State of the Vintage Airsoft 2017 1 of 2

Complete builds, Custom builds

So, the New Year has come round once again. It’s time to look back at the last year’s work and forward to what’s coming in 2018!

 

2017’s top projects

The MG08/15 is FINALLY FINISHED! Hurrah! This thing has been the bane of my life for three years. If something could go wrong, it did go wrong. Several times.

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The Sten MkIV. I’ve not shared the build for this yet as it was a quick side project. This is very fun to use and the ability to make it compact very quickly is a really nice feature.

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The G43 (MkII version!). I know there is some excitement around this, although it’s not a world first by any means, I am very pleased with the end result.

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The Webley snubnose was another side project, starting out life as a Well Webley this is now a useful little sidearm to tuck into my battledress for emergencies!

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The Lee-Enfield No.5 Mk1 ‘Jungle Carbine’. A personal build, quite a few people have asked for them but no-one has committed, so I decided to make one anyway! This is my up close and personal sneaky rifle, with a custom piston and cylinder head to keep noise to a minimum. In that respect rather unlike the original…

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The Pritchard-Greener bayonet has proven very popular. Its novelty value and iconic design is so appealing and I’m sure it will prove popular in Great War Airsoft circles. You can find it on the Etsy store here.

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The K98k VSR conversion is a beauty (though I say so myself). This gun was for a friend of mine, I can see these being a great first conversion job for a rookie airsoft gun builder and I’ll be offering kits to help people do this.

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This LMG25 is I believe a unique airsoft piece. Taking AK magazines, this was built for a contingent of Swiss Border re-enactors so you may see it on the UK show circuit this year.

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I’ve done a few infantry portable artillery bits this year. I did a light version of the SMBL 2″ mortar, ideal for mid-late WWII units, this is one of the more practical mortar designs for regular skirmishing.

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A more sophisticated light mortar was the M2 60mm mortar, this has full elevation and windage control to allow for very precise targeting of enemy positions.

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I converted the D-Boys G98 conversion to VSR, I now use this myself with a Mancraft kit.

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The FG42, probably the second most popular project, only beaten to the top spot by the G43. A lot goes into this build, the details of the folding and adjustable sights, trigger unit and bipod, not to mention the intricate hollow furniture makes this an involved process but with a very satisfying result.

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The Lanchester was probably my favourite customer SMG this year, I’ve been wanting to do one for ages, and would love to see it paired with a Royal Navy Commando load out.

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I’ve also expanded the range of rubber knives this year, including this NR-40, for Russian re-enactors and airsofters.

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Stuff I’ve done that isn’t building guns (directly)

One of my major advances this year is building a furnace in which I can melt aluminium. The next step is to build an oven so that I can heat up and dry out my investment moulds more effectively to get production quality castings.

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I got chance to play American Civil War Airsoft in the latter half of 2017, muzzle loading guns and blatting off three shots per minute is so much more fun than it sounds. I sincerely hope to see more of this in 2018.

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I also jumped forward in time from my usual WWII-era equipment to something a bit more modern. My mid-1970s impressions are developing slowly, with the next major step being to sort a helmet. Then I’ll be covered for most of my Cold War impressions.

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And I finally lost my rag trying to balance my webbing on normal coat hangers. I made a heavy duty, straight backed hanger so that the webbing would stay on it in the wardrobe. 20 minutes well spent preserving my sanity.

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Upcoming in 2018

2018 already has some exciting projects for me. I’ve already got another unusual LMG underway, a couple of rifle builds in the works and I’m hoping to finally have the Welrod done.

I’m also hoping to have a Vintage Airsoft meet up event, once I’ve secured a site I’ll be sharing details here and over at the Facebook page.

 

Wishing you all a happy and interesting 2018,

Dom

 

The Webley review

Customer Reviews, Imperial Era, pistol, Weapons, webley, WWI, WWII

I thought it was about time that I took a look at the new Well Webley. Having owned a Wingun for some time and having seen the incredibly low price point of the Well I had to see what it was like.

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First impressions:

Side by side, these two guns look very similar in shape. It’s clear that the Well is a plain clone of the Wingun, differing in a few small details, other than the obvious differing finish. Although the Wingun is available in a black finish, I’ve never had one to compare to this.

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The Well finish is thick, when you first get it it needs breaking in a bit to make the action smooth both in the hammer, trigger and break-action.

The Well lacks the detail of trademarks, but in use these are not things you will realistically notice. It does however have some seamlines which would need filing off for the optimal aesthetics.

Weight-wise they are very similar, with similar heft and balance. On the scales, there is only 10g between them. It is quite clear that the Well is a direct clone on the basis of this. Aside from the finish and trades, the only clear identifier of the Well is the screw that controls the cylinder lock. This is a Phillips head rather than a flat head. I have no idea why they chose to do this as they use flat head screws elsewhere.

 

The shells appear to be interchangeable (however see below for more detail on this), I can drop Wingun and Well shells into each revolver with both cycling absolutely fine. The Wingun shells are better fitted and finished, with the heads of the Well shells being a little more rough and a little softer. The Wingun shells also have ‘Webley .455’ written on the back, which may seem to make them more authentic at first glance, this is disregarding the diameter of the shells being .38.

