The Sten Machine Carbine.

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The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard Ashley
   I started service armouring in 1961, at a time when the Sten M.C. still sat proudly on many armoury racks. Yes, the Patchett/Sterling was also there and was and is a splendid arm and was rapidly replacing the Sten but, so most definitely was the Sten, a splendid arm as well. I have always had a soft spot for these guns. I joined REME therefore with a love of Sten, Bren, Vickers (cor !), Lee Enfield (cor as well), 38" revolver No.2, 2" and 3" mortar. My first boss delighted in the fact that his leather aproned craftsman loved both the Sten and Vickers as these were his great favourites also. I (we) have listened over many years to all the rubbish talked about the Sten. Such as,
They jam.
If you wanted to clear a house, throw in a Sten. It would hit the floor, fire off its rounds as it danced around the room killing everyone.
It was made for 2/6d out of gas pipe.
If you dropped it, it would break.
If you dropped it, it would fire off a magazine full.
My mate used to make these things in his lunch break  etc. etc.
     Nearly always spouted by "old soldiers" who were never actually issued one or used one, just heard it from someone who repeated it from someone else. Or, enthusiasts of militaria/arms/bits who came along years later but feel it a good tale and something looking so rough can't really be any good !
   Now, let me try to put some things right. When the Americans tested all allied and enemy "sub machine guns", tests that finished in early 1942, their Thompson 1928 came bottom with 57 out of 100, the Sten Mk.2 came top with 88. They went on to develop the M3 Grease Gun because of those results.
  The Germans got exactly the same. They of course, not only had the "hallowed" MP38 and MP40 which had many faults but looked better than ours. They made a near perfect copy of the Mk.2 Sten for their special forces, the Potsdam Gerat, nearly 10,000 made by Mauser but, the They also made thousands of simplified Mk.2 Stens for both the army and the Volkssturm, called the Neumunster Gerat or more commonly, the MP3008.Very few survive but I owned one, made by "rde" serial No.2. Underslung magazine as per MP40 and, in spite of having a dreadful finish, worked splendidly and now lovingly owned by a very proud German !
   So, back to 1961. My grand S.Sgt. boss was delighted that I loved the Sten. He looked upon any stoppages as a personal affront that he (and I) were not doing our job properly. We carried very few spares for the Stens, not because we couldn't get them but because they were never needed. In 1961, we still had Mk.2's,5's and that truly superb silenced version that has NEVER been beaten, the Mk.2(S). The Mk.3's had by then been flogged off to foriegn armies. On the Sten, spares were for return springs that had "settled" short, barrel catches,(worn ratchet teeth) magazine catches,(failure to retain magazines) pawls, trip levers and spring-triggers were about the only bits we carried. Little else that was really ever used. So, why this mythof the dreaded Sten? Well, the bad bit, THE MAGAZINES. Please forgive capitals but, these were the buggers muddle of the Sten. About 40,000,000 were made during the war. These had single position feed. They needed magazine loading tools or, a stick, big nail or a very strong hand.(only a few rounds could be loaded like this). Most modern mags have double position feed, ie. the user can push rounds straight down into the magazine and they lay left and right. Not so the Sten. I'm sure that you readers know that the Sten derives its name from Col. R.V. Shepherb, Harold J. Turpin and England.(not Enfield), Hence S,T,E,N.. Shepherb and Mr. Turpin designed the gun on Mr. Turpins dining room table, Mr. Turpin being the Chief Draughtsman at RSAF Enfield. Their prototype guns were made in the winter of 1940/41. However, from the outset, Mr. Turpin knew that he had designed a double feed magazine that would work flawlesly but the War Office insisted that he use the 50 round Lanchester magazine shortened to 32 rounds for the Sten. These had the single position feed mag. that needed a special loading tool and to give reliable results, and needed to be kept within very tight tolerances.
   Back to armouring in 1961. Magazine 9mm. Sten M.C. came either 10 or 12 to a box. Not only in a box, each magazine was individually wrapped in greased paper with tie on label giving description. 10 or 12 were then packed into a strong cardboard box which was wrapped in thick brown paper which was in turn then wrapped in pitched strong paper that was dipped in molten pitch to seal all the joints. This was then overwrapped in thick brown paper with a label showing contents. This lot was W.D. standards that if said box fell into the sea, the contents must be perfectly preserved for up to 5 years. Great joy for me as a swimmer that resembled a brick made from lead. Anyhow, we unpacked these new magazines, threw all that wrapping aside and began our inspections. Each magazine was stripped and cleaned. Each mag. was inspected for any burrs on the feed lips. These were cleaned and polished. The mag. was re-assembled, filled with 10 to 15 drill rounds and tested for height of feed and 8 degree feed angle. These measurments were critical. Most out of the 10 or 12 needed adjustment. We then filled each mag. with 30 rounds prior to a range test, took ANY Sten from the rack and test fired each mag. In spite of all this, at least one out of the box full would give bother. After further adjustments, if it still gave bother, we stripped it to a casing, put it on the anvil, smacked it with a hammer and backloaded it through the QM. for a replacement. What if you didn't have a wonderful armourer who had joined RAOC in 1940 and transfered to REME in 1942 ? What if you were a Resistance fighter/Airbourne/SOE/Aux-Unit/anyone else who was issued a Sten but nobody had bothered/had time/dropped as issued magazines that you loaded, put in your Sten and pulled the trigger, to have that trouser filling clunk instead of a burst ? (2 to 3 rounds in the British Army, 32 for the Americans). Yes, you would blame that blasted Sten. Well, we almost never had a stoppage with Sten, just as we almost never had a stoppage with Sterling which has a superb, world beating double feed, roller platform curved, ribbed magazine. Why does it feed from the left ? Well, for those who have never had incoming, there is a great desire for the earth to open up and let you drop into the gap. Left hand feed not only allows you to hug  mother earth but it makes feed from mag. to gun so much easier. Those foriegners who have underslung magazines like the Germans/Italians and most others are truly giving gravity a dreadful time having to push up 32 rounds or however many whilst having to lie prone above magazine, gun and eyes. Thats a lot on show. The Australian Owen has the best feed position, vertical on the top. I have taken base plate and spring out of an Owen magazine and having a mate to dribble in rounds, have sustaned automatic fire that would have done justice to a Vickers. Left mounted magazines enable the firer to cradle the mag. on the left forearm making it easier to handle.
    However, although the mag. housing was fastened to the left by 4 drive rivets on the Mk.1&1* and spot welded on the Mk.3, because the Mk.2 was developed for Airbourne use, to have a captive projecting mag. housing could have produced serious injury when landing, taken valueable container space or made it harder to hide for clandestine use, this housing swung down through 90 degrees to aid compactability. It was NOTHING to do with sealing out dirt and dust, the cocking slot allowed plenty of space for that however, the Sten fared outstandingly in dust mud and grit trials, unlike Thompson and especially that tin disaster, the L85(SA80).
  What about "Went off when you dropped it"? Not something to own up to. In capital letters in the Sten Machine Carbine manuals it is clearly written, "This gun must NOT be carried with loaded magazine and breech block FORWARD". Before anyone mutters about the Sten, the famed so miss called "Schmeisser" MP38 & MP40 (they had nothing to do with Schmeisser) along with most other carbines had exactly the same problem. Most forces adopted some sort of modification to lock the breech block in the foreward position during the war. We introduced the push through cocking handle in 1943 to lock the foreward block. However, inertia COULD set the breech block back far enough for the block to get behind a round in the magazine, in that case, it would go forward, chamber and perhaps fire that round. Perhaps ? Certainly only one but the resulting short stroke would normally give a miss-fire, just before the RSM stuck his pace stick through one ear and out of the other before sending you on a helicopter simulation course ! This malady has always affected "blow back" guns like the Sten/Sterling/MP38 etc. The sear that holds back the breechblock is much further forward than the breechblock is blown when fired. As these guns are initially fired "off the sear", normally against a full magazine with all the pressure that results, just when a full stroke is needed, the block is driven forward a short distance off the sear, often resulting in a jam. To overcome this, on demonstrations, we pulled the cocking handle fully to the rear, pulled the trigger and let the handle go. Never a problem. However,a smack on the butt plate could do one of three  things. (1) It sets back but doesn't go far enough to get behind a round, it goes forward harmlessly. (2) It goes back just far enough to get behind a round, that would perhaps chamber and perhaps fires the round but please note above. (3) It goes back too far in which case, the sear will hold it to the rear in the cocked position. The options are thus three fold but with ALL blowback guns without a breech block lock the same applies, NEVER carry such a gun with the breech block forward with a loaded magazine fitted unless a forward lock is fitted and applied. Colchester Glasshouse was full of folk who thought differently !
