MR Luke ESB DL-44 Disassembly pics/instructions?

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maxspr1

Well-Known Member
I have a Master Replicas Luke ESB blaster that I got for next to nothing a year or so ago and I want to accurize it with as many real vintage parts as possible. I want to retain the Mauser C96 body, the flash hider, the scope bracket and the knob on the bracket (unless there's a better one out there). I'm keeping the base Mauser replica because cosmetically, it seems to be a really accurate replica compared to a Denix and I can't find or afford an MGC. Besides, the Luke blaster was based on a real Mauser anyway, not an MGC. I have a couple of real vintage M19 scopes (1 with its bolts) on the way and I'm hoping to get some of the accurate 30-line wood grips they plan to offer over in the Han Solo ANH conversion thread. I'm searching for the model parts for the left side of the gun, too.

I'd like to remove all the bits and pieces from the Mauser, strip the awful gloss black paint off the gun body, replace the numberless sight with a real sight, and then blue the whole thing before reassembling it. My problem is that I just can't figure out how to easily disassemble the thing! I don't want to get too rough with it until i know what i'm doing. So far, i've been able to remove a pin holding the sight on(still can't remove the sight, though) and I've unscrewed and gotten rid of the Master Replicas M19 scope and I've removed the plastic grips. There's one more pin I can see in the shell ejection area, but I haven't gotten it to budge yet. Not sure whether to hammer it out or drill it, but i'll probably be able to take care of that. The flash hider spins but I can't pull it off. Ii've heard there's a screw under a plastic plug in the barrel that has to be uncovered and removed. I also can't figure out how to remove the knob holding the bracket on--I've pulled and turned and twisted it and it won't budge. Almost ready to take the pliers to it, but I'm nervous--no replacement available if I mess up that piece.

So, does anyone out there have any advice, instructions or photos that might help? Thanks!
 

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maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Here are some pics:
IMG_1468_zps12bd531d.jpg IMG_1469_zpsd7c1e3a5.jpg IMG_1472_zpsa5558018.jpg IMG_1474_zps8f57cf16.jpg IMG_1476_zpse1236203.jpg
 

maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Well, I received no replies to my above queries, so I decided to take a deep breath and go at the blaster aggressively. I drilled through the barrel opening in the flash hider, found the screw holding the flash hider in and removed it.
IMG_1635_zps4fcdae7b.jpg IMG_1633_zpsfd8f2f70.jpg

That was the easy part...I spent a day or so trying to figure out how to further disassemble the piece, but had no luck. Unfortunately, I kept plowing ahead and kind of used brute force to get the scope mount bracket and rear sight off. I had to drill out what looked like a steel pin holding on the knurled knob on the scope bracket. I thought it would be a threaded rod, but it was a steel pin with a flattened out top like a nail. Between the drilling and trying to pry off the bracket & knob, I gouged the bracket and knob quite a bit--argh! But, now I was all in.

I still couldn't find any obvious way to disassemble the prop, so, I figured I'd at least strip the paint for later bluing. I used a retail product called Krud Kutter (meant to remove graffiti from concrete and steel), submerging the mauser and bracket in a small tub full of it for a few days. When I removed the pieces, the paint scrubbed right off with a nylon brush. The zinc Mauser and aluminum bracket were not harmed by the Krud Kutter, just slightly darkened. I'll polish everything up later.
IMG_1627_zps7b48d824.jpg

With the paint gone, I STILL couldn't see a way to get the darned thing broken down at first, but I made an interesting discovery: the Revell engine parts were actually cast metal--I thought they were just glued on plastic pieces.
IMG_1637_zps72dd803a.jpg

When I applied a tiny amount of pressure to the switch plate with "motor" and "coil" written on it (a rare example of actual English writing on a MR replica), the plate came off and underneath...a screw! I knew this was the big breakthrough, but I decided to remove the other add-on parts first.
IMG_1642_zpse156fa8b.jpg IMG_1625_zps10ad229f.jpg

Next I removed the screw that had been hidden under the switch plate, and the rear hammer/safety assembly pulled right out!
IMG_1644_zps3399d61a.jpg IMG_1647_zps904590c7.jpg

That assembly broke down into three pieces after removing a few more screws.
IMG_1650_zps52845c63.jpg IMG_1652_zps03b17d7a.jpg

Next, I removed the firing pin screw and this piece came right off:
IMG_1655_zps00d40d0e.jpg IMG_1659_zps770870b2.jpg

