British Submachine Gun Overview: Lanchester, Sten, Sterling, and More!

Armament Research Services (ARES) is a specialist technical intelligence consultancy, offering expertise and analysis to a range of government and non-government entities in the arms and munitions field. For detailed photos of the guns in this video, don’t miss the ARES companion blog post.

Great Britain was one of the few countries that went into World War Two with virtually no submachine gun development. Not every country had an issued SMG by 1939, but virtually everyone had at least been working on experimental concepts – except the British. It was only with the outbreak of hostilities that the need for such a weapon suddenly became apparent and its acquisition became a military priority.

This was solved by acquiring and copying the German MP28/II, which was quickly followed by a simplification program that would lead to the MkI, MkI*, and ultimately MkII and MkIII Sten guns. The Stens were truly exception studies in simplification, getting down to a mere 5.5 man-hours of production time. Only after the threat of immediate German land invasion had subsided was the Sten allowed to become a little bit user-friendly, in the MkV guise.

At the end of WW2, the British were finally able to scrap the Sten (known to be a compromise gun all along) and replace it with something with more finesse. Tests were run on the MCEM series, on BSA guns, on interesting prototypes like the double-stack-magazine Vesely V42 – but it was George Patchett’s much improved Sten which would be chosen and come to be known as the Sterling SMG (named after it’s manufacturer).


  1. The Brits adopted the MP-5 in the 1980s for use by the SAS. The conventional army didn’t use it. I’m not sure about the other services.

    • British police were shown (I believe it was at one of London’s airports) with them. This may be some time back, but the appearance of them in one form or the other at other continent’s airports did not go away as yet. I believe I experienced it firsthand, may have been in Frankfurt a/M.

  2. My father was in the RAF during WW2 and he was trained to shoot the Sten, when firing full auto from the hip, by letting the magazine rest on the left for-arm and holding left hand ON TOP of the front grip with the left hand PALM DOWN.

    The idea being that the left for-arm would support the magazine and stop its weight rolling the gun over leftwards.

    The left hand on top of the forward grip could push down on the top of the gun palm down would stop the barrel rising when shooting a burst.


    Of course what lads were told in training and what was done on the battlefield are two different things (and my Old Man was in the RAF so didn’t have to fire the Sten in anger). But the theory makes sense to me.

    As a kid he used to get really angry when watching war movies if he saw actors blasting away with Stens holding the magazines. He insisted that this was not allowed as it would rock the magazine to-and-fro when shooting and cause the flimsy magazines to mis-feed. He would get out of his arm chair and adopt the pose to show the correct way to shoot a Sten!!!!

    Besst wishes
    Huw Jones

    • There are a few images of French maquisards holding the Sten in just the manner your relative described, Huw.

  3. This is an excellent overview of British subgun design and I have to admit, I was and still am to some degree an admirer of them. I had some exposure to CDN version of Sterling and found it reasonably sophisticated.

    One detail which was not mentioned is that Germans tried, on peak of despair to mimic Sten as their “volksturm waffe”. It did not get very far as I understand. Why they reached so low technically speaking, is testimony of pressure they were under.

    On funny note: Ian mentioned British perception of subgun as “gangster’s weapon”. This did not prevent late PM W. Churchill to pose famously with Thompson further adding to the “cool” image with his ubiquitous cigar.

    • Equally funny about Churchill’s pose with the pre-war vintage Thompson was the impossibility of either loading or unloading a drum with the bolt forward…like the one Churchill was holding for the photo-op.
      It just won’t go.
      Always gave me the willies to first cock the weapon and then slide a loaded magazine sideways into the weapon.
      Seemed like a potential recipe for disaster to me.o
      But maybe it was just that particular item.

  4. Fundamentally, the Patchett/Sterling was a Lanchester redesigned to make maximum use of stampings, with a receiver tube patterned on that of the Sten MK III. So really, it was right back to the MP28, just in a new package.

    That doesn’t change the fact that it was probably the best “machine carbine” in the world in 1945, and is still in the top ten today.



    • “(…)it was probably the best “machine carbine” in the world in 1945(…)”
      I agree.

      “(…)still in the top ten today(…)”
      But such comparison has little sense – today requirement for sub-machine gun are vast different that in 1945. Patchett was designed to be used as “main” weapon of soldier – or in other words – that most frequent used one (at least from doctrine point of view), today most military sub-machine guns are full-filling role of PDW – weapon used only in DIRE need, thus today sub-machine guns are generally more compact and lighter, additionally modern sub-machine gun are more advanced one, which make it more complicated, but gives also gives advantages (for example H&K MP5 use closed bolt instead of open, which gives accuracy).

