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The 9mm sten sub machine gun was developed by the British during World War 2. The Sten had a simple and robust design that became popular with commandos and foreign resistance fighters, partly because it used the 9mm Parabellum cartridge found in many German weapons and so could be restocked from captured ammo supplies.

British Special Forces, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) saw a need for a suppressed version of the sten and asked the Royal Small Arms Factory to make one. The 'Silent Sten' was used in special forces operations, including assassinations, throughout the war.

The SBS were known to still be using the Silent Sten as late as the 1982 Falklands conflict. At least one recon patrol that was landed on the islands is known to have carried the weapon with them. In such circumstances, the Silent Sten would be used to deal with any Argentine troops that may have been 'bumped into' whilst on patrol.

Whilst the Silent Sten was very quiet for the first 10 or so rounds fired, accumulated carbon in the silencer would mean that any further rounds would be very loud indeed. The much more suitable HK MP5SD soon eclipsed the Silent Sten in the SBS armoury.

silent Sten
Mk II Sten gun with suppressor

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