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In terms of feel, both are pretty much identical. The Wingun is perhaps a little smoother, but to be fair it has seen heavy use ever since I bought it, meaning any rough edges have long since worn off. The break action is slightly easier on the Wingun, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. I have had this revolver open on me in the field: resulting in either spilt shells or a delay while I close it in order to fire. The Well appears to have a little nodule on the action lock which gives a slightly more positive lock-up.

The Well, on first opening the revolver, had a very loose fitting cylinder. The cylinder lock does not work like the original (which is very well replicated on the Wingun), but appears to be entirely reliant on the two screws that hold the locking piece itself. These were initially far too loose, meaning that the locking piece did not grip the cylinder. On tightening, the cylinder no longer fell out, however it became unreliable to cycle in double action. Loosening the cylinder lock slightly allowed the cylinder to remain locked in place and cycle fairly reliably.

The auto eject works well on both guns. The Well is perhaps a little heavier, but again this could be due to wear on the older Wingun. The barrels, on all airsoft revolvers I have experience of, move forwards and backwards with an attachment that interfaces with the cylinder to provide a seal and reduce gas loss. On the Wingun, this is aluminium. On the Well it is some kind of rubber. I’m yet to see if it actually makes any difference in wear over time but it does seem to make single action use slightly heavier for the Well. Not so much that you would notice in anything other than a precision shooting environment, which these replicas are really not designed for.

On the note of precision, the Well has a feature the Wingun is seriously lacking. The Well comes with a fixed hop pre-installed in the barrel. Although it is not a majorly difficult feat to install a fixed hop using either the o-ring method or a flat hop, it is nice to be saved a job, especially given it would not have been a difficult thing for the original manufacturers to do.

Testing

Conditions of testing:

Chronoing and accuracy testing will be with .25g BBs. The Wingun is not in stock configuration, it has had an o-ring hop added. The temperature outside hovered around 1 degree Centigrade. It was probably colder in the workshop.

 

Time for the fun bit. Firstly, I loaded a new CO2 cartridge into each gun, fired off 12 shots from each to take the edge off (good practice when you are shooting at people!) and loaded the shells. I started with the manufacturer provided shells, then shot some of the Vintage Airsoft single and shot shells

The results were… interesting and somewhat unexpected. To the point where I will probably retest at a later date. It was VERY cold in the workshop which will account for some of the results but not the inconsistency.

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After firing off a couple of batches of shells it felt like the Well was low on power, so I put it aside to run the same tests on the Wingun. When I finished two Wingun tests, I picked the Well up to continue testing and it was back up to strength. Interestingly it seems like the Well suffered from cooldown much more than the Wingun, which considering their build is near-identical is surprising.

Accuracy:


Accuracy tested at 5m, obviously you will generally be further than this. I may come back and do further testing on this at a later date.

On these Huns head targets, the bull is 30mm, the second ring is 70mm.

The Well:

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The Wingun:

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In this test, the Wingun produced a significantly smaller group. In fact the first Well group was largely not on the paper. Further testing is definitely required.

Notes on use:

The extractor of the Wingun is a a bit more positive. The Well sometimes fits the shells and sometimes does not. It seems random as to when it does or does not, I presume this is due to cylinder movement as described in the first part of this review.
It is hard to see the spacing issue with the VA shells due to their being white, in the picture below you can see that the rims sit proud of the cylinder. It’s no more than a millimetre but it prevents rotation and even lockup.

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How it should look:

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Also, when loading the CO2, the Well grip panel did not click back into place easily. I had to bend the spring clip a few times to try and get the correct angle for it to fit into the lock and hold the grip in place properly.

Another issue I had with the Well was that it did not always cycle reliably, the hand would push the cylinder but not push it all the way around somehow.

 

After using the Well for a bit, this happened:

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The extractor snapped. Hence having to come back later.

Summary

In summary… if these revolver were the same price, from my experience of these two samples, I would say the Wingun edges it. It is more consistently reliable and hasn’t broken in my extensive use of it whereas the Well example I have broke in the testing phase.

The Well does have a more positive lockup, which is nice. Also the ready-fitted hop is a good thing, though when firing the shot shells it appeared to have very similarly tight groupings to the Wingun with its o-ring hop.

So the difficult bit is that they are not the same price point. The Well is, at the time of writing, 1/3rd of the price of the Wingun (on a good day). It is hard to say that you should spend so much more even when out of the box reliability is such an issue.

 

I am sure that the Well could be made reliable, but it will require time and effort. The Wingun is a pick up and play gun with minimal maintenance required to keep it going.

 

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Done in 2016/New for 2017! Part 1

Weapons

This article will look at two things, what Vintage Airsoft has done in 2016 and what I’m releasing and doing in 2017!

In 2016 I have:

Made rifles!

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GaSMLE

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G98

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G43

Modified some pistols…

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CO2 KWC P04 Luger

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Nagant spindle replacement/repair

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Webley Buttstock

Not to mention of course producing those extremely popular single shot and shotgun shells for Webley and Dan Wesson revolvers:


I have started making some very popular Sten MKII conversions to other classic SMGs.

