LMG25: Build 2

Cold War, Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), LMG25, Machine-Guns, Weapons, WWII

At the end of the last post, I had most of the large components roughed out for the LMG25. However the cooling ports in the barrel jacket are a little rough at the ends.

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So I welded the outsides edges, so I could grind them down and round out the ends.

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Next I welded up the ejection port.

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And the rear sling swivel, attached to the mount.

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The bipod was an interesting challenge. In order to go from the stowage to the deployed position the lugs all have to rotate, so a little tweaking was needed to make everything move freely.

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The end result is a pretty stable bipod with good movement, allowing the operator to sweep over an arc of fire.

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The dry assembly of the rear sight and ejection port. From this I learned that the ejection port needed a little trimming off the bottom to sit tidily. I also decided to chamfer the edges of the rear sight base to get a deep penetration for the weld.

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The foresight has been 3D printed, it screws into place on the barrel jacket.

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It sits just ahead of the bipod.

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The back-cap is also printed, I may replace this with a cast aluminium version now I have a working kiln.

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Most of the remainder of the work is now detail parts such as the rear sight unit, operating handle and the attachment for the back-cap. 

If you have a thing for obscure Swiss Light Machine-Guns then you can check out the pre-build piece here.

If you enjoyed this content join us over on Facebook and check out our Etsy store. If you have an idea for a custom build of your own get in touch on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

LMG25: Build 1

Cold War, Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), LMG25, Machine-Guns, Weapons, WWII

The LMG25 is a really weirdly formatted gun, but with a Sten and some modifications I’m hoping to make something really interesting and unique.

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As ever, this started with a load of research and design work. There aren’t too many parts to this compared to some of my builds and they nearly all attach directly to the receiver. The first step of construction was to make this receiver, which I made a template for and centre punched for the drill, before cutting the space needed for the donor.

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The welding begins with the mock-upped ejection port and the trigger grouping/pistol grip.

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I also cut a hole for the magazine feed.

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The magazine well has an awkward and distinctive shape, so it is being 3D printed and will be mounted with metal plates and screws to the receiver.

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In place it fits quite nicely! This replica takes AK magazines which look the part well enough from a distance.

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Onto the stock. I cut it out in the usual way from the blank, but I can’t cut out the action recess in the usual manner due to the awkward lump at the front of the stock. It would have been possible to have this as a separate piece but it’s not a major issue to work around.
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The pistol grip unit is, fortunately, an entirely separate unit. This means making it is a lot easier than a one-piece pistol grip/stock. It somewhat resembles some of the early semi-auto conversions of bolt-action rifles in this respect of its design.

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There is quite a pleasing curve to the back of this pistol grip which is easily missed.

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This means that all the major working parts are in place. The next important step is to get the working parts actually working! Then we can enjoy the detailing, sights and bipod.

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If you have a thing for obscure Swiss Light Machine-Guns then you can check out the pre-build piece here.

If you enjoyed this content join us over on Facebook and check out our Etsy store, and if you have an idea for a custom build of your own just get in touch with us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

Mad Mondays: 9. Percussion

History, Imperial Era, Mad Mondays, Weapons

Last week and the week prior, we looked at Colt’s revolvers and some early repeaters, which benefitted hugely from the introduction of the percussion cap. This week we shall look at the more conventional mainstream military uses. Although the Colt revolver did slowly catch on, it was still a freak in military terms, every other man on the battlefield was still using a single-shot, muzzle loaded musket or rifle. The rate of fire had not changed for the majority of soldiers since the mid 1700s.

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We’ve already looked at the development of the percussion cap here so we shan’t go over it again. There were clear advantages to military adoption of the percussion cap over flintlocks in the form of reliability (in nearly all conditions), consistency, ease of loading and the lack of the initial puff of smoke and sparks from the pan that makes it easier to hold your aim.

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In spite of this, it still took around 20 years between the initial development of the percussion cap and its common military adoption.  Once the technology had proven itself, the changeover was actually relatively painless in comparison to later developments. Muskets and rifles could be fairly readily modified to take the new technology at relatively little expense.  As a result, this is what pretty much every world military did and it is quite difficult to pin down the first adopters of the percussion cap as there are no distinct new firearms having to be produced to accommodate this new technology.

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Some early examples of the percussion cap in military use include the ‘Brown Bess’ musket, which was converted in fairly large numbers from 1842.  the US adopted a form of the breech-loading M1819 Hall rifle which used a percussion cap in 1833, though this was far from standard issue. The French converted a handful of their 1766 pattern muskets.

