Kar98k: Build 1

Custom builds, K98k, Weapons, WWII

Now, this is a build I’ve wanted to do for a while. Having found a keen customer who had all the parts it is now nicely underway!

This is a VSR-based build, the most practical option for a spring-powered bolt action rifle. I’m using an original stock which will be modified to take the new parts. You will be glad to hear that it isn’t a WWII period stock so far as I can tell.

_DSF9191

The action dropped in fairly easily, a square cut for the fore-end, the back being scooped out carefully to fit snugly.

_DSF9202

A view inside.

_DSF9204

The barrel, naturally, goes through the barrel recess.

_DSF9205

I then chased out part of the fore-end of the action recess all the way through the stock for the magazine well. The one slight faff with doing VSR Mausers in this way is that the faux magwell meets the real one but this is not a major issue as I’m expecting to make a new faux magwell from scratch.

_DSF9206

The outer barrel is a piece of ERW tube, which is the perfect size to use the original fittings. This will be cut to size closer to the end of the build.

_DSF9348

The VSR based rifles are still experimental at this stage, I’ve produced about four or five different magazine catch designs which I am putting into different guns for customer feedback.

_DSF9349

I’m very please with my rear sight design for this build. 3D printed, once painted up this will really look the part and gives the user elevation control.

_DSF9363

Best of all it will fit snugly onto the receiver with minimal faff. It would be nice once my casting setup is complete to make this in aluminium.

_DSF9364

On the rifle with its Uncle the G98. What you can’t see is the TDC hop mod which is part of the sight unit. This disposes of the rather finicky and annoying side adjustment arm that is the weak point in a normal VSR system.

_DSF9375

There’s still a good bit more to do on this rifle, but the framework is all there. It’s really, really comfortable and I can’t wait to get the bolt handle in place along with the last external parts and start shooting.

 

If you are interested in the history of the K98k, you can check out the introduction article here.

If you like 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 many of our complete products via Etsy.

 

Kar98k: Introduction

Cold War, K98k, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

After the Great War, the Treaty of Versailles (TofV) put strict limits on the number of weapons, ships and small arms. Germany, like all the major powers, had learned that short rifles were every bit as good as a long rifle for any realistic infantry use and frankly better in any situation other than firing in ranks.

As a result, they disposed of a lot of their G98 long rifles, keeping hold of far more Karibiner 98az models, though producing the so-called K98b (which was basically a G98 with a tangent rear sight and turn-down bolt) during the Weimar years. How many ‘b’s were produced is uncertain, but they don’t feature in pictures of the period.

During the inter-war years, levels of tolerance to the TofV fluctuated, with many civilian hunters and paramilitaries reluctant to give up their beloved weapons. As a result many were hidden, coming out of the woodwork to fight street battles between Communist and Fascist militias, the militias and the government and eventually into service with some government units.

K98k, with laminate stock.

In 1934, the German Army ordered a new design of rifle. The reasons of this are not entirely obvious, but given the timing one could conclude that it is related to: the re-armament of Germany and therefore standardisation on one rifle for all to simplify production and logistics. It would also allow for the removal of the G98/K98b from regular service and finally push those pesky long rifles to the reserves.

 

With this short rifle as standard, the Germans also standardised on the new s. S Patronen (previously used for machine guns) which produced less muzzle flash in the shorter barrels.

 

Early K98ks were blued, with walnut stocks, though changes were made to this as it went through its service life. Over time, laminate stocks were introduced, which were cheaper and required less processing time for the timber. Oak was used as a stand-in from 1943. Parkerisation was used to finish the metalwork on later models, making for a much hardier finish than traditional bluing.

The K98k is one of history’s iconic sniper weapons. Many were equipped with the ZF39 scope (pictured) and these were preferred by ‘true’ snipers.

Most famously, the K98k was the standard German rifle of WWII, but it was also used by Sweden and captured units by the USSR to fill gaps in their own equipment.

Later in the war the ZF41 scope was also issued. This clipped onto a mounting next to the tangent sight and could be removed quite easily. At 1.5x magnification it was unpopular with snipers and had a fairly poor field of view but it did allow sharpshooters to perform something of a Designated Marksman role as it would be called in modern parlance.

Post-war, it saw service with the Viet-Minh/Viet-Cong (Soviet captures sent as war aid), Korea, France, West Germany, Norway and Yugoslavia, all with their own local modifications. They also saw action in Palestine, where they were used against Arabs and British forces. Even in the latest Iraq War and following insurgency they were being used against Coalition Forces.

Participants of the Haganah revolt against British control of Palestine carry K98ks and a Sten MKII.

