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Bren Gun Identification

Article about: I thought it might be usefull, to post some pictures and information on the different marks of Bren gun and the spare barrel holder and spares wallet. This first gun is a 1938 Mk1.It has the

  1. #1

    Default Bren Gun Identification

    I thought it might be usefull, to post some pictures and information on the different marks of Bren gun and the spare barrel holder and spares wallet.
    This first gun is a 1938 Mk1.It has the correct Mk1 barrel,drum type rear sight, dovetail slot in the body, intended for a fixed line sight, extendable bipod, early B.S.A. butt, with butt handle and butt strap.

    The spare barrel holder contains a spare breech block and the wallet has the early combination tool. It also has the early pattern cleaning rod with screw on brushes. Note the early pattern of oil tins and brass oil bottle. A lot of these things changed later in the war as economy measures.

    I will add other marks shortly.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification Mk2 Gun.

    This second gun is a Mk2 gun, with a Daimler receiver assembled under the Monotype Scheme in th U.K. This gun was a re-design to speed up production, notice the reduced machining on the body, non folding cocking handle, simple leaf rear sight, a more basic butt and a simplified barrel, eliminating the Mk1's expensive stainless steel flash hider. The bipod does not extend and the legs fold individually.

    The spares kit did not escape these economies either, gone is the spare breech block and the Mk1 combination tool is replaced by a simple pressed steel version. The cleaning rod is the late economy pattern with spring clip brushes.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification

    Oh.....now those are NICE.

    I love the Bren gun.....such an underrated weapon in my opinion.

    Lovely examples and many thanks for noting the differences. I shall refer to this post again I am sure

    Steve T

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification

    Thanks Steve, I'll try and post the next one tommorrow
    Pete.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification Mk2 Inglis

    This Mk2 Bren, was manufactured by the John Inglis company in Canada and was based on the simplified Mk2 that was produced in the U.K. There are slight differences, the U.K. produced barrel could not be used in the Mk1 gun, but the Inglis one can as it a dovetail machined on the underside of the barrel, this it what holds the barrel in place on a Mk1 gun. The Mk2 gun has 'horns' behind where the bipod fits, which cradle the barrel and does not require the dovetail, so to speed up production it was omitted on U.K. barrels. The second major difference is the bipod, which was unique to these Canadian produced guns, non extendable, but both legs fold together as in a Mk1 bipod.

    This gun is fitted with the 100 round high speed drum magazine, which is based on the Vickers K magazine. The adaptor to take the mag, can be seen in place in the top of the receiver.

    The barrel bag and holdall are also different, note the press studs on the spares wallet and plastic oil bottle and oil can. The holdal is made of canvas and has fittings held by black rivets
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification Mk3 gun

    By 1943, manufactiring pressures had eased and it was decided that Airborne forces needed a lightened shortened Bren gun, the result was the Mk3. The receiver of the gun was lightened by machining away metal from non essential areas. A return to the Mk1 type folding cocking handle and new and even more simplified butt and a shorter thinner barrel, with a larger flash hider cone and a return to the Mk1 method of securing the front of the barrel. Some early guns were manufactured with the Mk2 bipod, but later guns had the Mk1 bipod with extending legs fitted.

    The spare parts holdall could contain a mixture of plastic or metal oil tins and the simplified Mk2 tool.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification

    Hi Pete, thanks for taking the time and effort to produce a very good and informative thread

    I very much like the MkI.

    Actual British made guns are harder to find here than the Canadain or Aussie made versions as you will know.

    Cheers, Ade.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification

    Thanks Ade,
    I've a few more bits to add
    pete.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification

    Some excellent pictures of some fine BREN GUNS. Don't forget the issue box and the Tripods!












  10. #10

    Default Re: Bren Gun Identification

    Thanks for that Dutchie, heres a picture of my Mk2 tripod.
    Pete
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