   "Made by my mate in his lunch break". I will include other sections in this to save time. I was a regular visitor to the Pattern Room at Enfield, later Nottingham and now Leeds. I first viewed the Sten Machine Carbine drawings with Herb Woodend and I clearly remember asking him if these were PC drawings, done for post war viewers. I would not have asked PC, but for Harperson readers, it saves flak. No, they are the originals. Bugger, the tolerances were more tight than Rolls Royce's Merlin engines and these were "volume produced" guns that so many folk criticise. For example, the sear bent on the breechblock was ground to 12 degrees, 50 minutes. Tolerances ? None. That would affect the trigger pull ! The blocks were shadow viewed on a screen to check tolerance. Two tenths of a thou. here, plus or minus two thou. there ? Yes, normal. Why ? For that answer, we need to look at assembly. (not component manufacture).These guns were assembled mainly by unskilled labour, most female, many straight from the Employment Exchange. They stood or sat behind two long bench's, both facing a central conveyor belt, trays of components in front of them. They were fed bare action body/trigger mechanism assemblies that went slowly up the belt. They, working either side, took these bodies off the belt, added their component from parts delivered in metal or wooden trays before replacing on the belt for the next assembler. By the time the gun reached the far end, it was complete (in Mk.2 form) apart from the foresight. A gauge was put down the muzzle and backsight aperture and the barrel turned until "run out" was minimal whereupon the top of the barrel would be marked with either with a line or the last 4 digits of its serial number on the top of the muzzle so that the barrel could be removed and replaced without losing zero and the correct (out of a choice of 3 heights) foresights would be selected and fitted, later to be welded into position to preserve location. The lady who "adjusted" the front plate of the Stock, Butt to ensure minimal side play whilst still being easy to remove/re-fit the butt was the only person to have a special tool (a hammer!) apart from another with a heading tool to rivet the trigger stop pin in the trigger mech. housing. What can we conclude from this ? The components had to be within so tight a tolerance that nothing interfered with rapid assembly on these lines. Competition was fierce between one line and another and there was no ability to do any filing, adjusting or anything else. All the parts had to fit exactlyso there was nothing to do other than assemble those 60 odd parts. This meant not only the masses of component manufacturers had to gauge regularly their components, the viewers had to re-check them before those components were delivered to the assembly factories and they in turn had to re-check everything before trays of parts were handed to the assemblers. "We used to knock up Stens in our lunch breaks?" A very finely made gun BUT, without much care given to exterior welds and finish. However, internals were superbly made to very fine tolerance. NO. They never made these during their lunchbreaks !
   By stand down, nearly all Aux-Units had replaced their Thompsons and earlier Stens with Mk.3  Machine Carbines. However, in those critical early war years, these lads had acquired Mk.1, 1*, 2 and Mk.3 guns. The "old boys network" worked as well then as it did when I was an armourer. One wag described "lend lease" as almost the same as the "old boys network" but involved far less materials ! Certainly, many units were equipt with things seldom seen anywhere else purely because, someone knew someone who knew someone !
   Logic dictates that the Mk.1 Sten M.C. came first, around March 1941. This was the gun designed for ground troops, its combined action body tube and barrel jacket made it quite long. No bother as it was initially designed for RAF ground troops to fire at German Paratroopers who would no doubt precede the sea bourne attack. The Mk.1* was a Mk.1 without flash eliminator and the wooden forend replaced by the commonly encountered pressed steel trigger mechanism cover. Made by Singer Manufacturing Co. in Scotland, a total of 300,149 Mk.1&1* guns were made.
   However, the war was changing. We developed the Airbourne Forces that demanded a shorter gun. Not only for cannister packing but also for stuffing under parachute harness straps so as to be assembled when landed to quickly enable the user to fight from second one. This required a gun that could be stripped to shorter length so as not to impede hands and arms to adjust rigging lines and canopies. Thus, the Mk.2 was manufactured, one week after the Mk.1 production began. Without doubt, the most favourite, 2,600,000 plus Mk.2's were madeout of a total of around 4,100,000 Stens made during the war.
   The Mk.2 was complicated and for those who didn't need a removeable barrel and jacket, welcome the Mk.3. Made by Lines Bros Ltd., Merton, London, before and aftrer the war, they made Meccano and Triang toys. Expert in pressed steel, they looked at the Mk.1 & 1*, thought it overly complicated and developed the Mk.3 Ideal for such as Home Guard, Aux-Units and all ground troops. They made 876,886 and once issued to these folk, the remainder were issued to front line troops and it is indeed rare to find any photograph of 1944/1945 British and Allied forces that don't carry the Mk.3. This was mainly made from pressings, even the barrel was pressed onto a rifled mandrel giving a work hardened tube that only needed the chamber reamed for completion. With a top flange incorporating the foresight and a handy aiming rib along the top of the gun, rivetted on ejection port stop to prevent fingers straying into the port with eye watering results, the Mk.3 was a user delight. From the REME standpoint, the non removeable barrel meant that barrel casing dents couldn't be removed and a worn or damaged barrel meant scrapping the gun.
   The Mk.4 Stens were experimental and not issued whilst the Mk.5 was really a Mk.2 with No.4 Lee Enfield barrel muzzle profile and sight. It could be fitted with the No.4 bayonet. This plus wooden butt, pistol grip and early foregrip added 1'5 lbs. without addressing the big problem, un-inspected and adjusted magazines.
   Apart from the Mk.5, all Stens within a week or two were made "side by side" The marks didn't follow on, one mark to another. They were made for different roles. The Mk.1,1* & 3 were "ground" guns, infantry/RAF ground troops etc. The Mk.2 was initially airbourne/resistance,(600,000 were dropped into France alone), then infantry and the Mk.5 was developed as a gun having superior finish to previous marks but really, just heavier with few mechanical improvements and took the same magazines as all the rest, including the Lanchester which went much better with a 32 rd. mag. than the 50 rd. which was a devil to load, often burst the bottom plate off and put much strain on the return spring in the gun.
   The wonderful Mk.2(S) silenced Sten has really, yet to be beaten both in noise or lack of it and as a very fine gun. It grieves me to listen to "experts" firing a Mk.2(S) that has patently been shot out or at worst, fired full auto, a sure way to totally damage the baffles.
   This then is my introduction on one of the finest machine carbines made. When the Americans were asked to name the three war winning devices they chose, DC3 Dacota, Jeep and the Sten. Praise indeed especially from another country. The Germans felt the same way. So. Please think carefully before you knock the Sten, Mr. Turpin and Col. Shepherb will be up there listening and no doubt, taking a very dim view of the rubbish being said ! We need to think that we, (us British)don't do success very well, we prefer failures, the Sten certainly wasn't one of them.
          Thank you for getting this far.
                                  Richard Ashley.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

