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Bren light machine gun

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World War Two762 of 1349The Lost Guns of JerseyGenuine Swastika My Dad brought it home from WWII, made of cloth
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Posted 5 years ago


(51 items)

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: ( 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.


  1. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Cheers BELLIN68 for the "love it" and comment. The story is mine and the history is an adaptation from Wikipedia but is the collection of most accepted info. (We have helped write/update some of their entries over the recent past)
  2. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    miKKoChristmas11 & kerry10456; thanks for your appreciation! :)
  3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Sorry Steve, but I think that moved into the realm of over-kill for CW. As much as I love guns, I was getting tired. Just being honest.
  4. kerry10456 kerry10456, 5 years ago
    Steve, I've went well pass the point of no return. I have almost 300 postings and sure I bored a lot of the others with watches, but if a posting of mine, can every be used as a reference for someone, I feel it was worth the time to post it. Best regards and look forward to browsing your future posting. Have enjoyed your past posting.
  5. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Need advice! See blunderbuss2's valid comment above (.5): I take the point no more "guns" but is it valid and proper from CW point of view to continue such posts as my "Ferret Restoration", i.e. is that out-staying it's welcome?

    I need objective input from any/all interested fellow CW members please!
  6. kerry10456 kerry10456, 5 years ago
    My input, for what it is worth. As a "Series" posting as you've put together. Has been Very informative and a learning experience for me. It is also something that you enjoy and you are sharing some of yourself with each and everyone that views your series.
    Your interests lies in "Military" objects and restoration of those things. Some others on here (CW) enjoy "Glass" others "Coca-Cola" and some even like timepieces. That's what makes this Forum special, Everybody has different taste and likes, but seemingly, We all post differently and All is accepted.
    As I stated earlier, I for one, have probably posted entirely to many of one type of thing, but That's my interest and hopefully it find a useful purpose for someone searching the "net" for something in common of theirs. Or just looking for that sparks their interest.
    I've probably rambled on enough, So my input is : If you want to post it, I'll look and if I every find it boring or obtrusive, I'll chime in. Kerry
  7. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Steve, don't you dare stop posting guns! Do you have a Collier revolving flintlock you can show as I have questions about details.
    I like kerry's approach. I like the varied style instead of opening CW to find 1 or 2 pages of vases, watches etc.. Variety is truly the spice of life.
    So you did the Wikipedia thing. No wonder you got carried away.
  8. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Message to Hems and Company: Our vote is Full Speed Ahead - all of your show and tell posts are most excellent! And this particular item is one that would thrill my elder brother, whose Special Forces regimental pin you will have seen. When he visits next, I will be showing him your Ferret and Bren. CW is well represented by glass lovers, and in my opinion, not only are your postings intrinsically interesting and most valuable, but also I think that they are very much needed to round things out. Last time I had lunch with my brother, I was telling him that a great many persons on CW are infected with the Kralik Krazy bug. He asked, "What's a Kralik?" "A weird vase", I replied. Please do continue to post your silver artifacts and treasures, your pen and pencil collections, your military items, whatever - they will all be excellent postings. (But be careful, or sooner or later you might start acquiring kraliks, too!) Thank you very much for all your hard work, your great generosity, your high humor, and your warm collaborative spirit!

    P.s., I was also going to urge you to post more of your most excellent art work, but I see that your quad or trio? posting is now gone. Scandi and I enjoyed that one immensely.
  9. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    THANKS ALL! Ok thats answered my questions & doubts, just steer clear of the glass (and vases for blunderbuss2's benfit).

    I'll try not to post too much info on each post (it's difficult to know when to "shut up" when there is no immediate feedback (used to teaching and imparting information face-to-face!!)

    Regarding the Artwork: That post was "pulled" and Hunter (bless him) suggested I open a Flickr account and post some of my art there. In fact I have recently updated it with a Private Chapel fresco commission on it for fellow CW'er "musikchoo" is the link for miKKo and anyone else interested.....
  10. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thank you, Hems!

    1.) No need to steer clear of glass on my account. I am captivated by Scandinavian glass and like kraliks, too.
    2.) IMO, you never talk too much!!!
    3.) Very sorry about the artwork being pulled! I went looking for the beautiful "Friends" drawing and missed it. Superb!!! Thank you very much for the flickr link! Wonderful work. If I'm not being too nosey, are these freco panels? designed for installation in a private chapel in the USA? owned by musikchoo? Please don't answer if I'm being too inquisitive! Very nice work, Hems! Thank you!
  11. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    miKKo: No the Frescoes were done in-situ, in England, in a small private Chapel set in a famous Rose Garden. I posted the pictures to Flickr because we started discussing religious painting because of musikchoo's wonderful picture he posted here:

    A very evocative picture, which I had said "I wished I had seen it before I started my Chapel Commission!"
  12. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Ah, yes! Musikchoo's drawing is wonderful! Thanks!
  13. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Steve, you must mot sleep or maybe have a clone! How else can you do all this?
    Can't dwell right no as we r in the middle of a storm, Raphael? Net off most of the time.
  14. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    Hems we all have different interests in what we collect on CW . But I have learned so much about other items I would not normally see and yours are some of them. I have learned and I probably post to much of one thing as I collect Old manikin store displays but I don't think all the people like them but as Kerry said someone sometime may enjoy hearing the history of them and antique dolls. I say keep posting your items and oh I love your paintings went to Flickr to see them . Stunning !!!
    Back to posts if I don't like a post I just bypass it and go on to next with all postings on CW . I am not a gun person but I appreciate what the old guns meant in our history and from a full Military family I have respect for them too !
  15. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Kerry & Mani...many thanks for your comments, you have put my mind at rest. I really do not want to bore people, and from your thoughful comments; I can see that there is a place for all of us, even the "Long" posters amongst us (me). I agree that the info we post may indeed become important to someone trawling the "net" looking for hard to find, obscure information. Thanks again..I'll carry on posting just as I have so far! :)