After that, the entire upper assembly slid right off. The paint on the inner surfaces that I couldn't scrub off after the initial soaking is visible in the following photos. It pretty much just peeled right off, but I'm going to soak the disassembled parts again.
IMG_1660_zps0dec2f77.jpg

I continued breaking down all the smaller attached pieces, finding that only the extractor couldn't be broken down as it's riveted in place. Everything else unscrewed easily.
IMG_1662_zps367233d5.jpg IMG_1664_zpsdf2b2fef.jpg IMG_1671_zps7499c621.jpg IMG_1673_zps2ff239ca.jpg IMG_1677_zps44153c0d.jpg IMG_1679_zps0fd4112c.jpg

Phew! I only wish I had thought to pry off that switch plate first! Everything else would have gone very quickly and easily if I'd only known, and I wouldn't have damaged the bracket and knob. I'll post more photos as I clean up the parts and blue them, and add the vintage scope and a new knob (from Corellian Exports). I hope this helps someone out there, mistakes and all!
 
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maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Oh, yeah: if anyone knows where I can find an accurate scope mount bracket in good shape, I could use one! I may use my damaged bracket, but I'd rather start fresh. I have my vintage M19 scope with original bolts ready to go, and I'm trying to hunt down an actual Mauser C96 sight. Then there are the accurate wooden grips after that...
 

Country Paul

Sr Member
Enjoying your progress, interesting to see how it comes apart

Afraid I can't offer any help or advice as I've never had an MR Blaster

But looking good so far, look forward to seeing it finished
 

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maxspr1

Well-Known Member
A quick update--
Here's a photo of all the MR Mauser parts with all of the paint removed:
IMG_1686_zpsf4e191da.jpg

And here is a pic of my new scope mount bracket knob and threaded rod, courtesy of Corellian Exports:
IMG_1680_zps90737753.jpg

I like this piece a lot more than the original MR piece. Now I just have to drill/enlarge and tap the hole for the threaded rod and I'll do a test fitting of the parts before steel wooling, degreasing and bluing them.
 

maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Are you saying "wow" because you're aghast that I'm tearing apart (and possibly ruining)an expensive collectible? :) That thought crossed my mind from time to time while doing this, but, as I said above, I got this at such a low price I don't really feel like I've thrown money away. I do plan on refurbishing it as nicely as I can. I want a well-made, accurate-as-possible replica in the end, and since I can't afford a real Mauser, if I'm going to build a Luke ESB blaster then this is the way. If I ever get an MGC (almost as unlikely as getting a real Mauser), I'll think about doing a Solo ESB blaster.

Anyway, thanks for looking! I sold the MR M19 scope in the Junkyard here a few weeks ago after I made sure I had a nice original M19 on the way--sorry.

I just received a real Mauser sight too, but it's kind of odd: the numbers stamped on the top look like they're for a Mauser rifle (single & double digits from 1 to 14 instead of triple digits), but in every other way it's the correct pistol sight. I'll use it on this build until I find the correctly numbered style (weird numbers on a real sight are better than none on a fake sight). Speaking of which, does anyone know what number series was most likely used on the sight of the real Mauser used in ESB? I know the MGCs they used had sights with numbers ending at 500, but there are a few variations in original Mauser sights and I'd like to have a better idea of what to look for before I buy another one.
 
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maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Here is that funky Mauser sight, along with the other add-ons I plan to use (clockwise from top left: MR flash hider, vintage original M19 scope, MR scope mount bracket, Corellian Exports threaded rod & knob for scope mount bracket, MR spacer for bracket, original Mauser sight):
IMG_1695_zps463d0f59.jpg IMG_1696_zps07fec3d2.jpg IMG_1698_zpsd546d07b.jpg
 

Gatekeeper

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I just received a real Mauser sight too, but it's kind of odd: the numbers stamped on the top look like they're for a Mauser rifle (single digits from 1 to 14 instead of double and triple digits), but in every other way it's the correct pistol sight. I'll use it on this build until I find the correctly numbered style (weird numbers on a real sight are better than none on a fake sight). Speaking of which, does anyone know what number series was most likely used on the sight of the real Mauser used in ESB? I know the MGCs they used had sights with numbers ending at 500, but there are a few variations in original Mauser sights and I'd like to have a better idea of what to look for before I buy another one.
Sounds like MR took the easy way out and numbered the sight leaf after the number of range marks on it instead of marking the slots with the correct range... original Broomhandles have 14 or 15 marks, depending on caliber. Early Mausers were ranged up to 1000 meters (yeah, right) and the later ones for a more modest (and realistic?) 500 meter range.

