Machine gun Bran

Machine-gun armament of the army in England for almost 100 years, consisted of zabugornyh systems, which were carried out in the country. The same applies to the machine gun, "Bran."

Yet in the middle of the 20s the military control of England announced a competition for gun, who had to change the hard "Lewis", but presented in English, French, Danish, Czech and Swiss systems or one not elected. At the trials in 1932 first place went to "Vickers-Berthier," but the new gun was intended to change and heavy machine "Vickers" and hand "Lewis" and "Vickers-Berthier" demand intense fire from the machine is not able to meet because hit adopted only in the Indian part.

Machine gun "Bran"

Since the British military attaché in Prague gave positive responses to the competition got 7.92-mm machine gun ZB-30 "Zbroevka Brno» Czech production, which caused a greater enthusiasm of those. Commission Colonel Ridley. Modernization, carried out by Czech designers Anton Marek, Emanuel and Vaclav Holec on-demand British model gave the ZB-33 (ZGB33 — Zbrojovka, Great Britain, 1933) chambered for .303 "British service." Because I had the cartridge protruding lip and gave korditny gunpowder in the barrel very different properties and clog up the vapor pressure of the way, the power system was changed (ie, imposed shop sector-shaped, with all this increasing capacity to 30 rounds), and to provide the best blow of the gas chamber moved the gas escape hole back. Accordingly changed the gas piston and regulator. To mitigate the impact imposed buffer.

In the UK, ZB-33 tests were successful, and the machine guns were also obtained jig machines, allowing to conduct anti-aircraft fire. We decided to take the data on the machine gun armament and organize the establishment in England. ZB-33 machine gun under cartridge "Mauser" 7.92-mm also supplied the army of Czechoslovakia (Vz.34), in Lithuania, Bulgaria, in calibers .303 and 7.92 — in Libya and Egypt.

In May, a 35-year "Zbroevka Brno" and the British government signed a contract for the licensed production of machine guns. Technological refinement in the town of Enfield at the "Royal Small Arms" (Enfield Lock, Midlesseks) was delayed until September 1937. Title gun was drawn from the first syllables of the cities of Brno and Enfield (BRno-ENfield — BREN).

Machine gun "Bran"In August 1938, was the first to adopt the modification received the designation Mk 1. This gun as a whole repeating layout, but the stock was secured hinged shoulder support, added a handle to the left hand. This butt has not received special recognition because at simplifying the design they were removed first. The total establishment was deployed in 1939, after Germany's attack on Poland, the issue was brought up to 400 pieces per week. At year end, the infantry of the British troops equipped with machine guns, "Bran."

By June 1940, the Army had over 30 thousand guns Mk 1 "Bran." Since huge amount of data guns were left at Dunkirk, "Bran" and mock ZB-26 were to serve in the Wehrmacht. The English army, ready to repel the invasion, had only 2.3 million "Branham." The company "Royal Small Arms" with a very tremendous stress trying to increase the production, trying to simplify the creation. By 1943, brought to the level of 1,000 guns per week.

The work was based on the automation was retracting from the barrel of powder gases. Replacement barrel and the receiver connected suharno threaded connection with the rotary coupling receiver and handle. To substitute barrel took about 7 seconds. Permutation of the regulator can be made without disassembling the gun, the tips of bullet cartridge for a few seconds. The barrel is locked produced warp speed. The main difference from the layout (machine gun ZB-30) was a movement of the barrel and receiver at the time of firing shots back along the frame. So Makar, partially offset by the impact acts. Movement of the movable portion gasilos shock, return to the position of the frontal part of the rollback.

Shot from the rear sear. Flag interpreter fuse had three positions: frontal ("30" or "A") — "continuous fire", the mean ("0" or the «S») — «fuse" back ("1" or the «R») — "single fire." Been removed, the trigger guard and sear with the uncoupler, the projection is delayed for a cut of the gas piston rod.

Machine gun "Bran"
Longitudinal section of a light machine gun, "Bran"

Since the store was placed on top of the fly and the sector sight with diopter completely eccentric control shifted to the left. In the stowed position, the windows were locked receiver with sliding covers. The sight was a notch from 200 to 2,000 yards (from 182.88 to 1828.8 m) in increments of 50. Most firing range — 3 thousand meters effective range while firing at ground targets — 650 m, the Air — 550 m was recommended to conduct small bursts of fire (5 shots). At the rate of fire is 120 shots per minute to create an annotation recommended substitute the barrel after 300 rounds (which equals 10 stores) or a 2.5 minute. Dismantling and service the machine gun were pretty ordinary.

Not counting the spare barrel in the first set of machine gun and tripod machine came a mass of 12 kg, which gave a limited field of fire — after the infantry battalions were reorganized and out of their seized an old heavy machine guns, "Vickers" on the gun "Bran", which was the instrument of separation, tried to lay a puzzle machine gun. This attempt was unsuccessful, and Procurement huge number of machines became futile waste of resources. The set includes 25 machine gun filled with shops — one mounted on the weapon, the other located in the 2-iron boxes. To speed up the filling of cartridges stores had snaryazhatel lever. In combat stores tolerated and assistant gunner in the bags. Apart from the box magazine capacity of 30 rounds had multi-row disc magazine for 100 radially placed bullets. Mass of framed box magazine equaled 1.25 kg disk — 5.5 kg. Disc magazine was used in the main for anti-aircraft installations. The creation of shops engaged in "Austin Motor Works" and "Birmingham Small Arms." Since the cartridge .303 "British" is often enough to warp or clinging happened, it was recommended to charge the store 28-29 bullets — this practice is often used in automatic weapons chambered with a prominent rim, shops "nedosnaryazhali" for several rounds.