This really is just to scratch the surface. The K98k and its Mauser brethren went everywhere and did everything, much like its sister bolt-actions of the era well outlasting standard military use to serve in specialist roles even up to today with some armed forces. This is not to even mention civilian use.

 

Vintage Airsoft is currently working on a VSR-based K98k and will be posting the build to the blog as it progresses.

 

You can find more information on the K98 through these links:

Weimar rifle markings

Overview/test of a repro ZF41

Very late WWII Volksturm K98-based rifle

Norwegian Mauser

Israeli 7.62 Mauser

 

TM L96: 308AWS to SMLE conversion

.308 SMLE, Cold War, Custom builds, Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Quite some time ago, a client proposed making an Enfield with the magazine in the right place. Now, this is after the Matrix SMLE (Gas) but before the newer Red Wolf No.4, making it among the few with a magazine in the ‘correct’ place.

The simplest way to achieve this was to take a TM L96, which uses a feed ramp to take BBs from the magazine (located in the correct place for that rifle) forward to the chamber as it is effectively a VSR with an added on magwell/feed ramp system.

The first job was to modify the action/magwell to be as small as possible. I kept trimming it down until it was as small as possible without losing the rigidity required for this system.

_DSF7650

I could then fit to to the fore-stock.

20161201_192041

An original trigger guard was not an option sadly, as it did not fit around the dimensions of the donor.

20161201_195853

As a result, I designed a custom one. My first attempt didn’t quite look right.

_DSF8432

My second attempt was much better though.

_DSF8683

The next step was to attach the nose cap unit and top guards. 

_DSF9089

As with the VSR builds, I fit the metal parts before doing the shaping so that the shape fits around these. In the picture below, you can see the rear top guard has been cut away for the rear sight and sight guard.

_DSF9091

Cut down to size and part of the shaping done.

_DSF9131

It still needs to be shaped round the back end a bit to improve the grip, but the overall shape is coming together. 

_DSF9130

It interested, you can see the other rifle builds 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.

L42A1: Build 3

Cold War, Custom builds, L42A1/Enfield Enforcer, Lee-Enfield, Rifles, Weapons

The receiver in place on the rifle, a little tweaking was of course needed for the stock to fit the new action. Onto the side attaches a steel plate which is tapped for the scope.

_DSF9072

Another improvement is the first use of my newly designed Enfield trigger. This steel trigger drops into the standard VSR trigger unit.

_DSF9087

Although not perfect, it pretty closely resembles the original trigger and certainly gives it a nice pull.

_DSF9088

Another improvement is adding in a thick, steel custom nut. This is much stronger than the regular aluminium screw that is threaded into the original receiver.

_DSF9114

There’s really not much more to do on this now. I have a new scope mount design for the new receiver which needs making but there won’t be much to see on that!

 

It interested, you can see the other rifle builds 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.

L42A1: Build 2

Cold War, Custom builds, L42A1/Enfield Enforcer, Weapons

Since the last post, some of the 3D printed parts have arrived. The scope mount isn’t bad, the receiver is OK (not shown here) but both need a few tweaks to be perfect.

I’m very pleased with the shape of the 3D printed bolt parts, some minor tweaks and they will be perfect. I need to work out how to get them made in metal though as plastic simply doesn’t have the strength required for the job.

In the meantime I’ll keep using the steel handmade bolts for testing.

The receiver side plate painted. Although this will do for now I have a new design for a side plate integrated with the receiver itself.

_DSF8932

Moving the outer barrel off-centre means a new spacer, but it does improve the aesthetics of the rifle massively. I have also tapered the woodwork a lot more to allow use of the iron sights.

_DSF8933

I am also making new scope mount screws that look more the part than the temporary ones. Deep knurling makes then very nice to grip to tighten and remove, these will be oil blacked for wear resistance.

20170328_190252

The new screws in place. I’m going to re-dip them as the oil loosened up the flux on the joint.

20170401_220449

The bolt is a temporary measure, it will be replaced with a cast one once I have the kiln working.

20170401_220504

In the meantime it looks OK and will be oil blacked to tidy up.

20170401_220520

I have some tweaks to make to the receiver design and scope mount but this is the majority of the work done. The new receiver will have a steel side plate for the scope mount. I hope in the future to cast the rest of this piece.

20170406_231711

As you can see, it takes an original rear sight leaf. while it’s nice and secure for the battle sight, I need to make a locking system for the ladder.

20170406_231723

You can see the other rifle builds 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.

L42A1 Build: Part 1

Cold War, Custom builds, L42A1/Enfield Enforcer, Lee-Enfield, Rifles, Weapons

screen-shot-2017-03-06-at-06-20-53

With some dimensioned parts, I could get some bits laser cut and underway…

Receiver and scope mount first, this is a pretty simple tap, screw and weld together job by my standards!

