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Thread: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

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  1. #1
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    Default Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    When production started in 1942, the Owens gun was somewhat bulky. It was tested for three different calibers - 9mm, .45ACP, and 38-200. The 9mm was the wiining caliber but the initial batch of ammo was not the right type and the government had to intervene to go around the military bureaucracy. A very reliable gun, the Owens was nicknamed the " Diggers Darling. " New Zealand troops swapped their Thompsons for the Owens and it was rumored that American troops favored them as well.
    The British Sten Gun was also chambered in 9mm. It was simple and cheap to manufacture and put an automatic weapon into the hands of the infantry supplementing the presence of the Lee Enfield bolt actions rifles. But the Sten's accuracy was not good. Their effective ranges was about 30 meters. Plus jamming was a common problem as well as accidental discharges, sometimes going off just by laying them down. One very dramatic instance of a Sten Gun jamming was during the assassination of SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich on on 27 May 1942, when a Czechoslovak soldier – Warrant Officer Jozef Gabčík – fired his Sten point blank at Heydrich, only to have it misfire. His comrade Jan Kubiš then hastily tossed a grenade, which mortally wounded Heydrich. The Sten Guns were loved and hated almost equally earning suchn colorful nicknames as "Plumber's Nightmare", "Plumber's Abortion", or "Stench Gun". So which would you want to carry into combat?[ATTACH=CONFIG]7810 Owens gun[/ATTACH] Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by garm1and; 06-11-2017 at 07:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    The Sten is often derided for its reliability or lack thereof. I'm not sure if this is a bit exaggerated or not, but the Assassination of Heydrich may not be a fair example as the Sten that jammed in that instance was surreptitious assembled under the duress and may not have been correctly put together in working order. In the film "Anthropoid", the Czech commando couldn't actually see what he was doing....

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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    The Sten itself was a bit of a mixed bag, but it seems reliability problems were probably more due to hasty initial manufacture rather than the gun being a poor design. From Wiki:

    The MK II and MK III Stens were regarded by many soldiers as very temperamental, and could accidentally discharge if dropped or even laid on the ground whilst the gun was cocked.[20] Others would fire full-automatic when placed on 'single', or fire single shots when placed on 'automatic'.[20] This was particularly true of early Stens using bronze bolts, where the sear projection underneath the bolt could wear down more easily than ones made of case-hardened steel.

    Stens could jam at inopportune moments. One of the more notable instances of this was the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich on 27 May 1942, when a Czechoslovak soldier – Warrant Officer Jozef Gabčík – fired his Sten point blank at Heydrich, only to have it misfire. His comrade Jan Kubiš then hastily tossed a grenade, which mortally wounded Heydrich.[19] There are other accounts of the Sten's unreliability, some of them true, some exaggerated and some which are apocryphal. France[21] manufactured (well-made) Sten copies postwar into the early 1950s, evidently believing in the basic reliability and durability of the design.

    A well-maintained (and properly-functioning) Sten gun was a devastating close-range weapon for sections previously armed only with bolt-action rifles. In addition to regular British and Commonwealth military service, Stens were air-dropped in quantity to resistance fighters and partisans throughout occupied Europe. Due to their slim profile and ease of disassembly/reassembly, they were good for concealment and guerrilla warfare. Wrapping the barrel in wet rags would delay undesirable overheating of the barrel.[22] Guerrilla fighters in Europe became adept at repairing, modifying and eventually scratch-building clones of the Sten (over 2,000 Stens and about 500 of the similar Błyskawica SMGs were manufactured in occupied Poland).

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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Sorry to be a nit picker, but it's the "Owen" gun rather than "Owens", named after its inventor Evelyn Owen. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/owen...n-ernest-11322 The cause of death in the link may be the medical description, but it is reported in other circles that Owen pretty much drank himself to death.

    Owen had experimented with various weapons and injured himself at least a couple of times before he began to develop the Owen gun.

    Inventor of the Owen sub-machine gun, Evelyn Owen was born on 15 May 1915 in Wollongong, New South Wales. Despite the considerable efforts of his parents to steer him towards less dangerous pursuits, the young Owen was obsessed with guns; with making them, modifying them and firing them. At the age of eight he began his experiments by building his own shotguns from which he would fire stones at rubbish heaps.