frontlane
Well done Richard! A beautifully put together and argued case for rebutting all that rubbish about dropping / kicking-off / woolworths gun / made for 1/9d etc, etc. The Sten was a great piece of kit. I had Mk2 and Mk5. In the mid 60's I worked at Fazackerley on the outskirts of Liverpool where they had built the Sten and spoke to many people who had worked there during the war.
Keep up the good work!!
Best regards,
Bill King  
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard Ashley
   Thank you Bill, for your very kind words. Did the cheque clear ? !
      Apart from the Sten being such a splendid machine carbine, I expect the fact that we started the war without any sort of "gangster gun" and by 1945 were the second biggest user of these outside Russia ! As it takes a long time, especially in war with the enemy about to invade, to design, develop, make trial guns, test, evaluate, modify, tool up, produce, design and print training manuals as well as repair standards for armourers, supply to units and train them, to be able to buy the Thompson, the only gun commercially available was our only way to equip ourselves with something at short notice. Of course, we couldn't order from the U.S. government,they were neutral, we had to apply directly to John Thompson at Auto Ordnance as a "private" order. The Thompson wasn't the gun we wanted.That was the German Schmeisser MP28 (2) and those in power decided that they, the Germans, wouldn't sell us any so we copied it, hence the Lanchester. Everything about that gun is approx. one third bigger than the Schmeisser which indicates that Lanchester and Sterling hadn't actually got an MP28 to work from but had looked at illustrations and gone from there. As the Mk.1 Sten, the Lanchester was initially designed for RAF ground troops to fire at Nazi paratroopers, hence the 1907 17" blade on the front in case of stoppages, however, Sten arrived for them and Lanchester was issued instead to the Navy. Several LRDG lads used this gun as well but, it was the Sten that won the day. Designed to fire with everything bone dry unlike Thompson that had oil saturated felt pads either side of the breechblock, not ideal in dust or cold, the Sten brought the fight back into Europe and the rest of the world. A truly amazing gun and I am greatly honoured to have owned every mark in my time, worked on them in service and seen soldiers dumbfounded as rounds were converted to used brass without the slightest hickup. Plus, with the centre blown out of targets. Thousands are still in service around the world and they will continue to chatter away with total reliability long after "designer" guns that seemingly sing and dance have gone to that Beyond Repair workshop in the sky.
                        Regards,
                               Richard.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Matt Gibbs
Thanks for your email Richard, sorry I could not post it on the forum but it said it was spam because it had too many "cheap" words, and when something makes sense to me I just try alternative media - I'm not having a computer telling me how to 'talk'.
Anyway, great info.
One of the things I have a habit of saying is still good in this country is "blokes in sheds with brown dustcoats who can make stuff". Turpin, of course, managed it on the dinner table, he hadn't even got out to the shed before he was writing down his idea.
That amazing moment in time when he'd probably grumbled good naturedly about the rationing, and drew that little sketch as in Laidler's book was some kind of turning point for our ability to manufacture and hit back.
The number of vets I've had all agreeing with each other about one being dropped and loosing off 30 rounds makes my blood boil sometimes. I love explaining that without a finger on the trigger how can it possibly loose off more than one round, surely it'll always come back on the sear even in full auto?
Great thread this, learning all the time! One of the good things about this forum.
Regards
Matt
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
Hi to both of you,

I can use any of these forum posts and turn them into web pages but they need to be written in a  structured and readable way first.

