The STENgun was born out of necessity when England expected a German
invasion in 1940.
The STENgun was designed as a cooperation between Mr. Harold Turpin
and Colonel R. V. Shepherd. The very first sketch was made by Mr.
H. Turpin December 2, 1940.
As early as January 8, 1941 the prototype was ready for testing and
this took place the 10 of January. The design was approved February
1, 1941, and the weapon was named
"Carbine, Machine STEN Mk.I".
300.000 copies were produced of the Mk.I, exclusively by Singer Manufacturing
The Mk.II was tested in June 1941, and was produced at several Companies.
The total number of Mk.II was 2.600.000 copies.
Mk.III was the most simple design. It was put into production in January
1942, and all of the 800.000 copies were produced by Lines Brothers
- most known from their sheet metal toy.
Mk.IIII/IV was never put into production.
Mk.V was the most sophisticated. It was developed in the end of 1943
and tested in January 1944. More than 527.000 copies were made of
There were several silenced designs, including a SOE version.
The name STEN is formed from: S= Shepherd, T= Turpin, EN= England
according to the claim of Colonel R. V. Shepherd to the "Royal
Commission on Awards to Inventors",
17th. June, 1949.
Read the complete story about the STEN in "The Sten Machine Carbine"
by Peter Laidler.