BREN L4 Light Machine Gun
|Magazine Capacity:||30 rounds||Rate of Fire:||40 rounds/min|
|Effective Range:||600+m||Date in Service:||1954/h|
In August 1934, after a 50000-round endurance test, the BRNO ZGB 34 LMG was adopted by the British Armed Forces. The licensing arrangements with Ceskoslovenska Zbrojevka Brno permitted the manufacture of a new gun, designated as BREN (for Brno and Enfield), at Royal Small Arms factory in Enfield. the first Bren Mark 1 light machine gun, left the Enfield factory in September 1937.
During WW2, Bren guns were also made in Canada, by John Inglis Co., and in Australia, by Lithgow Small Arms factory. The Bren machine guns proved to be highly effective, reliable and very accurate weapons, but the Bren guns were gradually simplified and lightened, resulting in a series of Marks, from Mk 1 to Mk 4. At the same time, the Inglis Company, in Canada produced a number of Bren guns in 7,92 Mauser calibre for China.
When Britain has jointed the NATO in 1954, it solved the problem of the light machine gun in new standard caliber (7,62x51mmNATO)by simple adaption of the Bren to the new cartridge. These "NATO standard" Bren guns received official index L4A1, which went through a number of modifications during it's service in the British Armed Forces, the final model produced being the L4A9.
BREN Light Machine Gun Variants:
BREN Mk.1:...... Original version with radial type sight, and additional grip under the butt (not present on latter marks).
BREN Mk.1(M):. Canadian-made version, with simplified non-telescoping bipod legs and simplified butt without shoulder rest and buttplate buffer; also was made in 7,92x57 calibre for China.
BREN Mk.2:..... Simplified war-time version with simplified rear sight.
BREN Mk.3:..... Lightened version of the Mk.2, with barrel shortened by 70mm (2žinch).
BREN Mk.4:..... Minor variation of previous mark, with different butt shape.
BREN L4A1:......Bren Mk.3 guns converted to 7,62x51 NATO ammunition using Canadian-made7,92x57 bolts (Chinese contract) and new barrels and magazines; each gun was issued with two barrels.
BREN L4A2:..... Same as L4A1 but with lighter bipod.
BREN L4A3:..... Bren Mk.2 converted to 7,62x51 NATO the same way as L4A1.
BREN L4A4:..... Similar to L4A1 but barrel is chrome-lined; only one barrel was issued per gun (no spare barrels at unit level).
BREN L4A5:..... Same as L4A3 but with chrome-lined barrels. Issue was limited to British Navy.
BREN L4A6:..... L4A1 re-issued with chrome-lined barrel.
BREN L4A7:..... Conversion of Bren Mk.1 to 7,62x51, proposed for Indian army; Not produced.
BREN L4A8:..... Not produced.
BREN L4A9:..... L4A4 modified with addition of the sight bracket for AA or Night/IR sighting equipment.
|D/E (E inside D):||Enfield RSAF|
|SAF:||Indian Small Arms Factory|
The L4 BREN LMG is a gas-operated, air cooled, selectively fired machine gun. It has a quick-detachable barrel
The action of gun is powered by a long-stroke gas piston, located below the barrel.
The ammunition feed is from top-mounted box magazines. These are made from sheet steel and hold 30 rounds in a
two-row configuration (although in the field soldiers preferred to load only 27-28 rounds to reduce strain on
the magazine spring and thus ensure reliability of the feed under harsh conditions).
The magazine housing has a sliding dust cover which is slid forward to load the gun. Spent cartridges are
ejected downwards. The ejection port is normally closed with its own dust cover which opens automatically
once the trigger is pressed.
The trigger unit permits both single shots and automatic fire, selectable through a safety / fire mode selector lever
situated at the left side of the pistol grip.
General Purpose Machine Gun
|Magazine Capacity:||Belt Feed||Rate of Fire:||Cyclic 750 rounds/min|
|Effective Range:||800-1800m||Date in Service:||1954|
The MAG (Mitrailleuse d'Appui General = General Purpose Machinegun), had been developed by the famous Belgian company FN Herstal in the 1950s, as a true universal machine gun, that could be used as a light MG on bipod, as a medium MG on tripod or as a vehicle-mounted MG. The basic design of the MAG is no more than a time-proven Browning action, taken from the M1918 BAR automatic rifle, turned upside down and adopted for belt feed. The basic design used as much steel stampings and pressings as possible to save the labour and costs, and the final gun had the angular, but very business-like appearance.
