The DeLisle Commando Carbine: Build

Cold War, Delisle, Lee-Enfield, Suppressed, Weapons, WWII

The DeLisle is VSR based, so this acts as the joining unit between the different parts. Due to the sheer size of the suppressor however this will pretty much be joined as part of the chassis.

At the fore-end, the front cap is 3D printed, as is an internal spacer.

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At the back of the suppressor is the rear sight, a simple V-notch on an elevation leaf.

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The woodwork on this is in three parts, the buttstock, receiver housing and forestock. Once I had carved out the internal shapes for the receiver and magazine well, I could shape the outside.

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Once all the parts were roughly shaped and strapped down to the VSRI added the re-enforcing band. I’m not sure this was strictly necessary, but it was on the original so on it goes!

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The band had to be cut back for the magazine well, but it will make quite a nice tactile reverence point if the gun is used in the dark.

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Fitting the faux magazine well in permanently, this 3D printed part is fitted with a machine screw through the stock so it’s pretty solidly mounted.

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At the front, I turned the inner barrel down to the correct length.

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At this stage, it’s mostly finishing and painting work to do, which isn’t very interesting to see so the next time you see this, it will be the finished item!

If you are interested in this build you can see the rest of the project here. If you 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 smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

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Sten Suppressor MkII

Cold War, Complete builds, Sten, Sten Suppressor, Sub Machine-guns, Suppressed, Weapons, WWII

I realised the other day that I hadn’t updated my Sten Suppressor pictures in about two years, in spite of making this much nicer model for some time.

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This replica can be used correctly on the MkII and Mk5 Stens, the latter format would make it a Mk6 if you were so inclined.

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I’m using a thicker canvas for the cover than before and a thick cotton cord, ready laced up in the correct format (straight laced, like British Army boots).

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A securing screw locks it into place on the barrel.

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The front cap is made from cast rubber.

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If you want a suppressor of your own, you can buy it here.

Don’t forget you can buy many of our smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here

 

If you 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.

The DeLisle Commando Carbine: Introduction

Cold War, Delisle, History, Rifles, Suppressed, Weapons, WWII

The DeLisle carbine was born of a need, usually by special forces units, to dispatch enemy soldiers quietly. This came from the rise of raiding tactics used by British forces against Fortress Europe, the only way that precision strikes could be made against German targets.

Although large-scale raids did occur, many were smaller scale and undertaken by the newly formed Commandos and Parachute units. Taking out one or two sentries discretely before moving up to the target would allow soldiers to get much closer to their objective before the main, noisy assault. 3-1

The carbine itself was the lovechild of an SMLE, (receiver and furniture) a 1911 (magazine) and a Maxim style suppressor. The reason for its near legendary status as one of the quietest arms ever made is that every aspect of it was either chosen for its quietness or modified to achieve it:

  1. The ammunition: .45ACP is a subsonic cartridge. This means that, never breaking the sound barrier, it does not have a sonic ‘crack’. A quiet ‘whizz’ is easily drowned out by ambient noise.
  2. The SMLE has very few ‘clicky’ parts already. The safety is already silent, the cock on close action means there is a fairly quiet slide into battery. The bolt was baffled so that when opened it would not make a loud clack. For when it was being closed the bolt handle had a baffle so it wouldn’t clack against the receiver band.
  3. The suppressor is huge. Much, much bigger than you could reasonably carry on a pistol. It also proved very effective at catching and slowing gasses down before getting rid of them at a low enough pressure to reduce the noise massively.

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It is known that the DeLisle was issued to and tested by Combined Operations (who ran the Commando type raids) in the field, but finding solid accounts of their use during WWII in Europe is pretty tricky. The only account I have found so far is one by a Jedburgh Commander who says that one was used to successfully dispatch two German officers (1944). D1-4

Other more substantial accounts outlining more specific details of their use have been recorded in the Far East against the Japanese and during the Malayan Emergency. They point to it being used very much as a psychological weapon, taking out individuals during ambushes at night or on roads during the day, killing one or two men in a lorry. Being almost silent, the Japanese involved struggled to know they had been fired upon and even more-so where from.

 http://ww2db.com/

Similarly it was deployed against bandits and terrorists in Malaya, allegedly by plantation operators. One man caught out alone in the fields had a significant advantage when he could fire on a group of hostile enemy without giving his position away. Just a couple of men so armed would have a significant force multiplying effect. 

 

Just before I wrap up, the folding stock ‘Para’ version does deserve a mention. Originally, these were supposed to make up 50 items of the order, but it looks as though they were left until last. As a result, when the order was cancelled there was only this sample produced as far as we know.

