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 Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun

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Cerwyn
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PostSubject: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:49 pm

Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Model









Photos courtesy of http://www.shoeiseisakusho.co.jp/index.html


Brief History Courtesy of
http://hza-kulmbach.com/

Building more in less time

The German "Wehrmacht" in September 1939 marched into Poland seriously under equipped. That included the degree of actual planned motorized vehicles, the number of full-auto firearms - including submachine-guns but also Light- and Heavy-Machine-guns - number of tanks and more. After the fast victory and over the next following years Germany had no other choice than aquiring captured military equipment, so basically "everything which did shoot" was integrated into service under the category "Fremdes Gerät“ (meaning foreign equipment).

Starting with "Operation Barbarossa" and the attack against the Soviet Union, the losses on soldiers and material grew enormously and fastly. Especially the shortage and urgent demand on Infantry weapons could not be met with the existing manufacturing capacities. The critical situation became even worse when in 1942 British and American tactical bombing started.


It was then in this critical situation, when it became obvious that drastic measures had to be taken to firstly reduce the amount of material used, secondly reduce the overall machining- and assembly-times required and lastly simplify all designs currently in production to optimize them towards mass-production. One of these first weapons was the "Maschinenkarabiner - Mkb 42 (H)", serving as godfather to the later "MP 44"and StG 44.

One concept meets the set requirements

The assault-rifle concept was intended to provide a fighting platform to the infantry-men, which would allow for an effective attack- and impact-distance of about 600 meters, while the rifle should still be controllable in full-auto firing mode, but also enable precision shooting in semi-auto firing mode. This was especially important as the soldier was now in a position to fire without being forced to move the rifle out of the targeting-line thus targets could be aquired, attacked and neutralized without operating the bolt-action. While - if need be - on short distance assaults - offensive or defensive - switching to "D" for full-auto - would provide a deadly lead-spitting firepower.

"Haenel" wins the race

Two versions had advanced into the final round of the competition being the Mkb 42 (W)" from Walther and the "Mkb 42 (H)" from Haenel. The Wather-concept with a rotating bolt system and tube type reciever was good, however the Haenel-concept with its tilting bolt system finally won the race. The weapon was engineered to shoot from the open bolt position, just like the "MP 38". The advantage of this open bolt configuration was, that during full-auto fire, the barrel would receive better cooling by the air that would pass through the barrel. As the intention however was that the weapon should be mainly operated in semi-auto - also to save ammunition - it was modified. The MP43/1 was born, that would only fire from the closed bolt configuration. Important to mention is the selection of the frame-material, being sheet metal. By cold-stamping operations the metal was pressed into shape. With only few operating steps a simple Coal-box or lantern could as easily be produced as a firearm frame, housing, hand-rail, gas-tube or trigger groups. Lessons learned of civilian mass-production were applied to military manufacturing. That is also the reason why civilian companies had to kind of "handhold and coach" the arms factories until they had mastered the cold-stamping operation-steps to perfection. Lots of Know-how, experience, time and skills were required to build the dies and tools, but once completed, only sufficiently dimensioned stamping-presses and quality sheet-metal was required to stamp lots of parts in a mass-production-environment.

The "Waffenamt" disobeys directions given

Already back in December of 1941 / January 1942 the first prototypes were made by "Haenel", located in Suhl. Those prototypes still were fully machined / milled and were specified with the internal manufacturers-code "MK 42 H.S.“ (standing for "Maschinenkarabiner 42 Haenel / Schmeisser"). Shortly after, the following prototypes were renamed to „Maschinenpistole 42 S“ (for schwer = heavy) and then to "Mkb 42". After also company "Walther" presented their prototypes, the name was finally changed to the known "Mkb 42 (H)".


Despite the disapproval of the the "Führer" as stated April 14th of 1942, the German "Heereswaffenamt" (fortunately) authorized testing the next day.

Reasoning behind his disapproval was that further development would require mass production of the new cartridge, the 7.92mm x “Kurz” or Short round. Hitler believed that more efforts should be put into the mass production of the 7.92mm x and 9mm pistol cartridges in use by a variety of weapons already in use.

There are opinions that the new weapons were re-designated “Maschinen Pistole” (MP) rather than “Maschinenkarabiner” to hide the fact that development was still, in fact, taking place.