_dsf8782

Once this was done, I marked out the lower stock, indicating the depth for each section.

_dsf8784

I then drilled to each depth to rough out the space for the internals. Once I made my way around the outside of each section, I took the rest out by chisel.

_dsf8803

Once it was roughly fitted, I scooped out the lower to expose some more of the receiver.

_dsf8812

I made a spacer/mount for the outer barrel. These parts will all be screwed into place and covered by the top guard.

For the curious, this is the magazine well design for the production rifles I intend to make for customers. I’ve played about with it a bit and it allows for a pretty fast reload with only a little practice, which makes it somewhat better suited to those up-close and personal moments than most VSR builds.

The top guard in place, waiting to be shaped.

So far, the main thing that is annoying me about this build is the barrel, which is a bit too low in the stock. I may have to revisit this at a later date and fit a wider diameter barrel higher in the woodwork, with the inner barrel off-centre.

This replica will make extensive use of 3D printed parts for the detailing. The foresight is closely related to the Sten MkV foresight I produce. The receiver and scope mount are new designs, which should fit around the existing metal parts. Although it is possible to purchase an all-metal replica L42 scope bracket it would cost almost as much as an authentic scope, so this will take a small bore scope suited to the period, maybe with some cosmetic modifications.

 

You can see the other rifle builds 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.

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.

Spring SMLE: Part 4

Imperial Era, Inter-War (1918-1939), Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

I’ve had the mould sitting about from previous projects for SMLE magazines. I took a resin cast from this, cut it down to size and added some screws into the top to secure to the gun. I painted it with acrylics, which are great for getting metallic and weathered finishes.

_dsf8698

I’ve removed the rear band assembly to do some detailing and finishing work.

_dsf8716

I thought I would attach a few pictures of the band before being cleaned up here as I forgot to show the build process for this part. I’ll let you work out the details…

_dsf8717 _dsf8718

Markings will be kept simple for this, no attempt to replicate the originals as they would require a very random set of stamps.

_dsf8719

As I’m replicating various Mks of firearm I can’t use the Mk system to denote changes in the designs of the airsoft versions as ‘SMLE No.1 MkIII MkI’ is a bit confusing! However I’m not going to stamp ‘V0.1’ onto this as it would look out of place, so it will be denoted as MkI. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.

_dsf8720

Now it’s clean and marked up, it’s heated up and into the oil it goes for that lovely, black satin finish.

_dsf8721 _dsf8735

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, screwing on the buttplate and some last finishing touches before assembly….

_dsf8810

 

You can see the whole build so far 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.

Spring SMLE: Part 3

Custom builds, Imperial Era, Inter-War (1918-1939), Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

The last SMLE build post was a view of the rear sight on its own. It is now mounted on the rifle, awaiting the rear sight leaf.

_dsf8406

The foresight unit for this is experimental, 3D printed in ABS. This design isn’t perfect but it’s not a bad start!

_dsf8617

The ridge on the back was accidental, I considered cutting a recess for this to fit, but decided against it. I cut this off and filed it flat.

_dsf8618

A view of the back of the foresight, which has slumped a bit in printing. The next version will hopefully be more square.

_dsf8619

I cut a flat section at the end to take the nose cap insert. The back of the insert doesn’t reach the back of the nose cap, so there is a piece at the back cut to a curve to fit this part into. The hole drilled through is for the vertical  bolt that secures the nose cap.

_dsf8673

_dsf8675

In future versions I hope to have wood going further forward into the cap itself, with the transverse nose cap screw going through it. This system is still pretty strong though as it still has a substantial bit of walnut at the front.

_dsf8674

In place, the eagle-eyed among you may notice that the top guard is different to the last picture of it. I’m making a new top guard that is a bit chunkier and rugged than the original for durability.

_dsf8685

There’s still a good bit of material to remove, but this will just be a couple of hours’ work.

_dsf8686

Then some alterations to the rear sight before sanding, oiling and finishing up!
_dsf8688

 

You can see the whole build so far 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.

Gewehr ’98 Part 4

Custom builds, G98, Imperial Era, Rifles, Weapons, WWI

I used an epoxy putty to fit the buttplate due to the awkward shapes involved.

20160824_120737

 

20160824_120720

I also replaced the bolt handle, which had been secured with a small M3 screw which wasn’t solid enough to endure repeated use. Now it is secured with an 8mm plug and pinned in place. It is now also steel, so it shall wear better and keep its colour.

_dsf8141_dsf8317

I also replaced the front band/bayonet lug with an original, stainless steel one.

_dsf7903 _dsf7984

Pretty well finished now! Just got to put the band and top hand guard back together. Completed pictures to follow.

 

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.