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Darkmikey22

British L7A2 GPMG Project

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Hi guys and girls,

I'd thought id finally share this on here, so here is my British L7A2 GPMG project.

 

This project saw me starting off with an Inokastu M240B, which at the time i loved as it was. I then got thinking about doing a british L7A2 gpmg, but at the time i was too scared to touch mine as i had no dreams of butchering the beauty. Especially after the amount of money i had spent on the thing plus the gearbox upgrades.

 

It wasn't till a few friends and family that are/have served go on about how they used them and how much of a beast they are.

So it got me thinking and so decided to do a bit of light reading.

I didn't realise how much history surrounds the MAG series of guns.

 

 

Now for history lesson!.

The first FN MAG was designed in the early 50's from a cross breed of an mg42 and a browning BAR.

The original british variant L7A1 was brought into service in 1957 by the royal small arms factory also known as Enfield (now BAE systems) under license by belgium FN, which was then after a few minor improvements upgraded to the L7A2 in 1962.

the L7A2 GPMG or "Gimpy" has seen every british military engagement since.

To name only a few... Aden, Rafdan, suez crises, northen ireland, oman, falklands, gulf war, bosnia, kosovo, sierra leone, afghanistan, and iraq.

 

The MAG series has also been used by 80 other countries for around the same length of time, tho under different designations.

For example... canada = C6     sweden = KSP 58.

 

America did eventually jump on to the band wagon, but not till later on and designed its own version of the MAG series. It was put in service in 1977 and was called the M240. At the time it was only used as a coaxial variant to fit to armoured vehicles. It wasn't fully introduce as an infantry variant till 1991 by the US marines as the M240G as a replacement for the dated m60, then later by the US army in 1995 as the M240B

Compared to the L7 the M240 (infantry variant) has only seen three engagements, the first gulf war with just the US marines then iraq and afghan with all US forces units.

 

So with all its history and the fact the L7A2 wont be produced as an airsoft weapon for possibly the foreseeable future, i thought to myself lets go for it then.

And so the project commenced.

 

Ok, now like myself at first alot of people dont realise how different the L7A2 is compared to the M240. So after spending weeks studying plans and parts lists, i was left with a list almost an A4 page long. So from the get go this project was getting more and more complicated due to the fact most these parts are so scarce and hard to get hold of. And with gun laws as strict as ours in the uk and one or two parts on that list covered by a section 5 gun law i thought it was going to be impossible to get hold of those parts. but luckely with some help was given away round it.

 

so here we go, the project and pictures :)

 

This was it while a M240B

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And also a M240G

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Ok i have stripped down the gun into it bare componants to show you the comparison between the M240 parts and them L7's

unfortunately i no longer have the M240 flash hider or the front rail and heat shield to compare to as i swapped the parts with a collector for some of the british parts.

 

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With the parts mentioned earlier about restricted by a section 5 law. those parts are the gas block, gas reg and the flash hider.

The way i was given around those was..

A. The gas block (as it is above) has no locating holes, or holes drilled in the middle of the block for gas to escape from the barrel. so as its only half machined and isnt functional, its now not covered by the section 5

B. The gas reg has had all its working parts removed and so was only left with the actual knob section and the holes welded shut on the adaptor.

C. The flash hider/muzzle has had its original threar retapped so it can no longer fit or be used on a live firing weapon again. 

 

now here are some pictures of how it looks now all the british parts are fitted before it was stripped down to have more work done to it (will follow in the next section)

 

p.s the original M240 gas block and front sight hadn't been removed yet by this stage.

 

With new vortex flash hider

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With original L7 muzzle

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and with blank firing attatchments

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Now this is where the fun really starts.

I had to strip the gun right down so that i could start work on the body, barrel and gas tube.

Holes had to be drilled, gaps filled and engravings removed etc.

 

I had to remove the original gas block and front sight and also fill in the egraved nsn number on the top of the barrel. For this i used "Quiksteel" (thats how its spelt) which has worked and held superbly.

 

Now this is what the barrel looks like with the british gas block and front sight fitted.

