Bren light machine gun MK1 303
Bren light machine gun MK1 303
Bren light machine gun MK1 303
Bren light machine gun MK1 303

Bren light machine gun MK1 303

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The Bren gun, usually called simply the Bren, is a series of light machine guns (LMG) made by Britain in the 1930s and used in various roles until 1992. While best known for its role as the British and Commonwealth forces' primary infantry LMG in World War II, it was also used in the Korean War and saw service throughout the latter half of the 20th century, including the 1982 Falklands War. Although fitted with a bipod, it could also be mounted on a tripod or vehicle-mounted.

The Bren was a licensed version of the Czechoslovak ZGB 33 light machine gun which, in turn, was a modified version of the ZB vz. 26, which British Army officials had tested during a firearms service competition in the 1930s. The later Bren featured a distinctive top-mounted curved box magazine, conical flash hider, and quick change barrel. The name Bren was derived from Brno, the Czechoslovak city in Moravia, where the Zb vz. 26 was designed (in the Zbrojovka Brno Factory) and Enfield, site of the British Royal Small Arms Factory. The designer was Václav Holek, a gun inventor and design engineer.

Mark 1[edit]

Introduced September 1937; the original Bren, based on the Czechoslovak gun. Overall length 45.5 inches, 25 inch barrel length. Weight 22lb, 2oz.


  • Drum-pattern rear aperture sight
  • Buttstrap for use over-the-shoulder when firing
  • Rear grip under butt
  • Telescoping bipod
  • Folding cocking handle

An Enfield-made .303 Bren Mk 1 was converted to 7.92mm BESA in 1938 due to the suggestion of a possibility of a British Army change over to a rimless cartridge for machine guns being mooted.[i]