LMG25: Build 1

Cold War, Custom builds, Inter-War (1918-1939), LMG25, Machine-Guns, Weapons, WWII

The LMG25 is a really weirdly formatted gun, but with a Sten and some modifications I’m hoping to make something really interesting and unique.

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As ever, this started with a load of research and design work. There aren’t too many parts to this compared to some of my builds and they nearly all attach directly to the receiver. The first step of construction was to make this receiver, which I made a template for and centre punched for the drill, before cutting the space needed for the donor.

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The welding begins with the mock-upped ejection port and the trigger grouping/pistol grip.

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I also cut a hole for the magazine feed.

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The magazine well has an awkward and distinctive shape, so it is being 3D printed and will be mounted with metal plates and screws to the receiver.

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In place it fits quite nicely! This replica takes AK magazines which look the part well enough from a distance.

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Onto the stock. I cut it out in the usual way from the blank, but I can’t cut out the action recess in the usual manner due to the awkward lump at the front of the stock. It would have been possible to have this as a separate piece but it’s not a major issue to work around.
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The pistol grip unit is, fortunately, an entirely separate unit. This means making it is a lot easier than a one-piece pistol grip/stock. It somewhat resembles some of the early semi-auto conversions of bolt-action rifles in this respect of its design.

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There is quite a pleasing curve to the back of this pistol grip which is easily missed.

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This means that all the major working parts are in place. The next important step is to get the working parts actually working! Then we can enjoy the detailing, sights and bipod.

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If you have a thing for obscure Swiss Light Machine-Guns then you can check out the pre-build piece here.

If you enjoyed this content join us over on Facebook and check out our Etsy store, and if you have an idea for a custom build of your own just get in touch with us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com.

British SMBL 2″ Mortar prototype: complete

Area effect, Custom builds, Products, SMBL 2" mortar, Weapons, WWII

At last, the mortar prototype is finished. The shells are steel tube and based on (though not replicas of) the SMBL 2″ mortar shells. The six fins and band at the top hold it straight as it is dropped into the barrel.

Inside you can fit a TAG shell or other 40mm grenade. To recharge them, simply remove the tube, reset the firing pin if needed and re-gas. The tube is held in place by the spring tension of the bottom half, these are taped up for dispatch.

Time for some pictures:

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Although the early models were supplied with an adjustable sight for targeting at different ranges, these were quickly ditched in favour of the single white line up the back for quick lining up. Adjustments could be made by eye.

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This picture shows how the shells come apart to fit a 40mm grenade or TAG shell. The top half just pulls out of the bottom, held in place by spring tension. The shell on the right is taped up ready for dispatch, this isn’t needed for use.

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When loaded, these are very safe to carry. MOSCARTs are notorious for going off when dropped. These shells have a firing pin which is recessed well into the tube which reduces the chance of this happening-prarticularly important when using TAG or solid state launchers.

 

If you want a mortar of your own, please do get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.

Browning M2HB .50 calibre machine gun

Cold War, Era, History, M2 .50 Machine gun, Machine-Guns, Products, War on Terror, Weapons, WWII

The Browning M2 has its roots in WWI. By the end of this war, both British and French militaries had large calibre machine guns and the Germans had been in the process of developing theirs. The need had come about with the introduction of armour in aircraft and vehicles that repelled most regular arms.

M2_Browning,_Musée_de_l'Armée

The early Browning designs were only half successful. There were water cooled variants but these were heavy and moves to make them air cooled followed quickly. With some effort and consideration, the design developed until one type of receiver could be used to make seven types of machine gun using different barrels, jackets and internal components. It could feed from the left and right which was important for its use in aircraft and it quickly replaced the .30 Browning, then in use for this role.

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The M2 has been manufactured and in use since 1933 and the design has remained quite unchanged since. It served through WWII with Allied forces, notably by the Long Range Desert Group and the early SAS in North Africa where it was a popular choice for destroying aircraft on the ground in their signature hit and run raids.

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An M2 aircraft variant in use by the SAS in North Africa, WW2.