      • I forget the term used for a British WWII infantry fire team

        The ordinary infantrymen were equipped with either No4 or No1 rifles, and the Ruperts and NCOs with STENs, as they were trusted to not waste ammunition.

        STENs provided surpressive fire while infantrymen moved to close range in flanking moves, and were actually ok in that role out to over 200 yards.

        The idea was that at least one of the people with a STEN should be in place for the actual attack (if a mortar wasn’t used)

        This was the far more fluid and mobile infantry action than the likes of a BAR or BREN allowed.

        This was also the intention around which the EM1 and EM2 were developed, but the hope of appealing to the American top brass lead to a much larger .280 round than the ideal calibre committee was suggesting (they suggested .25 to .27).

        Original intent was that the EM2 would replace both the STEN and the No4, and all infantrymen would have selective fire, so that the final attack didn’t depend on at least one person out of the two with full auto being there.

        American insistence on .30 as an absolute minimum calibre and the same energy at 2000 yards as .30-06 m2 (which is actually less than .303 mkvii and mkviii delivered due to the crappy ballistic coefficient of the 150 grain bullet. .30-06 kicks like stink, but vastly under delivers at MG ranges) resulted in far heavier rifles and (as Ian put it with a full auto AR10) full auto fire that was a bit like snorting chili.

        Then after everyone adopted 7.62 in the name of NATO standardisation and cooperation, along came the 5.56…

        • What adoption of the 7.62 FAL meant, was there was still a need for a light portable full auto, to provide surpressive fire

          That’s where the Sterling SMG filled the gap in the West (British forces used AR15s in the far East) for the next 30 or 35 years until SA80.

          Which is where the British infantry wanted to be at the beginning of the 1950s, with one light weight, compact, selective fire gun, filling the role of STEN, No4 and BREN.

        • This sounds roughly similar to Finnish use of the SMG during WW2 and 1950s, although with one major difference; using the SMG for suppressive fire as a kind of short range LMG was the original idea before the Winter War, but this was found to be less than ideal. The suppressive effect of 123 grain 9mm bullets was not very good and ammunition expenditure was high even when standard short bursts were used. Later SMGs were typically given to the best soldiers in the infantry squad, which usually (but not always) included the NCO, and used primarily at the point of attacks. The suppression task was left to the LMG and possibly some riflemen with bolt-action rifles. This was also not quite ideal, but usually better than trying to use the SMGs for suppression at over 100 meter ranges.

          After WW2 the ideal number of SMGs in a squad was increased further and reached five in the late 1950s, although only first line infantry was so equipped. Other infantry troops had to make do with two or three SMGs per squad. The Finnish Army never used SMGs as self-defense weapons for support troops, since there was never enough of them for such a waste. Support troops either carried a rifle, if possible, or in some cases a pistol. However, SMGs were sometimes used by tank crews for defense against infantry attacks.

          • Red Army, during WW2, used sub-machine gun extensively, but when new category of weapon – avtomat – was established, sub-machine guns fall into oblivion. Since introduction of AK and AKS, tradition of having “full-size” and “folding-stock” versions continues.
            Soviet designer made some sub-machine gun in late 1940s-1950s, but none was adopted – examples are:
            -Пистолет-пулемет Калашникова (1947) [not to be confused with earlier Kalashnikov design of 1942] – 2 variants, one for 7.62×25, one for 9×18
            -ППС-10П by Simonov (1950) for 9×18
            -ТКБ-486 by Stechkin (1955) for 9×18
            Later in early 1970s there was competition for 9×18 sub-machine gun to be used with silencer, challengers were:
            -ПП-71 (Драгунов)
            -ТКБ-0102 (Рыжов)
            -ТКБ-0104 (Афанасьев)
            At that time none was adopted, but 2 were reactivated in 1990s and after some updates:
            ПП-71 become ПП-91 «Кедр» (Конструкция Евгения Драгунова – Construction of Evgeny Dragunov)
            ТКБ-0104 become ОЦ-02 Кипарис
            Others sub-machine guns were developed in 1990s aswell.

      • There was discussion of adoption of the Danish Madsen m/50 9mm SMG as a sort of “PDW” or M1 carbine concept in the UK while the EM-2 program was under development…

  5. Hi Ian,

    First off I just want to say I loved the video but I feel I should offer a few corrections regarding the topic of the experimental British submachine guns that were looked at after WWII. I have written about this specific topic a lot in the past, so without flattering myself too much I would consider myself quite knowledgeable about it.

