Calibre: 9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight: 2.7 kg empty; 3.5 kg loaded
Length (stock closed/open): 481 / 686 mm
Barrel length: 198 mm
Rate of fire: 550 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 34 rounds
Effective range: 200 meters
This sub-machine gun had been developed in the 1940s by the Sterling Armament Co., Great Britain, and had been adopted by British Army in 1953. It remained in army service well untill early 1990s, when it was replaced by L85A1 assault rifle.
Sterling is a relatively simple, but very well made, blowback operated gun. The receiver and the barrel heat shield was made from steel tube, the bolt was machined, with fixed firing pin and four special ribs, designed to gather and remove the dust and fouling from the receiver. The curved magazine is inserted from the left side, spent cases are ejected to the right. The folding butt is made from stamped steel. Silenced version of the Sterling, oficially labelled as L34A1, replaced in service the older STEN Mark 6 silenced.
The Sterling SMG had a high reputation among the troops due to extreme reliability and good accuracy.
Technical data (Mk.III)
Calibre: 9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight: 3.18 rg empty
Length: 762 mm
Barrel length: 196 mm
Rate of fire: 450 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 32 rounds
Effective range: 70 meters
The STEN name came out of names of the designers (R. V. Shepard and H.J. Turpin) and from the factory where they worked (Enfield arsenal). It was crude and ugly but simple,and very effective sub-machinegun of the WW2. More than 4 million STENs of different wersions were made from 1941 until 1945.
The first STEN, Sten mk.I, was developed in mid-1941. It was blowback operated, that fired from the open bolt. The tubular receiver and the barrel shroud were made from rolled steel. The gun was fed from left side mounted box magazines. The stock was of skeleton type, made from steel. Sights were fixed, adjusted for 100 yards distance, peep hole rear and blade front. The Mk.I featured spoon-like muzzle jump compensator. Some guns featured small folding forward grip.
The Sten mk.II was a mainstream gun, slightly smaller and lighter than Mk.I. It featured skeleton or wooden stocks. The magazine and the feeding module were the main drawbacks of the Mk.I and Mk.II, since those were prone to failures to feed. The magazines also often were loaded with only 30 rounds instead of full capacity of 32, to reduce strain on feed springs. The magazine housing was flexible to cover feed window when not in use. Some Mk.II's were manufactured with integral silencers for undercover operations and were marked as Mk.II(S).
The Sten mk.III was a modification of mk.I. The major change was that the receiver and the barrel shroud was made from single sheet-steel tube that extended almost to the muzzle. Other changes were fixed magazine housing for improved reliability and small finger guard in the front of the ejection port. Internally, Mk.III was similar to Mk.I and had same variety of skeleton stocks. Mk.III first appeared in 1943.
The Sten Mk.IV was only experimental and did not enter into production.
The Mk.V was an attempt to make Mk.II a better looking gun.
Being internally the same as Mk.II, the Mk.V featured a wooden buttstock and
rear handle, new front sight that allowed bayonet mount. Early Mk.V's also
featured wooden front grip, but it was prone to breakage and was removed.
Mk.V's appeared in 1944 and remained in service until the early 1960s' being
replaced by then-new Sterling SMGs.
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