The legendary MGC "68" MP40:
The MGC "68" MP40 modelgun was manufactured and sold in Japan from 1968? until 1977, when a new law prevented the manufacture of any modelgun that featured sheet metal, cast iron and certain hard-nesses of zinc in the barrel, bolt, receiver and frame. These steps where taken to prevent "remodeling" i.e. modifying the parts in order to fabricate a real gun.
Of course, this now made the manufacture and the sale of several MGC modelguns such as the mp40, Sten MK3, Sterling MK4 etc, impossible (at least for the Japanese home market) due to the fact that these modelguns where comprised of so many stamped steel parts.
It seems that MGC did make these modelguns for a while for the export market though, due to the fact that so many of the MGC Sterling's and mp40's where exported from Japan in the 1980's many of which ended up in the USA. I have advertisements from Guns&Ammo and other gun magazines in the 1960's and up to 1988, that feature the mp40 and the Sterling in the adds.
The Model Gun Corporation when they made these modelguns did a superb job on the details they are very close approximations to the real guns.
However, there are some differences to the real guns (beyond the fact that they are slightly larger internally than the original, to prevent parts interchangeability with the real gun) these differences are slight but worth noting: (1. The bolt features the late "push-pull" safety handle, but it unfortunately does not function, as it is cast in one piece integrally with the bolt body. (2. The muzzle nut presses on the barrel's muzzle instead of being threaded on (3. The barrel nut doesn't look correct (the "flats" are too long), (4. the Allen bolts on the magazine housing (instead of being pinned into place), and the resting bar simply snaps onto the barrel. Other than these "oversights", the MGC mp40 is an excellent modelgun, nice and heavy! and very well constructed. (especially the older version)
The receiver, partial lower assembly, recoil spring tube, front sight protector, trigger connector, extractor, trigger, stock butt plate, the magazine assembly and magazine housing are stamped steel, the lower grip frame, barrel, barrel nut, bolt, sling ring, stock pieces, rear sight ASSY and sear are cast zinc.
In fact, the only plastic (abs) used in construction is limited to the grip plates, resting bar and the forearm. In short, it is a very well made (and heavy) modelgun version of the mp40.
And although, it does have the detail "problems" as compared to the real mp40 or the Marushin (abs version) it is still a very good and highly sought after modelgun! and I am very proud to own one!
The MGC "68" variations:
The first MGC "68" version was constructed somewhat differently than the later versions due to changing standards and laws.
The early receiver does not have a "gap" just in front of the magazine housing, just under the barrel bushing, that the later production MGC mp40's seem to feature.
And, the early bolt is lighter and has a undercut center and a slightly different extractor it also seems to made of harder zinc.
Also, the later version that was imported into the U.S. had holes drilled in the barrel, the receiver and through the barrel bushing (1978-80 U.S. importation regulations?) I even have a barrel nut that has a hole drilled into it and the barrel also has a hard steel plug pressed into it's rear section .
The later production MGC "68s" had different recoil assembly's varying from the telescoping tube enclosed spring with lots of tension, to the almost receiver diameter, large recoil spring with little tension.
The magazine housings vary too, the first magazine housings where stamped out considerably nicer than the later versions, in the fact that they where stamped out in one piece and being finished considerably nicer.
The later style magazine housings where stamped out in two separate sections and then spot welded together at the top bands, and where not finished as nicely. (The bluing wasn't very well done, as it had a slightly "purple" color instead of a nice deep blue/black)
Also, the bluing seems to vary from a very nice dark blue to an almost purple color (common to the later versions) possibly due to surface finish processing changes .
The bolts seem to vary too, The earlier version had a reduced diameter in the center (for weight savings?) as compared to the later bolts that where "fat" and some have the face machined away preventing them from being used for firing blanks or even cycling dummy cartridges! And the later versions seem to be made from very soft zinc.
The ejector tunnel through the bolt changes too, since there are two different ejectors one (early model) is centered the other type (late model) is off center.
Also, the "barrel bushing" varies, from a unfinished (bare zinc) to a chrome plated zinc version.
And, the zinc hardness of the bushing varies from the somewhat hard earlier version to the softer later version.
Also, some of the barrel bushings have large cuts milled into them (during manufacture) often preventing them from being converted to use the pfc' s, cp's, paper cap cartridges
Firing the MGC "68":
The MGC "68" was originally designed to "fire" paper caps these paper caps are similar to our rolled paper caps except these are more powerful also, they are packaged on a flat sheet of paper these needed to be cut out individually before being inserted into the cartridge (usually 5 to a cartridge) this was a tedious procedure an took hours to properly load.
No attempt was made by MGC to convert these to the cp cartridge spec as the mp40 was out of production (at least for the Japanese home market) before the cp cartridge was invented. Which is too bad, as the MGC "68" mp40 is a great modelgun.
All of the MGC "68" mp40's imported into the U.S. by the "collectors armory" in the 1960's and 80's did not come with cartridges or the detonator ("firing pin") this was due to the fact that these mp40's where meant to be "non-firing collectibles" not cap firing modelguns.
When I obtained my early MGC "68" it of course, did not have any cartridges (not even the dummy MGC cartridges) so, I started looking for some of the paper caps and cartridges for it unfortunately after sometime searching, I soon realized that they simply where not available here in the USA (anywhere!) so, I contacted my friend in Japan and he (thankfully!) found some cartridges and some of the special (aftermarket, not the original MGC) detonators for me! (thanks Mr. M!) so, with these I could use either the paper caps, the Marushin pfc' s or the MGC Sig 220 cp cartridges.
At first I tried the paper caps as they where the original system that MGC engineers had devised: I learned a valuable lesson as it was a complete failure: (1. with the proper amount of caps (5) it wouldn't blow back the bolt (2. with more than the proper amount of caps(7) the cartridge rim would usually be torn off (3. too many failures to fire. So I abandoned the paper caps (for now)
I Then tried the Marushin (mp40) pfc cartridges: again a complete failure (or so it seemed at the time) (1. the cartridge would refuse to feed properly (2. not enough power to cycle the action (blow back) I then tried another bolt assembly (an early lighter version) and tried to "shoot" it a second time: again, no go. then after the second time I decided to try an experiment: change over to a late model large recoil spring with the early bolt (because the original spring seemed to have too much tension) Later, after I discovered what the problem was. I then went back to the original enclosed recoil spring ASSY, it thankfully also functions fine.
SUCCESS!!! it fired the cap perfectly and blew back the bolt ejecting the cartridge! But, it refused to load the second cartridge, Excitedly, I investigated a little more, I then noticed that the magazine was able to change the feed angle by to moving back and forth in the magazine well...So as an experiment, I loaded just 5 cartridges in the magazine and tried "rocking" the magazine back and forth while trying to shoot.
Pushing the magazine forward, It fired the first cartridge and jammed on the second, I then cleared the action and tried again with the magazine held rearward, it then proceeded to fire all 3 of the remaining cartridges in the magazine! AGAIN, SUCCESS!! The "trick" I discovered, is to hold the magazine at the right angle so the feed angle is consistent. So, I loaded 21 cartridges into the Magazine, and again, holding the magazine to the rear it fired all of them perfectly! next, I tried loading 32 cartridges again, it fired them all perfectly! I then loaded 15 cartridges it fired these also again: perfectly! it was great! rarely have I ever been so successful in firing a modelgun!
I decided not try the "SIG 220" cartridges, due mostly, to having only 15 rounds! too bad.....They would have worked better I think....
The video was shot using Marushin caps (21 rounds) and MGC caps for the rest of the video (47 rounds)
Click here: for the MGC "68" video
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