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  1. #1
    Member Elphiel's Avatar
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    red 7.62mm markings on L4

    Hi there,
    a question that came up while I'm building my replica L4. On several L4 (from A1 to A4) pictures around, it seems that some of them got marked with a red paint bar on the receiver under the magwell and barrel nut. Sometime with 7.62mm marked on.

    Question here is, what was the criteria for the mark. Were only early conversions marked to avoid any misfitting with .303 bren barrels or parts?
    Also i remember seeing (but cant find them at the moment) pictures of the L7 gpmg, also with a big red paint bar on top of the magazine cover. Was there a general practice to paint 7.62 gun in the transition phase?

    Any info appreciated


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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    The L4 guns were all painted like this until about 1970 to distinguish them from the .303" Brens that were still in (limited) service

    Points to note about the lower photo. Top gun is an L4A2 or 4. Note the tubular shrouded bipod sleeve on the A2/4 gun, the wider barrel reinforce area and strengthened flash eliminator. The shrouded bipod sleeve was a real PITA for Armourers because fitting it involved removing the left hand sling loop ring that prevented the gun tipping over to the left and falling over. Instead, the shroud part was m,eant to achieve the same. But it didn't! It just got dented in the process and THEN the gun fell over. There were some modifications suggested as to how to prevent it but none came to anything. Things really came to a head with the L4A8 gun fitted with the left side IIW sight. And when that tipped the gun over, it was a £1000 tip-over as the OG lens of the night sight cracked. So only then was there a modification to put a raised reinforcer on the shroud. After that, the A8 guns were designated the last of the line, the A9. Last used in the night vision role in the border watchtowers because they had a single shot fire capability

    There, another useless bit of Enfield info. Now everyone's an expert!

    Lower gun is the doomed to fail L4A1. Note the absence of the mag recess support rings and the early barrels with the much thinner reinforce section of barrel. These barrels would overheat even if they were left out in the sun for too long. The holding open catch was a marvel of springs and plungers that relied on everything being perfect. Alas, mechanics don't operate on the same principle so that turned out to be another nail in its coffin

    I hope that you are well Elphiel.

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    Member Elphiel's Avatar
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    Hi Peter,
    all fine here and thanks for such detailed Info. The issue of tipping over without the sling loop was something I was wondering for quite a while now. Good to know, that the shroud is not strong enough to prevent that. By coincidence i'm seriously thinking of building the A8/9 modification out of my L4 replica (Its based on a MK3 that are very cheap available her atm) thanks to some excellent help from KevG. Something I could hang my IWS to for the extreme nerd look . But after all the effort to get a new lens from you i definitely don't want to crush it because of a tilting Bren. Will see if i come up with some not so original but more practical solution to keep the L4 look but also keep the slingloop for tilt protection. Its a replica in the end.
    Thanks again

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    You could modify the top rear of the bipod sleeve shroud by brazing in place a large stop to prevent the gun tipping over. Then call it an L4A9

    Incidentally, although I have not seen anything official, it was tacitly approved to fit the shrouded bipod sleeve to the L4A1's and Mk2 and 3 Brens still in limited service. Later, the same applied to the fitting of the top butt loop for the sling attachment

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    There is another way to stop the L4 series guns, with or without optics, falling over.

    The official tripod.

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    Know exactly where you're coming from BAR. But by the time of the A8 and 9 era, the tripods were pretty much obsolete. And the big IIW mounted L4A8 and 9 Brens were only used in certain 'internal security' roles.

    There was another anomaly that arose at about that time. Prior to the mid 80's or so, quartermasters had a fixed 'scales of issue' programme which meant that they/the unit got what the last unit got and the unit before that and....... and.......... regardless. That changed and the QM could return certain kit and if he put up a good case, could increase holding of some things and reduce stocks of other stuff. Bren chests and tripods were the first things to go! As were No8 and L39's! Plus some vehicles and the like.

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    Really Senior Member Brit plumber's Avatar
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    I remember going through my small arms course at Cosford in 1996 and the classroom still had a Mk2* tripod folded up on top of a training aid cabinet. No Bren to go with it and the instructor called it the Enfield tripod, I’d say he had no idea what it was.

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    So I am guessing, that the tripods are rare in Englandicon now as well as the US? The prices in the US certainly have gone up. Last one I noticed listed had a price of $2200!! Of course no one has purchased it. I still think about adding it to the repertoire, but not at $2,200!



    Would ITAR prevent a tripod being shipped over?

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