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Bren gun in Lightweight?


Bilbo42
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I seem to recall period photographs of Lightweights on patrol, recon. etc that had a GPMG mounted in the rear on a pedestal. Prior to the GPMG was a Bren gun ever used in this role in the Lightweight, either mounted up front or on a pedestal. Could it have been feasible to have one there in the mid 1970s? If so, would the Bren gun in that period most likely been mounted up front on the passenger side or rear? And, does anyone know of the nomenclature of the mount, ie, model number or something. A picture of h mount would help too. Thanks, Bil i am thinking of one like this.

Bren-Dummy-Gun21-16 (Medium).jpg

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Bill, the short answer is NO! This variant of Bren was LONG obsolete during the seventies. It may well have had an L4A4 LMG which was a CONVERSION of a MKIII Bren, CARRIED on the vehicle. To my knowledge, there was not a purpose made mount for the LMG on Lightweights. Yes for GPMG though. I have seen a type of mulit-mount that would take a LMG & Browning .30" Cal Mg. But this was intended to attach to the hoop rails that supported a canvas cover on the back of 3 Ton trucks. There are many annomolies though, just to confuse things! CERTAIN units did things that were not official & records do not exist of such things. BUT, a lot of guys 'did thier own thing' so to speak during this period of time in Service. You would NOT be able to get away with such things today!

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Bilbo,

I fully agree with ferretfixer...speaking as ex-REME....unit mods were very much a law unto themselves.

 

The Bren in the picture though would be .303", easily identified by the flared flash eliminator on the muzzle & curved magazine.......whereas everything (apart from SMG & pistols & .30cal if you want to count that as a personal weapon) in the 70's was already 7.62mm a'la GPMG/SLR/LMG

 

The latter model 7.62mm LMG (often but slightly incorrectly referred to as a Bren) is instantly identifiable by its staight SLR style magazine & slotted flash eliminator (like an SLR)

 

H

Edited by RecyMech
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Bilbo,

I fully agree with ferretfixer...speaking as ex-REME....unit mods were very much a law unto themselves.

 

The Bren in the picture though would be .303", easily identified by the flared flash eliminator on the muzzle & curved magazine.......whereas everything (apart from SMG & pistols & .30cal if you want to count that as a personal weapon) in the 70's was already 7.62mm a'la GPMG/SLR/LMG

 

The latter model 7.62mm LMG (often but slightly incorrectly referred to as a Bren) is instantly identifiable by its staight SLR style magazine & slotted flash eliminator (like an SLR)

 

H

 

Hi

 

Note that the 7.62 Bren mags were not quite straight, though not nearly as curved as the 303 mags. You could, however, use the 7.62 Bren mags on an SLR and SLR mags on the Bren.

 

Chris

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Hi

 

Note that the 7.62 Bren mags were not quite straight, though not nearly as curved as the 303 mags. You could, however, use the 7.62 Bren mags on an SLR and SLR mags on the Bren.

 

Chris

 

True -- they would interchange and whilst the SLR mags fed the LMG no problems, the LMG mag would only feed the first 10 rounds or so to the SLR as I recollect

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True -- they would interchange and whilst the SLR mags fed the LMG no problems, the LMG mag would only feed the first 10 rounds or so to the SLR as I recollect

 

Correct! As an Ex Service R.E.M.E Armourer myself. I was always getting asked to do little 'Mods' by some of the users. NOT official or 'Legal' (IN Army terms!) such as making a selective fire saftey catch for SLR Rilfes. (There was bit more work needed to the Rifle itself, apart from modifing the Safety catch (Change lever is the CORRECT Term) Making Bipod assemblies from GPMG's for Slr's fitted with I.W.S Scopes Etc.

One of the 'War-ey' things executed by a LOT of Squaddies was the usage of the 30 Round LMG mag in the SLR Rifle. This worked OK with Blanks, but was unreliable & frequently jammed with LIVE Ball Ammo. If you think about it, that is logical. They were asking an item that was designed to work a certain way, to work 108% the OPPOSITE way! IE: Working against Gravity & with weaker internal feed spring also. The LMG Mag spring was FLAT section spring steel. Live Ball ammo is considerably heavier than Blank, also. The L1A1 SLR Rifle mag was ROUND Section steel wire. The advantages of using SLR mages were, the whole section was carrying them in pouchs. If the LMG Gunner ran out of 30 round mags. the section could throw them some of thier rifle mags & they worked perfectly!

