ASG Sten-Safety catch

Add-on kits, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, WWII

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First things first, the new operating handle. Although the one provided with the ASG Sten is close enough to correct, I preferred the small, rounded operating knob as it is less likely to catch on clothing. For this build it is perfectly possible to use the original handle.

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In order to make the gun ‘safe’, the operating handle is pulled a little further back than the regular ‘cocked’ position. It is then pushed up into the lug above the channel where it usually runs when firing. On the real steel Sten, this simply stops the bolt from being able to reciprocate and therefore ‘safe’. In reality this was a far from perfect system and these guns still had a reputation for going off when dropped.

As this is an AEG, this safety mechanism uses a microswitch to control current flow.

SAFE:

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FIRE:_DSF6336

The operating handle will be oil blacked for use, but it wouldn’t have shown up for the photos here to demonstrate so I left it unfinished.

 

If you liked the look of this, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook. Don’t forget you can follow the blog and get updates straight to your email inbox!

MP28 Part Three

Custom builds, MP28, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWI

At the end of the last post, I had the receiver tube cut, the stock made and a gearbox partially modified.

 

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Since then, I have realised that the receiver tube isn’t quite right, the gearbox modification is a pain in the neck to get working and as a result the stock is too shallow to take the gearbox in its native configuration. This has put the project back a bit.

To save time and get a working gun I am scrapping the modified gearbox. I will keep the incorrect receiver tube for now and treat it as a prototype so that all the parts fit and the newer correct one leaves the workshop clean and not abused.

On to progress!

The new magwell is very slick and the mechanism is really solid in comparison to my first attempt. For those who don’t recognise them, the magazines are identical to those used for the Sten and MP40.

 

 

The next step was to fix this to the receiver. At this point though I say so myself I am quite good at rolling and bending steel accurately! I rolled a collar in steel around a spare piece of 38.1mm tube (the same as the receiver tube).

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This could then be tacked and welded in place.

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Some work with a hammer later, I managed to get it off the tube former and polished it inside with the drill drum sanders I have for jobs such as these. I kept going until it fitted just on the end of the receiver tube with a little friction.

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In order to get it all the way down the required location, I also had to take a sheet of wet and dry paper and sanded the receiver tube down. The main issue was the little rises around the cooling holes (you can see the little white rings in the photo below).

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With a little work, it slipped on comfortably._DSF6124

As you can see, the holes are not perfect, but they will also be invisible once assembled. I wanted to give a little extra space to ease aligning them.

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I could then clamp the magwell to the tube and tack it in place with the MIG welder  to test it before going to town and welding it permanently in place.

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I’ll grant, not that pretty yet. With jobs like this I like to leave plenty extra weld on top so that I get minimal porosity on the part that will be visible when I grind it smooth into shape.

 

And ground and polished roughly into shape:

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So, progress is slowly being made. At least I have been able to discount a few options in this deign and I have a nice spare stock! Hopefully this build should speed up a little now as I have done a lot of the design work for the improved version.

MP28 Part two

Custom builds, MP28, Sub Machine-guns, WWI, WWII

At the end of Part One, I had the two main external components at hand:_DSF5389_DSF5397

The receiver tube and the stock have been roughly cut, so most of the work to do was internal. I designed a custom hop unit to fit inside the receiver and feed the BBs back from the magwell to the chamber.

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I sent off the orthographic drawings to a guy who can do 3D CAD work and he converted my designs into a digital model before 3D printing it in ABS. It looks smashing, far better than I ever expected!

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A bit of filing was needed to fit the hop in the tube, combined with a light tap with a small hammer and it was seated in place. A piece of barrel sits in the space in the side to engage with the magazine.

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_DSF5550The outer barrel is a piece of tube sat in the centre of the cooling jacket. Welded at the front and back are two steel rings to suspend the tube and at the front is the perforated front cap.

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Another little tap with the mallet and bingo, it fits very nicely!

