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Pew! Pew! Pew!
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subego
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Aug 6, 2011, 07:35 AM
 
Just got my hands on a WWII Sterling, and holy crap... it's the same thing as an Imperial Blaster!

     
design219
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Aug 6, 2011, 08:33 AM
 
Are you a collector, or a shooter? I don't know much of anything about guns... but it looks neat.
__________________________________________________

My stupid iPhone game: Nesen Probe, it's rather old, annoying and pointless, but it's free.
Was free. Now it's gone. Never to be seen again.
Off to join its brother and sister apps that could not
keep up with the ever updating iOS. RIP Nesen Probe.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 6, 2011, 08:45 AM
 
I do film and video, so I get to scam props every now and then.

This is vintage, but it's had the shooty-bits taken out and welded shut, which is good, because I could do without the federal weapons violation.
( Last edited by subego; Aug 6, 2011 at 10:47 AM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 6, 2011, 08:54 AM
 
Here's a blaster rifle:



And the Sterling with the stock folded.

( Last edited by subego; Aug 6, 2011 at 09:00 AM. )
     
ebuddy
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Aug 6, 2011, 08:54 AM
 
It does bear a striking resemblance to an Imperial blaster.

Are you remaking Star Wars? Lofty goal if I might say so.
ebuddy
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 6, 2011, 09:20 AM
 
I think I'll try and bag a few Jerrys first.
     
Dork.
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Aug 6, 2011, 09:45 AM
 
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 6, 2011, 10:00 AM
 
Now, I did know that particular blaster was really a dolled up Broomhandle Mauser.
     
ghporter
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Aug 6, 2011, 03:07 PM
 
The arms people who supplied Lucas for the original Star Wars film tarted up real Sterling SMGs to make the E11 Imperial Blaster. In shots from the original movie, you can see both gunsmoke and empty cartridge cases ejecting when the blasters are fired-the armory folks chopped up the (very long) 34 round Sterling magazines to make 3 round magazines, which is what you see sticking out the left side of the blaster (and why the Storm Trooper's holsters are on their left side and not the right!), so there would be "practical" effects to give the actors something better than "BANG! BANG BANG BANG!!!!" cues.

For much of the filming, the props people made either "deactivated" Sterlings they dressed up or fakes (resin castings, chunks of steel tubing with pieces attached to them, etc.) to reduce the armory workload and cost (these things are rentals, particularly in the UK, so film makers want to reduce the amount of time the "real thing" is on the set) and of course make things safer.

For subego's purposes, his deactivated Sterling is perfect. It's a "non gun" as far as federal rules go, and it's so ubercool as is that he can do a lot of neat prop applications with it, or he can dress it up as an E11 for Star Wars-related coolness. There's a Star Wars fan specialty related to making one's own blasters, and the primary vehicle for building a faux E11 is 1 1/4" PVC pipe and plenty of elbow grease and modeling. The high-end of these home-props are made from Sterling parts kits with the "shooty bits" deleted, and they can be quite expensive. (Han Solo's blaster is based on a Broomhandle Mauser, Leia's blaster (she zaps a Storm Trooper, remember?) was built on a high-end target pistol, and so on; why invent something that the actor will feel is a toy if you can give them something that's real?)

I had a Sterling carbine fall into my hands a while back. It's built from mostly original parts, but with enough changes that it is not capable of automatic fire, and its 16+" barrel cannot be replaced with the standard Sterling's 7.7" barrel (the rules call for "rifles" to have a barrel of at least 16", while "handguns" can have a barrel of any length but may NOT have a shoulder stock). It is a lot of fun to shoot.

Final point (because subego touched on it), it IS legal to purchase and own a Sterling submachine gun, IF you go through the proper procedures and are not prevented from doing so by specific regulations. Machine guns may be purchased and owned by regular citizens with a few limitations: the firearm has to be already in the National Firearms Act registry (the NFA of 1934 was an attempt to keep criminals from easily obtaining all sorts of firearms; it didn't really work), the citizen has to have a fairly clean record (felons aren't allowed to have firearms of any kind), and the purchaser has to be preapproved by BATFE and pay a non-refundable tax for the "transfer" of ownership. The tax is only $200...but the catch is that registered machine guns cost thousands of dollars. A Sterling can be had for under $8,000 if you can find one for sale, while an MP5 typically runs anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000. Only the registered owner can "possess" the firearm in question, prohibiting the "lending" of machineguns and the potential for abuse that could cause. The rules tend to reinforce that "only rich people can own machine guns." And, as far as anyone has ever been able determine, there has never been a legally owned machine gun used by the registered owner in the commission of a crime. So machine gun ownership is the territory of people with lots of money, but it is legal by federal law. Most states have some sort of law in place that allows machine gun ownership, except for the states that make any sort of firearm difficult or impossible to buy.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
phantomdragonz
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Aug 6, 2011, 04:23 PM
 
Ghporter, great post... Most of that info also applies to supressors (silencers is techenically incorrect). My state (CO) has lenient laws and I am allowed to own just about anything if I Have the money.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 7, 2011, 03:43 PM
 
Yes. Excellent.

