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Thread: What to look for in a STEN ?

  1. #1
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    What to look for in a STEN ?

    I know what I know but I don't know what I don't know. Have two Ingrams but know little to nothing about the STEN market. The MAC family is pretty forgiving in that (with the exception of the Texas M10) parts are readily available and the guns are easy to work on; hard to go wrong. Is it the same with the STEN or are there ones to be avoided? Looking at one built on a CATCO tube but it looks pretty home made which has me a bit apprehensive. Anything I need to be mindful of?

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    They are more forgiving than Mac's. Only thing to really worry about is if someone over cut the ejection port. They either run or they don't but all are very easy to fix.

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    I read on one post that the tubes are thin and can get worn out. doesn't sound very plausible to me except under the most extreme conditions but is it something I should watch out for?

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    That doesn't happen

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    Registered User Landric's Avatar
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    Parts are probably more readily available than for MACs and there are still new parts in production. I have an Interport tube gun, it runs like a top. Mags are a well known weak link but most of mine seem to be good. It isn’t a modular as the MAC, but if you want a simple, iron sighted SMG it is really hard to go wrong. Masterpiece Arms sells refinished STEN mags for their guns and they work great in my STEN. CDNN has them available.

    My MACs are a lot more flexible but the STEN has a lot more character and is just plain fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landric View Post
    Parts are probably more readily available than for MACs and there are still new parts in production. I have an Interport tube gun, it runs like a top. Mags are a well known weak link but most of mine seem to be good. It isnít a modular as the MAC, but if you want a simple, iron sighted SMG it is really hard to go wrong. Masterpiece Arms sells refinished STEN mags for their guns and they work great in my STEN. CDNN has them available.

    My MACs are a lot more flexible but the STEN has a lot more character and is just plain fun.
    I like the character of them and I like the feel of the side mag even though i know that isn't the recommended grip point. also, seems modularity isn't too bad in that you can replace or easily fab stocks and grips and you have some options with your barrel and shroud also. I just like the character and i find them attractive in their aesthetic of total commitment to bare utility.

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    Get a spare barrel and have it made into a silenced barrel- integral silencer MKII-S style.
    You won’t regret it.

    You will need a spare bolt also to be lightened.

    STEns have no Ammo preference, they eat everything and generally run flawless..
    I love shooting mine.

    I was fortunate to buy a Wilson tube and a MKII parts kit.
    Bought some other extra parts from Ohio Ordnance.

    I had the silencer built first.
    Then shipped the tube, silencer, parts, barrels & spare bolts to John Andrewski.
    He lightened the spare bolt to match the silencer.

    He’s built a few SMG for me over the years and still gets a Christmas present.
    Last edited by Ready.Fire.Aim; 12-31-2021 at 06:58 AM.
    "Jill, if there's ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony ... take that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,.." VP Joe Biden Feb 19, 2013

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    Everyone's covered it well. I love Macs but Stens definitely have more character.
    -Get a loop stock if it doesn't have one. The original T-stock is bad!
    -Get a pistol grip just for the variety. I love shooting mine either from the hip with the pistol grip and original barrel or with the loop stock and suppressor and actually using the sights.
    -A can is a must as already mentioned
    -Find a mag loader you like. I like a simple tapco plastic push down type better than the original ones
    -Find a copy of Peter Laidler's "The Sten Machine Carbine", a very entertaining book on the history

    Spare parts are fairly available and some even currently in production like barrels, extractors, springs, etc. Don't pass up these good times to get a few spares for down the road. I noticed last night I have a half dozen bolts sitting on a shelf but only one has an extractor installed, so I'm ordering some parts myself. Edit: just found 3 extractors/pins/springs, so ordering a bit less, but $100 worth of spare parts now can be priceless later.

    Mine likes lots of lube (even with an np3 plated bolt) but eats absolutely every type of 9mm. If I find a to-good-to-be-true deal on ammo only to find that flat points won't feed, etc in other guns it gets set aside for the Sten, which just doesn't care.

    Edit: This is the pistol grip I like. It is a bit fat as it comes but I've just squeezed them down a tiny bit in a vise to fit more normal hands and it has a loop useful for a single point sling.
    https://www.sarcoinc.com/sten-mk2-mk3-commando-grip/
    Last edited by Rob1928; 01-05-2022 at 03:28 PM.

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    The only thing I would look closely at is the relationship / alignment of the cocking slot and the sear engagement. I have a Special Weapons tube gun that is off a few degrees and it eats sears ... (uneven engagement). The gun runs fine but to fix it would entail a lot of cutting and welding..

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    The issue with Sten guns isn't who made the tube ..... it's who actually assembled it into a working gun.

    I've seen a beautiful Wilson tube ruined by some guy who apparently used a stick welder to weld everything on to it....

    Look out for slop/droop in the magazine housing, and make sure the bolt isn't cutting in to / rubbing on the ejector

  11. #11
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    I’ve seen one over 20 years ago that looked good but the bolt jammed in the tube after the gun ran hot 3 mags fired.

    The weld from the tube to the lower was done on a continuous bead and when the gun got hot the tube warped enough the bolt jammed. Let the gun cool and you could run it again a couple mags. It was good for 2 mags no more.

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