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Thread: Bren Semi Auto

  1. #1
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    Default Bren Semi Auto

    Hey guys, looking at a MKII its in realy good shape and is in 303. Couple of questions I have, does it need a letter from BATF to confirm that its semi auto, also does it need to have US parts to make it 922 compliant? Also what is a fair price to pay, has 15 magazines with it? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    Can kick myself for passing on a complete Bren 2 years ago for $1900. I was willing to pay it, but the seller was a jerk. Now they go for $3500 and up if you can find one.
    The Americans fight for a free world, the English mostly for honor and glory and medals, the French and Canadians decide too late that they have to participate. The Italians are too scared to fight; the Russians have no choice. The Germans for the Fatherland. The Boers? Those sons of bitches fight for the hell of it!” - American General, George “Guts and Glory” Patton

  3. #3
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    Its just like any semiauto gun out there. It doesn't need a letter, unless it would make you more comfortable. Yes, it needs to follow 922r. Bren mags are dirt cheap, so I wouldn't factor them in to the price.

    Project guns charges $1900 for a build, and you must supply your own acceptable parts kit. Thus, I would consider $2500 or so to be the ground floor for having a complete gun built these days. I would consider $3000 or 3200 to be a fair retail price.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Nirvana, I could care less about a letter. I will make sure its 922r compliant. I have not striped it yet but I have my doubts as it was put together in Canada in the 70s or 80s. If it is not 922r compliant can I make it compliant?

  5. #5
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    I've heard to be completely 100% in the clear, you need a BATF Approval Letter for the particular build. I would say at a minimum, you would want to verify it was built the same way as a design style with a known Approval Letter. There is danger of unwittingly creating an "easily convertible" version by straying from an accepted mechanism. Critical are using accepted methods to prevent insertion of full auto parts and only firing from a closed bolt.

    I agree that 922(r) should apply as it's shoulder fired semi auto with a detachable magazine, pistol grip, and probably a flash hider. If you have documentation history showing importation prior to 1994 AWB, US parts count of 922(r) shouldn't apply.

  6. #6
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    I would be cautious of this gun, based on its alleged origin and production date. Does it shoot from an open or closed bolt? Is it made from a cut receiver that has been rewelded, or is it an original receiver that has been modified somewhat? What makes you think it came from Canada in the 70s?

    Pics would go a long way here. Try to get the name of the maker, etc.

  7. #7
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    It does not apear to be cut as I dont see any signs of welding nor does the finish apear to be redone. At this point I am unsure if it shoots from open or closed, if it shoots from open I would pass on it anyways even if it only shot semi auto. I think BATF would frown upon it. There is a letter that is with the weapon from the original owner that explains its way here to the states.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nirvana View Post
    I would be cautious of this gun, based on its alleged origin and production date. Does it shoot from an open or closed bolt? Is it made from a cut receiver that has been rewelded, or is it an original receiver that has been modified somewhat? What makes you think it came from Canada in the 70s?

    Pics would go a long way here. Try to get the name of the maker, etc.
    Nirvana, that is a good point that is worth expanding on. The BATF rules "once a machine gun, always a machine gun". In other words, if you take a machinegun and modify the receiver so it only accepts semi auto parts, it is still an unregistered machinegun even though it no longer fires automatically.

    To build a legal non-NFA semi auto from a real machinegun, the original machinegun receiver must be thoroughly destroyed per BATF specs. This is usually a minimum number of Torch Cuts through specified areas of the receiver. Only a machinegun receiver thus destroyed can be rebuilt into a legal Non NFA gun. This is why 3-saw cut receivers are so expensive and desireable - they were legally demilled back in the day, but feasible for a semi auto reweld.

    If a hypothetical Bren was not "demilled per BATF" before being modified into a semi auto, it is a potential heap of trouble for the person possessing it.

  9. #9
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    Dec 1969
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    OK
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    Out of curiosity what do three cut Bren MkII kits go for these days? I have some that were bought from IO about 10 or so years back. I still daydream about making them into legal semi's.

  10. #10
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    you can find em cheap or pricey all depends on whether torched or saw cut... some of the torched Bren frames collapsed a lot or just very slightly. find one as straight as possible. yep the rebuilds have to 922... but there are U.S. made firing pins etc kit out there with the parts. some of the torched ones have up to 1 inch per cut missing! always try to look at a kit in person and reasonably match up the parts. plenty of barrels out there too and cheap... did mine in 54R and of course 303. shoots like a champ not a target rifle but decent 1 & 2 inch groups at 100 yards. don't be fooled though they are a pain in the butt to build

  11. #11
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    your canadian gun is prolly an original receiver, uncut, with defeated full auto features. in the ATF opinion it is still a machine gun and is contraband if found in the USA. canadian rules are very different so there are lots of lightly modified machine guns there at temptingly low prices. almost none of them are importable. lots of machine guns there on the cheap, too, if you have appropriate pre 1979 liscense.

    bren machine gun for $795
    http://www.marstar.ca/dynamic/produc...roductid=75103

    ZB30 machine gun for $895
    http://www.marstar.ca/dynamic/produc...roductid=75148

    watch the videos. it will make you sick.

  12. #12
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    Being in maine.. I would stay far far away from it.

    You will have to look inside receiver to find weld marks as many rewelds are done so well that there is no sign from the outside.

  13. #13
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    paid $5k for mine, but the go-fast switch works.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by justashooter View Post
    your canadian gun is prolly an original receiver, uncut, with defeated full auto features. in the ATF opinion it is still a machine gun and is contraband if found in the USA. canadian rules are very different so there are lots of lightly modified machine guns there at temptingly low prices. almost none of them are importable. lots of machine guns there on the cheap, too, if you have appropriate pre 1979 liscense.

    bren machine gun for $795
    http://www.marstar.ca/dynamic/produc...roductid=75103

    ZB30 machine gun for $895
    http://www.marstar.ca/dynamic/produc...roductid=75148

    watch the videos. it will make you sick.
    I watched the Bren vid, i thought it a bit odd he used his left hand to change from repetition to Auto when its designed so you can use your right thumb. And then he recocked the gun after changing the magazine when there is a hold open feature on the mag. Is it a requirement in Canada to remove such a feature?

  15. #15
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    How difficult is it for Canadians to own full-auto/select-fire weapons?

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