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

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  1. #21
    Really Senior Member Joe H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmEngRifles View Post

    Oh to locate a coveted Mag release, ejector conversion unit...
    L4 Bren Ejector Block, 7.62X51, *Good* - Bren - Light Machine Guns - Machine Guns

    Watch what you wish for. Any conversion for the FAL mag entailed a lot of work. In addition to the receiver machining for the mag and ejector block, the mag stops in the the receiver were almost completely removed. The Enfield conversions added plugs to reinforce the mag stops.

    When you were done you only can use 7.62 Nato. With the conversion under discussion you can switch back and forth between .303 and 7.62 easily.



    Try different thickness shims in the rear of the ZB39 mag. per the pic. Just slip them in until you get the right fit then soft soldering will work and won't screw up the mag.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joe H; 04-09-2019 at 12:51 PM.

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  4. #22
    Really Senior Member tr63's Avatar
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    Joe what should I head space gauge the S.A. barrel in 308/7.62mm at go min. , field, and No go ?
    Last edited by tr63; 04-09-2019 at 07:39 PM.

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  6. #23
    Contributing Member csmarcher's Avatar
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    Just a wee note tacked on to this thread.

    Did a caliber swap on my Semi-Auto MkII at the range today
    Took less than one minute to change over from .303 to 7.62x51 with the South African barrel. Very pleased with the results and amazed a few of the Yanks at the range while doing it. Next time I’m going to bring my 54R conversion as well...🤣🤣

    One thing I did was to remove the follower block/aux spring from my ZB-39 mags to better accommodate the 7.62 round. I did find out, like the OP that the last round will not feed due to the base of the round being below the bolt hold open on the magazine. I’m thinking of trimming this off to eliminate this from happening.

    Cheers all

    Gary

  7. #24
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Gary, Thanks for the information.

    I keep wondering, "who cares if there is one round left in the mag?"...

    It is the "follower's helper" so to speak.

  8. #25
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Joe H, What I am trying to figure out is what sort of mag well conversion did South Africa use to fit L1A1 or FAL mags into the Bren well? They seemed to obviously not have gone the route that the UKicon did in having the mag stops riveted into place, but they must have milled away some portion of the interior .303 feed lips?? I am looking at the mag location trying to determine if the mag is forward, with a new mag catch/ejector assembly in place to take up excess room at the rear of the mag well, or some form of mag well filler in the front, to push the mag back against an existing .303 mag catch/ejector assembly?

    As you mention the modifications required, I won't attempt to modify my .303's in a permanent fashion at this point to take the L4 mags. I have a finicky L4 for that (still trying to work out my BOB issues) but it will be nice, if even just temporarily, to allow me to shot 7.62 out of a MkIII or otherwise. Kind of a parlor trick.

    If I can attach some specific pictures from the link I will...
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    Last edited by AmEngRifles; 04-10-2019 at 08:34 AM.

  9. #26
    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by csmarcher View Post
    ...snip...
    One thing I did was to remove the follower block/aux spring from my ZB-39 mags to better accommodate the 7.62 round. I did find out, like the OP that the last round will not feed due to the base of the round being below the bolt hold open on the magazine. I’m thinking of trimming this off to eliminate this from happening.
    ...snip...
    I would live with the un-fed round unless it becomes a safety issue - removal of the mag follower hold open feature will (eventually) lead to increased wear to the receiver bolt stops.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmEngRifles View Post
    Joe H, What I am trying to figure out is what sort of mag well conversion did South Africa use to fit L1A1 or FAL mags into the Bren well? They seemed to obviously not have gone the route that the UKicon did in having the mag stops riveted into place, but they must have milled away some portion of the interior .303 feed lips?? I am looking at the mag location trying to determine if the mag is forward, with a new mag catch/ejector assembly in place to take up excess room at the rear of the mag well, or some form of mag well filler in the front, to push the mag back against an existing .303 mag catch/ejector assembly?

    ...snip...
    South Africa only used FN-FAL (small front tab) magazines.

    "KevG" had posted pics of a SA 7.62 Bren some years ago. IIRC his comments were to the effect that the SA ejector block was clearly based on that of the X10/L4A1, however it is not interchangeable.
    http://weaponsonline.proboards.com/thread/993

    Deceased former member "John R." was in Rhodesia in the early 1970s and had written a description (must have been on another board) of the trials and tribulations of fitting the brand new SA 7.62mm Brens to actually function reliably.

    I remember him commenting that the feed rails were so sharp that more than once he cut his fingers on them.

    in the photos that you posted you can see the button used for the bolt hold open (similar to the X10 and L4A1).
    Last edited by Lee Enfield; 04-10-2019 at 02:09 PM.
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  11. #27
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Thank you LE. Thank you for the updates as I have missed many of the earlier contributors comments and express my gratitude and respect for those members not with us any more. I will do some more searching on archived content. I am unfamiliar with the "hold open" feature, but know exactly what button you are talking about as it was pretty prominent in the #2 picture I repost of the two Brens together. I also see they did use the Metric spec mag, not Inch mags. Thank you.

    Good stuff in that KevG link. It is obvious that S.A. also went through fitment issues with Metric mags in order to have them feed correctly. The link talks of filling along the feed lip rails inside the mag well, then re-contouring to work with the FAL mag. I definitely don't want to mill a small triangle receptacle, so the front lug will capture, at the front of the mag well. As they point out, you quickly end up in the mag cover retention spring well.

    I suspect I just won't go down that road and use the ZB-39 mag for some form of satisfaction, unless the barrel just won't headspace up. Fun times ahead. At that point, I would rather mess up some ZB-39 mags with internal alterations or larger retainer tabs if they appear to feed decently. The .303 platform is certainly all ready to accept the mags, and hopefully I will find that feeding from the mag is not an issue, other than normalizing repeatability to the mag/gun interface.

    Observation/question. The S.A. mag button looks like a different design than any of the UKicon models, is that correct?
    Last edited by AmEngRifles; 04-10-2019 at 04:34 PM.

  12. #28
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Found this picture attached to a thread of 2010 date. Helps explain how they went about it.
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  13. #29
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Here’s a dumb question. IF the South African 7.62 barrels work as they do in .303 Brens, then will L4 barrels do the same thing?

    Jumped on the S.A. 7.62 barrel so fast, then started thinking, “ you own two L4 barrels”....

    Doh!

  14. #30
    Really Senior Member tr63's Avatar
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    The barrel shank chamber end , maybe longer ? Will the .303 bolt with horns need to be reworked ?

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