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!


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).


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.



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.


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.


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).


Now, the bayonet; a rifle really isn’t complete without one. This is cast from an original in hard rubber.


The gas plug needs drilling out to take the stem that locks the bayonet in place on this AEG.


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…


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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FG42: First production model: In pictures

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Products, Weapons, WWII

Airsoft replica of the WWII German battle rifle used by Paratroop units. The Fallshirmjägergewehr 42 was designed to give paratroops more firepower than their the standard rifles and SMGs as well as giving them a small enough package to jump with rather than having to drop them separately in a canister.


This airsoft version is based on a later pattern, with only full automatic functionality. Semi-automatic functionality may be achieved with the addition of a mosfet or rate of fire control unit. 


The bipod locks up and down solidly with knurled thumbscrews, as does the foresight unit. 


This will come with a rubber bayonet, modified from a MAS36 but which maintains the look of the original.


This replica takes standard TM/CYMA M14 magazines for ease of procurement, inserted in reverse. The version customers will receive will also have a false fire selector that is missing in this picture.


The charging handle can move, the current design is not sprung but I hope to fix this in future versions.


I have been asked a few times if I will be producing an early pattern FG42. Within a few months I will be producing a conversion kit with additional parts to make it into an early pattern for those who want it.


You can see the build process for this here and order the FG42 and many of our other items through Etsy.*

For large items like this, payments in instalments are welcome. Please get in touch to arrange.

*At present Etsy are being awkward about selling replica firearms. Please get in touch directly on to place your order

FG42: First production model: Improvements

Battle Rifles, Complete builds, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

First things first, a locking system for the bipod. It flopped around a lot on the pre-production version so I have added locking lugs. This should hold it in both deployed and carry positions.

The new receiver and trigger group. The shape has been changed significantly, losing the fore-end entirely which allows for a much stronger wood fore-stock. The back has been extended to fill out the buttstock and support it fully.

The pistol grip has also changed to fit the new grips I am making.

I bought in some repro grips from the US and modified them with polymorph to fill in the air gap and make them really solid.

I then made rubber moulds of these modified grips and poured copies.

The new magazine well is a big improvement. It locks up very tightly on the magazine.

I have modified the Sten barrel to fit an extension. The gas port is welded directly onto the receiver.

The new foregrip in place. This is much more solid than the first version and will have a correct-looking curve across the top.

I sanded down the woodwork and stained it. Finishing it with hardwax oil.

I then cut a slot matching that in the receiver up into the gas tube for the operating handle in order to allow it to move.

Some of the new parts having their first coat of paint. I’m looking into 3D printed versions of some of these, but need to test out the strength of the parts.


In position on the gun. 


The bipod locked down, so far, so good!


The new gas tube cover.


There are a few other small changes, but this article covers the vast majority. I hope to have the first  production model completed this week!


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FG42 Pre-production prototype complete

Battle Rifles, Complete builds, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Long-awaited by many, the pre-production FG42 is now finished!


This airsoft model was designed with a number of considerations in mind:

  1. It should be relatively affordable. Obviously work like this is expensive but the price should be kept as low as possible.
  2. It should use standardised airsoft parts as far as possible to allow for upgrade and tech work to be carried out with relative simplicity if/when it must be carried out.
  3. It should use standard magazines. Airsoft guns with dedicated mags for a relatively niche audience become unusable if the magazine malfunctions or breaks.
  4. It should have features as authentic as possible to the original.


After several years of work, this prototype which roughly shows what the end product will be like. This is NOT the finished product, there are a number of design and manufacture differences that will be implemented in future models:

  • The pistol grips will be replaced with a design that is both easier to make and more authentic
  • Gas port detailing will be improved
  • The forestock will be re-designed: So that the operating handle will move and the shape of the woodwork will be improved
  • Bipod: locking mechanism to improve stability when in use
  • Add turf spike to bipod
  • Improve case deflector
  • Improve aesthetic of rear sight
  • Improve access to hop adjustment
  • I hope to produce a bayonet for it in time (such use as it may be!)



There are a number of positive features of this design which I shall be retaining however:

  • The base gun is an AEG airsoft Sten, taking upgrades for this model and having its excellent hop-up
  • The magazines are standard, unmodified M14 midcaps
  • Both fore and rear sight fold down for transport
  • The rear sight adjusts for elevation just like the original, you can see a video of a prototype here
  • The construction is, as far as possible, steel. The woodwork is laminate, like the originals (so far as I can gather)




If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on 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.

FG42: Part 6

Battle Rifles, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Through all this section I am working in the background on the furniture, staining and varnishing it for use. This is literally watching paint try so I will just give you an intermediate shot of the process rather than bore you with a step-by-step!


There aren’t any good photos of the bipod in progress, each fold was handmade in the vise with a few different hammers and other tools until each was at the right angle. For a production version, these will probably be made with a press if I find a supplier who can do this.


And folded away! This should really look the part when painted up and the furniture is in place.

