JUST ORDINARY MEN. HQ Troop, 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, 1st British Airborne Division (WW2) - HQ Trp. 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Sqn
' Just Ordinary Men '
Recruiting OfficeAttached Units Photo TV Event InfoAirborne HistoryOperations 1941-1945Armoury & Transport
6 Pounder & PIAT
Standard Issue
Bren & Vickers K
Jeep's And Bikes
Gliders and Aircraft

Standard Issue

Standard Issue Weapons


Calibre : 9mm

Length : 30 inches

Velocity : 1250 Ft per Second

Rate of Fire : 550 Rounds per Minute

Magazine : 32 Round Box Detachable

Ammunition : 9mm Parabellum

In 1941 the Royal Small Arms Factory produced a prototype of a new light weight weapon based upon the Lanchester Design and captured German MP40's.  Utilising the 9mm German round and making use of the easy stamping design brought about a swift and extensive manufacture of the new sub machine gun.  This new weapon was light, compact and had a 'life time' of 5000 rounds.  The latter was very much proved wrong.

Sling and Ancillaries for the Sten

Taking it's name from the two chief designers.  Major R.V. Shepherd and Mr. H.J Turpin and also the town of manufacture namely Enfield.  The weapon became known as the STEN.

The Mk I had numerous elaborate features such as a folding forehand grip, conical flash eliminator and some wooden furniture. The blowback system used a heavy bolt and strong return spring and this combination gave the STEN a very gratifying rate of fire of 550 rounds per minute.  This simple combination also ensured the STEN was resistant against grit, dirt, snow and general misuse and was to set the president for over 3 million to be manufactured.


                                    Mk II Loading Tool                                                    Mk V Loading Tool

The fine tuning of the design continued and the 'fancy' features were dropped resulting in the STEN Mk II.  The main stay and without doubt the most famous of the STEN designs.

The Mk II utilised a single tubular stock with a flat plate butt and the barrel was held in by a screw jacket.  The magazine housing could be rotated round in line with the trigger mechanism and a spring stud held on the stock.  The fanciness of the Mk I was dispensed with and the result was a 'skeleton' design of simple manufacture.

Design of the STEN continued which resulted in the short appearance of the Mk III however; the major development of design brought about the sleek yet functional design of the Mk V in 1944.  With it's characteristic wooden stock and fore grip; it quite possibly could have become, without doubt, the best sub machine gun of the war .... but despite recommendations the magazine housing was not changed and it was this oversight that prevented the STEN from attaining this prize.


(Minus Wood Fore grip)

Calibre : 9mm

Unloaded Weight : 8.5 Pounds

Length : 30 Inches

Muzzle Velocity : 1250 ft Per Second

Magazine : 32 Round Box Detachable

Rate of Fire : 550 Rounds per Minute

Enfield  No 2 Mk I

Calibre : .38

Range : 30 Yards

Weight : .780 Kgs

Length : 4.75 inches

Predominately issued to Officers, NCO's and Medics.

The .38 Enfield saw active service from 1936 until 1957.  It held six cartridges in the cylinder with a double action trigger mechanism and had an effective range of 30 yards.

The trigger action itself was stiff and the Enfield was generally considered as inaccurate.

Browning Automatic High Power

Calibre : 9mm

Weight : 32 Ounces

Length : 8 inches

The Browning Automatic High Power was of Belgian design but was mass produced in Canada and saw wide spread use with the Allies  during the world War Two.

It had a 13 round magazine which was housed inside the hand grip and was considered an effective side arm alternative to the .38 Enfield.

It was officially designated as a service side arm in 1957 and is still in military service today.

Short Magazine Lee Enfield No 4 Mk I

Calibre : .303

Ammunition : .303 SSA Ball Mk VII

Unloaded Weight : 9.19 Pounds

Length : 44 inches

Magazine : 10 Round Box

Operation : Bolt

Muzzle Velocity : 2440 Feet per Second

The SMLE served the British and Commonwealth forces throughout the First World War and the early part of the Second World War.  It enabled the B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) to instigate the 'mad minute'  which resulted in the Germans firmly believing that the British had more machine guns than they original thought, due to the rate of fire being laid down.

The SMLE used a .303 calibre rimmed round, which occasionally caused problems in loading, and although a rimless round was available; stocks of the rimmed were so high that it was not formally replaced until 1959.  The SMLE had rear open type sights that required a lot of training in it's use, where as the above number 4 used a simplified aperture rear sight instead.

In the 1920's the design of the SMLE was modified resulting in the Number 4 Lee Enfield Rifle becoming it's successor in 1939.

The Number 4 had major changes made to it's earlier SMLE variant.  The first was the aperture rear sight and the second was the removal of the nose cap.  This resulted in about three inches of barrel being exposed giving  it the now famous 'look'.

Towards the latter stages of the war a spike bayonet was brought into service but it proved extremely un-popular with the troops, as it was useless as a knife, general tool, or even a tin opener.

Short Magazine Lee Enfield No 4 Mk I (T)

The No 4 Mk I (T) was introduced as the sniper  version and was fitted with Telescopic Sights.  It remained in service with NATO until the 1970's when it was re-barrelled to take the 7.62 calibre round.

There have been few rifles that have surpassed the No4 in accuracy and range and it is still, to this day, considered the best service rifle ever produced.

Contact Troop HQ

Recruiting OfficeAttached Units Photo TV Event InfoAirborne HistoryOperations 1941-1945Armoury & Transport