G43 AEG Mk2: Complete

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

I know some people are quite excited about this project so let’s get straight stuck straight in with some pictures!

Left side:

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Right side:

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The 3D printed receiver.

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The rear sight, adjustable for elevation via the leaf. The rear sight adjustment is controlled by the bar across the leaf which is held in place by teeth and spring tension.

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The receiver open. You can now see the finishing touches to the slide, which has been painted up using a mix of acrylics and coarse sand. This simulates the rough cast surfaces left over that were not milled flat as a manufacturing expediency.

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The foresight unit, 3D printed and pinned in place. The blade is adjustable for windage once the hood is removed.

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The barrel is black painted. Production versions of this may be oil blacked, though the fore-end cap will likely be printed rather than metal.

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The magazine well and trigger guard. I may have to beef up the trigger guard in future versions. The magazine release is the small catch between the  magazine and the guard. Although not greatly ergonomic, the original was designed to be fed with stripper clips to be fair.

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A second view.

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The buttstock needs a bit more work for production, but it’s a satisfying result. For production I am going to try and put a sling mounting through it as per the original.

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The buttplate comes off to access the battery compartment.

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A quick view down the gun from the back.

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I’m very pleased with this build I must admit. It looks the part and has a nice heft to it. Of course there have had to be some dimensional changes to fit the airsoft internals, but they aren’t any worse than AEG M1 Garands and without a direct comparison it ought not stand out too much.

Finally WWII airsofters have an option for a rifle that isn’t a K98k or an STG44.

 

If you have enjoyed 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.

 

 

G43 AEG Build 2: Part 3

Battle Rifles, G43 MkII, Weapons, WWII

The last leg of the G43 build are the details that will make it really look the part. First up: the rear sight leaf. This is adjustable for elevation, using a spring and teeth that engage on the right side of the leaf.

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At the front, I’ve had a spring 3D printed. This slots into the nose cap provided by the client.

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At the back of the receiver, the new one has the disassembly lever.

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The rear sight in the flesh. It is kept down by the spring in the front of it.

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Eagle eyed viewers will notice that the receiver has changed a bit, there are now two scoops in the side up by the chamber. There are also stronger rails which had proven a little bit weak to stand up to repeated disassembly.

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The rear sight in place on the new receiver. 

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The foresight is pinned in place with two 3mm pins. The foresight blade is adjustable for windage, so with the rear sight elevation adjustable you have a good range of adjustment.

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Although this is now nominally all in place, I need to do some last bits of finishing. Although it is all there there is something missing to give it that ‘X-factor’. I expect it’ll all come together once the painting has been done.

 

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 complete products via Etsy.

 

G43 AEG Build 2: Part 2

Battle Rifles, G43 MkII, G43/K43, Weapons, WWII

The first job for this part of the build was to modify my receiver design to fit the gearbox with comfortable space around it.

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Effectively I added a slither of extra space down the middle to add width.

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Once printed, it all fits quite nicely. The slide moves freely, needing only a slight tweak to put it in place.

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While there isn’t a function to the action opening, it’s one of those things that is nice to have.

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I decided at this stage to get the stock parts recut to improve the shape slightly.

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The action now fits deeper inside  the stock and the receiver needs fitting into the woodwork rather than sitting on top.

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I routed out the top so that the receiver fitted snugly in. As before it hooks onto the back and screws down at the front.

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I routed out the top guard to fit the barrel and marked out cut lines.

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I marked out some of the shape for the top guard at the same time.

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Fitting the front cap provided by the client, the top guard is partly secured in place here and will be at the back as well.

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With this in place, I can rough shape the stock itself. The top and bottom are rounded off for comfort as far back as possible.

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Even at this stage the stock is developing a pattern quite pleasingly similar to the original!

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I welded up a buttplate, the battery compartment needs still more work to fit an original alas.

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With some careful design, the first version of the trigger guard and magwell just slots straight into the stock. Two screws in the front will hold it in place along with two lugs at the back.

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The build is now starting to look distinctly G43-ish.

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The magazine is a snug fit, but the catch engages nicely.

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A little test piece to see what the varnish/stain will do to the woodwork.

