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Other E-books on firearms

Sten models

Mark I

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).

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Mark I*

This was the first simplification of the Mk I. The foregrip, the wooden furniture and the flash hider were deleted for production expediency.

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Sten Mk I*

Mark II (Video at YouTube)

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MKII fitted with a simple "T" tubular stock

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MKII fitted with a silhouette stock

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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).

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Some MkIIs were fitted with a wooden stock.


Basic Information:

Designation: Sten Mk II
Type: Submachine Gun
Manufacturer: Birmingham Small Arms Co. / Royal Small Arms - UK
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Operation: Bolt and Spring
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Service Year: 1941


Overall Length: 30 in (762 mm)
Weight (Empty): 6.5 lbs (2.95 kg)
Weight (Loaded): 8.16 lbs (3.7 kg)


Rate of Fire, Cyclic: 550 rds/min
Magazine: 32 round box
Maximum Range: 640 ft (195 m)


Mark III

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).

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Mark IV

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.

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Mark V

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.

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Suppressed models

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.

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Silenced Mark IIs fitted with silhouette stock

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Silenced Mark IIs fitted with pistol grip

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New made Rear Pistol Grips
Source :

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.

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Silenced Mark VIS


Foreign built copies and derivatives

- Norwegian Sten
In German-occupied Norway the resistance, under leadership of Bror With, created a large number of Sten guns from scratch, mainly to arm members of the underground army Milorg. The same was done to some extent in Denmark.

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Blyskawica SMGs

- Polish Sten
The Polish resistance was provided with numerous Stens of various models by the SOE and the Cichociemni. Between 1942 and 1944, approximately 11,000 Sten Mk IIs were delivered to the Armia Krajowa. Due to the simplicity of design, local production of Polish variants of Sten was started in at least 23 underground workshops in Poland. Some of them produced copies of Mark IIs, while others produced the so-called Polski Sten. The Polski Sten made in Warsaw under command of Ryszard Bialostocki were built from a number of legal elements made in official factories or acquired through other means. The main body of the machine pistol was made from hydraulic cylinders produced for hospital equipment. All the pistols were marked in English to disguise their origin and the production facilities. A modernized version of the Sten was produced in Poland under the name Blyskawica.

- Gerät Potsdam
In late 1944, the Mauser works in Germany started manufacturing a series of copies of British Mk II Sten for diversion and sabotage purposes. The series was nicknamed the Gerät Potsdam and approximately 28,000 weapons were made.

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Disabled (under French procedure) German MP 3008

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- MP 3008
In early 1945, Germany was seeking a cheap machine pistol for the Volkssturm. For that purpose a modified Sten was designed by Mauser and named the MP 3008. The main difference was the magazine attached below the weapon. Altogether, roughly 10,000 pieces were produced before the end of World War II.

- Neuminster Device
The Neuminster Device was manufactured prior to the MP3008 under great secrecy by Mauser Waffenfabrik. The Neuminster device was an almost perfect copy of the British Sten, even down to its British proof marks. The reason for manufacturing the Neuminster Device is unknown but they were manufactured at great expense. Each Neuminster Device cost eight times as much as a Mauser Model 98K rifle.

- Austen MK I
The Mark I Austen (from "Australian Sten") was a 9 millimeter Australian submachine gun derived from the British Sten gun developed during the Second World War by the Lithgow Small Arms Factory. Approximately 45,000 Austens were produced from 1942 to 1944. They remained in service as a standard weapon of the Australian Army until 1966.

- French Sten "Gnome et Rhône"
The French Sten was produced at the end of the war (second semester of 1944) at the plant of "Gnome et Rhône" of Limoges.

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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.

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French Sten "Gnome et Rhône"

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As shown on the pictures above, the French Sten was fitted with a wood stock, and a forehand wood grip. But the most salient feature of this model is the sliding bolt safety that was added to perfectly secure the bolt when it was in its forward position.

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French Sten bolt safety

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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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