    Hi Blunderbuss...Re: your comment .15..... well I don't sleep more than a few hours at a time; true, but also; I'm not a great TV watcher, nor much for just "sitting around"...I'm more of a "doer" rather than a "watcher" yes I suppose I do get a fair bit done...even if it is just posting on CW...which I think you will agree is a good way of speading knowledge and information and for me has become a "form of relaxation" from the day to day "hard graft".
  16. kerry10456 kerry10456, 5 years ago
    Your welcome Steve, Great form of relaxation, I agree. just for something a little different, here's some of my "Restore" work, You might enjoy it, not a vase, but you might like it. :-)
  17. vanskyock24 vanskyock24, 5 years ago
    very nice hems this is what its all about to learn what all everybody collects and to learn from. keep up the great work you do.
  18. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Do you even have a telly? Seems a waste of money if you do. Noticing that you are an artist, I've worked with a lot of artists here making easels, print bins, frames etc.. We have some well known artists who live here part-time or full-time. Can't post pics of those obviously. Made quite a few easels out of S.Amer. redwoods that cured the complaint about easels blowing over in the winds here.
    Speaking of winds, this huge storm is finally not messing up the net connections.
  19. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Hope the storm didn't cause major damage for you, blunderbuss2. Glad you made it back onto CW safe and sound!
  20. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Just spent over 2 hrs getting caught up with CW after my other mail. Only had about 50 mph winds with 60 gust but the size was the biggest I remember. From Trinidad to the lat. of the northern bahamas! Maybe 1,200 mi.. The generators here are cooled by seawater so during storms they have to shut down to clean the seaweed out every few hrs. Thought it was going NW but then turned N, right into us. Anything below 100 mph, we laugh at.
  21. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Blunderbuss2: glad you made it through without damage!
  22. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Most of the damage was to my sense of humour after being trapped by high water for the better part of a week. There were 11 reports of a ufo to a local radio station this afternoon but it was later identified as the Sun. Got a post coming you will probably like.
  23. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Glad you got your sense of humour (which you keep denying) back! LOL Our evening weathercasts in UK always cover the Carib regarding Huricanes (I DO watch the evening news part of "telly"!)...and I will from now on pay more attention...looking out for St. Martins!

    Your mention of making artists easels is mysteriously fascinating...............

    And I can't wait for your next's been 13 days since your last :O....the last one was a real cracker (in more ways than one!!!!)
  24. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Being without the net is hell & that is coming from somebody who swore until about 5 yrs ago that he didn't want to get involved because I was afraid with all that information for research would make me an addict. I was right!
    I can't post the easels on CW as I made them. They are really nice & weigh enough so they can't get blown over easily at all. With these S.Amer. woods I used, they would last a century outside.
  25. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Blunderbuss2: Yes Re: The S.American hardwoods, in UK it is really difficult to get good wood unless you are willing to PAY, and pay BIG! I presume it is a bit more reasonable for you, where you are. I made an easel when I was first starting out as I could not afford a Rowney easel...I made it from measurements of the genuine article BUT made it from warped! Within a week it was no longer "adjustable"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  26. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Usually we can get red-woods cheaper that oak, maple etc. can be bought in MacDonalds Land. I love the grain, colours , the fact that it doesn't warp etc.. It's really tough on the machinery though. Also heavy. I made a short 3 step kitchen step stool from some plans. Only about 24" high but weighs about 12 lbs!
    Steve, I may need a support group. I had my finger poised on LOVE IT for a vase yesterday! That was close!
  27. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    I'm sponsoring a mad scientist working on an injection to inoculate against vaseitis, he's asking for volunteer guinea pigs...interested? ;)
  28. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Not me but I have an ex I'll volunteer. Do you use the Bren to inoculate? I'll volunteer to pull the trigger! She's even convenient as she is now in Bedford.
  29. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Steve, after thumbing thru my "X-Files", I have a few more I need volunteer application forms for. Just send an even doz. forms & if I need more, I'll let you know.
  30. Hems303 Hems303, 4 years ago
    Go see blunderbuss2's excellent "gun" book post including the Bren:
  31. Rattletrap Rattletrap, 2 years ago
    I love your gun and your interesting post. I don't understand people complaining about a posting? If you're not interested just don't read it but don't gripe about it. I liked the post and the detail so read and enjoyed it all. Yes I like guns and most old stuff.
  32. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Hems, I just started thinking about the full-autos I've had since age 15-16 & can't help but laugh! Bergmann MP 18-1, Schmeisser MP-28, M3 "Grease gun", Reising. Baretta MP 38, 3 MKII Stens, Browning 1919 .30, MP 40, Mac 10 (9 m/m) & a TEC 9 that I made a part for that gave selective fire. May think of a few others later! LMFAO!! There is just something about firing full-auto that gives a sense of power & girls love them too! Oh yeah, M16! Do I need to find a support group for my perversions?
    Never fired an MP-5 & trying to get a friend with the Police Aux Frontiers to check out one for the afternoon. he says that they have to account for the ammo used. Told him that I can supply our own!
    This is bonne fete de bastille day here & looks like the French side is under siege by the fireworks!
    Oh! I had 2 MG 08-15's! One bipod & 1 sled mounted. Those are the best of my memory right now. Never had a Thompson but kind of wish I had picked up one along the way. All that I mentioned were operational! LOL!!
  33. Hems303 Hems303, 2 years ago
    Hi Blunderbuss & Rattletrap

    Thanks for your recent comments (above), MUCH appreciated!

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