Browning BAR in .243/.270 Win as all-around rifle?


P. Plainsman
December 31, 2004, 12:01 AM
Hi, folks. Been shooting for a little while; no longer a rank novice, but my skills still have a way to go. I have a small handgun collection and a couple of iron-sighted Marlin lever rifles (.357 Mag carbine and .22), which I like very much. I do not currently reload.

I'm thinking about the gun in the title of this thread as a first centerfire "rifle caliber" rifle. I don't foresee myself acquiring a whole lot of different rifles in the future, as I expect to blow most of my gun budget on the various revolvers I covet. ;) Our tastes can change, of course.

At present I seek something (a) accurate enough for fun at the range (mine only goes to 100 yards), (b) not punishing in recoil, (c) useful for whitetail next season (I will be a first-time hunter, BTW), and, at the margin, (d) a decent militia/SHTF rifle. I realize there are tradeoffs and no rifle is likely to be great across all dimensions; what I want is a solid all-'rounder.

I handled, but did not fire, a BAR in .270 recently and liked the whole feel and operation of it. Trigger was somewhat heavier than I expected -- what else is new in current firearms. :rolleyes:

Questions, then:

1. Is the BAR a reasonable model for my needs?

2. Is it easy to improve the BAR's trigger?

3. .243 or .270? I suppose I'd go with .270 if not for recoil concerns. I don't have enough experience with real rifle shooting to convey a clear idea of how recoil-adverse I may be. I don't enjoy .44 Mag in a handgun. On the other hand, I shoot .357 Mag and .45 ACP in "service"-sized handguns like the GP100 and stainless P220 with no problems, and considerable enjoyment. And obviously, I can shoot my .357 levergun all day without complaint; that ain't nothin'.

4. What sort of scopes should I be looking at? Again, my goal is to equip an all-'round rifle rather than one optimized for targets / deer / SHTF.

Many thanks for your thoughts on any of these.

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December 31, 2004, 01:21 AM
Nothing wrong with a BAR as an all around rifle!

As far as caliber, it depends on what kind of hunting you do mostly of course. I would go with the .270 over the .243. The .270, .308 or .30-06 would be the the caliber of choice for an "all around rifle" with the .30-06 being the preferred one, by me anyway.

Chances are very good that you will not need to adjust the BAR's trigger anytime soon. If you want a 2.0 lb trigger, it can be adjusted easily enough. However, at first, I suggest you leave it as is, they're light in stock form, especially for a semi-auto high power rifle and they feel good too. I can't remember off the top of my head if the BAR's trigger can be self adjusted externally or not? I know my '06 Browning BBR (bolt action) can be, it's adjusted very, very light but, I don't want my BAR's trigger adjusted as lightly.

Scopes? I have always been a Leopold man myself but there are other good scopes out there for less money. However, a BAR cries out for a quality scope mated to it. :D In Leopold a Vari-X II and above are quality scopes. I prefer variable power scopes but many people prefer fixed power.

To sum up, a Browning BAR with a Leopold Vari-X II or better, in one of the calibers above, would make a very nice "all around rifle" for you. Now, just decide which form of BAR you want. :)


PS Give some thought to a BOSS equipped one.

pete f
December 31, 2004, 02:46 AM
BAR's of the current variety are overly complicated and IMHO not a terribly reliable system.
I happen to like the bolt gun or manually operated (lever or pump) rifle for a semi novice to start out in Hi power shooting.
As a hunting cartridge a 270 is a great cartridge, truely one of the best. As a SHTF cartridge, it leaves a lot to be desired. Availability now is top notch, probably every gun shop in the country and all wallmart's have 270 behind the counter, but it is expensive tho quality commercial ammo.
308 on the other hand will be available even after the SHTF because most of the world is now using it as gp machine gun ammo. If you want an auto loader then two choices arise, the remington 7400, a proven and simple rifle that has nearly 40 years of production behind it, or one of the many battle rifles now being made available. I think the HK clones are the best but some people I respect think the FAL is the hot ticket. I recently talked with a man who works for a MAJOR arms corporation and he was very very impressed with the Quality of the pakistani arsenal made HK clones. His statement was that he would by a Pakistani over a pre ban German. This was based on his use of several in their corporate setting as a QC standard in 7.62 ammo production.

Now this is not to say if you have you heart set on a 270 BAR that you should discourage it, just that perhaps you should look a little closer at your requirements

December 31, 2004, 04:06 AM
Rem 7400 over a BAR?


I own both and, I've seen more 7400's screw up than I care to comment on. From one who owns both, the 7400 is not in even in the same class as the Browning BAR.

If you've been shooting Marlins, stepping to a BAR is no problem. I know many guys that started with semi-auto's as their first rifle, same in shotguns. Judging from the careful and concerned nature of your post, it's doubtful you're an idiot. ;) If you had never owned a gun before, I might.......might have a different answer but, that's clearly not the case :)

December 31, 2004, 05:04 AM
The only unreliable BAR that I've ever heard of was because they were shooting handloads that were too weak. It has a pretty forgiving gas system, so even with handloads they are pretty darn good as long as the loader isn't trying to shoot youth loads.

You sounded like recoil might be a factor, that gas system soaks up about 20% so the 270 is going to be a pussycat. I got a 30/06 as kind of a science experiment. I wanted the lightest weight, softest kicking true elk gun that I could build. So after adding a Simms recoil pad that darn thing is so mild I'll be trading it up for a 338 mag soon.

The 270 sounds like a pretty good all around rifle to me. Not the lightest gun, but the new .308 Shortstrokes weigh almost pound less. The 308 with 130 gr Triple Shocks can reach out almost as far as the 270 can, close to 300 yds on a deer, worth considering. Good luck.

