MG08/15 shell

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

Yes, you read the title correctly, more progress on the MG08/15!

External parts this time, the whole build  is really starting to come together now. It’s best expressed in photographs so I shall let them do the talking…

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Right side of receiver soon after welding the grip. On the right of the picture you can see the magazine mounting for the portable 100 round ‘snail’ magazine (technically it isn’t a snail magazine, it is a belt box, I refer to it as a snail to differentiate between it and the box magazine I am building for fixed positions).

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A slightly soft-focus shot of the left side after tinkering with the safety switch mounting.

_DSF5326Close-up of the pistol grip. This shows the back where you can see the screw used to attach the trigger mechanism inside the gun.

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The first bit of woodwork for the gun, carefully shaped grips. This wood is ash stained with a blend of dyes to pick out the details. I’ll be needing to order in a special piece for the buttstock as the pieces I have are fractionally too small.

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Flash hider, carefully hand-cut and hammered into shape.

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Flash hider so far. The cone has been welded to a piece of tube that supports this component. The bulk of the rest of this part will be polymorph (the large black part here) which is still undergoing some shaping.

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And finally for this update, the cooling jacket. This close-up shot of the back-end shows the cover plate that attaches to the front of the gun and the hole through which the inner barrel will run.

 

As ever, if this post has inspired you, do drop us a line at enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com!

MG08/15 trigger, hop and wiring

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

It has been a while since I have written anything on the MG08/15 build as I have been slowly working on several small parts that in their own rights don’t make for a very interesting article!

The first of these to be completed is the motor plate. This unit houses the motor and the custom hop unit that I have made especially for this build. The original hop unit would only feed from the bottom left, entirely unsuitable of course for a gun that feeds from the top right!

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Motor plate with gearbox, hop and barrel.

So I designed a unit that would feed from the top, this has a feed tube that runs to the feed tray where the ammunition enters the gun.

Close-up of hop unit. The screw sets the hop, the feed tube sits just behind this.

Close-up of hop unit. The screw sets the hop, the feed tube sits just behind this.

The next part to be finished is the trigger. The trigger block sits just above the pistol grip and is secured by one M4 screw at the back. This screw is set into the grip, meaning that it doesn’t intrude on the use or look of the gun but the trigger block can be removed with relative ease. It also means that I can weld the pistol grip into place, meaning that this potential weak spot will be pretty solid!

Trigger unit and pistol grip out of situ.

Trigger unit and pistol grip out of situ.

Trigger housing and safety slot. The safety engages with the second sear.

Trigger housing and safety slot. The safety engages with the second sear.

Also, the wiring has been completed. Having run a test everything works fine, though I will be finding a stronger spring to reset the second sear to make trigger response sharper.

Where the magic happens...

Where the magic happens…

The next step is to assemble the rest of the outer shell and add the detailing. Then we can run a functionality test.

If this post has piqued your interest at all and you would like something similar of your own, do just let us know! Drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

MG08/15 Motor plate and further designs

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

So far I have built the main body of the MG08/15 (see here). The next step was to build the plate that supports the gearbox unit and hop. This bit isn’t pretty but it will be functional!

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Top view, plate installed inside shell.

Two bolts secure the plate fore and aft. At present I have left the heads on for ease of dismantling but these will be filed down for finishing so as to be more discrete.

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Side view, plate installed. The green line shows the level of the motor plate.

I also installed the top cover, a piece of 2mm sheet formed to the shape of the top. This is hinged at the front, I’ll have to create a catch at the back to hold it in place.

The hop is a custom-designed one in order to fit the space and feed from a place that is suitable for the magazine (the top as it happens).

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Space between motor plate and the bottom of the shell.

In this space the trigger mechanism will be going! That is the next stage….

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Trigger mechanism.

The tricky part of designing the trigger mechanism for this was getting the safety switch to operate the correct way around. A reasonable bit of re-jigging was required but I got there eventually! Again, the components will be laser cut.

 

As ever, if this post has inspired you at all for your own project or custom build let me know! Drop us a line to discuss it on: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com

The MG08/15

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

In the deadlock of trench warfare that epitomised the Western Front in Europe, all sides tried their hardest to develop a tactic or weapon that would allow them to break the stalemate.

The British developed the most successful weapon, the tank. This mobile fortress allowed men to push forward under solid cover which could also lay down suppressing fire. The Germans didn’t really catch on to the tank until later on (Blitzkrieg, anyone?) but they did appreciate the value of lightweight, well-equipped shock troops.

The trouble was that the weapons of the era were not well suited to this sort of combat: small units attacking well-defended, confined spaces. Rifles were too long, swords and bayonets unwieldy, handguns had a limited magazine capacity and range. What their Stormtroops needed was something to suppress enemy positions and quickly re-enforce their footholds.

The ideal would be to have a machine-gun that could be moved forward with the first wave of soldiers, but at the time even the lightest of machine-guns such as the British Lewis Gun was too heavy for long walks across no-man’s land. The Germans found their answer in the Maxim gun that they already used as their standard machine gun.

The Germans took the Maxim MG08 and effectively cut off everything they could. Gone was the empty space in the receiver, the water jacket was made smaller and most importantly, the spade grips and thumb trigger were taken off and replaced with a buttstock, the trigger being moved down to a pistol grip at the bottom of the receiver.

The result of this was a machine gun that could be advanced with the front line of troops, indeed it was supposed to be fired from the hip in a tactic known as ‘walking fire’ (the BAR was designed on similar grounds). This is the singularly worst tactic ever invented-I recommend you do not try this at home-if you are being shot at.

Walking fire.

The Germans also added a 100 round belt magazine that slid onto a carrier on the right side of the gun, though the gun could also be operated from the 250round boxes used for the standard MG08.

The shortage of machine-guns in the lead-up to WWII meant that the MG08/15 saw active service right up to 1945, meaning that it is a perfectly legitimate weapon for many WWII scenarios. In the coming weeks I will be posting regular updates on the progress of an Airsoft MG08/15 for a client in South Africa.