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  #31  
Old 01-28-2014, 11:46 PM
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Gun laws in Australia were remarkably different from state to state.
Western Australia had some of the strictest with any "military-style" semi-auto rifle unable to be owned, sold or transferred, even something as innocuous as the (hideous looking IMHO) .22LR Armscor M16-22 was not allowed because it vaguely resembles the M16.
Ex-military firearms other than bolt-actions were not legal for ownership unless they were licensed as historical/curio items (even museums had to comply with this law) and even with that they had to be demilled. Later the laws were changed to include the prevention of private ownership of any high-powered semi-auto rifle and semi-auto shotguns.

However, in Queensland it was perfectly legal to own any semi-auto that you could find for sale in the USA e.g. the AR10, the AR15, civilian versions of the M14 and the HK G3 & HK33 and so on. And also the L1A1. Queensland as well as New South Wales, were also notorious for lax registration of firearms.
So for example, in Western Australia, the person who wanted one had to obtain a licence/registration for that specific firearm and then go through the qualification process all over again for any additional firearms they wanted, whereas in Queensland and New South Wales, you only had to obtain a Shooters Permit from the local police and this entitled you to purchase any firearm in the gun shop.
One of my father's ex-Army mates who lived in New South Wales owned approximately 30 different firearms or more before the gun buyback.

Whether the gunshop kept a strict register of firearms sold (and their serial numbers) varied from shop to shop. And if you knew the right people you could buy ex-military rifles from places like East Timor or Pakistan - I've personally seen a Pakistani made G3 in private (and obviously, illegal) ownership in Western Australia in the 1990s that was bought in Queensland and smuggled into Western Australia. The laws in Western Australia were so restrictive (some would say anal) that groups lobbied for nearly a decade to allow paintball to be played as a sport in this state and even then there were still restrictions on private ownership of paintball guns (the government decided that they needed to be registered as firearms).

A number of rifles purchased legally in Queensland ended up being traded to locals in Papua New Guinea for marijuana. The guns were passed on to resistance groups in West Papua who were fighting against the Indonesian invasion of West Papua. This trade of guns from Australia for drugs from Papua New Guinea went on for several years and was only effectively ended with the federal government's 1996 gun buyback scheme where the federal government basically dictated what the future of gun ownership in Australia would be.

There was almost a 100% compliance with the handing in of registered but now restricted firearms. However, in Queensland and New South Wales there were many, many firearms that were never registered when they were legally purchased and the vast majority of these were not handed in.
So in some cases, you can still find semi-auto rifles for illegal sale in this country but you'll pay a premium for them and obtaining the ammunition can be a little problematic. A person who qualifies for the restricted licence category can legally purchase semi-autos such as the AR15 or L1A1 but the prices in those gunshops who stock them are almost as bad as the illegal prices e.g. the last price I saw for an AR15 was Au$5800 (around US$4900)

And a last few words on the Port Arthur massacre. The water here is very murky and further illustrates the lax laws that were in place in some states of this country.
Martin Bryant didn't shoot all 35 of the murder victims, some were stabbed and some were bludgeoned.
A live radio report after the massacre (that I personally heard on the day) quoted a security guard at the scene as saying that if security guards in Tasmania were allowed to carry guns, he could have stopped Bryant after the first few shootings - this was later removed from all broadcast lists and never played again.
The anti-gun fanatics and the government like to overlook all of that - it didn't fit with their agenda (you can see where my sympathies are, even without me stating that I have been a legal owner of registered firearms in Western Australia for over 20 years).

Bryant purchased his AR10 through a newspaper add but is thought to have bought his AR15 from a gunshop in Tasmania but he did not have a firearms license. He did however, have a sizeable inheritance of over US$400,000 and it's rumoured by some speculators (although there's no proof) that he offered a lot of money for the guns he bought.
The gunshop had bought the AR15 from the police of Victoria. The Victorian police had obtained the AR15 from either a gun amnesty or a confiscation and sold it along with hundreds of other firearms (obtained in the same manner) to gunshops in Tasmania to raise funds for the police service.
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  #32  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:25 AM
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Wow maybe you should start an OT restriction of firearms ownership thread? Reading all that almost made me throw up. So sad to see what they did to the citizens in the UK,AU,NZ
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  #33  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:38 AM
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Reading all that almost made me throw up. So sad to see what they did to the citizens in the UK,AU,NZ
Yeah. Aussies and Kiwis used to be able to shoot BEFORE they joined the military. Very few can now, unless it's the triggers on their Xbox controllers.
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  #34  
Old 01-29-2014, 03:11 PM
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History generally has British and other peoples needing those skills and weapons at some point, ante bellum both world wars at a glance.
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  #35  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:01 PM
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Wow maybe you should start an OT restriction of firearms ownership thread? Reading all that almost made me throw up. So sad to see what they did to the citizens in the UK,AU,NZ
An interesting observation (although what it actually means in regards to those societies, who knows...) is that the larger the population, the more restrictive firearms ownership has become.
New Zealand firearms laws aren't as restricted as those in Australia while Australian firearms laws aren't as bad as the positively draconian laws put in place in the UK.

