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  1. #1
    Contributing Member csmarcher's Avatar
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    Semi-Bren fixes

    I'm lucky enough to own several Semi-Brens and have been in on the development side since Len Savage at Historic Arms first started building them.

    Some of the various built guns are 100% flawless right off the bat, while others are incredibly irritating with a litany of problems.

    I'm glad we now have this sub forum and can share trouble shooting ideas and remedies. Please feel free to post up some of the various issues and solutions (where found) so that we can get everyone up and running happily again


    ATB

    Gary
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    The greatest LMG to ever see service in the British Army...........................

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    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Gary, as you know, I have been dealing with an HA L4A4 giving me problems. For brevities sake, one of the main issues was the gun had both an inner and outer recoil spring. Once the inner recoil spring was removed, functioning went up quite a lot. I am still dealing with a smaller issue, and havenít quite got it resolved.

    Can you detail which Marks on the original full autos had dual recoil spring set ups? And which of the semi autos with similar information.

    Thanks!

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    Contributing Member csmarcher's Avatar
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    The only Bren with a double coil recoil spring setup was the Mk I, everything else after that was a single coil.

    By dispensing with your double coil you've gone 80% of the way to fixing the issues, the remaining issues will be fixed by removing coils from the striker spring.
    I removed 5 coils from my striker spring and the inner recoil spring from my Mk I and was having zero issues or problems firing on gas setting 2 last time I was out at the range.

    I'm taking my Mk 3 up there today to compare a ML striker system to the HA one. I picked up a spare lower so I can now interchange freely.

    Stay tuned for reports !!!!

    Gazza
    The greatest LMG to ever see service in the British Army...........................

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    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    How'd the range time go? I want to get my ML upgraded MkIII back to the range soon. Surgery kept me from dealing with the heavy guns, but I am on the mend and ready to start Brening again!

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    Contributing Member csmarcher's Avatar
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    I'm happy to report that I have solved 100% of the issues with my Mk III Bren. I did find out that with the close bolt striker fired guns they do not run on surplus Mk VIIIz ammo but run flawlessly on modern manufactured HXP or Privi Partizan ammo. It's been a slow learning curve but i'm pretty sure I can help solve 90% of the problems that folks are having.

    Gary
    The greatest LMG to ever see service in the British Army...........................

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    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    I have been away for a while. Apologies for my absence.

    Well, with the simple snip of 3 coils off my striker spring and a trip to the range, I have found that the L4 now operates reliable on gas setting 3 with modern and hand loaded ammo. I shot ZQ, MEN and my own fodder that went 100%. I am very pleased. I suspect if I cut another two coils off then it may well run at setting 2 as yours does, but I am happy where I am at the moment. Next range trip will be all about getting the zero down and building stocks of the good stuff.

    Interesting about the MkVIIIz ammo. I have 3 crates of Mk7 ammo. I can't wait to see how it runs the Mk 3. That is coming!

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    Contributing Member csmarcher's Avatar
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    The MkVIIIz stuff currently on the market is fairly rubbish. Lots of hangfires and duds. Iím currently pulling the bullets, dumping the powder and reloading the bullets in new privi brass.


    The greatest LMG to ever see service in the British Army...........................

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    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    I have had my crates from over a good number of years, but that may not matter? I am sure it has to do with different storage conditions over those years. Mind sharing what the Lot numbers are on your squiffy stuff? Plus, how much of this has to do with less than optimal strikes by the semi auto striker system? I have never seen any published information on firing pin strike energy compared to the full auto Bren. Doubt there is ANY information like that. Who would be testing Brens in this day and age!?

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    Senior Member djandj's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat with a MKII from Len that I originally had built in 54R. Worked OK - MANY problems and several BOOMS thanks to headspacing we just couldn't work with the 54R. After a BOOM that destroyed my bolt carrier I gave up on 54R and I bought a .303 bolt and carrier which I modified to .308 along with a South African .308 barrel. Shoots nicely, but... lots of short stroking. So..... I'm on the spring removal/coil cutting train. I have my gas regulator drilled out of 5/32 which is the same as the barrel and gas port to the rod. Has anyone gone larger than that? Or is it best to just keep cutting springs?

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    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    I think I would just go with the coil cuts. Springs are pretty easy to replace, but sometimes, finding them is the trick.



    I want to find some easy replacement recoil springs for my Bren, as in, will an M-60 recoil substitute? Or a Thompson M1A1?

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