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Much of the rest of the work on this is painting and finishing work with just a few details to add.

 

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 complete products via Etsy.

G43 AEG Build 2: Part 1

Battle Rifles, G43 MkII, G43/K43, Weapons, WWII

The aim of this build is twofold. In the previous G43 build it was a conversion from a wood-stocked M14. There were two problems with this:

  1. The M14 stock isn’t quite the right shape
  2. Wood-stocked M14s have become almost completely impossible to find

So as the G43 is one of my most asked-for builds I have finally come up with a solution. Making a stock from scratch is the simplest way to go, this one has taken a bit of time to get right but I now have a design I’m confident of.

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Laser cut from ply, the parts are stuck together one layer at a time.

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Checking the fit, the ‘lightly’ modified M14 action slots in. At this stage my main concern was the motor space as it is snug by necessity for strength.

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Out of the second side, I have to cut a section to fit part of the M14 receiver. This is chiselled out and is invisible from the outside of the rifle.

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In situ, the only part out of place here is the rear-wiring, which would normally live inside the stock. However it needs re-soldering on the motor here and doesn’t go in easily as such. This will be solved easily enough though.

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The second side glued and clamped in place. I’ve put the battery transfer wire through from the battery compartment (in the buttstock) through to the motor housing. 

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The action fits in snugly, and I fit the repro front cap provided by the client.

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Although the donor action looks weirdly bent, that is the shape of an M14 once you strip the receiver bits off. The nozzle goes up into the feed ramp at an angle. It’s weird, but it works.

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The next step is to create the faux receiver. I designed it for 3D printing. It may need a little tweaking to fit around the gearbox.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 23.14.20

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My initial design will need a little tweaking to fit around the gearbox mounting but the majority of the work is done.

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I am hoping to have an opening receiver. Although it’ll have no function, it’s one of those touches that is nice to have.

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More of this build coming soon!

 

If you would like to find out some of the history of this rifle, you can see my long-ago written intro to the G43 here.

 

If you enjoyed this article, 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.

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.

_DSF6692 copy

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.

_DSF6701 copy

 

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.

G43: Part 4

Add-on kits, Battle Rifles, Custom builds, G43/K43, Weapons, WWII

While skimming the stock to remove the varnish one thin area gave way in the pistol grip. This proved quite difficult to fill as there was no support to speak of underneath.

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Eventually, I managed to fit a piece of shaped wood into the space and affix it with wood glue. To re-enforce it I filled the space with resin. Once sanded and varnished it should disappear fairly quickly.

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I could then varnish the wood all over to seal it.

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I then oil blacked the remaining parts. I’ll be putting together a video on this process very soon.

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The oil blacked receiver in place. You can see the small, irritating gap between the top heat guard and the stock. I have managed to fix it by shaving some of it off in just the right place and adding a brace inside.

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Looking quite close to finished now! I’m tweaking a couple of bits to make it a little more usable and will be testing it soon. I also have to finish the scope mount for this client.

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

G43: Part Three

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

At the end of the last instalment, the G43 looked like this:

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Since then it’s improved a lot. Now I know what shapes are required it is possible to get neater pieces laser cut. As before, I bent sections for the top of the receiver over wooden formers.

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This time however I had some checking jigs to ensure that bends were executed correctly and precisely. This will help to reproduce accurate results time after time.

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This means that the bent parts neatly fit their neighbouring components and can be welded into place.

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Checking the fit of the chamber cover:

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One of the nice bits about this stage of development is that everything has its place and you know with a fair degree of certainty that parts will fit together with a minimum of fussing. This is why custom builds take so long, just because there is only one piece produced at the end doesn’t cut out all of that prototyping work!

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Once the receiver unit was assembled, I had to attach it to the action. A nut captive in this piece of polymorph holds it in place. The polymorph (low softening point plastic) is epoxied in place onto the top of the M14’s outer barrel.

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Below is the bottom part of the rear sight unit on first (dry) assembly. You can see clearly that it is made from five separate pieces, slightly differently shaped to make the rough shape of the sight unit. These are then screwed together to make the unit. They could be welded but for this job a tidy and correct appearance could be achieved by countersinking and flattening off the screws.

