Original WWII 1942 Dated British Bren MkI* Display Light Machine Gun by Lithgow Arsenal Serial A3044 with Live Barrel & Magazine

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of the iconic Bren MkI* 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 left rear of the receiver has the correct BREN Mk I marking, and the very back of the receiver is marked with serial number A3044. The maker marking and date are still clearly marked on the right side of the receiver by the magazine catch:


The display gun has the correct "updated" MkII style butt stock with a bent steel butt plate, which is the version that has a shoulder lip on the top. There is a sling swivel on a bolster on the right side, and the tripod mounting pin is still intact. The front of the gun has a LIVE MkII barrel assembly fitted, which has NOT been deactivated and can still be removed with a rubber mallet from the gun by turning the barrel latch, which can stick a bit. The lower frame / trigger group is the earlier MkI style, which extends past the tripod mounting pin. The end of the gas regulator is fitted with a simplified MkI* non-adjustable bipod.

Overall it is in excellent condition, and will make a magnificent part of any WWII display. Pistol grip and butt stock are in solid shape, with a great color and patina of age, and unlike most we see, there are no repaired splits on the top of the butt stock! The rear sight is still functional, sticking just a bit at times, which is a bit of a rarity given how delicate they are, and the magazine well dust cover is present. 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. Comes complete with an original Bren magazine, which will be deactivated if shipped where prohibited.

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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