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  1. #21
    Member SleepyDoc's Avatar
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    Regardless of the history of the gun based on serial numbers, I have semi-good news, gentlemen. I received six locking shoulders. Of which some of them were marked enfield 66. All of them had numbers on them, but I don't care about the numbers, I care about the size. The aforementioned locking shoulder measured in at 0.816. My original locking shoulder came in at 0.811. After doing some more looking to make sure I was headspacing it correctly and a few tries I can safely say that the gun no longer closes on the 308 no-go gauge. It will close on the go-gauge if that wasn't implied well enough.

    This is only semi-good news because I am in the midst of the glacial Wisconsin winter. We have more snow than I care to traverse to at present time, so I will update you all later with function testing. I have longer locking shoulders which might also work if I have to polish the chamber later. I have all the way up to about 0.829, but most of the others are around 0.821 in.

    If anyone else wants to discuss history of the gun while waiting for an update, feel free. I know nothing of the gun other than it doesn't work and it has stamps that say enfield. I appreciate any and all information. If anyone has info on HA and whether they have a habit of stamping things to make it appear more official or whatever else may have happened, that would also be appreciated. If anyone knows where this formerly LMG may have been deployed that would be great to know.


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  4. #22
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyDoc View Post
    measured in at 0.816
    That should do it, looking forward to hearing the test shoot results.
    Regards, Jim

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  6. #23
    Really Senior Member Brit plumber's Avatar
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    I tried to reply to your PM but it the forum isn’t working properly at the moment.

    Disregarding the issues your having with head separation/splitting cases, the originality of the gun is questionable. The serial number is the correct format but the actual number is bogus. That A5 part dates to very late 1959 or very early 1960, when I first read your number I assumed it was an L4A3 but even that doesn’t fit as an L4A3 with that A5 serial would be from 1965 not 67. My other thought was that it may have been a very late Mk3 serial number but to be the last of the Mk3 guns it would need to have a UE60 pre fix (also there’s the 1945 date on the body so it cant be a late Mk3 gun).

    A genuine L4 would also have the original Mk3 number barred out where your new number is located, the UE number should be above it. Then there’s the markings them selves, they look narrower than my examples and I suggest unequally spaced. I think they are hand stamped, very well done but not the wide and relatively deep pantographed marking of the oriiginal.

    What I suspect is, that this gun is an ex Indian DP Mk3 made into an L4A4 using some parts from a L4A3.

    Regarding your cases, I think your heading in the right direction. A few other things to check, the gas hole in the barrel (often opened up to compensate for a warn cylinder). Also check the fit of the bipod on the cylinder, it should be loose. Also check what type you have and have a look for any DP marks. And while your at it, check for any SAF markings which are Indian.

    Don’t be put off by any observations or comments, at the end of the day you want it to run and it doesn’t really matter if it was once this or that.

  7. #24
    Senior Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    To confirm what has been recently observed. HA did/does in fact mark up sterilized (old markings filled in with weld) guns in the style of the version that is being "reconstructed." Many demil cuts destroy original markings and the reweld process can do further damage. He does use hand stamping with a jig and a tool that holds multiple characters in a straight line for stamping all at one. Only Len could tell you what he might have thrown together in the mixing bowl to create this semi auto "representation" of an L4. Finding a semi Bren in the US with all matching numbers from an original gun is a rarity (unless it is still an registered full auto before beng converted to semi) - as to build one you would first have to have a complete demil kit with all of its original parts. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen or hasn't happen but I've seen a lot of demil Bren kits over the years and most of them are a hodpodge of parts - yes the receiver bits are typically from the same weapon but rarely are the rest of the "kit's" components.

    And when KEV G chimes in on Bren specifics... his words are golden.

    Good luck with your trouble shooting. Not that it means anything but trying the locking shoulder fix is a good start from my perspective. Also...

    Have you tried to install a regular 303 Bren magazine in the magazine well (without the 7.62 adapter installed)? I know you don't have the .303 latch et. but as a test of the length of the reweld of the mag box area if you can get a .303 mag and it does fit (tight/loose etc.) then this will at least potentially rule out possible mag well length dimensional deviations in the reweld process. There are also dimensioned drawings available that with some tedious measurement could tell whether there are any hidden dimensional issues present in this particular reweld. As reassembled parts they are all a bit different even though a jig is used to graft the parts back together. These are two additional diagnostic paths that might prove revealing.

