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  1. #1
    Member lugerfan's Avatar
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    Sterling L2A3 NZ contract

    Hi all,
    just thought I'd upload some pics of my Sterling Mk4 L2A3. Old Spec UKicon Deact It was my final purchase before the Old Spec sales ban.

    UK deactivated by Worldwide Arms it seems to be in pretty good condition, I'm guessing that the smooth finish is original ex works (Suncorite ?) as the markings all look nice and deep. The only negative is the horrible blob of weld on one of the barrel screws and the body (as seen in the picture), but I guess there's no fixing that.

    Despite some serious effort I have failed massively over the last couple of year to pick up Guns of Dagenham (refusing to pay the £400 or more it's now going for) so its one of the weapons I don't have much info on, but from what I can work out it was made in approx. March 1959 ? (please correct or confirm if you know)

    can anyone also confirm if the original NZicon batch of January '59 was an order for 2000 and were they all this smooth finish? and if they ordered any more subsequently? (800 more at some point?)

    The Mag it came with is the version that has "Magazine Sterling 9mm 34 Rds" on the spine, is this the correct variant for an NZ export.

    One final request for help, it seem to have the ejector retaining grub screw missing, is there anyone in the UK who sells them ?

    I'd be interested to know why so many of the NZ guns ended up back in the UK for deactivation, I'm guessing direct from NZ as army surplus, or did they perhaps end up back with our army first for use somehow?



    many thanks
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    Last edited by lugerfan; 05-13-2017 at 07:24 AM.

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  3. #2
    Really Senior Member Brit plumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lugerfan View Post
    Hi all,
    just thought I'd upload some pics of my Sterling Mk4 L2A3. Old Spec UKicon Deact It was my final purchase before the Old Spec sales ban.

    UK deactivated by Worldwide Arms it seems to be in pretty good condition, I'm guessing that the smooth finish is original ex works (Suncorite ?) as the markings all look nice and deep. The only negative is the horrible blob of weld on one of the barrel screws and the body (as seen in the picture), but I guess there's no fixing that.

    Despite some serious effort I have failed massively over the last couple of year to pick up Guns of Dagenham (refusing to pay the £400 or more it's now going for) so its one of the weapons I don't have much info on, but from what I can work out it was made in approx. March 1959 ? (please correct or confirm if you know)

    can anyone also confirm if the original NZicon batch of January '59 was an order for 2000 and were they all this smooth finish? and if they ordered any more subsequently? (800 more at some point?)

    The Mag it came with is the version that has "Magazine Sterling 9mm 34 Rds" on the spine, is this the correct variant for an NZ export.

    One final request for help, it seem to have the ejector retaining grub screw missing, is there anyone in the UK who sells them ?

    I'd be interested to know why so many of the NZ guns ended up back in the UK for deactivation, I'm guessing direct from NZ as army surplus, or did they perhaps end up back with our army first for use somehow?

    many thanks
    I used to own KR26047 (can't remember the NZ number) and that was finished in Park. I'm pretty sure they were all standard commercial guns with crackle finish and if they are in park or black Sunc then they have been refinished during service.

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  5. #3
    Member lugerfan's Avatar
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    Thanks BP, wasn't sure if they were originally allsupplied with a commercial crackle finish, all smooth,or a mismatch of both if they had been supplied in different batches / orders over time.

    Interesting with this one the metal under the finish doesn't look as if it's been blasted back and the serial numbers etc look reasonably sharp so it doesnt look like it's a cheap refinish done by a back lane workshop like some of the deacts I have.

    I haven't seen enough sterlings in hand to really know though...if only I had "The book".....

  6. #4
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    They were supplied to NZicon in crinkle finish. It seems to me that yours has been stripped off and just the original phosphate finish remains

    The ejector screw is simplicity itself to make. You just need a philips headed bolt of the correct UNF thread and machine the short shoulder on it. Sterling bought them in as that and machined the shoulder.

    NZ guns were sold to a UKicon dealer, originally to be sold on as serviceable weapons to other nations. But by then, SMG's were obsolete. So they remained unsold until they went out to the deact market where nobody really wanted them either!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    They were supplied to NZicon in crinkle finish. It seems to me that yours has been stripped off and just the original phosphate finish remains

    The ejector screw is simplicity itself to make. You just need a philips headed bolt of the correct UNF thread and machine the short shoulder on it. Sterling bought them in as that and machined the shoulder.

    NZ guns were sold to a UKicon dealer, originally to be sold on as serviceable weapons to other nations. But by then, SMG's were obsolete. So they remained unsold until they went out to the deact market where nobody really wanted them either!
    I guess all the ex NZ L2A3's must have been refurbished a few times during their service Peter.

    I think all the NZ contact examples I have seen have always been Suncorite finished.

    I always assumed it was only the Faz L2's that had the crinkle finish applied, you learn something every day!

    It's funny, but in the last five years or so, old spec L2 Sterling's​ "were" fetching strong money, especially if they were the sympathetically deactivated examples chopped by the likes of Charnwood Ordinance.

  8. #6
    Member lugerfan's Avatar
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    Thanks Peter, that explains why the finish looks quite thin I wonder if that was the uk dealer you mention or during its military life somehow. Definately the sten's poor relation in the deact collectible stakes, Yet it makes a nice comparison to my stens.

    I'll see if I can find a suitable bolt

    So what was the end of the SMG line ? Must confess to have little knowledge of the more recent stuff post Ww2.

  9. #7
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    The SA80 and other cheap and cheerful assault rifles spelled the end of the L2 in the UKicon, The Steyr F88 for the NZers and the AK spelled the end of the SMG in those nations that previously purchased from us.

    Incidentally, mossie repellent would burn off the crackle finish but not the sunkorite. Why....., I don't know as both are spirit based oven cured paints. Any NZicon guns we had in Malaya just went through the pommy base workshop and came back plain stain black and if they were scrapped for any reason they'd be replaced with standard UK UF or US guns

  10. #8
    Member lugerfan's Avatar
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    I remember along time ago having all sorts of problems with a scratched dash on my MG Midget, never did take the brave pill and try and reverb the finish, probably for the best :0)

    Re you comment about NZicon guns being replaced with uk etc guns, - does that imply a degree of interchange of hardware between the counties ? . Were you working for the UKicon at that time, or seconded to NZ ? Apologies for not knowing exactly how it all worked out there, I really need to do some reading about that time

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    If you still have the MG you could kill two birds with one stone see link below for a can of crackle finish...

    VHT Black Wrinkle Crackle Finish (310ml) | Frost Restoration

  12. #10
    Member lugerfan's Avatar
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    Thanks - Sadly the MG is long gone. - I miss that car...... :0(

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