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Old August 17, 2006, 04:00 PM   #1
Doug.38PR
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Would the BAR be a good combat rifle for today?

Would the BAR be a good or effective combat rifle for today? I understand it stood up to recoil far better than it's decendant the M-14 and it's 30.06 round has more power than the .308. It is a high capacity rifle that has more power and a larger caliber than the modern M-16.
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Old August 17, 2006, 04:13 PM   #2
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In the proper hands it is leathal, having fired my dad's BAR the recoil is very controllable range and knock down is great. mag capacity would would be it's only rel set back next to it's over all weight. But with so many advancements it other fields it is hard to think that it would far well. The 240B's and G's have simply replaced them, for it's time it was truly a work of art and something for other to emmulate.
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Old August 17, 2006, 04:30 PM   #3
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on a side note the BAR with AP rounds was the weapon of choice in urban warfare
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Old August 17, 2006, 04:51 PM   #4
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sure ,if you think a Serman tank would be feildable today.
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Old August 17, 2006, 05:02 PM   #5
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It worked for Clyde Barrow - probably would still be a good choice for combat against the Feds.....




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Old August 17, 2006, 05:06 PM   #6
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BAR specs:

Operation Air cooled, gas operated, magazine fed, shoulder type
M1918A1 selective fire (fully and semi-automatic)
M1918A2 fully automatic
Caliber .30 (30-06)
Muzzle velocity 853.4 mps (2800 fps)
Capacity 20-round detachable box magazine
(1) Bandoleer (BAR belt): 12 magazines
(2) Magazine changeable in 2-4 seconds
(but averaged 6-8 seconds in combat)
Weight 8.33 kg (18.5 lbs)
Overall length 119.4 cm (47 in.)
Rate of fire 550 rounds per minute
Effective range 550m (600 yds)

M60E3 Specs (issued in 1957)

Length: 42.4 inches (107.70 centimeters)
Weight: 18.75 pounds (8.51 kilograms)
Bore diameter: 7.62mm (.308 inches)
Maximum effective range: 3609.1 feet (1100 meters)
Maximum range: 2.3 miles (3725 meters)
Muzzle velocity: 2800 feet (853 meters) per second
Rates of fire:
Cyclic: 550 rounds per minute
Rapid: 100 rounds per minute*
Sustained: 100 rounds per minute*
(* with barrel changes at each 100 rounds)

I know which 18.5 pounds I'd rather hump.
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Old August 17, 2006, 05:39 PM   #7
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Hey Buster, the Sherman tank was a piece of junk back when it was the best we had. The gun was useless against armor, it had thin armor, and it burned if you even looked at it funny.

The BAR, on the other hand, was the best thing one man could lug around. It would be entirely servicable today if it was belt-fed and weighed a few pounds less. Heck, it might be servicable without those mods...

I'm sure somebody is still using them somewhere in africa or the far-east.
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Old August 17, 2006, 05:41 PM   #8
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The BAR's a drag to field strip. Lots of little parts.
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Old August 17, 2006, 05:55 PM   #9
Doug.38PR
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why would the magazine capacity be a problem? 20 rounds is about average for most rifles today including the M-16 which holds 10-20-30 average. In fact, Making a drum magazine for a BAR probably wouldn't be too much trouble as long as something is feeding rounds into the gun
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Old August 17, 2006, 05:58 PM   #10
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I don't think it's fair to compare it to an M16, but a M249 or M240 would blow it away. (Pun intended )
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Old August 17, 2006, 06:09 PM   #11
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I had the pleasure of acting for an old gentleman who was a Sherman Commander it Italy in WW2. He told me a story about tangling with a Tiger 1 which was unpleasent for some of his shermans- and feeling the wind of an 88mm round would not have been fun. The Germans called them "Tommy Cookers".

The BAR is an old system. They weigh a tonne, and are not controllable on Auto. They are hard to strip, and have lots of fiddly bits. Would rather have one than a poxy SKS mind you!
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Old August 17, 2006, 06:10 PM   #12
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Swampdog, good comparison, but modern .30-06 ammo does about 2900 FPS which gives it a little more range. Unless, of course, you're comparing 165 grain .30-06 to 150 grain .308. I think I would want 165 grainers for a LMG anyway for even better ballistic coefficient/range.
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Old August 17, 2006, 06:28 PM   #13
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Eighteen and one-half pounds!!

Plus 240 rounds of 30-06.

A day or two of huffin' that around and an M-4 would look mighty good.
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Old August 17, 2006, 06:43 PM   #14
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dave0520,

I wasn't actually comparing the calibers, although it might have seemed like that. My point was that if I wanted to carry a 18.5 lb weapon, there were better ones available. I don't want to get into the 30/06 vs. .308 dispute.

Doug.38PR,

The BAR was great in its day. It was never considered a "combat rifle", but a light machine gun, with one being issued to a "squad" and carried by the "BAR man". An early antecedent to the modern SAW, I believe it was developed to give troops assaulting across no-man's land during WW1 mobile firepower. It shouldn't be considered a "battle rifle", like the M1, M-14, or M-16 that it's being compared too.

