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Darkmikey22

British L7A2 GPMG Project

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Evening guys and girls,
It’s taken a lot longer than expected, so sorry about the wait.

But it's finally here!!!!!
The most accurate and authentic airsoft British GPMG out there.


First off I think we should get the bad points out the way.

So, there’s been a few snags along this journey, some major and some not so.
The main two are that the suncorite paint couldn't be used! This is because it’s been phased out due to new EU regulations.
The British army armourers are still currently using what's left, but all Contractors for the M.O.D for the likes of Manroy, HK etc. now have to use a new paint called "Small arms black".
So the GPMG was sprayed with this paint instead. Ok it’s not 100% accurate but it’s still genuine paint.

The second snag was that the parts that were filled with the quick steel putty I.E barrel marks, bar ends etc. are now slightly visible.
This was due to the quick steel stating it could handle it, but cometh the time to start the grit blasting, it took a very small layer off.
Normally the suncorite would have covered it, but since they now have to use the new paint, it's as thin as cerakote so is now visible.

(The other small snags will be mentioned along in the relevant sections)

So with the main snags out the way it’s time to get to the good bits and get on to the work that was done.

The real gpmg pictures below are numbered so that when I discuss or show a picture of mine, I will post a reference picture number so that you can revert back to these for reference.
Ex: (Ref Pic 1)
 
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I will start from the front of the weapon and work down as best I can. So lets begin.....

PT.1 BARREL

FLASH HIDER
Unfortunately the price for all the work and painting done was that the guy wanted my RS vortex flash hider! Which is no real biggie I suppose?
I'm sure and hope it was worth it! Plus I had a King arms replica on another weapon, so decided to pinch it for this instead.
And so the next small snag appears! My barrel has a real thread on it (19mm pos) and not an airsoft 14mm.
So had to get the inner diameter lathed out and then a 19mm collar made to fit inside.
 
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Now after posting my Vortex at the beginning of the thread I have had a few pm's asking Why do I have one? Do the British use them now?
Well that would be a yes. (Ref Pic 2 and 5)

FRONT SIGHT BLOCK/BARREL WASHER
It's had the locating pin fitted and the Hex screws cleaned up.
The top part of the sight(sight wings)has been re vamped and re parkerized.
Now this along with the gas regulator and rear sight are usualy the only things left unpainted.
And the thing that's in between the flash hider and the front sight is a genuine Flash hider washer.

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GAS BLOCK
The block itself has now had the locating pin fitted and the bit on the barrel just before it has now been lathed down flush with the front of the block.
You may also notice that the bottom of the gas block has been left silver (Ref Pic 1,2 and 3). They don't normally bother painting the lower part due to the heavy use and cleaning of the gas regulator.

SLING SWIVEL
The recess has finally been done on the gas tube and so the sling swivel has been moved to this side of the barrel and correct pin fitted to hold it. (Ref Pic 1 and 2)

VENT HOLES
Nothing special here other than they have been tidied up a bit with a 3.2mm reaming tool

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BARREL MARKINGS
The whole barrel has now had all the American stamps filled and smoothed (although due to 1 of the above snags they can be seen slightly).
Now I was going to have all the correct UK markings stamped onto the barrel, But this is where another little snag hits.
Due to UK firearm laws, if a barrel has correct markings/proof marks it means it's a RS barrel and can be accepted on to a RS weapon, so if I was to fully replicate a full stamped barrel, it would become illegal.
Now on a real (Old style) GPMG barrel it has the last 4 digits of the serial number stamped on the right hand side of it, and a 7.62mm L1A2 and a Royal Enfield crows foot makers mark stamped onto the left hand side along with 1 of a range of proof marks depending where done.
Obviously I can no longer do most of this as it would make my barrel illegal. So what I have done is had the complete serial number from the side of the weapon (UE 84 A 2912) added instead of just the last 4 digits and had just the crows foot added to the right side and left the rest blank.

I could of tried to have the 7.62 L1A2 engraved, but didn't want to push my luck.

The reason why the barrels are sometimes stamped with the weapons serial number is because each weapon is "Paired" with a barrel.
Well 3 barrels in fact, Normal/Sustained fire (SF)/Blank fire.
This is to stop interchanging of barrels on other GPMG's because of they way the individual weapon is "balanced" (will go into detail in a bit)
Some times on a RS barrel you may see XXXX stamped on it. It's where the barrel has been removed from one weapon and "Repaired" with another and had the original 4 digits Stamped over with X's

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PT.2 MAIN BODY

BARREL RELEASE CATCH
In the picture directly above there is a catch. Earlier in the thread I originally had the new style one, but as I was going for the older look I managed to source this old one and fitted it instead. (Ref Pic 3 and 4)

LARGE RIVOTS
A bit further down the body from the barrel release catch (Pic Above) there are two large rivets.
These rivets hold the front section of the weapon together.
Now on the right hand side of the American version (M240) they use flat headed rivets (  B ), and on the British version they use dome head ones. (Ref Pic 2 and 7)
So I had the US ones removed and the correct UK ones fitted.

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TOP COVER PLUNGER
Most people don't know what this is. If you look at the picture above there is a rectangular thing pressing up against the front edge of the top cover. This is for when the top cover is open, it stops it from closing naturally while you are cleaning/loading the weapon.
I'm not sure if the US have these fitted to the M240's, yet in airsoft I know the echo1 has one but mine didn't so had to go to great lengths to have to body machined inside to take a real plunger.

FEED TRAY
I have now got the RS feed tray machined out to fit over the gearbox and hop up unit. Which was an absolute nightmare by all accounts and cost a fortune to do as the thing is hard chrome plated onto hardened steel, and went through a lot of milling tips.

