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Old October 25, 2004, 07:13 PM   #1
Join Date: October 24, 2004
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STEN sub-machine guns

what does anybody know about the STEN sub machine guns of WWII, specs, rate of fire?
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Old October 25, 2004, 08:37 PM   #2
4V50 Gary
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According to W. H. B. Smith's Small Arms of the World, depending on the model, anywhere from 540 RPM to 575.

Rate of fire depends on ammo (how hot), cleanliness and lubrication. It'll vary depending on these factors.
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Old October 27, 2004, 04:07 AM   #3
Join Date: October 14, 2004
Location: Texas
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I've found the rate to be about 400 to 450 RPM but it's slow kinda purrs like an old idling 4 stroke dirt bike. maybe if someone drilled a bunch of holes in that paperweight bolt!
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Old November 28, 2004, 10:12 PM   #4
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What exactly do you want to know?

There's a few different versions, each was basically a progression of the prior, made to be cheap and easy to make. Shoots 9mm, was copied by the Germans later in the war, lots of the parts between the models interchange.

Some came with brass bolts to ease mfg, but that ended up being scrapped as the botls wore out. They fire from the open bolt, early ones (MK II) were mostly metal, later ones MK V had wood furniture. You drop them they might go off, they were loved and hated at the same time.

The few we have run 500 to about 600 RPM, depending on body length and feed type.
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Old December 7, 2004, 12:04 AM   #5
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CQB error

sorry i know you know your stuff but i have to correct one little error thats been going on for years. the brass bolt for the sten ISNT to ease manufacture
they were originally produced for the sten mk 2s silenced version to reduced the clanging slamming sound made by the bolt as it closes on the round to fire it, the mk 2 s was not meant for rgular full auto fire and was issued with the direction that semi auto fire be used as often as feasable the end caps on the mk 2s often blew out under full auto fire. some of these bolts later found their way into stock mk 2s and mk 4s and later still found their way into the US spare parts market with the aforementioned story attached to them, the reality is a brass bolt would quickly defore and ruin it self if subjected to constant full auto military uses.

I in no way mean to be disrespectful your insights and knowlegde are great, i thought youd like to know the real story though.
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Old December 9, 2004, 12:20 PM   #6
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Ummm lets talk about this some more:

1. The brass is much easier to machine and more redily availible when one considers at the time the "steel" was bing used for everything from ship to large guns. I have a machine shop and I can tell you right now that I can cut brass faster and easier with less resets. To that end bras being softer was easier to make.

2. The suppressed versions, no doubt there was the thought that the brass bolts would be quieter for the MKIIs but about the second try they figured out it didn't work but continued making the brass bolts, that along with the softer firing pin caused problems later (again brass = too soft)

3. The endcaps on every mark II I have ever had was hedl in buy the stock.end cap, stock with hole, either the T stock or the "full frame" stock. One would have to blow the stock off to get the end cap to come off and even with modern ammo and 60 year old kits, I never see this happen.
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Old January 5, 2005, 05:55 PM   #7
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I used to work with a guy who had one chambered in .38 Super. :barf:
Life is what comes to an end when you are out of bullets.
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Old January 5, 2005, 11:42 PM   #8
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I got one.
I don't know the rate of fire but I have owned it for a couple years and have never cleaned it. It was used at a vintage rifle match as kind of a gimmick stage where everyone got to shoot 10 rounds out of it (maybe 40 people). It never skipped a beat. And the ammo was a mix of cast and jacketed with every bullet style you might want to imagine.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old January 6, 2005, 06:20 PM   #9
Geoff Timm
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The British replaced the STEN after WWII with the Sterling SMG, look similar, much better weapon. 'nuff sed.

Who has handled one, but not fired one.
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Old January 7, 2005, 01:18 PM   #10
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Sold mine without ever getting a chance to fire it. Have fired M3A1, Schnellfeuer and Thompson 1921 - had to get rid of some guns so the Sten had to go.

Heard they were reliable as hell though - super simplistic to strip.
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Old January 8, 2005, 07:29 AM   #11
Geoff Timm
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GeorgeF commented, "Heard they were reliable as hell though - super simplistic to strip."

I talked to several British vets of WWII, emigrants to the USA, when I was young and innocent. They said the STEN was either reliable or they tossed it under a truck tire and combat lossed it. Magazine quality was spotty too.

One liked his revolver so much he bought one mail order surplus and carried it as an auxiliary police officer back when there was a range in Bay Village, Ohio and only a hand full of full time officers. He picked up an MP-38, previous owner had no further need of it. Had a picture of his tank recovery vehicle crew, mostly armed with German P-38s a Luger and MP-40s, big M-2 ring mounted on the vehicle, which I don't remember the name or model of.

Who really was young and impressionable once.
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Old January 14, 2005, 09:53 PM   #12
Join Date: November 29, 2004
Location: Minnesota, USA
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If you want to see how the Sten Mk II shoots, I have one and here's a video of me and my brother shooting it last month:

It shoots at a fairly slow rate, and after the first couple of rounds are let loose, it is remarkably controllable. The side mag doesn't throw the balance off all that much and is easy to compensate for. The gun is not as comfortable as an MP-40, and is almost as accurate. The lower weight of the weapon makes it have a tad more recoil than a MP-40, but you can shoot it much more easily from a prone position. The Sten is very compact, disassembles into small parts that are easy to store, and it's reliability belies it's crude appearance. It's not designed for comfort, it's designed to be cheap to produce and still work well.

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