The official report of the "Infantry-school" clearly states "high appreciation" of this new weapon, but at the same time a valid point of criticism was the operation from an open-bolt. This report then lead to the improved follow-on development of the "MP 43/1", which operated from a closed-bolt and therefore was much more suited for precision-shooting.

Already outdated when issued to field-testing

Around 10.000 of the "Mkb 42 (H)" were manufactured and sent to the Eastern-Front for big-scale field-testing, even knowing that with the improved new "MP 43/1" they were already outdated. Reasoning was that intelligence had to be gathered fast on the potential tactical benefits of such a type of assault weapon in the field.


In spring of 1943 the "Führer" set other priorities. The tank-program (named after him) especially ate up the majority of all industrial capacities, so testing, re-engineering and production-readiness of weapons not approved by him, dropped significantly in the priority-listing. As of June 1943 the monthly demand of the "MP 43/1" was supposed to be a 4-digit number, but almost three months later in August, still only a handful of hand-made prototypes made it to the front. The good experiences made with the "MP 43 B" (Internal army test designation) however lead to a version - renamed to "MP 43/1" - superseding the meanwhile "aged" "Mkb 42 (H)". Also the "MP 43 A (Internal army test designation)" was replaced by the "MP 43/2" (Internal army test designation) and at this point it was clear that a further version with an even further improved barrel-geometry, would be issued to the troops as the "MP 44".

During a visit to the Eastern Front, Hitler is reported to have asked his Generals what they needed to ensure victory over the Russian Red Army. “More of these new rifles” was the reply. Bearing in mind Hitler had rejected further development of the new selective fire rifles, his response was “What new rifles?”

Demonstrations of the MP43 & MP44 were quickly arranged and upon seeing the new rifles and witnessing their performance, he was so impressed he re named the rifle “Sturmgewehr” or “Assault Rifle” and immediately authorised production.


The Model Gun








It has been almost 20 years since Shoei last manufactured their replica of the MKb42. As always, production runs are limited to small numbers, in 2012 only approximately 80 examples of the Dummy Cartridge version and approximately 35 Blowback models were produced. At the time of writing this review, according to Shoei, only one Blowback MKb42 has been sent to the UK. It looks like I have a very rare model gun in my collection.



The box contains the modelgun itself, magazine, 10 Blowback cartridges (note the additional 20 I'd ordered), a magazine loading tool, Cartridge dismantling tool, Instruction set including a copy of the Dummy cartridge version. A nice surprise was finding 5 dummy cartridges, a dummy cartridge chamber and bolt with an Allen key to change them over when required.

As expected from Shoei, quality is absolutely superb. The gun is all metal and wood. Stamped aluminium has been used to make the Receivers, Zinc Alloy to make the Bolt assembly as expected and wood for the stock and grips.

 

Shoei’s own photographs are much better than mine so I’ve reproduced them here from



 








Each model is stamped with its’ own unique serial number signifying year of manufacture and individual model number. Mine has 1226, i.e. manufactured 2012, model number 26

Accurate stamped marks are reproduced on the Receiver, Stock Body, Barrel, Bolt Assembly and Magazine: (as can be seen in following photos)





Photo courtesy of http://www.shoeiseisakusho.co.jp/index.html

 

The underside of the Lower Receiver is stamped as were the real guns, with Factory Codes and Inspectors Stamps




COS =
Gebrueder Merz, Merz-Werke, Frankfurt, Main = Stamped / Pressed Sheet Metal product Manufacturer

WaAA44 =
WaffenAampt Inspectors Approval Stamp

fxo =
C.G. Haenel, Waffen- u. Fahrradfabrik, Suhl = Weapon Manufacturer

37 = to be confirmed

Eagle Stamp = Army Approval Stamp

37 = to be confirmed

 

The Blowback model is supplied with optional Dummy Cartridges, Bolt Carrier and Chamber





Accessories supplied with the model:
Top Row Left to Right - Chamber for Dummy Cartridges, Bolt Carrier for Dummy Carts, Bags of Cartridge Pistons and Primers
Mid Row Left to Right - 5 x Dummy Cartridges, 10 x Blowback Cartridges
Bottom Row Left to Right - Bag containing Allen Key & Cartridge Unloading Tools, Magazine Loading Tool

 

 

Firing the Model

Shoei’s previous attempts at producing Blowback models (MP44 for example) have not been too successful. Shoei redesigned the cartridge which now uses two 0-rings effectively sealing all expanding gases from the fired caps inside the cartridge body. As no pressure escapes, all the pressure is directed at the internal piston giving a very strong blowback. One 7mm and one 5mm are used in each cartridge.

