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Thread: Daimler made MK2 Brens

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  1. #1
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Daimler made MK2 Brens

    Did The Daimler Motor Co manufacture/assemble complete mk2 Brens or did they just manufacture the main bodies, as part of the Monotype Group, as Ian Skennertonicon suggests in his book, Britishicon Small Arms Of WW2? I suspect that there may be some confusion caused by the fact that the main body is marked with Daimler's dispersal code of M67 indicating the main body was made by Daimler and some people have incorrectly interpreted this as meaning the whole gun as being made by Daimler???


    The example which I have has the main body marked M67 and many of the smaller parts marked with the Monotype dispersal code, from memory S81?, and there are a sprinkling of John Inglis parts such as the bipod assembly.

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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    Daimler made the bodies and some other parts but it really was a simplified gun to be made by the dispersal method and assembled elsewhere. They have been called 'Daimler made' guns and that does seem to be as good as anything I suppose. After all, the actual gun is designated by what's engraved on the body. Mk2.

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Is it known where they were assembled into complete guns and if it was more than a single location as is probable with these "Daimler" Brens, thanks?

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    Monotype in Surrey were the assemblers and a principle producer of parts. Mind you, with the advent of the dispersal Mk2 guns, the parts were made as far North as Gateshead and as far South at Cambourne in deepest darkest Dorset. But while these places made 'Mk2' parts, remember that this was a dispersal scheme - along the other weapon lines. So if butts were in short supply at Enfield, they called in Mk2 butts from Tibbelhams. Likewise, if they were short of Mk1 pistons and pistonb extension assemblies, then they'd come from Gateshead.

    So when the real experts show you an all singing all dancing amk1 gun from, say, 1942/3 the truth is that it could have come fitted with all manner of parts. The crunchie fighting in Italy didn't give a fig where the parts for his Mk1 or 2 gun came from. Just so long as it worked.

    I mention Italy because a few weeks ago I was in correspondence with an Italianicon battlefield recoveryist (- for want of a better word. and VERY interesting fellow too). They had recovered a 1943 Enfield Mk1 Bren. Well, it was a 1943 Mk1 Bren body but literally everything attached to or inside it was Mk2 - including the butt slide and butt, piston and barrels too!

    Sorry to go off at yet another tangent

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    Really Senior Member TactAdv's Avatar
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    A choice discussion; since I have one, this is of particular interest to me.

    I don't think I can really add anything of importance to what has been stated, as from my perspective "over here" I am purely a happy end user, and not any form of historical researcher, or font of knowledge on this production scheme, except for what I have read and learned along the way in all the open-source documentations......

    (Where'N'Hell's Peter's BOOK, BTW???!!)(Peter, by now, I suspect you're angrily reflecting on the choice of selected publisher, Eh? "Gone with the Wind" is not just the name of a famous movie.)

    Anyway.....I am interested in the stated comment above mentioning the coded maker's mark of 'M67' for Daimler......mine only has the stylized capital 'D' marking.....there are NO 'M67' parts markings anywhere. How much of a disparity is this......the 'D' versus the 'M67' coded marking, and was this a production date thing, like the HWA 'Fertigungskennzeichen' coding.

    Here's a side shot of my receiver body. Only marking is the stylized engraved 'D' for Daimler. It's an early 1942 made gun, from what I have been able to ascertain so far. Would love to know more about it, if anybody can fill in any blanks from what you see here. It is an all-original, live, still full-auto/select-fire, "un-cut", factory gun, not touched or altered in any way since the day it was made.

    -TomH


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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    Mine, which is a conversion to L4A3, is marked exactly as yours Tom. It was also produced originally by Daimler in 1942.

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    Really Senior Member TactAdv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Dickicon View Post
    Mine, which is a conversion to L4A3
    .....You win, Brian!!! Regrettably mine is "just" a common .303 beast.

    Mine does run flawlessly though in .308 using the S.A. 7,62mm BBL, extractor, and Zb39 mags......conciliation prize of sorts, I guess. ;-))

    -TomH

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    Oh, not really. It ain't a keeper being a post sample. Just a government rental! I have a post sample Inglis Mk.II also. It's a sweet shooting weapon too and one of the better deals I ever got on a firearm even though it's a postie. The beauty of them is that you might as well shoot them and enjoy them while you've got them! Of course, I'll most likely die before i retire anyhow so what the heck.

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    They started with just the letter D, working from an old boot factory close to the Daimler works (E.TOUGH Ltd; boots and shoes if you are interested, so they were known locally as Etoughs*). Later as all the codes were codified, the Bren production part of Daimler were given the M/67 code.

    Mk2 guns formed the vast majority of the Bren stockpile in post war BAOR Europe while the Mk3's were used in the Far East - until they were withdrawn for the 7.62 X10/L4 project. That was because all Mk3 guns were built to one standard at one factory so the whole conversion project could be streamlined and simplified. Mk1's were obsolescent, sold in vast numbers and converted to DP's and SKN guns.

    During the period when both the .303 and 762 guns were overlapping, you could always tell them apart. The 303 guns used to have a distinct pop pop poping sound while they were running on Cordite or NC while the L4's just made that old roaring sound - like they meant business

    *Etoughs were resurrected to make army boots later in the war and ceased trading in the early 60's when rubber solde boots replaced the old leather soled ammo boots.

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Were there any other makers of Bren breach blocks other than Enfield, John Inglis and Lithgowicon? Of my 4 U.K. produced Brens they have either Enfield or John Inglis breach blocks. Obviously, my 6 Brens are not a very large number of examples to examine/draw conclusions from.

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