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A close-up of the tapped hole. Tapping is a relatively simple process that cuts a female screw thread into a piece of material. This means that a much neater appearance can be achieved than by using a nut.

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One of the distinctive features of the G43 is the scope rail that comes pretty well as standard except on the earliest few hundred models produced. One request the client made for this was that it could be used in the DMR role so a scope mount was needed.

No picatinny rails here though. The scope will mount on the side rail. A piece of 6mm steel with holes corresponding to two holes on the receiver makes the rail, I had to put a chamfer on by hand so that the scope will slot on without falling off the side. There was quite a bit of trial and error needed to achieve a fit close enough to allow the scope to be accurate but loose enough to allow it to be removed.

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For those of you who were paying attention earlier, you will remember the use of different shaped pieces being assembled to create a part. The scope mount is a great example of this being used. A 3mm steel plate is used to align and assemble all the parts, of which there are three types. The front cap you can see here, behind it are parts that slot over the bevelled scope rail and the two vertical posts that take the scope are similarly equipped._DSF6145

Once all the parts are assembled, I could tap the holes in the sides.

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These take the spring steel clips that lock down the scope.

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The assembled scope mount with scope.

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My last job for today on this was to oil black some of the smaller parts. This was my first time oil blacking with spent motor oil. In the past I have experimented with WD40, linseed oil, veg oil etc… all of which produce slightly different results.

I use a MAPP torch to heat the parts, though propane or oxy-acetylene (if you are a lucky sod) will also work. I heat up the parts and watch the colour change as the metal heats. It’s important to make sure the metal is clean of grease and rust to prevent an uneven finish.

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When it is the dark grey shown below it is the right temperature to dip.

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The first time you drop a part in cold oil it produces a thick cloud of white smoke. Each time afterwards it produces less smoke as the oil heats up.

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After the first dip, the part is reheated, dipped a second time and heated again.

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The last heating it is heated until a black, powdery residue is formed. when the part cools this can be brushed off and the finish is left intact.

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The front band:

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The assembly so far:

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Sadly the big parts won’t fit into any suitable container I have. However in my next laser cutting order I have added an oil blacking station which will take all but the biggest parts I do.

 

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

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.

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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.
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Insert your loaded grenade:

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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.

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And bang, you’re ready to go!

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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  enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com. 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.

G43: Part Two

Custom builds, G43/K43, WWII

At the end of the last post on the G43, it looked like this:

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The next piece of metalwork was the buttplate. This elegant pressed steel piece was ideal for the rushed mass production of late-war Germany but this apparently simple shape is actually very expensive to produce as a one-off.I decided to create it in two pieces, the side and back. These were then formed around each other into the correct shaped welded in place. It doesn’t look like much yet but it should clean up nicely!

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The shape of the buttplate for the G43 is very different to the original M14. The stock shape had to be adjusted significantly, especially the back slope along the top.

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Once the rough shaping had been completed, I cleaned the varnish off along the whole length.

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I also welded the rear sight and chamber unit to the rest of the receiver.

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Which could then be fitted roughly into place:

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The eagle-eyed among you will see the hole at the back of the receiver. In an ideal world this would be filled with wood, but I was concerned that this would be a fragile solution. In order to make it look ‘right’ if not ‘correct’, I used a piece of thin sheet steel to cover this area, trimmed to shape.

 

A bit of real woodwork next, the upper hand guard is made from beech. The channel inside was routed out first, then the external shape planed by hand. I then marked out the vents in the side, cut the edges and removed them with the chisel.

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Next, the rear sight. My first attempt wasn’t as tidy as I would have liked so I made a few tweaks to the design and had another go.Largely welded in the main, a little brazing secured the rear end.

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A little cleanup later and the casual viewer would be none the wiser.

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So, this is where we are at now:

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I must confess that i have missed out a few steps on the way to this point.I made side panels for the receiver that fitted the woodwork. There is also a small arch of steel at the front of the rear sight unit that helps holt the top hand guard in place. These features will be refined for production.

 

This project has sparked a lot of interest and it looks likely that this model will be available as a kit and 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.