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 Post subject: Bren Gun
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 5:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 20:59 pm
Posts: 22
Location: UK/USA
A Brief History of the Bren Gun



The finest of any British Light Machine Guns ever made and a favorite with its users, the Bren is a symbol of Britain in World War II but it actually began life in the form of the Czech ZB 26 of the 1930's.


The British Authorities who were responsible for testing and acquiring new weapons for the Army were impressed with the ZB 26 and when further versions evolved through trials and modifications, including conversion to .303 calibre, the ZB 33 was born - the prototype for the Bren Mk. 1.


The first U.K. produced Bren guns were dated 1937 and are now very rare. They had the dovetail on the left of the receiver, to mount an optical sight, a flip up butt strap and a grip handle under the butt. By 1941 these refinements had been discarded and the standard Mk.1 gun evolved to simplify production under wartime conditions. This gun still retained adjustable bipod legs and a stainless gas block/flash hider on the barrel.


By June 1941 the Mk. 2 arrived. This model was simpler to produce and usually fitted with non-adjustable bipod legs. The Mk. 2 barrel had just the gas block in stainless steel and the flash hider was manufactured from regular steel, as per the rest of the barrel. The butt and barrel handle were also different in shape from those of the Mk. 1. Some machining operations that made the gun lighter were abandoned and the weight increased by 1.25 pounds.


In July 1944, the Mk. 3 Bren was introduced. This was lighter, fitted with a shorter barrel and with lightening machining in the receiver, similar to the Mk1. It was first used during World War II by airborne troops.


When the 7.62 calibre was standardised by NATO in post war years, the Bren was re-calibred to conform to this and became the L4 7.62 LMG. This model served well into the 1990's for second line duties.




The Bren offers much scope for collecting of variants and also has a wide range of accessories to compliment it. As a historical item it deserves a place in any collection of 20th century weapons.

The full article can be found on the website.

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