The information in these posts is really good but they need to be emailed to me with acompanying images in a structure.

Then I can add them to our weapons page.

Richard you can also add some spaces in your forum posts and images as well if you like. That might break them up a little.

Matthew, sorry the forum has pulled you up on words...I don't control how it works as it's a third party I am afraid.

Keep up the good posts
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard Ashley
   My dear fellow,
     If I said I understood about structure, I would be telling a fib. Could be why the shed fell down and yes, photo's would be wonderful but as I told Matt, my inverted glass plates work reasonably but the trough of gunpowder flash makes a dreadful mess of the ceiling.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Clive Bassett
Excellent work Richard, a joy to read. I can support all you have said about the Sten having had the splendid opportunity to shoot with a Mk 11 last year high in the mountains of Norway. The weapon used was dropped to the Resistance and in fine condition, also all the rounds we used were also similarity supplied. Some rounds were slightly corroded and not in the best shape, but my Norwegian friends were confident, and rightly so. No miss-fires or any problem whatsoever. Firing the Sten I appreciated the quality of the build and engineering, it felt just right, I am sure you will know exactly what I mean. Should anyone visit Norway then a trip to the Resistance Museum in Oslo is a must. They have a superb display of the manufacture, complete with some excellent examples, of the Stens they manufactured themselves. I have only heard directly of two examples of a round being fired through dropping the weapon, one from a Jedburgh and the other from an French BCRA Agent. This was demonstrated to me by the Frenchman who violently hammered my Mk 11, butt first, onto the ground. It took several attempts, and bent the stock, to make this happen! Should you need any images then please let me know. I have a couple of Mk 11's, a Mk 111 and a Mk V. All the best for now, Clive.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Matt Gibbs
Hello Chaps!
Richard, if your Fox Talbot wet half-plate camera is giving trouble with close up detail work I can probably take a few close up shots of the Mk2 and Mk3 Stens my friend has and send them by email, if this is any good?
Regards
Matt
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard
  Dear Matt,
     I don't remember loaning you my camera, I blame age and as the donkey has left, its a bugger to pull around. (and the camera)
   I must take some snaps of my Mk.2, interesting in several ways. The sights have been modified for the S.O.E. The aperture backsight has been reamed bigger and luminous lines inserted into beautiful semi-circular inserts brazed either side. The foresight is machined to form a round top blade, blind drilled in the rear face and luminous paint filled. In bad light, it was just a case of line, dot, line on the target and fire. The knurling to the rear faces is high quality and these conversions were done by Holland and Holland.
   My gun is also converted from either a Mk.1 or Mk.1* as it has two holes under the cocking slot in line with the top safety slot. These holes were pin locations to locate the tool to punch out the underslung slot. The magazine housing has 4 holes forward of the ejector port where the drive rivets permanently fastened the housing to the rear barrel bush. There is also a screw clamped band forward of the foresight with a stop plate for fingers and a round swivel to take a sling. The gun was assembled at Enfield and has the double lug nibs either side of the action body where the trigger mechanism was welded to it. Unless the weld was right on top of the nibs, it fouled the cover, trigger mech. and was quickly replaced with the solid lug that could be longitudinally welded to the body thus missing the cover.
   So, I wait with baited breath for the clatter of hooves when you return my inverted plate copier.
                              Richard.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Matt Gibbs
Hello Richard;
Apart from the one I saw issued to King George 6th [and only because of its connection] your Sten sounds like the most interesting one I have ever heard of! What a story.

Can't imagine KGVI loosing off a few rounds for practise in the gardens at Buckingham palace can you - hehe. Apparently he had a .455 automatic as well, needful in case anyone got past his protection officers.
Regards
Matt
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard
  Dear Matt,
    The King had a range at the side of Buckingham Palace ! It is stated that the King himself made the fitted box it sits in, he was quite a craftsman and if you see the box, it has scoops rather like a shotgun cartridge box in this case, to easily handle the loose rounds. As Colonel in Chief of the London Home Guard, the Sten was an issue arm for him ! I wonder who came round to check the serial number ? It is an early gun with the "two lug" trigger mech. and undrilled body without the locked cocking handle mod. He loved to fire it alongside "his home". God bless him.
                     Richard.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Peter D Antill
Apparently the book to read on it is

Peter Laidler. 'The Sten Machine Carbine', Collector Grade Publications, 2000. Available here:

http://www.collectorgrade.com/bookshelf6.html


Peter
Peter D Antill (Researcher, Centre for Defence Acquisition, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom) "We seek a free flow of information... we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK, 21 Nov 1963
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Clive Bassett
Do hope to see a picture of your Sten Richard, possibly the most interesting one I have heard of in a long while. Though not directly connected with the Aux Units I thought a couple of Sten related pictures I took at the Resistance Museum in Olso, Norway, may be of interest. The Norwegians have a small factory, right under the noses of the Germans and made some superb Stens. Regards, Clive.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Clive Bassett
Image 2
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Clive Bassett
Image 3
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Clive Bassett
Image 4 - Final.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard
   Dear Clive,
      More dribble ! Superb photographs and I'm so very glad the Norwegians have gone to the pain of reproducing the workshop I believe of Bror With. These guns lacked foresights but had backsights, some might think this strange although anything manufactured under the Germans noses is truly amazing. Having test fired a Sten without foresight, it makes little difference, gun alignment through the rear sight is perhaps important and the eye naturally alignes the front. The photograph of his "pistol" is splendid, this design being losely copied from the Sten. As for their Mk.2 copy,apart from the pin, trigger axis being from left to right and the cover, trigger mech. having its retaining boss on the left to suit and the lack of foresight, these are truly splendid clandestine copies. Test firing was done through a modified vehicle silencer into a sand box and the empty cases caught in a catch bag and all this in the middle of occupation with all the known dreadful treatment should it be discovered.
   I often think we are less of a country in some ways for not being recently occupied by an enemy. A friend in central France lives in a home used by the resistance. I visited a few years ago and found a chest of drawers containing five primed Mills 36 grenades swimming in a sea of 9mm. and in the drawer below, two Mk.2 Stens and a load of magazines. The owner thought a test fire was in order so magazines were loaded and we went into this huge garden. Things were going very well with 1943 rounds when a Gendarme arrived on his bicycle and also wanted a go ! Watered with brandy, he had a wonderful time prefering hens to our target but thankfully missed. Departed later, drunk, singing away before falling off his cycle, laughing as he skidded down the tarmac. "Are we in bother" asks I, no, not at all, this house was owned by the Resistance. End of. Imagine that here ? Both Stens worked perfectly of course. We didn't try the grenades ! I just took the detonators out.
   Wonderful photographs Clive, thank you yet again.
                           Regards,
                                  Richard
   