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ENGRAVING
When I had originally removed the M240 markings on the side, I was worried that I had taken away too much material and that dips would appear after painting.
Now also with the change of paint for a thinner one I worried even more, not that I needed too as feel this has come out alright.

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EJECTION PORT COVER RETAINERS
This on the M240 was originally one straight length, but then I cut then away to make two lugs.
I was and still am worried that they are extremely weak and could break, and that I didn't do a good enough job in making them look right.
Since been painted and all the ejection port part put on I think that they no longer look too bad.

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LOWER BODY PLATE
With the picture above there is a metal plate that starts from where the ejection port stops, and runs down underneath the bipod catch.
The Inokatsu one fitted was some type of aluminium plate, but now I have had the real one fitted.
It was a little wider than it's counterpart and has bowed out just slightly, but have been told they do this on some of the real one's too and isn't anything to worry about.

TRIGGER GRIP
The real safety catch and grips are now fitted. The safety catch went straight in like it was made for that frame, but the grips had to have the hole where the safety catch goes through filed down by a whisker.

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Some of you have probably noticed the white mark that is placed towards the rear right side of the weapon (Ref Pic 2 and 7)
This is called a "balancing" mark.
This goes back to what I was getting into with the paired barrels section, and its all to do with the gasses and returning the working parts.
This is why a barrel has to be "paired" to a individual weapon as the gas regulation is set differently with every GPMG.

The term for setting a GPMG is called "Balancing", and I will try and explain the best I can .


BALANCING A GPMG. (Pictures below in order of letters/sequence)
A. Set the gas regulator setting at six clicks from fully closed (Picture A).
 
B. Fire a burst of three to five rounds.
 
C. Apply the safety catch and move the cocking handle back until it contacts the working parts. The cocking handle should be level with the white line painted on the right hand side of the body (picture C.1). If this is so, push the cocking handle fully forward (Picture C.2), open the gas regulator two clicks (Picture C.3) and repeat the above drill until the cocking handle stops about 12 mm (half an inch) in front of the white line (Picture C.4).
 
D. When this happens, do not open the gas regulator further, instead, close it by four clicks.
 
E. Move the safety catch to “Fire”, fully cock the gun, fire a burst and confirm that the cocking handle now moves back to the white line.
 
F. Close the gas regulator fully, noting the number of clicks taken to do so.
The number of clicks is to be recorded. (This is the correct gas setting for the gun.)
 
G. Before any future firing, the gas regulator is to be fully closed and then
opened by the number of clicks recorded.

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You will also notice that I haven't painted the cocking lever bar!. that's because the cocking lever/bar is one of the most replaced/fixed items.
Both the cocking lever and the small bar that attaches to the working parts will break after extensive use. and if this happens they generally replace the whole thing. Which is what I'm simulating here. (can also bee seen in Ref Pic 1)

Now finally we are here! The overall pictures of my GPMG.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this project and the time and effort taken to study it too.
And if anyone wants any more info don't hesitate to ask.

Enjoy and many thanks.


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Amazing work. You've inspired me & put me off at the same time. I have located some parts & i'm buying them as i can afford them but i'm really put off at the frightening costs of making the GPMG,not to mention buying an AEG in the first place. I really wish some company would release the L7A1 that was useable.

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Thanks chap, and yes its cost a small fortune. If I knew then what I know now about how hard it was obtaining parts and the work and machining required, I don't think I would of started at all.

I would of liked for one to of been done too, but I could never see it happening which is why I built mine. 

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It was done by a specific place, as most high street engravers have a limited font range and don't have the engraving depth either.

At first they weren't to happy either, but once I showed them the build photos they seemed quite interested.

As long as your clear on what you want and have a few good reference photos for them to look at, the results are spot on.

 

Pm'd you the details if your interested fella.

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Great job, it looks really great. The MAG is one of my favourite support weapons and seeing one as well made as yours makes me really want one :D .

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lol, was a mate trying to be funny as they had it on one of their armoured vehicles. Had to stop him sticking all sorts of army stickers and labels all over it, bloody delinquent lol.

Not sure whether to keep it or not? if I do it will be corrected ;)

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although they are not not as sexy as a L7 ;)

 

Ares have been advertising that for ages and nothing more has been said about it. also knowing ares it will be mainly plastic like their m60 range.

Plus I believe gfc is another echo1 style.

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I'm told the GFC is basically A&K down the line. I was warned about the possibility of the Ares being a plastic reciever.Nope,it has to be metal or nothing. Even if i did buy a plastic reciever GPMG it wouldn't see light of day until a metal reciever had been built.

Looks like some of the rumours are true {going off the pictures?} http://wmasg.pl/pl/news/show/97593?highlight=ASG

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ok guys,

I had it pointed out on another forum that the white "balancing" mark by the cocking lever was wrong.

Now as silly as it sounds but the mark has to be a specific size

 

FROM THE GPMG ARMOURERS MANUAL

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MINE

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Plus as you may well see above I have stuck a QR sticker on it too.

Well over the last few months it appears that the British army are now going the way of the U.S and putting QR stickers on GPMG's.

 

And before anyone sad bugger checks, the QR sticker is for a AK, as I was improvising until I knew what the British ones said. As all the reference pics I have are all at distance or are low quality.

 

REFERENCE

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Then about a week ago someone on another forum was able to pm me the info.

I've edited my photo to demonstrate roughly what it says.

 

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ok guys I'm thinking of changing what is on the top cover but would like some opinions on what would look better.

I have toyed around with a few ideas in the picks bellow which are examples of what I have seen done for real.

 

A. Is how I have it at the moment

Personally I prefer "D" (old style)OR "I" (Electronic label)

 

So opinions guys?

 

 

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