It also served in Korea and Vietnam, where it was occasionally fitted with a scope and used as an over-sized sniper rifle. As a closed-bolt weapon it was very accurate by MG standards and it was during Vietnam that the longest kill recorded, at 2000 yards (1800m), was set and stood until 2002.

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It has since served in nearly every war of note and many wars you won’t even have heard of. For Western militaries today, it is usually mounted in aircraft or on vehicle turrets, though it is sometimes to be found protecting bases in Afghanistan, where the exceptional range and accuracy is well-suited to the wide, open spaces.

 

I will be building a Browning M2 for a client, plus a turret mounting for the top of a Land Rover.

 

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

Cz ZB-26-Bren barrel conversion

Bren, Machine-Guns, Weapons, WWII

A regular client of mine recently got himself a ZB-26 LMG to use as a Bren. There are a few differences between these guns, the main one being the barrel. On the Bren it is a smooth surfaced heavy barrel, the ZB-26 has a fanned barrel for faster cooling. I was commissioned to make the changes.

The original plan was to turn down the fans along the whole barrel, however this turned out to be aluminium and I was concerned about the integrity of the finished product.

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As a result I removed the majority of the barrel from the attachment point that fits into the receiver and turned down that part to fit inside a piece of steel tube.

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As so… a very close friction fit.

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Meanwhile at the other end of the steel tube, the flash suppressor and foresight unit fits nicely over the outside diameter. Underneath is the gas block and two holes that run through the top of this, through which drift pins can be pushed to hold the unit in place.

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At this point I realise I have had a dunce moment. Naturally the barrel is slimmer than the ZB-26 barrel as it hasn’t the cooling fins and the handle mount is much too large.

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Fortunately, making a new one is simple enough, the new lug is brazed onto a piece of steel tube that fits around the barrel.

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The old handle is close enough to the original to be used, so a custom bolt allows this to be removed without tools.

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Finally, the gas block adjustment, which controls the gas flow in the original. Grey polymorph fills in the space.

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And all finished! This unit just needs mounting into the Bren gun and it’s good to go.

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Heavy weapons prototype special

Anti-Tank, Area effect, Area-effect, Cold War, LAW, PIAT, SMBL 2" mortar, War on Terror, Weapons, WWII

Nothing too in-depth today, just a short video showing off some of the prototypes we’ve been working on for over a year…

All of these are now available to order by email, we will be putting up pictures of the finished articles in the next few weeks.

If these products are of interest to you, please do get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy many of our complete products via Etsy.

 

British SMBL 2″ Mortar prototype

Area effect, Area-effect, Cold War, SMBL 2" mortar, Weapons, WWII

I’m afraid I have been somewhat remiss on photographing this build, but it’s quite a simple one in terms of components… The baseplate is an early war design which suits itself to precision rather than speed. The spiked arrangement on the bottom digs into soft ground to provide stability. The curved plate is your elevation control.
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The bottom of the barrel/chamber, shown just after welding. The main body of the barrel is easily removable to remove the shell if you need to.

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And the finished prototype! There will be a few modifications for production that allow the barrel to sit flatter for transport and the shell will have cutouts in the fins for lightness.

_DSF7247Something worth pointing out is that this is designed mainly for use with TAG shells to take out targets at long range or lay smoke screens, though you can put in any 40mm shells you like. During testing we did experiment with scatter shells and they were  effective at clearing a wide area ahead of the mortar.

Also, dropping the shell is unlikely to set it off. The firing mechanism is sat well inside the shell and will only be fired if activated by something goes that far into it. This makes it safer than just carrying moscarts which can go off when dropped on their base.

 

If this product is of interest to you, please do get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.

Light Mortars: SMBL 2″ mortar

Area effect, Area-effect, Cold War, History, SMBL 2" mortar, Weapons, WWII

History

Mortars are artillery that fires at a steep trajectory, used originally in sieges to target buildings inside walled towns that would be unreachable by conventional artillery.

They have been used by armies ever since, though the modern mortar is a very different beast to its medieval counterpart. This pattern of man-portable mortar was developed in the Great War: when remaining in cover while targeting an enemy in cover was necessary to survive. This close-use artillery needed to be small enough to live in conventional trenches but provide greater firepower and range than rifle grenades.

