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The Sterling

Me too, must admit when I first got trained on it I was afraid as my uncle also exSigs told me how it would go off if dropped on the floor and the round could be stopped by a wet blanket etc.

Getting onto the Regi shooting team and spending weeks on the range got really used to it.

We used to offset the zero so the sights had to just get onto the gap between the legs of the “old” fig 8 target.

View attachment 496124

So easy to see and sight in but the rounds hit the middle. Still got beaten by 2 Para in Bisley though.

It was always a great swan being on a Regt shooting team. I think we were even excused duties. The team captain had booked some ranges on a Saturday morning, just to look keen in front of the RSM, but we never turned up to use them.

Friday mornings were spent hidden away in own armoury 'weapon cleaning' and that's when we had to cough up any yellow handbags we owed. We'd drink them lunchtime and then finish for the day.

Travelling to Aldershot (where we stayed for Bisley) we took two landrovers, but we'd piled that many crates of cheap Naafi beer in them that there almost wasn't enough room for the weapons.

I can't remember how well we did at the shooting competition; probably not very well; we were either drunk or hungover.
 
It was always a great swan being on a Regt shooting team. I think we were even excused duties. The team captain had booked some ranges on a Saturday morning, just to look keen in front of the RSM, but we never turned up to use them.

Friday mornings were spent hidden away in own armoury 'weapon cleaning' and that's when we had to cough up any yellow handbags we owed. We'd drink them lunchtime and then finish for the day.

Travelling to Aldershot (where we stayed for Bisley) we took two landrovers, but we'd piled that many crates of cheap Naafi beer in them that there almost wasn't enough room for the weapons.

I can't remember how well we did at the shooting competition; probably not very well; we were either drunk or hungover.
First time I ever had a T bone steak. The team manager was a WO1, W came back late to the cook house , so he got the duty chef to cook us some steak. About 5 months no duties, just going to the range Monday to Friday.
 

Diogenes' limp

Old-Salt
Correct - '74/75 I experienced this phonomemon. Multiple stoppages , inconsistent accuracy - didnt witness the bullet stuck in a Fig.11.
Was told - at the time - crap Pakistani ammunition.
Because the weapon, with full mag, cycled through every shot, on single rounds and also firing some bursts of two, without a stoppage it was the feel and sound that just didn't seem 'right'. Sluggish, but kept firing. I was concentrating on the target, so not watching for the strike in the butts sand trap.

Hence the surprise to find maybe half the bullets embedded in the ply, the rest had gone through.

The first experience of bad ammunition in 14 odd years of competition shooting, so unexpected.
 
In the aftermath of the Falklands War, the rumour went around that we'd used so much of NATO's war stock of 9mm (which i frankly doubt) that we imported cheap knock-off 9mm from India and Pakistan.

That said, SMG was my personal weapon throughout my 14 years apart from three months in NI, two months transferring into RAPC and one year at 12 Armd Wksp. For most of those years I also had that rifle because I was always on the shooting team.

I never had a stoppage on an SMG (despite the myth of the subcontinental ammo). I never had a stoppage on SLR (because I took the word of my Skins instructor to turn up the gas a click or two) and I never had a stoppage on a 76. The only stoppage I ever had was on an L43 GPMG Scorpion coax on a battle run after days of heavy firing. I was also on the LMG team.

I also qualified as Marksman on SMG, regularly getting the highest score of the day. 52 out of 54 rings a bell. In a display cabinet to my front is a Corps trophy for SMG shooting from CorpSam.

I renounce all myths about the SMG and blame poor handling or drills.

You are getting dates mixed up. The duff Indian 9mm was getting issued in the mid-70s. It was no myth.
I did a course at Special Courses Division, (the Depot SASC- run courses) at Warminster in 1976, and we were warned to watch out for the stuff, and beware of the dreaded "muffled report." The ammunition was withdrawn from war stocks, but was passed for training purposes.

January 1976 - Abba was No 1 with "Mamma Mia", "The Man Who Would Be King" was on at the cinemas, and England beat the Aussies at Twickenham, and I watched from the still-uncovered South Stand. England Skip was Tony Neary, against whom I had played as schoolboys when he was at De La Salle College in Salford. He was also a competitor in the romantic stakes, and I'll grant he had good taste - because I married the lady in question.
I made good use of being back in UK for that course.
 