    -While it’s true that the EM-2 was designed to replace the submachine gun in British military service, it is not really true that the British Army was not interested in adopting a submachine gun due to the adoption of the EM-2. Military submachine gun trials ran from 1945 to 1951 (extra trials took place in 1952 to satisfy BSA) and the outcome of the trials was that the Patchett was the ideal service weapon, but if the EM-2 was adopted then the Army would opt for the Madsen M50 as a companion weapon instead. When the EM-2 was scrapped the Army went ahead and adopted the Patchett in 1953, which was the gun they had always intended to adopt since 1951.

    -The MCEM submachine gun you displayed in the video was, in fact, not the MCEM-2, but the MCEM-6. The MCEM-2 had a shorter barrel and did not feature the detachable stock, and also had a very light bolt. It was designed by Jerzey Podsenkowski who was working at the Polish design team at RSAF Enfield during the war. The MCEM-2 failed to meet the General Staff specifications for military submachine guns (or “machine carbines” as the British Army called them) and was NOT accepted into military trials. The MCEM-6 was an improved version of the MCEM-2, designed by Lt. Ichnatowicz (another Polish exile). It had a longer barrel, redesigned bolt that regulated the fire rate to around 600rpm, bayonet fittings, and the detachable stock feature. The MCEM-6 was also NOT submitted to military trials at the choice of Enfield, who deemed it inferior to Harold Turpin’s MCEM-3. The MCEM-3 was the ONLY British-made MCEM to be accepted into military trials and it was rejected very quickly. The project was canned because Enfield wanted to invest more time and resources into the EM rifle project.

    The whole MCEM project was a bit of a complex affair and I’d be happy to answer any questions about it.

    -The BSA displayed in the video was the 2nd prototype. The first was actually trialed in 1945. I keep hearing that this 2nd prototype was trialed in 1949, and indeed it is often referred to as the BSA Experimental Model 1949, but it was in fact designed in 1947 and was trialed the same year. The third and final version was hurriedly designed in 1951 to meet new General Staff specifications and was inferior to the previous prototypes as a result. To my knowledge, there is no 1949 model.

    -Regarding the Patchett, it was actually based on an early 1938 design called the Biwarip. The L2A1 was adopted in 1953, not the L2A3. The L2A2 came into service in 1955 but lasted less than a month before being improved as the L2A3, so 1955 would be the correct adoption date.

    On an additional note, I should point out that there were a whole host of very unusual and interesting weapons that were slated to replace the Sten, all of which I have at least some information on. Of those that reached military trials were the Patchett, the BSA, the Australian MCEMs, the British MCEM-3, and the Madsen M50. The Veseley never reached military trials and was essentially a dead project by 1943.

    Nevertheless, it was fascinating to see these guns “in the flesh” as it were rather than some grainy old photograph. Great job getting a hold of these relics.

    • Have a question. That Jerzy Podsenkowski, was it the same man who designed the EM-1 rifle under assumed name Jensen? I recall he received an honorary British citizenship in return. You presented lots of detailed knowledge. Thanks.

      • No, Lt. Podsenkowski was not the same person as Jansen – “Stefan Jansen” was actually one Capt. Kazimierz Januszewski.

        Throughout World War II, the Design Department at Enfield was divided by nationality. There was a team of native Britons, a team of Polish and Czech exiles, and a team of French and Belgian exiles. These teams were in themselves split up and assigned to different projects, so for example there would be a British team working on rifles under the direction of Stanley Thorpe, and a separate British team working on submachine guns under the direction of Harold Turpin. The same was true of the Polish team: the Polish rifle designers were headed by Jansen and the Polish submachine gun designers were headed by Podsenkowski. I don’t think the French and Belgian designers were ever assigned any submachine gun projects.

        Anyway I’m not exactly sure what became of Podsenkowski but I recall he might have returned to Poland and continued working on small arms (don’t quote me on that).

        • Podsędkowski is the correct spelling. He didn’t work in Enfield or for RSAF. He worked in the Armaments Design Department (ADD), Small Arms Section, which was based a few miles up the road at the Drill Hall in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. He’d been seconded there from the Institute of Technical Research, Polish Army which was independently carrying out weapons design at their base in London. The ADD was a separate branch of the Ministry of Supply. The Polish section was one of three design groups in Cheshunt, with Colonel R V Shepherd OBE, Assistant Chief Superintendant, Small Arms, in overall charge. Podsędkowski did eventually go back to Poland but not before being demobilised here and having to settle for work as a mechanic in a car repair workshop! Back in Poland, he settled in Lodz, finally ending up at the Lodz University of Technology. He refused to work on armamaments design in Poland much to the chagrin of the communist authorities. In England, he was awarded an honorary MBE in October 1943, presumably for his work on the Polsten 20mm cannon.