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The rear cap has a space to take the locking latch, which is sprung with a tension spring. There are two screws in the edge of this back cap to secure it in place, though I may put another in the top.

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This latch then locks into the locking unit on the stock.

_DSF5564The rear sight functions much like the original, it is basically a miniaturised version of the sight I put on the MG08/15 with a ramp providing elevation adjustment and the leaf moving left and right for windage.

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There comes a point where you have to just try and fit the gearbox! Inevitably somewhere in your designs something will come a-cropper, in this case I forgot to factor in the nozzle position being at the top, not the centre of the cylinder casing. As a result the stock would have to be about 10mm deeper to fit the gearbox. Given that I have already made the stock this isn’t a great option! I plan to get a custom cylinder head made so that the nozzle is in a more convenient place.

_DSF5575 Also to save space I have conducted a little modification to the gearbox externals. The motor cage in most V7 gearboxes is angled down slightly to fit in M14 models. This is great if you are building a rifle, not so much for this project!

_DSF5577 My first thought was to build a whole custom motor cage but this would be a huge job. Instead I modified the original cage so that it sits slightly angled up. The motor came into contact with the back of the spring casing before it could be secured so a little material had to be removed from there. As you can see from the photo above, the trigger and a part of the fire select has also been removed.

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The stock also needed a bit of space cutting out to take the gearbox. The shape eventually had to be quite complicated to take the wire guides on the side.
If this post has inspired you to want a project of your own, email us at enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com. You can get regular updates on Facebook as well as here.

Still to come! Trigger unit, gearbox mounting and the magazine housing.

MP28 Part One

Custom builds, MP28, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWI, WWII

It has been a while since I posted my introduction to the MP28 and quite a lot has happened since then!

Most of the parts needed are in now and components progress is going well. There are lots of photos of this project so you can see it progressing nicely.

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I had the magwell cut with the last batch of laser cuttings and welded it quite a while ago. As you can see, it fits snugly against the tube used for the outer shell of the gun.

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The fore-end of the MP28 is heavily perforated for cooling. This required a very precise set of measurements and I decided it would be easiest to draw out a 2D representation in Qcad. I then printed this out and taped it to the tube in the right place. A centre punch in the dead centre of the circles allowed for accurate drilling.

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I drilled small 4mm pilot holes first, then holes to the full size. In the photo above you can see the second drilling in progress.

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Drilling finished!

_DSF5391A bit of work on the stock next. Having marked out the template on the wood, I cut the straight lines with a circular saw. The more complex area around the pistol grip I cut freehand with the router. This did however leave me with a little excess wood still holding the whole unit together.

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Drilling through weakened the area considerably. Only a little work with the chisel was needed to free the piece.

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Separated. Once the excess was cleaned off I could start shaping in earnest.

First shape was done with the electric plane, a favourite tool of mine. Finer detail and smoothing was achieved with a hand plane. Working in and around the pistol grip, the half-round file did a fine job.

_DSF5397Finally, where the stock is at now. I’ve inhaled most of the wood removed today so it’s time to take a break! A bit more work with the mini sander and this will be as smooth as a baby’s bottom. That will have to wait until the action is fitted though as it is likely to sustain some bumps by then.

It is only when you have all the components together that you realise how big this gun is. When most people think of a sub-machine-gun it is a compact firearm for close quarters. This is nearly 90cm (three feet) long. I guess they had to start somewhere to be fair though!

More to come soon on this! If you have any questions email me (Dom) on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or leave a note in comments.

Sten pistol grip

Add-on kits, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, WWII

At some point in the Sten’s history, someone must have thought: “This thing is too long, and too easy to handle. Let’s make it shorter and really hard to handle!”

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So they stuck a pistol grip where the buttstock should go and created the iconic shape of the gun (apparently) used by Commandos and Resistance fighters all over Europe.

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So of course I had to make a replica for the Airsoft ASG Sten. This piece is custom-made for Airsoft Stens. It does require the use of LiPo batteries in the receiver as there is no space to hide it in the grip itself.

