First things first, the new operating handle. Although the one provided with the ASG Sten is close enough to correct, I preferred the small, rounded operating knob as it is less likely to catch on clothing. For this build it is perfectly possible to use the original handle.
In order to make the gun ‘safe’, the operating handle is pulled a little further back than the regular ‘cocked’ position. It is then pushed up into the lug above the channel where it usually runs when firing. On the real steel Sten, this simply stops the bolt from being able to reciprocate and therefore ‘safe’. In reality this was a far from perfect system and these guns still had a reputation for going off when dropped.
As this is an AEG, this safety mechanism uses a microswitch to control current flow.
The operating handle will be oil blacked for use, but it wouldn’t have shown up for the photos here to demonstrate so I left it unfinished.
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Some of you may have noticed that in the MkV post, my Sten looked a bit different from the standard ASG Sten (and not just because of the load of wood attached to it!). Due to the shape of the AEG internals, it is not possible to fit a real steel spring so I made up a jig that would allow me to bend some wire to a consistent angle repeatedly.
This created a wire zig-zagged like half a spring, but flat. Pressing this along the outside of the Sten longways bends it roughly to shape for the inside of the gun. Although it can be inserted through the back of the gun, I found that it made the ‘spring’ get stuck on the back of the gearbox. Instead, I removed the fore-end and slid it in backwards, easing it along with a pair of pliers.
The fake bolt-carrier I used is actually made from a sardine tin lid. The finish on this is of course rustproof within reason, making it ideal. Again, I bent it to shape outside the Sten and just slid it in through the fore-end. In the longer run, I plan on replacing this with a piece of brass sheet and offering it as a kit, once I have made a cover for the rather ugly hex-bolt that comes with the original gun.
And why is this post a teaser? The first picture is a clue to my next project for release…