All that has to be done now is for the locating hole to be drilled and a pin fitted and for the leading edge infront of the gas block to be lathed down flush with the block. Also the front sight will have to be fixed into position too.

 

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Heres the nsn number before it was filled

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After

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Next up is the gas tube.

I had to drill the 4 vent holes and also make it locate to the body with a correct pin, not the C pin that was placed underneath.

All what is left to do here is for a recess to be made on the opposite site, identical to the one you can see in the picture. Its so the sling swivel can locate up with the split pin hole.

 

Vent holes

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Locating hole on body/gas tube

The holes where it was originally held together with a C pin

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While the gas tube was attached to the body, a hole was made leaving a slight cut on the thread of the gas tube for the correct pin to locate. 

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Original holes now filled

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Now for the main body work.

Along the bottom of the body there are to locating hole for the ejection port cover bar. On the M240 they are two solid bars, but on the GPMG the front part is solid but the second section it cut into two parts and then halved. this is done on the real thing so it was easier to strip down the ejection port cover for ease of maintanance.

i have had to cut mine down and then have it built up and rienforce with Quiksteel. then was the painstaking process of filing it down and sanding it smooth with out taking too much off the body or damaging the two new bar retainers.

 

Before

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After

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Then when built up and smoothed off

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Heres a genuine pic as reference

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Next up was filling the gaps on the side bars of the body

Here they are as the M240

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Now filled and smoothed off

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Also the long block that sits just above the cocking lever, on the the M240 is ridged where the GPMG is flat.

how the M240 was

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now filled

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Heres a reference pic of both the rear bar and bar above the cocking lever. ok this pic has the gap on the rear bars as realy small, but that is only on the new HK L7's where im building the old enfield version. 

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On the left hand side on an M240 where the barrel attaches the is the letters M and P stamped on it. they had to be filled too.

Before

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After

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Next problem was the engraving.

hats off to inokatsu for the level of detail they have gone too, but it really hampered me on getting the GPMG trades done.

 

First i had to sand the body where the engraving was to asses how deep the egravings were.

Then i decided to just keep sanding till the body was completely rid of trades. The only problem then, was that it left a slight curviture into the body for where the engraving once was.

But when i took it to the engravers, they were quite happy with it and went ahead engraving it.

 

Now, for a little explination into how british GPMG markings work.

It will look like this

                                 MACHINE GUN 7.62mm L7A2

                                           

                                             UE 62 A 3847

                                       1005 - 13 - 103 - 2524

 

Ok, the top row speaks for its self. the next row is the important bit.

the first two letters are the manufacturer. UE means UK ENFIELD and there is also BL which means it was made by FN.

the next two numbers mean the year of production. the A is from which batch. then the last four numbers are the last four numbers of the weapons serial number 

the bottom row of numbers is the NSN number for the weapon (Nato stock number).

 

For the serial number on my gun i have actually used my date of birth, so it reads UE 84 A 2912 (29/12/84) which helps to recognise it if it ever gets stolen as its unique to me.

 

This was the original M240 engravings

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when it was sanded down flush.

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and now that it has been engraved.

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so all that is left to do at the moment is

* lathe down the barrel

* drill locating hole for pin

* have the GPMG feed tray milled out to fit over the gearbox.

* recess made on gas tube for sling swivel

* hole made under feed tray to fit the wires better under the hop up

 

There are one or two more little jobs to do like re wiring to deans connectors etc, then it will be ready to be painted.

I am thinking of having it cerakoted a satin black, so will have to get saving.

 

Then it will finally be finished

 

So here's how it stands at the moment (followed by a reference pic)

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I would really appreciate your input on this build guys, specially if i have missed anything.

 

many thanks

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Thank you guys

 

As I said on ZeroIn, I love this gun, and will one day steal it from you!

 

Cheers fella, just one thing tho...

 

I know who you are, I know what you want!.

If you are looking to take this, I suggest you don't!.

Becuase what i have is a particular set of skills; skills that i have aquired over a long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

If you leave this gun alone, That will be the end of it!. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you.

But if you don't, i will look for you, I will find you, And i will beat you to death with it!.

