Tips for BAR


October 23, 2012, 08:55 AM
Cleaning tips for a Browning BAR please (the hunting rifle, not the MG :( ). The rifle is a late 80ís model and has been shot very little. Working up a load last night, the bolt failed to completely close (I think) a couple of time (feeding singles through the mag). When pulling the trigger, the hammer dropped, but the firing pin didnít make contact with the primer. I assume the bolt was not fully in battery, but it could have been something elseÖ It was getting late, so I didnít spend much time trying to figure it out. The cartridge does fit the chamber.

The rifle has always functioned fine, so a little tlc and cleaning will probably cure it. Anyone here have a similar issue with the bar? Any tips on where to focus my attention?


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October 23, 2012, 10:06 AM
Sounds as tho your reloads are out of spec. Sure cure is a Wilson (or other mfg) drop in case gauge.

I also have and hunt with the BAR.....have two of 'em now, one in .338 & an '06......I use handloads exclusively and check EACH cartridge immediately after loading......

If the cartridge is out of spec the bolt will not completely rotate into it's locked position, therefore the firing pin cannot contact the might appear that the shell 'fits' but in terms of overall length or a slightly set back shoulder it projects just a bit too far to permit the bolt from going into battery....

October 23, 2012, 10:25 AM
That could be the case; Iíll double check. First cartridge went Ďclickí. After giving it a few seconds, I opened the bolt, removed the cartridge. The primer had no indent from the firing pin. Re-chambered the same round (this time, not from the mag) and made sure the bolt was fully closed. Due to lighting, the rifle was in my shadow, but it seemed like the bolt moved slightly forward when I pushed it snug. This happed the same way on the next cartridge; failed to fire, re-chambered and then it fired. The next 3 fired fine, but I made sure the bolt was fully closed by applying slight forward pressure to the bolt on closing. Thisís what made me think something was dirty. Iím Ďsureí (I'm always sure, but sometimes... :D ) the case is sized smaller than the chamber, but I will confirm tonight.

Whatís the best way to clean the locking lugs? Anything else to check for that would make the bolt not want to close on its own?


October 23, 2012, 11:03 AM
I had a BAR 300WM for a brief time trying to sight it in for a family member. The "buffer", a piece of rubbery plastic used to soften the rearward travel of the bolt, had dry-rotted and broken into pieces. Several pieces scattered throughout the action and caused several misfeeds etc before I finally discovered the source of the problem. Got another one from Brownells and problem solved.
If I recall correctly, the first step of tearing it down for cleaning was to remove the forearm, then it was not too hard to figure out the rest--just make sure you know how things were oriented when you took it apart. A few camera shots at each step will help.

October 23, 2012, 04:23 PM
Two things, MTM & MTRMN.

First, insofar as cleaning the lugs on the BAR bolt, were I you I'd first ascertain if the ammo is the problem....if the lugs are so dirty that the bolt won't go into battery then I'd suggest some spray cleaner at a fairly hi pressure.....brake cleaner is a fairly good one. Secondly, don't overlook your lubricant....light oil in my experience works best. Pull the bolt completely back till it locks open......on your model I believe it'll require the mag. inserted.....use some non marring tool and pull the bolt cover a bit further back and then apply your cleaning agent. You might find a toothpick and cotton swap helpful. Don't overlook the locking lugs in the bbl when you do this and to get 'em all you'll likely have to pull the mag and hold the bolt back by big deal, but if you want to really clean it out this works fairly well.

Far as the buffer pad MTRMN mentions, I have replaced that part in my old steel framed BAR (believe it's of the same production time as yours) that did precisely as MTRMN the way, Browning suggested that an acceptable replacement was a heavy piece of leather from a belt of about the same thickness as the plastic buffer!!

Anyway, I gifted that steel famed BAR to a nephew recently and it is still functioning as it was intended, but I never resorted to the leather piece as I acquired a plastic buffer....

Only real issue I've ever had with my BARs was with that steel framed one, and that was my fault insofar as I was using some really hot make a long story short, a primer exited the case and lodged in the bolt cam cut. Totally jammed up the works (missed a hulluva buck TOO). Required a complete takedown of the action.

Relative to the latter, it's not something that ought to be done if you are not mechanically adept. Those older BARs are much more difficult to draw down than the newer ones.

My suggestion to you is to first review the ammo issue, if that's not the problem then go to the really thorough cleaning. After that, seek someone that knows what he's doing and that has worked on that platform before.

October 23, 2012, 06:26 PM
Thanks for the info. I'll be cleaning it shortly. Hopefully that's the problem. If it's my brass sizing, I will not admit it :D

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