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Browning Automatic Rifle

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by igotta40, Nov 16, 2022.

  1. igotta40

    igotta40 Member

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    I was watching ‘The Sand Pebbles’ a couple nights ago and Steve McQueen was firing the BAR and it occurred to me- firing a full auto rifle loaded with 30-06, what were the odds of actually hitting anything with it? The closest hand held machine gun I’ve fired was the hand held belt fed M60 in the USN, at 160 soaking wet I wasn’t so much firing it as pulling the trigger and hanging on to it.
     
  2. caribou

    caribou Member

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    They weighed 19-1/2 lbs.
    Alot lost their bipods, but the were still 16 pounds then.
    I watch WW2 Pathe' and other vids of combat on Youtube and the BAR appears very controllable.
    Good sights, too.
     
  3. 230RN

    230RN I keep pushing that pendulum back.

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    Not a BAR, but related. I read where they used to file a notch on the upper side of the muzzle to help control muzzle climb in the Thompson sub MG.

    (Disclaimer: I never deliberately fired anything full auto, though I have had mag dumps from faulty mechanics. Just reporting what I read.)
     
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    With the proper positioning and bracing, it can be done. I fired the BAR in SF training.
     
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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  6. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    The model of BAR used in The Sand Pebbles was the original M1918. That has the semi- and full-auto settings, so it can be fired in single shots. However, it does fire from the open bolt, so the accuracy is less than that of a gun firing from the closed bolt. (The new Ohio Ordnance Works semi-only M1918A3 fires from the closed bolt.)
    No, you're thinking of the Cutts Compensator, which was optional on the early commercial Thompsons, and standard on the military M1928A1. Nobody filed notches on the barrel itself.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
  7. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    Being 6'2 and 200 pounds, firing the M60 offhand from the shoulder was nothing.

    Most of the time I preferred it unless it was being set up on the tripod.
     
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  8. 230RN

    230RN I keep pushing that pendulum back.

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    No, I'm thinking of what appears on page 266 of Hatcher's Notebook. You're thinking of the section on that very page about the Cutts Compensator for the BAR, but mention of the muzzle filing appears in the paragraph just before that section, and with respect to the BAR.

    However, I still recall that filing of the muzzle of the Thompson occurred as well , but I cannot mine for a reference on that. Muzzle filing to reduce muzzle climb is a good "field expedient" to reducing upwards recoil of all firearms, auto or semiauto notwithstanding, and was probably a matter of general knowledge at the time.

    It has been kind of "formalized" in the use of Magnaporting even in handguns. I have a .357 Taurus that's Magnaported, and it works for its intended purpose very well, but the resulting noise and flash are increased a lot. I'd hate to use that gun while dark-adapted because it will limit your vision for a few (perhaps critical) seconds.

    Whether they were notches or flats, if they entered into the bore so a little extra part of the emerging gas would go upward, they would work. A guy named Ike Newton advertised that concept a long time ago. =D

    Terry, 230RN
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
  9. tws3b2

    tws3b2 Member

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    I may be wrong but I don't think he fired it from the shoulder full auto in that movie. Not standing anyway. From the hip.
    In the tv show Wanted Dead or Alive he used a 44/40 mares leg but the shells in his belt were 45/70.
     
  10. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

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    sandpebsm-cl3-work5.jpg

    sandpebsm-gun3-bar2.jpg
     
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  11. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I also got to play with the Browning BAR while I was stationed at Ft Devens. And yes it can definitely be fired from the shoulder on auto. Same goes with the M60 too. Yes they are heavy to be shooting from the shoulder but it can be done.

    I spent most of the time as lower enlisted (E1-E4) with the M60 being my primary issued weapon. I weighted between 128 and 125 at that time at 5'10" tall. So I was a very skinny person. And I had no issues handling the M60 or BAR.

    One has to remember that the BAR, M60 and other squad/general purpose machine guns are designed for area target suppression. In other words, to keep the enemies heads down.

    PS: I sure do miss range days while at Ft Devens. We had all kinds of neat stuff in the arms room and would get to shoot them all on said range days.
     
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  12. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Never say nobody. Someone somewhere may have done a field modification. I have seen a very few foreign submachine guns with notches cut in the muzzle end by the factory to serve as recoil compensation but so far I have seen no photos of Thompsons with notches actually cut in the barrel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
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  13. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    My dad carried a BAR in WWII and said the BAR's weight made fair accuracy with short bursts possible. He preferred the BAR models with semi-auto/full auto switch over the newer ones with the slow rate/fast rate switch. But he said even the slow rate would allow you to tap off one or two shots and stay on target. Even though the BAR fired from an open bolt, it had a long barrel and a ladder type rear sight that allowed hitting individual targets at fairly long range (way over 200 yards).

