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The best light machineguns of WWII

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  • The best light machineguns of WWII


    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

  • #2
    Impressive indeed. But really better than the BREN ?
    "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
    Samuel Johnson.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
      Impressive indeed. But really better than the BREN ?
      I liked the Bren, ideally a two man package if a spare barrel and several clips of ammo were also being carted about. One criticism that might be levelled is that if anything it was 'too accurate', inasfar as it didn't 'spray' fire as well as some others.

      I suspect that at ranges of 400-800 yds the Bren would be more accurate than the Japanese version.
      Last edited by Wooden Wonder; 08 Mar 16, 15:27.

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      • #4
        The main problem with the Bren was that the magazine change meant it was not quite good enough in the suppressive fire role. The actual solution was 2 Brens per section, but afaik, this was not done in WW2.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
          The main problem with the Bren was that the magazine change meant it was not quite good enough in the suppressive fire role. The actual solution was 2 Brens per section, but afaik, this was not done in WW2.
          Interesting discussion on that subject here:
          Bren Gun Issues to RM and British Army

          It appears that additional Brens were added unofficially in some units.

          An example from the thread linked to above:
          In Normandy to Arnhem, A Story of the Infantry, by Brigadier T. Hart Dyke DSO describes how the Hallamshires (4th Y&L) innovated: "As a result of this raid we evolved a new form of platoon tactics. Bren Machine Guns were normally allocated for local defence against air attack on our administrative and support platoons but as enemy aircraft were rarely seen due to the action of the R.A.F. it was decided to put these spare guns to better use. These Brens were consequently made available to the rifle companies. Platoons were organised into two Bren Gun sections of two NCO's four men and two Brens each, one large rifle section and, of course H.Q. with the 2" mortar. In the advance the Bren sections advanced up parallel hedgerows, one Bren covering the other, while the rifle section remained in reserve available to carry out a turning movement under the platoon commander covered by the mortar. These tactics reduced the number of men advancing at any one time and the death roll of platoon commanders. In defence, this organisation was highly successful giving each forward section two Bren Guns for cross-fire. The rifle section specialised in patrolling. Although not officially blessed this organisation and the tactics evolved, together with our Carrier platoon tactics, later appeared in an official War Office pamphlet. We maintained it throughout the campaign and never regretted it".

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
            The main problem with the Bren was that the magazine change meant it was not quite good enough in the suppressive fire role. The actual solution was 2 Brens per section, but afaik, this was not done in WW2.
            The suppressive fire role is best left to the belt fed GPMGs which, unless you are Arnie means less mobility.

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            • #7
              People sometimes forget the BREN and Nambu were derivatives if the Czech ZB 26. The Germans kept them in production and issued them as Ersatz LMG's to units that dd not get the MG 34 or MG 42.

              Pruitt
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              • #8
                Once in The Bovington Tank Museum, I tried the Bren Gun simulator. Quite soon I understood that the bursts should be short and managed to make 54% result which is not bad at all considering my eyesight - much better than on Lee–Enfield simulator (unfortunately never had a chance to fire from the real ones).
                "Keep Calm. Use Less X's"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dmf01 View Post
                  Once in The Bovington Tank Museum, I tried the Bren Gun simulator. Quite soon I understood that the bursts should be short and managed to make 54% result which is not bad at all considering my eyesight
                  Short bursts are a must. I can't speak to the Bren but from my experience with M240s it gets very hard to maintain controlled accurate fire otherwise. Aside from the recoil the muzzleflash, is the biggest thing that impacts accuracy. It becomes very hard aim very quickly through the blast and dirt/sand/etc kicked up by it. Add to that the fact that the gun gives off a lot more heat than you'd expec, directed right into your face which makes long sustained bursts somewhat unpleasant. We were always taught to control burst length by mentally repeating something along the lines of "Die xxxx die." with each trigger pull. "X" is usually something along the lines of Nazi, Commie, Charlie, Haji, etc depending on the era and location. Needless to say this wasn't an "official" saying but its simple and very effective at instilling good burst discepline.

                  Originally posted by dmf01 View Post
                  much better than on Lee–Enfield simulator (unfortunately never had a chance to fire from the real ones).
                  I'm curious what this simulator was like. Just a laser or did it actually have some kind of pneumatic recoil simulator like the electronic skills trainer M4s?

                  Either way no substitute for the real thing. SMLEs are true works of art. The bolts are fantastic, they're sturdy and accurate with manageable recoil, and the 10 round detachable magazine is far beyond it's contemporaries. Of all the bolt guns I've ever fired only my Gew.98 is closer to my heart than my No.1 Mk.III.
                  Last edited by frisco17; 09 Mar 16, 14:17.
                  "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by frisco17 View Post
                    I'm curious what this simulator was like. Just a laser or did it actually have some kind of pneumatic recoil simulator like the electronic skills trainer M4s?

                    (it's not me on the video)

                    there was one more MG simulator, I don't remember it's name, sorry. Some NATO model from Cold War times. Managed to achieve more than 70% on it. Compared to mere 5% on Lee–Enfield
                    "Keep Calm. Use Less X's"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dmf01 View Post

                      (it's not me on the video)

                      there was one more MG simulator, I don't remember it's name, sorry. Some NATO model from Cold War times. Managed to achieve more than 70% on it. Compared to mere 5% on Lee–Enfield
                      Interesting thanks.

                      The other gun was probably an L7, in which case it would be very similar to the M240 since they're both variants of the FN MAG.
                      "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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                      • #12
                        What a great salesman! Remember, he is out to make as much money for the seller as possible.

                        The Bren is a much better weapon. From the barrel change to stripping. As for "too accurate" That comes from where? The oft repeated quote that came from whom and repeated over and over by narrators or veterans who weren't actually issued with one. As an army cadet I fired the MkII many times. I also fired the L7 version, the GPMG and L86, LSW in the regulars. The task was to always rip up No11's etc, I don't recall ever seeing a tight group with the first two types. Anyway! I wanted a weapon that would hit its target, not 'fly off somewhere over there'



                        Paul
                        Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 09 Mar 16, 17:22.
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