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How 'safe' is the Sten?

We've all heard it, usually from some ill informed MoP. "I hear the Sten is unsafe and if you drop it, it will go off." I would hope that anyone reading this already knows how to tackle MoPs saying this but in the event that you don't here is a refresher on the two safeties found on the Sten.


Can a Sten fire if dropped? Of course it can, just like any other open bolt firearm (Including the Thompson and MP40) provided a round is loaded but the bolt has been closed - not recommended procedure as, amongst other things, when you cock it to fire you will eject the chambered but unfired round. How to stop it from doing this? Well the Sten comes with not one but two safeties, three if you include (the recommended) not loading a round into the chamber. The first is in the charging handle itself. Assuming you have a round in the chamber and the bolt is closed, just push the handle into the body, there is a matching hole in the opposite side of the body into which the opposite tip of the charging handle locates preventing the bolt from any further movement and therefore any accidental discharge. Second, assuming the gun is cocked and ready to fire, just pull the charging handle further back and rotate the whole mechanism a few degrees to the left to locate it into a dog leg. Again it cannot fire. Of course disregard these safety measures and it becomes, like any other open bolt firearm, dangerous. I suspect that incidences of “going off when dropped” may have been down to its use by untrained personnel, i.e. resistance fighters and from there grown into the common urban myth.


If you come across other issues that are presented to you by MoPs that you want dealt with on this page, please reach out and we'll try to include it.



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