    Over the ensuing years Owen pursued his hobby with great passion. At one stage he transferred his interest to bomb making, once being wounded in the stomach by shrapnel from one of his explosives. On another occasion he shot himself in the stomach while trying out a new kind of bolt in an old rifle. He then turned his interest to sub-machine guns, making each of the prototypes himself, having learned metal and lathe work in the workshop of a family friend.
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P8479

    There are conflicting stories about various aspects of the development of the Owen gun, but the end result is that it was a very reliable weapon under very poor jungle conditions of mud etc.

    Here are some links to expand on the above (and noting that there are conflicting stories about the history).

    https://www.forgottenweapons.com/the...lian-owen-smg/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5aBa_rqZ3s

    The Owen Gun was replaced in the Vietnam era by the F1, which in past posts I have described from my limited experience firing it as an outstanding piece of shit and which is the view of anyone I've ever spoken to who has also used it. Beats me why Australia replaced the Owen gun with the shitty little F1.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 06-19-2017 at 10:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Sorry to be a nit picker, but it's the "Owen" gun rather than "Owens", named after its inventor Evelyn Owen. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/owen...n-ernest-11322 The cause of death in the link may be the medical description, but it is reported in other circles that Owen pretty much drank himself to death.

    Owen had experimented with various weapons and injured himself at least a couple of times before he began to develop the Owen gun.

    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P8479

    There are conflicting stories about various aspects of the development of the Owen gun, but the end result is that it was a very reliable weapon under very poor jungle conditions of mud etc.

    Here are some links to expand on the above (and noting that there are conflicting stories about the history).

    https://www.forgottenweapons.com/the...lian-owen-smg/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5aBa_rqZ3s

    The Owen Gun was replaced in the Vietnam era by the F1, which in past posts I have described from my limited experience firing it as an outstanding piece of shit and which is the view of anyone I've ever spoken to who has also used it. Beats me why Australia replaced the Owen gun with the shitty little F1.

    Sounds like he did a lot of his testing while enjoying cold beverages...

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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Sounds like he did a lot of his testing while enjoying cold beverages...
    Well, it works OK for you and me. All we have to do now is to invent something.
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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Well, it works OK for you and me. All we have to do now is to invent something.
    I've thrown a lot of fireworks while semi-drunk, it didn't result in any major injuries but I would never recommend it...

    I thought Australian diggers used the M-16 in Vietnam, I recall a bunch of pics here of SAS and Scouts using it along with their FAL's, which probably made for a good combo of firepower and longer range hitting power...

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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I've thrown a lot of fireworks while semi-drunk, it didn't result in any major injuries but I would never recommend it...

    I thought Australian diggers used the M-16 in Vietnam, I recall a bunch of pics here of SAS and Scouts using it along with their FAL's, which probably made for a good combo of firepower and longer range hitting power...
    Some pics, but obviously not line troops but SAS operators:
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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    ...

    The Owen Gun was replaced in the Vietnam era by the F1, which in past posts I have described from my limited experience firing it as an outstanding piece of shit and which is the view of anyone I've ever spoken to who has also used it. Beats me why Australia replaced the Owen gun with the shitty little F1.
    Wasn't the F1 supplemented, if not effectively, replaced by the M-16 by Aussie troops in 'Nam?

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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Wasn't the F1 supplemented, if not effectively, replaced by the M-16 by Aussie troops in 'Nam?
    My instinct was that M16's weren't issued to Australian troops, although all sorts of non-issue weapons were acquired informally. (See last link below for a few cases.)

    Anyway, I thought I should check before replying and you are correct, so I've learnt something new.

    M16A1 Armalite Rifle - (Colt AR15) fully auto - 5.56mm round - weight 7 lbs. - magazine capacity 20/30 rounds - range 300 metres - carried primarily by forwards scouts in each section of a rifle company, also issued to selected appointments in a unit. This weapon was not issued to Australian troops until stocks were obtained form US sources in 1966. Early versions of this weapon were prone to stoppages and breakages, caused mainly by an unsatisfactory and weak alloy bolt carrier. That was fixed.

