MG08/15: Upgraded internals

Custom builds, Machine-Guns, MG08/15, Products, Weapons, WWI, WWII

A quick video to show you what this gun shot like prior to a couple of improvements!

It was a little inconsistent, though bear in mind that this is without the hop set at all. There are several improvements that have been made since then to improve consistency and power.

Firstly, a large, stiff spring holds both the outer barrel and the hop unit in place against the gearbox.

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At this point, it became apparent that having quick-replacement magazines is a bit pointless as any magazine for this gun will be a high-capacity one. As a result I dropped this idea and went for the far more secure (and better feeding) fixed version.

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This can still be swapped between an electronic hi-cap (stored in an MG42 ammunition box, as used in WW2 with the MG08/15) and a smaller hi-cap that can be stored in the drum itself.

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A drum magazine lock was added to stop the drum from opening unexpectedly. The crank handle on the original was used to wind in the cloth bullet belt. It is fixed on this and the sides of the spindle hold the magazine in place.

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The details on the water tank, filling cap and steam hose connector.

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The small magazine attachment for the drum magazine. This attaches to the top of an M14 magazine.

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A top-up of paint to get it pretty before testing!

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Ready to go!

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The elevation adjustment and rear sight.
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If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook.

The MP28 in context

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

Yesterday, the owner of the MP28 came to collect his new gun and kindly brought his WW1-era Sturmtruppen impression for some photographs! The whole impression is mildly terrifying and it’s fair to say you wouldn’t want him appearing in front of you on a dark night…
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Although the MP28 isn’t a small fire-arm, it is very compact compared to the standard German service rifle, the G98 and even compares favourably to the K98a then in service with  advance units. Add in that the rate of fire is significantly higher than any bolt-action rifle and you have a fearsome new weapon for trench raiding.

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Jim has made and modified much of this uniform himself.

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Particularly noteworthy is the gas mask, in which he has replaced the glass vision ports with  mesh.

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He hand-painted his Stahlhelm based on photographs of originals, that distinctive block-camouflage was used by both sides in various forms, sometimes including unexpected colours like vivid yellows and sky blues.

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And of course, a vital part of any Sturmtruppen’s outfit, the spade:

“But the bayonet has practically lost its importance. It is usually the fashion now to charge with bombs and spades only. The sharpened spade is a more handy and many-sided weapon; not only can it be used for jabbing a man under the chin, but it is much better for striking with because of its greater weight; and if one hits between the neck and shoulder it easily cleaves as far down as the chest”

Eric Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front.

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You can follow the long process of building the MP28 here. This version has both a safety catch and a select-fire system built in with elevation and windage-adjustable rear sight.

If this replica firearm is of interest to you, please do get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy many of our complete products via Etsy, though builds like this are made to order.

LAW M72 V0.2 and v0.3

Anti-Tank, Area effect, Cold War, LAW, War on Terror, Weapons

For those of you who have been following the blog for some time, you may remember the first rendition of the LAW M72 light anti-tank weapon built out of plastic tubing and fibreglass. Since then Vintage Airsoft has been working slowly in the background on several anti-tank weapons including an improved version of the LAW.

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When we say a while, we mean it. This is a photo of the new trigger mechanism housing being bent into shape in the old workshop.

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The housing in shape.

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When products are in development, they undergo a LOT of tweaking and changes in design, this photograph is a case in point. A dramatic change to the design of the shell meant that the original spacer would no longer fit, making it time for a gaffer-tape based solution.

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One of the modified trigger units straight after being brazed.

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This is the sear bar straight after being brazed. The protrusion nearest the camera is the sear, which is pushed down inside the tube above and allows the bar to slide forward under spring tension.

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The sear unit in position under the trigger mechanism housing. At the back is the wire that actuates the firing pin.

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Here you can see the firing pin (screw) and the actuator rod that the wire pulls to depress the pin. It certainly isn’t pretty but it did work. However this mechanism would be unsuitable for field use as it is unsafe to drop. However the principal can be applied to a more elegant system…

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The new trigger mechanism. The transfer bar is pulled forward by a tension spring and is controlled by a sear activated by the trigger.

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In place on the launcher, the tabs attached to the trigger unit can be welded down. The trigger unit can still be removed by undoing the screws and lifting straight out for servicing. There is also a tab that lines up with the hole in the cocking handle through which an R-clip or pin will be inserted as a safety catch.

 

And finally, painted up for testing! This will be painted green for production, but as it is a prototype the finish just needs to protect it from the elements.

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If this product is of interest to you, please do get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.

 

Oh, for those of you who want to see/hear the dry-firing….

