K98k: Complete

Complete builds, Custom builds, K98k, Weapons, WWII

The VSR K98k is now finished, and she is a pretty one.

_DSC7255

From the outside, the only major giveaway that this is not a real K98k is the VSR magwell in the belly. The eagle-eyed may notice the bolt handle being set back a little (alas unavoidable). 

_DSC7261

The oil blued barrel fits in with the existing metalwork and furniture nicely. As it dulls with age it will fit in better.

_DSC7256

The 3D printed rear sight, which is part of the kit I will be offering people who want to do their own K98k conversion

_DSC7257

The back cap looks the part, even if it doesn’t function. It is certainly an improvement on the original VSR cap!

_DSC7258

Likewise the bolt stop, has no function on this but really adds to the replica. For the uninitiated to the Mauser system, this catch holds and releases the bolt during use and disassembly respectively.

_DSC7260

 

If you are interested in the history of the K98k, you can check out the introduction article here, or see the whole build process here.

If you like 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 many of our complete products via Etsy.

Advertisements

Kar98k: Build 2

Custom builds, K98k, Weapons, WWII

The next step was sorting out the fore-end. The foresight was 3D printed in ABS, I used filler paint to hide the layers and give it a textured look. It is screwed down to the barrel. The barrel is a piece of steel ERW tube, polished on the lathe and oil finished. This gives it a nice, subtly shiny finish that looks rather like a deep bluing.

_DSF9715 2

A closer look and you can see the adjustable foresight blade.

_DSF9720

A quick view of the bottom, showing the new fake magwell and real magwell. The receiver screws down into the back of this section, the front of it is supported by the metal frame of the VSR magwell.
_DSF9719

The next step is to make the bolt handle unit. This is made in four parts. I turn the ball on the lathe, drill through it to fit a narrow diameter round bar which is brazed in place. I attach it to another part made on the lathe, which surrounds the haft of the bolt and has a cutout for the out of battery safety.

_DSF9777

The back cap is cast from my original 3D printed model used on the G98.

_DSF9778

And that, pretty well, is that. Just a few last bits of touching up paint here and there. I’ll also be making a scope mount for this soon, once I have worked out how to make one that looks ‘right’.

Finished pictures to come!

If you are interested in the history of the K98k, you can check out the introduction article here.

If you like 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 many of our complete products via Etsy.

 

 

 

Kar98k: Build 1

Custom builds, K98k, Weapons, WWII

Now, this is a build I’ve wanted to do for a while. Having found a keen customer who had all the parts it is now nicely underway!

This is a VSR-based build, the most practical option for a spring-powered bolt action rifle. I’m using an original stock which will be modified to take the new parts. You will be glad to hear that it isn’t a WWII period stock so far as I can tell.

_DSF9191

The action dropped in fairly easily, a square cut for the fore-end, the back being scooped out carefully to fit snugly.

_DSF9202

A view inside.

_DSF9204

The barrel, naturally, goes through the barrel recess.

_DSF9205

I then chased out part of the fore-end of the action recess all the way through the stock for the magazine well. The one slight faff with doing VSR Mausers in this way is that the faux magwell meets the real one but this is not a major issue as I’m expecting to make a new faux magwell from scratch.

_DSF9206

The outer barrel is a piece of ERW tube, which is the perfect size to use the original fittings. This will be cut to size closer to the end of the build.

_DSF9348

The VSR based rifles are still experimental at this stage, I’ve produced about four or five different magazine catch designs which I am putting into different guns for customer feedback.

_DSF9349

I’m very please with my rear sight design for this build. 3D printed, once painted up this will really look the part and gives the user elevation control.

_DSF9363

Best of all it will fit snugly onto the receiver with minimal faff. It would be nice once my casting setup is complete to make this in aluminium.

_DSF9364

On the rifle with its Uncle the G98. What you can’t see is the TDC hop mod which is part of the sight unit. This disposes of the rather finicky and annoying side adjustment arm that is the weak point in a normal VSR system.

_DSF9375

There’s still a good bit more to do on this rifle, but the framework is all there. It’s really, really comfortable and I can’t wait to get the bolt handle in place along with the last external parts and start shooting.

 

If you are interested in the history of the K98k, you can check out the introduction article here.

If you like 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 many of our complete products via Etsy.

