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.

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 00.19.41

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.

_DSF8702

_DSF8934

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

_DSF8863

I also cut a hole for the magazine feed.

_DSF8935

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.

16810116_587428191446607_1100663209_o

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

20170406_150322

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.
_DSF8964

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.

_DSF8965

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

_DSF8966

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.

_DSF8967

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.

The LMG25 Furrer

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

The LMG25 is a Swiss Light Machine Gun adopted, as the name suggests, in 1925. It is a real oddity, even for a time when LMG designs were far less standardised than today.

2911f7d87f8fe97e_large

This Swiss soldier will get a very warm thumb if he opens fire now.

It was developed at Waffenfabrik, Bern by Adolf Furrer over seven years and was produced until the end of WWII. It served into the 1970s with the Swiss military, so must have been a pretty serviceable firearm to have hung around for so long.

9a332718e1440472_large

So, why is this an oddity? Well, the magazine is on the right-hand side, when most side-feeders (though not all) feed/fed from the left. There was a monopod at the back for support during sustained fire which wasn’t an uncommon idea at the time, but this could be moved to the front and used as a foregrip, which was.

lmg25assault

Monopod used as a fore-grip in the assault role.

But most interesting of all, this is a toggle-locked design. There are very few toggle locked guns due to the complexity and expense of manufacture as it is. There are even fewer rifle-cartridge toggle-locked guns (especially that went into production). As well as the high level of accuracy required for these to function, they also need to have a very strong recoil spring and a conventional toggle-lock doesn’t provide great purchase when cocking. The LMG25 has a separate operating handle to aid with this.

lmg25-28

The LMG25 is also interesting because as well as being toggle-locked it fires as you would expect a support weapon to do, from an open bolt. It is the only firearm of which I am aware that is both of these.

lmg25-8

The open toggle. When opened, it kicks open the two-part dust cover. Anyone familiar with the Luger will recognise the parts of this.

Just in case this wasn’t different enough for your liking, it is also unconventional in that the barrel does not stop once the toggle is broken open but keeps moving backwards. The shell is still ejected as the toggle moves much faster than the barrel.

dustcover1

The dust cover in the closed position below, and open above. It is in two parts to fit around the toggle. Very Swiss. 

In spite of all this strange-ness and the alleged complexity of toggle-locked guns (over-egged by those who have spent no time with them) it is very simple to field strip. One large nut at the back of the receiver allows you to remove the recoil spring, then pull out the barrel assembly. What about the bolt? Well the bolt/locking mechanism is all part of the barrel assembly on this so the whole lot pulls out together. Neat for cleaning in the field.

lmg25-14

The barrel/bolt/locking unit, showing the extravagant fluting on the barrel normally hidden by the shroud.

lmg25-26

Top view of the toggle when removed from the receiver.

While beautifully made, this type of gun never really caught on. It served the Swiss well, where money was no object for a relatively small army but for any other military the expense would have far outweighed any advantages. 

lmg25-3

Of course due to never being adopted outside of its home country, which didn’t participate in any conflicts during this period (or ever since about 1847) it never saw active service so it is difficult to say how it would have performed. 

 

If you want to see some footage of the LMG25, Ian at Forgotten Weapons has a nice video talking through one in Belgium here:

He also has some awesome footage of another LMG25 firing, including a lovely bit of slow-motion:

Don’t forget to check out Forgotten Weapons’ page on the LMG 25 here for more information on the gun and high-res pictures.

Vintage Airsoft will be building an LMG25 over the next few months with progress posted up here.

 

If you are interested in this project or have an idea of your own, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog or 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.

P04 Navy Luger: Complete

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.

_DSF7638

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!

_DSF7639

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

_DSF7640

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.

_DSF7641

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!
_DSF7643

 

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).

_DSF7603

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.

_DSF7604

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

_DSF7635

A few last bits of paint…

_DSF7637

 

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.

13459548_10208583642261291_1127903712_n

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.

_DSF7460

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.

_DSF7511

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.

_DSF7551

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

_DSF7563

 

_DSF7565

And cleaned up and back on the gun.

_DSF7566

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.
_DSF7572

So the sight has to go!

_DSF7573

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.

_DSF7568

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

_DSF7575 _DSF7576

In context on the gun.

_DSF7577

Obviously it needs a little bit of cleaning up!

_DSF7580

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.

_DSF7588

I then followed the lines with the etching tool.

_DSF7589

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.

_DSF7594 So far, so good!
_DSF7596
_DSF7599

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.

78162

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.

 

VDD64-K-F1-H VDD64-K-F2-H

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.

13459548_10208583642261291_1127903712_n

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!