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That 'curry' ammo was around in the early 80s as well. I joined my battalion shooting team in 1980 and we were getting that shitty 9mm issued for a few years after that.
 
The amount of utter tripe that is still said about 9mm is amazing. There's a reason that it's still in use after a century of service; it's an effective, easily fed round which will deliver sufficient damage to your enemy for them to lose interest in you (even in FMJ). But listen to any old NATO warrior or Bubba and it's less lethal than a .177 air pellet.

Re: extreme range accuracy, many years ago I watched a Para Sgt knock down moving targets with a 9mm Browning at 200m (Lydd NITAT, 1988). Sounds ridiculous I know, but I saw it with my own eyes. Go figure.

Jerry say's he will meet your para mate any day of the week. :)


All my pistols are 9mm, can't be arrsed with messing with differing calibres, and I have shot out to 100 +/- yards with no problem even with a compact 9mm. Ruger were doing a side competition at an event to promote their compact 9mm EC9. Hit the 12 inch steel plate at 100yards and win a nice prize. They had plates set at varying distances from 10 yards out to 100 yards, you had to hit the 100 yard plate to get a prize. Our small european contingent all walked away with a prize - much schimpfing from the septic "gun experts" in attendance.

I had the Sterling as a personal weapon for 12 months and never had an issue with using it. I was also fortunate enough to be able to compare it to UZI's and MP5's. The MP5 seemed to rattle through its mag in no time at all compared to the other two. The UZI seemed quite slow, but was actually quicker than the Sterling to empty itself. We had a bloke from the Dutch BSB who used to shoot his issue UZI one handed on the range to demonstrate the balance of the thing.
 
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Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
I recall checking some D10 in Germany in the dark and carefully negotiating an electric fence. As I started to move off my small metal gun swung round and the metal part came into play.

It conducts electrickery very well indeed.
I have done that myself.

One of the sternest tests of Sheldrakes OP Party took place under similar circumstances. In one of the warm ups for Ex Lionheart 1984, one wet night Sheldrake and party were sent to test the security of the gun position. This was a dangerous and risky undertaking as capture would involve inhuman treatments banned by the Geneva Convention which takes a dim view of Mexican bum wanks. About 300m out Sheldrake bumps into electric fence with the dog lead clip of his sling which then clipped onto the electrified fence. Que Sheldrake wondering why he was getting an electric shock every fifteen seconds and his merry men rolling around in silent laughter.
 
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Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
You are getting dates mixed up. The duff Indian 9mm was getting issued in the mid-70s. It was no myth.
I did a course at Special Courses Division, (the Depot SASC- run courses) at Warminster in 1976, and we were warned to watch out for the stuff, and beware of the dreaded "muffled report." The ammunition was withdrawn from war stocks, but was passed for training purposes.

At least some of this duff ammunition ended up in the Falklands in the war.

My unit was based in Port Fitzroy in 1982-83 and we picked up the brass from the war. We also fired off any amount of artillery and small arms that was not going to be officially recovered by the system. One range day involved a bunch of gunners with SMG and lot of 9mm. We had one SMG which had five rounds in the barrel.
 
Shot a practical match yesterday - rules were pre-1960 design pistol calibre carbines. All bar 2 shot either a Sterling or an Uzi (one guy had a factory semiauto Sterling Police Carbine, which was cool!). The top 3 were all Sterlings, then a Thompson, then the rest, all shot semi. The other odd one out was a SIG MP310. I was chuffed to have come 3rd with my Sterling - on one stage I had the random "trigger mech clicks without releasing the bolt" phenomenon that happens on some guns if you don't press the trigger positively enough (it's blocked at semi). I hope that works itself out over time cos it's a little annoying...
 
Shot a practical match yesterday - rules were pre-1960 design pistol calibre carbines. All bar 2 shot either a Sterling or an Uzi (one guy had a factory semiauto Sterling Police Carbine, which was cool!). The top 3 were all Sterlings, then a Thompson, then the rest, all shot semi. The other odd one out was a SIG MP310. I was chuffed to have come 3rd with my Sterling - on one stage I had the random "trigger mech clicks without releasing the bolt" phenomenon that happens on some guns if you don't press the trigger positively enough (it's blocked at semi). I hope that works itself out over time cos it's a little annoying...