    • “Polish”
      What can you say about sub-machine gun designed by other Polish designer – Dr. Jurek:
      in form as show in first photo from top, it seems to have very anti-inline-stock, thus it might result in heavy barrel climb in full-auto mode, but on the other hand text mentions rate-of-fire being only 350 rpm (M3 Grease Gun has for comparison ~450)

      • Marian K. Jurek was quite a remarkable figure – not just a firearms designer, but a top-class shot too. He was born in Poland on September 7th 1904 and started designing guns when he was 15. He graduated at Kraków University as a chemical engineer and by 1937 he was the head researcher at a munitions factory in Warsaw. In his spare time, he was a national competition shooter. When the Nazis invaded in 1939 he, like many of his compatriots, fled the country. Initially he went to Romania and then to France before finally settling in Britain, where he joined the Army. He was stationed in Scotland and served in the 14th Polish Lancers, the 2nd Polish Tank Regiment and the 16th Polish Armored Brigade, where he was posted as a workshop officer. It was there that he designed his first submachine gun prototype. In 1945, he was stationed in Germany and designed his second submachine gun prototype, which was tested in October 1946 but never seriously considered for adoption (Jurek said that it was essentially a vanity project and never expected it would actually be trialed).

        After the war in Europe ended, Jurek left the Army and returned to Britain. In December 1946 he designed an automatic pistol and by 1949 he was employed by Webley & Scott. W&S liked his pistol design so they worked on 3 different prototype models that were submitted to the British Army for trials. Jurek had a fourth in the works but never finished it. The British pistol contract went to FN Herstal and the Army adopted the Hi-Power.

        Later in life Jurek left W&S and set up his own repair shop where he hand-built target pistols for competition shooting. He continued to compete on a professional level, representing England instead of his native Poland, and by the 1950s or 60s he was still in possession of his two prototype submachine guns, which he could not legally own in Britain, so he converted them into semi-automatic carbines and sold them. The purchaser of these weapons in turn sold them to an American company called Services Armament Corp. As far as I can tell, Services Armament Corp. never attempted producing the prototypes.

        • Regarding the submachine gun itself – accuracy was achieved through a complex system devised by Mr. Jurek. It was blowback but had a heavy spring-loaded hammer (the spring was housed in the grip) which would not come into contact with the firing pin until the breech block was closed. The hammer spring in the grip created a delay which would allow time for the recoil from the bolt to die down between shots. Thus it was very easy to control at a fire rate of 350rpm.

    • AugFC

      I see you really know your subject. You mention you have written about British SMG’s I would like to get a copy of any articles if possible? Perhaps you could list them here – I am sure others would be interested or you can e-mail me if thats OK. Thanks.

    • The shown MCEM seemingly has an already pretty short barrel.
      How long might it be ? 1-2 inches ?
      And then another model with an even shorter barrel ?

  6. Ian, you are a very astute historian by bringing up the financial term “hard currency” in the gun context.

  7. Nice overview, really enjoyed the video, just one question…. How could you *not* mention that, even before the Sterlings were retired, they were issued to Imperial Stormtroopers? 😉

  8. I work for a sheet-metal fabrication company. Looking at the Mk2, I can tell you that, apart from the springs and barrel, we could blast those out by the hundreds per shift. Which was the point, after all.

    • Sten is simplified but still in the usual machines,lathe and milling machine range, also some welding etc, which make it more expensive than it could be. Some models afterwards like grease gun, pps43, and many after ww2 (like erma mp60, madsen) made use of (initially) expensive progressive stamping dies technology, where your whole receiver with grip and magwell would be of 2 parts, and spot welded or riveted, but once you set up your production, machines in fraction of time make what would take laborers a few hours. But that technology is more expensive in the initial, and with simpler lathes you can distribute the production all over England to small local machine shops, making various parts, what they did, which is smarter than having it all in one place (factory)and few highly specialised machines that could potentially be blasted in one night. On zthe other hand, it is worth discussing how much of a direct war effort these millions of stens contributed, aside giving their owners (or users) relative safety from being totaly defenseless. Mp40 at least I suppose ave seen great amount of battles in Eastern front against “invading bolshevik asiatic hordes.