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It appears that once the concept had been proven, many countries started to build firearms exclusively for this system. Changes were afoot however, which meant that the smooth bore musket  had seen the last of its military usefulness.  Rifles were far superior for accuracy, all that was holding them back was a way to load them at least as fast as a musket so that they could be used for regular troops…

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You can find other articles on the development of firearms overall here and on historical interest pieces here.

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The LMG25 Furrer

Cold War, Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), LMG25, Machine-Guns, Weapons, WWII

The LMG25 is a Swiss Light Machine Gun adopted, as the name suggests, in 1925. It is a real oddity, even for a time when LMG designs were far less standardised than today.

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This Swiss soldier will get a very warm thumb if he opens fire now.

It was developed at Waffenfabrik, Bern by Adolf Furrer over seven years and was produced until the end of WWII. It served into the 1970s with the Swiss military, so must have been a pretty serviceable firearm to have hung around for so long.

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So, why is this an oddity? Well, the magazine is on the right-hand side, when most side-feeders (though not all) feed/fed from the left. There was a monopod at the back for support during sustained fire which wasn’t an uncommon idea at the time, but this could be moved to the front and used as a foregrip, which was.

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Monopod used as a fore-grip in the assault role.

But most interesting of all, this is a toggle-locked design. There are very few toggle locked guns due to the complexity and expense of manufacture as it is. There are even fewer rifle-cartridge toggle-locked guns (especially that went into production). As well as the high level of accuracy required for these to function, they also need to have a very strong recoil spring and a conventional toggle-lock doesn’t provide great purchase when cocking. The LMG25 has a separate operating handle to aid with this.

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The LMG25 is also interesting because as well as being toggle-locked it fires as you would expect a support weapon to do, from an open bolt. It is the only firearm of which I am aware that is both of these.

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The open toggle. When opened, it kicks open the two-part dust cover. Anyone familiar with the Luger will recognise the parts of this.

Just in case this wasn’t different enough for your liking, it is also unconventional in that the barrel does not stop once the toggle is broken open but keeps moving backwards. The shell is still ejected as the toggle moves much faster than the barrel.

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The dust cover in the closed position below, and open above. It is in two parts to fit around the toggle. Very Swiss. 

In spite of all this strange-ness and the alleged complexity of toggle-locked guns (over-egged by those who have spent no time with them) it is very simple to field strip. One large nut at the back of the receiver allows you to remove the recoil spring, then pull out the barrel assembly. What about the bolt? Well the bolt/locking mechanism is all part of the barrel assembly on this so the whole lot pulls out together. Neat for cleaning in the field.

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The barrel/bolt/locking unit, showing the extravagant fluting on the barrel normally hidden by the shroud.

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Top view of the toggle when removed from the receiver.

While beautifully made, this type of gun never really caught on. It served the Swiss well, where money was no object for a relatively small army but for any other military the expense would have far outweighed any advantages. 

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Of course due to never being adopted outside of its home country, which didn’t participate in any conflicts during this period (or ever since about 1847) it never saw active service so it is difficult to say how it would have performed. 

 

If you want to see some footage of the LMG25, Ian at Forgotten Weapons has a nice video talking through one in Belgium here:

He also has some awesome footage of another LMG25 firing, including a lovely bit of slow-motion:

Don’t forget to check out Forgotten Weapons’ page on the LMG 25 here for more information on the gun and high-res pictures.

Vintage Airsoft will be building an LMG25 over the next few months with progress posted up here.

 

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Airsoft Welrod: Part 1

Cold War, Custom builds, pistol, Suppressed, Weapons, Welrod, WWII

Our long-term readers may remember a long time ago an introduction to the Welrod.

 

While the initial project was for an airsoft model, it ended up being an inert replica for the client in question. Well, the Welrod is back for another attempt at the quietest airsoft pistol around!

The base gun for this is a double-action non blow back CO2 pistol. For those of you who like the internals of guns here is a picture!

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In order to keep things simple (K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple, Stupid is my motto), I’m keeping as much of the frame as possible as it does a good job of holding the internals and designing a new frame… well suffice to say that life is short. The red coloured areas will be removed over the course of the build.

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The donor with several of the red panels cut away on one side. I actually quite like the slightly steampunk aesthetic of being able to see some of the internals.

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The receiver in progress, the first step is to cut out a recess for the donor.