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And in case you are not familiar with the Vintage Airsoft format by now… I will be building a De Lisle carbine! This build will be VSR based, using my new MkII magwell and almost certainly making use of my lovely ‘new’ mill (more to follow on that when it arrives!).

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You will be able to follow the build progress here as it is published.

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 smaller items via Etsy. Our larger items can be found here.

Fairbairn-Sykes Second Pattern selection

Cold War, Edged Weapons, Fairbairn-Sykes Knife, War on Terror, Weapons, WWII

Over the whole production of F-S knives, there was huge variation. Include private purchase and commissioned blades and there are even more. At Vintage Airsoft we are now offering a selection of Second Pattern F-S knife replicas. These have no edge for safe carry as standard but can be sharpened when ordered.

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Handle styles left to right: Mild steel, oil blacked; Brass, oil blacked; Brass, plain.

The handles are available in mild steel and brass, with plans to offer aluminium and stainless steel in the near future.

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The blades are also available in several styles: polished and oil blacked.

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These are marked on the cross guard with a subtle identifying marker.

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And this slightly off-the-wall version, which is a sharpened model with a blued blade and polished brass handle. The handle on this particular one is more in line with the ‘fatman’ knives which were produced for men with larger hands who found the standard grip too small.

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You can buy any of these knives through Etsy, if you want something specific outside of our standard knives then you can drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss.

 

If you like this idea, find us on Facebook for more related content.

The Fairbairn-Sykes Commando Knife Part two

Edged Weapons, Fairbairn-Sykes Knife, Products, WWII

I have been experimenting with making replica Fairbairn-Sykes for quite some time now (since my introductory article here in fact). I was fortunate to find a copy of the original design by Fairbairn himself including dimensions.

My first attempt came out quite well:

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However at the time I did not have all the lathe tools required to finish the workpiece. There are some very fine private purchase knives that have this smooth finish so I shall leave it much as in this image.

I moved onto my next attempts recently after a long hiatus caused by a broken lathe.

I used the same dimensions as before, though achieved a much higher level of accuracy this time.

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I cut two, one in brass, one in steel. This time I was able to drill perfectly central holes all the way through and knurl the outsides. These handles are based on the Second and First pattern knives rather than the more common third pattern, which have deep parallel grooves. As the third pattern would be more work to produce and are readily available I decided to focus on these.

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The blade blank was laser cut (as was the hand guard). I then shaped it with the grinding disk and polishing disks to develop the shape. Finally, several grades of sharpening stones put a smooth finish on it. This blade has not been sharpened and has flat profile edges to make it legal to carry for reenacting. This also means that it is slightly thicker overall which is an advantage later on…

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The handles are oil blacked. Steel is much easier to black than brass due to the recognisable colour changes that are very distinct. However I only had one blade profile so finished the brass handle first.

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The next step is to work on a rubber solution to the very thin blade. Most (all in my experience) rubber F-S knives bend when wielded and this really removes any sense of threat or realism which can ruin immersion in-game.

If you like the look of these blades, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to place an order. We can customise the knife to your preferences and provide them sharpened or unsharpened.

You can also find us on Facebook. Don’t forget to follow the blog and get updates straight to your inbox!

 

The Fairbairn-Sykes Commando Knife

Cold War, Edged Weapons, Fairbairn-Sykes Knife, History, Weapons, WWII

The Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife was developed as a joint effort between William Fairbairn, Eric Sykes and John Wilkinson. The two former men of the Shanghai Municipal Police force and British Army the latter of the Wilkinson Sword Company.

I’ll not go too far into the history and development of the knife here as this is adequately covered in other places. A lot of the aspects of the design were carried over from the work of Fairbairn and Sykes on their Shanghai fighting knives-developped during their time with the police there. Each one was handmade and different to the next one.

From top to bottom: Pattern 1 Pattern 2 Pattern 3

From top to bottom:
Pattern 1
Pattern 2
Pattern 3

Fairbairn was experienced in fighting with knives and knife fighting, having been on both ends innumerable times working in Shanghai. From this experience he developed what he called his ‘timetable of death’. I think it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that a man so studious in fighting is best qualified to design a knife so single-minded in its purpose.

Timetable

On their return to Britain, they developed the knife further with the Wilkinson Sword Co. In November 1940, the War Department ordered a small number of knives to be delivered.

Over the next five years of war, Wilkinson produced three patterns of the FS knife for use by British and Allied forces while Fairbairn and Sykes trained them in their use. Royal Marines, Army Commandos, Royal Navy Commandos, the SOE and many others benefitted from their experience.

The knife was so popular it ended up featured on the insignia of Commando Units not only in the UK but in countries all over Northern Europe. It is still in use today worldwide.

 

To read up more on the design of this weapon, I recommend this site, which is overall quite thorough.

For more about the use of knives, this page has some interesting information.

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.