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Austin J. Ruddy
In reply to this post by Richard Ashley
Chaps

Can seriously recommend this dvd:

https://www.tommyatkinsmedia.com/stengun.shtml

Basically a visual Sten/smg feast,  with live firing, stripping and Peter Laidler putting to bed a few myths.

Here's my Amazon review:

"This is a really good 1 hour and 40 minute 'walk round' examination of SMGs by experts including Major Peter Laidler, author of the best book on the Sten gun, by Collector's Grade Publications. The DVD itself is low budget - there's no archival footage or flash graphics (other DVDs provide that), but it just does exactly what it says it does on the can. This DVD allows you to see close-ups of the smgs, the experts tell you the weapons histories, they field strip some of them so you can see how they work and they finally fire them at a range in both repeat and fully automatic mode.

I originally bought this DVD as I'm a great fan of the Sten and was worried that the Sten part of it would be 'diluted' by having loads of information on all the other smgs, but I needn't have worried. It was interesting to compare the various smgs and put into context where in the history of smgs the Sten came along and how simply ingenious and clever the Sten design/designers were (i.e. The Sten was invented because each Thompson bought from the Americans cost £50 - each Sten cost £2 17s!) and that the UK govt ordered 300,000 Thompson smgs with 2.9 million rounds of .45 ammo for them. We only received 100,000 Tommy guns - 200,000 ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic courtesy of the U-Boats.

The experts describe and talk about the weapons in a laid back and informative style, righting myths and pointing out defects etc, without it coming across as an uptight army drill instructors' lesson. One of the presenters has the most hilarious anorak's/trainspotter's/Mr Bean voice (I thought he was putting it on at first!) but he really knows his stuff and says it how it is.

The live firing tests are very interesting: in a comparison (firing the same number of rounds) between the overly fast Russian PPsh41 against the slower, heavier Thompson 1928, the fella firing the Thompson finishes a good few seconds after the PPsh41. However the PPsh's spread of shot was so wide, an attacker would have had a good chance of surviving, whereas the Thompson spread was quite tight and with its large .45 slug would take down any target. Included in the DVD are Sten MkI, II, II (& II silenced), III, V (& silenced), Thompson M1928, Thompson M1A1, M3 Grease Gun, Reising, MG1918, Lanchester, MP38, MP40, Sterling, Uzi, H & K MP5, plus several French, Italian, Swedish, Finnish - even Turkish - smgs. Also included to finish the story are the MP43/44. Most of these smgs are live fired on the range.

At this price. which, for 1 hour 40 minutes on a specialist subject by experts (and compared to the naff DVDs out there on the market, I thought this DVD was worth every penny.

Top anorak technical war/weapon p0rn: 5 star - recommended. Enjoy."

There is another DVD in the series about the Bren but I'm afraid whilst interesting, there's actually very little about the Bren and a lot about other LMGs/modern LMGS.

Incidentally, it is largely forgotten today that the Mk III was made specifically to arm the Home Guard after the removal of their Thompsons. I think they went into production overdrive as you say - in post D-Day Normandy film footage, nearly every other Tommy seems to be carrying a Mk III !

Cheers

Austin
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
Dear Austin,

Thank you for that. I have now added that DVD to our SHOP page.

You still buy it from Amzaon and it's the same price but Amazon pay us a few pence for each lead we give them which all adds up...
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Matt Gibbs
Great looking DVD idea. I may just have to get one!
Working on a resume of sten knowlege for the site, will have it done soonest Tom.
The Sten Machine Carbine book is indeed the one to have. Wish I hadn't lent mine to someone...
ttfn
Matt
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Peter D Antill
This post was updated on .
Hi all

I actually met Peter Laidler at the Infantry Weapons Collection, Warminster. Nice guy. Here's a picture or three I took while I was there:




A small display on the Sten Gun - the top most one is THE VERY FIRST STEN, Number 1, followed by a Mk II and a Mk V.





Some more Stens - the top two are Lanchester SMGs, I think, followed by a Mk 1 (sorry, Mk 1*), a silenced Mk II (MkIIS), a Mk II and a Mk III.





and some more - Marks IV (only achieved prototype status), V and VI.

Peter




Peter D Antill (Researcher, Centre for Defence Acquisition, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom) "We seek a free flow of information... we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK, 21 Nov 1963
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Scallywag Steve
In reply to this post by CART Web Monitor
Enjoyed that Richard
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Matt Gibbs
Nice pictures Peter! Is that Mk 1 on the first board partially converted in to a Mk2? I recognise the stock but the forward parts have differences, the flash hider of the Mk1 type is not present etc? Maybe Richard will know?
btw Hello Steve! :0)
regards
Matt
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Austin J. Ruddy
The Sten with the '29' next to it is a converted MkI called a MkI* - basically the wood furniture, foregrip and the flash eliminator removed. At first glance it looks like a MkIII but it ain't!
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
In reply to this post by Matt Gibbs
Peter Antill has now added an article about the Sten on our website.

