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View Full Version : Did Bren Machine Guns also use mags from other guns?



tamaneko
10-16-2007, 11:32 PM
Out of curiosity, did the Bren machine gun also use magazines from other .303 guns, or could it only work with the specific curved magazine for it?

Man of Stoat
10-17-2007, 02:24 AM
Of course it only worked with its own magazines (the 30 round box or the much rarer 75? Round drum). It did not take the Vickers K drum, nor did it take the smle/No.4 10 round box.

Man of Stoat
10-17-2007, 02:24 AM
Nor the curved magazine from the Vickers-Berthier, as used in Indian service.

Firefly
10-17-2007, 04:54 AM
Out of curiosity, did the Bren machine gun also use magazines from other .303 guns, or could it only work with the specific curved magazine for it?

Hi mate and welcome to the site, the Bren only used Bren Magazines. Which of course was the simple answer.

Cheers:D

Cuts
10-17-2007, 06:23 AM
I imaginethe question may have stemmed from the magazine commonality between the L1A1 and the L4 LMG, a rare piece of joined-up thinking.

For information I have seen high capacity mags for the Bren in the AA rôle, although I think these were wksp mods using 2 x 30 rounders.

Nickdfresh
10-17-2007, 05:58 PM
I never even knew the Bren had a 75-rd. drum mag.

http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/mediawiki-1.5.5/images/thumb/6/62/Trip3.jpg/300px-Trip3.jpg

On second thought, I guess I've seen it before. I just wonder why it was not more widely available for infantry?

tamaneko
10-18-2007, 02:04 AM
Thanks for the info. Well, actually, I was asking because I've been considering purchasing a Bren display gun, but unfortunately live in Calfornia with those 10-mag limit laws. I was hoping a 10-round mag from another firearm would be interchangeable with it, but alas...

Cuts
10-18-2007, 04:53 AM
If it's to be used as a display gun you might be better off buying one that's been deactivated or better yet a cutaway trg version.

Magazines are not difficult to limit to ten rds or weld up completely, ask a dealer.

1000ydstare
10-18-2007, 11:40 AM
I never even knew the Bren had a 75-rd. drum mag....

I just wonder why it was not more widely available for infantry?

I would have thought that weight would have been a big problem with the 75 round drum. Fine if you are on a tripod, not so fine if you attempting to move from position to position, and fireing from the bipod. It could possible hinder carrying from the handle or if the gunner was carrying it "on the hip". As the weight on weight on top would tip the gun.

The Bren Ammo was separated throughout the section, it is easier to carry two - 4 mags of 30 than one or two of 75.

One big problem with the drum, which I feel is the real reason above all else, is time take to reload a drum. It contains 75 rounds or 2 1/2 mags worth. Thus it takes longer to unload and longer to load. Once you've fired 30 rounds, you can whip off the old mag pass it back to be bombed up, and you have a full supply again. Firing 2 - 3 round bursts this would be 12 (30 rd) or 30 (75 rds) bursts, regardless of mags or drums you are carrying the same amount of ammo just in more containers (30 rds) or less ( (75 rds) so there would be fewer mags to be charged in less time!!!

Perhaps that reason is the one big one.

Also, with a drum, the gunner might go mental and melt the barrel. With 30 round mags, there is a element of pause brought in. With AA, it would be long bursts but a fair bit of pause between each one. In a ground attack, there would be no respite.

Rising Sun*
10-18-2007, 09:43 PM
I mentioned the drum mag to an old digger yesterday. He said they were for anti-aircraft use only, which avoids the weight problem for infantry.

bwing55543
10-19-2007, 04:09 PM
I never even knew the Bren had a 75-rd. drum mag.

http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/mediawiki-1.5.5/images/thumb/6/62/Trip3.jpg/300px-Trip3.jpg

On second thought, I guess I've seen it before. I just wonder why it was not more widely available for infantry?

I also imagine jamming would've been an issue since that's why the US military opted to drop the drum mags for the M1 Thompson and only load it using the box magazine.

I'm sure the Bren, Lee-Enfield, and Vickers could all take the same ammunition; however, their magazines are all completely different so you cannot exchange magazines between them.

tamaneko
10-19-2007, 09:26 PM
That drum mag appears to be incredibly rare. Here's one for $1500! (http://www.ima-usa.com/product_info.php/cPath/1_214_56/products_id/1141)

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion on welding the mag, didn't think of that. I think I found a dealer willing to weld one up to make it legal to ship to California. I also ordered a parts kit for a Bren Mk.1, should be here next week.

1000ydstare
11-04-2007, 05:35 AM
There were other problems with the Thompson drum.

In particular the 50 round drum was heavy, but the 100 round drum was insanely heavy and large. Niether could be easily stashed in existing webbing.

Also both of the drums rattled when moving. They were ditched for use with Special units in the British Forces for that very reason.

Nickdfresh
11-04-2007, 11:27 AM
I believe there were also reliability issues with Tommy Gun drum mags. in the field...

1000ydstare
11-04-2007, 11:39 AM
Not sure.

Possible. But not heard of anything.

There was also a belt fed version, but I don't think it was used or actually produced in large numbers.

The original design being for a light automatic machine gun to be carried forward in the charge (trench warfare of ww1) and then used to sweep out the opposition - hence the nick name for this type of weapon as the "Trench Broom".

The Belt fed version died a death early on, possibly because other weapons such as the long Luger and the Lewis Machine Gun were already being used for this purpose, and both had drum mags rather than belts. The belts would have got in the way.

The Drums gave way to mags for some reason, and I don't think it was weight, as the weapon was said to be well balanced even with the drums on. Apart from commando raids noise wouldn't have been a problem either.

Nickdfresh
11-04-2007, 04:45 PM
M1928A1

The M1928A1 variant entered mass production before the attack on Pearl Harbor, as on-hand stocks ran out. Changes included a horizontal forend, in place of the distinctive vertical foregrip ("pistol grip"), and a provision for a military sling. Despite new U.S. contracts for Lend-Lease shipments abroad to China, France, and the United Kingdom, as well as the needs of American armed forces, only two factories supplied M1928A1 Thompsons during the early years of World War II. The weapon was mostly used in the U.S. military by the Marine units in the Pacific Theater. Though it could use both the 50-round drum and the 20- or 30-round magazines, active service showed the drums were more prone to jamming and extremely heavy and bulky, especially on long patrols. 562,511 were made.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thompson_submachine_gun

bootneck
01-11-2009, 11:45 AM
I think this might come from the FN SLR , LMG set up , marines used to carry LMG ( Bren) up until after the Falklands war, the mags from these would fit nicely on to a SLR giving it a 30 round mag.

redcoat
01-11-2009, 04:40 PM
The Drums gave way to mags for some reason, and I don't think it was weight, as the weapon was said to be well balanced even with the drums on. Apart from commando raids noise wouldn't have been a problem either.
The two reasons I've heard mentioned why they soon stopped using them in the British army, were that the drums were awkward to carry compared to the box magazines, and the fact they rattled quite loudly when carried.

HAWKEYE
01-17-2009, 10:27 PM
There were other problems with the Thompson drum.

In particular the 50 round drum was heavy, but the 100 round drum was insanely heavy and large. Niether could be easily stashed in existing webbing.

Also both of the drums rattled when moving. They were ditched for use with Special units in the British Forces for that very reason.


There was plenty of existing webgear to carry the "L" drums and the "C" drums as well.

Mills "L" drum pouch:
http://www.sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/MGBoards/221MillsLPouch.JPG

Rusco "C" Drum pouch:
http://www.sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/MGBoards/RuscoCPouch.JPG
http://www.machinegunboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=10090