‘Blocked at semi’?

I know that feeling...
 

Cromarty

Old-Salt
Hmm.. I have fired the Sterling, Uzi & the French Mat 49 SMG'S, the one I preferred was the Uzi, sadly our issue weapon in the NRP was the Sterling.
Which leads me to a cautionary tale from my NRP days which I mentioned in my thread https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/tales-of-a-colonial-policeman.279647/ ... Part of our basic training was the handling & firing of the various weapons we were issued with one was the Sterling SMG, on the range one day we were practicing firing the Sterling from the hip, when Pringle, who had fired a few rounds at the target had the gun jam on him, instead of just keeping still and putting his hand up as instructed, he started trying to clear the jam by pulling the bolt back and forth, whilst turning towards the instructor who was standing behind him with the rest of the squad. In the process of this the gun had turned with him and was pointing at us with Pringle still clicking the bolt back and forth, we dived for the ground whilst the instructor pushed the barrel of the weapon down the range just as Pringle cleared the jam and fired off the rest of the magazine.!!

Had a very similar situation on my (RAN) gunnery small arms course. Insert our F1 for your Sterling. But our villain didn't get his stoppage cleared before the instructor took the F1 and assisted him into the prone position.

The next day we started THAT Rifle training. Same instructor. He lines us up, takes out a Browning 9mm, shows us a loaded magazine, loads and actions the weapon, reholsters the pistol. He then warns us that the next person to point a weapon at himwill be shot. Not surprising we had very good drills there after.
 
Had a very similar situation on my (RAN) gunnery small arms course. Insert our F1 for your Sterling. But our villain didn't get his stoppage cleared before the instructor took the F1 and assisted him into the prone position.

The next day we started THAT Rifle training. Same instructor. He lines us up, takes out a Browning 9mm, shows us a loaded magazine, loads and actions the weapon, reholsters the pistol. He then warns us that the next person to point a weapon at himwill be shot. Not surprising we had very good drills there after.

Serious hat on: there's a massive deficiency in the training materials in that they never fundamentally explain how an SMG works. Sure, in some Sterling Pams there's the cycle of functioning which is an improvement on e.g. the STEN/Thompson materials but at no point is the consequences of having fixed firing pin open bolt operation explained. If you follow the drills to the letter you'll never have a problem, but since some of the operation is backasswards compared to a rifle, as soon as Pte Snuffy departs from the drills due to being flustered, or thinks he knows better about something (e.g. keeping the bolt on a pre-pushthrough-cocking-handle STEN forwards on a loaded mag against the rules cos he wants to keep crap out the action but be ready for Fritzy) that's when accidents happen. I'll do a vid on this deficiency some time, but whenever I'm on a civvy range and letting people have a cabby on something open bolt I insist it's backasswards so if literally anything unexpected happens, the IA is to pull back the cocking handle before doing anything else.
 
Had a very similar situation on my (RAN) gunnery small arms course. Insert our F1 for your Sterling. But our villain didn't get his stoppage cleared before the instructor took the F1 and assisted him into the prone position.

The next day we started THAT Rifle training. Same instructor. He lines us up, takes out a Browning 9mm, shows us a loaded magazine, loads and actions the weapon, reholsters the pistol. He then warns us that the next person to point a weapon at himwill be shot. Not surprising we had very good drills there after.

I very much doubt that.
 

Cromarty

Old-Salt
But..the SMG was easier and quicker to clean after a range day l

Not much solace when have to clean 10 of them after you spent all morning getting bang sticks ready and load a billion mags for the non gunnery types to blat away at their hearts content. I guess they thought they were the new self cleaning type as no one ever offered to help!
 
Me on the range with said weapon back in the NRP, probably in 1962.
The burnt area was a controlled burn of the quite long grass in the dry season which would have obscured the views from the Rifle firing points hundreds of yards to my rear .

1600088959917.png
 

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