Royal Armouries

Bren Mk.II light machine gun

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Bren Mk.II light machine gun

Bren Mk.II light machine gun - PR.13316.

  • Bren Mk.II light machine gun

    Bren Mk.II light machine gun - PR.13316.

Date: 1945 | Object number: PR.13316

Bren Mk.II light machine gun

Description

Collection no: PR.13316
Country: Canada
Date: 1945
Calibre: .303 in
Barrel length: 648 mm
Overall length: 1550 mm

After the First World War armies began to look for effective designs in a new class of automatic weapon that could fire in fully automatic mode for extended periods of time, but that could also be carried and fired by one man.

The BREN, based upon the Czech ZB Vz26, was still too heavy and powerful to be effective without the use of its built-in bipod, and its 30-round box magazines had to be changed frequently. However, the inevitable problem of overheating was overcome by allowing quick replacement of the barrel.

Overall, it was a good compromise between firepower and portability, and saw British service from 1937 until 1991. The model Mk.II was the most widely manufactured version of the Bren.

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