Next, shaping the grips. I used polymorph plastic coloured with acrylic paint as a base colour. These are just a rough first pass, they will be re-shaped with a heat gun to get a smoother finish.



After a bit of work with the heat gun and some tools, the finish is now quite smooth, providing a good base for etching in the chequering.


I oil backed the rear sight for a really wear-resistant finish. As with previous versions, this adjusts just like the original.

On the lathe, I turned the muzzle brake in plastic. When this is finished I shall produce a mould to cast more from as it is quite a complex piece.


I made a mould and took a casting from it. This has been painted up to look like metal!


And this slots onto the gun! Oh yes, I have now oil finished the foresight unit and bipod, which should resist the wear and tear that will inevitably affect these parts better than paint.






Pretty much all there at last! Just a few last details to finish off…


Completed pictures to follow.


If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on 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.

FG42: Part 5

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Since the last post, I have attached the new magazine well, it’s not looking pretty yet but is feeding from the magazine! At this stage function> appearance, though it’s not long before it looks right and actually works.


My second model bipod legs, these are much thinner and lighter than the first attempt but are the same basic shape. However on completion I found that they interfered with the barrel. Not a problem though, a new design is due from the laser cutters any day now.


The bipod mounting unit and foresight unit is going to be one part.


The foresight mounting block, which incorporates the bayonet mount, barrel lug and front sling mount.

Roughly cleaned up, this will get some attention from the scotch brite pads before finishing.


And in place on the barrel, the foresight can be folded down for transport. The screw will be replaced with a knurled head screw to lock it in place.


Next, I secured the buttstock in place. A piece of polymorph prevents the wobble of this piece, I plan to make a front cover to hide the gaps. On the production version I will tweak the design to sit closer to the receiver naturally.2


At the front end, the fore-stock has been screwed into position around the cocking handle. This one has been welded into position, in time I hope to produce a version that has a moving cocking handle but at present this is where the battery goes.


So finally we can now see the overall format of the FG42! The sling is from Zib-Militaria, it is effectively identical to an MG34 sling. The metal parts look as though they have been painted while still rusty so I won’t be providing these to customers.


_dsf8136 _dsf8137

Not far off now!

  • Details like the selector switch, pistol grips
  • Stain and varnish the woodwork
  • Flash suppressor
  • Gas tube/battery compartment cover

And of course overall paintwork etc…!

All that to come in the next instalment.

If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on 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.

FG42: Part 4

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

The next important step In making the FG42 was the furniture. The prototype served its purpose but it was time to get something that was a better shape. I took the outside shape and created a series of layered profiles that could be glued together. These were then laser cut in plywood.


I put two pilot holes in the backs to line them up, using M4 screws. Then put each layer down in order with a thin coat of wood glue and clamped it.


The two halves could then be glued together. Here’s a picture of the new next to the old, as you can see the shape is much improved and the sling swivel mount is present in the new version.




For the fore-end, much the same procedure was followed, I’m concerned about the strength of this part as there are some very thin joints so this may have to change for production. Nevertheless, the original was fragile so maybe this is authentic!


I took the worst of the edges off with the draw knife, but it was quite difficult due to the perpendicular grain.


In the end, I switched to the drill mounted sanding drums, which dealt with the cross grain far better and gave a relatively smooth finish. A quick going over with sandpaper by hand will clean this up nicely.

_DSF7970 _DSF7973 _DSF7972

Not looking too shabby though I say so myself! A bit of wood stain and some kind of epoxy outer should finish this off nicely when it is sanded down. The next step is to make the new magwell and create the bipod!


If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on 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.

FG42: Part 3

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, Era, FG42, Weapons, WWII

The FG42 is finally coming together and starting to look like an FG42. The rough woodwork is together, this will be upgraded to birch ply on the production version, with a few adjustments to improve authenticity such as vents in the foregrip, the buttstock will be one piece including the back (left open on this test part).


The foresight, folding like the rear sight. The original was locked into place with a spring and detent, this one uses a screw that holds it solidly in position. Below it is the mounting that attaches to the barrel, below that is the bayonet lug.

_DSF7647 _DSF7648


This is now at the stage where I can build the first production model as soon as I have a willing client to fund it! This will obviously be far more detailed, with better shaping for the timber and with much better consideration for ease of use in the field.



The bipod is on the way and if I have enough money left over for development this month I will order the new woodwork.


Very much looking forward to getting this finished!


If you would like to be involved in the development of this gun, do drop me a line on to discuss or follow us on Facebook.

You can also buy many of our finished products in our Etsy store.

FG42: Part 2

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Weapons, WWII

Much awaited, the second instalment of the FG42 build! This has been quietly going on in the background when I have had to wait for other parts to dry/cool down/harden.

The pistol grip is pretty much the same as before, the changes are internal mainly, plus the top panels.


This attaches in much the same way as the previous version, though as you can see the receiver is very different.


This is because it is a cradle for a Sten MkII, that will be modified. This means less modifying gearboxes and no need to make a custom hop as the Sten hop is excellent as-is.