It can be seen here http://www.coleshillhouse.com/sten-machine-carbine.php
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Peter D Antill
In reply to this post by Matt Gibbs
Hi all

and not forget, I've done an article about the Sten Gun for the site, which is under Aux Weapons or here

http://www.coleshillhouse.com/sten-machine-carbine.php


all the best

Peter
Peter D Antill (Researcher, Centre for Defence Acquisition, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom) "We seek a free flow of information... we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK, 21 Nov 1963
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard Ashley
In reply to this post by Matt Gibbs
Folks,
   Ian Skennerton is a true firearms fellow. With every respect to REME armourers, finding out that the Sten was not the Woolworths/bicycle frame/gas pipe dreaded gun that when offered one to try, someone who wrote a book asked, "Is it safe?" got the reply "Of course it is, this is the Sten gun", test fired it, was amazed  and went from there, for us who have always loved this gun, I would recommend  buying Skenneton's Small Arms Identification Series on the Sten Machine Carbine Mk.1,1*,2 & 3.
Carefully researched, accurate and well worth whatever little it costs.
   Reference to the Mk.3 which was, after March/April 1942, the Aux-Unit Machine Carbine being issued one for one against their Gun, Machine Carbine .45" Thompson. Lines Bros, made these guns, Skennerton refers to Glover & Main as manufacturing Mk.3 guns with prefix letter "G" perhaps? he rightly states that no WO contract mentions these as being manufacturerd by G&M. As an anorak to Sten, I think this might explain the plight of Lines Bros. This sole manufacturer of the Mk.3 handed their pre-war manufactory over in 1940 from toy makers to War Office work. They made feed/ejection shutes and magazines for aircraft machine guns, parts for Sten Machine Carbines, Lanchester, 100 round drums for the Bren gun, casings for Lewis, trigger guards/bands/forend caps for No.4 & 5 Lee Enfields and no doubt, much more. In peace time, they made Triang toys,(Three brothers formed the firm in 1922, 3 lines make a triangle hence Triang), Meccano, bicycles, tricycles, pedal cars, all demanding stamping, deep drawn pressing, precision forming of sheet steel, they looked at the Mk.1, 1* & 2 Sten's and realised that they could make such a gun for half the price and twice as quick by utilising their knowledge of forming sheet steel into whatever. They, in the second half of 1941, thought up a simplified version of the Sten they had been making components for. Cost per gun was £2.75 with a production time of 5 1/2 per gun as opposed to over 5 pounds and 12 hours production for the Mk.1 & 2 guns.They produced shearing dies that stamped out, in the flat, steel plate complete with every slot, hole, whatever before bending, forming, spot welding at 8 welds per inch of the body, barrel jacket, magazine housing & trigger mechanism. Front and rear barrel collars held the cold formed, hammed work hardened barrel in place with seven drive rivets to the rear collar and four to the front further retained by soft solder, a pre-production batch were delivered to the W.O. in the second half of 1941 for evalueation. Apart from opening up the ejection port to prevent clipping cases and closing up the welds to the top seam to four welds to the inch, Lines Bros got the production go ahead to produce the pressed steel Sten. As they had already made the tooling, production numbers were 500 guns per shift on a 3 shift per day, 1,500 guns per day. 75,000 guns per month.
   As a comparison, three assembly factories putting together Mk. 2 guns made 110,000 guns per month as opposed to Lines Bros output of 75,000. It could be argued that if 3 assembly factories made Mk.3's, monthly numbers might well exceed 22,500 guns, music to the ears of a gun starved nation, How did the Mk.3 fare ? Superbly, in spite of current critics. The rolled,( to 1.382" internal diameter to allow the 1.375" breech block clearance without binding) and top seamed rib made the action body/barrel jacket very strong, the welded magazine housing prevented the drooping mag. housing that well used Mk.2&5 guns suffered from, the sight radius of 18", more than most opponents lead to quite accurate fire, the top rib made a superb aiming alignment for "off the shoulder fire", especially when painted in white paint as per 2" mortar or PIAT but, the main attraction of any gun in service was simplicity. The more components, the more they go wrong and need replacing. The Mk.3 was certainly a tough old bird and in spite of being designed as a "ground gun", was widely used by airborne and resistance fighters as well as everyone else. Indeed, it is difficult to find any "machine carbine" troops after 1942 not using the Mk.3.
   It was NEVER made in Canada. Researchers make the same errors nowadays that folk made in 1942. By then, we were used to using Lee Enfields and Sten Machine Carbines Mk.2's made in Canada at Long Branch Small Arms Factory in Toronto, components clearly marked either Long Branch or initialised LB. As Lines Bros. Stens were marked L.B. as well, users thought these were Canadian rather than Lines Bros. For researchers, Long Branch components had the L & B joined together whilst Lines Bros. used seperate letters.
   The initial order to Lines Bros. for the Mk.3 was 07 01 42 for 500,000 guns as soon as, this contract was completed in 1942 when L.B. were invited to tender for a second contract for a similar quantity, they got this because no one else was making the Mk.3 but, in Sept. 1943, the W.O. stopped L.B. when 386,886 guns out of the 500,000 were made. Therefore, 876,886 were the total number of Mk.3 Stens made. Why not the ordered 1,000,000 ?
   The stamping dies made in 1941 were beginning to wear out. Lines repeatidly asked the W.O. to increase manufacturing tolerance to prevent so many of their components being scrapped as "out of limits". Th W.O. refused greater tolerance as that might make inspection/repair/assembly difficult, made out of bicycle frames ? Gas pipes? No, component manufacture was held in very tight tolerances, tenth of thousands of an inch were quite the norm, the bent on the breech block for example was at 12 degree's, 50 minutes of angle with NO tolerance !
  Uppermost in the W.O.'s mind in 1943 was that after the war when a much reduced peace time army might look upon war emergency guns as obviously made during the stress and emergency of war time,
could the Mk.3 be updated ? Obviously not. It was a "unit made gun". If the barrel or barrel casing between the mag. housing and the front barrel cup became damaged, the gun would have to be scrapped. The Mk.2 Sten, having removeable bits could be uprated, The Mk.3 could not. Nor could it be fitted with a bayonet, nor be zeroed, (This didn't apply to real armourers). As most Mk.3 guns had by then, developed "loose tube's", zeroing was easy, it entailed gradually turning the barrel round until the MPI was central and "loctiting" the barrel in place, not perhaps easy in 1942 but a piece of cake in the '60's.Those who live for films such as "The Bridge Too Far" might hanker for the Mk.5 Sten but, this gun was 1 1/2 pounds heavier than previous marks and relied on armourers adjusting and testing each magazine just as it had for any previous Sten's,, rejecting those that failed and therefore, no better in reality than previous marks. Remember, I had a three digit, ex Arnhem gun with original forgrip that went there and did it. A grand gun to own and shoot but in reality, simply heavier than anything else.
   So, in conclusion, anyone thinking ill of the Mk.3 gun has patently never used one or, had duff magazines. The ample foregrip offered a firm hold, the welded magazine housing prevented "housing droop", the top rib pressing resulted in a very strong assembly, making a superb "aiming line" especially when picked out in white paint.
   70 years later, after I has gone through stillages of returned Sten guns, the Mk.3 has been the tightest, fully able to return fire to anyone opposing it, given as always, tested magazines, the Mk.3 is amongst the finest, if you have one in your collection, please view it in new light. Remember, many Aux-Unit lads thought it far superior to the Thompson weighing twice as much and fairing far worse when grit/sand/dirt/cold or anything else, to the bone dry Sten, no bother what soever !
                              Richard.
  As
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

CART Web Monitor
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Wow. Thank you Richard.

