British Sterling L34 7.62mm Machine Gun

  • Firearms Thru History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Developed for The British Army (in particular The Commando Services) between 1944-1945, The Sterling Sub-Machine Gun was the first true British hand-held, rapid fire firearm – devised in part for what would become “Special and Clandestine” Operations. Such deployments would become the “Major” engagements of the so-called “Cold War”. Britain had tried many Models with fair to often poor success in Combat Operations. The early Sterling’s were very good, but still required major streamlining to ultimately accomplish their future role. With all modifications applied (often from suggestions by actual Operators), it was not until 1953 that The Sterling L-34 was fully deployed. Some Firearms Experts Class The L-34 in a “Carbine Class” rather than a Machine Gun. The L-34 weighed 6-pounds and was 2t-inches long. The actual Barrel length was almost 8-inches. The Sterling was manufactured with a folding Stock of reinforced metal, which provided a more stable firing platform, as well as to help with firing from The Prone Position. Chambered for the 19mm (9mm US) Round, NATO versions were converted to the 7.62mm Round. The L-34 was a blowback cyclic operating firearm capable of 550-rpm. Effective to 200-yards, The Sterling was more accurate to 110-yards. The Sterling utilized a complete Barrel Supression System (or "Silencer"), which was important for Covert and Overt Operations. Over 400,000 L-34 Machine Guns were produced for use by British Covert Services and for Export to other Allied Nations. The L-34 was popular in Special Forces Organizations during The Vietnam War and other “Grass Root” Communist Conflicts throughout The Cold War Era. The L-34 was last deployed during The Gulf War (1994), and is now officially decommissioned for use in most Special Operations Units.