View Full Version : Which are better, Sten or Soumi Mags
03-15-2007, 06:15 PM
I'm going to buy some 9mm mags for future projects, but am debating whether to go with Sten mags or Soumi stick mags.
Any input as to which are better, or is there really no differance as far as function?
This will be for a 9mm AK project with a fabricated magwell to fit whichever mag I decide to go with.
03-15-2007, 06:25 PM
Ive got about 20 Sten mags and the only issue I've had is that not all of them want to seat properly in the mag well but its an easy fix. The problem was with the mag catch so all I did was remove a small amount of material on the back of the mag with a dremel and then they worked fine. Do yourself a favor and get the mag loader for the sten mags. Makes it much easier.
03-15-2007, 07:14 PM
Sten mags are WWII surplus, well used items for the most part. They are single feed and require a loader to fill. Many Sten mags were "officially" modified to hold less ammo as they were known for jamming when full. Whether this is a problem related to the mag or the Sten, I have no clue as I do not own a Sten. Sten mags are a rectangle in shape, 9mm ammo tapers slightly. The Sten mag catch fits into a cutout on the side, making a stock type mag release a sideways pushbutton that can be activated with the thumb of the hand grasping the magazine. Lanchester 50 rd mags can be interchanged with Sten mags. Sten mags are dirt cheap, unsorted ones can often be purchased for a couple dollars, while hand picked often go for $7 and up.
Suomi stick mags, at least the ones I have bought from Tapco, appear to be brand new and never used, still packed in grease. They are a double feed mag that can be easily loaded by hand, although the last few rounds are a might tougher than the first. They are roughly triangular in shape, making the tapered 9mm cases sit better inside, at least to my thinking. The mag catch is a flapper type that catches at the rear of the mag, similar to the AK type. Can be easily manipulated with the thumb of the hand grasping a mag. Depending on magwell, the Suomi Drum mags and 50 rd "coffin" quad stack mags could also be used. Little more expensive than Sten mags, current going rate is on par with the Sten Hand Picked or a little more.
The Sten has had a reputation for jams, but several owners have reported replacing the mag springs solves most all problems.
The Suomi stick mags have been used in the Suomi, Karl Gustav, and S&W 76 subguns. I am not aware of any reliability complaints with the stick mags.
Which is "better"? You can do your own math, but when Tapco had the Suomis for $5 each I stocked up! I didn't buy any of their $2 Sten mags.
03-15-2007, 07:35 PM
I read that it wasn't the mag that caused the early STENS to jam, it was the magazine collar that could turn on the receiver tube. The later models were spot-welded in place.
03-15-2007, 09:04 PM
ive got about a dozen sten mags.... and some of them look new and are just junk!!
some are good some arent.... find a good few and junk the rest.
Soumis: got a bunch of those too. they do work pretty good will have to see if i can get one to work in my sten.
oh and yes sten mags are a bitch to load with out a loader!!! ouch, ouch ouch!!
03-15-2007, 09:38 PM
Where is a good source for soumi stick mags? I live near MGS and was going to swing over there and pick some up. They are around $9 each. Anybody have them cheaper?
03-18-2007, 09:57 PM
Centerfire has them a little cheaper...
BTW: my vote is for Suomi mags.
Kindof a neat thing about Suomi mags- the 36 rounders are double feed, the 50rd 'coffin mag' is single feed.
03-19-2007, 12:19 AM
I went ahead and picked up a couple Soumi mags the other day. While I was there I compared them to the Sten's. Night and day differance. The Soumi's are much better in every way, and they look brand new.
Next payday I'll go back and get some more.