 

Kar98k: Introduction

Cold War, K98k, Rifles, Weapons, WWII

After the Great War, the Treaty of Versailles (TofV) put strict limits on the number of weapons, ships and small arms. Germany, like all the major powers, had learned that short rifles were every bit as good as a long rifle for any realistic infantry use and frankly better in any situation other than firing in ranks.

As a result, they disposed of a lot of their G98 long rifles, keeping hold of far more Karibiner 98az models, though producing the so-called K98b (which was basically a G98 with a tangent rear sight and turn-down bolt) during the Weimar years. How many ‘b’s were produced is uncertain, but they don’t feature in pictures of the period.

During the inter-war years, levels of tolerance to the TofV fluctuated, with many civilian hunters and paramilitaries reluctant to give up their beloved weapons. As a result many were hidden, coming out of the woodwork to fight street battles between Communist and Fascist militias, the militias and the government and eventually into service with some government units.

K98k, with laminate stock.

In 1934, the German Army ordered a new design of rifle. The reasons of this are not entirely obvious, but given the timing one could conclude that it is related to: the re-armament of Germany and therefore standardisation on one rifle for all to simplify production and logistics. It would also allow for the removal of the G98/K98b from regular service and finally push those pesky long rifles to the reserves.

 

With this short rifle as standard, the Germans also standardised on the new s. S Patronen (previously used for machine guns) which produced less muzzle flash in the shorter barrels.

 

Early K98ks were blued, with walnut stocks, though changes were made to this as it went through its service life. Over time, laminate stocks were introduced, which were cheaper and required less processing time for the timber. Oak was used as a stand-in from 1943. Parkerisation was used to finish the metalwork on later models, making for a much hardier finish than traditional bluing.

The K98k is one of history’s iconic sniper weapons. Many were equipped with the ZF39 scope (pictured) and these were preferred by ‘true’ snipers.

Most famously, the K98k was the standard German rifle of WWII, but it was also used by Sweden and captured units by the USSR to fill gaps in their own equipment.

Later in the war the ZF41 scope was also issued. This clipped onto a mounting next to the tangent sight and could be removed quite easily. At 1.5x magnification it was unpopular with snipers and had a fairly poor field of view but it did allow sharpshooters to perform something of a Designated Marksman role as it would be called in modern parlance.

Post-war, it saw service with the Viet-Minh/Viet-Cong (Soviet captures sent as war aid), Korea, France, West Germany, Norway and Yugoslavia, all with their own local modifications. They also saw action in Palestine, where they were used against Arabs and British forces. Even in the latest Iraq War and following insurgency they were being used against Coalition Forces.

Participants of the Haganah revolt against British control of Palestine carry K98ks and a Sten MKII.

This really is just to scratch the surface. The K98k and its Mauser brethren went everywhere and did everything, much like its sister bolt-actions of the era well outlasting standard military use to serve in specialist roles even up to today with some armed forces. This is not to even mention civilian use.

 

Vintage Airsoft is currently working on a VSR-based K98k and will be posting the build to the blog as it progresses.

 

You can find more information on the K98 through these links:

Weimar rifle markings

Overview/test of a repro ZF41

Very late WWII Volksturm K98-based rifle

Norwegian Mauser

Israeli 7.62 Mauser

 

TM L96: 308AWS to SMLE conversion

.308 SMLE, Cold War, Custom builds, Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Quite some time ago, a client proposed making an Enfield with the magazine in the right place. Now, this is after the Matrix SMLE (Gas) but before the newer Red Wolf No.4, making it among the few with a magazine in the ‘correct’ place.

The simplest way to achieve this was to take a TM L96, which uses a feed ramp to take BBs from the magazine (located in the correct place for that rifle) forward to the chamber as it is effectively a VSR with an added on magwell/feed ramp system.

The first job was to modify the action/magwell to be as small as possible. I kept trimming it down until it was as small as possible without losing the rigidity required for this system.

_DSF7650

I could then fit to to the fore-stock.

20161201_192041

An original trigger guard was not an option sadly, as it did not fit around the dimensions of the donor.

20161201_195853

As a result, I designed a custom one. My first attempt didn’t quite look right.

_DSF8432

My second attempt was much better though.

_DSF8683

The next step was to attach the nose cap unit and top guards. 

_DSF9089

As with the VSR builds, I fit the metal parts before doing the shaping so that the shape fits around these. In the picture below, you can see the rear top guard has been cut away for the rear sight and sight guard.

_DSF9091

Cut down to size and part of the shaping done.

