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Help identifying Pneumatic Mares Sten

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Wideawake

New Member
Apr 27, 2023
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Hello all. Thank goodness I found a forum I can ask this sort of question. Googling is proving very difficult.

I’m looking for any help to identify this Mares Sten pneumatic spear gun. Length is 70cm I believe. Blue and yellow. Logo looks to say “lono” or “long” it’s hard to read as you can see in the photos.

No idea of age or background. I’ve found it at a pawn shop and I’m thinking of purchasing but need more info first as it’s missing a pump.

Any help is appreciated. I’m based in Australia if that makes any difference on model name.
 

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It is a Medisten, the next version of the Sten series that started with the Competition Line models. These were charcoal grey with fluoro green highlights and had a trigger that could be adjusted in fore-aft length with a sliding 3 position leading edge. Mares got rid of that trigger and went back to a single piece trigger. Over the years Mares changed the colour scheme to blue and a red safety slide, but it is still the same gun. The hand pump is the Mares screw in model which is still used today. The gun uses an 8 mm shaft, such shafts can still be purchased today.
 
It is a Medisten, the next version of the Sten series that started with the Competition Line models. These were charcoal grey with fluoro green highlights and had a trigger that could be adjusted in fore-aft length with a sliding 3 position leading edge. Mares got rid of that trigger and went back to a single piece trigger. Over the years Mares changed the colour scheme to blue and a red safety slide, but it is still the same gun. The hand pump is the Mares screw in model which is still used today. The gun uses an 8 mm shaft, such shafts can still be purchased today.
Thanks Pete for the detail. Is there a particular model number or “size” hand pump I need to look out for are is the screw in a generic type by Mares?
 
The Mares hand pumps are the same for all the guns made by Mares. When the Sten first came out the pumps used a bayonet twist connection, but they were abandoned well before the Sten 87 came out. You can see the original version of that gun here.


Mares still use parts of this gun in their Jet model.
 
The Mares hand pumps are the same for all the guns made by Mares. When the Sten first came out the pumps used a bayonet twist connection, but they were abandoned well before the Sten 87 came out. You can see the original version of that gun here.


Mares still use parts of this gun in their Jet model.
Fantastic. Thanks for all your help
 
Looking through my thousands of old colour prints in my storeroom after pushing aside the Ark of the Covenant and the barrel of hen’s teeth I found some of my old gun dismantling photos. All Kodak print film back then, probably was using my Nikonos III, no personal computers, no internet and no digital mobile phones. The Sten, serial number 40093, has yet to receive its “invasion stripes”.
Mares Sten original model.jpg
 
My Sten with its “invasion stripes”, mainly to distinguish it from the guns of others who also used Stens, but it had a silvery tank as against a greyish colour tank that marked the first series guns. The early trigger has no fine adjustment screw, that came later and I never use it in the guns that have it, except for the Cyrano 1.3. This was Mares’ biggest mistake with its predecessor the Mares Cyrano Evo, a 1.1 inner barrel, a line release lever snapper unless you wound the trigger sensitivity screw right out. Tilting a see-saw sear lever in the ready to shoot position is a big no-no.
Original Mares Sten R.jpg


And this is why Mares switched their line release lever to the side of the trigger finger guard in the next Sten minor revision, if you are a complete moron and grab the cocked to shoot gun around the tank and the strung shooting line the resulting line tension can fire the gun as the line release lever acts as a secondary trigger.
Sten original handle.jpg
 
The Sten 87, aka the “Competition Line” model, and from then onwards all have the side mounted line release using the trigger’s toe. Mares even took out a patent on it. The early handle shape also used this layout as can be seen from the patent diagram, not sure when the changeover occurred as the local distributor sold all their old stock before they let any new models out, so a new version would be on sale overseas but we just had the previous version in our stores.
Mares Sten side line release.jpg
 
Here is a US market Sharpshooter with its nice carry bag, here we just got a clear polythene bag with Manes printed on it in light blue script, then we moved onto bright orange vinyl carry bags that broke down if left anywhere in the sunlight. These are best thrown away and replaced with a towelling bag which can sop up all the saltwater droplets on the gun and stop you rusting out the trunk of your car if you throw the gun in there for transport.

Mares routinely rename their guns for the US market, nearly everywhere else they are, in ascending length order, the "Miniministen", "Ministen", "Medisten", "Sten" and "Supersten". For the USA these same guns are the "Snub Nose", "Shortie", "Frontiersman", "Californian" and "Long Tom", the changes are just the different tank stickers.

Mares also sell a "Sharpshooter" in the USA which is just another version of the "Frontiersman", but it has a capillary type depth gauge added to the top of the rear handgrip and was finished in all-black, ditto for the similarly equipped "Long Tom". A white rubber handle cover was also available so a dropped loaded gun would be easier to find on the bottom, especially a seaweed strewn one.
Mares Sten Sharpshooter.jpg
 
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This is the range of Sten guns in 1979, the guns have their markings for the US Market. Note the Sharpshooter and Frontiersman are both Medistens.
Mares Sten Range 1979 US Market R.jpg
 
Scan of old colour print showing main parts of the original Sten (this one is number 93) less the tank tube, muzzle and handle butt cap which is secured by a metal rod that has also been screwed out along with its cylindrical end nut. On the early guns the hollow grip handle was sealed as a buoyancy element which meant that the Sten guns all floated on their side at the surface and even the shortest models floated after the shot, including the “Miniministen”. In later models Mares left the pistol grip handle’s butt open to the sea so that the short guns are not the floaters that they once were.
original mares sten without tank.jpg