  8. #25
    Member SleepyDoc's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information. I have zero knowledge on this subject and am new to the forums, so being a naturally skeptical person I don't know who to trust yet. Given multiple people are telling me the same thing, and after looking through more of the forum I will gladly accept your inputs as truth. The authenticity or origin of the gun doesn't bother me at all. If it was mocked up to be a facsimile of an L4a4, then ok. As long as it goes bang then I don't care. Sometimes it is just nice to know where things have been though. I don't see any Indian markings off hand, but will more investigating on the matter. If HA welds over old markings then it is possible those could be gone too. If I remember I will try to measure the gas port when I get a free moment.

    I do not have any 303 mags to check at present time. Hopefully in the future I will have a 303 Bren too. I can tell you that the 308 mags are fairly tight. Not excessively, but they don't wiggle. If the locking shoulder doesn't do the trick I will dig further into the receiver dimensions. I may have to just go do a function check at a nearby indoor range instead of going to the outside range. It is currently single digits or below 0 Fahrenheit here. In the mean time I will try to get this thing scrubbed out and a fresh lube/grease job to make sure I can't blame anything on friction or dirty parts.

  9. #26
    Really Senior Member tr63's Avatar
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    I think that you are on the right path with the new locking shoulder installed and the bolt now closes on the go-gauge and will not close on the no-go gauge . I have seen a number of Len Savage's rewelded Bren guns with head space problems ,most all were corrected with the locking shoulder adjustments .

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  11. #27
    Senior Member WallyG.'s Avatar
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    One item to check might give some clarity on where your gun's receiver started life (on the Bren gun evolution scale). See if the inside walls of the mag well are pierced by actual mag lip support shelfs - which are on an original A4 part of the disc that is riveted to the side walls of the receiver. I am guessing that it started out as a true Mk3 and there are no mag lip supports piercing the receiver body to hold up the front mag lips. Also notice that that the model notation stamping is shallower that the adjacent A4 notations - a result of blasting and refinishing in the rebuild process - hinting that it really was a Mk3 gun body before an A4 parts kit was used to complete the conversion from .303 to .308. If an original the I'd expect degradation to all markings and not just the model inscription. I also think the Enfield D and 1945 are original markings to the receiver - normal demils tend to not destroy these areas of the receiver, but the serial number location on the rear upper flat is usually heavily damaged by the torch cutting. The serial as marked is in the format but as previously noted.. the time period it indicates is not right. Also... finding a barrel with the exact same notation (font and size) would be very interesting and from my observations a bit unexpected. Also.. the barrel is devoid of the small stampings generally found on UKicon contract production... various proofs and inspection stamps.. also steel lot numbers.

    Just a few observations that might shed some more light on you gun's history. Did any stampings on the outside left flat under the barrel nut survive? There is usually a two digit date stamped there.


    Best wishes for your guns complete recovery!

    WGH

  12. #28
    Really Senior Member AmEngRifles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tr63 View Post
    I think that you are on the right path with the new locking shoulder installed and the bolt now closes on the go-gauge and will not close on the no-go gauge . I have seen a number of Len Savage's rewelded Bren guns with head space problems ,most all were corrected with the locking shoulder adjustments .

    In response to this observation, I have had the SAME issues on guns that came directly from Historic Arms. What I don't get is how Len can build a gun and not have headspace set PERFECTLY, from his hands to the new owner?

    I have an L4 that he stated had two barrels headspaced perfectly to the gun. When I got the gun, it was a bit different story. One will just take a No-Go, but works reliably. The other appears more " generous" and has given me case separations and feeding issues. It is frustrating to be told one thing, only to find reality is a bit different.

    I hope you find an appropriate locking piece and resolve your issue. ,

  13. #29
    Really Senior Member tankhunter's Avatar
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    The question I would raise regarding Len Savages gauges then is: When were those gauges he uses, last calibrated?.......

  14. #30
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    Well,Have you confirmed that the barrel chamber is within service specifications? Bore erosion at the throat might have widened the bore and the expanding case lip might be deforming when fired to a condition where it's front is wider than its rear - causing too much extraction drag/friction and the resulting neck separation.

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