Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) .30 06

01. Original name M1918 – Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)  
02. Other official names BAR; M1918; M1918A1 and A2  
03. Popular names BAR  
04. Chamberings .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge  
05. Designed by John M Browning  
06. Design date 1917  
07. In service date(s) 1918–early 1970s (U.S.)  
08. Adopted by Adopted by the US Army soon after their entry into WW1 in 1917. The BAR replaced the French-designed Chauchat and M1909 Benet-Mercie machineguns that had temporarily been adopted by the US Army. Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium ( built under licence FN), PRC, Cuba ( colt commercial BAR), Egypt (FN type D), Ethiopia, Finland, France, Israel (FN type D), Italy, Japan, Laos, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, Turkey, United Kingdom ( issued to home guard), United States  
09. Production quantities 351,679; 102,174 M1918; 125 Monitor Machine Rifle; 249,380 M1918A2. Approx. 52,000 M1918s had been produced by the end of WW1  
10. Mechanism The M1918 is a selective fire, air-cooled, gas-operated automatic rifle, being cycled by propellant gases that are bled off through a vent in the barrel. The bolt is locked by a rising bolt lock and the gun fires from an open bolt. The bolt contains an extractor that is spring-powered while there is a fixed ejector in the trigger group. The weapon’s barrel is screwed into the receiver and not easily detachable. The M1918 is fed via a double-column 20-round magazine. Gas-operated, rising bolt lock, gas actuation Open-bolt, magazine feed. (20round) M1918A2 no single shot. Preset rates or fire 300 and 600 rpm.  
11. Weight 7.5-9kg. Over 8Kg (18lbs) with a full magazine  
12. Mountings Shoulder mounted. Bipod introduced 1941. Some evidence of use on light weight vehicles. Tripod mount for anti-aircraft use. (40 round magazine)  
13. Practicality in action The BAR stood the test of time but was considered too heavy to be used as a rifle, certainly when standing. Nor capable of great accuracy due to its open bolt design in single-shot mode. In automatic mode it was considered too light, this caused it to have an erratic point of aim, and with only a 20 round magazine sustained fire was not possible. Originally designed to be an automatic rifle, carried by a sling over the shoulder and fired from the hip – a concept called ‘walking fire’. However, over time, the weapon gradually became used in a light machinegun role, especially when later variants came equipped with a bipod. The Fire Selector Lever of the M1918 could be set to: • ‘S’ – Safe; • ‘F’ – full automatic fire but at the mechanically reduced rate – a cyclic rate (how quickly the weapon fires ammunition) of approximately 350 rounds per minute (rpm); • ‘A’ – full automatic fire at the normal cyclical rate, approximately 550rpm. The standard 20 round magazine influenced the M1908s rate of fire  
14. Comments / Other information The M1918 chambered for the .30-06 rifle cartridge was designed by John M Browning in 1917. It has a cylindrical flash suppressor fixed to the end of the barrel, a fixed wooden butt stock and closed-type iron sights, consisting of a forward post and rear leaf sight, adjustable to between 100 and 1,500 yards. The effective firing range of 100-1500 yards and a maximum range of 4-5000 yards. The BAR was manufactured under licence around the world and in a number of different calibre’s In tribute to the simple effectiveness of the locking system the design was copied in the FN MAG. The US replaced the BAR with the M60 general purpose. Introduced in 1941 – final version of a gun introduced in 1918; chambered for the .30-06” round; used with a 20 round box magazine; selectable dual cyclic rates – about 350/550rpm; weight without magazine 19.4lb; fixed barrel. This is essentially a heavy automatic rifle modified to give it some characteristics of a light machine gun.