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  1. #1
    Member locchau's Avatar
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    Semi Auto Bren extract problem

    Hi all,

    Please forgive me if this is an old thread or have already been answer. I got a semi auto Bren from a guy on Gun Broker in April 2016 with 2 barrels, one in original .303 and the other in 7.62X54r, he stated that he built it using Len Savage semi auto kit. Last Sunday I brought it out the first time and get nothing but trouble. First I try the .303 barrel and the breech lock (bolt) only move partially (about half way back) after the round goes off then put the empty case back to the chamber, I have to remove the barrel to get it out because the carrier stuck and I cannot pull it back. I adjust the gas regulator to max (number 4) and get the same problem, even with the 7.62X54r barrel. Have anyone get the same problem that I have? mine come with 2 springs, the small long one (recoil spring?) in the butt stock and the short fat one connect to the striker. I check the gun and nothing seem to bind, the bolt, carrier and striker slide in smoothly. When I try to load a single round and not fire it, then pull the carrier back manually the round extract fine. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you all in advance



    Loc Chau

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  3. #2
    Contributing Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Have you called Len Savage? His semi conversion is different from the others.

    I think some of his Historic Arms Brens had the gas ports drilled out to get them to work. I would check with him and ask if that’s what it needs.

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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    There are about a zillion pages of talk and info about the woes of semi auto Brens. I suggest that you get yourself a LARGE glass of good scotch and start bringing the pages up - and inwardly digest both the info therein - and the scotch!

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    Member locchau's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you both Vincent and Peter Laidler sir, will do as you both advised. The reason that I did not call Mr. Savage is that I have called him last April when I get the gun for a spare firing pin and he told me that it has been years since his last Bren builds and that he wasn’t working on Bren gun since. My problem seem like it gas and/or spring related and I have read somewhere on this site there is thread that someone posted that the barrel, gas regulator and gas block need to be drill out and he also have all of the holes dimension. I will give that a try and will post result as soon as I get chance to go to the range. Thank you both for your reply and you both have a good day.

    Best Regards

    Loc Chau

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    Senior Member scoobsean's Avatar
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    I have one of Len's builds in 7.62mm NATO. When I had my gas block set to 1 I was getting problems with ejection of the spent shell. When I turned up to 2 everything was fine. Have you cleaned all the gas system out thoroughly? Is the striker spring pushed all the way back into the buttstock socket and does the coil look uniform all the way along? Mine was crushed in a few places causing light strikes but maybe that could be stopping the bolt coming all the way back if it is compressing unevenly.

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    Contributing Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Please keep us posted Loc Chau.

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    Really Senior Member Mr E's Avatar
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    can you post some pics of your parts. you say the guy built it from parts he got from len savage. so from that I assume its not marked historic arms. depending on how the welding was done I am going to say that the striker is not fitted properly and is working as a brake stopping the carrier at the first weld join
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    Member locchau's Avatar
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    Thank you all. Scoobsean, both of my barrels regulators set to max no4. Striker spring insert all the way into socket and look good. Mr E, you are correct. The receiver have BREN MK II mark and nothing else, the top behind the rear sight has serial number. I have uploaded some pictures of the parts hopefully someone can see fault if any, and the entire weld seams are very good inside and out. As I stated earlier, if I load a single sound to the chamber then pull the bolt and carrier manually back the round will eject and this does not take lot of effort to pull the carrier back manually. Also, the action is very smooth until the end as you can feel the striker spring compress. I used Wolf Performance Military Classic 174Gr FMJ .303 and Russian surplus FMJ light ball 7.62X54r. I still try to figure the best way to open the regulator holes since they are not straight through.
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    Senior Member scoobsean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by locchau View Post
    Thank you all. Scoobsean, both of my barrels regulators set to max no4. Striker spring insert all the way into socket and look good. Mr E, you are correct. The receiver have BREN MK II mark and nothing else, the top behind the rear sight has serial number. I have uploaded some pictures of the parts hopefully someone can see fault if any, and the entire weld seams are very good inside and out. As I stated earlier, if I load a single sound to the chamber then pull the bolt and carrier manually back the round will eject and this does not take lot of effort to pull the carrier back manually. Also, the action is very smooth until the end as you can feel the striker spring compress. I used Wolf Performance Military Classic 174Gr FMJ .303 and Russian surplus FMJ light ball 7.62X54r. I still try to figure the best way to open the regulator holes since they are not straight through.
    Have you looked down the gas tube where the piston goes. The fact that it does it with both barrels seems to suggest something that is on the body of the gun. Maybe a blockage?
    Can you post a picture of the bolt face and extractor too?

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    Senior Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    Some more food for thought... Thanks for the detailed pictures. Your source said he built the gun... not Len Savage. The design is the Historic Arms design... but there are details pictured that point to it being a home built. Whether it has ever functioned reliably is undetermined. Did the seller say what components were purchased from Historic arms? If the striker spring came from another source then it may be too strong and is prematurely retarding the rearward movement of the internals. The recoil spring shown appears to be the standard outer spring or a Mk I. You have an original gas piston shown installed on the bolt carrier (not the usual US made version found on a Historic Arms produced gun - to comply with 922r US made parts count) so it could be that you're also bleeding off gas from a worn piston, or oversized gas cylinder bore or some combination of both. As you indicated... In many cases the gas port in the barrel and the largest orifice in the gas block were drilled over sized by Len to allow for more gas to drive the system. Adjust these holes conservatively and in small increments as once removed... metal is hard to put back. If Len did not build this gun I can understand why he is hesitant to try and address its current malfunctions- too many unknowns in its construction. Hope it works out for you.

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