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Dewatted Sten - Legality in Canada

January 1 2002 at 12:22 PM
Grant R., Medicine Hat, Alberta 

As I browse on e-Bay, I keep noticing listings for Sten "parts kits" minus receiver tube and magazine, which I gather makes them legal in the US, and acceptable to e-Bay, and also separate listings for partially completed "display" receiver tubes for assembly with the parts kit. Can anybody on the forum advise:
a) if these would be legal in Canada
b) if they are a "good deal" at what appears to be a total cost in the range of US$70 -75.00
c) what other sources are there for deactivated Stens for display purposes, and for magazines?

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January 1 2002, 1:13 PM 

I'm not sure of the Canadian laws with regards to parts kits but in the US it seems to be a very murky grey area.

EBay has a vendor selling partially-complete "display" receivers and, as far as I've been able to tell, these are legal to possess.

However, if you complete the last few drill holes, you now possess an illegal machine gun. It doesn't matter that all you have is a hollow tube without any internal parts, etc.

US laws dictates that the receiver is not a gun uless it's more than 75-80% complete -- after which it's not only deemed to be a firearm but it's also deemed to be a CLass III machine gun. Again, one needn't even have the barrel, springs, mags, etc -- just the metal tube.

I haven't a clue as to how one could argue the percentage of the reeciver that's been completed, if nabbed in the field by law enforcement officials.

I ended up torching the receiver on my Mk III and then welding the two halves back together again -- it's now deemed to be demilled and is, once again, just parts.

Best bet is to find a legally converted semi-auto sten or one that has legal paperwork.

The last alternative is a sten kit with a solid aluminum receiver. It will look fine for display but they're useless for any type of reenactment use (i.e. firing blanks, etc)

I'd be curious to hear of anyone who's using a sten for reenactments. As far as I've been able to determine, there's not way to make an operable blanks-only sten that is legal to possess -- this is for the U.S.

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Geoff Winnington-Ball

Be Very Wary...

January 1 2002, 9:20 PM 

U.S. and Canadian laws regarding deactivated weapons are substantially different. As Chris mentioned, in the U.S., the receiver is basically what constitutes a live vs "dewat"... in Canada the laws are quite strict and much different.

I'm sure others could advise you much better than I, but suffice to say that your Canadian dewat must have its barrel welded and pinned, the bolt faced milled out, and it cannot cock & click, nor be field-stripped. But there's also a gray area here, for technically, "replica" guns are also illegal, and anything Sten-like you build could technically be construed as a "replica". They'll charge you FIRST, and leave the onus of proof of innocence on YOU.

I cannot advise you re reenacting, but for display purposes, buy a legal dewat here in Canada; but even then, treat it like a firearm in terms of handling and storage, else it come back to bite you in the bum. I cannot emphasize enough that dewats are currently held at the pleasure of the government only, and that the first time there is any incident which reaches the media, the chances are good that privilege will be revoked.

Better you stick with a tried-and-true No.4 Rifle and be done with it. There's a certain honour in being a Rifleman, y'know...

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Grant R., Medicine Hat, Alberta

I know that the infantry ARE the backbone of the army...

January 2 2002, 12:55 AM 

...but my developing personna is Armoured, and I've been thinking that a Sten would be an appropriate extra touch for both display and re-enacting, to augment my Inglis Hi-Power (or such other pistol as I might be carrying.)
What sources are there here in Canada for dewat Stens, and what price-range would I looking at? (At least I don't want to try to emulate the SAR tank crew who were prone to posing for photos with their captured Schmeisser MP40...)

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rob love

Canadian Stens (dewat)

January 25 2002, 9:05 PM 

I have several available with choice of dates and even a decent selection of serial numbers. Serial numbers ran from 0L to the 12L series for a total of about 126 to 128000 produced in Canada. Supposedly there were another 5000 or so which were not serialised and put into store at the end of the war; I have what I believe to be one of these available as well. Beginning with 1944 stens in the early 11L series, all Canadian stens produced after this had the Chinese script on the mag housing, wether they went into Canadian, Chinese, or British service. The 5000 mentioned earlier were also thusly marked. Production dates ran from 1942 to 1945.
Price on a Canadian Sten mk11 with one mag (all pinned, welded and refinished) is $200 Cdn + shipping (usually about $10 and never more than $20) These are mailable only to Cdn addresses as they are Illegal in the US.

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Michael Dorosh

Are you selling pinned mags seperately? (nt)

January 26 2002, 12:05 AM 


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January 30 2002, 1:28 PM 

Unfortunately the mags I get are generally struck with a hammer or axe in the armys attempt to de-mill them. I can straighten the best of them out for the stens I refinish but for seperate sale it just isn't feasable to go to all this work for what is otherwise a $5-$10 magazine. I can supply bent mags with welded platforms if you are just looking to fill the pouches. These are available at reasonable cost in the US, although they would require pinning or welding before entry to Canada. A word of caution to anyone who thinks they can mail order this type of stuff (including sten parts kits etc..)accross the border; a friend recently tried to bring accross a Bren barrel to fill his barrel stowage bag and this netted him a visit from the RCMP and a customs officer. And yet you can buy the same thing form Marstar here in Canada without even an FAC/PAL/POL. After the 9/11 events they are getting even more diligant on this type of material.

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Paul H


January 26 2002, 9:39 AM 

Rob, I'm interested in purchasing a DEWAT STEN. I'm in Canada, can you E Mail me and I can get additional info.
Thanks, Paul

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Robert Dabkowski

dewat Sterling ?

February 13 2002, 11:28 AM 

Rob, do you have or know of anyone who has one of these for sale ? Robert(Toronto)

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sterling SMG

February 20 2002, 5:59 PM 

John at Ont Gun up near Swastika Ont has these; they generally run about $550-650. They are British with the krinkle finish; good luck finding a Cdn one. The few that are out there are normally working and go for a considerable amount more than this. The DND owned ones remain in war stock in Edmonton and Montreal depots; about 24,000 of them.

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Ian Hamilton


March 29 2002, 8:48 PM 

Rob, I'm interested in purchasing a DEWAT STEN. I'm in Toronto, can you E Mail me and I can get additional info.
Thanks, Ian

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Kevin Root


February 2 2017, 9:29 AM 

I would be interested in acquiring one of your sten guns.


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Colin Stevens MVPA 954

Riflemen vs SMG

January 27 2002, 2:44 AM 

Besides, a guy with a rifle is less likely to attract the attention of a sniper.

That was my Dad's philosophy in the Essex Scottish and No. 4 Commando in 1943. As a Lieurenant (acting Major and company commander with the Essex Scottish) he declined a Thompson Machine Carbine and carried a Lee Enfield rifle, and pistol (and in No. 4 Cdo, an F-S Fighting knife).

On one exercise in the very early 1970s, my Sgt and I each took our personal Lee Enfield No. 4 Mk. I(T) rifles out. He went off solo to act as enemy. As I led my platoon I heard a single shot. I then used my scope to zero in on the moving Sgt on a skyline and fired. Afterwards, I claimed a victory. Sgt. Bob Adams smiled, and simply said "Who do you think I shot with that first shot?"

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Rick Mitchell

Stents availability

November 6 2017, 7:04 AM 

Reading this blog with interest. I want to add a Sten and a Browning Hi-power to complete my New Free Polish Parachute Regiment persona. Can you send me an email at qyrang@yahoo.ca with either replica or deactivated pricing and availability? Thanks in advance.

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