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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member ActionYobbo's Avatar
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    7.91

    I bought a bunch of bren gun parts and they are not 303
    the barrel is marked 7.91 so from my research I guess its 8mm but its also marked efd
    and looks like a british made MK2 barrel that was originaly 303 and was converted
    any idea on who did this? I dont think it was a small time operation as I have also found 11 other barrels with the same markings (online) in 3 different countries but no other info
    thanks

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  3. #2
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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    There's a few things we all need to know. First, use a 7,92mm drill round and tell us whether it is in fact bored and chambered for a 7,92mm round. Give us a detailed description of the markings because I'm not so sure that Enfield made a) ANY Mk2 barrels or b) even a Mk1 barrels in 7.92. Enfield did (and still) HAVE a 7.92mm Mk1 gun and a couple of barrels for pre war trials but the Mk1 gun and barrels were converted by CZ/Brunn but paid for by Enfiield.

    What makes you say '.....it looks like a Britishicon made Mk2 barrel'. There are some features between British early and late/Canadianicon/Australianicon - but what have you identified

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    Really Senior Member ActionYobbo's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    well the barrel bore is 8mm and it chambers 8mm perfectly its marked 7.91 and then its serialed T3884
    the gas block is marked CRD on one side and on the other side V3
    the barrel has (as 1 stamp) crown ED 43 (crown is a picture the E is in the D ) there is also what looks like CRD also but is hard to see
    I have several Mk2 barrels and this 1 looks like the other Mk2 barrels except for the lack of stmps and renumberings
    above the chamber has the relief cut just like the 303 barrels. the bore looks like new and the finish is in good condition
    thanks

  6. #4
    Senior Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    I too have several of these 7.91 marked barrels... yet nobody seems to know what army made the conversions... I have them in MkI and MkII varities. Mine arrived in the US as parts of demilled parts kits... from some imported surplus lot whose oragins have been lost to general knowledge... It would be knice to know what large Bren lots were imported in the past 20 years and from where... but most of those who would know the details are not forum posters. I happened to get one of these barrels with it's companion receiver... it shoots 8mm very well with a .303 bolt and 7.62 extractor - in its current semi auto form.

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    From what you have said, CRD is Climax Rock Drill from Redruth in Cornwall who made .303" Mk2 Bren barrels and T-3884 is a Daimler Mk2 Bren of 1942/43

    There were no 7.92mm Bren barrels made at CRD and I can only imagine that as Wally G says, that they were converted to 7.92mm for some nation. Quite why is the next mystery because there were already Canadianicon 7.92mm Brens in existance. Conversion of a Bren to 7.92mm wasn't difficult but was expensive because to cater for the cartridge you needed a 7.92mm barrel and breech block and to retain the internal geometry, a special set of locking shoulders. If you were doing it on the cheap, you could get away with the .303" breech block but primary extraction and full extraction will be a problem, Same as ejection. You COULD use the .303" ejector but the smaller 7.92mm base rim diameter made it a bit hit and miss.

    Maybe one of you could look at the breech end of the barrel to see whether some sort of chamber/barrel sleeve/insert has been fitted because if a .303" barrel has been converted to 7.92, then it must have been by an insert. Not difficult to do because we had chamber inserts for .303" Bren barrels converted to 7.62mm for blank firing in Australiaicon for use in our L4 guns

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    Senior Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    My original converted barrels (type in question) do not appear to involve inserts... I do not see evidence of a seam either at the throat nor breech face. On a related note I have taken three new JI made .303 MkII barrels and sent them to a gunsmith here in the states... he has re-bored them to 8mm and cut 8mm chambers into them - all without inserts... essentially replicating what I suppose to have been done to the 7.91 marked originals we are discussing.

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    You're right too! There is JUST enough diametric room to bore a 7.92mm chamber into a .303" chamber. Good thinking Wally. I think that must be the answer to the querie.

    Mind you, that's OK for 7.92mm but not for 7.62mm

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    Senior Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    The mystery persists... what army or organization would have wanted to shoot 8mm in a bulk quantity of Brens... post war? This would require Brens, barrels and 8mm box magazines in quantity... Greece is still my uneducated guess... has a history of Brens and 8mm use... also close to countries that used 8mm Zb guns so mags would be in close proximity... if not actually left over in country from Germanicon occupation forces... and lots of surplus Bren items have originated from Greece in recent history. Anybody have contacts in the surplus arms industry?

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    Really Senior Member LesterH's Avatar
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    There is a paragraph on page 315 of the Brengun Saga book. The Chinese did have the Inglis Bren in 7.92X57mm. The Chinese also made the ZB26. The American War Production Board China. Sent a three page materials list to America requesting certain components.They could not get the correct steel in China. Could the Bren barrels mentioned above be part of this order for China ( sorry only basic info about this in the book).
    The Japaneseicon captured a lot of .303 Brens, then the Chinese liberated them from the Japs.a lot of Brens would have been captured during the Korean war. It is very possible captured Enfield made parts were rebuilt to fit what ever the Chinese had on issue.
    There is another note the MKII Bren was made at the 21st Nanjing Arsenal in Taiwan. Called Model 41 (1952) in 30-06' calibre. ( I just post this for information).

    Hope the above helps, Lester

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    Really Senior Member Brit plumber's Avatar
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    I suspect they are of Greek origin too, they may have been Greek communist conversions, Extract from Wiki "1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdomicon and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece (ΔΣΕ) (Greek initials DSE), the military branch of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslaviaicon and Albania".

    I've seen a large number of Brens where all the markings except the "Bren Mkx" marking have been removed and these possible communist Brens may have been rechambered in 7.92mm. I have had contact from a chap in Crete that has a Bren he bought at a market, its one of the guns I mention that have had the markings removed.

    Here is an extract from his email. "From the partizans and from the civil war the Greek Army had about 15.000 Brens. Received from Britain about 15.000. I visited two months ago an army depod to choose a Bren for the Museum. They show me 1500-2000 of them in almost perfect condition. I thought I was in Ali Baba and the 40 thiefs cave. They have some huge open top wooden boxes with spares. Barrels, pistons, butts everything mixed. As they told me for the museums they cut the piston, the bolt and they make some holes under the barrel. They don't cut the body. Maybe the British do that."

    It would be very intresting if anyone in the USAicon who has a Bren kit with all markings removed and a new serial number marked, could explain what came in their kmit.

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