In its proper role, I'm sure it would be just as effective now as then, but there are better choices available. As far as it being a "good combat rifle", it never was one.
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Old August 17, 2006, 07:21 PM   #15
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not even a close call

As was mentioned, the BAR was the squads auto rifle. This is accomplished today by the M249. A quick look at comparisons:
M249:
With bipod and tools: 15.16 pounds (6.88 kilograms)
200-round box magazine: 6.92 pounds (3.14 kilograms)
Maximum effective range: 3281 feet (1000 meters) for an area target
Maximum range: 2.23 miles (3.6 kilometers)
Rates of fire:
Cyclic: 725 rounds per minute
Sustained: 85 rounds per minute

BAR:
Capacity 20-round detachable box magazine
Weight 8.33 kg (18.5 lbs)
Overall length 119.4 cm (47 in.)
Rate of fire 550 rounds per minute
Effective range 550m (600 yds)

Bottom line, the SAW delivers 175 more rounds p/min, at approx a 400 yd longer distance, and weighs 3 lbs. less. Plus a SAW gunner may carry 3-4 200 rnd boxes, and the A-gunner even more. VERY easy to field strip (also takes down very much like the M240 series). What the M249 lacks in caliber it makes up in volume of fire. NO COMPARISON
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Old August 17, 2006, 10:01 PM   #16
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Death from Afar, having dealt with a BAR personally I can say firing in Full Automatic it is very controllable not sure which one you fired but the one I fired was very controllable. Other BAR gunners I talked to from the old school USMC have told me they would sooner take a BAR than a M-14 for the simple reason that in auto mode you can control it and if you have problems with the fast rate you just switch it over to the slow rate. But the weight of the gun proved to your advantage in a fire fight it alone helped control the recoil. Compared to other counterparts of its kind the BAR is hands down king of the Titans comparing with the BM-59 and the M-14. All this said with respect and taking nothing away from what you said just telling you from personal experience IMO Heavy yes awkward yes as for the range estimates I would say that the BAR would do as good as the M-60 I will research that and get back on that one.
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Old August 17, 2006, 10:04 PM   #17
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If you modernized the BAR it wouldnt be too bad. Imagine a BAR with an alloy reciever, synthetic furniture, beta-c drum mag and scout type forend bipod. WOOT!

SW
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Old August 17, 2006, 10:10 PM   #18
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think about it what would John Browning do to make the BAR more competitive to the rest of the weapons in its class? Nice though though SW I like it
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Old August 17, 2006, 10:10 PM   #19
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If it was in .308, it would be a perfect MG--very accurate, etc. Increase mag capacity, maybe even add a drum for fixed mount variants.

HOWEVER--i'm not stupid. It is heavy, wouldn't be fun to lug around, and would be a nightmare for logistical support. HOWEVER--it'd be a perfect fit for the navy, where it's still a ship-borne force that could take oodles of .308, or .30-06, still. Accurate enough single shots, plenty easy to use FA if on a pintle mount. Would come in handy against suicide boats like in the Cole's instance.
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Old August 17, 2006, 10:13 PM   #20
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the 5.56mm is everything to snicker at..if you are talking long-range ability...it doesn't have any compared to the old 30-06...the m14 was a total failure in auto-mode because of it's too light weight..today's soldiers are so bogged down in weight with armor, maybe they need ultra light weapons so they can stand up...GRUNT!!!
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Old August 17, 2006, 10:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Death from Afar, having dealt with a BAR personally I can say firing in Full Automatic it is very controllable not sure which one you fired but the one I fired was very controllable. Other BAR gunners I talked to from the old school USMC have told me they would sooner take a BAR than a M-14 for the simple reason that in auto mode you can control it and if you have problems with the fast rate you just switch it over to the slow rate. But the weight of the gun proved to your advantage in a fire fight it alone helped control the recoil. Compared to other counterparts of its kind the BAR is hands down king of the Titans comparing with the BM-59 and the M-14. All this said with respect and taking nothing away from what you said just telling you from personal experience IMO Heavy yes awkward yes as for the range estimates I would say that the BAR would do as good as the M-60 I will research that and get back on that one.
Thats proabably a good point. I fired one many many moons ago, and was not at all familier with automatics at that time. I dont think I was really controlling the weapon, so your comments I accept. It definatly would be more controllable than a L1A1 or m14 on auto.
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Old August 17, 2006, 10:22 PM   #22
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the only reason I said that Death from Afar is because my dad has one fired it countless times and guess who ends up cleaning it one guess....................
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Last edited by TNT; August 20, 2006 at 11:21 AM.
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Old August 17, 2006, 11:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Death from Afar, having dealt with a BAR personally I can say firing in Full Automatic it is very controllable not sure which one you fired but the one I fired was very controllable. Other BAR gunners I talked to from the old school USMC have told me they would sooner take a BAR than a M-14 for the simple reason that in auto mode you can control it
Quote:
the m14 was a total failure in auto-mode because of it's too light weight..today's soldiers are so bogged down in weight with armor, maybe they need ultra light weapons so they can stand up...GRUNT
Dad, a former marine '64-'67 just said the same thing to me earlier today when we were talking about the BAR and the M-14. He trained with the M-14 and as a fully auto rifle it was VERY hard to control and very few men could manage it. Fortunately, back then, only one out of every 4 men in the squad had full auto....but the BAR would have been a much better choice for fire and suppress tactics.
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Old August 17, 2006, 11:17 PM   #24
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An interesting side note on the BAR. 1960's US Marine Corp doctrine told drill sergeants to alwayse find the smallest volunteer possible to hump the BAR. Do they still do this today for the SAW?
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Old August 18, 2006, 12:30 AM   #25
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The current M240 is little more than a BAR flipped upside down and adapted to belt feed. Seems to work good. Though it still has the same problem as the original BAR, it's heavy. Improved versions of the M60 (M60E4) are just as (or more, depending on who you talk to) reliable than the M240, weigh less, and have better features/ergonomics. With all the original faults resolved through proper design it seems that the M60E4 is the new standard to beat. (Just as the STK Ultimax 100 is moving to replace the M249 SAW)
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