Posted 4 years ago
This actual Bren Gun is part of the CES (Complete Equipment Schedule) of the Daimler Ferret Armoured Scout Car I am covering in my other Collectors World "Restoration Series". We have had to search and gather all the "missing" equipment which includes this Light Machine Gun (LMG). It was bought from a dear friend, Chris "Kis", who has only recently lost a short battle with cancer. He is missed by all who knew him or had the honour to meet him. He was very active in the UK Military History and Military Vehicle world.
This particular Bren Gun Mk.1 is dated 1942 and was made at the Enfield factory. (UK).
The Bren is a gas-operated weapon, which uses the same .303 ammunition as the WW2 standard British rifle, the Lee-Enfield, *See my other CW Post: (http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/67892-my-ww2-lee-enfield-sniper-rifle)........ firing at a rate of between 480 and 540 rounds per minute (rpm), depending on model. Propellant gases vent from a port towards the muzzle end of the barrel through a regulator (visible in the photo's, just in front of the bipod) with four quick-adjustment apertures of different sizes, intended to tailor the gas volume to different ambient temperatures (smallest flow at high temperature, e.g. summer desert, largest at low temperature, e.g. winter Arctic). The vented gas drives a piston which in turn actuates the breech block. Each gun comes with a spare barrel that can be quickly changed when the barrel becomes hot during sustained fire, though later guns featured a chrome-lined barrel which reduced the need for a spare. To change barrels, the release catch in front of the magazine is rotated to unlock the barrel. The carrying handle above the barrel is used to grip and remove the hot barrel without the risk of burning your hands.
The Bren is magazine-fed, which slows its rate of fire and requires more frequent reloading than British belt-fed machine guns such as the larger .303 Vickers machine gun. However, the slower rate of fire prevents more rapid overheating of the Bren's air-cooled barrel, and the Bren is several pounds lighter than belt-fed machine guns which typically had cooling jackets, often liquid filled. The magazines also prevent the ammunition from getting dirty, which is more of a problem with the old Vickers with its 250-round canvas belts.
The Bren Gun and modern times in the United States:
Many nations' militaries have disposed of their Bren guns as surplus to their needs. Surplus Brens have been imported to the United States for sale to collectors, but due to US gun laws restricting the importation of automatic weapons such guns must be legally destroyed by cutting up the receivers. A number of US gunsmiths have manufactured new semiautomatic Brens by welding the pieces of destroyed receivers back together, with modifications to prevent the use of full automatic parts, and fitting new fire control components capable of only semiautomatic fire. The balance of the parts are surplus Bren parts. Such "semiautomatic machineguns" are legally considered rifles under US Federal law and the laws of most states.