You are correct about the magazine. It's pretty long. I'd guess 30 rounds. Strangely, for whatever reason, they took out the spring.

The whole thing is ridiculously heavy, but it's remarkable how natural it feels to have one hand on the grip and one hand on the magazine. It's like a hammer drill. I wouldn't mind needing to hip-shoot it at all. I even figure my arms would naturally compensate for the parallax the same way they do when you're driving.

It's also surprising me how despite the magazine coming off the side at 90 degrees from normal, it has similar aesthetics to an MP5, which is in my top 10 of cool looking guns.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 7, 2011, 03:54 PM
 
Like so:



That's not bad trigger discipline by the way, there's a fly just out of frame who looked at me funny.
     
ghporter
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Aug 7, 2011, 10:07 PM
 
The standard Sterling magazine takes 34 rounds. And it is an AWFUL practice to hold it by the pistol grip and magazine. Instead, the firer is supposed to hold the gun forward of the magazine, which is actually quite natural feeling and very effective in target shooting.

I'll bet they took both the magazine spring and follower out. The follower is patented-it's the very best submachine gun magazine design. Ever. It is heavy, but it's rugged, and the follower, which is made up of a pair of rollers with the same taper as a 9mm case, is supposed to be incapable of snagging or dragging, eliminating one of the most problematic potential failures for the weapon system.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Railroader
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Aug 7, 2011, 10:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Instead, the firer is supposed to hold the gun forward of the magazine, which is actually quite natural feeling and very effective in target shooting.
From what little I have been shooting (two local Friday Night Steel events), that would seem like a very good way to have a solid handling of the gun.
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 8, 2011, 11:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
And it is an AWFUL practice to hold it by the pistol grip and magazine.
I vaguely remember hearing this at some point.

Why? Makes it jam?

(you also have to understand, my introduction to the Sterling was an old episode of Doctor Who, where the soldier/actor/extra did just that)
     
Kerrigan
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Aug 8, 2011, 04:09 PM
 
     
ghporter
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Aug 9, 2011, 06:59 AM
 
Holding the magazine of ANY firearm while firing it is a major cause for that firearm to fail to function. Jam, stop, whatever you call it, it does that.

Actors do stuff that looks cool to the director. Films that show the action without making you say "he did something cool with that gun" are typically made by directors that do their research and keep it about the characters, not the guns.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 9, 2011, 08:10 AM
 
Great.

Now I'm gonna get spent casings in my face.
     
ghporter
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Aug 9, 2011, 01:28 PM
 
That was something I liked about my carbine-it ejects straight out to the right, like the cases are on a track. Of course your "non-gun" can do anything you want it to on film...but cases in the face are "not fun" in a very distinct and lasting way...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Railroader
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Aug 9, 2011, 03:30 PM
 
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 9, 2011, 07:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
That was something I liked about my carbine-it ejects straight out to the right, like the cases are on a track. Of course your "non-gun" can do anything you want it to on film...but cases in the face are "not fun" in a very distinct and lasting way...
I'm being silly, since this couldn't eject something to save its life (except perhaps some bluster). If I was being more serious, I should have said "in front of my face", and been talking about a functioning weapon. Were it functioning, it's clearly optimized (optimised?) for righties. Left-handed, the magazine sticks out to far, and the bolt is all up in your grille.

I'm right-handed, but for whatever reason can only close my right eye (or both eyes), so I've always shot lefty. Holding it right-handed like a rifle (as opposed to a hammer drill) feels totally awkward to me.
( Last edited by subego; Aug 9, 2011 at 08:35 PM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Aug 9, 2011, 07:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
That's totally adorable. Owie! Owie! Owie!

(not the response I was expecting to have. I imagined a more frying bacon topless type thing)
     
ghporter
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Aug 10, 2011, 06:52 AM
 
Being a British invention, the Sterling is built to be used by righties. British training doctrine is based around recruits that have no real experience with firearms, which means there is little in the way of existing bad habits to "unteach" so everybody learns to use weapons right handed. This is, frankly, a better setup for the Brits than the few US basic training bases that have tried to develop kids into riflemen by "building on their experience," and it's apparently been pretty thoroughly adopted here.

In my second military range trip, I learned why hot brass is NOT your friend; I had three cases from a rifle land on my forearm...in a row. I had visible rifle case-shaped marks there for years.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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