Japanese T89 ‘knee’ mortar

Area effect, Area-effect, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The completed shells.

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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.

British SMBL 2″ Mortar prototype: complete

Area effect, 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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

Heavy weapons prototype special

Anti-Tank, Area effect, Area-effect, Cold War, LAW, PIAT, SMBL 2" mortar, War on Terror, Weapons, WWII

Nothing too in-depth today, just a short video showing off some of the prototypes we’ve been working on for over a year…

All of these are now available to order by email, we will be putting up pictures of the finished articles in the next few weeks.

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

 

British SMBL 2″ Mortar prototype

Area effect, Area-effect, Cold War, SMBL 2" mortar, Weapons, WWII

I’m afraid I have been somewhat remiss on photographing this build, but it’s quite a simple one in terms of components… The baseplate is an early war design which suits itself to precision rather than speed. The spiked arrangement on the bottom digs into soft ground to provide stability. The curved plate is your elevation control.
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The bottom of the barrel/chamber, shown just after welding. The main body of the barrel is easily removable to remove the shell if you need to.

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And the finished prototype! There will be a few modifications for production that allow the barrel to sit flatter for transport and the shell will have cutouts in the fins for lightness.

_DSF7247Something worth pointing out is that this is designed mainly for use with TAG shells to take out targets at long range or lay smoke screens, though you can put in any 40mm shells you like. During testing we did experiment with scatter shells and they were  effective at clearing a wide area ahead of the mortar.

Also, dropping the shell is unlikely to set it off. The firing mechanism is sat well inside the shell and will only be fired if activated by something goes that far into it. This makes it safer than just carrying moscarts which can go off when dropped on their base.

 

If this product is of interest to you, 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.

LAW M72 V0.2 and v0.3

Anti-Tank, Area effect, Cold War, LAW, War on Terror, Weapons

For those of you who have been following the blog for some time, you may remember the first rendition of the LAW M72 light anti-tank weapon built out of plastic tubing and fibreglass. Since then Vintage Airsoft has been working slowly in the background on several anti-tank weapons including an improved version of the LAW.

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When we say a while, we mean it. This is a photo of the new trigger mechanism housing being bent into shape in the old workshop.

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The housing in shape.

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When products are in development, they undergo a LOT of tweaking and changes in design, this photograph is a case in point. A dramatic change to the design of the shell meant that the original spacer would no longer fit, making it time for a gaffer-tape based solution.

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One of the modified trigger units straight after being brazed.

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This is the sear bar straight after being brazed. The protrusion nearest the camera is the sear, which is pushed down inside the tube above and allows the bar to slide forward under spring tension.

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The sear unit in position under the trigger mechanism housing. At the back is the wire that actuates the firing pin.

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Here you can see the firing pin (screw) and the actuator rod that the wire pulls to depress the pin. It certainly isn’t pretty but it did work. However this mechanism would be unsuitable for field use as it is unsafe to drop. However the principal can be applied to a more elegant system…

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The new trigger mechanism. The transfer bar is pulled forward by a tension spring and is controlled by a sear activated by the trigger.

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In place on the launcher, the tabs attached to the trigger unit can be welded down. The trigger unit can still be removed by undoing the screws and lifting straight out for servicing. There is also a tab that lines up with the hole in the cocking handle through which an R-clip or pin will be inserted as a safety catch.

 

And finally, painted up for testing! This will be painted green for production, but as it is a prototype the finish just needs to protect it from the elements.

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If this product is of interest to you, 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.

 

Oh, for those of you who want to see/hear the dry-firing….

Light Mortars: SMBL 2″ mortar

Area effect, Area-effect, Cold War, History, SMBL 2" mortar, Weapons, WWII

History

Mortars are artillery that fires at a steep trajectory, used originally in sieges to target buildings inside walled towns that would be unreachable by conventional artillery.

They have been used by armies ever since, though the modern mortar is a very different beast to its medieval counterpart. This pattern of man-portable mortar was developed in the Great War: when remaining in cover while targeting an enemy in cover was necessary to survive. This close-use artillery needed to be small enough to live in conventional trenches but provide greater firepower and range than rifle grenades.

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The Stokes mortar was introduced by the British in 1915 and the design was widely modified and used by other countries. It is the grandfather of all modern mortars.

The Ordnance SMBL 2″

The 2″ mortar as used by the British Army in WW2 was developed from a Spanish 50mm mortar, though with modifications to make it suitable for British service. By the end of the war there had been eight marks with countless ‘*’ designations (used by the British at the time to denote small changes that did not add up to a full Mk).

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Originally the mortar was supplied with a collimating sight with spirit-levels and adjustment to allow for carefully aimed fire, however this was dropped on many of the marks, being replaced by a simple white line up the length of the barrel which was pointed at the enemy and fire adjusted until the bombs landed on target.

 

Vintage Airsoft have built a prototype mortar and will be demonstrating it very soon.

If this product would be of interest to you, 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.

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!

Rifle Grenade Prototype

Area effect, Cold War, Rifle grenades, WWI, WWII

Following my last post about rifle grenades I thought I would show the prototype in a bit more detail.

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The power plant for this system is a 40mm CO2 grenade. I have used the S-thunder mini grenades for this build but there is no reason the design couldn’t be used with a different grenade.

So, how to use! Open the chamber by pulling out the barrel.
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Insert your loaded grenade:

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Insert the barrel. Have the barrel face downwards to stop premature firing of the grenade. The grenade is locked securely in place when the polished steel is no longer visible.

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And bang, you’re ready to go!

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This prototype is for my M14, though I would love to make some more of these for other rifles. You can see the video with the initial test firing below:

 

Let us know what you think in the comments, on Facebook or email us on  enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com. We will develop these for other rifles as they are requested so let us know if you want one!

 

UPDATE: Since this post was made initially, I have also started development of a rocket to go on it. The rocket in the attached video is only an initial prototype and improvements will be made as time goes on.

Rifle grenades-Introduction

Add-on kits, Area effect, Cold War, Rifle grenades, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Firstly, apologies that it has once again been an age since I last posted. I’ll be updating what I have been up to over the last month this week.

A slight diversion from the usual this time, the rifle grenade was developed in the early 20th century to allow soldiers to launch grenades further than they could throw. This technology would fill the gap between hand-thrown projectiles and small bore mortars until the 1970s, when dedicated grenade launchers became popular and the 1980s when underslung grenade launchers became widespread.

The rifle grenade first saw extensive use in the Great War where the high trajectory required to land a projectile in the enemy trench and short-medium ranges between opposing forces made them an ideal area-effect weapon where mortars were not available.

In airsoft, gas powered 40mm grenades are popular with modern players who are able to use them for room clearance and area-effect. However the M203-type launchers are entirely unsuitable for WWII and other pre-1970s era airsoft games. Anyway, this is my prototype answer to those who want to add a bit more ‘oomph’ to their semi-auto or bolt-action. More to come on this concept.

 

I’d really like to build these for WWII airsoft rifles, if you would like to be a test subject let me know! Our email is: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or you can contact us through our Facebook page!