Firearms / Machine guns / BAR

BAR

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Light support weapon

  • ORIGIN
    United States

  • NICKNAMES
    M1918 (United States)
    Kulsprutegevär m/28 (Sweden)
    Mle 30 (Belgium)
    Wz 1928 (Poland)

  • DESIGNED
    1917

  • DESIGNER
    John Browning

  • PRODUCTION
    1917 - 1950's

  • PRODUCERS
    Belgium - Fabriqua Nationale
    Poland - PFK
    Sweden - Carl Gustav
    United States - Colt
    United States - Winchester

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Controllable automatic fire
    Good reliability
    Limited sustained fire capability
    Heavy and cumbersome

Introduction

The BAR is a light support weapon of US origin. The BAR was developed by John Browning in 1917, was was actively used until the mid 20th century. The name BAR stands for Browning Automatic Rifle, but it is also known under the US military designation M1918.

Design

The BAR is a box fed gas operated automatic weapon. Although classified by most as a light support weapon, it was conceived as an automatic rifle, just as the name implies. It features a large metal receiver with a short wooden forearm. The long barrel is fully exposed for better air cooling. Most BAR have a wooden stock, but the latest models were fitted with a plastic stock.

Firepower

The BAR fires the .30-06 round from a 20 round magazine. Early versions were select fire. Later versions were fully automatic only, with a selectable slow and high rate of fire of about 400 and 650 rpm. Due to the weight and limited rate of fire the BAR is very controllable. The effective range is well over 400 meters against point targets.

Users

The BAR was widely used before World War 2 and was actively used by various nations during World War 2, most notably by the United States. After World War 2 the BAR quickly became obsolete with the widespread introduction of battle rifles and general purpose machine guns. In some nations the BAR was used until the 1980's.

Variants

M1918

The M1918 is the original version of the BAR and is not fitted with a bipod. The improved M1918A1 has a foldable bipod attached to the forearm and has a hinged buttplate. The most common version of the BAR is the M1918A2, which has a bipod attached to the barrel and is no longer select fire. The M1918A2 has the option to select the standard rate of fire and a reduced rate of fire. The M1918A2 was used until the early 1960's in Western nations and until the 1980's in third world countries.

TypeLight support weapon
Caliber.30-06 Springfield
Magazine20 rounds
OperationGas operated, tilting bolt
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire550 rpm
Barrel length610 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity855 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.194 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight7.3 kg
SightsIron sights, blade front and leaf aperture rear, 784 mm sight radius
Remarks-
TypeLight support weapon
Caliber.30-06 Springfield
Magazine20 rounds
OperationGas operated, tilting bolt
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire550 rpm
Barrel length610 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity855 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.194 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight8.4 kg
SightsIron sights, blade front and leaf aperture rear, 784 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod
TypeLight support weapon
Caliber.30-06 Springfield
Magazine20 rounds
OperationGas operated, tilting bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire300 - 450 rpm and 500 - 650 rpm
Barrel length610 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity855 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.214 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight8.8 kg
SightsIron sights, blade front and leaf aperture rear, 782 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod

M1922

The M1922 is a highly modified version of the M1918 that was developed for the US cavalry. It is capable of prolonged automatic fire due to its heavier barrel and cooling fins. A heavy bipod and monopod provide stability. The M1922 was used until the early 1940's.

TypeLight support weapon
Caliber.30-06 Springfield
Magazine20 rounds
OperationGas operated, tilting bolt
Fire selector0-1-F
Rate of fire550 rpm
Barrel length457 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity820 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.014 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight8.7 kg
SightsIron sights, blade front and leaf aperture rear, 784 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod and monopod

Type D

The Type D, or Modèle D, is a Belgian version of the BAR developed after World War 2. It is a highly modified version of the M1918A2. The most distinguishing feature is the quick detachable barrel, which allows for sustained fire. Besides the .30-06 round the Type D was also produced in 7.62x51mm and 7.92x57mm.

TypeLight support weapon
Caliber.30-06 Springfield or 7.92x57mm Mauser or 7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine20 rounds
OperationGas operated
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fireslow and rapid automatic fire
Barrel length500 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length1.145 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight9.2 kg empty
SightsIron sights, post front and tangent rear
RemarksBipod and monopod

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