John M. Browning filed a partent for the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) on 1 August, 1917 and the rifle was in combat by 1918.
The original Browning Automatic Rifle could fire 550 rounds of .30-06 ammunition a minute.
The Browning Automatic Rifle was used by the U.S. military through WWII and the Korean conflict. A few Browning Automatic Rifles even saw service in Vietnam.
The U.S. military adopted three variations of the Browning Automatic Rifle:
- M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, adopted in 1917, was selective to fire either semi- or fully-automatic. The M1918 did not have the shoulder support plate or bipod that was characteristic of later models. The M1918 had a blade front sight and a leaf with aperture rear sight.
- M1918A1 Browning Automatic Rifle, adopted in 1937, was selective to fire either semi- or fully-automatic. It had a shoulder support plate hinged to the buttstock and a spike type bipod. The M1918A1 had a blade front sight and a leaf with aperture rear sight.
- M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle, adopted in 1940, was fully-automatic, but selective at either Slow (300-450 spm) or Fast (500-650 spm) rates of fire. The M1918A2 was originally issued with a spike based removable stock rest which fitted in a hole in the buttstock. It had a shorter hinged shoulder support plate and a skid type bipod. Later modifications included a plastic buttstock and the addition of a carrying handle. The M1918A2 had a blade front sight and a leaf with aperture rear sight adjustable for windage.
In 1967, a sporting version of the Browning Automatic Rifle was introduced.
The rifle pictured above is a BAR Lightweight Stalker.
Articles on the Browning Automatic Rifle
Browning Automatic Rifle
The BAR is a gas-operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed weapon. As built for the U.S. military, the BAR was chambered for the standard service round of that period, the .30-06 Springfield. It weighed from 16 to 19 pounds (7.3 to 8.6 kg) empty, depending upon the model. Magazine capacity was 20 rounds.