Sterling SMG

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Sterling L2A3 (Mk.4) - 9x19mm
Sterling L2A3 (Mk.4) - 9x19mm
Sterling L34A1 (Mk.5), suppressed version of the Sterling L2A3 - 9x19mm
CETME C2 - 9x23mm Largo

The Sterling Mk.4 submachine gun is a British submachine gun which was in service with the British Army from 1953 until 1994 as the L2A3 when it was phased out with the introduction of the L85A1. Its earliest combat record however was field testing near the end of WWII with early prototypes. It is still manufactured and used by India as the Sub Machine Gun 1A1 alongside the suppressed 2A1 variant.

The Sterling submachine gun is/was copied in Chile as the FAMAE PAF but has a retractable wire stock and lacking the barrel shroud. Another variant of the Sterling Mk.4 is the CETME C2 of Spanish origin, recognized by its improved handgrip and ability to chamber 9mm Largo rounds.

In the 1980s, a semi-automatic version was sold to the American general public and police forces as the Sterling Mark 6 "Police" which was a closed bolt semi-automatic version with a minimum legal length 16" barrel, commonly called the Sterling Mk 6 9mm Carbine. These were used in movies and television shows (sometimes with the barrel cut down and legally converted to full-auto fire). A pistol version of the Mark 6 was sold - the Sterling Mark 7, which had no folding stock and a 4" barrel. The full-auto version of the Mark 7 had a forward pistol grip and a folding stock.



(1944 - ????)

  • Type: Submachine Gun
  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Weight: 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
  • Length: 18.9 in (48.1 cm) stock folded, 27 in (68.6 cm) stock extended
  • Barrel length: 7.7 in (19.6 cm)
  • Capacity: 34-round box magazine; early Sterling prototypes can use Sten magazines
  • Fire Modes: Full-Auto

The Sterling SMG and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Title Actor Character Note Date
The Ipcress File Michael Caine Harry Palmer 1965
Funeral in Berlin Multiple Characters 1966
Death is Nimble, Death is Quick Ceylon police 1966
You Only Live Twice Multiple Characters 1967
Dark Of The Sun Rod Taylor Capt. Bruce Curry 1968
Jim Brown Sgt. Ruffo
Don't Take God's Children for Wild Geese Dominique Zardi Charles' henchman 1968
On Her Majesty's Secret Service George Lazenby James Bond 1969
No Blade Of Grass 1970
The Last Grenade Multiple Characters 1970
When Eight Bells Toll Anthony Hopkins Philip Calvert 1971
R.A.S. Jacques Weber Alain Charpentier 1973
Jean-Fran├žois Balmer Raymond Dax
Jacques Villeret Pvt. Girot
Jacques Chailleux Pvt. Moutier
Albert Dray Pvt. Titus
French soldiers
Zardoz Exterminators 1974
The Man From Hong Kong George Lazenby Jack Wilton 1975
Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold Tamara Dobson Cleopatra Jones 1975
Ni Tien Mi Ling Fong
Christopher Hunt Mendez
Members of Hong Kong Tactical Squad 7, thugs
Hennessy British Army radioman 1975
Flatfoot in Hong Kong Macau police 1975
The Gypsy (Le gitan) Maurice Barrier Jacques Helman 1975
Boomerang (Comme un boomerang) A gangster 1976
Star Wars Imperial Stormtroopers as the "BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifle" 1977-2005
The Spy Who Loved Me Roger Moore James Bond 1977
Death of a Corrupt Man (Mort d'un pourri) Assassin 1977
Midnight Express Turkish soldiers 1978
The Wild Geese Jack Watson RSM Sandy Young 1978
Power Play Soldiers Canadian-manufactured C1 variant 1978
Love and Bullets A mobster 1979
The Outsider Derek Young UDR sergeant 1980
Gerry Alexander British sergeant
British troops
Water Alan Shearman Major Charlesworth 1985
British SAS paratroopers
Biggles: Adventures in Time Alex Hyde White Jim Ferguson 1986
Neil Dickson James Bigglesworth
Armed and Dangerous Brion James Anthony Lazarus 1986
Jonathan Banks Clyde Klepper
Fatal Beauty Brad Dourif Leo Nova 1987
RoboCop Mike Moroff Hophead Sterling Mark 6 Carbine 1987
The Hidden Clarence Felder Lt. Masterson Sterling Mark 6 Carbine 1987
Picasso Trigger Cynthia Brimhall Edy as the "BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifle" 1988
Savage Beach uncredited actor Donny as the "BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifle" 1989
Return from the River Kwai Chris Penn Lt Crawford 1989
L. A. Bounty Bob Minor Martin The civilian version with extended barrel. 1989
RoboCop 2 Gun store robber 1990
The Krays 1990
If Looks Could Kill 1991
An Ungentlemanly Act British and Argentinian soldiers Mk. 4 and L34A1 (Mk.5) variants 1992
Mask of Death A street thug 1996
Double Team Chilean manufactured FAMAE PAF variant 1997
Torrente Thugs, Rafi's friends CETME C2 1998
Return to Savage Beach Donny as the "BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifle"; footage from Savage Beach 1998
Crocodile 2: Death Swamp robber 2002
Bloody Sunday British paratroopers 2002
Lakshya Indian soldiers 2004
The Business Colombian CETME C2 2005
Dhoom 2 Police 2006
Blood Diamond Government Soldiers 2006
The Last King of Scotland Ugandan soldiers 2006
American Gangster guards at Frank's heroin plant 2007
Max Payne 2008
Soldiers only know by God Argentinian Amphibious Commandos and British paratroopers 2017
Malay Regiment Communist guerillas


Show Title Actor Character Note / Episode Air Date
Doctor Who John Levene Sgt. John Benton "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" 1974
Doctor Who Martin Taylor Cpl. Norton "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" 1974
Doctor Who Trevor Lawrence Lodge "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" 1974
Doctor Who max Faulkner Cpl. Adams "The Android Invasion" 1975
The Professionals Various characters Different configurations 1977-1981
Dempsey and Makepeace Mark Ryan Jimmy "Extreme Prejudice" (S03E05) 1986
Dempsey and Makepeace Tony Osoba Sgt. Jarvis "Extreme Prejudice" (S03E05) 1986
Inspector George Gently RAF gate guard "The Burning Man" (S01E01) 2008
The Day of the Triffids Jean Murray Susan 2009

Video Game

Game Title Appears as Note Release Date
No One Lives Forever Incorrect 30-round capacity 2000
No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way L2A3 & L34A1 Incorrect 30-round capacity 2002
Contract J.A.C.K. L2A3 & L34A1 Incorrect 30-round capacity 2003
Vietcong 2 2005
Alliance of Valiant Arms 2007
Payday 2 "Patchett L2A1" Incorrect 20-round and 30-round capacity 2013
Insurgency Sterling full-auto only 2014
Rainbow Six: Siege 9mm C1 Introduced in Operation Black Ice expansion (2016) 2015


Title Character Note Date
Spriggan 1998
Desert Punk 2004

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