Sten Mark I

Sten Mark I

Sten Mark 1

Type Submachine Gun
Weight 3.26kg
Length 895mm
Barrel Length 196mm
Rifling 6 grooves, RH
Magazine Capacity 32 rounds
Caliber 9mm Parabellum
Muzzle Velocity 381 meters/second
Cyclic Rate 550 rounds/minute
Effective Range 70 meters
In Production 1941-1942
Country of Origin Great Britain


Although the ‘en’ in Sten came from the Royal Small Arms factory located atĀ Enfield, much of the wartime production was subcontracted to other manufacturers, particularly the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA) and other Royal Ordnance Factories (such as Royal Small Arms Factory, Fazakerley, Liverpool).

Great Britain entered World War II without a submachine gun of any kind, and the Blitzkrieg not only caught the British unaware but also seriously ill-equipped. The threat of invasion by air and sea in the summer of 1940 led to a panic expansion of the arms industry and a frantic search for a submachine gun. The first Sten appeared in the summer of 1941, and by 1945, nearly four million had been made, in several different marks and variants.

The Sten Mark I consisted of a tubular receiver containing a bolt and returned spring. At the front end of the magazine, there was a side feeding magazine housing, a barrel surrounded by a jacket, and a spoon-like muzzle compensator which resisted the usual tendency to climb on automatic firing. There were a metal skeletal metal butt and a small folding wooden foregrip. About 100,000 Sten Mark I weapons were made.

A Mark I* version (left) appeared late in 1941 using a metal cover for the trigger mechanism and without the wooden grip or muzzle compensator. Various patterns of metal stock can be found.

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