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Which, with both halves now matching, fits in very nicely. Inside the tube is a buffer that holds the front of the barrel and stops the mainspring. In theory this could be adjustable to make the barrel unit strike the valve harder/softer to control FPS. I’m not sure at this stage how feasible this would be though.

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The front cap and back cap, freshly turned on the lathe! Both parts are in mild steel so will match the rest of the receiver nicely when all finished. The dip around the muzzle is to disperse the muzzle blast more effectively when used at point-blank range. Which it often had to be as accuracy was pretty appalling with the original!

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A close-up of the back end.

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The next stage is to make the trigger guard and housing unit, then modify the pistol grip.

 

If you would like to discuss commissioning a gun of your own or want to see more content like this,feel free to drop us an email at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or join us on Facebook!

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G43: Part 6: Complete

Battle Rifles, Complete builds, Custom builds, G43/K43, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

As promised, photographs of the finished G43 build. Remember, this was converted from an M14 AEG, so it isn’t a 100% accurate replica.

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This is shown with the short M14 magazines, the standard M14 magazine is much longer but these are a pretty good stand-in for the original G43 mags.

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Side view of the receiver, showing the scope rail.

_DSF6700And with scope mounted.

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A close-up on the foresight. This wedge sight and full hood should make for fast and easy target acquisition.

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The underside for those interested. Unfortunately due to the location of the battery compartment in this AEG, the classic German sling mounted through the side of the buttstock was unfeasible. As a result I have kept the original sling swivels.

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This project has sparked a lot of interest so this model will be available as a kit and as a complete gun. 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. Remember, you can now buy our pre-made kits on Etsy.

G43: Part 5

Battle Rifles, Custom builds, G43/K43, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

The G43 was looking pretty close to finished at the end of the last post:_DSF6312

Since then, I’ve been working on a last few details. Firstly, the scope mount for this client as he wanted to be able to use this rifle as a DMR in modern skirmishing.

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The scope mounts on the rail which was built into every G43 after the first couple of hundred. This mount just slides into position and can be removed and replaced in game. During the the Second World War snipers in most nations were taught to carry their weapons scopeless the majority of the time, carrying the optic in a special protective case, only attaching them when needed. A scope rail like this would allow a sharpshooter to maintain zero through removal and re-attachment.

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I also wanted to work on the iron sights to make them more realistic and user-friendly. The rear sight leaf is adjustable for windage. A piece of folded steel supports the leaf and it is all brazed together. You can see the first stage of the elevation adjustment here as well

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I turned two endcaps for the tube, one of which I drilled and tapped to take a screw. These could be brazed into position.

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I then made a small screw with a knurled thumb nut to lock and unlock the elevation slide into place once the correct elevation was found.

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The unit is now finished for functionality and just needs to be painted up. I’ll add some markings on the elevation slide to make it easier to track movements.

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To help the markings last longer, I cut recesses for them with a fine file. I could then fill the space with off-white paint. I painted the rest of the sights, though I think if I do any more sights like these I will probably oil black them overall and just paint in the details.

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As it’s an airsoft gun, I have left the range markings off, normally a rifle like this would have marking from around 200m to about 1200m. I’ll leave it to the client to mark in ranges that he wants with a chinagraph pencil.

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Finished photographs of the whole gun will be going up in the next post!

This project has sparked a lot of interest so this model will be available as a kit and as a complete gun. 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.

Kukri- Floppy replica!

Cold War, Edged Weapons, Imperial Era, Kukri, Products, War on Terror, Weapons, WWI, WWII

When showing off the original kukri replica, a good number of people commented that on their airsoft sites don’t allow for solid melee weapons and that they have to be flexible.

The people spoke, we listened! As a result, this foam cast version is now available on our brand new etsy page.

_DSF6362Original resin model bottom, foam above.

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Flexible enough for safe use in the field!

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So, we hope you like it! If you want to buy your own kukri you can do so here.

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Kukri-Replica

Cold War, Edged Weapons, Imperial Era, Kukri, Products, War on Terror, Weapons, WWI, WWII

The first job is to create a mould from which I can make a resin casting.

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Mould making has been quite well covered elsewhere on the net by people much more expert than I so I shan’t go into detail here. I then poured a resin into the cavity which, when hardened produced a hard but semi flexible blade.

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Much like an airfix model, once the flashing is removed it takes shape very quickly. A bit of filing and sanding here and there gets a smooth surface overall. I then sprayed it black as a base coat.

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I then layered up the paints as I would for a plastic model.