New Zealand
In New Zealand, the policy seems to be more about checking the fitness of the applicant to own firearms rather than to control types of firearm. So for example, you can still legally own AR15 type semi-auto rifles and can buy 30-rd mags for them as long as you can prove that you are mentally, emotionally and physically fit to qualify for a licence.
(I seriously considered immigrating to NZ but the job prospects weren't good at the time.)

Australia
In Australia, the policy is a rather more emotional response to firearms such that any and all semi-auto rifles (of any calibre) are restricted including .22LR rifles such as the Ruger 10/22 and the general public cannot own semi-auto or pump-action shotguns. Handguns are restricted to calibres of .380 or 9mm or less and magazines for pistols are restricted to 10-rds or less. It is possible to get calibres up to .45 inch (notice that it's based on size of the calibre and not power) if you are a member of an approved category of competition pistol shooting.

I say emotional response because of a number of things but mostly they are as follows: -
The pistol calibre restrictions based on size rather than power is a real quick and easy (and totally arbitrary to the point of mindless) way to control handguns. It takes no consideration of such things as the .44 Magnum round is more powerful than the .45 Long Colt round.
After a police commissioner was murdered in New South Wales with a 10/22 rifle by a criminal gang sometime in the 1990s, there was concerted effort by the police of that state to prevent further sales of semi-auto .22LR rifles to the general public because the rifle was apparently legally owned by one of the gang members.
The restrictions on shotguns make no sense to any intelligent being that displays even a minor amount of rational thought. A civilian cannot licence any semi-auto or pump-action shotgun but there are no restrictions on licencing a bolt-action or lever-action shotgun. The sad reality of this, is that pump-actions were included because they were "felt" to be more threatening, more damaging and just generally more "violent" than other types of shotgun.

When the federal government gathered together it's panel of advisors for gun control, the "experts"** gave them such "truths" as the following: -
(I'm paraphrasing here because I no longer have my copy of the Green Paper, the document outlining the government's response to gun control);
1. Semi-auto rifles are to be restricted because a bullet fired from a semi-auto is more dangerous than a bullet fired from a bolt-action. I know what they were trying to express (that a semi-auto can fire more often than a bolt-action) but if they couldn't express the idea properly I am left to think that they actually had no idea of what they were talking about.
2. Pump-action shotguns need to be restricted because they are more aggressive than a "genuine" sporting shooter needs, everybody's seen how dangerous they are in movies and they are obviously not something a hunter or sporting shooter needs... yes my jaw hit the floor after reading that claim.

** I simply cannot put into text how much disdain I feel towards those people, the panel seemed to be made up mostly of people who were terrified of guns and of anyone who owned a gun. It was by no means a balanced panel and the feelings of many gun owners at the time was that gun control was done for political purposes rather than any true concerns for public safety. Some of us still harbour lingering feelings that it was a political stunt.

United Kingdom
When the 2012 Olympic pistol shooting teams couldn't legally train in their own country... As I understand it, any self-loading or pump-action rifle with a calibre above .22LR and the vast majority of handguns are prohibited from civilian ownership.
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  #36  
Old 01-31-2014, 07:36 AM
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I've heard a lot of those banned weapons were "lost" or "stolen". I'd imagine that these would surface again.
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  #37  
Old 01-31-2014, 06:50 PM
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I've heard a lot of those banned weapons were "lost" or "stolen". I'd imagine that these would surface again.
That's what happened here in many, many cases.
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  #38  
Old 01-31-2014, 09:06 PM
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Savage of Savage arms worked cattle ranches in Australia, the government there has forgotten the proud frontier spirit and heritage of it's citizens. I remember it for my game world, along with Canada's and the United States' when I plan communities.
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  #39  
Old 02-04-2014, 07:34 PM
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SSC

The L1A1 is called the SLR by British Troopies. Not sure if they call the L2A1 the AR though, they were mostly issued L4A1 BREN (7.62NATO conversions)
Pretty sure canuks called them C1 and C2 (they issued a lot more C2's than the British ever did L2, in fact I believe the Brits sold most of there L2's off to other nations.)

You are absolutely correct about L4 BREN magazines. I have used C2 mags and they are great, I have seen many pics of british soldiers using L4 Magazines in there SLR but never using the L2 Magazine in them. I have seen pics of Rhodesian troops using standard 20 round mags in there L4 BREN's.

