Is there any truth to this?


August 10, 2010, 09:23 PM
So I was reading on another forum about reloading for the Browning BAR. I'd post the link to the other forum, but I'm not sure if it is allowed. Anyway, he was saying that a gunsmith on that sight had told him to be careful about using slow burning powders in the Remington 7400 as it caused damage to the bolt rails over time. He said he wanted to know if this applied to the BAR too. That got me interested. Is this an issue in the BAR's? Is it true that it's an issue in the 7400's? Or is this not a concern?

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gun guy
August 11, 2010, 07:23 AM
its very true, never use slow burning powders on military rifles, you risk over pressure at the gas port which can result in: bent op rods, m1, m-14, m1 Carbine, mini 14 & 30. blown gas seals, fn fal, and damaged bolt carrier bolts, ar-15 series, i've seen all these failures and more traced to slow burning powders. if you wish a complex explanation, email me carmon_ underscore/the underline hides that

August 11, 2010, 08:43 AM
The Remington 7400 and the BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) are not military, both shoot factory, commercial, over the counter new ammo, so read the instructions, at one time RCBS made dies for the BAR in 270, 30/06, and 300 Win. Mag.

I have three sets of dies for the BAR, it is a waste of time explaining the difference between the BAT dies and standard dies made at the time, The BAR dies when used sized cases that matched factory ammo, the M 1 shot the same ammo as the M 1917 and 03 Springfield, the Clarence in the M 1 was cut in the chamber when it was reamed, about .0002 thousands.

F. Guffey

August 11, 2010, 08:45 AM
BAR dies


F. Guffey

August 11, 2010, 11:31 AM
I've always used IMR 4320 for all my loads in my Browning BAR in .30-06, which I bought new in 1969, right after they hit the market. It's taken everything from ground squirrels to elk and never missed a beat. I've always subscribed to the theory that the same burn rate range applied to the commercial BAR as does my Garands, and I've had no damage or excessive wear to my rifle.

Hope this helps.


August 11, 2010, 11:40 AM
I don’t use any abnormally slow powders (for the chambering) in my Remington or Browning semi autos but the powders I do use are some of the slowest I have that are not for my BMG but your not going to load 300 mag with Bullseye.

August 11, 2010, 12:28 PM
To answer your question, you have to understand that the gas system on any commercial rifle is designed to function with standard pressure commercial ammo.

In handloads, going to a very slow powder increases the gas port pressure in the barrel, which increases thrust & speed on the bolt operating system.

A typical example was Hornadys Light and Heavy Magnum loads. Peak chamber pressure was the same as normal loads, but Hornady warned they "had a pressure curve that wasn’t conducive for use in semi-autos".


August 11, 2010, 12:42 PM
RL 22 is the 154th slowest powder out of 173 total from the chart below (so it’s pretty slow) and propels the best load I have come up with from my 300 win mag BAR.

August 11, 2010, 12:47 PM
Yes but:
A BAR in .300 Mag, or any other Mag caliber has a gas system tuned for slower powder then one in .308 or 30-06.

Belted Mag ammo is typically commercially loaded with slower powder then standard calibers so the gas system is tuned for it.


August 11, 2010, 10:57 PM
I own three BARs, two in '06 and one .338. I use handloads exclusively and singularly IMR 4350...........I have never experienced any issue with any of my rifles. Only gripe I've got is that the design itself tends to batter case rims.

FYI my standard '06 charge is 57.5 of 4350 under Sierra's #2140 165 HPBT.

That load in either of those rifles will hold under an inch at a hundred and really comes very close to doing what my ancient M/70 will.

August 12, 2010, 12:57 AM
Well lets look at factory ammo. According to Winchester Corp., Supreme 780 is the same powder used in their factory Supreme ammunition.

Supreme 780 has a burn rate between H 4831 and R-22. I have never seen any warnings on Win Supreme ammo advising against it's use in any semi auto let along a beast like the BAR.

Go ahead, load whatever powder works best for you, if super slow works, go for it. I load for a couple BAR rifles, 30-06. 300WSM and 338. Never had a problem going slow.

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