The Sten MkV kit in action

Add-on kits, Customer Reviews, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

Many of VA’s followers are also on the UK WW2 Airsoft forum and will know regular contributor Ken by his handle ‘Kendo’. Ken was one of the first people to buy one of my ready-designed kits and has been using it heavily for well over a year now. I caught up with him recently to get some feedback:

“I was first made aware of Vintage Airsoft’s MkV Sten kit through the WW2 Airsoft forums, perhaps better known to some as ‘Comrades in Arms’. Dom had posted his prototype MkV build, and was looking to put together some more kits for those of us stuck with the perhaps not-entirely-accurate MkII Sten, especially for the many folks like me that portray the iconic late-war British paratroopers!
The idea was inspired: a hand-built, wooden stock, comprising a mounting bracket and pistol grip, that slotted directly onto the receiver of the AGM Sten, replacing the standard T-stock; the kit would be complete with a wooden foregrip that bolted to the Sten barrel shroud, and topped off with a metal front sight that slipped over the outer barrel. As if that wasn’t enough, the wooden stock was hollowed out and wired, meaning the Sten was no longer bound to tiny batteries. All of that for a fraction of the price of a full custom gun, and you could swap back to the old MkII components without any permanent modifications.

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I jumped at the chance, and I’m pleased to say after a solid year of near constant use in all weather, the kit has held up admirably. It’s been dropped, fell on, submerged in nasty bog water, and survived me crashing through foliage in full combat kit, with the only appreciable outcome being a slight looseness at the stock mounting (which was subsequently fixed with the liberal application of B&Q’s finest super glue). I’ve found it to be a very comfortable weapon to hold – a far cry from the plumber’s nightmare that was the MkII – and the battery compartment in the stock is truly a godsend; battery switches can be done in a flicker of the time, and without dismantling the gun to boot.

Now, being a drop-in kit, as it were, all of the pieces are obviously made to be easily installed or removed without modifications to the base gun, and there are some drawbacks to this. The front sight, for example, was initially held on by friction, meaning that knocks and bumps to the gun would frequently misalign it with the rear sight. I also found that the paintwork of the metal band that fits around the barrel shroud would wear away very easily, due to the steel fitting of the sling rubbing against it with use. The nature of the kit also means that certain aspects of the real MkV cannot be replicated – the rear pistol grip sits further back, most tellingly, although this is a small price to pay in my opinion.

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The front sight issue can be easily solved: boring and tapping a small hole through the underside, then using a pointed screw to tighten it against the outer barrel of the Sten would help immensely. Indeed, the user could go one step further and drill a shallow hole into the outer barrel itself for the tip of the screw, which would eliminate the front sight shifting altogether, and with minimal modification to the base gun.
The barrel band, meanwhile, I would most certainly improve by chemical or oil blacking, rather than painting. This will allow it to resist the worst of the wearing the sling attachment subjects it to, and means I won’t have to keep repainting the bloody thing!

I have been let down by certain individuals in this line of work in the past – sometimes criminally so. I am very pleased to report that my experience with both individual and product in this case has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s safe to say I have put the MkV kit through its paces from day one, and it has rarely let me down, with Dom always on hand with troubleshooting should I need it.
Truly though, in a hobby dominated by yet more M4 derivatives and Multicam FAST helmets, nothing beats attacking an objective in full British airborne kit with a proper MkV Sten in your hands. I have Vintage Airsoft to thank for that that one.”

 

I have reproduced Kendo’s full review here, unedited for full disclosure! Feedback like this is really appreciated and we’ll be improving our product accordingly by oil blacking the foregrip band and tapping the foresight mounting. This sort of feedback can only be gained after the sort of heavy use Kendo has subjected it to!

 

You can buy our Sten MkV kit and many other items from our Etsy store.

 

A big thanks to Syfer Airsoft Photography for use of their fantastic photographs. Check out their page for great kit and action photos.

Sten MkI/MkI* : Complete

Add-on kits, Complete builds, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

Some images of the completed Sten MkI and MkI*. Firstly a picture of AN original for comparison. I should point out that you can find differences between nearly every surviving example so this isn’t definitive:

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The main issue with this replica is that the safety catch is at the top of the operating handle slot (as this is based on the AGM Sten MkII). The only way to adequately redo this is to make a whole new receiver unit. Maybe a project for the future…

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A close up of the receiver. The new operating handle and bolt also feature the Sten safety switch kit. You can also just make out the Sten MkI stampings on the magazine housing.

