Sten submachine gun, Mark V, cal. 9mm, rifled, six groove barrel, 198mm (7.75 in.) long with bayonet mount to fit the No.4 rifle spike bayonet, detachable box magazine holds 32 rounds. Detachable wooden stock with brass butt plate and trap, and wooden pistol grip. Fixed rearsight to 100 yards. Stamped on top of magazine housing 'M/78' and 'SPF 175', and on underside of housing with serial number 162841.

Inspired by the German MP40 submachine, the British Sten gun was developed during the winter of 1940-41, and introduced in 1941 with the Mark I. Six variants followed, with the weapon being produced in Britain, Canada, Poland, Denmark, Norway, and even copied in Germany by firearm manufacturer Mauser. The model continued to be produced by a range of countries in the post-war period, and - with large quantities still held in store - continued in service with British forces until being replaced by the Sterling submachine gun in the mid-1950s.

The Mark V Sten gun was introduced in 1944, in the final years of World War II, and continued the pattern established by the earlier models of a compact, cheaply constructed automatic firearm, being used among airborne troops and resistance movements in various theatres of war, particularly in France and Poland. Sharing a calibre size with the German 9mm x 19 parrabellum round meant that the Sten could also be fired with captured German ammunition.

Essentially extending on the most commonly produced model, the Mark II (the Mark III was a variant, and the Mark IV never developed beyond prototype stages), the Mark V introduced the vertical wooden pistol grip, subsequently abandoned on later versions of the model, and a bayonet mount. Other versions of the Mark V included a swivel stock with a rear sight mounted mirror, to enable the user to fire around corners in urban warfare. Similar innovations had been adopted by German forces in such weapons as the Sturmgewehr 44 (StG 44) assualt rifle, known as the 'Krummlauf' - or 'curved barrel' - which had a periscope fitted, again allowing the shooter to fire around corners from a safe position.

Physical Description

British Sten Mk 5 submachine gun of steel construction, with wooden detachable stock and wooden pistol grip, sling swivel mounted on top of stock

More Information