Airsoft USMC Springfield / Unertl Sniper Rifle Part 2

Here comes part 2 of my Airsoft Springfield / Unertl project. For part 1 click here

On to the scope. It’s not a real WW2 USMC Unertl but a reproduction by “real steel” manufacturer Leatherwood / Hi-Lux. Current market price for an original USMC WW2 scope is around 5000$, the last one I saw that was complete with the rare carrying case and went for 8500$ aaarrrgggghhh… 😫

The handguard needs to be modded, you have to cut a hole in it for the front base and flatten it a bit. On original handguards the holes can range from finely made to very crude, so I was not worried too much about messing this up.


I cheated with the scope bases. I thought about drilling holes but decided it’s not worth the effort, I’m not even sure if it is possible to drill the airsoft outer barrel. Simply used JB Weld to glue them to the rifle (bought some extra scope bases to have a spare set in case something goes wrong). Shortened the screws and glued them in too, looks like screwed on ☺️  The bases are stuck super tight to the rifle, I tried to rip them off to no avail. Since there is no recoil and I do not plan to use it as a CQB club it should work, if not I will have to think about an alternative.

Rear base needed some of work, had to reduce it a bit in height. I guess the G&G dimensions were the problem, without filling the base down the scope was at a crazy angle.


Even with filing down the rear base the Hi-Lux front base was still too low. I ended up using the one I bought as a spare, it was a bit higher (and of better quality then the Hi-Lux base).


The recoil absorber was an optional accessory offered by Unertl, the spring was intended to bring the scope back into firing position after a shot was fired. By design the mounts do not hold the scope in a fixed position. When the rifle recoils, the scope slides forward (actually the rifle moves out from under it in recoil). Without the spring the scope would have to be brought back into firing position by hand. The USMC did not purchase the recoil springs during WW2, some say because it was thought that sand from the beaches working between the spring could damage the tube.


I did not install the spring for demonstration purposes because it requires taking the scope apart. But here is an old Unertl ad that shows how it looks when in use:


Now everything is set and can be put back together (click to enlarge)


Rear mount with adjustment for windage and elevation. As you can see it is an externally adjusted scope


Front mount base


Front mount



Click to enlarge


Looks nice now and is ready for action. Still this is an ongoing project, need to do a bit of fine tuning and the next step will be to make it look more like an A1. Already have an A1 handguard and as soon as I get my hands on an A1 rear sight assembly I will try to mount it on the rifle. A national match style butt plate would also be cool, and a few more A1 parts here and there… to be continued 🙂

To conclude this post a video, you can see a Scout Sniper shooting his Springfield/Unertl in the classic documentary “With the Marines at Tarawa“. Look closely 8:26

~ by m1pencil on March 2, 2015.

7 Responses to “Airsoft USMC Springfield / Unertl Sniper Rifle Part 2”

  1. hello m1pencil,

    my boyfriend bought the same airsoft rifle and he is really fascinated of the unertl target scope. We were searching for the unertl target scope, but unfortunately we did not found anybody who could deliver this to austria (europe). I would like to surprise him with this scope. Do you know a company who delivers this scopes to europe?
    many many thanks

  2. Have you finished adding the A1 parts to it? I’m curious how fitting the a1 rear sight will work out.

    • Unfortunately not, was quite busy in the last months and did not have the time. Definitely on my to do list! Probably fall / winter 🙂

      • It actually shouldn’t be too bad. I was looking at doing something similar recently. Numrich and sarco have the bases. Should be able to slide the over and glue. They were apparently pinned in real life but since there’s no recoil some epoxy should do the trick.

  3. I apologize if this isn’t the appropriate forum to ask this question but I recently viewed a short Youtube video titled 90 Days:The Battle of Peleliu which includes an interview with R.V. Burgin. The video includes various segments of stock footage much of which isn’t actually from Peleliu. My question relates to some footage at the 1:23 mark of the video which shows what I assume to be three Marines. One Marine (or at least someone wearing a bare M1 helmet looks like he has a Lee Enfield (SMLE) Mk III rifle. Does anyone know if USMC or US Army for that matter in the Pacific used this type of rifle in some capacity? Very interested to find out as I’m from Australia and this rifle was generally used only by Commonwealth Forces in both World Wars.

    • Hi, It does indeed look like a SMLE, interesting! But as you wrote yourself the footage is cobbled together and certainly not all Peliliu.
      Never heard of Marines using SMLEs, don’t know about Army Units but can’t image them making widespread use of SMLEs?

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