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The foresight on this is very comfortable to acquire, at least in the confines of the workshop where I have tested it so far! This will be going out in the field at the weekend.

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The stock is very comfortable compared to the MkII T-stock. That said clutching a thistle is an improvement over the T-stock… But in all seriousness this is a great alternative and is fast becoming a personal favourite.

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One final feature worth noting is the battery compartment. Accessible from the rear, it can just about fit the standard stick battery in it, though a stick lipo would be a far easier fit.

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And in the Sten MkI* configuration, once it had been optimised by the Singer company for serial production:

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This kit will be for sale on our Etsy page HERE in due course. If you like the look of this gun and would like 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.

Sten upgrade: Replacement nut

Add-on kits, Cold War, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

The AGM Sten comes with a hex head screw to attach the stock, which also contains the battery compartment.

This has three disadvantages:

  1. It looks appalling
  2. You require a tool to remove the stock/change the battery
  3. It really looks diabolical

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That’s right, it looks so bad it is worth mentioning twice. Fortunately this is easily fixed! The fix Vintage Airsoft offers also means that you can change the battery without any tools at all.

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This piece is all-steel in construction. The edges are knurled for grip, meaning that the replacement screw can be fitted very tightly with just finger strength.

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The corners are taken off for comfort of use.

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The whole piece is oil blacked, which means it has an extremely wear-resistant finish that nicely matches the original painted surface of the gun.

 

You can buy this very handy piece on the Vintage Airsoft Etsy page For a very reasonable price.

If you like this idea, find us on Facebook for more related content. If you have an idea of your own you would like to see made, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss.

What’s in store for 2015?

Add-on kits, Products, Rifles, Sub Machine-guns, WWII

Having ‘opened shop’ about a month ago, we’ve had a great deal of interest in our products, it’s quite exciting! The first kit for a customer is due to be dispatched this week, one of the Sten MkVs.

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The production version of this kit (see the prototype here) is a little different from the prototype we showed earlier. There are a couple of external differences: we have added a (real steel) sling swivel to the top of the buttstock and the pistol grip has changed shape slightly to more accurately reflect the original.

Inside we have made some changes too. Due to a request from the customer we have tweaked the battery compartment so that it can accept a LiPo battery. We also made space for the stick battery in case he ever needs to use them.

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Due to the upgrades, this version will be a little more expensive than the prototype at £145 as it does cost more to buy in parts and a bit longer to make.

So, what is in store for 2015? We have a few Sten kits due for release in the first two months as well as two custom projects in the pipeline.

Dom really wants to build some realistic bolt-action rifles with the magazines in the correct place: something seriously lacking in affordable period rifles, he has the design, just not the funds!

Dave is developing an AEG version of a very popular series of carbines that is currently only available in a gas version (unless you count the horrendous plastic ones).

If you are interested in sponsoring a build project or a kit or have your own custom build in mind, do let us know! enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com

 

Merry Christmas from us here at Vintage Airsoft!

Introducing the Sten MkV

Add-on kits, Products, Sten, Sub Machine-guns, WWII

I am pleased to present the Sten MkV conversion kit, designed to be used on the ASG/AGM Sten MKII. Shown in this video is the prototype, the production version will feature some minor variations.

This kit allows the user to have a Sten MkV when it suits them, while allowing for them to swap back to the more widespread MKII for games where this kit would not be suitable (such as certain WWII games). Bearing this in mind, this kit allows for use of the same type of stick batteries used in the T-stocks that come as standard, meaning that there is no need to buy an entirely new battery setup in order to run the LiPos that most purpose-made MkVs require. The battery compartment is also easily accessible from the rear unlike on most airsoft Stens, allowing for a quick and simple battery change in the field.

Metal parts of this are steel, except for the fore-grip band, which is copper. Metal finishes are a mixture of black enamel/metal lacquer and oil blacking. This guarantees a finish that closely resembles the standard finish on the rest of the Sten where the surfaces are next to one-another. Oil blacking is used on surfaces that are subject to high tolerances and high levels of contact, such as the buttplate which would otherwise be rubbed shiny in no time at all.

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Price as of December 2014 is £120.

Kits are made to order, so there will be a slight delay between order and dispatch, which you will be advised of upon ordering. If you have any specific requests/alternative finishes please do let us know. All products are Made in England.

For orders and questions:

enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com