Both the Sten and Bren are perhaps two of the most recognisable weapons of WW2.
At the start of WW2, the British army used the American Thompson SMG, but soon realised that they needed to make a cheaper and easier to produce SMG. The name of ‘Sten’ was derived from the first letters of the last names of its designers, R.V. Shepherd and Harold John Turpin, as well as the Enfield Royal Small Arms Factory, which played a major role in its development and manufacture. Chambered for the 9 x 19 pistol cartridge, the Sten was an ugly weapon, prone to jamming, and also prone to firing if dropped, yet it was loved by the troops that used it. Over 4,000,000 Stens were produced during the 1940s.
The Bren was a licensed version of the Czechoslovak ZGB 33 light machine gun, which in turn, was a modified version of ZB vz. 26, which British Army officials had tested during a firearms service competition in the 1930s. The later Bren featured a distinctive top-mounted curved box magazine, conical flash hider, and quick change barrel. The name Bren was derived from Brno, the Czechoslovak city in Moravia, where the Zb vz. 26 was designed, and Enfield, the British Royal Small Arms Factory.
Parts from these two iconic weapons have been recovered from a British army dump site permission. As they are largely made of steel, and most of the parts are relatively thin, many come out of the ground and crumble away. However, plenty still survive and are readily identifiable, after a little bit of TLC!
Lots of different parts of the Sten can be recovered from this site, and so far, 4 different marks of Sten have been shown to pass through the base.
Not quite enough to make a complete Sten, but not far off.
Bren parts are harder to find in this dump. The Bren was a much bigger weapon and widely used, being such a versatile and accurate weapon that it was still being used in some military & police forces into the 1980s.
The trick with most of these parts is in the removal of the rust and preventing further corrosion. Once that’s done, they should last another 70+ years!