Lanchester MkI*: Complete

Complete builds, Custom builds, Lanchester, Products, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

So, the Lanchester is finished! And I am in love, though I say so myself.

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Details, the new magazine well closely resembles the original and is an improvement on the Sten original. I have brazed the mag catch head so that when it wears it looks brassy.

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The foresight and bayonet lug. This should take a rubber SMLE bayonet if the owner decides to do so!

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The trigger is set back, the pull is a little unusual but not bad.

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The buttplate, steel, though a brass SMLE buttplate could be substituted in here.

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The rear locking lug is just for looks on this. A hinge is quite hard to do but may be doable in the future. For now you can remove the lock and back cap to replace the battery. Unfortunately the wrist of this stock is too slim to drill through to a larger battery compartment in the buttstock.

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You can check out the build process for this gun here.

 

If you like this build, you may like to take a look at where it came from, the MP18 and its extended family.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog or join us on Facebook for more! You can buy some of our ready-made products on Etsy. You can also email to enquire about custom or special builds on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

 

P.S.: If anyone wants a Lanchester with this awesome period tac-light please DO get in touch. 

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Lanchester Build: Part 2

Custom builds, Lanchester, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

Since the last post, I have welded the rear sight unit and fitted the buttplate into place.

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With the buttplate screwed down, I can do the last bits of shaping on the stock. I always leave a bit of excess to make this fit as close as possible.

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I also took the opportunity to fit the action lock. In the original this stops the receiver from tipping forward on the hinge under the magazine well. As the receiver is screwed into the stock on this it is merely there for the aesthetic.

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The rear sight is permanently affixed. For an SMG adjustable sights are generally overkill.

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This side picture shows how much further back the trigger is compared to the Sten original.

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I then applied finish to the majority of the parts. I am using hardwax oil for the wood as it picks up a patina nicely and looks the part for these period weapons.

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The metalwork is sprayed black enamel on the whole.

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The smaller parts have been oil blacked where possible as this is more wear resistant.

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The trigger contacts gave up the ghost as they do tend to, so I have replaced this with a switch and advised a mosfet. 

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With the mosfet in place, I re-assembled everything and ran my tests. Pictures of the finished item to follow!

 

If you like this build, you may like to take a look at where it came from, the MP18 and its extended family.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog or join us on Facebook for more! You can buy some of our ready-made products on Etsy. You can also email to enquire about custom or special builds on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

Lanchester Build: Part 1

Custom builds, Lanchester, Sub Machine-guns, Weapons, WWII

First things first, I draw out the stock template on the wood.

I took the drill to the stock and took out the detailed bits, then sawed through the rest. I’m very much looking forward to the day when I have a bandsaw to do this job…

Over in the metalshop, I bent, tacked and welded the steel parts together. On this build I am making a new magwell, but will be using the original magwell sleeve.

The fore-end of the Lanchester, showing the foresight and sight guards. These will need to be hardened to be much use I think.

Fitting the action to the stock. This is always a long job, but having recently got a hold of some lovely blue oil paint I’m improving my fitting technique and speed quite a lot!

Showing the bottom plate, which I am going to draw around to cut a nice, deep recess for.

I have cut the recess for the bottom plate deep so that the trigger reaches through to the correct depth in the trigger guard. I may need to tweak the trigger design though as at present it is a bit sticky. Far from ideal in an automatic airsoft gun!

I can finally get to my favourite bit: Shaping the stock. The Lanchester has a very slim, feminine wrist on the stock reminiscent of a P14/17 rifle. As a result it will have to rely on Lipos in the back of the receiver which is unfortunate but better than sacrificing the stock strength at the weakest point further. Even when I have carefully selected the grain to flow down through this for maximum strength there’s only so much you can do to keep it strong.

The Lanchester, pretty much roughed out. Now onto the rear sight, locking lugs and detailing!

 

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.

P04 Navy Luger: Complete

Complete builds, Custom builds, Era, Imperial Era, Luger P04, pistol, Products, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Some pictures of the completed build! It’s not 100%, I think I will re-visit the rear sight at some point in the future and improve on the shape a little.

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With the exception of the areas left in the white, there is a thin coat of paint over the whole pistol in a dark blue, to try and simulate the blued effect of the original. It is quite successful, though the dream is to have an all steel model that is correctly blued!

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The text is slightly highlighted with off-white paint to improve visibility as well as authenticity.

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The original magazine plugs of the era were wooden, sadly this can’t be achieved with this model but I have painted them to give some of the effect for now until I can find a solution.

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And the DWM mark on the toggle lock. I need to find a way to fill this more effectively with paint, for some reason the usual technique isn’t working so well but the etching itself was satisfying!
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If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, drop us an email at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or join us on Facebook!

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

 

To see the whole of this build from the start, you can see it here.

P04 Navy Luger: Part 2

Custom builds, Imperial Era, Luger P04, pistol, Weapons, WWI, WWII

When testing the Luger the first time round I found a few issues with certain features. The barrel’s paint job wasn’t ideal, I just did a quick spray job to make it usable at the time. I could have re-done it with several coats and lacquer but decided instead that Oil finishing was the way to go. I cleaned the barrel, heated the piece and dropped it in the oil tank.