Great to see you back.
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard Ashley
In reply to this post by Richard Ashley
  Did anyone see a programme on the television about various war winning developments that included Lines Bros., and their so important part in developing the Mk.3 Sten Machine Carbine ? Now, for those who did, who noticed the magazine Peter Laidler demonstrated to a soldier who went on the range and fired at a target with a Mk.3 ? The magazine was a pre-production Enfield example with a turned up stop flange rather than the normal raised semi-circlular stop. I spent days with Herb Woodend at RSAF Enfield Pattern Room researching Sten mag. design, well, someone has to do it, but to see such a historically important magazine being used in a firing demonstration was quite remarkable. As an aside, the Mk.3 cost £2.17 shillings and took 5 1/2 hours to produce as opposed to just over £5.00 and 12 hours for the Mk.1, 1* and 2.
   Any feed back from anyone would be grand because we need to keep feeding the Forum otherwise, all this information will grind to a halt.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

walther38
Hello,

Let me introduce myself.

I am a freshman here but I love Sten too.
I am not armourer, neither gunsmith, nor historian.
I am just a hobby man who has an idea to help anybody interested in reenacting in countries where ownership of real (even deactivated) is restricted. Therefore a home-made display copies (models) or customized ASG toys are the only solution. But they are lacking the right "touch".
Therefore I am working on models/replicas where every tiny details are according to time of the production.
For this reason (maybe I cannot find the correct information) I have (at present) two key questions.
1. were Sten guns painted or blued? And how
2. how (photos would be very great) the labels put e.g. on packaged 12 magazine boxes or complete stens released from factories (ROF 4, 6, BSA, Lines Brothers) were looking like?

In the meantime I have found all contemporary sources (especially Peter Laidler's book, Tommy Atkins DVD, copies of manuals and part lists) very useful.
At the end I would like to stress that I am interested only in original STENs of the II WW period. In the Internet there is a lot od "blueprints" or "drawings" of the "thing" called "Sten" but this is just a surrogate, fake, a "sten-like" product.
I have nothing agains Yankees but I preferer Stens from  ROF (6), Long Branch or even "Kiwi" Stens.

Could you help me in this matter?
Walther38
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Richard Ashley
  Dear Waltha38, Finish on Carbine Machine Sten 9mm.
Mk.1 & 1* were phosphated ? then blued. These were assembled at Singer Manufacturing Co. at Clydebank in Scotland from various sources, not totally manufactured at Singer. Being an assembly generally rivetted and welded, I must assume that they were in house phosphated ?then blued. They all have (if original finish) that matt blue (not black) found on similar finished arms such as Enfield revolvers and Brens.
Mk. 2 Blued and with smaller components oil blacked. This could result in a mixture of finishes as components came in from everywhere. BSA had a more uniform finish so they could well have been blued "in house". Black paint is evident on several guns however that seem to be original so, an open mind on this one ! Certainly many SOE silenced guns are black that appears to have been baked on giving a hardy finish comparable to the Mk.5. However, these guns were developed later in the Mk.2 manufacture and by then, they might have black bake facilities after assembly
Mk. 3 Black paint over bright steel. Not a very hardy finish, indeed if you study these guns during the war, many are almost bright steel where the paint has been worn off.
Mk. 5 Phosphated & blacked. This black paint was baked on to give a very hard finish, still used today.
As these guns are now around 70 years old, many will have been re-finished several times with varying standards of success.
My thoughts above are based on examining original guns at the Pattern Room, now the National Firearms Centre in Leeds.
   I hope this is of use. The Sten was a superb gun let down by its magazine but given good mags., the Sten was right up there at the top.
              Richard.
I'm sorry, forgot your last request about packeting and labels, sorry but I don't know apart from Mk.3 guns for use by the Resistance. These were container dropped in a stout cardboard box labelled
                             CONTENTS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ONE   CARBINE MACHINE STEN
          9MM. MK. III
ONE   SLING
ONE   FILLER MAGAZINE
EIGHT  MAGAZINES MACHINE CARBINE
          9MM 32 ROUND MARK 1
ONE   OIL BOTTLE MARK V
ONE   PULLTHROUGH CORD SINGLE
ONE   WEIGHT
TWO   GAUZE PIECES
--------------------------------------------------------------
INSPECTED BY----------------------   DATE------
PACKED BY-------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
         
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
Walther,

I hope that answers your question.

Richard is our weapons expert and what he doesen't know about guns ain't worth knowing!
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

walther38
In reply to this post by Richard Ashley

Dnia 23-08-2011 o godz. 12:00 Richard Ashley [via Coleshill House - Auxiliary Unit Forum] napisał(a):