Real SLR are easy to convert, you can swap out the selector lever, or grind off the stub that stops it from rotating. (often done on FAL as well) or the Match stick or fishing line trick. But civilians rifles (for the most part exception being the Belgian FAL semi autos') don't have auto sears...the military rifles all do, so they can be easily converted using parts swap or field expedients.

I have seen the Civilian rifles without auto sears converted (milled to accept them) and full auto ejector blocks installed.

I have seen both SLR and AR conversions used in VN and they are amazingly hardcore!!!!
Take the bipod off the AR and mount the XM148 grenade launchers.
The ANZAC troops where tough!

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Last edited by Brother in Arms; 02-05-2014 at 12:16 AM.
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  #40  
Old 02-05-2014, 12:15 AM
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Saw an older Century Arms International re-made L1A1 at a gunshop.

It was built from a British SLR parts kit with wood furniture and "popsicle stick grip" that had been painted sort of a poop brown color. The barrel was chopped off just behind the flash hider and had been recrowned. Part of the spline for it was left on the barrel (so if you wanted to re cut it and reattach it you could but it would take some work but the barrel overall with would shorter so that might not be so bad)

It had a commercial type-3 Metric receiver that only read CAI St. ALbans VT (so its an older gun they are now in Georgia VT) it had a new metric magazine but could not accept INCH magazines. The metal appeared to have been zinc phosphated a light gray color. Overall rifle had a decent appearance and It handled nicely. It had folding charging handle of a standard SLR. If it where Mine I would have chopped the barrel down even shorted and made it into a carbine because it had a rather light feel to it.

So there is a real life example of a gun made in the early to mid 1990's. by CAI

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  #41  
Old 02-05-2014, 01:38 AM
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Heya BiA
Yeah I knew the British Squaddies called the L1A1 the SLR, I don't think the Brits ever issued the L2 to their army although I'm hoping some of the British forum members can confirm/deny that.
As for the L4 Bren, I think it was mostly the Royal Marine Commandos that used it (because it was capable of operating in extremely low temperatures) and again I'm hoping that the British members here can confirm/deny if if was ever used by the British Army as an infantry weapon (and not just as vehicle armament).

I've seen pics of South Africans using R1 (their home built version of the FAL) 20-rd mags in their 7.62mm Brens somewhere but I can't recall the source. However having a quick search of net gave the following page from 2008 which shows a South African Bren with a 20-rd FAL mag plus another with a 30-rd Rhodesian FAL mag
http://weaponsonline.proboards.com/thread/993

I believe the Canadian C2 uses a completely different rear sight to the L2, a "dial" style whereas the L2 uses a leaf rearsight. And something else about L4 Brens in Aussie service, I vaguely recall that we were advised to only load the L4 mags to 28-rds whereas the L2 mag was okay with being loaded to 30-rds.
I haven't had any experience with civilian semi-auto FAL types so your personal knowledge is both interesting and welcome
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  #42  
Old 02-05-2014, 03:32 AM
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To the best of my knowledge the L2 was never issued to branch of the British armed forces (the only exception I could think of who might have used it on an "unoffical" basis would be the SAS)

Re: the Bren, whilst I can't confirm 100%, but I believe it was used by the Army in a Light Machine Gun role prior to the introduction of the SA80 family - there are several references online of Bren guns being issued to units that took part in Operation Granby (the 1991 Gulf War).
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  #43  
Old 02-05-2014, 11:22 PM
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Pretty sure the L4 BREN was the standard Light Machine gun for the British Army the General Purpose Machine gun being the GPMG (MAG-58)
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  #44  
Old 02-06-2014, 08:02 AM
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I'm given to believe that once they adopted the MAG58 as the L7 GPMG the British Army no longer kept the L4 Bren in frontline use and it was issued to support services. Infantry units all used the L7 but some armoured vehicles did have Brens for self-defence/anti-air protection.

I also read reports of L4 Brens being used in Op Granby but the wording was that they were re-issued i.e. pulled from whatever storage they were in or grabbed from service & support units and issued to the Infantry only for the duration of the Operation.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:18 AM
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Sorry, rereading my answer to the question about Brens I could have probably been a little more precise...I was giving a relatively short answer to the original question, which was whether the modern era Bren had been ever been used by the British Army as an infantry weapon, the answer to which, i think, is yes, it has, e,g, in the Gulf.

