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Thread: My .308/7.62mm fullauto conversion- Plug & Play Success!!

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  1. #11
    Really Senior Member TactAdv's Avatar
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    Okay, posting some quick crappy pictures here...Peter asked to see the breech end of the S.A. BBL....

    Things to note- the magic of these S.A./Lyttleton BBLs is that the SHANK is about .090" shorter than a std .303 BBL shank, which then allows the std unmodified .303 bolt face still with feed horns protruding forward to fit against, i.e, lock against the std .303 locking shoulder, i.e., since the shank is shorter by the same distance as the length of the fee horns, it doesn't interfere. Note that these pictures clearly show the ONLY cut/relief on the breech face is for the EXTRACTOR claw......no cut for the bolt feed horns to drop into!

    It's a brilliantly simple solution, though it would seem that in so doing you'd have a lot of unsupported cartridge case extending, it doesn't seem to matter one wit, in actual firing. None of the .308 fired cases exhibit any bulging at the case head area......so all's good. A brilliantly stupid solution that works....

    I'm probably going to go shoot it more tomorrow again, so I will get some video of it shooting in .308 with all these conversion parts installed.

    Again, the total conversion consists of:
    -S.A. 7,62x51MM NATO caliber barrel (Lyttleton proprietary design)
    -S.A. 7,62mm extractor (suspect identical to all other 7,92mm/7,62mm extractors)
    -using unmodified Bulgarian Zb-39 25rd magazines.

    Comments.....????
    -TomH

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  4. #12
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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    You said it all Tom ..........so all's good. A brilliantly stupid solution that works....

    But as I have said many times, in a calibre conversion, the shooting is simple. In a machine gun it's perfecting the remainder of the cycle at 10 times per second that is the problem. Cock, feed, load, lock FIRE. Unlock, extract, eject PLUS the events that take place within those primary features and simultaneously to them. But it works......

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    Really Senior Member tr63's Avatar
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    I would like to do the same to my MkII and use the much easier to find 308 ammo .

  7. #14
    Really Senior Member Joe H's Avatar
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    tr,

    Here is what you need:

    Barrel Assembly, .308 (7.62mm) L4 w/Flashhider, Used Factory | Gun Parts

    Search

    Zb-39 25 Round Magazine | Allegheny Arsenal

    be sure to check headspace for the .308.

    Discussion here:

    Login


    Joe

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    Really Senior Member tr63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe H View Post
    tr,

    Here is what you need:

    Barrel Assembly, .308 (7.62mm) L4 w/Flashhider, Used Factory | Gun Parts

    Search

    Zb-39 25 Round Magazine | Allegheny Arsenal

    be sure to check headspace for the .308.

    Discussion here:

    Login


    Joe
    Joe what extractor will it needed , will a .7.62 x51 mm from a L4 that BRP has for sale be correct ?

  9. #16
    Really Senior Member Joe H's Avatar
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    tr,

    The extractor from a Bren L4 7.62 Nato kit or a 8mm Mauser Bren will work, they are the same extractor.

    The .303 Britishicon extractor will also work with the ZB39 8mm Mannlicher (8x56R) and the 7.62 x 54R Russianicon conversion.

    The "L4" type extractor will work with the 7.62 Nato (.308 Win. ) and the 8mm Mauser (8x57)

    Joe

  10. #17
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Congrats!

    TactAdv,

    Conratulations on a well running piece of kit. My question is along the questioning by PL. Happy the gun is functioning, but is everything really working in a proper interface? Don't want to rain on anybody's party, but will you be doing any harm to your rather expensive heirloom? It may take thousands of rounds, but I would keep careful watch over certain aspects to be sure you were not developing any long term damage.

    Beyond that, this discussion has now lead ME down the primrose path, so I ordered up the barrel from Numrich, which is quite expensive, but not as expensive as owning a P-51. lol.

    I have a Mk III or a MkI (semi) I will test headspace on and see how it fits. Just need the extractor and I believe I have a spare for the L4, so should be good there. I am confused as to model number of the magazines though. I THOUGHT I had ZB-39 mags, but when looking at the link, the mags recommended look just like .303 mags? Here is what I have. I had understood these were for the Hungarianicon 8x56r. Is that not correct?

    The dark blued magazine fits in the Mk III just fine, but because of the shorter forward locking tab, it can be tipped forward and bypass the mag release with ease. I doubt it would stay in place under firing conditions? I may have to work on a solution for the shorter forward tab on these mags, if they are even appropriate for the .308 conversion? They aren't doing me much good in 8x56r Hungarian. Not unless I come across a massive supply of cheap Hungarian. (have a barrel too, but have never tried fitting it to either of my Brens.
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    Last edited by AmEngRifles; 04-08-2019 at 11:18 AM.

  11. #18
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    Must have had an extractor change surely! I have just used a .303 BB assembly in an L4 gun (not the same I agree....) with a slightly dinged/distorted drill round (to replicate it having been fired and tight in the chamber) and the 7.62 drill round just moves to the rear a couple of mm's, then upwards slightly and slips off the extractor. It's not exactly comparing like with like but the mechanics of it are the same.

    "The trouble with a converted gun WITHOUT the magazine well stop inserts is that before long the gun feed lips will tear away. Or maybe this only occurs with those guns that use L1A1/FN type magazines that sit slightly deeper in order for the BB feed horns to make better contact with the smaller base rim diameter of the 7.62 cartridge
    "


    I am understanding just a little more each time comments are made... As I slowly become aware of the nuances of the Bren, I can see that the L4 mag did need to be seated deeper, as you say Peter, because of the smaller rim face. Then along came the gouged magazine follower, causing the feed horns to be abbreviated as well. One begets the other, begets the other. Kinda Biblical. lol.

    Not having spent much time researching South African conversions, what did they do for mags? Was it the FAL Metric style? And at some point, what was modified about the mag well to allow the FAL mags to fit and lock?

    In these mentioned conversions, a non-7.62 mag is being utilized, but that is ok for range work. I know the SA Military Brens must have had a more thorough solution.

  12. #19
    Really Senior Member Joe H's Avatar
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    AER,

    I had a similar fitting problem with the Semi Bren & the ZB39 Mag. My MKI which was made from an IO kit and has a spec mag well and worked with an unmodified ZB39 mag. Locked in perfectly.

    My MkII was made from a MGS kit and had a "loose" mag well. Worked with a .303 mag but the ZB39 could slip out as you experienced with your semi Bren.

    My fix is pictured below. A shim soft soldered int between the ribs of the lower rear of the mag.

    I also found that removing the follower guide (pictured) from the mag allowed more rds. in the ZB39 mag.

    Here is some info. I found about the SA Conversion:

    www.nutria.co.za - View topic - South African Bren gun

    Joe
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  14. #20
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Thank you Joe, will read and digest.

    Oh to locate a coveted Mag release, ejector conversion unit...

    Do any drawings exist?

    The obvious question, does the front of a .303 mag well accommodate the small triangle lock tab on the FAL mag? I sure it locates, but is that small bit of meatl enough to keep that mag in place securely?

    Form that article Joe, it does sound like the SA conversion was somewhat suspect and relegated to other duties besides front line. Good read though. Thank you.

    I may try brazing a small piece of metal to the fronts of the ZB mags. Try one at least. See if that is enough to have a more positive lock.
    Last edited by AmEngRifles; 04-09-2019 at 10:13 AM.

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