The Lanchester was probably my favourite customer SMG this year, I’ve been wanting to do one for ages, and would love to see it paired with a Royal Navy Commando load out.

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I’ve also expanded the range of rubber knives this year, including this NR-40, for Russian re-enactors and airsofters.

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Stuff I’ve done that isn’t building guns (directly)

One of my major advances this year is building a furnace in which I can melt aluminium. The next step is to build an oven so that I can heat up and dry out my investment moulds more effectively to get production quality castings.

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I got chance to play American Civil War Airsoft in the latter half of 2017, muzzle loading guns and blatting off three shots per minute is so much more fun than it sounds. I sincerely hope to see more of this in 2018.

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I also jumped forward in time from my usual WWII-era equipment to something a bit more modern. My mid-1970s impressions are developing slowly, with the next major step being to sort a helmet. Then I’ll be covered for most of my Cold War impressions.

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And I finally lost my rag trying to balance my webbing on normal coat hangers. I made a heavy duty, straight backed hanger so that the webbing would stay on it in the wardrobe. 20 minutes well spent preserving my sanity.

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Upcoming in 2018

2018 already has some exciting projects for me. I’ve already got another unusual LMG underway, a couple of rifle builds in the works and I’m hoping to finally have the Welrod done.

I’m also hoping to have a Vintage Airsoft meet up event, once I’ve secured a site I’ll be sharing details here and over at the Facebook page.

 

Wishing you all a happy and interesting 2018,

Dom