The gas seal is so effective, no igniting cap sound nor smoke escapes. However, the mechanical sounds made by this model during firing are loud enough to make the experience enjoyable. It is, in fact, almost as loud as some other models I have.

As most of us know by now, using two caps per cartridge does produce significant and very strong forces. This particular model needs a lot of power to cycle its’ bolt and gas tube assembly but this much power does give brass cartridges and zinc bolts a hard life.

Cartridge Loading info: http://mp40modelguns.forumotion.net/t3769-loading-shoei-mkb42h-blowback-cartridges-2012-version

Unlike the Dummy Cartridge version, the Blowback models’ Bolt is fixed to the Carrier by a single small diameter (M4) screw.










To ensure good firing performance this screw needs checking and tightening regularly. The shock transmitted to this screw by the open bolt firing method is considerable and WILL loosen the screw and bolt assembly quickly despite their being a spring washer beneath the screw head.

When the screw is loose, the bolt can move relatively easily causing miss feeds, failed extraction of cartridges and damage to cartridge rims should the wide extractor claw fail to clip over the rim.





Bolt Face and Extractor

 

As we have come to expect, Zinc Alloy is comparatively soft and is damaged all too easily. As I found with mine, a loose bolt will show signs of wear along its’ running edges which is easily dressed smooth and clean again with a small file. I also found that a stiff and sticking bolt as reported by Jim with his Dummy Cartridge model, which was evident on my firing version too became smoother and easier to pull back after dressing the bolt’s edges.


 
Stripping Procedure


Refer also to MKb42(H) Dummy Cartridge instructions:



Remove Magazine and ensure Bolt is closed


Remove Stock. First, push spring clip into the Pin, then push the pin through the Receiver. Ensure the stock is supported as you withdraw the pin as the Recoil Spring can push the stock off forcibly







As the Stock leaves the receiver(s), the Lower Receiver with Trigger Group will pivot downwards








 Remove the Recoil Spring and Ring

Remove the Bolt and Gas Tube assembly by pulling the charging handle backwards along the guide slot.

Under normal circumstances, that’s all that is required. All parts can now be inspected, cleaned, re lubricated and reassembled by reversing the above procedure

Swapping the Detonator Chamber and Bolt Carrier from Firing to Dummy Cartridge modes is explained fully on Shoei’s own Instruction Manual seen here:



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Last edited by Cerwyn on Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:15 pm; edited 7 times in total (Reason for editing : Photos updated using Servimg)
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jim
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:35 am

Oh Cerwyn I thought you've forgotten all about this gun (and review - been a couple of months already)...but better late than never: Good One Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:48 am

It was well worth waiting for that review!

Great job Cerwyn, I imagine it was hard to take eyes off the model to computer screen and work on review ;-)
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:52 am

I know jim, it's been a busy couple of months. I've been trying to write this for weeks now.

As you found with your Dummy Cartridge model, pulling the charging handle back to cock the bolt was a little stiff initially. However, after lightly dressing the edges of the bolt with a small file, it's much smoother now. Gently pulling the handle back, you'll feel the bolt just catching still but give it a swift pull and it's just fine.

The firing model does give cartridges a hard time. Tomio said as much during the prototype stages and he's right. Most of my cartridges have battered rims already. When I get them replaced or repaired I'll retry videoing this firing. I have managed 30 in one faultless burst, but typically didn't have the camera Rolling Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:55 am

smootik wrote:
It was well worth waiting for that review!

Great job Cerwyn, I imagine it was hard to take eyes off the model to computer screen and work on review ;-)

Even harder leaving the gun alone to go and sit by the computer screen smootik Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:05 am

Cerwyn wrote:
I know jim, it's been a busy couple of months. I've been trying to write this for weeks now.

As you found with your Dummy Cartridge model, pulling the charging handle back to cock the bolt was a little stiff initially. However, after lightly dressing the edges of the bolt with a small file, it's much smoother now. Gently pulling the handle back, you'll feel the bolt just catching still but give it a swift pull and it's just fine.