Lanchester to T100 conversion: Complete

Complete builds, Custom builds, Products, Sub Machine-guns, T100/44, Weapons, WWII

This has been such a good build. A really enjoyable conversion where I could take time shaping a beautiful, authentic stock and assemble some simple fittings to produce a reasonably authentic and very distinctive piece. Another enjoyable aspect was learning about a gun I didn’t know much about before, from a firearms design culture somewhat divorced from what I am used to in the west.

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First picture: The completed T100 with the Lanchester parts it came with (not made by me but a home-build Sten project).

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And a view of the T100. As you can see, this has a new fore-end and a standard Sten magwell.

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Close-up on the front band, on which the foresight post and front sling mount is placed. Underneath the paint the sling mounts have been oil blacked to resist wear for longer.

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The rear sight is not correct for the T100, this came with the Lanchester but would need entirely removing to be more correct. Early T100s came with a laughably small tangent sight at the very back of the receiver tube, but when I make another T100 I will equip it with the later fixed peep sight, which is more suited to such a gun.

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A close-up of the new trigger, guard and the cavalry sling mount.

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And a final view of the far side of the stock and rear sling swivel. You can also see clearly on this side the join in the stock used by the Japanese to improve material use efficiency.

 

This is clearly not a 100% true replica. In terms of inaccuracies, I have already mentioned the rear sight. Also, the T100 fed from a curved magazine with the magazine housing inclined slightly forward. This is a project for the longer term. The operating handle and the slot it runs in is higher while the ejection port is lower. The overall shape is slightly lower profile but there would be no way of using the Lanchester without massive, irreversible modifications which somewhat defeats the point!

 

For use, I think the gun’s owner will be very please with the ergonomics, coupled with the Sten’s excellent internals it should serve very well.

 

If you like the look of this gun and would like one, or a build of your own that we don’t currently offer please do get in touch! Email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or get in touch via our Facebook page.

Lanchester to T100 SMG

Custom builds, Sub Machine-guns, T100/44, Weapons, WWII

History

The T100 SMG was a Japanese sub machine-gun produced during the Second World War. Two versions were made, the earlier T100/40 was excessively complex and quite frankly, a bit useless. Later on in the war the T100/44 was brought in to massively simplify production and produced a faster-firing and much more reliable weapon.

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T100/40. Note massive bayonet lug and bipod.

 

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T100/44. Image courtesy of James D Julia (Maine).

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T100/44. Image courtesy of James D Julia (Maine).

The build

This build will be a lookalike gun made for WWII Airsoft games set in the Pacific. The client has supplied me with a home-built Lanchester based on an AGM Sten to work from.

First step is to remove the recess for the action to go. The trigger mechanism housing on the donor gun has been heavily modified already to reduce its bulk which is helpful this!

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Then the rest of the buttstock can be glued on. Most if not all Japanese firearms were made in this way due to material shortages.

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While this is drying, I can get to work on the barrel shroud.

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The template guides where the holes go accurately. All the tubular components together below:

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And brazing the muzzle brake:

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One really nice feature of the T100 as far as manufacturing goes is that all the accessories mounted on the barrel shroud are on this band at the front. This makes it very easy to place everything without wielding the large workpiece.
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Now dry, I can get to work marking out the body of the stock.

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Which is roughed out on the scroll saw before proceeding with shaping.

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And routing out the slim finger grips at the fore-end.

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Fitting the Lanchester action to the stock is, as always, slow work!

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But eventually it is there.

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Once tightened down with the mounting screw it sits very snugly in the stock. The balance of the gun is set very high due to the action being sat high-up on a slim wooden stock. You can also see the new trigger in its initial stages.

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The new trigger guard in place and recessed into the stock.

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At this point the stock is sanded down, ready for oiling and the buttplate fitted.

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In this photograph you can just about see the join between the two pieces of wood that make up the stock.

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The buttplate is, unconventionally, wooden as well. Attached with two panel pins. Although this seems a bit pointless, the side grain of the wood is less likely to be damaged by grounding the stock than the end grain, which would splay and splinter with repeated exposure.
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After several coats of danish oil followed by a coat of Hardwax oil the stock is looking pretty fine. The join between the two stock pieces is subtle, perhaps a bit too much to be authentic but the oil does boost the contrast in the grain very well and the butt plate shows up nicely.

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Skipping ahead, the barrel band is welded together. Underneath is the bayonet lug and on the right side is the unusual sling swivel arrangement. The parts of the swivel are oil blacked as they will be worn much more heavily. The rest will be painted as it is quite a large item to try and oil black.

