Smokey’s Gun Factory Sten Mk V

Stock
Specifications
FPS
0.72
Joules
Length: ???cm
Weight: 3500g

Ammo
capacity:

~44 rounds

Smokey’s
Gun Factory Sten Mk V

Review
by
Darren-Jon
Ashmore

(aka Nautilus)

images/edited by Arnie


Smokey’s
Gun Factory Sten Mk. V product information:

Complete Kit 98,000 yen
Complete gun 148,000 yen.
Spare magazines, 2,000 yen from Smokey’s.

Availability:
Limited to time rather than numbers, as soon as production of the Garand takes
off this one will effectively stop – the owner of Smokey’s estimates that
less than 150 will see the sales desk.

I’m not in a very good
mood at the moment. This is the first real job of airsmithing I have done
in a long while, and while the results have been ultimately worthwhile, I
still can’t come to terms with the way I have been required to mangle – and
I do mean MANGLE – an innocent Tokyo Marui AK47 to get the job done.

The
Real Steel
The Sten is one of those guns that Japanese WWII
airsofters have lusted after for decades (right behind a workable
version of the MP40[1]), but
the lack of a pistol grip meant that a simple AEG conversion of the Mks I
through IV was out of the question. Which is why Smokey’s picked on the MkV
for their journey into Sten-land.

The real gun first saw
service in 1944 and was designed almost exclusively for the airborne divisions
and the special forces[2], and
was laid out with paratroops in mind.

For example the gun was
fitted with both pistol front and rear grips as well as a removable wooden
shoulder stock[3], but most important, especially for paratroops
was the ability to swing the mag well down in line with the grips to allow
the gun to sit better against the body in the drop.
 
The Airsoft Version As you may or may
not know, Smokey’s is justly famous for its guns and upgrades – the famous
Carl Gustav (the so called Swedish K), Ultra Shorty AK, flip
up M16 sights, battery grip for RIS M4 etc as well as the upcoming Garand
and Barratt 50 – so it was not with much trepidation that I shell
out the readies (only 60,000 as I bought the kit as ASCS) and dragged her
home via First Factory to pick up the required AK47.
 

Out
of the Box

I would have liked to say that the gun is all metal, but that would
be a lie. There are in fact 3 pieces of wood and a small plastic fuse
cover.

However
the whole body and all the trims on it are either of pressed/stamped
steel or cast brass, giving the final gun its impressive weight of 3.5
Kg – making it a wee bit too heavy to use as a back up but still….


Out
of the box, the only things required from the AK are the mechox and the barrel
assembly and we will deal with the latter first.
 
The
first hard part of the job comes in the preparation of the barrel unit for
insertion as one is required to remove the front 26.5 cm of metal (a painful
experience indeed). Moreover only the bare bones of the hop mechanism are
required, there being a very ingenious adjustable hop mechanism built into
the breach of the Sten itself.

The shortened inner barrel
and modified hop then slides straight into a brass outer barrel and butts
up to a specially designed ammunition feed. Getting the barrel into place
is a bit of a bind as the receiver is a very narrow steel tube and the barrel
assembly is a very tight fit. 

 

The mechbox is quite
another story. First one is required to disassemble the box and that
always rings alarm-bells with me. This is because you are required to
install both the longer Sten trigger and a custom nozzle[4].

Moreover (and this
is where it really starts to hurt) you are required to remove the selector
switches and saw off large sections of the external box as the body
is so tight.

Sadly this means
that you have to make the choice of making the gun semi or full auto
only as once set there is no way back[5].
For those concerned, a safety switch (simply a circuit breaker) is included
and works well.

For the record,
I HATE working on mechboxes – five seconds to take apart and five hours
to reassemble……………mutter, grumble………….



The
Magazine
The cheeky little buggers at Smokey’s don’t actually
supply you with a custom mag but simply with a modified Marui MPL springer
magazine[6]. However this is
no bad thing, as the magazine is very well designed and a good match for the
mkV’s own. An unusual feature on this thing, as MPL owners will know, is that
a filling spout is installed in the top of the mag, making for an easy loading
operation even in the field.

The mag holds 49 rounds
according to the manual, but it invaliably never feeds the last 5 or so, lacking
the spring strength to push them past the collar. No highcaps are planned
for the sten as the gun is primarily designed for WWII historical games here
and highcaps are not, in the main, allowed in such games – to maintain some
sense of reality(?)[7].
 