Hope you find this 'Trivia' information usefull?........:nut:

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Comsetically, the "old" Bren looks a lot like the the L4 to me with the exceptions that everyone noted. If I had the "old" bren that was demilled, it does not seem to be too much work to modify it to "appear" to be an L4. My issue is when I go to military shows and airshows, parades, etc, every American vehicle looks like it is going straight into WWIII! I mean multiple guns on each!!! M60, 50 cal. 30 cal, BAR, recoiless rifles, quad 50s..you name it. That does not count the M1 carbines, Garands, M14s, 45s, Thompsons, etc. I want something!!!!! Even a demilled Bren cost a fortune over here and there does not seem to ne any "hard rubber or plastic" variants around. I know I could get a version of the L1A1 SLR to put in the rifle rack but I was hoping for more. I do have a SMLE Mk III , a No. 4 Mk I, and a Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk I Rifle but those don't quite fit the 1974 time frame I want to use for displaying the lightweight. Maybe i could portray a Lightweight carrying antique firearms to a museum!! :0) Bil

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I don't know what the fascination is with weapons displayed trucks and I'm sure Recymech will bare me out -- but I've spent many a night guarding holes in the ground for HM Queen, and at no time did you ever let your weapon out of your sight -- it went everywhere with you -- literally -- bed -- the bog, you name it. The one place you never left it was in a truck and I for one was bloody glad to hand mine back in to the armoury.

 

The worse thing was to sign for the GPMG -- LMG was bad enough! Happy days! but with promotion came the SMG and Browning 9mm -- much more sensible.

 

I have to say that in 22 years service, I never saw a vehicle left with weapons in it, and being as they cost so much now -- why do collectors do it? Personal weapons are not part of the vehicle CES or inventory ......

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I get your point. I seem to find myself carrying my .45 more now than I used to! I guess that the ones (vehicles) on display that I see are trying to portray the vehicle with its equipment in place. By equipment, I mean as it would be if a snap shot could be taken at a particular time in space outfitted as it would have served. I often see period pictures of Land Rovers with packs strapped on the side, netting strung out, petrol and water cans in place, and fixed wepons mounted. I guess if someone dressed in period clothing were to be sitting or standing in place with the vehicle, that would even be better for the simulation. If anyone wants to donate a 1974ish uniform, I will happily pay shipping across the pond. XL please!! :0) As far as the few shows I have been to here in the States, military wepons on display are a big thing. I guess maybe you could say they are just using the vehicle as a platform to display their wepons! I am attaching a pic to illustrate what I would want my ideal vehicle to look like on display--people included. I hope I am not stepping on anyones toes with this photo. I can't remember where I got it but I don't think it is copyrighted. if so, would the moderator please remove it. I guess, the same thought goes for aircraft on display too! Best regards, Bil

image3 (Medium).jpg

64240002 (Medium).JPG

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Whilst a)

Scot is quite right about the serviceman never being allowed to be apart from his personal weapon of course (or else !)(my personal weapon was a .30 cal by the way....should have been a pistol but the officers always got there first).

 

b) There is a 'need' if that's the right word, for MVs in private hands to be displayed to their full capacity at shows/displays for Joe Public. For example the LR in the pic about would be nothing more than a LR without it's array of shooty stuff & would not attract a second glance & a Scorpion would look silly if presented with the barrel removed....it then just becomes a hull on tracks.

 

So yes I can see Bilbos point of view...for public show/display purposes as long as things are representative & reasonably accurate. But a .303 bren used in the capacity we started this thread on is a non starter really

 

H

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Thanks for all of your thoughts on the Bren. As my project is never really finished as long as I can get appropriate kit, I will keep my eye out for the correct armament. :0) Bil

 

BTW...question: I have an American radio, a GRC-9 (basically Vietnam era) and a DY-105 Dynamotor that provides all the power to the GRC-9 when hooked up to a 24 volt supply...either vehicle or battery. If I want to start a discussion about hooking it up to mt FFR Ltwt, should I start a new threat under British vehicles or the one called Lubrication, Batteries, Electrics? I will try and keep my questions relative to the FFR's system and how to test current from it and grounding, etc, so no real knowledge of American radios will be needed. I don't plan to use it with the FFR or display it with the FFR, I just want to use the vehicle's 24 volt system to test it rather than the hand crank system that I have for it. It is kinda hard to crank +/- 60 revolutions a minute, listen to the headphones, and try to tune. If I get it hooked up to the Ltwt, I have a friend who has his radio license who will try and transmit for me until I finish getting mine. What do you think? Thanks, Bil

GRC-9%20%20Vehicle.jpg

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Hi Bil, I've tended to put radio related topics in weapons and acc. Must admit, nice to have just for radio thread slot?

I would be very carefull what you connect to your Landi 24v system. If I understand correctly the 24V radio circuit is designed for charging batteries, and the radios powered from the batteries.

Not sure what would happen if you connected your radio direct to vehicle electrics.

That generator panel may not be so easy to find where you live!!!

Andy.

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