The VM-16 is a VM that I modified to look similar to a M-16/AR-15. Hence the name VM-16. I originally was just going to customize this VM then sell it, but once I had it completed I just had to keep it! My dad, a Vietnam vet, likes this gun too. He does metal working on the side (the man can do nearly anything with metal) so he helped me out with it and gave me some pointers along the way. Thanks Dad, it's appreciated!
Top: AR-15, Middle: VM-16, Bottom: AK-47
The two main features are the butt stock and M203 barrel shroud. Both were purchased at the Iola Military Show in Iola, WI (Iola is better known for their car show). Both are original parts from real M-16s/AR-15s. I would also like to point out that the barrel shroud idea is from Gabriel Tyler's VM. Good idea, Gabriel!
Attaching the stock to the back of the VM was easy but I wanted something a little unique, so the stock also has a Pro-Shot style AutoMag spring kit in it. The spring is attached to the adjuster part so it doesn't flop around in the gun. To reach the allen screw all I have to do is remove the pull pin and insert a long T-handle allen wrench. To prevent wear from the pull pin there is a aluminum collar in the stock.
The hard part about this was attaching the shroud. I wanted something very sturdy that wouldn't move around or scratch up the barrel. So my dad came up with this idea:
As you can see from the picture, there are two aluminum blocks that attach and stabilize the shroud. The block towards the end of the barrel mainly keeps the shroud from moving up/down and left/right. However, the shroud could still move back and forth on the barrel. To solve this the block closest to the gun body is attached directly to the front of the VM (that's one nice thing about the VM, everywhere on the gun there is a lot of meat to drill into :) It also slips over the front ASA which provides even more stability. I would like to point out that my dad made these using only a drill press, band saw, and files!
After finishing the shroud attachments I had them anodized black as well as the trigger guard and side rails.
The single finger trigger guard was super simple to make. It's just 1/8" aluminum plate that I bent using a vise and rubber mallet. Drill two holes and viola, done. It took longer to polish than it did to make.
In order to use the vertical ASA I had to first drill out the VM's front block. This particular VM is one of the older style ones that didn't have this done during production. Newer VMs (post '96 I think, but I haven't verified that yet), have the front ASA block drilled out. Not only does this provide a small loss in weight, but it acts as a small internal expansion chamber.
Pilot hole drilled.
The rest of the VM is fairly straight forward. The barrel is a 14" Taso Winforce that I purchased from Paintball International on eBay. I bought this barrel because I liked the muzzle break on the end and the price wasn't too bad ($25 new). However, the picture in the auction didn't show the tiny spiral porting in the barrel which I don't really like. Oh well.
The bolt is a custom made wide mouth style, moderately high flow delrin bolt. It has a choke style velocity adjuster although I primary use the regulator, a male Palmer Stabilizer, for velocity adjustments.
The original side rails were completely destroyed so I made new ones out of aluminum.
Your typical VM side rails
The VM's stock grip is the Lonestar which is the same style that's used on M-16s. Normally I don't really care for the Lonestar grips much, I love .45's, but in this case they worked out great.
I have a few more small detail things planned for this VM, but as of right now I'm just glad it's pretty much done. There are also a few small things that just didn't turn out the way I wanted and will probably redo them in the future too. And before anyone asks, no, I won't make you one. If I could find a reliable place to get the parts I might consider it though.
Page created: 9/29/01
Page last updated: 12/14/02