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  1. #11
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    There can't be that many people left in Bulgaria. They're all begging in Oxford if you care to visit, especially now summer is near. According to the Court Reports in the local papers, they do seem to be doing a fair bit of 'self-help' or helping themselves too. And anyway....., what is this thread doing in the other SMG's category. Shouldn't it be under the Bren forum.

    I haven't seen a Bulgarian mag loader but couldn't it be made to fit and operate on a Bren mag? We certainly fitted UKicon made Bren mags to the trials ZB .303 Brens and had them running

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    Really Senior Member Brit plumber's Avatar
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    I don't have a ZB39 mag loader (I'm waiting on my numbers to come up, and I mean not on the lottery but the matching numbers to my guns) but I assume that the 303 mag is to long for the loader. You could probably remove some material on the loader for the mag to make it fit but when you've paid £100 + who would want to do that? Unless you really want a mag loader to fill 303 mags (I know how stupid that sounds).

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  5. #13
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    A Britishicon .303 Bren mag does fit onto the mag loader that I have but I've never actually tried tipping any inert .303 rounds in it to see if it would actually fill a British mag. The only reason that I purchased it was as an additional piece of interesting kit to go in a Bren transit chest with a MK1 U.K. deactivated Bren.

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    There will be something different about it. What number do you have? I've been collating the numbers to see if they correlate to the guns. I'd expect seeing as they are numbered that each ZB39 was a kit with matching numbers. Box, gun, AA Kit, Spares Box, Loader in mag box and X No. of mags. Just a theory, KG will probably know for sure.

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    That's interesting in a nerdy kind of way that you're quantifying CES/kit/accessory numbers against a gun number BP and KG. I'm not so sure that they will match somehow. But that is only based on my experience with the old No2 revolvers in a roundabout sort of way. Because at one of our big Base Workshops (40 Base) we had hundreds going through at a time and as the side plate was matched to the pistol, they'd easily become mixed up with dire consequences! So the In Inspector, Mr Saw had a little book where every gun SERIAL number would have penciled in alongside the serial number, the 'pairing' number - the internal number that matches the frame with the accurately matched side plate. So....., if you had a mismatched body and side plate that didn't fit, instead of searching through 200 oily pistol bodies you could just look at the book, match the pairing number with the original frame serial number and match it up easily.



    Are you still with me...............? Keep up at the back of the class! I wondered whether the 'pairing numbers' on the body and side plate had any relationship with the serial number of the body. But nope, there didn't seem to be any correlation at all. Even when the serial number letter changed it made no difference. Same as the year change...... Sometimes the pairing number just seemed to re-start at 0099 and carry on for a year. Maybe I had too much time on my hands and really needed to get out a bit more

    Also posted in the other pistols forum.

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    I'll get the thing out at some point and take some pictures of the thing and see if it will load some inert .303 rounds into a U.K. mag. Up till now, even I hadn't taken that much interest in it.

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    To be honest, the .303" ones weren't much good at loading .303" ammo into .303" mags. So much so that the early TOET's were amended to inform instructors that '.....during TOET's, time taken to reduce jambs and stoppages should be deducted from the overall loading times....'.
    TOET's = test of elementary training. Basic weapon craft during basic training

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    The only reason I'm guessing that every gun came with a matching CES is that every ZB39 loader and AA sight has a number in the same format as the guns. The guns, loaders and sights all start in the No. 10100 range and end in the 13000 range (more accurate figures are on my computer). If they didn't coralate to gun number you would expect them to have begun at No.1 or similar. It's an easy way to account for deliveries to a contract. It wouldn't take long however for everything to be mixed up!

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  12. #19
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    Yep, I understand better now after that explanation. And maybe I was barking up the wrong tree. It's an age thing as my wife and son keep telling me. Funny how age isn't a concern when she wants a new Radley handbag or his car needs fixing......

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    An important discovery, I think?

    Here are some pictures of the mag loader which I have and it does seem to load inert .303 rnd's into a Bren mag. As far as I know no modifications have been done to the loader and all that I did to it when it arrived was to remove the last of the storage grease. It does require fairly stiff strokes on the handle to load rounds into a mag and I did get one round twist in the bottom of the steel separator which I had to remove manually. I can't vouch as to how safe this device would be with live .303 rounds because some force was exerted on the lever in order for it to operate. All that I can say is that it appeared to function reasonably well with inert .303 rounds.

    I'll leave further technical analysis of this item to others.

    There is a picture of the mag loader sitting in it's normal home at the end of the transit chest together with a U.K. deactivated MK1 Enfield Bren. I have included an end photo of the rounds to show that the primers have all been struck.
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    Last edited by Flying10uk; 04-21-2017 at 06:34 PM.

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