 

Hahaha ;)

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Thanks guys for the comments.

 

Ok, I had to temporarily spray the body and barrel last week to see if the filling jobs were filed down ok, and to make sure they weren't visable after being painting, which they didnt :) .

All tho i didn't spray the small parts, i didnt feel the need as they will be done when its sent off at the end.

 

The only parts that are going to be left unpainted (parkerized grey) generaly (as per the real thing) will be the gas regulator, rear sight (whole assembly), front sight (top part) and the ejection port bar, everything else will be painted black.

 

Also originaly i stated that i was going to have the whole gun cerakoted satin black, Well this is not the case any more.

It indeed will still be cerakoted, but just not the whole gun.

Because what i am going to do now is to just have the body, gas tube and barrel sent away to be cerakoted the original grey that it came as. 

Then HOPEFULLY the whole gun will be sent away this time to be sprayed up by the company that used to spray the real gpmg's in a heat proof paint called SUNCORITE 259.

Thats once i have chance to ring the chap back to go throught it all with him.

 

Any way this is how it looks all sprayed up with all the genuine parts fitted.

(plus pay no attention to the markings on the body end of the barrel, as the markings will be filled by the company thats doing the machining)

 

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Good deal, I have a Mag58 variant and it has a 509mm barrel in it but as you said it was a few inches short so I was wondering if it was the stock barrel or not.

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I believe it was fella.

Altho it was always sold as a kit for the shop/seller to build, in theory anything could of been fitted at the discretion of both shop and customer.

As i had this option when i bought mine.

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Right guys, the Gpmg has been sent away for yet more work, so in the mean time I thought id try to make a start on the box mag.
I have had the jungle box for a while now but needed to find a feed mech off a box mag to work with.
Then a few weeks ago I was so kindly donated a broken (damaged wires) G&P M249 auto feeding box mag to repair for me to use on my g&p mk46.
So as I stripped it apart to try and fix it, it then dawned on me to use it for this project as it was already the near enough shape of what I was after and didn't require the wires that needed fixing. So is now been butchered for the gpmg instead

 

50RD JUNGLE BOX

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G&P M249 BOX MAG

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SECTION A
The plate been held by two screws is going to be completely removed, and the green tube holding the hose is going to be cut down a bit shorter.
This is to allow the hose to have more room to bend once in the jungle box.

 

SECTION B
there are 3 plastic lips on both sides, these will be removed.

 

SECTION C
This whole section is going to be removed and cut back to where the two screws holes are at the top.
The gearbox will have its original wires removed along with the small circuit board section. The gearbox will then have a larger voltage gauge wiring fitted.
This is so it can be directly fed/wired up to the trigger so that it will feed bb's every time I pull the trigger.

 

SECTION D
Once the circuit board and the rest of section C has been removed, the top section will then have a small rectangular gap cut out directly above the gearbox and the lower parts of the plastics to be cut/filed down. This is so that the plastic housing can be dropped down slightly allowing the top part of the gearbox to poke through the plastic giving me more space to use for the reservoir.

 

If anyone needs it explained in more detail as to what i am doing just let me know.

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The gpmg parts has been sent away to a friend that works on the real things. so in short it is going to be done properly by the correct people :D

I am having the lip on the barrel lathed down flush with the shorter gas black.

Then the gas block and front sight are having the locating holes drilled and fitted.

The sling mount hole needs a recess made to the right hand side to have the sling loop fit.

The top cover plunger is having to be altered to fit correctly, feed tray milled out to fit over the hop up chamber.

 

Then after all that most the parts will be sent away for grit blasting then repainted a dull FN grey.

Then will be sent away again and sprayed in the suncorite 259 heat proof paint, which is the paint the real gpmg's are painted with.

 

So I probably wont see it now for a few months, or depending on how busy they are probably nearer xmas.

So this thread my go quiet for a little while or may just drag out the box mag work a bit.

 

But the only issue I may have is whether or not the g&p feed mech motor will take the higher voltage. If it doesn't then im back to square one. 

I will post a picture of it in a few days once I start to take it apart.

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