    F1 Sub Machine Gun - fired a 9mm round - magazine capacity 30 rounds - weight 7.2 lb - range 100 metres. This weapon was totally unsuitable for conditions in Vietnam. The range (100 Metres) and low velocity of the 9mm round was not capable of penetrating the jungle and undergrowth. The M16 Armalite was eventually issued in place of this weapon.
    http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-...ar-vietnam.htm

    Interesting details of the range of weapons used by Australians early in Vietnam War in this armourer's memoir. http://www.5rar.asn.au/narrative/memoirs.htm
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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    M16's appear to have been issued to Australians who weren't forward scouts, such as this poor psyops digger serving as a mule for loudspeakers, which has the double disadvantage of making him a target for enemy irritated by the words he's aiming at them while he's forced to face away from the enemy.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.psywarrior.com/AustralianVNPSYOP.html
    ..
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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Was nagging at the back of my mind, which encouraged me to come back for another look.

    That's not an Australian issue shirt, either. We never had sleeve pockets nor, possibly depending on the circumstances of the photo, angled breast pockets.

    And I'm not too sure it's even an Australian issue giggle hat, if only because the crown is too high and the brim too narrow, although anything could happen with jungle service and washing.

    Than again, it's a photo on an Australian psyops website so one assumes they know what they're talking about, so there's no reason an Aussie mightn't have more US equipment than just his firearm.
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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Another:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Another:
    Bearing in mind that I'm not all that interested in weapons beyond the basics and that the photo ain't all that clear on necessary details, I wouldn't be surprised if the digger second from left with his weapon's muzzle in the dirt (for doing which my corporal, sergeant, CSM, and RSM all would have kicked my arse till it bled) is holding "The Bitch".

    The Bitch was a standard issue 7.62 SLR semi-auto L1A1 or fully auto L2A1 modified in various ways by the SAS in Vietnam. The L2A1 was pretty much identical with the standard semi-auto L1A1 SLR basic infantry weapon but had a heavier barrel, bipod, 30 round mag and full auto. It was more or less equivalent as a section weapon to the US BAR and a sort of (i.e. not as good as) replacement for the Bren gun previously used by Australia.

    The basic mod was to shorten the barrel, which appears to be the case in the photo as the flash eliminator has gone. From ancient memory, the barrel can be shortened quite a bit further as the foresight is well behind the flash eliminator.

    Assuming the weapon in the photo is a modified SLR whether L1 or L2, it's lost the wooden forestock and had a ?grenade launcher? attached forward of the magazine.

    The magazine looks like it's a 30 round L2 mag rather than the standard 20 round L1 mag, which was also a standard SAS mod, for obvious reasons.

    EDIT LAST SENTENCE: Remove typo reference twice to L2 mag and clarifiy L2 mag substituted for L1 mag.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 06-22-2017 at 09:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Sten gun vs Owens sub machine gun

    Spent half a day yesterday with a former Australian SAS bloke I know and the F1 came up, as in I said it was piece of shit.

    He agreed, strongly (as does anyone I've ever met who actually fired it).

    Then he went on to disappoint me by volunteering that the Owen gun (which I've never fired) was even worse. And he thought the M16 was so far superior to either weapon that it wasn't even a contest with the Owen /F1, and it was a f**king mystery to him why Australia didn't get on to the M16 earlier.

    It's hard to believe that Australian defence procurement officials could have made a poor decision on this weapon when they have such a glowing history of brilliant procurements.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/rusty...201-1acgx.html

    http://www.news.com.au/news/bn-waste...40795119a36cc2

    For clarification for those overseas, here is a picture of an Australian defence procurement official working flat out in the national interest.




    However, they are not all like that. Here is an Austrlaian defence procurement official responding with great vigor to questions about how his crew managed to f**k up defence procurement on, say, the links above beyond all belief.




    Lest it be thought these magnificent bureaucrats lack real energy, here is a picture of one of them reacting to news that his pay was in future to be linked to performance.

    ..
    A rational army would run away.
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