The first model had a conical flash hider and fine finish. It had a wooden foregrip and forward handle (sometimes this was made of steel), as well for a section of the stock. The stock was a small tube outline, rather like the Mark II Canadian. One unique feature was that the front pistol grip could be rotated forward to make the firearm easier to stow. The barrel sleeve extended all the way to the end, where it had conical flash hider. Along the top of the tube surrounding the barrel was a line of small holes and its sights were configured somewhat differently. About 100,000 were made before production switched to the Mark II. Sten Mk I's in German possession were designated MP.748(e).
This was the first simplification of the Mk I. The foregrip, the wooden furniture and the flash hider were deleted for production expediency.
Sten Mk I*
Mark II (Video at YouTube)
MKII fitted with a simple "T" tubular stock
MKII fitted with a silhouette stock
The Mark II was the most prolific, at 2 million units. It was a much rougher weapon than the Mk I. The flash eliminator and hand guard (grip) of the Mk I were eliminated. Other changes included a removable barrel which projects 3 inches beyond the barrel sleeve and the magazine housing rotates to form cover for ejection opening.The barrel sleeve was shorter and rather than have small holes on the top, it had three sets of three holes equally spaced on the shroud. Sten Mk II's in German possession were designated MP.749(e).
Some MkIIs were fitted with a wooden stock.
This simple design was the next most commonly produced after the Mark II. It was a simplification of the Mk I made both in Canada and the UK. Lines Bros Ltd was the largest manufacturer. The biggest difference from the Mark II was the unification of the receiver, ejection port, and barrel shroud that now extended farther up the barrel. The barrel was fixed and the body was welded shut along the centre of the top. Captured Sten Mk IIIs in German possession were designated MP.750(e).
The Mark IV was a smaller version which did not progress beyond the prototype stage. It was near pistol-sized and it had a different configuration with a conical flash hider, a rear pistol grip, a very light stock and a much shorter barrel.
Changes included wooden pistol grips including a fore grip, a stock, and a bayonet mount. The Sten bandolier issued to paratroopers held 7 full magazines.
Mark IIS and Mark VIS models (sometimes recorded as 6(s)) were produced which incorporated an integral supressor. This would heat up rapidly when fired and a canvas cover was laced around for some protection. The Mark 6 had a lower muzzle velocity than the others; 305 m/s (1000 ft/s) and was also the heaviest regular version due to the added weight of the specially designed silencer, as well as using a wooden pistol grip and wooden stock. Sten Mk IIS's in German possession were designated MP.751(e).
The suppressed models were produced at the request of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) for use by their teams in occupied Europe. Starting with the Mk. IIS in 1943.
Silenced Mark IIs fitted with silhouette stock
Silenced Mark IIs fitted with pistol grip
Specifically designed for
the Sten MK 2, Sten MK 3 and the Silenced Sten SMG models of the WWII weapon, these new
made Rear Pistol Grips were designed with a sling mount and an extra finger support for
additional control. Since having the large barrel jacket/silencer tube the standard Sten
sling was used in the reverse position with the sling clip attaching to the Commando rear
grip instead of the short Sten MK 2 Ventilated jacket.
Silenced Mark VIS
Foreign built copies and derivatives
Austen MK I
French Sten "Gnome et Rhône"
Gnome et Rhône was a major French aircraft engine manufacturer. Between 1914 and 1918. They were nationalized as a part of Snecma in 1949, but the brand lived on for a time as the manufacturer of motorcycles. In 1920 they introduced their first motorcycle, simply known as the Gnome et Rhône 500 cc. Various models were produced up to the early 1950s, typically advertised as simply "Gnome Rhone" with no accents.
French Sten bolt safety
Bolt safety set on
Note that the safety could be set on with the bolt cocked. In case of inadvertent release of the bolt, the latter will never reach the barrel chamber as the cocking handle will be stopped by the rear edge of the safety sliding plate.
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