There are plenty of sinfully horrible looking guns on the internet. Just take a short browse through any gun-related subreddit or /k/ thread and you’ll find more than enough bubbled and mall ninja dressed guns than you can handle. However, sometimes you come across something that is so absurd you just have to stop and appreciate how magnificently crazy it is just existing. That was exactly the case when I came across this particular toggle-locked belt-fed rifle on the /r/guns subreddit made by user BestFleetAdmiral.
DIY GUNS: Cursed Belt-fed, Toggle-Locked, Gas-Operated Monstrosity
My Cursed Belt-fed, Toggle-Locked, Gas-Operated Monstrosity
It’s exactly what the title says. I while ago I decided to build this… thing. Despite it’s appearance, I promise I wasn’t smoking crack when I designed it. It is deliberately far more complicated than any of the other guns I’ve designed/built, because I wanted a real challenge here. And it was a challenge alright. This thing broke me.
The basics are that it’s a gas-operated toggle-lock similar to a Japanese trials rifle I saw on forgotten weapons. Similar to that rifle, it has a reverse-acting gas piston (the piston moves forward instead of rearward), which let’s me have a very thin piston rod without it buckling. The overall profile is roughly modeled on a Madsen LMG. And then I tried to make it belt-fed using home-made belts sewn from nylon webbing.
This being my first gas-operated rifle, in my inexperience I made it severely undergassed, which is a bad thing for a belt-fed rifle to be. This meant it really could not feed belts under it’s own power at all. As you can see here, I’m just pulling the belt through the rifle by hand while firing left-handed. Another major problem was that I did not realize how hard surplus 7.62x39mm primers are. This rifle cannot fire most russian surplus, the rounds you see firing have all been cycled through the gun once and had the primers dented so they were more likely to go off the second time (this is not a guarantee, many rounds did not go off even after three or four strikes. This was the only string of three shots I got off all day).
Ultimately, the constant malfunctions took their toll, and this rifle has mostly beat itself to death, since most of the parts aren’t really heat-treated well, so for now I think I’m going to put this rifle aside and try to forget that I ever built this insane rube-goldberg trainwreck ?
I have a soft spot in my heart for people who take their highly valuable time and try to make their own firearms completely from scratch. While toggle-lock guns fit more naturally into the early 1900s, this Reddit user felt that reviving the technology into a belt-fed configuration was worth doing and I have to agree with him. As absurd as it is, I kind of like the idea and the DIY aspect of the firearm just makes it that much better.
In addition to his belt-fed version of the rifle, he also attempted to try and get the rifle to feed on inverted single-stack AK magazines but was never able to make that work. BestFleetAdmiral has a small YouTube channel where he posts videos of his DIY gun adventures and with his gutsy ingenuity he’s earned himself my subscription – feel free to check out his testing video of his belt-fed below.