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:
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.
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.
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.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy many of our complete products via Etsy.
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.
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.
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.
Something 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.
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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.
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).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.