Friday, December 01, 2006

Ask The Gun Nut: Why don't they...?

Dear Auntie Gun Nut,

I think that the British Bren gun of WWII fame is so cool! Why can't I find a cheap modern semiauto copy?




Gentle Reader,

The Bren gun had a receiver machined from a single forging. The stripped receiver weighed four and a half pounds. The forging from which it was finish-machined weighed twenty-two pounds. That's a big pile of metal chips, even for a CNC machine...

16 comments:

Sigivald said...

Well, there's no reason we couldn't build a modern one from multiple parts, precision-welded together. Or even cast and then machined...

It's not like we're stuck with WW2 technology and processes.

I think the real reason is "no demand to speak of".

Tam said...

Yes, but that's not as funny as the mental picture of eighteen pounds of shavings. ;)

BobG said...

Fairly typical British engineering, at least in my experience with a lot of their equipment.
I sort of like the BAR, myself.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to look about a 1000 miles east of the you to find the man that came up with the Bren

Anonymous said...

What it sould say if I could type!!

I think you need to look about a 1000 miles east of the UK to find the man that came up with the Bren.

Note to self USE THE PREVIW FUNCTION!!

stan said...

Bren = Breno + Enfield, The design was Czeck (sp) built in a plant in England to Brit .303

T.Stahl said...

A Bren-NG* in .223 would be nice. With a polymer receiver and accepting 42rd AUG mags.

*) Next Generation

Don Meaker said...

Polymer wouldn't cut it. Stamped steel, perhaps, but then you would have to rivet the rails into the stamping....


I am developing a bullpup, downward ejection rifle that with change of barrel and magazine converts from 7.62 X 51 to 5.56 X 45 to 18mm (12 gauge) to 11.4 X 21 (.25 ACP). Rough weight is 6 kg.

Alongside it will be a "medium weight" one at 8 kg, that can fire 300 Magnum or 12.7 X 99 (.50 BMG).

I grew up in the Mech Infantry, where we used the M-113A1 as a "traveling arms room" and selected the weapons to match the mission: 5.56 M-16A1 for recon patrols, and 40mm grenade launchers, M-60 MMGs for attack and defense. We tried to stay mounted, to use the big .50 on the PC, but once dismounted some to support an air mobile assault, to suppress a particular enemy position.

Joe said...

A semi-auto Bren is available - if you want to lighten the bank account by $3000 or so. A company called Historic Arms, LLC of Franklin, Georgia makes them. There is a waiting list.

Joe R.

RobC said...

Next to my Fav the MAG/LMG the Bren is a wonderful weapon. As a SADF infantry bloke I had the pleasure of lugging both through the African bush. The Bren never gave problems either plus we could iterchange the mags from the FAL's as well, no belts to get tangled and dirty ammo. Both had their quirks and pro's and cons but all in all the Bren's gave us time to get more MAG's into service.

RobC said...

I forgot to mention... the SADF had rebarreled the Bren to take 7.62 NATO as well as reworked the reciever to take the FAL 20 and 30 round mag. The 30 round mag was as scarce as hen's teeth and also was prone to stoppage, usually solved by a whack on the mag to disloge the errant round.

Anonymous said...

The really nice thing about the Bren is it worked when needed. The Magazines need to be changed out at intervals, so you can save one or two for AFTER the assault. Compared to belt operated machineguns, which go through all your ammunition right away, and then you find your popgun empty when the counter attack hits.

Anonymous said...

If you would like generic top loaders, Robinson Arms makes a clone of the Stoner 63, (They call it the M-95 IIRC) that will configure to a top mounted magazine. The big advantage of that is you can shoot it with your buttons properly pressed into the forest floor, making you a slimmer target.

triticale said...

As I understand the history of it, one of the things wrong with the awful French Shosho was that the action had been copied from a toploader, turned upside down so it lost feed reliability.

Technika said...

I like the bren a lot as well.
Unfortunately the local resistance group that sometimes approves gunlicenses and often says no don't like fully autos.
So I had to destroy it, to be able to own it.
Here she is, wide open.
It took me a big bunch of hours at the milling machine.

http://www.technika.nu/modules/tinycontent0/index.php?id=63

Opinions any?

Regards Technika

Carl said...

Semi-Auto Bren:

http://www.wlarms.com/bren.html
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=113749254

They are out there (tho availability is severely limited); and Wise-Lite is a pretty good company to deal with in my experience, turning out good quality products with very good support for them.