Revolvers, giving you hop. Colt Single Action Army stripping.

Imperial Era, pistol, Weapons

Our willing volunteer to have a hop added is this gorgeous blued Colt Single Action Army.


First step, remove the side plate.


Then take out the spring and the hand (the part which pushes the cylinder round).


You can then pull out the centre pin and the drum.


There is a pin at the top of the barrel in the frame, push this out with a punch and a second pin that holds the ejector unit in place.


With both of these removed you can take the barrel off.


You can then slide the inner barrel out. At this point get out the o-ring and round needle file. The o-ring should be 1-2mm thick.


Then, start working on the barrel. Keep the channel the file produces on one side, by the time you work through to the inside you want about 3-4mm of the circumference removed from the inside. You may wish to give yourself a little extra space on the outside to hold the o-ring. Use a very sharp knife to cut the rubber roughly to size.


Once in situ, use the knife again to chamfer the edges of the o-ring so that it sits fairly flat against the barrel. There should be minimal space between the rubber and the barrel to preserve the gas seal. Through the barrel you should see just a flat, small line of rubber across the top. It doesn’t need to be much, just enough to catch the BB as it passes. If you can’t see it, file away a little more but go slowly, you can’t add material back on.


Use the collar at the back of the barrel to hold the o-ring in place. Check inside the barrel to make sure the o-ring hasn’t slipped in. It should be firmly wedged in place by the collar, depending on the pistol you may wish to seal it with electrical tape or PTFE.

Some pistols have a locating lug on this collar, which keeps the barrel oriented in a specific way. This gun does not, but if yours does then make sure the hop window is oriented correctly to the top.


Put it back in place, make sure the hop window is at the top.


Re-assemble the gun, there aren’t really any specific tips to put the SAA back together. While you have it open however, oil the moving parts with a little light oil (3-in-1 is perfect) and if you haven’t a CO2 cartridge in, put silicone oil into the cartridge pin and on the seal. Revolvers don’t need a lot of maintenance, but a bit of oil every now and then keeps them going nicely.


If you are so inclined, you could use a flat file and install a flat hop instead, though this fixed hop is quite adequate. 


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GaSMLE: Finished

Cold War, Custom builds, GaSMLE, Imperial Era, Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Some pictures of the finished Gas SMLE!  In future I may add a charging bridge and a cut out for stripper clips in the receiver but for now I’ll keep it as-is.


i have left the inner barrel protruding for now as it makes it easier to chrono! I may change this in future.


Real steel rear sight, with the rear hand guard made to fit the receiver.






If you are like 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.

GaSMLE: Build

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

The Gas SMLE has been a very long project in the making. It is actually one of my first attempts to build a custom airsoft gun but kept getting put back by problem after problem.

This was originally going to be spring powered, but I was offered a gas G&G G96 and couldn’t say no. This is a clone of the KJW M700 and is essentially made up of all of G&G’s upgrade parts for the same.


My first priority was to make the rear band, which in the original is a part of the receiver. My initial thought to replicate this complex shape was to cast it in aluminium. I used a deactivated Lee-Enfield to form the mould.


I built my furnace from a bucket, gas torch, a load of cement and a few other bits!


This allowed me to make quite a few castings. Each one improved on the last until I reached my pinnacle!


The rough castings could be filed into shape, initially just to fit the (original SMLE) woodwork but then to it the receiver of the donor rifle.


However as aluminium and steel have such different melting points fitting the band to the trigger guard proved troublesome, especially given the level of accuracy I could achieve with the casting process.


Eventually I gave up on this and went with a more conventional way of building an airsoft Enfield. I wrapped a piece of steel around the attachment end of a buttstock and welded it in place. Then filed it down so the M700 receiver could fit.


I then put an endcap over the front, to which I could attach a nut when the time came.


The trigger guard was cleaned off at the back and bevelled in order to achieve a really deep, solid weld.

_dsf7656At this point, the action sat well enough in the receiver. By the taking of the next photograph I had also welded in the nut into which the bolt that holds the buttstock in place is screwed.


You can also see the new trigger, during the attempt to combine the original trigger and an Enfield trigger the original was all but useless. However this replacement is all-steel and a much better shape. It will need a little modification for comfortable use but it’s a good start and definitely an improvement on the donor!

The magwell needed modification to take the M700 type magazine. With gas you need to be very precise: Not only does the BB feed need to line up (and this type of rifle is very picky about that) but the gas release valve on the magazine must line up with the trigger mechanism AND the gas port must line up with the bolt. In the end I decided to cut the magwell over-size and fill the gap with polymorph plastic. This has the added benefit of not being affected by moisture so it won’t swell and grip the magazine as I have seen some rifles do.


