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The British Bren Gun

Discussion in 'Allied Light Weapons' started by Jim, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    In this picture diagram, it shows the method of operation or the Bren gun; the firing and recoil mechanism is also illustrated in the inset diagram.

    The spring-loaded magazine A containing 30 rounds is clipped on to the gun by means of securing-catch B. The back sight C is adjusted by wheel D, with fore sight E. Gun is then ready for action. Trigger F has been pressed. This has caused sear G to release slide H which under pressure from recoil spring J at the base of push-rod K has moved forward. In moving forward the bolt L strips a cartridge from the magazine into its firing position M. This ends the forward movement and the slide is locked... The bolt hammer N then strikes the firing pin and bullet flies along rifled bore. As it passes gas block P some of the expanding gases are diverted through gas regulator Q (size of gas opening regulates speed of fire) and, gas vent R into gas cylinder S. This forces piston T back, unlocking bolt. The slide then opens breech, extracts spent-cartridge, which is drawn back and strikes ejector U and drops through a hole in base of gun V. The piston and slide still drive back, compressing the recoil spring. When the spring expands again it restarts the whole cycle, and continues as long as the trigger is depressed and,until the magazine is empty.
    W shows a crew using a gun on tripod mounting and in the background are caterpillar driven Bren gun-carriers. To eliminate jamming through overheating a spare barrel X is provided, the barrels, being changed by means of carrying handle Y.

    [​IMG]

    To the enormous fire power of the British Infantry the biggest contribution in 1939 was made not as in 1914 by the rifle, but by the Bren Gun, with which every battalion was equipped. Originally designed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia the gun gets its name from the town of Bren, or Brno in Moravia, the Bren was turned out in huge quantities on mass production lines at ordnance factories in Britain, although the later model was more elaborate and even more effective than that which was produced at the famous Skoda works. Simple to operate and most deadly in effect, the Bren, was an exceedingly complicated piece of machinery, consisting of 172 parts, in whose making 3,000 separate operations were involved.

    Supreme among the advantages of the Bren gun is its adaptability to all the changes and chances of Wartime day. Here we see it mounted on a tripod ready to engage enemy aircraft. The man on the right has a second magazine in readiness.

    [​IMG]

    The Bren gun was 45 inches in length, weighed 21 lb, and was gas operated, gas from the first explosion fired the next round, and so on, and its potential firing was 500 rounds of 303 ammunition per minute. The actual fire, allowing time for changing the magazine was 120 per minute. The gun could be regulated to give four speeds in either single or multiple shots. Another feature in its favour was its extreme mobility, as it could be mounted either on a tripod or a bipod, or fired direct from the shoulder.
     
  2. Kelly War44

    Kelly War44 New Member

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    Actually fired a Bren Gun a long time ago. Very, very accurate. Too accurate in fact in that as a support weapon, you needed a wide area covering but you could put 30 rounds through the same hole virtually, in one burst. The carrying handle adjusts to 90' to the gun so you can lay on your back, put your feet in the air to put the bipod on and fire into the sky. Awkward to say the very least. Never fired live in that position but practised it. :D
     
  3. Spitfire XIV-E

    Spitfire XIV-E New Member

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    The EN bit of Bren & for that matter the Sten stood for Enfield I think. The British Arms Manufacturer who produced them.
     
  4. Jamie 111

    Jamie 111 New Member

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    the Bren

    The Bren Gun .303 was the mainstay m/g of the British army when I was serving.

    It was deadly accurate..even from 1000 yards! Regimental range days would run a "Pool Bull" You bunged your money in for one shot with the Bren at the bulls eye ,usually at 400 yards. The nearest to the bull picked up the pot! Thats how accurate it could be. The Bren had a tendency to "walk" away from you when you firing on automatic. But it was rock steady at single shot.

    A lot of training was done on the Bren..A real lot! You were trained for every imaginable thing that could go wrong. And the main thing that went wrong (Trust me!) was stoppages!!

    There was a litany of instructions for all circumstances.. But before all of that you were trained in actually manning the gun.The soldier firing it had to have his legs straight out behind him! His left hand (if he was r/handed) gripping the stock..the right hand at the trigger guard ready to cock the gun, his cheek pressed into the butt. All this must be done while looking at the target. If he had a number 2 then it was his job to look after the spare barrels, ammo etc.

    The litany--

    The order..
    "At the target in front at ___yards commence firing." You cock the gun, set the sights, set either single or automatic firing, aim at the target designated and commence firing.The weapon fires.
    Gun stops firing - mag off -mag on.
    Gun fires then stops-- change gas setting with spare .303 round
    Gun fires then stops-- change barrel -- gun fires again.
    But remember all of this was done under fire in real circumstances.. but in training you had a swift kick up the arse if you picked your head up over the hieght of the Bren... you soon learned.
    And so it went on..day after day after day, until it became second nature to you.
    A truly superb weapon.You looked after it and it looked after you.

    At the moment I cannot think of anything I did not do with a Bren Gun. Every firing position in the field, firing from the hip ( very inaccurate) firing from vehicles etc etc. If anything does come to mind I will post it here.
     
  5. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Bren Gunner's Divisiona Flash

    Although the censor has obscured his unit-title this Bren-gunner’s divisional flash (a double “T” for Tyne-Tees) identifies him as a member of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, which went ashore on Gold Beach and fought in the Bayeux area. The Bren was accurate and robust, but lacked the firepower of German belt-fed machine guns.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    bren.

    yes,and this is why the british army used the belt fed vickers.regards,shamus.
     

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