View Full Version : building a Sten

Joe Portale
April 12, 2001, 10:10 PM
I have a chance to pickup a reciever for a Sten. We know that the actual kits are available just about everywhere. SInce the law of 1996(?) concerning the new manufacturing of civilian subguns, I was wondering:

1) Since the parts are actually breakdowns from existing firearms, would the '96 law apply?

2) I hold a C&R could reassembled Sten still meet the relic criteria?

3) has anyone ever tried to apply to the ATF for a permit to manufacture one of these or anything else that would fall into this catagory.

4) If yes, we you successful or did you get the run-around?


April 13, 2001, 12:24 AM
Since the receiver is the only registered part, you can legally add a parts kit to a registered receiver to make a fully functional machine gun. No special permission from ATF is necessary. If it's a C&R receiver, the result will be a C&R gun; that's true also for a rewatted C&R receiver. Otherwise, it will be a non-C&R "tube gun"; that's also true if an otherwise C&R receiver was cut and rewelded.

All transferable machine guns (receiver or sear) must have been registered with ATF by May 19, 1986.

BTW, parts kits for Sten MKII's are not as common as they once were.

April 14, 2001, 04:17 PM
You didn't mention if it was a transferable receiver or not. If so, build it. If it is not a transferable receiver, like a CATCO "tube kit," only a class II manufacturer can build it and it will not be civilian legal.

Munro Williams
April 16, 2001, 11:36 PM
Over here I saw a Sten receiver, minus return spring, breach block minus cocking handle, with a faux barrel, in an odds and ends shop. It's too crude a piece of metal to be anything but the real McCoy. The only marking on it is 03009, stamped on the magazine housing.

Is it worth the twenty four dollars or so they're asking for it, or is it just junk, guaranteed to clutter up my already crowded Japanese dwelling?

Thanks for any information.

April 17, 2001, 11:33 AM
Too bad it's not stamped 3008, which was the German version, rare and worth some real money.

April 17, 2001, 08:20 PM
what about adding a 16 inch barrel and building one in semiauto?

Or is the design to crude to stay semi auto?


Joe Portale
April 17, 2001, 08:37 PM

After taking a closer look, it is one of those CATO tubes. Too bad. Anyone got an idea where one could pickup a pre-ban Sten reciever and what they run?


James K
April 18, 2001, 09:50 PM
I don't know any place where you can buy a STEN receiver, but the whole guns were running about $2500+ and a receiver would not be much less, since anyone with a registered receiver would just buy the rest of the parts and make the gun complete.

Since it is now illegal for anyone to make machineguns for civilians, ATF will not approve any application to make one for yourself.


Joe Portale
April 19, 2001, 06:46 PM
In the long run, it is probably easier for me to just buy one. The signature of the chief LEO will be a tough one. From what I have heard from the experiences of others that have tried, the CLEO here in Tucson and the County will not sign for a full auto weapon for anyone.

I own a small company as a secondary source of income. It is a registered LLC corporation. I see in the regulations that a corporation may purchse full auto for research, security or what ever. The regs do not differentiate on what type of corporation may do this. Does anyone know if a Limited Liability Corporation qualifies?

I would call the ATF, but with my dealings with the IRS and their attitude towards giving wrong advice, one would be hard pressed to trust what they say.

April 19, 2001, 09:18 PM
OK, i know its only Semiauto, but why can't we homebuild these?

CATCo. SA-2 Sten - Very Few Left! - Call for Details!


Our exclusive run of limited production collector guns are built from over 80% original refinished STEN SMG parts and
are interchangeable with STEN parts kits. ATF approved!

*CATCo. CNC Machined Semi-Auto receiver
*Closed bolt design
*Original barrel extended to legal 16" length

Includes short dummy display barrel, and a pre-ban Sten magazine.

Collectors: CATCo. will ship to a FFL dealer in your state.

Special order instructions:
*Call CATCo. at 707-253-8338
*Submit a copy of FFL (signed in ink)

Total price (incl. s/h charge): $614.00

Price: $599.00 Listing # 300

April 20, 2001, 02:16 PM

You can build the closed bolt, semi auto STEN's from CATCO. These are legal. ATF won't approve an open bolt semi because of easy convertability.

Joe Portale,

If the entity is incorporated, it is a corporation (LLC/LLP are primarily tax issues). Corps. are not required to get LEO sign off.

Jm Keenan,

Periodically, pre '86 STEN receivers show up. If you had one, or could get one, you could build the gun. The receiver is the "machine gun" and in this case would have existed before the ban and building would be legal.

James K
April 22, 2001, 06:13 PM
Hi, Tax Phd,

If you mean a receiver that was registered before 1986, you are correct. But the 1986 law did not incorporate an amnesty period, so any machinegun/receiver not registered before that is illegal. Most STENS on the market are either a few tubes or tube guns made and registered prior to 1986, or amnesty registered guns. Maybe CATCO or someone has semi-auto parts, but AFAIK, all the parts kits are from standard selective fire STENs, so using them to build a semi would be both difficult and of very questionable legality. I doubt BATF approval could be obtained.

Also, it is of interest that the serial number on a STEN is not on the receiver, it is on the mag housing, which normally cannot be detached from the receiver tube, but is still not the receiver.


April 23, 2001, 12:43 PM

You are correct on the registered receiver. Thanks for clearing up what I quickly glossed over.

The CATCO semi auto kit uses a mix of parts from demilled STEN's as well as some of their own design to make a semi-auto, closed bolt rifle. BATF approved.