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MP28

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Sten MkI

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Sten MkV

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T100 SMG

And begun production of the surprisingly popular Tank Crew Spatter Masks.

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I have also started on anti-tank and heavy weapons due to popular demand, staring with the LAWncher:

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And followed up by the SMBL2″ Mortar.

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And of course introduced the pre-production prototype of the FG42.

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This has been one heck of a year: VA has moved to South Wales, which it turns out is a great place to do airsoft! Orders have gone through the roof and there’s now a good range of ready-designed and made products on the Etsy store

 

In Part Two, I’ll outline what will be coming in 2017!

Done in 2016/New for 2017! Part 2

Weapons

In the last piece, I looked at some of the new things done in 2016. Now, it’s time to look ahead to what 2017 has in store!

One of the first jobs is to finish the first example of the FG42 Type 2 production version. Once a few of these have sold I may also look into producing a Type 1 FG42 if there is some interest.

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Work has already begun building an HPA Browning M2 heavy machine gun. I hope to be doing more work on heavy weapons, expanding on work and lessons learned in 2016.

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I have been modifying this 3rd-party replica knee-mortar to fire MOSCARTS and TAG rounds. This and other models of mortar will become central projects this year.
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Anyone who has a Webley loves it. There’s not much you can do to make these more awesome, but adding a bayonet may actually do it. Vintage Airsoft is working on an airsoft-safe replica and hopes to release it by March.

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Those of you who follow the Facebook page will know I am playing with new materials for the revolver shells, as well as shells for new revolvers: The Colt SAA and the Mosin-Nagant.

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Flintsoft is getting slowly more popular, and I can see why. I’ve been wanting an excuse to start making muzzle-loaders for a while and at last a client has given me the excuse I needed, asking for an 1861 Pattern Springfield rifle. I hope to have this completed by May at the latest and produce a range of other muskets over the rest of the year.
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Of course, I hope to produce a good few more bolt-action rifles! Rifles I have my sights on include the L42A1 (pictured), T99 and T38 Arisakas once I have completed the current SMLEs.

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Everyone loves the Ares L1A1 SLR. I do too, but the price is a bit higher than I would like to pay for an AEG. I hope to have, by the end of the year, a Gas Blow-back SLR. Although this won’t be a perfect replica, it will have the kinetic feedback of GBBRs.
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The BC-41 has proven popular of late, so I have made some improvements to the mould to add some detailing on the back side.

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And at last have a rubber Fairbairn-Sykes to offer you! Like my other rubber knives, this has been stiffened to hold their shape better than most rubber knives, which flop about rather unthreateningly, while still being safe to use on someone. It is the Second Pattern F-S, and I believe it is the only one of its kind.

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I’ll also be selling targets for various guns, including airsoft. Some more traditional, shapes, some more modern._dsf8225

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Last but not least, this beautiful beastie has taken up residence in the office. This year I intend to start a range of custom pouches and sheaths where replicas are not readily available.
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If you are interested in the projects shown above or have an idea of your own, don’t forget to 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 through Etsy.

‘Fabricators’ Luger P04 holster: Review

Customer Reviews, Luger P04, pistol

Having finished my P04 Naval Luger, I had been tucking it into my belt for a few weeks and needed a better carrying solution. There are a few holsters about and I picked this one up from Ebay from a seller based in India called ‘Fabricators’.

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At £27, free postage I thought it was worth a punt. If it was truly dreadful I could send it back or sell it on easily enough!

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On the back, there are two loops to hang it on a belt. There is no way to stop it moving on said belt, but that is the way of German webbing. British webbing kind of spoils you !

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The quality of the stitching is very good overall, there are no places where I am anxious about it coming loose.

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Down the side, there is a space for a cleaning rod. This is one aspect I was nervous of: in the picture on Ebay the Sam Browne stud was not well fitted. In the example I received it was however and the slot to close the flap well sized, not too tight or loose.

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Inside the flap of the holster, there is a pouch for the disassembly tool.

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And as a rather nice touch, it came with the disassembly tool! The pistol is a good fit, it sits deeply in the holster.

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On the side there is a tab, which you pull to lift the pistol and grab the grip.

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So, the downsides. The quality of the finish of the leather is not the best. It is painted on and not deep set within the material. In the picture above you can see a line above the cleaning rod pouch where it has flaked a bit, which is how it came rather than wear. Also, there are a few spots where glue has been slightly misplaced.

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However, for a hard leather holster for an unusual pistol I am pleased with it for the price. My main kit is British, so it will only be used when I fancy a change or when I’m playing CQB and am not using the Webley.

 

I’m not going to score items when I review, the numbers are subjective and meaningless. Instead, I judge items by whether a) I would buy it again if I needed another and b) whether I would recommend it to a friend. In this case, the answer is the same to both: Yes.

 

This may not be the best quality bit of kit out there, but it is a very fair price for what it is. To get better, you would have to spend a good deal more money-if you could even find one for this particular pistol.

 

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