View Full Version : BAR .308 owners help ... surplus accuracy?

November 21, 2002, 02:10 PM
Short version:

I want a .308 so I can shoot hundreds of rounds without going broke. I have a BAR 7mm, and other rifles, and the BAR is by far, my favorite ... particularly at the range. I hate the BOSS, but I would have been willing to get it as I very much want to be able to shoot my .308 sub-MOA. However, I was told by Browning that the BOSS is unavailable on any .308 as it would not make a difference. So, I'm looking for current .308 BAR owners to let me know what kind of groups they're seeing with milsurp ammo.


Long Version:

I may or may not use the .308 for hunting. I know it's fine for whitetail and even larger game (according to some). That's not the issue here. After I've shot it, and, when any particular hunt comes along, I may consider it against my other rifles and decide which to take at that time.

I do not handload and I do not plan on handloading. I know I could save a lot of money by handloading, but, it just ain't gonna happen ... not anytime in the near future anyhow.

I like to shoot ... alot ... period.

If I can shoot sub-MOA inexpensively (ex. 200 rounds for $30) then I'll be having a lot of fun. I like the idea of shooting .308 vs. any other cheaper ammo as, $0.15/round is plenty cheap for me and, then, I have the option of using a very experienced rifle for whitetail or whatever.

My buddy got a .308 Rem 700 VLS this fall and took it out for whitetail ... didn't get anything, but that's another story. Obviously, that's what's got me interested in .308. Once he told me how cheap he was able to shoot, and yet, keep sub-MOA with milsurp. I don't want a 700 VLS as, then, for me, the option of using it for whitetail, or whatever, is out ... I just ain't gonna lug a 9 lbs rifle (w/o scope) on a hunt. As well, I just very much prefer a semi-auto for range work ... more fun for me. And, I'm not gonna pay $1000+ for a bushy or the like ... just not into that ... yet. Besides, there is something to be said for taking an "evil" gun for hunting and freaking out the normals. Although, if the price were lower and we weren't in a war to retain our rights, I might consider it.

Basically, if I can keep sub-MOA with a .308 BAR, it's a done deal. However, if it's looking closer to 2+ MOA, I'm not really interested ... I can do better than that with my 7mm BAR with cheap factory ammo any day of the week. At that point, I might consider the likes of a Rem 700 VLS and just leave it at home for hunting.

Obviously, a heavy bbl eliminates the effects of what the BOSS corrects. Although my 7mm BAR does not have the BOSS, I know by shooting various bullet weights that this is an issue. In factory loads, I can't keep a decent group with anything but 140gr or 175gr. Browning says that the .308 does not need the BOSS on the BAR bbl. Maybe not for shooting a whitetail at 100yds. But, my question is, is the BAR bbl able to perform with 147gr. milsurp ammo just as well as a heavy bbl, or, to what degree is the performance less?


Dave R
November 21, 2002, 03:58 PM
Since you are not getting any replies from BAR owners yet...

I shoot a CETME, which in not a BAR-quality rifle. But I shoot a lot of surplus. May favorites are:

1. Hirtenberger, which I have not been able to find lately. Shoots 2MOA in my rifle (with iron sights), relatively clean, and its the only boxer-primed, reloadable surplus.

2. Portugese, FNM headstamp. This stuff may be more accurate than the Hirt...I also get 2MOA with this stuff, but occasionally better. Its lower-priced than the Hirt, generally, and is widely available. Clean stuff, too.

November 21, 2002, 07:15 PM
I drive a Belgian .30-06 BAR, and it's a real sweetheart. But it's nowhere in the same class as a Remington 700PSS. The thinner barrel and forend attachment are intended for a sporting rifle, not a tactical, target, or varmint rifle.

I wouldn't necessarily call the Browning BAR a gun that you'd want to run a ton of milsurp .308 through, either. You'd be better off with a FAL, CETME, or VEPR, guns that are intended to be shot with military ammo, and a lot of it over their service lives.

My BAR shoots into about 1" at 100 yards with the same 168gr HPBTM handloads I make for my 1903's and Garands. I've had to use small-base dies for these handloads, because the Browning has a very tight chamber nearest the bolt. It's not a bad thing, but you have to be careful. Getting sub MOA groups from milsurp ammo may not be that easy from a BAR. The fact that the Remington 700 PSS can do it is a tribute to the gun's inherent accuracy.

Granted, the BAR feels good and shoots nicely for an autoloader, but it wouldn't be my first choice for a milsurp blaster. They're an awfully nice gun to be reduced to that purpose. Unless, of course, money isn't an object after all... ;)

November 21, 2002, 08:02 PM
Hirtenberger and FNM Portugese work well in my father's BAR.

November 21, 2002, 08:21 PM
Never expect much from surplus ammo. The best groups I have obtained were from match grade ammo and that was from handloads.

Like anything in life you get what you pay for usually and it is no different with the purchase of ammo.

The .308 will generally enable one to shoot about 6,000 rounds before the accuracy really starts to fall off assuming that 1. You never overheat the barrel in prolonged rapid fire and 2. You remove all of the powder and copper fouling after you shoot the weapon at the end of the day. This is often easier said than done.

I have found that the .223 is the more economical round and with it one can often get 10,000 to 12,000 rounds of shooting out of a barrel when using this caliber. Shooter fatigue and therefore overal consistant accuracy is often way better with the .223.

Again using surplus ammo in the .223 often results in as large as 3 to 4 inch groups even out of a custom built match gun but using match grade ammo will often provide the shooter with one whole groups at 100 yards. This is a tremendous difference in accuracy and once again it proves you generally get what you pay for.

If you want to do a lot of shooting with quality ammo you will still go broke shooting .308 ammo as compared to shooting .223 ammo. Carefully put together handloads with match grade bullets will cost you less than half what you will spend on bullets and powder for the .308 and with todays new miracle bullets shots at 1,000 yards with the .223 are being done at some of the major competitions in this country.