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The Stokes mortar was introduced by the British in 1915 and the design was widely modified and used by other countries. It is the grandfather of all modern mortars.

The Ordnance SMBL 2″

The 2″ mortar as used by the British Army in WW2 was developed from a Spanish 50mm mortar, though with modifications to make it suitable for British service. By the end of the war there had been eight marks with countless ‘*’ designations (used by the British at the time to denote small changes that did not add up to a full Mk).

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Originally the mortar was supplied with a collimating sight with spirit-levels and adjustment to allow for carefully aimed fire, however this was dropped on many of the marks, being replaced by a simple white line up the length of the barrel which was pointed at the enemy and fire adjusted until the bombs landed on target.

 

Vintage Airsoft have built a prototype mortar and will be demonstrating it very soon.

If this product would be of interest to you, please do get in touch at: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or join us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget you can buy our complete products via Etsy.

PIAT: Part Two

Anti-Tank, Area-effect, PIAT, Weapons, WWII

PIAT Part One was quite a while ago now and the project had to take a bit of a back seat for a while. Since then it has undergone a few changes to improve it and get it working!

Firstly, the shell holder is now welded onto the receiver for strength and simplicity. The whole unit now strips from the back.
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The back now uses a bayonet locking lug system to hold the internals in place.

_DSF6892 The trigger mechanism is now also smaller and smoother to operate, so it now looks like this:
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With the prototype shell in place! The production shells will be much more authentic in shape, this is just a proof of concept at this stage.

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Time for a first coat of paint. Panzer green will do to prevent rust for now, though surviving examples are painted everything from a forest green to a chocolate brown.

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Time for a bit of bang:

If you like the look of this piece and would like a build of your own or want to support this project please do get in touch! Email us on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or get in touch via our Facebook page.

Don’t forget to visit our Etsy page HERE.

Rifle Grenade Prototype

Area effect, Cold War, Rifle grenades, WWI, WWII

Following my last post about rifle grenades I thought I would show the prototype in a bit more detail.

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The power plant for this system is a 40mm CO2 grenade. I have used the S-thunder mini grenades for this build but there is no reason the design couldn’t be used with a different grenade.

So, how to use! Open the chamber by pulling out the barrel.
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Insert your loaded grenade:

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Insert the barrel. Have the barrel face downwards to stop premature firing of the grenade. The grenade is locked securely in place when the polished steel is no longer visible.

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And bang, you’re ready to go!

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This prototype is for my M14, though I would love to make some more of these for other rifles. You can see the video with the initial test firing below:

 

Let us know what you think in the comments, on Facebook or email us on  enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com. We will develop these for other rifles as they are requested so let us know if you want one!

 

UPDATE: Since this post was made initially, I have also started development of a rocket to go on it. The rocket in the attached video is only an initial prototype and improvements will be made as time goes on.

Rifle grenades-Introduction

Add-on kits, Area effect, Cold War, Rifle grenades, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Firstly, apologies that it has once again been an age since I last posted. I’ll be updating what I have been up to over the last month this week.

A slight diversion from the usual this time, the rifle grenade was developed in the early 20th century to allow soldiers to launch grenades further than they could throw. This technology would fill the gap between hand-thrown projectiles and small bore mortars until the 1970s, when dedicated grenade launchers became popular and the 1980s when underslung grenade launchers became widespread.

The rifle grenade first saw extensive use in the Great War where the high trajectory required to land a projectile in the enemy trench and short-medium ranges between opposing forces made them an ideal area-effect weapon where mortars were not available.

In airsoft, gas powered 40mm grenades are popular with modern players who are able to use them for room clearance and area-effect. However the M203-type launchers are entirely unsuitable for WWII and other pre-1970s era airsoft games. Anyway, this is my prototype answer to those who want to add a bit more ‘oomph’ to their semi-auto or bolt-action. More to come on this concept.

 

I’d really like to build these for WWII airsoft rifles, if you would like to be a test subject let me know! Our email is: enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com or you can contact us through our Facebook page!