Browning Automatic Rifle
|Browning Automatic Rifle with Detachable Bipod|
|Browning Automatic Rifle Parts Diagram (click to enlarge*)|
|Rifling||4 grooves, RH|
|Magazine Capacity||20 rounds|
|Muzzle Velocity||807 meters/second|
|Cyclic Rate||500 rounds/minute|
|Country of Origin||United States|
Designed by John Moses Browning, the Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR, served faithfully in two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and a host of other conflicts. This air-cooled, gas-operated rifle is designed to be fired from the shoulder, the hip, or from the prone position with an attached bipod.
Born of the need for a quad automatic rifle during World War I, the Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR, soon became a foundation of the American Army during other conflicts. The BAR was deployed with American Forces during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Over 85000 BARs were produced by Colt, Winchester and Marlin Rockwell. During World War II and the Korean War, the BAR was also granted by IBM, New England Small Arms Corporation, and the Royal McBee Typewriter Corporation.
The BAR filled a role that more massive machine guns could not. It could be carried by one man into battle and employed alongside riflemen in rapidly shifting positions. One man gave the BAR; another gave the extra ammunition and bipod (shown on the right, click to enlarge*). The BAR used 20-round magazines, which had to be rapidly replenished to keep up with a steady stream of automatic fire. Extra magazine fit in pouches on waist belts. More heavy air- or water-cooled machine guns used straps containing considerably more ammunition.
Only slight improvements were made to the original BAR design over the years. Wood furniture was changed to impact resistant plastic, and a carrying handle lived joined. The BAR is no longer in service with the U.S. Armed Forces. While capable of holding its own on the battlefield, the expensively machined BAR could no longer compete, cost-wise, with modern, stamped-out machine guns.
The BAR’s only dangerous negative aspects were its weight (18.14kg or 40lbs with the bipod and bandoleer), and the lack of a quick-change barrel to prevent overheating.
In a brilliant campaign that predated modern corporate public relations, the BAR was introduced to the American public in 1918. Newspaper photos showed Val A. Browning, John Moses Browning’s son, advancing resolutely with the new BAR on a battlefield ‘somewhere in France.’