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Blue-tack makes a great masking tool, allowing a really clean, sharp edge to certain areas._DSF6342

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After an initial dark brown coat on the handle, I dry brushed a light brown paint over then top to create the impression of the light tropical woods used in older kukris.

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A finishing touch was the varnishes, different types for different parts of the knife to give the correct finish for the materials the paint is impersonating.

I’ll be making a few of these as training knives and airsoft knives. Just email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com and join us on Facebook. Don’t forget you can follow the blog and get updates straight to your email inbox!

Kukri- Introduction

Cold War, Edged Weapons, Era, History, Imperial Era, Kukri, Products, War on Terror, Weapons, WWI, WWII

The Rev. J. G. Wood in The Natural History of Man (1870):

“The Goorkha ‘kookery’ is of a very peculiar shape. Both the blade and hilt are curved. The blade is very thick at the back. From the back it is thinned off gradually to the edge, which has a curve of its own, quite different to that of the back, so that the blade is widest as well as thickest in the middle, and tapers at one end towards the hilt and at the other towards the point. The steel of which the blade is formed is of admirable temper, and for the greater part of its surface is burnished like a mirror. The point of the kookery is as sharp as a needle, so that the weapon answers equally for cutting or stabbing. In consequence of the great thickness of the metal, the blade is exceedingly heavy. It may be imagined that a blow from such a weapon as this must be a very terrible one. The very weight of the blade would drive it half through a man’s arm, if it were only allowed to fall from a little height. But the Goorkhas have a mode of striking which resembles the ‘drawing’ cut of the broadsword, and which urges the sharp edge through flesh and bone alike. In the hands of an experienced wielder, this knife is about as formidable a weapon as can be conceived. Like all really good weapons, its efficiency depends much more upon the skill than the strength of the wielder; and thus it happens that the little Goorkha will cut to pieces a gigantic adversary who does not understand his mode of onset. The Goorkha generally strikes upwards with the kookery, possibly in order to avoid wounding himself should his blow fail, and possibly because an upward cut is just the one that can be least guarded against.“Years ago, when we were engaged in the many Indian wars which led at last to our Oriental empire, the Goorkhas proved themselves most formidable enemies, as since they have proved themselves most invaluable allies. Brave as lions, active as monkeys, and fierce as tigers, the lithe, wiry little men came leaping over the ground to the attack, moving so quickly, and keeping so far apart from each other, that musketry was no use against them. When they came near the soldiers, they suddenly crouched to the ground, dived under the bayonets, struck upwards at the men with their kookeries, ripping them open with a single blow, and then, after having done all the mischief in their power, darting off as rapidly as they had come. Until our men learned this mode of attack, they were greatly discomfited by their little opponents, who got under their weapons, cutting or slashing with knives as sharp as razors, and often escaping unhurt from the midst of bayonets. They would also dash under the bellies of the officers’ horses, rip them open with one blow of the kookery, and aim another at the leg of the officer as he and his horse fell together.”

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First things first, I admit I have a bit of an obsession with the kukri. They are really stunning tools as well as formidable weapons. For those unfamiliar with the kukri, they have their origins in Northern India. Here the Goorkhas, a local tribe, dominated their neighbours in battle and forged their own respectable little mountain empire which we would now call Nepal. When the British East India Company came into conflict with these vicious mountain men they learned the hard way what they could do:

“A British officer, armed with a long regulation ‘spit’, ran his sword through a Goorkha. Notwithstanding his agony, the wounded man literally forced his way up to the weapon’s hilt, until he could close with his adversary, cutting him down with his kookri (Nepaul knife) and falling dead beside him.” (Gen. Orfeur Cavenagh, The Native Army in India, 1879.)

As a result of this they made the unusual decision to make peace and ally themselves with the Goorkhas and even employed them as soldiers, considered widely in much higher esteem then the average sepoy (Indian soldier in Colonial pay). Since then they have served British interests loyally up to this day. ‘Ghurkas’ as they are now known also serve in the Indian Army and Shanghai Police.

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Their weapon of choice has always been the Kukri, a complete history of which could take a whole blog, never mind one post. Suffice to say that this blade has been used to pacify Indian mutineers and rioters, Europe in WWI and WWII and in the East against Japan. Even in recent years Gurkhas deployed to Afghanistan have used their Kukris in close quarter combat with the Taliban.

Gurkhas at kit inspection showing kukri in France during World War I[1/4th] Gurkhas at kit inspection showing kukris [Le Sart, France].

I have been experimenting with replica knives for Airsoft and re-enactment purposes for a while now and thought this would make a fun project. More to follow next time…