The Sten Gun

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Jet_Black_Dan, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    The 2 DY snippets indicate that the Sten was reliable as long as the return spring was fitted the correct way round, and the magazines and ammo were kept clean. The fitting of the return spring was obviously a training issue, but the cleanliness aspect seems to be less clear cut - it could have been a training issue, but it's also debatable whether it was reasonable to expect the Sten to be maintained in clean conditon in battle areas, due to its large apertures, fitting tolerances etc.
    TTH likes this.
  2. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    I came across this

    IMHO its explains, besides the fact that 70-rounds drum magazine was much better than the box-magazine used with Sten at least from shooting POV, why I have based on my limited experience in firing Suomi smg had difficulties to understand why British seems to have had so negative oppinion on Sten.
  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    One reason why British commando forces did not favour the drum on the Thompson was that it rattled when moved and was a curse if trying to achieve a rapid but silent approach.
  4. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Yes, but the Finnish 70-rounds drum didn't rattle, if the Thompson's drum rattled, its simply badly designed. Finnsh war time long range patrols, both recon and those attacking targets deep behind enemy lines were mostly or totally armed with smgs.
    canuck likes this.
  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Was there really enough stalking around in the dark during WWII for rattling magazines to be a concern? I sure there was some, but seems to me it would be rare, no?
  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Doesn't have to be in the dark any attempt at a surprise attack could e compromised by noisy kit.
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I just shook an M1 carbine and a No 4. Enfield with empty magazines and they both rattled but I don't think they could be heard more than 20 feet away. I also tried an Arisaka and it didn't make a sound, and that was with bayonet and scabbard, but no dust cover. :)

    Sadly I have no Tommy Gun, Sten or BAR.
  8. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Here most of the front line was in forests, often in real wilderness, and and in many places consisted of individual strongpoints that were were connected with infantry patrols. Of course the point man usually had a smg because if he unexpectly stumbled across enemy he had to have more firepower than a bolt-action rifle gave. And rattling magazine was something one didn't want on that kind of enviroment. It was somewhat like jungle warfare, short range and brutal. Same during advances and retreats.
    Dave55 likes this.
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    These stick grenades rattle

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  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    That's a nice set of maracas!
    ozzy16 likes this.
  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The Sten type issued to SOE networks was the Sten Mk 11 and is referenced in the SOE stores Catalogue No M 211

    An option was the detachable silencer,with information given with the following guidance notes.

    The Sten Silencer is a cylinder fitted with a bursting chamber and a series of metal baffles.It is detachable from the gun for packing and can be issued with a standard production model Sten.

    The Silencer can be fitted to any standard Sten Gun,reducing the velocity to about 980 ft/sec and removing the muzzle flash.This gives an automatic weapon which can be used without attracting much attention.the noise is unrecognisable as a small arms shot at 200 yards distance from the firer,where only the faintest click is heard.

    It may be used at ranges from 0 to 50 yards in the dark,or up to 75 yards in daylight,enabling single shots to be fired whilst the firer and direction of shots remain undetected.

    (A precaution is added under METHOD OF USE in capitals)

    METHOD OF USE.The Silencer SHOULD ONLY BE USED ON THE GUN WITH WHICH IT IS ISSUED and no alteration is to be made to the gun,as the Silencer is tested and matched to its gun before issue.

    The Sten can be fitted with luminous night sights for special operations.

    It would appear then that the upmost care should be exercised to ensure that silencers were not fitted to the wrong gun.If this occurred,I wonder if such maloperation might have contributed to stens jamming.
    Dave55 likes this.
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Interesting piece about the Sten on the prog about Hamleys toy shop

    Sten Guns and Gliders (1939-45)
    During the Second World War Lines Bros. Ltd. stopped making toys and concentrated all their efforts on production to help the allied war effort. Approximately 7,000 people were employed to make a range of military hardware, including 14,000,000 magazines for Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft, as well as shell cases, land mine cases and special optical apparatus to help troops see in the dark. Walter Lines also re-designed the Mk. III Sten Gun, making the Mk IV lighter and reducing the amount of material required for its production. Over 1,000,000 of these machine guns were produced at Merton. Also produced, and in part designed by Joe Mansour of IMA Ltd., were four different types of gliders, used for target practice and laying smoke screens, two of which were powered by solid-fuel rockets.[10] The Merton factory was itself partially bombed in 1940. King George VI visited the factory at Merton to inspect the munitions production as part of the war effort on the 10 June 1941 and the Duchess of Kent also visited on 28 May 1943

    Lines Bros. Ltd. - V&A Museum of Childhood
    spidge likes this.
  13. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    I finally got around to gathering the various paragraphs regarding the Sten gun from 'Progress Bulletin, Infantry' into a PDF. I'm not sure if any of the comments have come up before.


    Attached Files:

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  14. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Are these files at the National Archives Gary?

    These seem to add yet more evidence that the correct functioning of the Sten was dependent on cleanliness.

    So whether or not a person thinks the Sten was a good weapon probably depends on whether they think that the requirement to keep the ammunition clean in a battle zone was a reasonable one.
  15. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    I suppose like any weapon, it is only as good as the person who is holding it.

    I was on annual Ground Defence Training (GDT) at the "Blackdog" firing range just north of Aberdeen in the early 80s.

    Everyone with a SLR had completed firing and it was time for the 9mm Pistol and SMG shooters to take their turn at the isolated 25 meter range.

    A female RAF officer had a stoppage with her SMG and rather than just doing the drills taught, turned around, waving it around frantically and shouted. "Cpl.....this guns not working"

    She was somewhat mystified as to why everyone had suddenly hit the floor.

    What followed were a stream of expletives from the RAF Regiment Cpl, fired towards the said officer, that are not fit for this forum.

    A brown adrenaline moment as we used to call them. LOL.


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  16. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    If a Sten and not a Sterling you may not have been writing that Gus!

    Kind regards, always,

    gmyles likes this.
  17. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Muahaha...had a quite similar experience at the recruit training at the Bundeswehr: One of the new conscripts did it with a UZI smg...turned around, pointed directly at my face, squeezed the trigger desperately again and again and shouted: "Sie schiesst einfach nicht, Herr Unteroffizier!" (it simply doesn´t shoot, Corporal)
    Never ever again hit the ground that fast - and everyone else, too (85 once)....what a turmoil....:lol:
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  18. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Gunny, my weapon's jammed.
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  19. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    "Brown adrenaline".

    Classic. I've never heard that expression before but everyone knows immediately what it means.

    Closely related to my grandfather's advice of how to deal with a bear attack. Just rub shit in his face!
    gmyles likes this.
  20. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The Canadian Ross rifle was withdrawn from front line service (snipers excepted) in WW1 for that very reason. Replaced by the Lee-Enfield which was better suited to dirty trench conditions. Cleanliness and battle zone should never be used in the same sentence.

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