(If you want to see how oil finishing works, you can check out this article here).

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Also, the single screw holding the rear sight came loose under recoil after about half a day’s play so I added a second screw and loctite to keep it tight and in place.

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A second day’s testing and it’s ready to have the finishing touches added!

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A few last bits of paint…

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Finished photographs to follow soon.

If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, drop us an email at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or join us on Facebook!

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

 

 

P04 Navy Luger: Part 1

Custom builds, Era, Luger P04, pistol, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Just to remind you, this is how the KWC P08 Luger starts out life! All black with minimal markings.

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As I wanted a usable gun ASAP, my first modifications were internal. Using the ‘shot in the back test’, I determined that it was shooting much too hot for a pistol (at a guess  400fps plus with .25s). I trimmed approximately 8mm off the mainspring to make the hammer strike much softer.

While in there, I modified the hop. This gun has a fixed hop and in its natural state is very over-hopped. A dremmel tool took it down to the level it needed to be. The gun now fires at 309fps.

The next step and first aesthetic change, is the grips. These came in brown bakelite or walnut normally so two a red/brown mix of acrylic paints were used, followed by a spray-on varnish to protect them during use. To create the inconsistent, almost dappled effect I mixed small amounts of paint at a time so that it was not a consistent colour all the way across. If you want to do one thing to improve your replica Luger this is the best you can do! In the long term I plan to make walnut grips for it.

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The next external improvement is the barrel. The P08 has a 4″ barrel, the P04 has a 6″ barrel. This piece is turned from black mild steel round bar on the lathe, inside has to be drilled to several different diameters to make it function with the internal parts. For now I am keeping the original barrel but there is scope to upgrade and lengthen the barrel.

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With the inside fitting snugly, I could check the action operated properly. In the picture below you can see the old and new barrels side by side.

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I could then weld on the foresight unit, which itself was hand-made and welded together in advance.

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And cleaned up and back on the gun.

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The rear sight is also very different. For the P08, a simple flat bar with a V-notch is used, the P04 however uses a large, finned tangent style sight.
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So the sight has to go!

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This makes space for the new rear sight unit, which is fixed rather than adjustable. In the longer term I would like to replace this with an adjustable one as per the originals.

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It’s held onto the toggle with a screw. If this proves insufficient I’ll add in a second screw.

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In context on the gun.

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Obviously it needs a little bit of cleaning up!

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Moving onto some detail work now, starting with etching the DWM logo onto the toggle. I produced a dxf file of the logo, shrank it down to the correct size and printed it out. Here it is superglued to the toggle.

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I then followed the lines with the etching tool.

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I could then get started on cleaning the paint finish off some of the components that were left in the white on the original gun.

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I need to work on getting the logo finished nicely now, but the majority of the work is finished!

 

If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, drop us an email at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or join us on Facebook!

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

P-04 Navy ‘Luger’

Custom builds, History, Imperial Era, Luger P04, pistol, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Disclaimer: The Germans never referred to their toggle-locked service pistol as the Luger officially. However in this history of the pistol I will refer to the various models as the Luger as it is far more commonly known by that name today.

The P-08

The most well-known rendition of the Luger pistol is the P-08, adopted by the German Army after extensive trials as a pistol and another version (with an 8″ barrel, removable stock and adjustable tangent sight) was adopted as an artillery carbine. However, this was not the first rendition of a toggle-lock pistol, nor even the first Luger.MIT400-S-F1-H

The Borchardt C-93 was the first use of a toggle-lock, however it was somewhat clunky and quite uncomfortable.

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Georg Luger took this design and made huge improvements to the balance, weight and ergonomics, much to the chagrin of Hugo Borchardt who felt his idea had been ‘stolen’. However the improvements Luger made to this mechanism really made it viable for use as a sidearm.

This was then adopted by the Swiss (who had a reputation of staying ahead of the curve) and four years later by the Imperial German Navy in 1904. This featured a rear sight adjustable to 100 and 200m and a 6″ barrel. This is the rendition in question.

 

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While it is possible to get Lugers in all three German service versions that take green gas, they have a bit of a varied reputation, among which problems include firing full auto on occasion. I’m also a CO2 man myself, I much prefer the stability and reliability of CO2 cartridges.

The KWC Luger P08 will be the donor for this conversion, which will feature a longer barrel, the adjustable rear sight, new grips, lots of extra detailing (including maker’s marks missing on the KWC), some tweaks to the magazine and an overall refinishing. Plus some internal modifications to make it skirmishable as it is firing pretty hot, as my back will testify.

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As the Webley is my main sidearm, I forget sometimes how big it is. KWC’s 1:1 Luger is no midget of a gun, but it is positively tiny in comparison.

I’d like to go into a lot more detail about the history of the toggle-lock and the Luger specifically as it had a long and successful service life as well as entry into a number of trials in countries that nearly adopted the Luger but it’s a broad subject and at the moment building the replicas is what allows me to do this blog rather than the other way around. If you want to see more content along those lines, let me know and I’ll try and write more.

If this piece has interested you, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or find us on Facebook!