Original British WWII 1943 Dated Bren MkII Display Light Machine Gun by John Inglis Co. with Magazine

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great deactivated display example of the iconic Bren MkII Light Machine gun, as used by British forces during WWII. It was built from all original parts on an original BATF compliant non-firing display receiver, making it a 100% legal Display Machine gun. This receiver was created by using portions of the original torch cut receiver, including the barrel bushing, combined with some new made steel portions. It has properly had a 25% section of the total length completely replaced entirely with solid steel bar stock. Meaning a 1/4 length section of the display receiver is solid steel, making this totally legal to own without a license of any kind. Every part on this display gun is original WWII manufacture other than 25% of the receiver replaced by solid steel (as required by BATF).

The display gun marked BREN Mk II on the rear receiver over the cocking lever. It is also marked INGLIS / 1943 farther up the receiver, indicating manufacture by the Canadian Firm of John Inglis, who was contracted to make Bren guns by the British Military during WWII after many were lost at Dunkirk. They were first mainly making the MkIm, which had some simplifications to the design, and then later made the MkII, which removed a lot of the faults of the MkI design, while reducing production time.

This display gun has the correct MkII receiver, with a ladder sight attached to the rear, and the correct "high ears" on the front of the gas tube. The butt stock is the correct simplified version, with a sling swivel on the side, and a flat butt plate. It has the correct all steel MkII barrel mounted permanently to the front. This looks to be an early example made, as it features a MkI* pattern lower receiver, as well as the early pattern cocking handle. It comes with an original WW2 Bren magazine, which will be deactivated where required.

Overall it is in very nice condition, with much of the original finish present on the original parts. The receiver has been painted with our gunmetal gray spray paint, which really looks the business. Pistol grip and butt stock are in solid shape, with a great color and patina of age. There is however a repaired crack going through the butt stock, very common on examples with the small "shoulder rest" at the top. This looks like a gun that was out on the battlefield, and then put away after the war, not one that was sold off as surplus.

A very attractive display piece for any collection!

The Bren was a licensed version of the Czechoslovak ZGB 33 light machine gun which, in turn, was a modified version of the ZB vz. 26, which British Army officials had tested during a firearms service competition in the 1930s. The later Bren featured a distinctive top-mounted curved box magazine, conical flash hider, and quick change barrel. The name Bren was derived from Brno, the Czechoslovak city in Moravia, where the Zb vz. 26 was designed (in the Zbrojovka Brno Factory) and Enfield, site of the British Royal Small Arms Factory. The designer was Václav Holek, a gun inventor and design engineer.

The Bren was originally very close to the Czech ZB vz 30 in construction, with carefully machined lightening cuts, dovetails, and other precision design elements. However, with the massive loss of arms during the evacuation at Dunkirk, the British Military needed a lot more Bren guns, and fast. Very quickly, a modified MkI Bren, called either the MkIM or MkI*, was introduced, which removed a lot of the bevels and lightening cuts that were machined into the original receiver. The complicated front adjustable bipod was also replaced by one with fixed legs. The extra sight dovetail on the left side was removed completely as well.

However, at the same time the MkI Modified was being developed, plans were already in motion for an even simpler redesign for new production lines that were not already set up to make the MkIM This new design involved a much simpler squared rear receiver, and did away with the complicated dial-driven rear sight. Instead a standard fold-away ladder sight was developed. The rear butt stock was dramatically simplified in design, being more of a slab, and it had a simple bent steel butt plate that screwed directly onto the wood. The MkI had a utilized a stamped "Cup" that snapped into special slots, and had a fold-away shoulder rest.

The most noticeable change to the layman however would be the new barrel. gone was the long stainless steel barrel shroud and flash hider that extended to the gas regulator. Instead, the flash hider was now pressed onto the end of the barrel, and was only about 3 inches long in total, with the front sight another piece that was pressed on. All of these changes together dramatically sped up production.

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