    M14/M15 was definitely too light for full auto even in 7.62 x51. I remember the hoopla about the New M14 wonder rifle replacing the M1 Garand, the Thompson, the M3 grease gun, the M1 and M2 Carbines, the 1911A1 pistol, and presumably the trench style shotgun. M14 is a nice semiauto battle rifle, but man was it oversold.

    I remember the THE SAND PEBBLES, saw it as a kid on its theatrical run. Great movie, and it starred the guy who saved the world from THE BLOB.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022
  14. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    To be honest, the Bren was probably a better light machine gun than the BAR but Dad found a BAR stripped of the bipod and other LMG incumberances was portable for long range patrol and gave him more firepower than a rifle. He had a low opinion of the submachine gun and the Carbine: they could not penetrate a palm tree trunk.
     
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  15. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    That seems to have been a commonly-held opinion. My late father-in-law was a U.S. Army sergeant in the North African theater. He was initially armed with a Thompson but switched it for a Garand as soon as he got the chance. According to him, the Thompson didn't have the range required.
     
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  16. Hal

    Hal Member

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    Hollywood - TV - other fantasy worlds aside..

    The BAR was the preferred weapon of Clyde Barrow.
    Barrow loved the BAR - Ford V8s _ Colt 1911s - and Bonnie of course.
     
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  17. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    Again, Hollywood vs. reality. The Army issued a BAR belt with a steel cup to allow for firing from the hip.
    I went through BCT at Fort Dix in the Summer of 1967, at the rifle range to show us that the M-14 didn't kick one of the cadre would fire it full auto from his rotch-and his chin. They used tracers so you could tell they weren't faking it.
     
  18. tark

    tark Member

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    Quite right. The original 1918 model had a two position selector, semi and full auto. It's receiver was made from forged high quality steel. The later WW II model featured low and high rates of automatic fire. The receivers on these guns were "Arma-steel which was a combination of iron and lower grade steel, with hardened steel inserts in the critical stress areas. The rate reducers on these guns sometimes gave trouble and the bipods were not very popular.

    I have met a half dozen or so BAR men during my time working for the R.I.A. Museum I believe they were all Korean War Vets. To a man, they all told me they never used the high rate. A couple of them told me they wished the gun had been made with a semi-auto / low rate full auto selector.

    It is a little known fact that not all BARs were chambered in 30-06. The Swedish government manufactured some under license and these were in 6.5X55 caliber. We had one of these in the museum before it was closed for renovation.
     
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  19. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    That might have had something to do with ammunition consumption, and overheating. Remember that one of the limiting factors of the BAR is the 20-round magazine, and when the barrel overheats, which it easily does, there's no way to quickly change it.

    There was actually a proposal within the Army, after WW1, to issue the BAR in a semiautomatic-only version. This proposal didn't get anywhere because of the development of the M1 Garand, which was obviously superior as a semiautomatic.The BAR got a new lease on life for WW2 simply because the U.S. didn't have anything better for the light machine gun role. A Bren, not to mention the German MG 34 or 42, would have been miles better.

    The new OOW M1918A3 should not be overlooked simply because it's semiautomatic. Too bad these babies will cost you $4,000 apiece.
     
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  20. AeroDillo

    AeroDillo Member

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    Circa 2017-ish new-production 1918A3 backdated from the stock Korean-era LMG to the World War I automatic rifle configuration, at 50-ish yards (I think).

    I can live with it.


    bartarget.jpg
     
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  21. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    The Bren Gun was a true light machine gun with a quick-change barrel, the BAR was originally intended to give riflemen with bolt actions some fire support.
     
  22. Golfanaticshooter

    Golfanaticshooter Member

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    If Steve McQueen was wielding it, it was MOA on full auto.
     
  23. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Came to post this.

    The really took "automatic RIFLE" seriously on that one.
     
  24. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    There was a heavy barrel version of the M-14, the M-15, intended to take the place of the BAR. It was approved but never put into production.
     
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  25. tark

    tark Member

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    Tag # 6852 is the prototype that was to be the M-15. Sorry about the glare from the lights but the weapons wall was behind glass. The weapon was actually not approved, for reasons that are obvious to anyone who has ever fired an M-14 on full auto. Even with the extra weight ( It weighed almost 16 pounds loaded ) the gun was uncontrollable in automatic fire. If the army could have found a way to lower the cyclic rate to around 350-450 rounds per minute, the gun might have been successful. But the biggest problem was still the lack of a quick change barrel.

    oops...I posted the same picture twice...
     

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