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WWII British Lanchester SMG 50 rd. Magazines

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#1 Robert Henley

Robert Henley

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 05:27 AM

I heard the Lanchester 50 round magazines work in the STEN.  Is that true?


How rare are these magazines and how much do they cost in good condition if anyone knows?





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#2 jl7422


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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:29 AM

Hey Robert,


Lanchester mags will fit a Sten and vice-versa. I have a Lanchester and use both the 50 and standard length Sten mags in it.  Love the Lanchester by the way.


I prefer the standard Sten mag to the Lanchester 50's. Better balance and much more reliable function when loaded to about 26-28 rnds. Maybe I just don't own any decent 50's, but every one of mine is a P.O.S. Seems like if you get them loaded to 40 or more the feed lips begin to deform and that jacks things up.  You get close to 50 and the spring pressure is so much I've had the bottoms blow out. But periodically I get them out and think "I'm going to make them work this time.". . . and wind up back with the Sten mags.


I think I paid an average of  $65 each for the 50's.    

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#3 johnsonlmg41


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Posted 18 May 2018 - 07:40 PM

They do work, but I don't see any advantage in using them in either gun and prefer to use the 32's in both guns.  I've gotten them as low as $30, but I see them now sell over $75 each.   I've never actually tried loading 50, but then again I only load 30 in a sten mag.  HTH

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#4 Waldo



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Posted 19 May 2018 - 03:49 PM

I have three of them. They work fine in my Amnesty registered MK II Sten. They are noticeably heavier then the 32 round Sten mags and make the gun feel awkward. I fired them each a couple of times when I got them to be sure they worked. But I have not fired them since. I got them from IMA, probably 15 or 20 years ago. I think the deal was 3 for$100.00. But I may be wrong. I got the Sten about 1984 or 85. I think I have about 50 magazines for it. Nobody wanted them then. I don't remember what I paid but I don't think it was much more then aa dollar or so each. I always read about how Sten mags are unreliable, but I have tried all of mine at least once and I have about 10 that I use regularly without any trouble.

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#5 1gewehr


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Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:00 AM

Lanchester magazines work in the Lanchester, STEn, and Sterling guns.  STEn mags also work just fine in a Sterling.  However the Sterling magazines will not work in either the STEn or Lanchester.

Lee Tool made some replacement Lanchester magazine springs.  I don't know if they still have them.  I replaced some of my original magazine springs as the originals had shrunk a bit from use.  Lanchester magazines are usually a bit higher quality than STEn mags.  At least, I have not seen many that had obvious manufacturing shortcuts.


STEn and Lanchester magazines should be cleaned regularly as it doesn't take much crud to cause the cartridges to not feed smoothly.


Lately, it seems that Lanchester mags actually sell for close to $100 each.  I remember the IMA deal was 3 for $100 as that's where some of my mags came from.  While not particularly 'rare', they are not very common either.  For a while the demand was high for use in submachine gun competition.  Most competitions these days limit magazine size to 30rds unless they have a special 'unlimited' category where anything goes.

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