L7A1/L7A2 General Purpose Machine Gun
|L7A1:||7.62×51 mm NATO FN MAG 60.20 T3 machine gun.|
|L7A2 L7A1 variant:||FN MAG 60.20 T6; Improved feed mechanism and provision for 50 round belt-box.|
|L8A1 L7A1 variant:||For mounting inside AFVs. No buttstock. Barrel fitted with fume extractor. Solenoid-triggered, but with folding pistol grip for emergency use.|
|L8A2 L8A1 variant:||Improved feed mechanism.|
|L19A1 L7A1 variant:||Extra-heavy barrel.|
|L20A1 L7A1 variant:||For remote firing in gun pods and external mountings.|
|L20A2 L20A1 variant:||Improved feed mechanism.|
|L37A1 L8A1 variant:||L8A1 breech & L7 barrel for mounting on AFVs. Conventional pistol grip and trigger, plus kit allowing dismounted use.|
|L37A2 L37A1 variant:||L8A2 based. As above.|
|L43A1 L7A1 variant:||For use as a ranging gun on the Scorpion light tank.|
|L44A1 L20A1 variant:||Royal Navy variant.|
L7A2 General Purpose Machine Gun
The L7 and the related L8 are license-built derivatives of the MAG. The official British Army designation for the current version is the L7A2 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun).
The L7 was adopted by the British forces as a replacement for the long-serving Vickers machine gun and the Bren in 1957.
Built under license originally by Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield and currently by Manroy Engineering, it serves in the British Army, the Royal Marines and other services.
There have been two main variants, the L7A1 and L7A2, developed for infantry use, with the L7A2 having superseded the earlier variant. Several other variants have been developed, notably the L8 (produced in the L8A1 and L8A2 versions), modified for mounting inside armoured vehicles (the L37 variant was developed for mounting on armoured vehicles). Although intended to replace the Bren entirely, that light machine gun (redesignated the L4) continued in use, until the adoption of the L86A1 Light Support Weapon (LSW). The LSW was intended to replace both the L7 and the L4 in the light machine gun role, but sustained fire capabilities and reliability resulted in units continuing to utilize the L4 & L7 whenever possible. The British Army and Royal Marines have since been issued with the L110A1 (FN Minimi Para) to replace the LSW as the light section support or fire support weapon. This uses the same NATO-standard 5.56×45mm ammunition as the L85 assault rifle.
L7A1 General Purpose Machine Gun
In 1961, the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, undertook production of the MAG in the following versions: L7A2, L8A2, L37A2, L20A1 and the L43A1, using the M13 ammunition belt.
The L7A2, GPMG, replaced the L7A1 in service with the British Army, featuring minor changes. These were, a 10-position gas regulator valve, a plastic butt-stock and a bracket, used to mount optical day/night-vision sights, mounted to the left side of the receiver. In a stationary defensive role, the L7A2 can be mounted on the L4A1 tripod in conjunction with a periscope sight.
The L8A2 coaxial tank machine gun (replacing the L8A1), has a different gas valve switch (closed, single-position), a different flash hider and a modified cocking handle. The weapon also has a trigger group that accepts electrical input and a lever in the feed tray that enables the belt to be removed without lifting the feed tray cover.
The L37A2 (replacing the L37A1), is designed to be mounted on tank turrets, in the commander's position, on wheeled armoured vehicles and on armoured personnel carriers. It differs from the L8A2, in its trigger group, which was adapted from the L7A2 GPMG. The machine gun can be used in the ground role for self-defense, by dismounted vehicle crew members, an egress kit is issued with the weapon, consisting of an L7A2 barrel, bipod and buttstock.
The L20A1 aircraft machine gun is based on the L8A2, but differs by having an electrical trigger and a slotted flash suppressor. The L20A1 can also be converted to right-hand feed.
The L43A1, also developed from the L8A2, is a coaxially-mounted tank machine gun used to sight-in the vehicle's main gun by firing ballistically-matched tracer ammunition at the target to confirm the trajectory visually. The weapon's barrel, fitted with a flash hider, has a reinforced and heavier structure that increases the weapon's accuracy especially during sustained fire.
The L7/L8 is an extremely reliable and proven design, that seen widespread service, being adopted by many armies around the world.
An inoperative, drill version was was produced designated L46A1.