Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record
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|Title:||GUN, SUBMACHINE - BRITISH SUBMACHINE GUN LANCHESTER MkI 9MM SN# 27327A|
|Maker/Manufacturer:||STERLING ENGINEERING CO.|
|Date of Manufacture:||1941-1944|
|Catalog Number:||SPAR 3619|
|Measurements:||OL: 85CM 33 1/2" BL: 20CM 7.9" 9.11 lbs. without magazine. .|
BRITISH SUBMACHINE GUN LANCHESTER MkI 9MM SN# 27327A
Manufactured by Sterling Engineering Company, Essex, England - Standard British MkI Lanchester. Blowback-operation; fires from open bolt position. Full-automatic fire only. Blued finish, wood butt. 6-groove rifling; right hand twist. U-notch, flip type rear sight graduated from 100 to 200 yards. Parallel sided blade dovetailed to barrel jacket and protected by ears front sight. Weapon weighs approximately 9.11 lbs. unloaded and 11.95 lbs. fully loaded. Well in buttplate for cleaning rod, etc. Complete with 50-round detachable box magazine. Cartridge: 9mm Parabellum.
Magazine housing: LANCHESTER/MKI/7327A/CF66.
Receiver: 2767 in white paint. (ILLEG).
Weapon received from the Boston Office, BATF, in 1967. ATF evidence tag once attached to weapon now placed in catalog folder.
Notes: Issued to British Naval forces only. Referred to as "Machine Carbine." Based on German MP28II.
"The Lanchester is fitted with a regulation type heavy rifle butt and its construction throughout is much more massive than is necessary for the cartridge it shoots, or for the accuracy obtainable from the weapon. It is fitted with rifle type sights; and like the Russian submachine guns in its class, it lends itself to use as a support weapon. It is a very strongly built weapon, hence will stand more abuse than many of the lighter weapons of this class." - Smith
"THE LANCHESTER MARK I - This submachine gun was designed by G.H. Lanchester; it was manufactured by the Sterling Engineering Company, the same firm that developed the L2A3. The design of the Lanchester is based on that of the German MP 28II. The selector lever is positioned differently than that of the MP28 II, and the Lanchester has a bayonet boss and stud for the Mark I (Pattern 1907) bayonet.
The Lanchester is a typical pre-World War II submachine gun in that it is of heavy construction and is relatively expensive and difficult to manufacture. The Mark I, a selective fire weapon, was introduced in 1941. Late in the war a model appeared capable of automatic fire only - the Mark I*. The Lanchester was used by the British Navy and is now obsolete." - Edward Ezell.
"...the Thompson was still an expensive gun, and the British Army were anxious to find a design they could put into production in Britain. By August 1940, after the disaster of Dunkirk and with a German invasion expected hourly, some form of submachine-gun was a pressing priority, and after much discussion it was decided that the quickest solution would be to take an existing design and copy it. The design selected was the Bergmann MP-28, on the grounds that it was a simple and straight forward manufacturing proposition and, since it was an enemy weapon, there would be no problems about licenses or patent infringement. The gun was slightly redesigned to suit British manufacturing methods, called the Lanchester Carbine, and order were given the manufacture of 50,000 commencing in December 1940. The gun was to be in 9-mm Parabellum calibre, and 110 million rounds of ammunition were ordered from the USA since no facilities existed for production of such quantities in Britain.
The scheduled production date,though, came and went and the Lanchester was still being worked on. Tests had shown problems with certain types of ammunition, and it was vital to have a submachine-gun which would not only fire the issued rounds but which could, in emergency, fire captured enemy ammunition of the correct type." - Ian Hogg
"While the Lanchester was in the planning stages two designers at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield set about designing something which would be easy to make, reliable and effective. They produced the N.O.T. 40/1 in January 1941, and before the month was out it had been thoroughly tested and approved for mass-production. The title was cumbersome and some shorter name was needed, so they took the initials of the two designers, Maj. R.V. Shepherd and Mr. H.J. Turpin, and the first two letter of the place of origin (Enfield), and cam
"Not all the British sub-machine guns of the war were 'cheap and cheerful' expedients. At about the same time as the Sten was going into production, a small independent British armaments manufacturer, Sterling Arms, began producing an altogether more traditional weapon, the Lanchester machine carbine. It carries the name of the designer George Lanchester even though it was almost a direct copy of the Schmeisser MP28/II, chambered for the same 9mm Parabellum round, using similar furniture (though in this case adopted from that of the Lee-Enfield SMLE rifle, even down to the bayonet fixing lug). Most Lanchester were issued to Royal Navy personnel, though few were actually used in action by naval ratings, the days of close-order fighting at sea were long gone. Their reliability made them favourites with anyone who get his hands on one, though, and that included members of the LRDG." - Roger Ford
Ezell, Edward. SMALL ARMS OF THE WORLD. Barnes & Noble Books. N.Y., N.Y. 1993.
Ford, Roger. THE GRIM REAPER: MACHINE GUNS AND MACHINE GUNNERS IN ACTION. Sarpedon Press. N.Y., N.Y. 1996.
Hogg, Ian. THE COMPLETE MACHINE GUN: 1885 TO THE PRESENT. Exeter Books. N.Y., N.Y. 1979.
Hogg, Ian. THE STORY OF THE GUN. St. Martin's Press. N.Y., N.Y. 1996.
U.S. Army Ordnance School. SUBMACHINE GUNS, Vol. II. Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, Md. 1958.
Smith, W.H.B. A BASIC MANUAL OF MILITARY SMALL ARMS. Military Service Publishing Company. Washington, D.C. 1945.
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