Standard Issue SMG
The MP3008 9mm Submachinegun
. In late 1944, the Germans worked on the "Gerat Potsdam", a carbon-copy of the Sten for use by clandestine groups behind allied lines (a whole 'nuther story). At the same time the Gerät Potsdam was being made, Mauser was ALSO worked on Project V.71083, which became known as the 'Gerät Neumünster', or more commonly as the MP3008. This was an attempt to redesign the Sten by taking the main mass-producable features and adapting them to suit existing machine capabilities. Production began in autumn 1944, and 50,000 were expected by December. They were not delivered. In January, 1945, the programme was contracted out to small companies, many of whom had never before manufactured arms. The varying availability of machinery meant that several variants of the MP3008 were produced - but production figures never reached those anticipated. It is thought that less than 10,000 weapons were produced by the end of the war in Europe, and the quality of those probably took the Sten ethos to its outer limits. The MP3008 took the standard MP38/40 magazine, fitted into a vertical housing beneath the weapon, as opposed to the side-mounted Sten magazine. The weapon was fitted with a fire-selector, something that the MP38/40 did not have. Some had skeletal stocks, others similar to the T-stock of the Sten, meaning that a standard MP3008 is hard to define. Finish was usually nothing more than red or black stove enammelling. (There was a grenade-launching version, too!) Despite the urgency with which the project was initiated, very few probably saw action.
(For more info, see the awesome URL from which this info was obtained: http://www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/history/sten/index.htm)
The 21st Century Sten that came with the paratrooper is an ideal platform for this MP3008 conversion. Here's a before and after pic.
As you can see, the magazine and well pop off the 21C Sten pretty easily. They're not usually glued on very well. I have had a couple that weren't cooperative, but I've done this a bunch of times and can only think of 2 that were glued tight. If glued, you'll have to cut or break it off, then clean up the break with an X-acto knife.
I drilled a hole under the receiver and cleaned it up with an X-acto
knife, so I could plug the mag well into the receiver from below,
instead of from the side like a Sten.
I added a little glue to keep it in position. The magazine is still removable from the mag well, of course.
This also shows the front handguard... or lack thereof. I cut it off and whittled it down to take the sling ring. To put the hole through the plastic, I heated up a pin over a candle and when it was red-hot, I stuck it through. The head of the pin was just the right diameter to accommodate the sling ring.
On this one, I accidentally broke the barrel when snapping off the
magazine well. Using my handy-dandy cordless drill and a bench vise, I
drilled a hole down the broken ventilated hand guard and stuck in a
little brass tube the same diameter as the drill bit. Ditto for the
front sight shroud. I cut off the brass tube to the length I wanted and
not only repaired the gun, but also made it hold a silencer (next pic).
The version I made with a brass barrel fits the 21C .45 silencer nicely. Very cool for Spy Island kinda missions, no?
Here are all 3. On top is the original 21C Sten from the Brit Paratrooper set. In the middle is my "Standard AT SMG." At the bottom is the silenced AT SMG for special ops missions.
I've made one of these for each member of my adventure Team. It's a "fun-and-easy" little project!
Why all this hassle to come up with an SMG for my Adventure Team,
anyway? Besides the fact that the MP3008 has a cool history and is easy
to make, it's also got one nifty feature I couldn't resist... even
hard-hand AT figures can hold it with ease! It fits the Cots Action
Hands even better! All of my AT guys either have original hands or Cots
Action hands, so this little SMG really fits the bill!
Here's my original AT Sea Adventurer with the MP3008 to demonstrate what I mean. He's sporting a Coastie t-shirt instead of his original, just because I like it. Note the barely visible 21C Luger in his shoulder holster? That was another addition that the Sea Adventurer should've had from the beginning... along with a CPO jacket, of course.
Trivia: the Germans weren't the only copycats…
British MP28 SMG Copy:
Shortly after the early clashes with
German troops in Northern Europe the British army realised that they
were going to need a submachine gun of their own. Despite all the
research into foreign designs of the 1920’s and 1930’s there were still
no actual British designs. Instead it was decided to copy the best
foreign type available, the German MP28 was chosen. The result was the
Lanchester and it was an exact copy except for some of the materials
used to make it.
The most obvious difference between the MP28 and the Lanchester was the magazine housing, which on the latter was made of brass. The other major difference was a small catch near the butt, which when opened allowed the barrel, working parts and trigger mechanism housing to pivot forward around the fore end of the furniture. Supposedly this was intended to aid cleaning and maintenance, but many of its users have suggested that it was to allow it to be ‘fired around corners’. In all other major respects the Lanchester was a straight copy of the MP28, even down to the bayonet lug near the muzzle (though obviously the lug on the Lanchester accepted the 17 inch 1907 SMLE bayonet rather than the Mauser bayonet).
The Admiralty agreed to take the first order of 50, 000, which they split with the air ministry, who wanted it for airdrome defence. The Lanchester was well suited to use as a naval weapon as it was large, strong and heavy. Unfortunately these qualities made it unsuitable for use on land by regular infantry and so the Lanchester saw an undistinguished service life until the mid 1960’s, mostly being used for shipboard defence and small landing parties.
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