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The remaining small parts are oil blacked and fitted to the stock.

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On the left of the stock is an unusual sling arrangement which I have reproduced. The position and design is very much in the style of a cavalry carbine. Although this particular sling swivel is non-functional it does rotate much like the original.
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Now it is time for final assembly and fitting, plus a couple of last details. Pictures of the final product to follow!

 

Like this gun? Why not email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to find out more. Also, why not check out our Etsy page where we have ready-made kits and accessories?

PIAT: Part Two

Anti-Tank, Area-effect, PIAT, Weapons, WWII

PIAT Part One was quite a while ago now and the project had to take a bit of a back seat for a while. Since then it has undergone a few changes to improve it and get it working!

Firstly, the shell holder is now welded onto the receiver for strength and simplicity. The whole unit now strips from the back.
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The back now uses a bayonet locking lug system to hold the internals in place.

_DSF6892 The trigger mechanism is now also smaller and smoother to operate, so it now looks like this:
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With the prototype shell in place! The production shells will be much more authentic in shape, this is just a proof of concept at this stage.

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Time for a first coat of paint. Panzer green will do to prevent rust for now, though surviving examples are painted everything from a forest green to a chocolate brown.

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Time for a bit of bang:

If you like the look of this piece and would like a build of your own or want to support this project please do get in touch! Email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or get in touch via our Facebook page.

Don’t forget to visit our Etsy page HERE.

MP28 Sten build Part 2

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

At the end of the last piece on the MP28, I was doing battle with the fire select mechanism. I found a solution in cutting off the automatic mode altogether, not just one of the wires. Below is my original (functional) test rig.

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And built into a usable switch.

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This can be mounted into the Sten body with a screw. I have placed it at the back of the operation handle channel where it will be both accessible and discrete.

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One oil finished knob later and the fire select is complete. You’ll note the rather ugly M6 screw which is temporarily filling the role of op handle until one is made.

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Next job is to replace the trigger. The original was too short once it was set into the wooden stock. I simply cut around the top to keep the shape and improved the size and shape of the trigger blade itself.

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I fitted the battery compartment cover, this gun will take LiPo batteries which keeps the battery compartment size down.

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Closely fitting the buttplate before applying the finish to both parts.

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Several coats of Danish oil darkened up the stock and brought out the natural colouring nicely.

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I could then fit the oil blued buttplate with two oil-finished screws to blend in.

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And apply several coats of a new finish I am experimenting with that should produce a hard, wear resistant and semi-gloss surface.

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The bottom of the gun just after fitting the blacked trigger guard plate and battery compartment cover.

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The extending wire that links the battery compartment to the mechanism.

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Another view of the extending wire. The catch is screwed down with machine screws rather than woodscrews as it may need to be removed and this will reduce wear on the stock.

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And finally… with the mechanism in place.

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More photos and video to follow when test firing is complete!

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Like this gun? Why not email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to find out more. Also, why not check out our Etsy page where we have ready-made kits and accessories?

MP28 Sten build Part 1

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

Taking a different approach to an MP28 build here! Going to be brief and to the point.

Roughing out the stock: The overall shape is cut with a bandsaw using a template. I then take the corners off with a router where applicable. The timber I am using here is Walnut, a beautiful piece I acquired from a furniture maker’s near York.
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I then cut out a recess for the catch and receiver, this is partway through cutting.

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I can then remove materiel from the bottom where the trigger guard will protrude.

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To get a really close fit between the metal and wooden components, I smeared a very thin layer of boot polish over the surfaces of the metal to be mated. This leaves an impression on the high points (or accents as some people call them) that can then be removed tiny bit by tiny bit with a sharp chisel or small file. Using this technique and going slooooowly you can get a very close fit as demonstrated below:

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And with the receiver in position on its initial fitting. I have since adjusted the positioning slightly so it is a bit lower in the stock.

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So, confession time: this is how that Sten receiver fits into that shaped stock. I took an angle grinder to the trigger mechanism housing and removed all the metal below the top of the trigger guard.

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I could then weld on a flat plate of my own to seal the unit in. One of the really good things about the ASG Sten is that it is largely steel, not monkey metal like most airsoft guns! This means it is very easy to work with and I can MIG weld bits together as needed.

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Now, 40mm mild steel tube is damned hard to find. As a result I ended up buying a piece of 42.4mm OD tube with a 4mm wall and turning it down on the lathe. The original tube is on the right, the turned piece is mounted on the lathe.

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I could then mark out and punch where the holes needed to be:

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Before drilling them out.

