Bren Gun

The Bren Gun was the British Army’s standard light machine gun of World War II and would continue in service until the 1990s in its 7.62 configuration (the .303 version was still in use by cadet forces throughout the Cold War). The Bren is arguaby the best light machine gun of the Second World War and saw service around the globe. It weighs just over 23lbs unloaded and fires from a 30 round box magazine with a distinctive curve to accomodate the rimmed .303 round:

This particular Bren is a Mk II, the model being introduced in June 1941 to speed up production by simplifying the design of the weapon slightly. This particular example though dates form 1943 and was produced in Canada by Inglis:

The Bren has a front bipod that folds back and under the barrel when not needed:

Unlike earlier and later models, this bipod is not height adjustable. The barrel of the Bren is easily removed and swapped for a cooler version- the quick change allowing the Bren to keep firing for longer than if there was a fixed barrel. To remove the barrel there is a latch on the left side of the receiver:

Once lifted the barrel can be rotated and pulled forward (not on this example though as it is welded on). The barrel assembly contains the front sight:

And the adjustable gas block:

The rear sight was another change made for the Mk II Bren gun, where the elaborate barrel sight of the Mk I was replaced with a simpler ladder sight:

Like most LMGs, the Bren can fire in either automatic or single shot semi-auto, a three position selector lever being positioned above the trigger marked A for Automatic, S for Safe and R for Repetition:

The magazine fits in the magazine well that is situated on the top of the weapon:

A large paddle lever allows the magazines to be removed very easily with one hand movement releasing the catch and rolling the magazines forward and off the gun:

When not in use, a pressed metal dust shield can be slid over the magazine well to keep dirt and debris out of the weapon:

The rear butt-stock of the weapon has a shaped metal butt plate to make it a little more comfortable for the firer. A catch underneath then butstock allows a rear handle to be attached for use in the anti aircraft role:

The Bren is a simple and rugged weapon that remained popular with troops throughout its service life and the fact that in one form or other it saw fifty years of service is testement to the success of its design.

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