The Bren classic British machine gun is instantly recognizable and played a large role as the standard light machine gun for Commonwealth infantry forces during WWII and beyond. First developed in the 1930s as a modification of an older Czech design, the British added the vertical curved magazine to the Bren gun, and a quick-change barrel. Produced in Enfield by the Royal Small Arms Factory, the gun saw service until 1991 in various forms and theatres, including Korea, the Falklands and the First Gulf War. A 1950's remodeling of the barrel allowed the use of the standard 7.62 cartridge, enabling the gun to use NATO ammunition. Since no airsoft version has been available until recently, any conversions were done by individuals making this gun a highly prized and unique piece in any airsoft armory.
Customs To Order
The Bren is available to order as a custom modification, in various models. The MkI, MkII and the later standard NATO mod are all available to order. Most of these are AEG, but do check before ordering, as there is variety in the choice of mechanism for these modifications. Price also varies, from expensive to very expensive, ranging from around $700 to almost $1000!
While a welcome addition to any armory, and a fantastic opportunity to own a piece of military history, the Bren is only for the serious enthusiast, and is in no way a first airsoft gun. The custom guns available to order come with two 150 round magazines, loading vertically in the distinctive Bren fashion. Firing at a speed of 280-290fps, you can add upgrades if you want more power. However, this fully automatic weapon already packs a deadly punch on any airsoft battlefield, and upgrades are not necessary.
Do It Yourself
If funds are a problem and you have the technical knowledge, converting the weapon yourself may be a cheaper option, if you know where to look. However, getting hold of a cheap second hand machine gun isn't so easy unless you happen to be best friends with an arms dealer! And attempting the conversion yourself isn't for those without the time and experience to commit to such a project. For those of you wishing to do the mod yourself, the gun is still sold by the Indian Ordnance Factory, although we advise that great care be taken with the legalities of transporting and modifying such a weapon.
The main appeal of this weapon is of course not battlefield efficiency, although it is powerful, but the opportunity to possess an important piece of military history and to build your WWII collection. When set alongside your Sten gun and M1Thompson Garand, this piece will be worth the price you paid to sit it in your gun cabinet.