  Dear Waltha38, Finish on Carbine Machine Sten 9mm.
Mk.1 & 1* were phosphated ? then blued. These were assembled at Singer Manufacturing Co. at Clydebank in Scotland from various sources, not totally manufactured at Singer. Being an assembly generally rivetted and welded, I must assume that they were in house phosphated ?then blued. They all have (if original finish) that matt blue (not black) found on similar finished arms such as Enfield revolvers and Brens.
Mk. 2 Blued and with smaller components oil blacked. This could result in a mixture of finishes as components came in from everywhere. BSA had a more uniform finish so they could well have been blued "in house". Black paint is evident on several guns however that seem to be original so, an open mind on this one ! Certainly many SOE silenced guns are black that appears to have been baked on giving a hardy finish comparable to the Mk.5. However, these guns were developed later in the Mk.2 manufacture and by then, they might have black bake facilities after assembly
Mk. 3 Black paint over bright steel. Not a very hardy finish, indeed if you study these guns during the war, many are almost bright steel where the paint has been worn off.
Mk. 5 Phosphated & blacked. This black paint was baked on to give a very hard finish, still used today.
As these guns are now around 70 years old, many will have been re-finished several times with varying standards of success.
My thoughts above are based on examining original guns at the Pattern Room, now the National Firearms Centre in Leeds.
   I hope this is of use. The Sten was a superb gun let down by its magazine but given good mags., the Sten was right up there at the top.
              Richard.
I'm sorry, forgot your last request about packeting and labels, sorry but I don't know apart from Mk.3 guns for use by the Resistance. These were container dropped in a stout cardboard box labelled
                             CONTENTS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ONE   CARBINE MACHINE STEN
          9MM. MK. III
ONE   SLING
ONE   FILLER MAGAZINE
EIGHT  MAGAZINES MACHINE CARBINE
          9MM 32 ROUND MARK 1
ONE   OIL BOTTLE MARK V
ONE   PULLTHROUGH CORD SINGLE
ONE   WEIGHT
TWO   GAUZE PIECES
--------------------------------------------------------------
INSPECTED BY----------------------   DATE------
PACKED BY-------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
         


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Dear Richard,

 

I am amazed of the speed of your reply. Good God!  You inforomation is worth a gold guinee.

So many problems (form me) solved.

There's nothing like the information directly from a good source.

May I ask you other questions (if they arise)?.

Regarding box markings. Were they stencil painted? What colour was the box and paint? A typical military character font?

 

Thank you very, very much.

Best regards

Walther38

 

Arkadiusz Kozubek

second lieutenant, ret.


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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

walther38
In reply to this post by Richard Ashley
Richard Ashley wrote
...Mk.3 guns for use by the Resistance. These were container dropped in a stout cardboard box labelled
                             CONTENTS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ONE   CARBINE MACHINE STEN
          9MM. MK. III
ONE   SLING
ONE   FILLER MAGAZINE
EIGHT  MAGAZINES MACHINE CARBINE
          9MM 32 ROUND MARK 1
ONE   OIL BOTTLE MARK V
ONE   PULLTHROUGH CORD SINGLE
ONE   WEIGHT
TWO   GAUZE PIECES
--------------------------------------------------------------
INSPECTED BY----------------------   DATE------
PACKED BY-------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
Did it looked like this?

[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/696/zestawzrzutowy1.jpg/][IMG]http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7581/zestawzrzutowy1.th.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Malcolm Atkin
In reply to this post by Matt Gibbs
Hi,
Tremendous info on the Sten by Richard.  I have done a lot of 'reminiscence' work with vets of the Home Guard and Worcestershire Regt and have had the same experience as Matt.  To a man, they pour scorn on the Sten whilst lovingly fondling the SMLE and Bren gun. So how did the stories start?  Was it just because they looked crude?  Or was instruction poor in the units?  My Dad is actually the source of one of the stories of an accidental discharge.  He was an NCO in the RAOC after D Day and one of his mates was wounded when a sten that had been leant against a chair was knocked over. Begs the obvious question as to why it was loaded and cocked (and not in the front line) and left so casually  but Dad became a methodist minister  - not prone either to telling fibs or exaguration!

One other point of interest.  My understanding has always been that the Sten is held  by the barrel sleeve - not the magazine.  I have bored my wife endlessly with this when commenting on the weaponry used in WW2 films (as you do!). But  look at 'Guns of Navarrone' and you will see Anthony Quayle, ex Aux Units IO and SoE, blazing away holding the Sten by the magazine.
Regards
Malcolm
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

Malcolm Atkin
Without wishing to raise Richard's blood pressure!  Met John Boaz formerly of Samson Patrol, Worcs Aux Units at our annual Home Guard reunion at the weekend.  He picked up my Sten MkIII and told how when on the Isle of Wight in 1944 he was on night-time guard duty.  His mate slipped whilst leaping out of a ditch to challenge some passing troops, knocked his sten on the ground and ...  the whole magazine fired off.  He got into trouble for not following the drill of quickly removing the magazine.  So, was it possible for the triggers to jam?  Interesting that they had a drill for such occasions.  
His patrol did seem to have a somewhat cavalier attitude to weaponry. They did his father a favour by blowing up a tree in the middle of a field, scattering debris over a wide area and cracking the ceilings of a house a quarter of a mile away and John used his S&W revolver during harvest season to shoot rabbits from the cab of his tractor.
Malcolm
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

walther38
I am not a professional gunsmith but in my opinion the most possible cause was such: the sear or/and the breechblock  were worn so breechblock slipped off the sear each time causing continous firing. Also weak trigger spring might be a second cause.
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

RL McGinnis
In reply to this post by Richard Ashley
I see description of Sten Mk3 transit box on your site. Does anyone have any picture and label info on the wooden boxes used for Sten machine carbines? I have a box that looks like a larger than standard Mk7 .303 ammo box but with all the same features except color. Green non-waterproof plywood box with metal banded edges, wire hook end closures, 2 piece wire carry handles. Labels are now badly worn and black painted over. Had a label on inside bottom I cannot read now. Outer end label says (first line) One Equipment Carbine Machine Sten...9mm. (second line) ?_9? Vart??.  CAT. No.__C 10007? Then a list   ONE..Carbine, Machine, Sten, 9MM. Mk _?   ONE Sling. ONE Filler, Magazine, Mk_?  EIGHT Magazines Mk2.  ONE Bayonet. ONE Scabbard __?  ONE Container, Cleaning___???? Partial fine numbers below that list.2558 ?????????M41670 9229 9/45 __?(4) D&Co.___???? Side Stencil painted over in black reads CAP/11/45. Bottom impressed with two or three letters possibly B_J? over 1945. I would love to see both labels in original or repo. form.  Thank you
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Re: The Sten Machine Carbine.

walther38
Sorry,
I am not British,
All my information I took from available sources. How do separate boxes with Stens were labelled I have no idea. The repro? I doubt anyone has it.
Cheers