MG08/15: The last furlong?

Custom builds, Imperial Era, Inter-War (1918-1939), Machine-Guns, MG08/15, Weapons

Thos of you who have followed Vintage Airsoft for some time will recognise this and be like: “Is he STILL working on that?”. Well, yes. I swear if something could go wrong on this build, it did. At least once. 

So, here’s hoping this is the last build post at long last!

One of the problems was the air seal between the gearbox and the hop unit. This it turned out was caused by flex between these parts, resulting in variation from shot to shot.

 

In the end, I re-designed the mounting plate to feature a hop-up ‘vise’ to hold the unit in place really solidly. There isn’t any wobble in this sod. 

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I had to make a few mods to the trigger unit design and the bottom of the baseplate to work together, but now the trigger raises a sear which sets off the microswitch in the gearbox itself.

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In place, clamped down! I’m still using the same feed system as before. 

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The feed tube comes out to meet the magazines.

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Oh yes, new grips. I wasn’t happy with the old ones, one wasn’t quite spot on, but as with all things the second attempt was much better. I’ve used hardwood this time (as opposed to laminate) and cut in cross-hatching for grip.

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Topping up the paintwork. 

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I’m really looking forward to having the finished photos on this at last.

 

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. 

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Gewehr ’98 Part 4

Custom builds, G98, Imperial Era, Rifles, Weapons, WWI

I used an epoxy putty to fit the buttplate due to the awkward shapes involved.

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I also replaced the bolt handle, which had been secured with a small M3 screw which wasn’t solid enough to endure repeated use. Now it is secured with an 8mm plug and pinned in place. It is now also steel, so it shall wear better and keep its colour.

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I also replaced the front band/bayonet lug with an original, stainless steel one.

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Pretty well finished now! Just got to put the band and top hand guard back together. Completed pictures to follow.

 

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.

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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.

‘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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Gewehr ’98: Part 3

Custom builds, G98, Rifles, Weapons, WWI, WWII

As this build seems to be coming to a close, it’s time to get the detailing right. In the fore-stock, there are two springs that keep the bands in position. These are laser cut to rough shape, then I used the grinder to mill in details such as the recesses the bands sit in. On the back of the piece is a smooth recess which combined with the correct tempering allows it to act like a spring.

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The front band viewed from the front. There is, annoyingly, a space between the barrel and the bayonet lug that needs fixing, but I am pleased with the difficult shape of the band itself.

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There are a few bits of etching on this gun, something I haven’t done before. I’m using a dremmel style tool with fine etching bits. To cut accurately I made templates in Qcad and glued them to the material with PVA. (This is a practice piece).

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Once dry, I could get to work removing the black areas.

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Then soak the part in warm water and detergent to remove the template.

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A bit of practice later and the templates are ready to be attached to the rifle itself.

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First pass with the dremmel has give a good outline! Hopefully a second pass will get it a little deeper.

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Not too much more to do now! Looking forward to getting this one finished, it should be a very pretty rifle by the end of it!

Webley MkVI Buttstock Complete

Add-on kits, carbine, pistol, Products, Weapons, webley, WWI, WWII

You can see the build post for this product HERE if you’re interested!

This buttstock is strongly based on the model available for the original Webley MkVI.

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The stock is made entirely of steel and real, solid walnut.

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The steel is oil blued and the wood has been finished with danish oil, followed by a protective layer of hardwax oil.

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The only real aesthetic improvement would be to make the remaining standard grip a brass colour, which it was with the original when the buttstock was attached.

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If you would like a stock like this for your own or you have a great idea for an accessory, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or get in touch on Facebook!

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

Webley MkVI Buttstock (build)

Add-on kits, carbine, Imperial Era, pistol, Products, Weapons, webley, WWI, WWII

Those of you who have been following Vintage Airsoft for a while know that the Webley MkVI is a firm favourite. So far, we’ve made replacement shells, shotgun shells and added a hop unit.

There are still a few accessories to complete however, namely the removable butt stock which allowed the pistol to be used as a carbine and the Pritchard-Greener bayonet. The latter of these are rare, with no recorded use in combat, the former however was common enough.

The practice of producing a butt stock to fit pistols was commonplace among manufacturers from the introduction of revolvers. It allowed the shooter to make the most of a pistol cartridge out to ranges that would be quite difficult to achieve useful accuracy by hand only. A more commonly recognised use of this idea is the Artillery Lugers, issued by Germany to troops not wanting the bulk of a full rifle but needing something easier to use than a pistol. Essentially, this is the fore-runner to what in current Western parlance is called the PDW or Personal Defence Weapon.

WebleyRevolverStock&Bayonet

Firstly, a digital design to work out what needed to go where. This could then be printed out to check the proportions were correct.

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This would then be converted into steel in a batch of laser cuttings.
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It is made up of three layers to make the shape without having to perform milling operations. The thickest inner layer (4mm) is chamfered on both sides around most of the length to allow deep penetration of the joining weld.

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You can see in the photograph below the two screws full-length protruding from the grip. These run through two corresponding holes drilled in the butt of the pistol itself, which is the only modification required to fit this unit.

