In 1941 the British were desperate for weapons. The losses of the first year of war had to be made up, and new weapons made for the troops just coming into service. Two engineers named R. V. Shepherd and H. J. Turpin at the Royal Small Arms Manufactory, Enfield, designed a submachine gun that could be produce rapidly with minimal investment in tooling. It was called the Sten from their initials and the first two letters of Enfield. That and the «cheap and nasty» appearance got it the nickname «stench gun.» It was also called the «Woolworth gun» or «gas-pipe gun». The British manufactured a lot of Stens; so did quite a few other people. The simple design lent itself to production with few tools. Stens were being made at the height of production for less than 10 € apiece. The first Sten, Mk.I, was developed in mid-1941. It was a blowback operated, automatic weapon that fired from the open bolt. The tubular receiver and the barrel shroud were made from rolled steel. The Mk.I was fed from left side mounted box magazines. The skeleton-type stock was made from steel, the sights were fixed, adjusted for 100 yards distance with peep hole rear and blade front. The Sten featured a spoon-like muzzle jump compensator. Some guns featured small folding forward grip. Better-looking Mk.Vs appeared in 1944 and remained in service until the early 1960s, being replaced by then-new Sterling SMGs. The Sten was always plagued with reliability problems; most could be traced to the magazine, which was both poorly designed and badly made. Experienced soldiers went through all the magazines available to select a few that worked well (GMs might raise Malf. to crit. for veterans who have had the opportunity to do this).

Weapon Malf. Dmg.

SS Acc.






ST Rcl.


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