The firing model does give cartridges a hard time. Tomio said as much during the prototype stages and he's right. Most of my cartridges have battered rims already. When I get them replaced or repaired I'll retry videoing this firing. I have managed 30 in one faultless burst, but typically didn't have the camera Rolling Eyes

Read from the Japanese Gun magazine before with my extremely limited Japanese literacy it seems to suggest that the bolt carrier and the charging handle for the blowback version is made either in one-piece or very intacted for better firing performance (less realistic in return)...and obviously the other way for dummy version (more realistic in structure but will hurt my left hand if I cock it too much)

And now Cerwyn you showed this...your firing model will obviously have lighter cocking actions than mine's.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:11 am

I asked Tomio before if I can somehow get the firing parts (i.e. bolt / chamber etc) for my dummy model...he gave me a long and detailed NO but now he offers you parts for both versions Mad (kidding - basically I've no use for it so simply asked out of curiosity).

Also from the magazine - looking at the bolt and you may find the feeding ramp for the firing version is wider than the dummy version for better loading actions...
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:08 pm

My model arrived assembled as a Blowback model but the box contained all the parts necessary to convert to Dummy Cartridge i.e. a different Chamber, Bolt Carrier and the Dummy Cartridges. I'm assuming that all the Blowback models are supplied like that Question

Note that the same Bolt is used in both versions, it's the Carrier that differs. The Firing version has the Bolt and Carrier screwed together with a single small diameter screw while the Dummy version does not. It is true to say that Firing performance is better when the Bolt's firmly screwed to the Carrier.

Swapping over from Firing to Dummy is a simple case of detatching the Bolt from the Carrier, removing the Carrier from the Gas Piston, fitting the Dummy Carrier and clipping the same Bolt into place. All that remains is to change the Chamber.

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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:41 pm

Envy Envy envy envy envy!!! just dont think this is a model i will ever be able to add to my collection which is very sad as its an amazing replica as are all the Shoei models. Great review cerwyn, looking forward to that vid.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:19 pm

I'll do my best to sort out a video asap Very Happy

You know how it is, point a camera at it and it starts misbehaving, turn the camera off and it fires a treat Rolling Eyes.

As I mentioned in the review, the brass cartridges do have a hard life. Rims are suffering already and consequently some carts fail to extract. I'm working on it.

This model HAS fired 30 rds in one burst without a hitch, but the bloody camera wasn't on was it No

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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:36 pm

Hi,
Like the Hamlet's cigars tv ad, with pandas?
A beautiful model, of course!
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:46 pm

Very nice looking modelgun!!! Wink

Just out of curiosity, what made you pick this version over the more common StG-44???
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:15 am

It is the first Shoei model in long time to feature blowback.
Their Stg44 is dummy only.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:57 am

richie328 wrote:
Very nice looking modelgun!!! Wink

Just out of curiosity, what made you pick this version over the more common StG-44???

I have a Dummy cartridge Shoei MP44 in my cabinet already. As smootik said, this MKb42 is the first cap-firing blowback model produced by Shoei for many years. Only 35 produced too so it became an attractive choice Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:02 am

Too cool - I don't have much to say on this - it is the nicest modelgun for me.
I have the MP44 and the FG42, but this one I need - as I know I won't ever get a real one.
Thanks for sharing - and great photos, as if we needed to be further baited, lol.

Pit.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Sun May 26, 2013 9:56 pm

I've been off the radar for a while; so have only just read these posts~ excellent Cerwyn. I am green with envy! alien
It is good to see Shoei have improved the blowback designs - and you have one helluva nice modelgun there mate!

Cool bananas! cheers

Kiwigunner


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PostSubject: Re: Shoei MKb42(H) Blowback Modelgun   Sun May 26, 2013 10:14 pm

Good to see you back on the Radar again mate!

I have been very fortunate to be able to get this MKb42, no doubt about that Very Happy. Firing it is a real pleasure but I'm having a few little teething problems with extraction and ejection of fired carts. at the moment. Shoei had already stated that the new cartridge design utilising 2 caps gives carts and bolts a hard life. They're right about that!

Inbetween everything else, I'm trying out various "tweaks" to maintain regular and consistant firing. The model HAS fired 29 rds in a single burst once, I know it'll do it again but I'm not getting it now. Once I have it sorted, I'll definately get a good video and write up for posting here. Watch this space Wink

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