The Art of the Dynamic Sten II

With sweet background music

Mike over at GarandThumb, the resident Air Force Plaid Clad gun guru, takes on the Sten gun from WWII. I’m on a WWII kick recently so here I am sharing the findings of my entertainment seeking brain.

The simple guns of the WWII submachine gun category are an interesting group. Most look like a variation on a can of caulk with a nozzle that happens to shoot bullets. Full info here, summary below

The STEN (or Sten gun) was a family of British submachine guns chambered in 9×19mm and used extensively by British and Commonwealth forces throughout World War II and the Korean War. They had a simple design and very low production cost, so they were also effective insurgency weapons for resistance groups.

STEN is an acronym, from the names of the weapon’s chief designers, Major Reginald V. Shepherd and Harold Turpin, and EN for Enfield.[4][5] Over four million Stens in various versions were made in the 1940s.

The Mark II was the most common variant, with two million units produced. It was a much rougher weapon than the Mk I. The flash eliminator and the folding handle (the grip) of the Mk I were eliminated. A removable barrel was now provided which projected 3 inches (76 mm) beyond the barrel sleeve. Also, a special catch allowed the magazine to be slid partly out of the magazine housing and the housing rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise (from the operator’s perspective), together covering the ejection opening and allowing the weapon and magazine both to lie flat on its side.

Winston Churchill with a Sten Mk II in Shoeburyness on 13 June 1941.

The barrel sleeve was shorter and rather than having small holes on the top, it had three sets of three holes equally spaced on the shroud. To allow a soldier to hold a Sten by the hot barrel sleeve with the supporting hand, an insulating lace-on leather sleeve guard was sometimes issued.[12] Sten Mk II’s in German possession were designated MP 749(e), the “e” signifying “englisch”. Some Mk IIs were fitted with a wooden stock as this part was desirable and interchangeable with the Mk V. Also, the Spz-kr assault rifle uses the receiver and components from the Sten Mk II.

Regular Mark II:

  • Overall length: 762 mm (30.0 in)
  • Barrel length: 197 mm (7.8 in)
  • Weight: 3.2 kg (7.1 lb)

The successor to this gun in British service was the Sterling

Modified versions of which were made famous in…

Star Wars… here’s the last 4th be with you pun, I promise.
Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.