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WWII STERLING LANCHESTER MK1*

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WWII STERLING LANCHESTER MK1*

This weapon was a copy of the German MP28. The British version was made by George Lanchester of the Sterling Armaments Company. Intended for the Royal Air force and Navy, most went to the latter. Firing 9mm ammunition, it saw little service after the War.
In 1940, with the Dunkirk evacuation completed, the Royal Air Force decided to adopt some form of sub machine gun for airfield defence. With no time to spare for the development of a new weapon it was decided to adopt a direct copy of the German MP28, captured examples of which were at hand for examination. The period was so desperate that the British Admiralty decided to join with the RAF in adopting the new weapon, and played a key role in its design. By a series of convoluted events, the Admiralty alone actually adopted the Lanchester into service.

The British MP28 copy was given the general designation of Lanchester after George Lanchester who was charged with producing the weapon at the Sterling Armament Company, the same company that went on to produce the Sterling sub machine gun that is presently the standard sub machine gun of many nations.

The Lanchester was envisioned as a weapon that could be used for guarding prisoners and accompanying naval landing and assault parties. It was a very solid, extremely heavy sub machine gun, in many ways the complete opposite of its direct contemporary, the Sten.
The Lanchester had a heavy wooden butt and stock, a machined steel action and breech block, and a magazine housing made from a favourite naval construction material, solid brass. A few details typical for the era were added, such as a mounting on the muzzle for use of a long bladed British bayonet. The rifling differed from the German original in details to accommodate various lots of 9 mm ammunition then being acquired for service use. The Lanchester also used furniture from the Lee-Enfield SMLE.

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