      • “(…)still in the usual machines,lathe and milling machine range, also some welding etc, which make it more expensive than it could be(…)”
        But this also result in STEN copies and variants being crafted by Resistance – these technology was much more available and easier to hide their true purpose, that specialized stamping machines.
        Some were just copies, but some were modified – for example Polish BŁYSKAWICA sub-machine gun is mechanically STEN, but with magazine sticking downwards, pistol grip and folding stock.

        • Good observation, first comes to mind danish blueprint for sten trigger naming it falsely to hide its true prupose; some kind of pump operating switch or such.
          Of course it could be again discussed how much were these western europe resistance movements a small nuisance to the germans (by some percentage studies in France only something like less than few percent of population were in it),
          or really a widespread problem like in eastern or southern Europe, where it was not in urban setting, but “in the woods”.

          In Belarus they had extensive woods workshops where they made a couple of dozen of various smg models; copies and variants of ppsh, pps, mp40,ppd, etc. and even some fairly innovative domestic designs, comparable to polish Blyskawica and Bechowiec (this is especially good example of independent designing power-bolt/slide combination)

          • “(…)ppsh, pps, mp40,ppd(…)”
            Due to technology used PPD was more popular as starting point for copying (three other mentioned used stamping)

            “(…)by some percentage studies in France only something like less than few percent of population were in it(…)”
            I would be… cautious, about all statistic data about Resistance. These are only estimates and firstly member of Resistance must be defined.

            Example of PPD derived sub-machine gun:

  9. AugFC, I would love to hear more about the possible UK adoption of the Madsen M50 and the connection between that decision and the EM-2 trials. The Madsen has always seemed to me to be one of the slickest low-cost SMG designs, especially the later M53 with the grip safety (instead of the off hand safety) and barrel jacket/bayonet mount.

    • Not much to say – basically the Madsen was considered one of the best weapons during the post-war submachine gun trials. During the May 1951 trials, the Madsen performed very well, but the magazine was susceptible to sand and mud. For this reason it lost out to the Patchett, but it was very close. The Madsen was a clear favorite with some officials, but the Army could not ignore the magazine failures. If the magazine had been better, there is a very good chance the Madsen would have won the trials.

      Despite the Patchett being the winner, the Army did not immediately adopt it for two reasons: they were awaiting the results of the rifle trials, and also because BSA had requested further trials because they felt they had not had adequate time to prepare for the 1951 trials.

      The result of the rifle trials was that the EM-2 rifle would be adopted and would serve as a multi-purpose rifle that would largely eliminate the role of the submachine gun. However the EM-2 was too expensive to equip all units with and the Army still wanted to buy submachine guns for certain roles, i.e. Corps of Engineers. The Army came very close to ordering thousands of Madsen guns specifically for this purpose but, as we know, Winston Churchill dropped the EM-2 to satisfy NATO and thus the Army had to make good on their deal with Sterling to adopt the Patchett gun.

      The new trials took place in 1952 using the same weapons as the 1951 trials. By this time the Madsen’s magazine had been improved and the Madsen was the best weapon, but the Army had already decided on the Patchett.

      • “post-war submachine gun trials”
        Was MAT-49 present in these trials? If not for adoption maybe at least as control sample? If yes what was outcome?

        • No, the MAT-49 to my knowledge was never investigated by the British Ordnance Board. The control samples used for most the trials were Sten variants.

  10. Great video, enjoyed it very much. You could do a series titled, “Random Guns From the Wall Behind Me” or “All in all, Its Just Another Gun on the Wall”. As a post-apocalyptic fiction writer, no one would ever believe the story if my characters got into such a room.

  11. The MP 28/II may had not come from Abyssinia but have gone to Abyssinian ohnership. Nevel Shute in his book Slide Roule told the story that during the Italian Abyssinian war the Emperor Haile Selassie brought a plane the Airspeed Viceroy from his firm to bomb the habour that the Italian used to supply there army. He had some more money to spend and brought some MP to get his army some modern weapons. This should be delivert with the plane to Abyssinia but get not there befor Abyssinia was overrun by the Italians and Selassie had get in to exile in England. So the plane and the MP never left England and may used to developed the sten.

  12. Re the design of the Sterling magazine with the roller follower – this magazine was also used with the Australian F1 SMG, and I have read that with time and usage, the rolling of the cartridges induced by the roller-follower causes abnormal wear in the chamber, resulting in reliability problems. Seems a bit surprising, and I have never heard this about the Sterling SMG. I have also read that the Canadians did not use this type of follower with the magazines for their version of the Sterling. In my own experience, the F1 did suffer from magazine-related stoppages, so obviously not a perfect design.

