Is the Bren gun a forgotten weapon? Well, maybe not. But it is an important piece of firearms development history, and probably an under-appreciated weapon. It is also important to be familiar with the Bren in order to understand the other guns of the era, as well as the interesting variants of the Bren.
So, we took one out to the range to take a look at how it works, how to take it apart, and to see how it shoots!
thank you! great tutorial, great sound, great grouping. i finally understand what the different “thingies” on the bren are for. does it group about this good from the bipod? is the whole receiver one big machined piece?
The grouping from the bipod isn’t as good as from the tripod, but that’s to be expected. The receiver is indeed one big machined chunk of steel.
Excellent video! The only thing I would have liked to see is a bit more info about the cartridge used (.303 ?) and history of the weapon. I love your site, keep up the good work!
I’ve been told that the Bren is capable of 1″ groups at 100 yds on single shot – is it a mith or fact? Quote from a friendly source – Thats why it was the best MG of WW 11
I can’t say I’ve ever seen it, but it wouldn’t surprise me too much. Would definitely have to be a nice new gun with a very good barrel, though.
Necro post but I watched the siege of Jadotville and there was a scene where the company sniper puts down his scoped Enfield and switches to a Bren in single shot to make a long distance kill. I ended up looking this up and it really happened that way so I guess these guns were damned accurate
The Germans in the ‘Siege of Tobruk’ in 1941 found that the Aussie Diggers could suppress their MG34s consistently.
Why? Accuracy, and reliability. And clearly way more rounds per second around the head of the 34’s no 1 and 2.
IME&0 much of what gets posted here is from gamers who haven’t got a clue!
Let alone an aggressive co-operative, get the job done culture.
You forgot to show how the adjustable gas system works!
Doh! You’re right – I didn’t even think about it. I’ll make sure we cover it in a future Bren-related video.
Great video!!! Thanks!!
I guess FN FAL has similar headspace fitting.
Those offset sights also make shooter’s profile lower ! By the way, have the sights windage adjustment?
They’d better to make a belt feeding adapter especially for tripod shooting (like RP46 for DP machine guns) .
You made quite a tight group for a WW2 era MG!
P.S. Waiting for the Lewis MG video 🙂
That’s the .303 British cartridge (rimmed ,bottleneck, .311 bullet diameter, 2.22″ case length). It’s not something special…it’s the common British military service cartridge from 1889 until it was replaced by 7.62x51NATO.
The .303 was a pretty effective round and had one often largely forgotten characteristic. British-made rounds tended to break on impact, spilling the lead core from the FMJ, which created a very nasty wound. This led to a number of German protests in both World Wars that illegal ammunition was being used, although in fact it was more to do with poor design and manufacture under wartime conditions. My grandfather was a Lewis gunner with the Gordon Highlanders in 1916 and in the late 1960s told me about the use of pliers to reverse the bullet in the cartridge. This limited accurate range to around 100-150 yards, but gave a devastating wound effect. NCOs were instructed to stop this practice, so soldiers would often have ‘legal’ ammo as the top couple of rounds in a Lee-Enfield magazine with ‘illegal’ rounds hidden below to avoid detection. In a Lewis Gun the whole magazine bar the first round would be ‘illegal’ if close quarter battle was expected.
The 303 Mk VII round with the aluminum (or hardwood) tip, causing rapid and effective yaw and tumble on impact.
The neat hole in the magazine cut-off on the SMLE Mk III was used to snap this tip off, and voila: a dum-dum bullet. Plenty broken-off tips in the trenches as evidence of this practice.
Do you have any documentation about snapping the tips off .303 bullets? In my experience shooting .303, it doesn’t seem possible. The dual-material nature of the .303 Mk VII core is because (as I am told) two different study groups were set up to find the ideal shape and ideal weight of the bullet. Their results didn’t exactly match up, necessitating a bullet made partly of lead and partly of much lighter material. It does tumble pretty well as a result, though.
Deutsches Waffen-Journal (a looong time ago, I’ll try and dig it up) and the Historial in Peronne.
The rounds with reversed bullets also had an improved effect against the Grabenschild armour plate.
That was super cool, thanks!
A good video! I first fired the Bren in 1962 as a school cadet and have been in love with them ever since, currently owning seven variations. They are accurate in the semi-auto mode but require a firm hold to prevent gun movement when the open bolt trundles forward. I have made consistent hits on a 12″ steel plate at 300 yards when I did my part, and have also done the same with my ZB26 which proves the inherent accuracy of the basic design. The Bren is an amazingly reliable gun and the only thing that really causes stoppages is crap ammo. They are indeed the best LMG in the World, reliable, portable and robust.
I will try and do a short video on the rare lensatic sight that was issued for the Mk I Brens in the late 1930’s, and obsolete by WW2.
Can admin shows video on Fg42 rifle,MG34 and MG42 machine guns two of my favorite weapons…
You was showed us chinese type 64 smg can you also make video for it,I know how gun function and what mechanisms it got but see performance of this smg is very interesting..
We will be doing videos on the 34 and 42, though I don’t know exactly when. I would love to do one on the FG-42, but it will be a bit trickier to locate a live one to use. If you know anyone with one in the US, feel free to put us in contact with them… 🙂
I was mean showed photos of type 64,I think video would be more interesting..
Just like you said,
It wont be possible to locate someone with FG42 in USA…
If I would have enough machinery and materials I would machine FG42 myself,but without machinery and materials this obligation seems virtualy impossible…
To see a video of Chinese type 64 smg in action would be nice,its interesting how this gun fires,Iam sore it can use standart 7,62x25mm TT rounds….
Another interesting and seems totally forgottened model of weapon would be Franchi LF57 smg and Ruger MP9 smg,I tried to find as much information on them as possible but no results,an instruction manuals would be great..
I have fired both .303 and 7.62mm Nato Lithgow (that’s GO) made Brens, in 1976. Our 7.62 versions were not de-accurised. Very nice LMG’s, likley the best of their era.
The regular (Royal Australian Regiment) infantrymen (Corporals and Sgts) were delighted to have them/ They replaced the mostly worn-our M60s, which I and they had come to HATE.
They were waiting for the FN MAG58 to be issued. Us part-time soldiers were happy to have the L4’s, which we had until I resigned in 1978?