Jeff Timm
December 31, 2004, 06:45 AM
I second a Leupold scope. Look a a variable 2-7 power :
"Retailing for less than $200.00, the economically priced VX-I 2-7x33mm is a versatile, mid-range magnification scope useful for close cover as well as on more open terrain. It is a highly adaptable scope that fits well with a variety of shooting requirements. Easily mounted close to the rifle due to its 33mm objective bell, it is excellent for those seeking a low profile optical sight."

Depending on conditions you might want an illuminated reticle on a more expensive scope.

Who has had a 4x Leupold on his Rem 700BDL .308 for a long time.

December 31, 2004, 04:49 PM
Rem 7400 over a BAR?
Respectfully.... :rolleyes:
that's pretty much what I've heard about the two. My aunt's husband has a BAR in 30-06 that he uses for deer hunting and he's never had a problem with it and would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. Everything I've heard or read about the BAR and 7400 leads me to believe that the BAR is worth the difference in price and that the 7400 is not the gun the 742 was (my dad used to have a 742 that had much better fit and finish and was more reliable than the 7400s are said to be)

December 31, 2004, 07:03 PM
Just make sure to opt out of the BOSS system if you can (if you plan to use it for hunting). Supposedly it had to become an optional (instead of standard) feature after too many hunters complained of tinnitus. :eek:

December 31, 2004, 08:56 PM
The .30-06 BAR doesn't kick much. An uncle has an early one that he still hunts deer with at age 73. I've been trying to get it for years, but no go so far. I'm patient though, it took me about 15 years to get his 541-S.

My dad had one of the newer BARs and it was just as nice. He bought it slightly used with a scope on it for a great price, hunted it for about 10 years, kept the scope and made $100-and-some dollars off the gun - a .280 Rem. I like the .280 a lot, but probably not for plinking.


January 1, 2005, 02:49 AM
I bought the BAR Stalker in .308 two years ago. I really like it, and would recommend it in a second. No trouble at all. Recoil is managable. I can shoot a box of 20 in a tee shirt. My .243 Winchester model 70 is slightly more accurate, with slightly less recoil.

This last fall I bought the BAR in 300WSM. It has the Boss. The muzzle break feature of the Boss gives it less felt recoil than the .308! The down side is it only holds two in the mag, one in the chamber. The upside is that it will match the 300 Win Mag pretty much in balistics.

My first gun was a .243. I like the Leopld Vari ll 3x9 and the Nikon Monarch 3x9. .243 is a great place to start, and the BAR is a great platform.

January 1, 2005, 02:47 PM
getting BOSS with porting is an option. It doesn't have to be ported. From what I've heard about it, if I were going to buy a browning I'd definitely spend the few extra bucks on the non-ported BOSS

January 1, 2005, 02:57 PM
I have shot a BAR 7mag, for the last 30+ years, on all the continents, NEVER had a problem...

January 2, 2005, 04:37 AM
Having owned both, the Remington isn't even in the same league as the Browning.

You want an accurate, well-finished, reliable, and smooth-shooting autoloader? Get a Browning.

I ditched my last Remington 7400 like a bad habit. I have, however, kept my 1969 Belgian BAR in .30-06. My stepsons might be lucky enough to inherit it, depending on the size of my coffin.

January 2, 2005, 10:16 AM
Of the three criteria, the "militia/SHTF" one is the most demanding, suggesting that the rifle: 1) be rugged and reliable; 2) use a widely-available military cartridge; 3) be prevalent enough so that replacement parts can be scrounged; and 4) be preferably similar to an existing U.S. military weapon. The other two criteria of target shooting accuracy on the range and suitability for whitetail hunting are relatively easy to satisfy with a wide range of guns and cartridges.

Given these criteria, my thoughts would run toward the Remington 700 LTR bolt-action rifle in .308 Win with a Leupold 2.5X compact scope. It's very accurate on the range (sub-MOA with match ammo should be expected out of the box). It's light and short enough to tote in the woods for hunting, and the .308 will reliably kill deer, black bear, elk, and even moose with available loadings. The 700 is one of the most popular actions, and even is used by the military for their sniper rifles. The Leupold 2.5X scope has a reputation for ruggedness, even on heavy-caliber rifles, and is suitable for target shooting at 100 yards and for hunting out to 200+ yards. Finally, a rifle chambered in .308 can use 7.62 NATO ammo, the standard for the Western bloc.

Leaky Waders
January 2, 2005, 02:01 PM
More importantly, if you want a BAR...then get one. Because if not, you'll probably eventually buy a bunch of rifles until you break down and get the BAR...

My dad has the same rifle that Gewher has - a 30'06 Belgium BAR that I have used for quite sometime. I really like the rifle. I was also looking at a BAR .270 safari prior to deployment. Just to have my own BAR. I had already purchase the scope (a leupold lps) but decided to wait on the rifle until I get back. Then my wife doesn't have to worry about my brother and law trying to borrow it and shoot a deer before I do with it.

To me the positive features of the BAR are reliability and ability to hold their value. They are like a working heirloom. The only drawbacks are that disassembly by a gunsmith would be needed if the rifle were ever dropped in water or something like that (like nearly all other non-milspec rifles). I've never dropped a rifle in the water...but I have dunked several shotguns duck hunting, but that's another topic.

Frankly, I wouldn't worry about SHTF scenarios....if things get that bad (i.e. war) you'll be tripping over rifles and carbines. We do over here all the time - small arms are abundant.

My Two Pesos,


January 2, 2005, 06:01 PM
I'd get it in .308 or .30-06 instead, ammo will be cheaper, and recoil won't differ noticably.

The BAR should not be a very punishing gun to shoot. Like a good heavy .45.

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