_DSF9131

It still needs to be shaped round the back end a bit to improve the grip, but the overall shape is coming together. 

_DSF9130

It interested, you can see the other rifle builds here and a potted history of Lee-Enfield development here.

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.

Spring SMLE: Complete.

Complete builds, Imperial Era, Lee-Enfield, Products, Rifles, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

At long last, the first spring rifle is complete! I’m quite pleased with my first attempt at a VSR based SMLE, though there are a few tweaks I shall be making to production versions.

_dsf8813

 

 

 

_dsf8814

I think in future versions I shall sit the action lower down in the stock to achieve a lower profile. Then I can add things like a charger bridge, maybe even splitting the back of the receiver for added authenticity.

_dsf8816

This example is using an original rear sight leaf. In future versions I hope to make reproductions to minimise the number of irreparably modified originals. The rear sight will also host the TDC hop adjustment mod, saving you a helpful upgrade.

_dsf8817

I may have to use No. 4 Enfield swivels unless I can find a way to reproduce these, swivels are becoming harder to come by.

_dsf8818

After the success of the 3D printed Sten MkV foresight, I have continued to use this technology here to create the outer barrel impression and foresight unit.

_dsf8819

The barrel has been trimmed down to fit. The VSR barrel is a little long so I removed it, cut and re-crowned it on the lathe.

_dsf8820

Here’s an important feature, I have lined the magazine well with steel which means magazine release should be consistent and not pinched by the wood. Other VSR Enfields don’t have this lining and I have seen magazines get stuck. There is a new design for this which I will use in the production versions to allow very fast magazine changes.

_dsf8821

The fake magazine is solid resin, painted to look right. There is no need to destroy a perfectly good magazine for this build!

_dsf8822

The original buttplate. I’m hoping to make reproduction ones for future versions. As this is an original buttstock you would still be able to fit an original if this happens.

_dsf8823

I’m hoping to improve the bolt handle and back of the bolt shape. However I am pleased with where it now sits, nice and authentic on the rear band you can achieve quite a good rate of fire.

_dsf8824

So, there are some changes to come for production but I’m very happy with this first go!

You can see the whole VSR SMLE build here and a potted history of Lee-Enfield development here.

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. This will be available soon.

Spring SMLE: Part 4

Imperial Era, Inter-War (1918-1939), Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

I’ve had the mould sitting about from previous projects for SMLE magazines. I took a resin cast from this, cut it down to size and added some screws into the top to secure to the gun. I painted it with acrylics, which are great for getting metallic and weathered finishes.

_dsf8698

I’ve removed the rear band assembly to do some detailing and finishing work.

_dsf8716

I thought I would attach a few pictures of the band before being cleaned up here as I forgot to show the build process for this part. I’ll let you work out the details…

_dsf8717 _dsf8718

Markings will be kept simple for this, no attempt to replicate the originals as they would require a very random set of stamps.

_dsf8719

As I’m replicating various Mks of firearm I can’t use the Mk system to denote changes in the designs of the airsoft versions as ‘SMLE No.1 MkIII MkI’ is a bit confusing! However I’m not going to stamp ‘V0.1’ onto this as it would look out of place, so it will be denoted as MkI. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.

_dsf8720

Now it’s clean and marked up, it’s heated up and into the oil it goes for that lovely, black satin finish.

_dsf8721 _dsf8735

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, screwing on the buttplate and some last finishing touches before assembly….

_dsf8810

 

You can see the whole build so far here and a potted history of Lee-Enfield development here.

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.

Spring SMLE: Part 3

Custom builds, Imperial Era, Inter-War (1918-1939), Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

The last SMLE build post was a view of the rear sight on its own. It is now mounted on the rifle, awaiting the rear sight leaf.

_dsf8406

The foresight unit for this is experimental, 3D printed in ABS. This design isn’t perfect but it’s not a bad start!

_dsf8617

The ridge on the back was accidental, I considered cutting a recess for this to fit, but decided against it. I cut this off and filed it flat.

_dsf8618

A view of the back of the foresight, which has slumped a bit in printing. The next version will hopefully be more square.

_dsf8619

I cut a flat section at the end to take the nose cap insert. The back of the insert doesn’t reach the back of the nose cap, so there is a piece at the back cut to a curve to fit this part into. The hole drilled through is for the vertical  bolt that secures the nose cap.