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The front end of the Sten’s hop-up housing was then turned down to fit snugly inside the heat guard. You could also bore out the inside of the heat guard and leave this unaltered but life is short and this is easier!

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Fitted in place. Worryingly I quite like the look of it in the white, in fact this whole gun looks good with bright steel parts!

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I brazed on the foresight for two reasons: 1. my welder has broken down and is out for repair. 2. It produced a really neat little joint that looked right.

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I could then heat up the entire piece with the propane torch until bright red, the end nearest the camera was topped up with a MAPP torch to get it to temperature.

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I’ll attach a video as well, I thought this looked pretty cool! You will also see in the vid how I rolled the piece over several times to get even heat distribution, which is vital to an even finish.

Dipping this large part in oil, I decided to take a prolonged lunch break and avoid the cancer.

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I allow parts to cool off in the oil pretty much, then allow them to drip as much excess as possible back into the trough, sometimes reheating slightly to ensure maximum removal. I can then rub the piece down with a rag to show the finish. I’m pretty pleased!

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I can then fit the endcap and outer barrel unit, which is one brazed piece.

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And dry fit it to the gun to see the effect!

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Again, because of the broken welder, I brazed the rest of the magwell (the top and sides having been welded earlier). I used a piece of steel tube as the magwell band.

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And in place on the gun, the receiver is also polished ready to be re-finished.

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The rear sight base mounted in place.

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Due to the shape of the magwell, it is necessary to have a bit of an extension to the feed tube in place so that it can open the magazine. I turned this on the lathe in nylon, which should be resilient but not harsh on the magazines that will have to be pushed up against it time and again.

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During disassembly, this extension will have to be removed to remove the mag well. It is easily replaced with a pair of long nosed pliers and a finger.

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Everything oil blacked:_DSF6667

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And fitted into the stock, which still requires finishing. I want to get the fire select working before I finish the stock.

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Some of you follow the Facebook page, and you will have seen pictures of random bits of odd-looking wiring. Those are being used for this: the select fire system. Unfortunately, whoever produced the ASG Sten decided not to use a gearbox with a select fire mechanism built in, so I am having to mess about with a MOSFET in order to make this select fire.

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Having played about with the setup in this configuration, I can make the gun safe and fire in automatic. Just not in semi! Back to the drawing board, but I think I know what needs doing.

More next time!

If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook to look at more related content.

2016: What to expect:

Era

Well, the first year for Vintage Airsoft is over. We’ve come a long way and learned a lot!

The next year has a lot more to offer. We’ll be finishing off a couple of projects from 2015 before working on the next few builds, but there’s a lot to be excited about!

Anti-tank airsoft weapons are currently… well there’s no way of avoiding it: dire. We’re hoping to improve on what is available over the next twelve months…
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Yes, we are STILL working on a decent bolt-action rifle. We are getting there with it though! If you want to help with this build we are selling off a deactivated Arisaka T99 on behalf of a client. Let us know if you are interested on the email address at the bottom of the post.

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We also hope to do more history and firearms development articles on the blog. Although we have covered a handful of major historical events, most history and firearms content is on our Facebook page. We’ll try and get more content up here as well.

Hopefully we will find a suitable platform for selling our wares so that you can access them more easily, eBay and Co. don’t do so well on these things so if you are a seller who would like to sell on our products let us know.

Now, the big message.

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We want to make gun shaped stuff, but we need YOUR help to do it. If you like the stuff we make, let us know! Maybe even buy it! The more we sell, the more guns we can make. If you can’t buy it just yet, share us everywhere people may be interested.

And always feel free to drop us an email on: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to ask a question, give feedback or just for a general chat. We love to hear from you.

Thanks for everything in 2015, here’s to another!

MG08/15: Internals

Custom builds, Machine-Guns, MG08/15, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Some of my followers will remember that I have had many, many issues with my lathe. Recently I have managed (with not a little help) to get it back into working order! There were quite a few jobs waiting for this, one of which was the MG08/15.

This required a hop-up chamber. I turned this from a piece of 20mm aluminium. One hole drilled through the centre all the way kept everything aligned as I bored out the front and back to their appropriate diameters to take the nozzle and barrel.

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I then filed down the top create a flat surface, then drilled a feed hole to allow BBs to feed into the chamber and another hole that was tapped to adjust the hop-up. A second screw holds the barrel stable.

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I attached two barrel spacers to the barrel to centre it in the outer barrel. This done I attached the gearbox to it. I could line up the gearbox mounting plate with the holes used to attach it to the frame and marked out their locations.

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These could then be drilled and fitted permanently.

More to follow soon! If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook.