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Thread: Correct Bren canvas sling ?

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  1. #21
    Senior Member tombear's Avatar
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    The Aussies had a 57 inch SMG sling in 1943 and could have slapped hooks on that to use with the Bren.

    Having had a quick look at the Britishicon wartime training manuals I haven't found any references to the Bren being fired on the move, from the hip like, where a long sling would be a necessity. All the ones I've seen refer to it being fired from the bipod prone or from behind cover with it supported. The late war Indian army training manual with its bias towards jungle warfare does show the LMG being fired from the hip and the web sling for the Vickers-Berthier was long enough, more easily adjusted and had a much wider central section to spread the weight.

    Are there any wartime jungle warfare training manuals that introduced firing from the hip for the Bren?

    ATB

    Tom
    Last edited by tombear; 04-23-2017 at 05:24 PM.

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  3. #22
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    It may seem like a stupid question, but when we are asking and quoting the lengths of the Bren slings are we including the hooks at each end or in the case for the MK3, one end? When I quoted the length in Post 6 I didn't include the hooks in the length that I quoted.

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  5. #23
    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    I didn't measure with the hooks.

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  7. #24
    Really Senior Member tankhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev G View Post
    As Tom says No long Bren slings before 44 - Weapons: Slings
    I was stating from the 'Generally' accepted view, that is well know by collectors per say. Your 'composite' sling mentioned on that site. is VERY rare indeed!
    & I am surprised it has survived at all! These normally in service, would have been weeded out & back loaded for disposal/ destruction in Britishicon Service.
    When the 'Correct' Length sling was introduced. It is possible I suppose, that your sling may have gone back to Ord Stores & been transferred along with other 'Gift Aid' products/ equipment. To Other Allied Friendly Nations. To support their respective Forces post war. That were in the 'Poorer' financial bracket?

    I have NEVER seen or heard of a sling in British Service Post war Kev. That is similar to your composite sling. It is a VERY rare bird indeed!

    As a paradox, 'That' website mentions the MUCH shorter O.M.L 2" Mortar Sling. But does not show a photo of it. They also are rare now on the Civy Collecting Circuit in the UK!

  8. #25
    Senior Member tombear's Avatar
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    The supposed length of sling does not include the hooks, it's listed as a separate part with its own number at 58 inches. To confuse matters that's the length at the point of manufacture and doesn't allow for shrinkage over the next 70 years or stretching in use. Officially the webbing should have been pre shrunk before being cut but that could have not occurred to cut corners or in the case of Mills the Germans blew up their shrinking plant in 1940 or 41, I forget which.

    I've only ever seen three of the 3 sectioned slings and I've owned 2 of them ( are they the ones you now have Kev? I've lost all track). Any how the ACI 377 of 1944 has full instructions for making them, with drawings . Interestingly the one of the completed sling shows only one hook. ACI 1327 of December 1945 cancels ACI 377 and says there's enough proper 58 slings to replace all the 46 inch rifle slings that are still in use on Brens but not those already lengthened. No doubt as soon as there were sufficient 58 inch slings available immediately post war the cobbled together ones were got rid of. Incidentally one of the slings I had used flat tape between the riveted plates rather than proper rifle sling.

    I think I have one of those short 2" mortar slings but worn and dirty so I never photographed it, that I was kindly given back when I had a 2 inch mortar to go with. Mind saying that I've a few unused sling ends and a tin of the right rivets so since I don't think they were made after the period they regularly had the stores code stamped on any unscrupulous person could make some minters assuming they have some NoS rifle slings spare! I wouldn't do it but buyers beware! PS I don't need the 2" sling anymore, if I can find it its up for swaps.

    Incidentally I've scanned in 515 jpgs of Bren LoCs ( Some are for the L1A1 as they were there and mixed amongst the L4 ones ) if anybody wants them.

    If some of this stuff seams to be repeating what's on Khaki Web, well Rog Dennis will tell you were they got a lot of it from ;-)

    ATB

    Tom

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  10. #26
    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Tombear,


    "Are there any wartime jungle warfare training manuals that introduced firing from the hip for the Bren?"

    I don't have access to any Australianicon Infantry Pams from '43 onward to quote, but I can confirm that there are oodles of photos and a couple of short propaganda films made that shows the No 1 gunner firing the Bren from his hip both using a sling (easy) or hanging on to the barrel handle (quite a bit more difficult!). Walking fire while advancing through close country, in particular the kunai grass in PNG necessitated changes of tactics. Our blokes usually adapted pretty much everything in the field to suit the environment.

    Fast forward to Vietnam and while the No 1 on the gun was issued a sling, they were rarely seen in a Battalion when in the bush. Just not the done thing.

    Trying to save Service history, one rifle at a time...

  11. #27
    Senior Member tombear's Avatar
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    Cheers! I'd seen news reel with Aussies advancing to contact with Brens held at hip height so thought it must have had entered doctrine for jungle fighting. I think Kev sent me a drawing of a Australianicon proposed forward hand grip to fit on the Brens folded bipod to make this easier.

    Somewhere I have a pic taken during the Malayan Emergency where the slings been rigged for firing from the hip, there's a 100 round mag fitted and the bipod has been removed or at least stripped down to lose weight and reducing snagging. I vaguely remember it had a modified Owen fore grip fitted. If I could remember the unit I'd probably be able to find it. You kinda suspect it was loaded with tracer ( there was no raised sights) and on contact the gunner just emptied the lot to keep the CTs heads down!

    ATB

    Tim

  12. #28
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    According to the Far East EMER, the modification (called a FEMod) whatever it was of 1952 (or was it 1954...?, don't have papers handy) gave the details for the modification. It entailed drilling a hole into the trough at the front of the butt slide - that is covered by the ejection opening cover - and fitting a specially made* pistol grip that was available from Ordnance, the bolt from the Mk2 type grip and a nut. I have a very feint copy of the original xerox local EMER. I have seen photos of others but the real thing was much further back and you could fold the bipod rearwards and stiull use the fore-grip.

    The trouble with the 'others' and those 'lovingly recreated for the discerning re-enactor' touted on those auction sites are too far forwards and not rigid enough. The very last thing you need on a rock and roll Bren is a sloppy fitting grip, believe me! And don't forget, the reason it was positioned some 3.5" rearwards of the front mounting pin hole was so that the shortarsed Gurkhas, Malays and Fiji etc etc troops could use same.

    *The EMER spec/authority for the modification says that the grips were a specially made or new pattern but according to two old Armourers from the Armourers Association I corresponded with both separately stated that they weren't new but just modified existing patterns, chopped and shaped to suit. The FEMOD doesn't seem to include the small steel anti-rotation peg either but maybe it's there but doesn't show on the flimsy xerox copy I have. It would always be worth looking under the butt slide of Mk2 or 3 butt slides/guns to see whether any trace of the larger (and smaller anti rotation peg) holes are present or have been welded up.

  13. #29
    Really Senior Member Kev G's Avatar
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    While the subject has gone on to forward grips :-) has anyone a clear pic of a Bren in Malaya that has a forward grip that ISN'T off an Owen gun ?



    Pic above has forward moded Owen grip but no flash hider,bipod or rear mounting bracket.

    ATB KG

  14. #30
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    Those omissions beg a lot of questions KG! Doesn't look like it's got a backsight either so how on earth do you aim and shoot a sightless gun? And why on earth would the bloke be holding a duff Bren by the (soon to be glowing red hot) gas cylinder instead of the pistol grip. But there's more.......... If my old eye's aren't mistaken is that an original two-vent gas cylinder. If it is, you haven't got a Bren machine gun, you've got a Bren straight pull single shot rifle. Scaling up the barrel from the gas block forwards it looks like it has been cut short too. Maybe it's just me but I think we need to see a bit more or know a bit more about that, er....., thing!

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