However as far as I know the Bren was not a standard issue weapon - I believe you are correct that it was replaced by the GPMG and only retained for some roles, most motably as a vehicle mounted weapon (for example on the AT105 Saxon). But some have definitely emerged from storage at different points in time, most notably the Faklands and Op Granby. (When it comes to Granby, the British Army had to strip a number of cupboards bare to fully equip the 1st Armoured Division for service in the Gulf, so the reissuance of older kit was probably part of this process). So I agree with SSC.

Hope that helps...
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  #46  
Old 02-07-2014, 01:52 PM
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According to my copy of "The Modern British Army, Terry gander 1988". The L4A4 was not issued to frontline units, but issued to support units (Engineers, Signals, etc). Probably as a section (Squad) LMG.

The GPMG remained the section MG up until the introduction of the lSW. However it seems they still used it as a section weapon in the first Gulf war and the Paras and Marines refused to stop using them as section weapons.
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  #47  
Old 02-07-2014, 08:10 PM
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Even if civilians can't have the L1A1's, destroying them or M14's, M1911's, etc. seems like a criminal waste of taxes. Can't they be sold, loaned or given as aid. If they must be deactivated, part them out and sell the parts.
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  #48  
Old 02-07-2014, 08:16 PM
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Even if civilians can't have the L1A1's, destroying them or M14's, M1911's, etc. seems like a criminal waste of taxes. Can't they be sold, loaned or given as aid. If they must be deactivated, part them out and sell the parts.
Just to increase the sadness factor...
In some cases in Australia, such rifles were dismantled and all the steel parts melted down for scrap, any wood parts were simply burnt. Some other cases involved cutting all the steel parts into small pieces and dumping the results into the ocean.
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  #49  
Old 02-08-2014, 02:07 AM
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Even if civilians can't have the L1A1's, destroying them or M14's, M1911's, etc. seems like a criminal waste of taxes. Can't they be sold, loaned or given as aid. If they must be deactivated, part them out and sell the parts.
Not sure of L1A1 and other non-US weapons. But US weapons (in the US) they for the most part can not sell any weapon or part of said weapon if it is or can be full auto. (like the M14) They also stopped selling pistols not sure if because they sold them all or if new political head. There is the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) that sell old us weapons they have sold so many that for the most part they only have M1 grands left to sell.
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  #50  
Old 11-16-2017, 03:44 PM
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According to my copy of "The Modern British Army, Terry gander 1988". The L4A4 was not issued to frontline units, but issued to support units (Engineers, Signals, etc). Probably as a section (Squad) LMG.

The GPMG remained the section MG up until the introduction of the lSW. However it seems they still used it as a section weapon in the first Gulf war and the Paras and Marines refused to stop using them as section weapons.
Worthh noting that for many years the L4 was preferred to the L7 by the Royal Marines for arctic warfare as the mag was more reliable than a belt in the snow.

Last edited by James Langham; 11-16-2017 at 03:50 PM. Reason: added info
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  #51  
Old 11-17-2017, 08:44 PM
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Worthh noting that for many years the L4 was preferred to the L7 by the Royal Marines for arctic warfare as the mag was more reliable than a belt in the snow.
Interesting! I had read that the RMC preferred the Bren over the Jimpy for artic warfare but the general explanation was that the Bren was better able to cope with artic conditions. However if it's because magazine fed was more reliable than belt-fed then the reason is more that magazine-fed won't drag all the snow/ice/other crap into the feed mechanism rather than the Bren itself was better able to cope with the freezing conditions compared to the Jimpy.

The impression given by the book I read was that the Bren was able to cope with the conditions better than the L7 - that's quite a different situation to the preference for mag over belt!

P.S. For those unfamiliar with British military slang: the MAG58 was produced under licence in the UK as the L7 General Purpose MachineGun AKA GPMG. When said as a word GPMG sounds like "jimpy".
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:41 AM
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I do have a slight advantage here, I was trained on the Been, my mate wrote the Osprey book on it and I have trained the author Dan Abnett how to use it... :-)
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:16 AM
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I do have a slight advantage here, I was trained on the Been, my mate wrote the Osprey book on it and I have trained the author Dan Abnett how to use it... :-)
Nice!

That's what I love about this forum, there is such an incredible range of experience & knowledge among the members here that there's always something new to learn
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  #54  
Old 11-18-2017, 08:07 AM
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There is a lovely bit of trivia on the Bren - it ejects downwards meaning when it was used in open topped recce vehicles in WW2 it regularly sent hot brass down the back of the driver's shirt!

Other nice bits of trivia include the fact that if the barrel locking nut wasn't engaged you could end up running down the range carrying just the barrel (less of an issue with the L4 series that was only issued with one barrel).

A belt feed version was submitted in the trials that resulted in the GPMG being adopted.

There was a special 100 round AA mag that was a drum BUT this blocked the sights as it was intended for AA use only.
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