Over at GunLab, Chuck is hard at work on two projects. The first of them is the VG 1-5 Replica. (Did you know that Hitler himself supposedly rejected this gun for manufacture? We hope to have that document for you this week). The VG 1-5 is a technically very interesting Gustloff-Werke design that used the common (then) MP44 magazine, in a crude, stamped-and-welded, semi-auto carbine. There are now completed and partly-completed parts for much of the first batch, and Chuck is thinking Job #1 is 60 days from reality (not sure if he will submit that to ATF Firearms Technology Branch, or if he has submitted a prototype already and received  a letter of determination). This picture shows a VG repro shaping up, with a reinforcement plate test-fit on the receiver halves, with a complete gun above as a sample:

Gustloff VG 1-5 repro - GunLab

The images should embiggen with a click.

The second project is something near and dear to Chuck himself: a reproduction Japanese Type 99 light machine gun magazine. To press the magazine halves, he must manufacture dies:


Both a male (top) and female die are required. The female die is made from three parts.

Chuck owns a Type 99 lacking a mag, so his personal interest in this is high; however, several would-be Type 99 shooters are hoping for mags, too. Some also lack mags and some just don’t have enough mags. (Who, really, has enough mags for anything?)

There’s also a third project in the works: building a fabrication facility. As it is, dies and die-plates machined in the machine shop must run a gantlet of pick-up trucks, cranes, and carts to get to the sheet metal press. Many more details on all of the above at GunLab.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

2 thoughts on “Latest from GunLab: VG 1-5 repro parts, Jap 99 mag tooling

Stefan van der Borght

Just for academic purposes, how well would the Sten design scale up to 7.92 Kurz, if at all?

Hognose Post author

7.92k really needs a locked breech (or an impractically heavier bolt). I could do the math from Balleisen’s Principles of Firearms, but I recall somebody did it for .30-06 or 7.62 NATO (about the same from a chamber pressure and recoil impulse point of view) and it was 31 pounds. Figure the 7.92 x 57 is more or less equivalent to the 7.62 x 63 (.30-06), and the weight required probably scales on a parabolic curve rather than linearly or exponentially….

There are blowback guns with large cartridges, like the 20 x 100RB Oerlikon, in use from WWI to today. Most of the weight of the Oerlikon’s breech mechanism, which all told is about 50 lb., is bolt. That’s also what gives the gun its leisurely rate of fire.