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These, along with the excess weld can be ground down to a smooth finish. It can then be laid out on the wood for the stock and drawn round, using the screws at the back as reference points. The excess material can then be removed.

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Once the parts were all in place, they could be separated and finished. The surface of the metalwork was gone over with a sanding drum for a smooth finish, then slightly oil blued to achieve a similar finish to the original.
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The walnut stock itself took a thick coat of danish oil. Several more will be applied before it is complete along with a coat of hardwax oil to give it a tough, wear-resistant finish.

 

Photos of the finished product to follow!

 

If this post has inspired you to want a custom gun of your own or has given you a great idea for an accessory, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or get in touch on Facebook!

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

Gewehr ’98: Part 2

Custom builds, G98, Rifles, WWI, WWII

The next trick is to attach the lengthened fore-end to the rest of the stock. To do this I inletted both parts down the centre and inserted a ‘biscuit’, a piece of wood that joins the two parts.

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Once the two parts were joined, I removed the top part of the biscuit so that the barrel could fit in the groove originally cut for it.

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In the meantime, I taped up the bolt to protect the working parts from dirt ingress. I could then remove the bolt handle with the angle grinder.
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In order to fit the rear sight, some modifications are needed to the chamber. First, removing the rear sight unit and chamber cover, I then could grind down this screw thread until flat.

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The chamber cover can then be replaced with a piece of steel tube.

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This is the correct diameter for the new Vizier rear sight. This is a reproduction one from the US.

To complete the work, I removed the top slide of the sight. To fit around the chamber I removed the bottom of the mounts. The built-in screw point holds it in position.
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There is a lug at the front of the sight which holds down the hand guard. This had to be modified slightly to fit around the tube being used to hold the rear sight.
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Next I filled in the cutaways for the bolt handle (on the K98k, the bolt handle is bent down so needs a cutaway, this is not needed on the straight-handled G98), the cut-through for the sling will be replaced by a standard sling swivel. When dry these blocks could be worked flat with the rest of the stock. I then lightly scored the surface in line with the grain of the stock so the stain would set more deeply and blend the two different timbers together better.

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Coats 1+2 of the stain, still some variation between the timbers. As I build up layer on layer the differences will become very subtle.

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While all this is drying, I could turn and attach the new bolt handle. The original plan was to use the cut-off bend bolt but this wasn’t going to be long enough to look right so I made a better one out of some brass bar I had to hand.

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The next post should see the stock finished, the bolt handle blacked and everything assembled.

 

If this build has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook!

MG08/15: Upgraded internals

Custom builds, Machine-Guns, MG08/15, Products, Weapons, WWI, WWII

A quick video to show you what this gun shot like prior to a couple of improvements!

It was a little inconsistent, though bear in mind that this is without the hop set at all. There are several improvements that have been made since then to improve consistency and power.

Firstly, a large, stiff spring holds both the outer barrel and the hop unit in place against the gearbox.

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At this point, it became apparent that having quick-replacement magazines is a bit pointless as any magazine for this gun will be a high-capacity one. As a result I dropped this idea and went for the far more secure (and better feeding) fixed version.

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This can still be swapped between an electronic hi-cap (stored in an MG42 ammunition box, as used in WW2 with the MG08/15) and a smaller hi-cap that can be stored in the drum itself.

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A drum magazine lock was added to stop the drum from opening unexpectedly. The crank handle on the original was used to wind in the cloth bullet belt. It is fixed on this and the sides of the spindle hold the magazine in place.

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The details on the water tank, filling cap and steam hose connector.

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The small magazine attachment for the drum magazine. This attaches to the top of an M14 magazine.

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A top-up of paint to get it pretty before testing!

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Ready to go!

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The elevation adjustment and rear sight.
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If this post has inspired you to want a gun of your own, do drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss or find us on Facebook.

Gewehr ’98: Part 1

Custom builds, G98, Rifles, Weapons, WWI, WWII

Another custom build, another load of laser cuttings! Part of the brief for this build is to replace as many of the pot metal parts with steel as possible, so I have a lot of cosmetic work to do on this.

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First up is the fore-end, incorporating the bayonet lug.

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Bending the fore-end sleeve into place, using a couple of steel tubes and as a wooden die. I then welded the three parts together.

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I could then remove the back of the butt stock where it fills the K98k buttstock.

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And fit the flat steel replacement butt plate.

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I then glued two pieces of straight-grained ash together and planed both to flat.

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I could then shape the bottom edge and run a rounded channel down the top for the barrel to sit in. This part will be the new fore-end, bringing the rifle up to the full length it is supposed to be.

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Inside the action, two buffers will suspend the inner barrel in the outer barrel.

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Next step is to bend the middle band, ends first.

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Then bending the rest of the shape around the woodwork.

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So the next steps are: to attach the bayonet lug, fit the new full-length outer barrel, put a straight handle on the bolt, join the stock and fore-end and fill in the spaces on the stock.

 

If this build 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 many of our complete products via Etsy.