Australian SMLE Carbine VSR

Complete builds, Custom builds, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWII

When I saw this pattern of experimental SMLE on Forgotten Weapons (see the video here) I knew I just had to make one. I used this as an opportunity to try out some of my new techniques for SMLE builds.

This carbine was conceived as a way to make the SMLE shorter and lighter, the project being run in parallel with similar programmes in Ishapore (India) and Enfield (GB), the latter of which used the No.4 as the starting point and resulted in the No.5 MkI.

This is an impression of the first shortened Australian pattern. In time I hope to replicate quite a few of the others.


It is, in essence, just a short SMLE. The only real effort to make the rifle lighter at this stage was in shortening the barrel and woodwork.


This does however make for a very handy rifle!


This was one of my first rifles to use my rubber cast buttplates. The originals used metal plates, I use rubber simply because metal plates are very hard to get presently.


Possibly the best feature of this conversion is the use of this rear-mounted aperture sight. On the original rifle, this had two settings for range, on mine I have gone for a simple zeroing elevation adjustment. 


Having used this rifle in-game I can say confidently that this is an excellent sight, far superior to a regular SMLE notch. The narrower aperture is in my opinion better than the No.4 sight, at least in daylight.


As with the original, I have put a large draft on the front of the aperture to gather the maximum light possible.


As with my other Enfield builds, I have used my custom Enfield trigger.



I got to use this in-game in October. The shorter, lighter version of the SMLE make this extremely handy on its own, add in the rear aperture and it’s extremely quick to bring to bear as well. As an airsoft version, I can’t comment on how comfortable it would be to shoot the original, but I suspect it would be rather brutal on recoil and have a rather blinding flash.

Although this was never adopted, I’m glad to have made my own version and can confirm it is going to a very good home.

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Webley MkVI Snubnose revolver

Complete builds, Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), pistol, Weapons, webley, WWI

As this build was a pretty quick one I didn’t take many pictures. It all started with a spare Webley revolver that wasn’t perfect (being the Well model) but I wanted to do something interesting with. So, I marked  a line on the barrel and…


Chopped it off. Now, there was a bit more to the job than that.

I had to make a new foresight, held in place by two screws. There is a new muzzle, which supports the inner barrel and keeps the barrel return spring in place. The inner barrel had to be shortened and recrowned on the lathe, as well as having the barrel return spring guide cut into it.


The eagle eyed will also spot that the rear sight/locking bridge has been shortened to make it easier to draw from a concealed holster. Due to the paint finish being damaged in the process of chopping the barrel off, I decided to take it all off. It looks good in silver.


But it looks better blacked. This is my first attempt with Birchwood Casey’s Aluminium black. It’s pretty good, better than I expected for sure. It was improved massively by a thin coat of silicone oil rubbed into the surface with a dry cloth, bringing it up to a dull shine rather than just a drab finish.


As you can see, there are a few spots around the muzzle where it hasn’t reacted properly for some reason, but I can touch it up later if I feel the need. To be honest I think it helps give it a bit of a worn look, a snubnose shouldn’t look pristine, they’re a working gun.


I left the foresight silver. Being steel, I’d need to apply a different finish (oil finishing if I were inclined to do so). However the big silver wedge in my sight picture gives me a nice aiming point even on such a small gun.


Just some last pics from a couple more angles…


I’m very much looking forward to using this. I may need a 1920s Gangster or Communist load out for it to look the part. Or just tuck it into my BD jacket for if I get captured.


If you have enjoyed this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

To see more Webley related builds such as the carbine conversion, shotgun shells and Pritchard Bayonet take a look here.

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