Machine gun &
British gunners with machine gun Bren. Here and there on the border of Holland and Germany

Creating a machine gun, "Bran" Mk 1 was metal-intensive and technologically sophisticated. Only for the receiver needed about 550 and 270 measurements of operations, with the detail of up to 2 pounds coming out of the workpiece weight of 10 pounds — for wartime loss of such metal were very sensitive. In this regard, the June 41-year "Bran" Mk 2 different acceleration and simplification of production. Bimbo modification was facilitated sector sight, a single assembly "flash suppressor — fly — gas regulator" is made of stainless steel was replaced with 3 different parts, with stainless steel are made only gas regulator. At the stock absent additional handle, instead of telescopic forks were unregulated charging handle was awkward, to the receiver out grooves to facilitate. As a result, the data redistribution weight machine gun increased to 10.52 kg 10.04 kg. In addition, designers abandoned and from machine to machine gun "Bran."

English infantry battalion for 1943 had about 50 guns "Bran" — one in the offices, in a platoon of light armored vehicles in the company of a staff, and four twin anti-aircraft installation. Machine gun "Bran" was used as anti-aircraft weapons ACS, armored vehicles and tanks, put on ships, boats, cars.

Machine gun "Bran"

Armored Car "Humber» (Armoured Car «Humber») on the protection of the British airfield in Holland. On the part of the armored cars was installed 7.62-mm machine gun «Bren», visible in the photo. In the background on the airfield airfield — fighter-attack aircraft Hawker "Tempest» (Hawker «Tempest»)

In July, the 44th year of the arms were adopted guns "Bran" Mk 3 and Mk 4 — which is a modification Mk 1 and Mk 2, respectively. Trunk Mk 3 was shortened to 562 mm and the weight was reduced to 8.76 kg. Machine Gun Mk 4 had a small trunk and lower weight. Weight was 8.65 kg — the minimum allowed for the shooting .303 cartridge. These shortened modified to be used in tropical undergrowth, but they were used on all fronts.

By the end of the war produced more than 300 million guns "Bran" of different modifications. Marking machine gun was located on the right side and included the inscription BREN Mk XX.

In the critical 40th year in the Commonwealth began the creation of "Bran" licenses "Royal Small Arms." In Canada, establishment settled in Toronto in the enterprise, "John Inglis Company" in Australia — in the town of Lithgow at "Small Arms". By 1942, the enterprise data were given to 150 guns per week under the English patron. In 1942-1943, the company "John Inglis" made about 60% of all "Bran" for the Commonwealth and for export, including a 7.92-mm modified for China. Canadian "Bran" Mk 1 had a separate flash suppressor, gas regulator and fly on machine guns chambered for "Mauser" on the receiver had the words "7.92."

Machine gun "Bran"
German paratrooper (Fallschirmjäger) poses with the trophy British Bren gun (Bren)

Guns 'Bran' .303 caliber were in service in the Commonwealth, also under the British flag in foreign formations (Belgian, Dutch, Polish, French, Czech). Reliable, having good accuracy and is comparable Myagenko out that facilitate management, "Bran" went one of the best light machine guns since the second world war. If, for operational and combat features it is justified, but its production and economic indicators gun "Bran" significantly behind the other samples such instruments of his time. Once adopted a single 7.62-mm NATO cartridge guns had to be done under it (a modification of "Bran" 14) — that it took a Canadian 7.92-millimeter modification of the "Chinese contract." Various modifications of the post-war "Bran" are used to this day.

The order of unloading machine gun "Bran":

Remove the magazine. Pull back the charging handle, through the shop window look around the nest chamber. Push the trigger while holding the handle of loading, return the forward charging handle. Slide the back cover of the store window to close it. Slide the back cover of the lower window receiver ejection port to close it.

Machine gun "Bran"
The soldiers of the 8th British Army in the battle for the Sicilian town of Enna. Soldier armed with a machine gun in front of Bren

The order of partial disassembly of the machine gun, "Bran":
1. Unload the gun.
2. Pressing the tab on the coupling, and turning up her arm, separate the stem.
3. Separate the regulator from the gas chambers, why do you need before turning the match of his tips and longitudinal window of the gas chamber.
4. Pull the trigger closer to the right of the frame and the shutter frame and separate the butt.
5. Turn the lever coupling hole, remove the frame and the bolt from the receiver.
6. Separated from the bolt slide.
7. Separated from the receiver bipod.

To assemble all the acts had to perform in working order.

Technical properties of the machine gun, "Bran" Mk 1:
Cartridge — .303 "British service» (7,7 x56 R);
Weight of gun — 10.15 kg (unloaded);
Full length of a gun — 1150 mm
Barrel length — 635 mm
Rifling — 6 of right;
Weight of the barrel — 2.9 kg;
The initial velocity — 745 m / s;
Effective range — 1829 m;
Rate of fire — 660 rounds per minute;
Combat rate — 60-120 rounds per minute;
Capacity box magazine — 30 rounds;

Technical properties of the machine gun, "Bran" Mk 3:
Cartridge — .303 "British service» (7,7 x56 R);
Weight of gun — 8.80 kg (without cartridges);
Full length of a gun — 1087 mm
Barrel length — 566 mm
Rifling — 6 of right;
Weight of the barrel — 2.3 kg;
The initial velocity — 730 m / s;
Effective range — 1829 m;
Rate of fire — 500 rounds per minute;
Combat rate — 60-120 rounds per minute;
Capacity box magazine — 30 rounds;

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