  13. Sten mkIII was the cheapest and simplest to make, since it eliminated the barrel shroud and magazine well as a separate part, and barrel was permenently sandwiched between the soldered trunnions, but apparently stingy government didnt like it too much, since in the event of the damage to the receiver or barrel, whole thing must be scrapped, and replacing the barrel is impossible outside the factory.
    I suspect the sheet steel receiver welded on top maybe (?) was more susceptible to dinging compared to seamless tube original one.

    Maybe they had some ideas of keeping it in their inventory and use it way past ww2, in that case that replaceability friendly features would be good, if you plan to have that wonderful gun in your inventories for 10-20-30 years.

    But, the production methods of silver soldering were repeated in Sterling (where they were used extensivly), so it kinda shown the future of things to come.

    Probably the most puzzling feature of the sten is the select fire option, since the main rival (mp40) had none, and one would think that in the simplification frenzy designing they would omit it also.

    • “Probably the most puzzling feature of the sten is the select fire option, since the main rival (mp40) had none, and one would think that in the simplification frenzy designing they would omit it also.”
      This might be caused by:
      -British doctrine emphasis on accurate fire (dubious usefulness in low quality weapon)
      -Wanting to avoid ammunition waste
      -Allow easier training – it should be easier to learn to switch that to get SINGLE or AUTO, rather than how to pull to produce single shot from full-auto weapon

      • Select fire in a military SMG is an almost useless feature, rarely used in practice. Finnish soldiers sometimes used semi-auto for hunting small game with the Suomi SMG, but in combat it was rarely used, despite the fact that the Suomi was one of the most accurate open bolt SMGs ever made. Every user of a military SMG should have been able to squeeze out short bursts in any case, so even training in semi-auto should have been limited to introduction to the weapon.

  14. For general interest the size of the Sten receiver tube was chosen because it is the size of the Vickers tripod legs of which they had in stock.

  15. Of general interest in the vein of John’s comment above, the Mk.III is a stamped receiver and the weld bar at the top is what happens after it’s stamped out, wrapped around the form and closed up. It was even more efficient to build than the Mk.II gun, and there are generational improvements to the Mk.II as well – for example the “T-Stock” of the Mk.II giving way to a bent wire stock (as seen on the Mk.III) and so on. L2A3 served with the Canadians as well as C1 SMG.

  16. A very good video with lots of well informed comment following. I hope that you are able to cover some of the rarer british smgs auch as the welgun and normgun,

  17. When I was in the British army I fired the Mk 2. 3 and 5 stens and the Sterling. The Stens would regularly jam, very hard to fire of a magazine without a jam. The Sterling never jammed. AS the video points out the magazine on a submachine gun is the most important part. They made over 40m. Sten magazines every one as defective as the one before. The Sterling magazine could be easily loaded without a loading tool. The Sten required a magazine loading tool of which there were certainty two and possibly three different versions. Without the loading tool the Sten magazines are almost impossibly to fully load.

  18. And we must not forget the danger of leaving a sten bolt unlocked on a loaded mag
    Wheb I was 16 I convinced my dad who had been an officer in the canadian navy to buy me a legal mk 111 sten
    We owned 1000 acres so shootin was no problem
    one bright january day I decided to go fox hunting with my sten
    At 16 running foxes and full auto seemed to go together even though I never touched a fox

    Getting over a snow covered fence I dropped the sten butt first on a a hard snow crust WITH THE BOLT FORWARD BUT NOT LOCKED AND THE MAG LOADED
    luckily I only had 5 shells in the mag as the bolt shortstroked without catching on the sear and fired off all 5 rounds past my ear
    Later on I told my father about this and he told me of a friend of his guarding german prisoners who jumped off a lorry and almost lost his leg when a full mag on his sten let go when it hit the ground
    Its sure stens are fun but not very safe weapons

  19. Hi Ian part of the enormous cost of the Lanchester was the way it was supplied. My father was in the RAF as an Airfield Controller (sitting in the black and white checked van at the end of the runway) and part of his duties as a Sgt was airfield defence. They had the Lanchester as an issued weapon. He described it as being in a long, felt lined wooden box with all the accessories in their own fitted section similar to a quality pair of duelling pistols.

  20. I wonder whether there will be an article on America’s Sten/Mac 11 hybrid, the International Ordnance MP2 SMG?

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