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The unit is steel and is forged and welded. The piece shown has been oil finished but it can be left plain or painted.

The price is £40, posted within the UK.

Want one? Drop us a line at enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com. Also, have a look at our new PRODUCTS page to see more finished products.

The MP28

Custom builds, MP28, Products, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Development

The MP28 has its roots deep in the deadlock of the Great War. Both sides had tried great waves of infantry, poison gas, vast artillery barrages but none of these seemed to do anything to break the stalemate of the Western Front.

As history has shown us, the Tank ultimately won the day but for a while it looked as though specialised raiding parties that were highly trained, aggressive and well equipped may be the secret. The MP18 was one of the first attempts to miniaturise the killing power of the machine gun and make it portable. At just over 9lbs it was still no side-arm but it definitely gave soldiers who carried it an edge in close-quarters fighting.

Bergmann_MP18.1-2

MP18 with Luger Snail magazine

The MP18 was the firstborn in a long line of submachine guns that carried on serving into the 1970s, so many people copied the design (with some minute changes) including the Chinese, Austrians, Finns and Estonians. In spite of a ban on the study and development of automatic weapons put in place by the Treaty of Versailles, from this evolved the MP28. This used a straight 20 round magazine that sat perpendicular to the barrel (later there was also a 32 round magazine made available).

MP28

MP28

This design was also shamelessly copied, with the Danes, British and Chinese all getting in on the act. The British Lanchester SMG is a copy so direct that the bolt and magazine from an MP28 can be used in it, though it wins some man-points for being able to use the 17-inch SMLE bayonet!

Lanchester with SMLE bayonet and 50 round magazine. Courtesy of deactivated-guns.co.uk.

Lanchester with SMLE bayonet and 50 round magazine. Courtesy of deactivated-guns.co.uk.

Service

The MP28 served with German forces until at least 1945. Its derivatives served with countless other nations for years afterwards, with the Royal Navy using the Lanchester until the 1980s. The MP28 saw use by riot police in the 1920s, the Second World War, its derivatives in numerous French colonial wars, by the Japanese in the Pacific, the Koreans against the Japanese at so on and so on….

Everyone killed everyone with this gun.

So, when a client asked for an MP18 or 28 I was only too happy to oblige!

As ever, if this has inspired you for a project of your own, do drop me a line on the usual email address to discuss! enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

Also, join us on our new Facebook page!

Sten suppressor model for Sten MkIIs or MkVs

Add-on kits, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Suppressed, WWII

A chap on the British WWII airsoft forum asked if anyone had made a suppressor for their Sten, so I obliged to do a post on my prototype silencer!

As with all my Sten kits (released and in development), I wanted to make this a temporary attachment that could be removed when not wanted.

So, how did I make this?

One piece of 40mm OD (Outside Diameter) mild steel pipe makes up the body of the suppressor, nothing fancy about this at all! Inside this prototype there are two square pieces of plywood with holes through the centre.

These slide over the outer barrel of the Sten and fit very snugly indeed. This makes for a very solid silencer as it has all of the strength of the inner barrel to support it.

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The end cap is a piece of ash, cut to rough shape. I heated a spare section of 40mm tube and used it to cauterise the rough cut cap into shape. Now I have the lathe of course I’d just turn it on that! A little epoxy will secure it in place.

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As the weight of the suppressor is taken by the outer barrel, all that is needed to keep it in place is a retaining screw. I used the screw hole that the heat guard uses on the standard ASG Sten.

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A small piece of brass flat bar bridges the gap, obviously this could also be steel.

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Once the canvas heat cover is on, it camouflages this admittedly unsightly joint!

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On this prototype I’ve just stitched the buttonholes roughly, I’ll be putting in some brass eyelets when I have bought a punching kit!

One thing to bear in mind with this conversion, it is aesthetic ONLY. In no way will this quieten your AEG down as most of the sound is created in the motor and doesn’t really travel down the barrel.