I then needed to re-fit the barrel, having made a new hop-rubber for it. The donor has a weird R-hop style hop unit as standard, I may change it to a more typical AEG hop at some point. The rear sight is secured by polymorph at the moment, with a tiny trace of glue to stop it spinning. This will be replaced before use with a screw into the woodwork.


At the muzzle end the barrel is secured with a piece of steel turned to the correct size to fit the nose cap. It also holds the foresight in place by friction. As you can see in the next picture the inner barrel pokes out.

Eventually this will be trimmed down to size and re-crowned but for now it is difficult enough to chrono it already without making it harder to line up!


Aside from the bits mentioned above, there’s only a little to do.

Next I have to finish the hop-up adjustment unit, make a new top rear hand guard as the original doesn’t fit the gas receiver. It will then be usable, subject to gas control and a couple of Enfield parts.

The new top rear hand guard in place, before finishing.


And another view, showing the receiver. Over the front of the receiver is a steel plate. The rear screw holds it in place, using one of the threaded holes that holds the scope rail on the original rifle. The front screw is the hop adjustment. I will have to replace these with some better-looking screws before use!


The top guard is sanded and oiled to finish it and protect it during use.

Some last bits of finishing to do to make it usable and I’ll get some photos up in the next week or so! For now I’ll just be happy to have a usable rifle, but in the longer run I plan to make some modifications to the receiver to make it look more authentic such as cutting out a charging slot for the thumb and mounting a charging bridge at the back. That or make this receiver into a Lee-Metford prior to the CLLE upgrades!


If you would like an airsoft rifle of your own, do drop me a line on to discuss or follow VA on Facebook!

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

Rifle Grenade Prototype

Area effect, Cold War, Rifle grenades, WWI, WWII

Following my last post about rifle grenades I thought I would show the prototype in a bit more detail.


The power plant for this system is a 40mm CO2 grenade. I have used the S-thunder mini grenades for this build but there is no reason the design couldn’t be used with a different grenade.

So, how to use! Open the chamber by pulling out the barrel.

Insert your loaded grenade:


Insert the barrel. Have the barrel face downwards to stop premature firing of the grenade. The grenade is locked securely in place when the polished steel is no longer visible.


And bang, you’re ready to go!


This prototype is for my M14, though I would love to make some more of these for other rifles. You can see the video with the initial test firing below:


Let us know what you think in the comments, on Facebook or email us on We will develop these for other rifles as they are requested so let us know if you want one!


UPDATE: Since this post was made initially, I have also started development of a rocket to go on it. The rocket in the attached video is only an initial prototype and improvements will be made as time goes on.

Rifle grenades-Introduction

Add-on kits, Area effect, Cold War, Rifle grenades, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Firstly, apologies that it has once again been an age since I last posted. I’ll be updating what I have been up to over the last month this week.

A slight diversion from the usual this time, the rifle grenade was developed in the early 20th century to allow soldiers to launch grenades further than they could throw. This technology would fill the gap between hand-thrown projectiles and small bore mortars until the 1970s, when dedicated grenade launchers became popular and the 1980s when underslung grenade launchers became widespread.

The rifle grenade first saw extensive use in the Great War where the high trajectory required to land a projectile in the enemy trench and short-medium ranges between opposing forces made them an ideal area-effect weapon where mortars were not available.

In airsoft, gas powered 40mm grenades are popular with modern players who are able to use them for room clearance and area-effect. However the M203-type launchers are entirely unsuitable for WWII and other pre-1970s era airsoft games. Anyway, this is my prototype answer to those who want to add a bit more ‘oomph’ to their semi-auto or bolt-action. More to come on this concept.


I’d really like to build these for WWII airsoft rifles, if you would like to be a test subject let me know! Our email is: or you can contact us through our Facebook page!

LAW M72 trigger mechanism

Anti-Tank, Cold War, Custom builds, LAW, Products, War on Terror

Video giving a behind-the-scenes view of a bit of R&D at Vintage Airsoft. Although it doesn’t look much yet, a far more polished version of this unit will feature in a custom-built LAW M72A7. Apologies in advance for referring to it as ‘L72’ in the video repeatedly!

Hello and Welcome


Hello there, welcome to Vintage Airsoft!

We are a group of airsofters who have a special interest in more unusual firearms that are not always available or affordable for airsoft. As well as developing kits for airsoft guns already made by other manufacturers, we are looking for opportunities to collaborate with individuals who want something a little bit special. Whether it’s anti-tank or something lightweight we would love to hear from you to help us develop something new.

On this blog we will be showing off our newest products, show a little of the process that goes into designing and building them and hopefully some skirmish reviews in the longer run.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Dom and Dave


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