The unfinished magazine well. This is a first model, so finish will be a bit rough as this is just to establish exactly where parts need to go and establish the fit.


Like the first model, this takes M14 magazines.


With the barrel in place and the gas tube.


Making the furniture, the original was laminate wood, this version will be as well. Given how little material there is inside the woodwork, this actually makes a lot of sense as it is far less wasteful of materials than solid timber would be.



The sights both fold down to prevent them catching on equipment during the jump.

The foresight block is made of several parts welded together. Three parts make the post, two plate parts and one screw make the ghost ring.


This fits onto the foresight base and tightens up with a screw. The original used a spring-loaded nub and detent to lock in place but it would be prohibitively expensive to make this mechanism as well as the rear sight…

The rear sight is VERY complicated. This is the second model I’ve made, lots of parts go into making this function like the original.

Some stills of the rear sight in location. At the bottom of this article there is also a video of it working.

_DSF7538 _DSF7539 _DSF7542



If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on to discuss or follow us on Facebook.

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FG42: Part one

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, FG42, Products, Weapons, WWII

For those of you who have seen the intro piece and follow the Facebook page, you will know that an FG42 is in the process of being developed. We’re nowhere near finished yet, but I thought I would share a bit of progress with you!


Last month I took delivery of the largest load of laser cuttings yet, among which are many of the parts for the FG42.


A few days later, 3m of steel tube arrived, which had to be cut to size in order to even fit in the workshop!
_DSF5455The first job was to build the receiver. As with the original, everything attaches around this piece. Lessons learned from previous projects were applied here: chiefly that access is king! The whole right side of the receiver comes off to access the hop unit and gearbox space.


The outer barrel and gas port fit into the holes at the front of the receiver, this photograph is from before they were welded in place. In future models these may be bolted in for packing down easily but this hasn’t been finalised yet.

_DSF5462The two lugs you will have seen in the photos above take the pistol grip and trigger assembly, quite authentic to the real thing! This unit strips down from the side so that all parts can be accessed while in situ. This unit will be lightened for production as it is currently quite a lump!


The magazine well next. The FG42 has a very distinctive magazine well: not only because of its location on the side of the gun but also its shape. The box magazine was also quite large and there isn’t a readily available direct airsoft substitute. The solution I came up with was to use a reversed M14 magazine which is slightly smaller and keep the original mag well size. An extension can be added to this magazine for aesthetic purposes but these magazines can be used ‘naked’ until enough extensions can be bought.

In situ on the gun, the picture shows the bottom half of the magazine welded in place but before the top cover is attached. On the left side you will see the magazine catch and the partially compressed spring that operates it.


The top is clamped in place ready to be welded. In this photograph you can see the screw that runs up from the bottom of the well, this holds the protrusion on the back of the magazine (now reversed to be the front).


The buttstock was a challenge, I got tired of cutting the shape (see top photo) by hand so after the first two butts I bought a bandsaw which I had been after for a while anyway. The third piece came together MUCH faster funnily enough!


The third piece, a complex shape. One side has to open in order to allow easy access to the back of the gearbox.

_DSF5496The buttstock in place on the gun. Add the back and this part isn’t far off completion. it will have to be rebated for the rear sling swivel and a nose cap put on to hold the front snug and closed, no big deal as this cap is true to the original.

_DSF5492In spite of not having my lathe working at the moment, I decided to have a crack at the rear sight unit as well. Although this will look much the same as the original it is much simpler to make. Although I could possibly make these like the originals it would cost a LOT to do so and an extra £50-odd per gun for a sight feels like a push.


The brass barrel is secured in place with a screw that ports into the pivoting unit in the sight base. Elevation is adjusted through turning the top section which is independent of the brass barrel, a screw thread moves it up and down. This needs a bit more work, once the lathe is working again I can complete the shaping and a bottoming tap will allow for a far greater range of elevation adjustment. It does of course fold down like the original.


I must have forgotten to take pictures of the foresight unit in construction, apologies! The bracket for the front swivel is made of 2mm steel cold formed in a vice. For this prototype I have only made it fit around the barrel and have a slot for the karibiner that takes the sling. I need to work out how to make this strong enough to also take the bayonet.

Welded on top of this bracket is the foresight unit which like the original folds down out of the way. Windage is adjusted by loosening the screw at the front and moving the ghost ring from left to right by hand.


Other points of interest: the cocking handle is stationary at the moment, I do have plans to spring-load this however in V0.2. You can also see the scope rail on top in this shot, at present it has an 11mm scope rail though I will be offering 11mm and 22mm. Anyone using a scope with this will need a set of VERY high mounts! I may even make a set of correct-looking mounts if I can find a suitable scope to base it around.


So, that brings us about up to date! It is starting to look like an FG42 now, once the bipod is cut and welded to shape it’ll be pretty well complete externally.

Internally, although I have made a temporary hop unit out of polymorph I am getting a permanent one 3D printed. I also need to source a mosfet and make a semi/safe/auto switch.

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