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The Lanchester Submachine Gun, 9mm. The bayonet mounting is clearly shown.

The Lanchester Submachine Gun is a British copy of the Maschinen Pistole 28 (MP-28). After the evacuation of Allied Forces at Dunkirk in 1940, the Royal Air Force decided that they needed a submachine gun to protect airfields. Because there was no time to develop a completely new weapon, it was decided to copy the German MP28. Serving alongside the Sten, the Lanchester was commonly used by guards overseeing prisoners and was used in naval landings and assault parties. It was primarily used by the Royal Navy, who used it until around 1970. Both the Sten and the Lanchester were officially replaced by the Sterling submachine gun, made by Sterling Armaments Company, the same company that produced the Lanchester. The Lanchester is distinguished from the MP28 in that it has a mounting on the muzzle for a bayonet, and has rifling different than that of the German weapon.


The Lanchester Mk.1 submachine gun, or Lanchester Mk.1 machine carbine in contemporary British nomenclature, was a very close copy of German Schmeisser MP-28 submachine gun. It was developed by George H. Lanchester and manufactured by Sterling Engineering Co between 1941 and 1945. This weapon was made in two versions, Mk.1 and Mk.1* (Mark 1, star). The latter was a simplified version of the original Mark 1, with omitted fire mode selector, and thus firing in full automatic mode only. Most Lanchester submachine guns went for British Navy.

The Lanchester Mk.1 submachine gun is blowback operated, selective-fire weapon that fired from open bolt. Tubular receiver was attached to the front of the wooden stock, and could be pivoted barrel down for maintenance and disassembly. Magazines are inserted from the left side, ejection is to the right. Magazine housing was made from brass. Manual safety is made in the form of locking cut, made in the receiver, which engages the bolt handle to lock bolt in open (cocked) position. Fire mode selector was located in front of the trigger, and was not present on Mk.1* weapons. Standard sights consisted of blade front and tangent rear sight, marked from 100 and up to 600 yards (approx 550 meters). Some Mk.1* guns had simplified, flip-up rear sights marked for 100 and 200 yards. The wooden stock was patterned after that of Lee-Enfield rifle, and gun accepted 1907-pattern knife-bayonet, originally developed for the above mentioned rifle.


Caliber 9x19mm Parabellum
Weight 4,3 kg empty
Length 751 mm
Barrel length 200 mm
Rate of fire 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 50 rounds
Effective range 150–200 meters

See alsoEdit

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