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Introduction/Sten Info


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Hello everyone, I've been in the NFA world for a few years with some form 1's, but I'm looking to get a Sten early next year and found this site while browsing around. This site seems awesome and I can't wait to learn more as I browse. If anyone has info on what to look for and what to avoid on a Sten, I'll certainly welcome it! I'll mainly be looking for a "cheap" tube gun since I'm really only interested in it as a shooter. Thanks in advance for the info!

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The STEN Mk. II was my first machinegun.

Some things I've learned:

  • Buy lots of magazines, sometime you have to try a few magazines to find one that works well.
  • Don't grasp the mag-well during shooting, get a forward grip.
  • Invest in some spare trigger control parts.
  • The Magnum/7.62x25 STEN is hella fun, but make sure you have a strong recoil spring.
  • Dump the "T" stock and get a loop stock. 
  • Buy lots of ammo. The STEN is a big hit at the range.

Overall, the STEN is a great entry level machinegun. Pretty reliable and easy to troubleshoot.

In liberty,


ETA: Mine was made by Ciener. One of the last few he put together and a bit nicer than some of the older ones. 




JAC Sten 1.JPG

Edited by MontanaRenegade86
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1 hour ago, KickStand said:

Get a good mag loader. The sten mags are unbearable to load without one. 

The Australian "Austen" loaders are far superior to any of the British designs...and cost accordingly

Also the easiest way to check if a given mag is good or not is to use a Sten magazine gauge offered by several of the parts dealers

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21 hours ago, Schmeisser Guy said:

I agree with everything Montana Renegade said. If I were looking for a tube gun, I would look for either a Wilson or Erb tube gun. Those would be my picks of the litter. The guns also like hotter ammo like 124 grain loads. 115 grain may not work.

Don’t forget DLO. Doug made some really nice stens. Plus he’s still around and I believe he honors his work. Watch out for mag housing wobble. Sometimes the Trunnion holes get egged out from people grasping the magwell hosing while firing!! BIG NO NO!!! Definitely stick with hotter ammo but if your Sten is tuned it will run 115grn no problems. Brian polling of Brp guns sells recoil springs, that would be the first upgrade ( Like $9! Each) I would do, as a good spring measures at about 10” plus! Charging handle slot is another issue it should not exceed .350” otherwise if it’s cut to wide the bolt will rotate too much and get hung up on the ejector. The only remedy for this because you can’t re cut the slot is to fabricate a larger in diameter charging handle. A lot of front Trunnions were also brazed on, although sufficient I like to see welds instead. These are all things to look for before purchase if you can see it physically. Stens are easy to fix with proper tools and welding skills. Ymmv. Good luck. 

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Buy lots of mags!  You can save money by getting the reduced capacity ones with brass wires.  A minute with the Dremel and a pin punch restores them to 32 round capacity.  New-made magazine springs are available as well.  The magazine tool is great for getting the fed angle correct.  

I keep one of the British 'spoon' type mag loaders in the gun case as well as other places.  That way I don't have to worry so much about not having one.  They are inexpensive and work great on British-made mags.  Some non-Brit mags have strange dimensions, though.

STEn barrels are not indexed.  If you don't have the collar tightened, the barrel can rotate.  Also, some barrels are not perfectly bored, so if you don't have them installed the same way every time, your gun may fire to a different point of aim.  I index my barrels by drilling a tiny hole in the trunnion and the barrel collar. A little roll pin in the barrel collar then ensures that the barrel will line up the same every time.

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Lots of Sten info/articles

https://archive.smallarmsreview.com/search/index.cfm or click on the title below.

Silenced Sten Guns: A Collector’s Guide - By Folke Myrvang (April 2014) [Relevance: 34.13]
Entry Level SMGs - By Frank Iannamico (November 2009) [Relevance: 26.05]
Options for the Submachine Gun Buyer - By Frank Iannamico (June 2012) [Relevance: 25.76]
Sten MK III Parts Sets - By Frank Iannamico (November 2003) [Relevance: 25.76]
Aftermarket Sten Magazines - By Frank Iannamico (July 2015) [Relevance: 23.98]
M-16 FrankenSTEN: Creating a Monster - A How-to Guide - By Will Dabbs, MD (May 2003) [Relevance: 23.36]
Wehrmacht Sten - By Frank Iannamico (March 1999) [Relevance: 23.36]
Magnum Sten II - By Frank Iannamico (March 2011) [Relevance: 22.39]
Bargain Machine Guns - By Frank Iannamico (August 1998) [Relevance: 22.39]
Magnum Sten! - By Frank Iannamico (October 2001) [Relevance: 21.72]
Sten Speed Bolt - By Frank Iannamico (June 2003) [Relevance: 21.38]
The British Lanchester Reborn! - By Frank Iannamico (February 2008) [Relevance: 20.68]
A Magnificient Conversion: Crafting a Sterling SMG - By William R. Bishop (September 1999) [Relevance: 19.58]
Sten Magazines: A Love-Hate Relationship - By Frank Iannamico (September 2013) [Relevance: 19.20]
Simplified Submachine Guns for the German Volkssturm - By Michael Heidler (March 2013) [Relevance: 18.42]
Blyskawica: Poland's 1st Successful SMG Design - By Leszek Erenfeicht (March 2010) [Relevance: 17.17]
World War II Subgun Roundup - By Will Dabbs, MD (December 2015) [Relevance: 15.36]
Patchetts, Sterlings, PAWS and Stenlings, Oh My - By Frank Iannamico (January 2019) [Relevance: 14.37]
The British Lanchester Machine Carbine - By Frank Iannamico (April 2013) [Relevance: 13.85]

Edited by Frank Iannamico
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