Shooting With a barrel only a cm or so
longer than a K’s, this beast is not the most accurate of animals, neither
is it the most powerful, with the leaky nozzle dropping the output velocity
as noted elsewhere. However, ROF is not affected and, as I did, if you order
your AK box from someone like First with either a J-nesis of (as in my case)
a fuzion upgrade installed this helps[8].
But all this is immaterial anyway as this gun is not really designed to operate
outside the CQB environment if the truth be told anyway and it suffers no
problems in that role[9].
 
Bad
points
Apart from what you have to do to the gearbox and barrel,
the gun is not free from flaws. First, there is no quick take down option,
and every time you want to get at the gear box you must strip down the whole
gun and risk stripping off the tiny allen screws which hold it in place.

Secondly the wooden rear
grip is incrdibly weak, and I broke mine simply by screwing it into place,
though here the AK came to the rescue as the 47 grip looks the hounds nuts
in place and – IMHO – feels better in the hand.

Then we come to the battery,
as far as I am concerned mini batteries are all problems ^_- [10]. There really isn’t a lot of room in the stock, but I think
that someone with a brass pair could remove enough wood to install one of
the P90 special batteries without weakening the gun unduly. Another problem,
which so many replicas seem to suffer from, while Smokey’s have supplied a
rear sling mount, they have not supplied the front[11].

Conclusion
All
in all…… One of the collectors as you can probably imagine. She fires
as well as a 100 pound gun but at a total price of 800 pounds. However
those sort of maths don’t take into account the accuracy, the build quality,
the very “limited edition” nature of the gun, and all the ‘effin gun-style
that the Sten has.

This is the flagship
piece in my collection[12]
– ranking even above my ASCS prizewinning SR16 Masterkey – and a gun that
you little buggers will only get when you prize it out of my cold dead
hands (unless Uncle Dennis has done a runner with it).
 
Now all I need is a service revolver and blue scarf (you stupid boy!).
 
Nauty.

Appearance

5/5
I picked her up in Arnhem last week. ^_^

Build
Quality

5/5
You could beat an elephant to death with it
and it would still fire.

Performance

3/5
You could beat an elephant to death with it
and it would still fire.

Value
for Money

2/5
(4/5) The first score was from my GF and the latter from
me. She ain’t a Sten fan though

Overall
Potential

3/5
Unless a collector you may as well buy an AK or a 5K.


External
Links:

The
‘Tom Andrews’ collection
– Tom’s impressive collection of custom
replicas including a nice Sten
http://www2.prestel.co.uk/history/sten/frame.htm
History of the SMG, covering
almost all the Sten models
.
http://216.117.150.77/sten/sten_his_us.html
– Another page covering the history of the Sten SMG
http://www.canuck.freehosting.net/sten.htm
– a very good page covering information of the real-steel Sten

Comment
on this review in the forums



[1] The Asahi one was all very nice, but with such a
high potential velocity many sites stopped allowing them after some unfortunate
incidents of excess.

[2] Number 6 Airborne did most of the trial work on
it apparently.

[3] Why a folding stock was not used is an issue not
even my (vain)glorious uncle Dennis – a mkV user of ill repute during the
last year of the war – could address.

[4] This is one of the poor aspects of the gun as it
verily pisses air out the seal and brings the final velocity down to a weak
average of .72 joules on a stock box

[5] Or so the instructions said. However I found a way
to alter it manually. This was because I am of the “last shot Semi to reset
the spring” generation and though it involves a complete disassembly of the
gun to do it I feel it is worth it.

[6] The only modification is a small plate screwed to
the back to give the thing a good seal in the well.

[7] However hicaps are not impossible to make for the
gun. One enterprising chap has modified a mag to take Thompson HC internals,
and though the gun has to be tilted to the left a good way to wind the bugger,
it works quite well.

[8] Actually this was a good thing as even with a Fuzion
upgrade, the velocity is still under 100 mps – my local site limit.

[9] Indeed one enterprising owner simply removes the
stock and runs the cable down to a horseshoe battery disguised as a suppressor
on the front. For myself though, the charm of the gun is that it is a faithful
reproduction of the original.

[10] I use a “Solid K” 8.4-700 batteries in mine and
I find these last for about 8 good games each before needing conditioning.

[11] Which is ironinc when you remember that all the
demo models they have are fitted with them…….

[12] Nicknamed “Little Lyn” as a personal tribute –
because the quality, reliability and uncompromising nature of the Smokey’s
build is like the man himself.


Last modified:
Wednesday, May 9, 2001 9:37 AM
Except where noted copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft
.




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