The finish is a combination of enamel paint and matte lacquer so that the metal and wood parts match up.

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The production version of this will differ in a few ways:

1. The end cap will be entirely turned on a lathe for shaping

2. The barrel supports will either be plastic or turned round so that they fill the entirety of the barrel

3. The heat shield will have brass eyelets instead of sewn ones

Production versions will be around £50, a post will be forthcoming on completion of the first model! If you fancy a version of this, do drop us a line on: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com!

Sten loop stock prototype

Add-on kits, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

I got a chance to test my loop stock prototype at the WWII game at Combat South this month, I needed something a bit more comfortable than the T-stock (and frankly better looking!). I took some photos before I had chance to clean the gun after use.

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This prototype is made of flat bar mild steel, I’m working on a way to source and bend some C/U section steel but if it isn’t possible the flat steel doesn’t look bad and is easily stiff enough for use.

As ever, skirmishability comes tied with authenticity on the priority scale. I have provided a plastic brown clip to take the standard stick battery which is concealed in a canvas ‘sock’.

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Although painting the connectors black makes the battery arrangement less visible, I plan to conceal the wires/connectors a bit better in a production version as they are a little unsightly. The problem is that the battery wires are actually a little too long but I will find a solution!

For production I will probably leave the canvas sock plain and allow people to colour them to match webbing or uniform as desired.

As ever, if this post has given you an idea for a project do drop me (Dom) a line on the usual email address: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

What’s in store for 2015?

Add-on kits, Products, Rifles, Sub Machine-guns, WWII

Having ‘opened shop’ about a month ago, we’ve had a great deal of interest in our products, it’s quite exciting! The first kit for a customer is due to be dispatched this week, one of the Sten MkVs.

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The production version of this kit (see the prototype here) is a little different from the prototype we showed earlier. There are a couple of external differences: we have added a (real steel) sling swivel to the top of the buttstock and the pistol grip has changed shape slightly to more accurately reflect the original.

Inside we have made some changes too. Due to a request from the customer we have tweaked the battery compartment so that it can accept a LiPo battery. We also made space for the stick battery in case he ever needs to use them.

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Due to the upgrades, this version will be a little more expensive than the prototype at £145 as it does cost more to buy in parts and a bit longer to make.

So, what is in store for 2015? We have a few Sten kits due for release in the first two months as well as two custom projects in the pipeline.

Dom really wants to build some realistic bolt-action rifles with the magazines in the correct place: something seriously lacking in affordable period rifles, he has the design, just not the funds!

Dave is developing an AEG version of a very popular series of carbines that is currently only available in a gas version (unless you count the horrendous plastic ones).

If you are interested in sponsoring a build project or a kit or have your own custom build in mind, do let us know! enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com

 

Merry Christmas from us here at Vintage Airsoft!

The ‘realism’ kit, and a teaser

Add-on kits, Sub Machine-guns, WWII

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Some of you may have noticed that in the MkV post, my Sten looked a bit different from the standard ASG Sten (and not just because of the load of wood attached to it!). Due to the shape of the AEG internals, it is not possible to fit a real steel spring so I made up a jig that would allow me to bend some wire to a consistent angle repeatedly.

This created a wire zig-zagged like half a spring, but flat. Pressing this along the outside of the Sten longways bends it roughly to shape for the inside of the gun. Although it can be inserted through the back of the gun, I found that it made the ‘spring’ get stuck on the back of the gearbox. Instead, I removed the fore-end and slid it in backwards, easing it along with a pair of pliers.

The fake bolt-carrier I used is actually made from a sardine tin lid. The finish on this is of course rustproof within reason, making it ideal. Again, I bent it to shape outside the Sten and just slid it in through the fore-end. In the longer run, I plan on replacing this with a piece of brass sheet and offering it as a kit, once I have made a cover for the rather ugly hex-bolt that comes with the original gun.

 

 

And why is this post a teaser? The first picture is a clue to my next project for release…

Dom