The MGC emulates the Wartime Commercial version as well as the 1916 Prussian Contract version (same same, but in 9 mm) and are graded to 500 meters, so that'a what you should be looking for to build an ESB replica.
 

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maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Actually that sight is not the MR sight. The sight MR put on this replica had a completely smooth leaf--no numbers at all and no slide action or movement of any kind. It was screwed down in place, too! The sight I just received (pictured above) is from a gun parts dealer and is supposed to have been from a real Mauser pistol. It looks like it's genuine, but the low numbers on the leaf probably aren't accurate for this blaster. Whatever the case, it'll do for now--it fits perfectly. Thanks so much for the info on the vintage guns, though--I'll keep looking!
 

Gatekeeper

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Ah, gotcha. (And d'oh - should've known the MR came w/o numbers - used to own one...)

Still, it's weird - no known real Broomhandles have grading up to 14. The only 2-digit sights are graded to 10, the rest are graded to hundreds of meters... your sight leaf is probably real, though the figures seem to be some kind of "gunsmith special".

In case you're looking to upgrade, I suggest you check Gunbroker as well as Numrich and Sarco from time to time (actually, Sarco seems to have rear sight assemblies in stock) :)
 

maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Wow--thanks so much for those links! Sarco's online sales site is out of the sight parts, so I may have to call them.
But here's something interesting I saw on Gunbroker.com--another vintage sight leaf with the same numbering as mine:
pix034439399_zpsac93620d.jpg

Very strange!
 

lgtsbr

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
the wow was how much work you had to do to get it apart as well as how great this is looking :)

Dave
 

maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the encouragement, Dave!

Well, I made some decent progress this afternoon...I bought some modern day replacement wood grips with the correct 30 grooves on eBay around the same time I bought this blaster, but they seemed all wrong when they arrived. They were missing a grip screw and the escutcheons and screw holes were too small, and I knew I'd really have to sand them down in places to get them to fit, in addition to gouging out the old escutcheons and finding some replacements. I set them aside, planning to eBay them in the future. I kept looking for better grips. Some time later, I was able to find some accurately-sized escutcheons with a grip screw and I set them aside for when I got better grips...

Today I had some time and was eager to get some more done on this project, so I decided to sand down those same grips I was unhappy with and see how well I could get them to fit the MR blaster. I was shocked when they fit pretty well and looked pretty good after all! So, I drilled out the old too-small escutcheons and made room for the correct sized ones. I had to dremel out some bits here and there to get a really good fit, but in the end the modified grips looked fantastic on the blaster! So glad I didn't get rid of those grips...

I also took the opportunity to dremel out some bits on the top of the upper part of the Mauser so I could install the real sight. Success there, too!

Finally, I enlarged the hole for the scope bracket mount threaded rod on the body of the Mauser and the bracket itself. I decided to attach the rod with a nut and a washer placed on the inside of the gun body--it seemed like an easier and safer bet than me tapping the hole in the thin-walled gun. Once this was done, I tried a parts test-fitting:
IMG_1716_zps9eb2046f.jpg IMG_1703_zps98e9be5f.jpg IMG_1710_zps632ff5e2.jpg IMG_1708_zps5a9352a4.jpg

In case anyone's wondering why I'm not using the Master Replicas grips that came with the blaster, well, they were made to resemble the grips of MGC replica Mausers for some reason (probably easier to use existing old molds /tooling from the MR Han blasters). They were thin plastic and had under-sized escutcheons (when compared to real vintage Mauser grips).
 
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Country Paul

Sr Member
Even bare with the grips & scope added this is looking great, with the amount of work you're putting in its going to look awesome when you're done
 

maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Thanks! I've had to get some real work done, so this is on hold for a few more days. I've tried test-bluing a few parts in areas that'll be hidden when everything's assembled, and I'm happy to report that the zinc material this replica is made from blues very well. At least in small patches, that is...will have to wait and see how the bigger parts go...
 

maxspr1

Well-Known Member
Some more progress (finally) this weekend: used Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black on the Mauser parts and painted & weathered the scope bracket parts. I also used JB Weld to secure the nut for the bracket's threaded rod inside the Mauser body.
IMG_1793_zps5031a6b9.jpg IMG_1785_zps8f23c468.jpg
Getting good results with the Aluminum Black was more difficult than I thought it would be, and I couldn't control it enough to get lighter shades for the hammer and safety and some of the other parts, but it looks better than some tests I did with Perma Blue. Hopefully I'll finish this project this week...
 

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