The STEN is what it was.
Inexpensive, decently reliable, able to be built in a bicycle repair shop.
It typifies the ‘partizan’ or “Volksturm’ firearm.
No heavy and large metal presses and dies, no large complicated sheet metal stampings. (M3 Grease Gun and PPSh)
There’s a reason so many were made and so many copies happened, even the Germans copied them unlike the PPSh. Over 2,000,000 of the MkII versions alone were made, let alone the others.
Side mounted has it’s advantages, you can go prone with it, the mag can rest on your left arm when you cradle the gun. It’s better than one might think, look at the Sterling that followed it, it was used around the world and even the Imperial troops.
But seriously, a little DOM tubing, a proper stencil and an el-cheapo harbor freight mig gun and you’d be surprised. Look what the Israeli’s did making them in underground factories in 1948 and beyond.
Again, we’re not talking about a mass produced factory made gun but something that can be pieced together with what’s available. The STEN is one of the most economical in terms of material and skills needed to produce.
Are there better choices? Of course.
While we can still purchase decent firearms and spirit them away, it’s the best plan of action.
That way we never have to make do with something like this.
Just a reminder, for the home fabricator, the springs and magazines are the hardest thing to make/replicate.
And when parts kits are available for @$120 (http://www.apexgunparts.com/sten-mk3-smg-parts-set-w-skeleton-stock-9mm-luger.html) and magazines are available cheaply, it’s not a bad investment in the future.
Here’s what not to do.