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"Sterling submachine gun" Topic


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945 hits since 10 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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nikolas93ts10 Jan 2018 6:14 p.m. PST

Good evening,

I was wondering how SMGs were distributed in British armed forces during Cold War period (particularly from the 1960s onwards)?

From what I was able to see, dismounted mechanized squads carried 6 rifles (or 5, if somebody stayed behind to man the gun I guess, albeit that might not be doctrinal) GPMG and Carl Gustav.

So, were SMGs mainly issued to vehicle crews and rear units? Or maybe in weapons platoons as crew weapons?

Many thanks and best regards,
Nikola

Martin Rapier11 Jan 2018 12:10 a.m. PST

They were in HQ elements (radio ops, some officers) and certainly in the Falklands many rifle sections had an SMG or two.

But yes, vehicle crews etc as well.

In the 60s and 70s the APC was a battle bus, everyone got out and fought on foot.

nickinsomerset11 Jan 2018 3:08 a.m. PST

Within an Inf Bn it was the C/O's discretion so some Bns would see everyone carrying an SLR. As a signaller 80/81 (TA) I carried and A-41 radio and SLR.

Tally Ho!

Aviator11 Jan 2018 9:27 a.m. PST

In our recce Ferrets we carried Sterlings and Browning Hi-Power pistols as personal weapons

nickinsomerset11 Jan 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

Andy Rix was a Platoon Commander with 1 QLR in the mid 80s, we were in the same barracks at the time but did not realise until we met 20 odd years later!

link

Also if you google Coldwar gamer and check the phots there is one of a Charli G operator, complete with SLR!

Tally Ho!

Formerly 298TYR11 Jan 2018 3:36 p.m. PST

As mentioned elsewhere it was often unit discretion who got SMG, but I believe they were common personal weapons in Armoured Regiments as space inside tanks is obviously limited. In my own Corps, the Royal Signals they were often carried by Combat Linemen and some drivers I think. Common for Vehicle Mechanics as well probably, and any other role where carrying the larger SLR rifle was more of a hinderance.

seneffe11 Jan 2018 3:58 p.m. PST

Apopros not much, I remember reading that it was an extremely well made and reliable weapon. Fired one a couple of times and it felt that way to me compared to some other smgs- but I'm no expert.

nikolas93ts11 Jan 2018 4:55 p.m. PST

Andy Rix was a Platoon Commander with 1 QLR in the mid 80s, we were in the same barracks at the time but did not realise until we met 20 odd years later!

link

Also if you google Coldwar gamer and check the phots there is one of a Charli G operator, complete with SLR!

Tally Ho!

Of course, I am well aware of Coldwar gamer blog, it is an online bastion of knowledge on anything BAOR (and not only!).

Thank you all for replies, it is very helpful!

Formerly 298TYR12 Jan 2018 2:40 p.m. PST

I fired the SMG quite a number of times on courses, battle camps etc, but it was never my personal weapon. Always had the good old SLR for that; which apart from Northern Ireland, had I ever gone to war the SLR would certainly have been my personal choice.

Sharing a barracks with a cavalry regiment and because of it, having joint Guard Duty was always good for comedy value as we never had weapon drill with the SMG in the Signals and guard mount usually had the cavalry boys shaking their heads at our shambolic performance !

Antioch12 Jan 2018 6:21 p.m. PST

We had them in our Canadian signals trucks too….funny I was a terrible shot with an smg. Always tried to get an FN rifle.

bhall389 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2018 11:54 a.m. PST

I carried one in the Canadian Army as a driver for a few years. It was a hunk of junk IMO. Effective range was about 25 meters if you were lucky.

The first time I fired it on the range in semi-auto, the breech block catching on the sear felt like I had fired another round. Then there was a time in the mid 80s that the 9mm ammo was low charged, which led to runaway firing in semi or auto fire. You would take your finger off the trigger and the damn thing kept firing until the magazine ran dry.

Once I went back to an infantry section I carried the FNC2. Good times.

Formerly 298TYR13 Jan 2018 2:17 p.m. PST

One of the problems in the late 70's especially, I believe, was put down to poor quality ammunition – at least that was one of the things I was told while in training. The smg did have a reputation for "double taps" when fired on single shot IIRC.

LDC27114 Jan 2018 4:53 p.m. PST

According to ARRSE:
link

After much use and abuse by the British Army some of these went on to future fame and stardom in the Star Wars movies. They were the firearm of choice for the Imperial troops. Used with the butt folded away and firing lasers they still couldn't hit a target at 5 feet distance.

Formerly 298TYR15 Jan 2018 2:24 p.m. PST

very true – if you look carefully at the original Star Wars it is indeed SMG's that the Stormtroopers are carrying !

nickinsomerset15 Jan 2018 11:37 p.m. PST

And chatting to a work mate here, he was TA BAOR role Inf in the mid 80s, carried Charlie G and SLR!

Tally Ho!

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