_dsf8673

_dsf8675

In future versions I hope to have wood going further forward into the cap itself, with the transverse nose cap screw going through it. This system is still pretty strong though as it still has a substantial bit of walnut at the front.

_dsf8674

In place, the eagle-eyed among you may notice that the top guard is different to the last picture of it. I’m making a new top guard that is a bit chunkier and rugged than the original for durability.

_dsf8685

There’s still a good bit of material to remove, but this will just be a couple of hours’ work.

_dsf8686

Then some alterations to the rear sight before sanding, oiling and finishing up!
_dsf8688

 

You can see the whole build so far here and a potted history of Lee-Enfield development here.

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.

Spring SMLE: Part 2

Cold War, Custom builds, Imperial Era, Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

At the end of the last post, the SMLE looked like this:

_dsf8258

The next steps were to permanently attach the buttstock and fit the top handguard.

I cut the recess in the top guard to fit around the action and the barrel.

20161122_142003

I then cut space for the middle band. Once fitted this gave a rough idea of the sizes the furniture would need to be trimmed down to.

20161122_162350

In place, it all looks a bit square. Time to put it on the shave horse and put it to the drawknife.

20161122_162411

A bit of working later, the stock parts are rounded off and level.

_dsf8359

There is a slight bulge above the action as it is thicker much further down the rifle than on the real thing, but is isn’t too obvious. Once the rear sight is in place it should break up this bulge and make it almost imperceptible.

_dsf8360

For future models I may do a Top Dead Centre (TDC) modification, which will allow me to make the action a little shorter and reduce the bulge as with this mod there is no longer a large sliding part needing space at the front.

I shall be making the rear sight from steel, laser cut. This will be easier than modifying an original as it has to fit around the spring receiver. It will however take an original sight leaf. 

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-18-32-17

At long last, the parts arrived! Welded together and smoothed out, next step is to attach the sight leaf. 

_dsf8405

This will take an original Enfield sight or a copy I’m making. It will be oil finished for maximum wear resistance.

_dsf8400

 

You can see the whole build so far here and a potted history of Lee-Enfield development here.

Don’t forget to join Vintage Airsoft on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest build photos, history and classic firearms.

Spring SMLE: Part 1

Cold War, Custom builds, Lee-Enfield, Rifles, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWI, WWII

So, a few people have seen my GaSMLE project but don’t know I’ve also been working on a spring SMLE as well! If you’re not familiar with the story of the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield check out the introduction I did on this series of rifles HERE.

 

In the meantime, here is a bit of the build so far on the spring version:

 

The first item on the agenda was to modify the bolt-action. I used a VSR as the base gun as it has many options for upgrades available and isn’t dreadful to start with.

I made this extension on the lathe, turned to the diameter of the bolt so that it fitted into the action. In this I cut a slot at the front so that the out of battery safety can be operated when the bolt is turned. As you can see I have also made a backstop to prevent this extension from pulling back over the securing bolt.

_dsf7658

Then I cut a piece of steel bar and bent it to shape. I produced a rough ball on the lathe with a hole through the centre and hammered it onto the steel bar to a friction fit. This unit was then welded onto the extension.

_dsf7675

I had already designed the magwell unit to screw straight onto an unmodified VSR action. I have seen airsoft Enfields which just have a wooden magwell and found these tend to swell and shrink with moisture and temperature, gripping the magazine and making it difficult or impossible to remove during a firefight.

_dsf7953

Finished and in place on the action. The big spring locks the magazine in.

_dsf8111

Getting the action to fit the stock took quite a lot of work due to the shapes involved, so I shall skip to the stage where it is fitted. I am making this stock from scratch rather than trying to lever the VSR into a real SMLE stock as a real forestock is expensive and frankly a bit small to take this action very well. It can be done but it leaves the wood paper-thin at some points. This is walnut so is ideal for gunstocks and can be tailored for this action.

_dsf8114

Initially, this is cut a little deep but this is fixed later on.

_dsf8115

I planed it down a little and roughly fitted the nose cap into place-rounding off the fore-end a bit.

_dsf8150

Once planed down to size it is much easier to reach the magazine! I also started to fit the trigger guard at this stage, this will have the rear band attachment for the buttstock attached.

_dsf8229

A side view, so you can see where the band will be going now.

_dsf8228

OK, I confess, I forgot to photograph the band being made! It’s all coming together now, shaping the wood stock being the main priority, then making the rear sight, foresight and top guard.

_dsf8258

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.

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